Jan. 28, 2019

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) 

This week’s column serves as a reminder that it’s now against the law in Pennsylvania to leave a dog outdoors during harsh winter weather like we’ve been experiencing lately.

According to Act 10 of 2017, also known as Libre’s Law, dogs cannot be tethered outside longer than 30 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees. However, a dog can still be kept outside, untethered, if their shelter adequately maintains body temperature and keeps the animal dry.

Under the tethering provisions of the new law, the tether must also be secured to a well-fitting collar with a swivel and it must be no less than 10 feet or three times the length of the dog. The use of a tow or log chain, or a choke, pinch, prong or chain collar is prohibited.

Suspected violations of the tethering law should be reported to your local humane officer, which can be found here. Contact local or state police if there is no humane officer for your area.

There is still much work to be done to improve the sheltering standards for dogs in Pennsylvania. Legislation is expected to be introduced during the current session that would define suitable outdoor housing for a pet.

In the meantime, please remember to keep your dog safe and warm when the thermometer dips below freezing by bringing it indoors.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil