A newly introduced bill in Delaware would fine people whose dogs bark for more than 15 minutes. While many city dwellers might sympathize with the legislation, House Bill 378 spells real trouble for sporting-dog kennels, which are most often located in rural areas, because the bill makes no exceptions for whether the barking occurs in metropolitan areas or in the country.
Concerns extend beyond the kennel, however, as the bill also would apply to baying or barking hounds during a hunt. HB 378 would fine a dog owner $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $300 for each offense thereafter. It also mandates that police officers assist the Office of Animal Welfare in the implementation of laws that protect and control animals, which means that police departments are required to enforce this law. The only exemptions given in the bill are for dogs barking at intruders and dogs who are provoked into barking.
“This legislation is an open invitation to target sportsmen who keep their dogs outside in runs and kennels,” said Dillon Barto, manager of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Nuisance laws already address issues with problem animals, which is why HB 378 is unnecessary.”
Delaware Sportsmen should oppose this legislation by contacting these members of the House Health and Human Development Committee:
Chairman David Bentz: David.Bentz@delaware.gov
Vice Chair Melissa Minor-Brown: Melissa.MinorBrown@delaware.gov
Representative Paul S. Baumbach: Paul.Baumbach@delaware.gov
Representative Ruth Briggs King: Ruth.BriggsKing@delaware.gov
Representative Nnamdi Chukwuocha: Nnamdi.Chukwuocha@delaware.gov
Representative Richard Collins: Rich.Collins@delaware.gov
Representative Debra J. Heffernan: Debra.Heffernan@delaware.gov
Representative Kevin Hensley: Kevin.Hensley@delaware.gov
Representative Kendra Johnson: Kendra.Johnson@delaware.gov
Representative John A. Kowalko: John.Kowalko@delaware.gov
Representative Sean Lynn: Sean.Lynne@delaware.gov
Representative Eric Morrison: Eric.Morrison@delaware.gov
Representative Charles S. Postles: Charles.Postles@delaware.gov
Representative Bryan Shupe: Bryan.Shupe@delaware.gov
Representative Michael Smith: Michael.F.Smith@delaware.gov
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: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.