Reminder: It’s illegal to keep your dog tethered for 15+ minutes unattended

Hampshire County

GOSHEN, Mass. (WWLP) – Another hot day in western Massachusetts means people and their pets are taking advantage of the summer weather.

Under Massachusetts law, it is illegal to keep your dog tethered outside for longer than 15 minutes during extreme weather conditions.

As this Heat Advisory continues for parts of western Massachusetts until 8 p.m. Tuesday, there are restrictions when it comes to leaving your pets outside.

“It seems reasonable that 15 minutes is a safe average to keep your dog outside in this heat,” Chris Habbad of Ashfield said. “I don’t think it’s a lot to ask for as a pet owner.

Haddad brought his 2-year-old dog Dillie to DAR State park in Goshen Tuesday to cool off in the water. He knows that it’s important that dogs need a lot of attention and care, especially in this type of heat.

“You really should pay attention to your dog’s needs,” Habbad said. “I see this time of year where they don’t get enough water, and it’s the same thing with people.”

Owners who violate these laws will be fined anywhere between $50 for first offenses and $300 for subsequent violations.

Kathy Kovacs brought her 9-year-old yellow lab to the beach, making sure she packed plenty of water. She told 22News that 15 minutes may still be too much time leave your dog leashed up, while unattended.

“You never know what could happen in 15 minutes, especially in this heat,” Kovacs said. “If we are not home, we always have the dogs inside.”

It’s also important not to keep your dogs in a hot car even if the windows are cracked. If you see a dog locked in a car, you are encouraged to call the police right away with the make, model and license plate.

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