(Natural News) There is an old saying that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Sometimes good intentions combined with a lack of knowledge can make for a really toxic combination.
An excellent example of this is State Representative Katherine Rogers’ proposed legislation as outlined in New Hampshire House Bill 1389. The bill would impose criminal penalties on pet owners who do not provide adequate food, water or shelter for their animals.
While the architects of this bill clearly have good intentions and are trying to ensure that pets are treated humanely, provided with decent shelter and given access to food and water, some elements of the way it is structured reflect a lack of understanding – a “dangerous thing.” (Related: FDA approves anxiety drug for your dog … so he doesn’t react to his ‘normal’ animal instincts.)
“No dog shall be left outside”
As reported by the organization Sportsmen’s Alliance, HB 1389 would make it illegal to leave your dog outside for any period longer than 30 minutes, even in a fenced backyard, if the pet owner has not purchased a special dog house manufactured to meet strict state building codes.
The bill stipulates:
For any dog left outside and unattended for more than 30 minutes during any period, the dog shall be provided a shelter that is moisture-proof, wind-proof and of suitable size to accommodate the dog, allowing for freedom of movement to make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand, turn around and lie down with limbs outstretched. Such shelter shall be made of durable material with a solid, moisture-proof floor raised at least 3 inches from the ground. The roof shall extend 8 inches over the doorway and not permit rain to enter inside the shelter. Such shelter shall not be constructed of metal or any other material that readily conducts heat or cold.
In addition, the bill would also make it a crime to leave a dog outside for any period longer than 15 minutes, even when the special shelter has been provided, if the temperature is below 32 degrees.
No dog shall be left outside and unattended, regardless of access to an outdoor shelter, for more than 15 minutes during any period in which a severe weather advisory or warning has been issued for the area by the National Weather Service, or if the temperature is below 32-degrees Fahrenheit or above 90-degres Fahrenheit. This includes but is not limited to a dog in a securely fenced in yard, a dog in a kennel, or a tethered dog.
Again, the bill’s architects clearly believe that they are protecting the welfare of the animals in this way. But, again, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. As explained by Sportsmen’s Alliance, certain dogs are accustomed to cold weather and would far rather be outside playing, even in very cold weather, than being trapped inside in an artificially controlled temperature. Labrador retrievers and huskys, for example, have cold weather coats ideally suited to spending long periods outdoors. (Related: Scientific study confirms that dogs grasp what their owners are saying.)
In addition, for sporting and hunting dogs, spending time outdoors acclimating to extreme weather can mean the difference between life and death. These dogs need to be exposed to cold weather over a period of several weeks so that their dense winter coats can grow in.
What is important for these dogs, however, is making sure their caloric needs are met. Hunting dogs can burn between 3,000 and 4,000 calories a day, and depending on their workload, with every 10 degree drop in temperature, their caloric needs will increase by 7 to 7.5 percent.
Clearly, good intentions and a little knowledge are not enough when it comes to the welfare of man’s best friend. Different species have very different needs, and a one-size-fits-all bill that will essentially criminalize activities that are really in the best interests of some dog species will do more harm than good. This is what happens when we try to legislate common sense.
Learn more about the best way to care for your fur babies at NaturalNewsPets.com.