Ravell Call
Sundays Hunt's dog Tex, canine mayor of Salt Lake County, poses for a photo at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, along with supporters of SB91. Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, was frustrated Friday after his bill making it a crime to leave an animal tethered outside without adequate shelter was held by a legislative committee.

SALT LAKE CITY — Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, was frustrated Friday after his bill making it a crime to leave an animal tethered outside without adequate shelter was held by a legislative committee.

SB91 faced opposition from the rural community, particularly farmers and hunters who are concerned the bill would have unforseen consequences on them and their animals.

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Deann Shepherd, director of marketing and communications for the Humane Society of Utah, spoke in defense of the bill, saying Utah law already requires an animal owner to provide food, water and shelter. SB91, she said, is not an anti-tethering bill.

"It simply says if the animal is tied up and unattended … it still needs to have the ability to reach adequate shelter," Shepherd said.

The bill would have to applied to "companion animals" only, she said.

The committee had enough reservations about the bill that it opted to hold it, giving Davis time to work out the potential conflicts.