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Cook County Government Passes Tethering Law to Protect Dogs and Community

CHICAGO — The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 448,000 supporters in Illinois, commends the Cook County Board of Commissioners for unanimously passing an ordinance to stop the inhumane tethering of dogs.  The ordinance prohibits the use of tow or log chains as a collar, leash or tether. 

"Dogs are our best friends. This ordinance will ensure that dogs that are tethered are provided the basic humane standards they deserve," said Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director for The HSUS. 

"I am proud of the bold initiative taken by the Board of Commissioners and Board President Todd Stroger in passing the restrictions on tethering," said Donna Alexander, DVM, the administrator of the county's Department of Animal and Rabies Control. "These restrictions will bring Cook County's Animal Ordinance into closer compliance with the state's Humane Care for Animals Act and will add to the arsenal of laws in our war against the scourge of dogfighting."

In addition, the ordinance requires that all chains or tethers be at least 10 feet long and that a tethered dog must have access at all times to water, adequate shelter and dry ground. The ordinance also prohibits pinch, prong or choke collars and requires that the tether be attached to the dog by a properly fitting collar. Dogs may not be tethered in cases of extreme weather conditions, and to protect children, no dog may be tethered within 200 yards of a school.

For more information and resources on this issue, visit The HSUS' online resource library at animalsheltering.org.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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