It’s so odd that even though dogs have taken up residence in the hearts and homes of over 45 million, our legal system still regards them as property. That’s why thousands of dog people across the nation are banding together with animal welfare organizations to put legal measures in place to improve their lives, one law at a time. From domestic violence orders, to dog fighting laws, to puppy mills and pet trusts, great strides are afoot (er…apaw) in courthouses from coast to coast. Here’s a quick peek at the new 2009 dog-friendly rules on the books:


Cut the Cord. Tethering a pup to stationary object with a chain or rope is not only inhumane but now restricted or illegal in dozens of cities and the states of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Consider the Car. Despite the obvious consequences of leaving a dog in a car during dangerous temperatures, a law was necessary to forbid it. California’s newest pup legislation states that “no person shall leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.”


Call the Race. Massachusetts puts an end to greyhound racing once and for all. The Greyhound Protection Act, which works to phase out greyhound racing by 2010, passed by a slim margin in the 2008 November elections.


Chip in for Lost Pets. San Marcos, Texas leads the nation as one of the few US cities requiring microchipping of all dog and cats to help reunite them with their families should they become lost. The latest pet legislation also bans the sale of animals from roadsides, parking lots and flea markets and restricts tethering.


The Scoop:

Legislative updates listed by state from the American Dog Owners Association.


Interesting article about legal issues affecting dog owners.


More information about current animal protection legislation underway and how to get involved.

Thank you to Alli and Gypsy for the photo.