Man’s best friend will be protected from abusive tethering if a bill sponsored by lawmakers in New Jersey’s 10th district becomes law.

State Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen David Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R–Ocean) have introduced new legislation to prohibit inhumane dog tethering practices in the Garden State.

Increased demand for the type of regulation proposed in the new animal protection bill is a growing trend among Garden State municipalities, McGuckin said.

“We thought it was appropriate that this should be addressed at the state level, rather than each individual municipality, to hopefully set a benchmark as to what would be appropriate for this type of regulation,” he said.

The proposed bill, S-3061/A-4628, makes it illegal for owners to tether a dog that poses a risk of entanglement, strangulation, drowning or other harm to the dog’s health or safety. It also prohibits dog tethering during severe weather conditions.

Abusive owners who violate the proposed law will face fines and jail time, as well as the seizure of pets by authorities if police deem a dog is at risk of imminent harm, McGuckin said.

“[Unsafe tethering] has been and continues to be a major problem,” he said. “[The bill] is designed to prohibit it from happening again in the future.”

Even though the 10th district republicans have to convince a democratically controlled state legislature to write the bill into law, McGuckin said animal protection is a concern shared by both sides of the political aisle.

Unsafe dog tethering is inhumane, and man’s best friends deserve reciprocated love and loyalty from their owners, McGuckin said.

“It’s inappropriate for [owners] to simply chain their dogs in their backyards and to just leave them out there for hours at a time,” he said.