Last night State Rep. Bryan Lentz (D-161) held a townhall meeting on three bills relating to dog cruelty:
The first bill, H.B. 2525, would double the minimum floor space for dog enclosures and require solid flooring, as well as access to an outdoor exercise area twice the size of the dog’s primary enclosure. The legislation also would mandate annual veterinary care, and eliminate the stacking of cages for adult dogs.
A second measure, H.B. 2532, would allow only veterinarians to perform debarking, the practice of cutting or destroying a dog’s vocal cords. Tail docking would be allowed by individual owners until a dog is 3 days old, after which point it would have to be done by a veterinarian.
Under a third measure, H.B. 499, fines would be increased for cruelty to animals. It would also require owners of dogs seized for cruelty to pay reasonable expenses for the care and keep of a dog while it is held at a humane society or animal shelter – or surrender ownership of the dog.