On Saturday, the D.C. Council will debate legislation making “continuously chaining” an animal in the District a felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. The bill has turned some dog lovers into scaredy-cats, because it’s already illegal for owners to let Rover roam free. “Most dog owners don’t even know it might affect them,” says the D.C. Dog Coalition’s Victor Chudowsky, whose last piece of canine activism was protesting a ban on pit bulls: “We don’t want innocent people to suddenly find animal control officers jumping out of the bushes at them because they have their dog tied up outside.” Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham says the bill targets only a certain type of owner. “[The provision] is aimed at dogs who live their whole lives on a chain,” says Graham, who is sponsoring the bill. “The chain makes the dogs more hostile, and it’s cruel to keep a dog on a chain.” —Robin Bingham
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