Del. lawmakers look to pass bills that protect furry friends

Keeping our furry friends safe is a top priority for Delaware officials. Lawmakers are looking to crack down on negligent dog owners.One way they hope to do that is by passing two new bills in Delaware.  
"Senate Bill 216 and Senate Bill 217 are really looking to enforce the laws that are already in place, to protect animals  left unattended  outside or  in dangerous or inclement weather," says Walter Fenstermacher, the Director for Brandywine Valley SPCA in Georgetown.

The Brandywine Valley SPCA  says they've received calls about dogs left unattended in extreme temperatures, something that community members say they also see.

"It's cruel to leave your dog outside in the wintertime or in excessive heat," says Colleen Kelbaugh, a resident in Milton.

"It's almost like leaving a dog in the car in the summertime, that's ridiculous," says Jim Larsen, a resident in Milton.

If passed, the bills would make it a crime to leave a dog tied outside for more than 30 minutes when the temperatures dip below freezing or above 90 degrees. Lawmakers also want make sure that dogs have the proper shelter and bedding when they're outdoors and increase the penalties people face if they don't follow the laws.

 "I think it's cruel to leave your dog outside all the the time, if you don't want to have your dog in your house all the time then you shouldn't have a dog. If you can't take care of your dog like they're part of your family, you should not have a dog," says Kelbaugh.

These two bills have been assigned to to the Judicial and Community Affairs Committee and are expected to go in front of lawmakers as early as next week.

Categories: Delaware, Local News