Nova Scotia

SPCA wants new chain rules

The Nova Scotia SPCA is calling on municipalities to protect pets from being tied up outside too long.

The Nova Scotia SPCA is calling on municipalities to protect pets from being tied up outside too long.

The animal-protection group says of the nearly 1,500 complaints it received this year, 238 relate to tethered dogs having no access to food, water or shelter.

Kristin Williams, the group's executive director, said current municipal bylaws don't go far enough to protect pets.

"Section 21 of the provincial Animal Protection Act states, 'No person shall cause an animal to be in distress,'" she said. "An act tells you what is wrong, but regulations tell you how to avoid it."

The SPCA says chains should be at least five metres long and far enough away from trees and bushes so they don't get tangled.

The group says owners should also keep a close eye on pets when they're outside.

Williams said the amount of time outside depends on the breed of the dog, its age and health.

"For instance, you might have a husky who is absolutely content to be out all day long in the winter time. But if you put a little terrier outside with a very short coat, that's not going to be very reasonable for the winter," she said.

Williams said dogs left outside for prolonged periods of time are more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviour, such as biting.

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