SPONSOR:   

Rep. M. Marshall & Sen. Blevins

 

Sen. Peterson

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

HOUSE BILL NO. 293

 

 

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DOGS

 


BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

 


SECTION 1.           AMEND § 904(c), Title 9 of the Delaware Code by striking the word “housing” in the title of that subsection.

SECTION 2.           AMEND § 904(c)(2), Title 9 of the Delaware Code by inserting the following at the end of paragraph (c)(2):

“During the winter months, any dog house used as shelter pursuant to this paragraph must include dry and water-resistant materials such as straw or hay and must have a door flap. Dogs shall not be left outside if a hurricane, tropical storm, heat advisory or tornado warning has been issued for the jurisdiction by the National Weather Service.”  

SECTION 3.           AMEND § 904(d)(1), Title 9 of the Delaware Code by re-designating as subparagraph “(a)” the paragraph in § 904(d)(1) beginning with the phrase “Primary enclosures” and by striking the phrase “according to the procedure prescribed in Title 9, Code of Federal Regulations, § 3.6(c)(1)” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: “as follows: (length of dog in inches + 6) x (length of dog in inches + 6) x 2 = required floor space in square inches.  The length of the dog shall be measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.”

SECTION 4.           AMEND § 904(d)(2), Title 9 of the Delaware Code by re-designating paragraph (d)(2) as subparagraph “(b)” of paragraph (d)(1). 

SECTION 5.           AMEND § 904(d)(3), Title 9 of the Delaware Code by re-designating paragraph (d)(3) as subparagraph “(c)” of paragraph (d)(1).

SECTION 6.           AMEND §904(d)(4), Title 9 of the Delaware Code by striking the existing paragraph (d)(4) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph (d)(2) to read as follows:

“(2)         Use of tethers.     

(A)          If a tether is used, the tether shall be attached so that the dog cannot become entangled with other objects or come into physical contact with other dogs, and so that the dog can roam to the full range of the tether.  The tether shall be of a type commonly used for the size of dog involved, shall be made of materially not normally susceptible to being severed by a dog through chewing or otherwise, and shall be attached to the dog by means of a well-fitted collar that will not cause trauma or injury to the dog.  The tether shall be a minimum of the lesser of 10 feet in length or 3X the length of the dog, and shall allow the dog convenient access to shade and appropriate shelter and to food and spill-proof water containers.

(B)           Tethering is prohibited under the following circumstances:

(i)            If the tether and/or related attachment(s) is not appropriate for the animal's weight;

(ii)           If the tether is attached by means of a pinch-type, prong-type, or choke-type collar, or if the collar is unsafe, or is not properly fitted;

(iii)          If the tether inhibits the animal's free movement or causes injury or entanglement;

(iv)          If a dog is less than four months of age; or

(v)           Between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.; unless the tether is used for less than a 15 minute period of time.”

SECTION 7.           AMEND §904(d)(5) by re-designating said paragraph as § 904(d)(3) and by striking all of said paragraph after the heading “Wire flooring” in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

“A dog may be sheltered in a primary enclosure having wire flooring if the wire flooring is kept in good repair and does not result in injuries to the dog.  The flooring shall be constructed so as not to allow passage of the animal’s feet through any openings in the floor of the enclosure.  Such flooring shall not sag or bend significantly between structural supports.  If the flooring is constructed of metal strands, such strands shall either be greater than 1/8 of an inch in diameter (9 gauge wire) or shall be coated with a material such as plastic or fiberglass. If the floor of a primary enclosure is constructed of wire, a solid resting surface or surfaces that, in the aggregate, are large enough to hold all the occupants of the primary enclosure at the same time comfortably, must be provided.” 

SECTION 8.           AMEND § 904(d), Title 7 of the Delaware Code by striking paragraph (6) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph (4) to read as follows:

“(4)         The space requirements of this subsection shall not apply to:

                (A)          Any dog temporarily kept in a smaller enclosure for purposes such as crate training, transportation, or pursuant to a veterinarian’s order;

                (B)           Any office of a licensed veterinarian;

                (C)           Any temporary kennel facility where dogs are kept for grooming, boarding, training or other purposes for less than two consecutive weeks, provided that the primary enclosure in which the dog is kept is constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space to allow the dog to turn about freely and to stand erect, sit and lie down in a comfortable, normal position; or

                (D)          A licensed Retail Dog Outlet where dogs are kept on display to patrons of the retail dog outlet during its normal business hours, provided that the primary enclosure in which the dog is kept is constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space to allow the dog to turn about freely and to stand erect, sit and lie down in a comfortable, normal position.

SECTION 9.           AMEND § 904(e)(4) by adding at the end of that paragraph the following:  "Dogs kept primarily outdoors shall have a spill-proof water receptacle.  Running water must be available on any property at which dogs are kept."


SYNOPSIS

This bill amends the minimum standards set forth in Chapter 9, Title 9 of the Delaware Code with respect to the primary enclosures and tethering of dogs.  The bill establishes a formula for calculating the proper enclosure size for housing a dog in lieu of the current provision, which requires consultation of the Code of Federal Regulations.  It also clarifies when the space requirements and limitations do not apply.  The bill further establishes more detailed requirements for persons who tether their dogs, including a prohibition on tethering of dogs under 4 months of age and a prohibition of tethering any dog between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., unless it is only for a period of less than fifteen minutes.