Ambiguous, Problematic Language Plagues Oklahoma Tether Bill

Oklahoma House Bill 1580 bans the tethering of dogs under many circumstances and codifies parameters for keeping dogs outside. The ambiguous language could negatively impact common training and hunting practices for sporting dogs. HB 1580 has a hearing Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 10:30 a.m. in the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee.

Take Action Today! Oklahoma members should contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and urge them to oppose House Bill 1580. The committee members can be contacted at the links below:

Chairman Rande Worthen (405-557-7398;
Rep. Gerrid Kendrix (405-557-7369;
Rep. Carol Bush (405-557-7359;
Rep. Jose Cruz (405-577-7397;
Rep. Ross Ford (405-557-7347;
Rep. Jason Lowe (405-557-7367;
Rep. Stan May (405-557-7338;
Rep. Lonnie Sims (405-557-7340;
Rep. Danny Sterling (405-557-7349;
Rep. Judd Strom (405-557-7402;

“At the most basic level, this bill’s language leaves it open to interpretation as to whether or not you can tether your dog outside for five hours or for as little as 15 minutes, and when you can do so,” said Jacob Hupp, associated director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Further, HB 1580 could completely outlaw common and accepted training and hunting practices for bird dogs and hounds.”

The use of a stakeout chain for bird dogs serves as an important training tool for puppies and adult dogs alike, and is used by traveling hunters and field-trial competitors to air, feed and safely allow dogs time out of their travel boxes.

“Given the fact that HB 1580 eliminates any tethering of a puppy under six months of age under any circumstance is cause for concern, too, as that delays accepted training methods during impressionable phases of puppy development,” said Brian Lynn, vice president of marketing and communications for Sportsmen’s Alliance and well-known sporting-dog writer. “This is just a poorly written bill that raises more questions than answers.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.