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Article updated: 5/16/2013 7:57 AM

Lawmakers: Tied-up dogs must have long leashes

By Mike Riopell

SPRINGFIELD -- A suburban Democrat's plan to require Illinoisans to use a rope or chain at least 10 feet long when they tie up their dogs was approved by the state Senate Wednesday.

State Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora says a dog that's kept tied up in the wrong condition can be more likely to want to bite or chase things.

"Continued confinement makes dogs extremely frustrated," Holmes said.

Her legislation would make it a misdemeanor for dog owners to break specific tethering rules, including using too short of a leash or allowing the tied-up dog to wander onto adjacent property or get tangled up with other dogs.

Critics barked that the leash-length requirements could be a problem for people with especially small properties.

The plan was approved by a 43-9 vote and now goes to the Illinois House, which has already approved similar rules.

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