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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

L.D. 204, “An Act to Protect Dogs That Are Left Outside” Public Law, Chapter 340.
Written by Robert Fisk   
Saturday, 04 February 2006
This bill establishes tethering and shelter standards specific to dogs that are confined outside on tethers for long periods as its primary means of confinement. Primary means of confinement means the method used to confine a dog for periods of time that exceeds 12 hours in a 24 hour period.

  • If a dog is tied or confined unattended outdoors under weather conditions that adversely affect the health of the dog, a shelter of suitable size with a floor above ground and water proof roof must be provided to accommodate the dog and protect it from the weather and, in particular, from the severe cold. Inadequate shelter may be indicated by the shivering of the dog due to cold weather for a continuous period of 30 minutes.
  • A shelter must be provided that is fully enclosed (four-sided; was three sided) except for a portal.
  • The portal must be sufficient size to allow the dog unimpeded passage into and out of the structure. For dogs other than arctic breeds, the portal must be constructed in a manner that keeps wind and precipitation out of the interior.
  • The shelter must have clean bedding material sufficient to retain the dog’s normal body heat.
  • The chain or tether must be attached to both the dog and the anchor using swivels or similar devices that prevents the chain or tether from becoming entangled or twisted.
  • The chain or tether must be attached to a well-fitted collar or harness on the dog.
  • The chain or tether must be at least 5 times the length of the dog measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. 2.5 times for arctic breeds (Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes).


1. MFOA will send a copy of above standards to all Animal Control Officers, but a copy from you to your local Animal Control Officer will be a useful reminder that you expect the new law to be enforced. Keep a copy in your car to refer to.

2. Call or email MFOA for a door hanger and scripted letter that politely educates the owner of a ‘Dog Chained for Life’.

3. If the above does not help, notify your ACO of any names and addresses where the above standards are not being met. A picture or video will assist your case. Follow-up with ACO to see what was done.

4. If neither of the above works, contact MFOA and the Animal Welfare Program at 287-3846.

5. MFOA is building a case to go back to the legislature for further standards including time off the tether. We need evidence to show legislators. Please look for ‘Dogs Chained for Life’ and send MFOA the name and address of the dog; and any action taken. Pictures would be very helpful.

6. Promote Best friend fence is visually appealing, very strong pet fence that safely keeps the dog within a designated area without the use of electric wires or unattractive and costly fencing.

7. Assist the MFOA ‘Dogs Chained for Life’ education program. Put MFOA educational flyer up at local veterinarians, libraries, pet stores and community bulletin boards. Contact your MFOA District Coordinator about tabling at a local event, community function, political gathering or country fair.

8. Contribute financially to MFOA’s ‘Dogs Chained for Life ‘campaign.

9. Write a letter to your local newspaper about the plight of ‘Dogs Chained for Life’. Send published copy to MFOA.

10. New Year’s Resolution: Free one ‘Dog Chained for Life’ in 2006. Please let us know of any dog you were responsible for reducing or getting off tether which will be listed in our next newsletter.

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