Guys, I know that a lot of you out there are dog owners. They're family, and I know most of you love them like family.  And sometimes you might not be able to leave them indoors if you're out for a bit.  We all get that, dogs are dogs and sometimes they're smarter than they need to be. I don't know how many times I've seen videos of dogs getting out of kennels or figuring out how to get around baby gates or even chewing off doors to get into a room.  But, leaving your dog chained outside in the backyard for hours.... might become a thing of the past.

In fact, in Springfield and a few other places in Missouri, it's already illegal (and has been for a few years) to leave them outside for more than thirty minutes - in this instance though, they're referring to overnight hours.

Tethering a dog for more than 30 minutes is now illegal in Springfield, MO. A new bill... states that dog owners no longer can tether their dogs outside for the night. Chaining them as a mode of restraint is no longer allowed, and is considered to be animal cruelty.

So I don't know if that makes a huge difference when it comes to daytime hours, since at least the sun can be out at that time, so they can stay a bit warmer.

I wanna be clear. At the moment, there is no statewide law against this practice.  I think though, (again, just my opinion) it might be a good idea for dog owners here in town to be prepared in case that happens. And especially with the snow and cold we've been experiencing lately, it probably would be in your dog's best interest to fix up a kennel with a little dog house or something to help them keep warm if they have to stay outside.  Or if you have another place in the house where they can stay in these cold hours, even better.

I know that can be pricey, and I know some people are intimidated by those costs. You have every right to be, stuff is expensive these days. But, just quick Google search gave me several results for kennels and doghouses that are as low as $30. Sure, some of the outdoor kennels can be up to more like $500, but not all of them are like that.  And with a little imagination and a little elbow grease I bet you could definitely get the costs lower than that.

Of course, Please Know I'm not judging you if you have to keep your dog outside sometimes (heck, I know some breeds LOVE the cold, and you can hardly get them to come in).  I'm just saying, this is already in some law maker's minds, and it could get to the statewide level in Missouri.  And if it does, you might find yourself facing a hefty fine or possibly even having to surrender your dog. With the Animal Shelter being as busy and full as they are... they don't have the resources for that.  I know you don't want to lose your beloved pet.  So maybe now might be a good time to start getting some arrangements made to prevent any of that bad stuff happening. Just to nip it in the bud before it even becomes a problem.

Hey, if nothing else, it might help them not track in as much mud and snow when they DO come in to spend time with your family this winter.

What do you think - should Missouri have more regulations when it comes to leaving dogs outside unattended? Should lawmakers back off and let owners have the last say?  What do you do when you have to leave your dog at home alone?

Lawfully yours,

RANKED: Here Are the 63 Smartest Dog Breeds

Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

More From AM 1050 KSIS