DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has passed a bill prohibiting dog owners from leaving their animals tied up all day.
The bill approved Wednesday on a 17-4 vote expands animal cruelty laws to include leaving a dog tethered for 18 hours or more in any 24-hour period. It also prohibits tethering any dog younger than four months old for any amount of time or tethering of a nursing mother in the presence of her offspring.
Bill supporters suggested that behavioral and physical problems of dogs left tied up all day may not be covered under existing animal cruelty laws.
Opponents expressed concern that the bill would lead to further restrictions on dog owners, such as not leaving an animal in an enclosed kennel all day.
The bill now goes to the House.