A proposed measure that would regulate the tethering of dogs and define proper outdoor shelter would supplement an existing statewide bill, according to an animal right's group, working with Ocean County's 10th Legislative lawmakers to get the bill approved.

Jason Todd, Getty Images
Jason Todd, Getty Images

Janice Fisher, Puppy Mill Awareness Campaign Coordinator for Friends of Animals United, or FAWN-NJ, said the existing law, Title 4 regulating agricultural and domestic animals, is too vague, which makes it difficult to enforce.

"So this law will better describe proper shelter, and it will describe when tethering is acceptable and when it isn't," said Fisher.

She stressed the proposal isn't meant to unfairly target owners whose dogs like to be outside when the weather is above 32 degrees or below 90 degrees.

"It's only going to target those people that leave their dogs outdoors in very extreme temperatures without any kind of shelter," Fisher said.

Fisher noted that in many cases, animals are living in chewed up, overturned dog houses that are too small, or in 55 gallon drums.

She added, according to the American Veterinary Association, pets like people, have a varying tolerance for cold, based on the thickness of their coat, their size, their activity levels, their age and health and physical condition.

"This law will be specifically based on those variations. So, if you own a Husky, and that Husky wants to be outdoors all the time, it can be, as long as it has proper shelter," explained Fisher.

Fisher said she was shocked to learn there wasn't already a law on the issue in New Jersey, adding animals being tethered outdoors in inclement weather is a huge issue here.

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