Unlawful Tethering Of A Dog: California Health and Safety Code § 122335 HSC
Under the California health and safety code 122335 HS, tethering a dog outside to any kind of stationary device is considered a crime. However, there are some exceptions that should be taken into consideration and that could be used as a defense in court. This is a law that is related to other cruelty to animal laws in the state, such as leaving a dog in a hot vehicle or a vehicle that is left unattended.
Even though there are penalties for tethering a dog in California, state lawmakers are trying to keep people out of jail as much as possible. Fines are usually given to people who tether dogs, but if there are severe conditions involved, then the person could still spend time in jail.
There are a few elements that you must meet before being charged with the unlawful tethering of a dog. The act of tethering, chaining, restraining, or causing the tethering of a dog must be committed. The dog must be tethered to a stationary object, such as a tree or a post. A dog house is also included in the objects that a dog cannot be tethered or restrained to in the state.
In order to understand what is meant by tethering, there are a few examples that are given. A mother has to care for her son and has to go to work. Neither are home, but their dog is sick. The mother tells the child to tie the dog to a tree in an unfenced yard. The act of getting the child to tie the dog to the tree is unlawful.
There are a few exceptions to the tethering law. One is that the dog is tied to a leash or rope that moves along a zip line so that the dog doesn’t have to stay in one place. This is a suitable remedy for keeping a dog outside as long as the dog doesn’t have a restrictive collar. Another exception would be if a dog is tied at a campground because of the requirements that are mandated by the business. Dogs can be tied for no longer than three hours at a time within 24 hours. Dogs can be tethered if the act is done because of training or showing the dog. A dog can be tethered on a farm or agricultural environment if the action is taken so that the dog is safe while on the premises. If someone takes her dog on a walk and decides to stop by the grocery store on the way home, tying the dog outside for about an hour, then the woman has not broken a law because the dog was tethered for less than three hours. She has also not committed a crime because she tethered the dog while completing an errand that required him to be tied for a short time.
Tethering a dog can be considered an infraction if it borders on some of the exceptions that are offered by the state or as a misdemeanor. The charges are up to the prosecution and the nature of how and why the dog was tethered and for how long. If the charge is considered an infraction, then you would normally receive a fine of up to $250. This fine is for each dog that is tied. If the charges are considered a misdemeanor, then the fines could be as much as $1,000 or up to six months in jail.
Common defenses include not realizing how much time the dog was tied outside or tying the dog while completing a task that requires the action of tethering. An attorney can often speak with the prosecution on behalf of responsible pet owners who try to do the right thing by way of their dogs and commit an innocent mistake.