Pass the Anti-Tethering Bill Now to Prevent Needless PA Dog Bite Attacks

Posted on: August 26th, 2010       Attorney Thomas Newell

Legislative bills are pending in Harrisburg that would limit the time and conditions in which dogs can be chained or tethered in Pennsylvania.  Advocates of House Bill 1254 and Senate Bill 1435 are stressing the need to diminish the cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs subjected to constant tethering.

While your Pennsylvania dog bite lawyer fully supports this admirable goal, he also firmly believes that a reduction in the tethering of dogs will prevent needless dog bite attacks here in PA.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) authored a study that concluded that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to attack humans than dogs that have not been chained.  That percentage increases even more when discussing un-neutered males.

“Chaining” or “tethering” a dog refers to the concept of attaching a dog to a stationary object, such as a stake on the owner’s property in order to keep the dog under control.  Dogs are instinctively social animals who love interaction with humans and other dogs.  A chained dog is deprived of that interaction and frequently becomes aggressive and unable to distinguish between a threat and a routine social encounter.

Your PA dog bite attorney is well aware of the tragedies caused by tethering.  In January of 2009, eight year-old Brianna Shanor began living with temporary guardians in Beaver County.  The homeowners owned a rottweiler mix dog that was chained to/in a camper.  On Jan. 19, 2009 the 8 year-old  wandered near the chained dog.  The dog owner later found the girl mauled to death inside the camper.  She died a horrific death – blood loss due to multiple dog bites to the neck.

Attorney Thomas Newell believes that dogs’ rights advocates and victims’ rights proponents should be working together to promote public support to pass an effective anti-tethering bill in Pennsylvania.  Improving the lives of dogs here in PA will reduce the number of senseless dog bite attacks.  By limiting tethering, as the States of Connecticut, California and Texas have done, we can help prevent the tragedies that have taken lives such as Brianna Shanor.

For more anti-tethering information I refer you to and  If you or a family member has been injured due to an unprovoked dog bite attack, I suggest you contact me, Attorney Thomas Newell for a free home consultation at 800-980-4842 or online at  I represent dog bite attack victims throughout Pennsylvania.