Ohio may join 25 other states and the District of Columbia if legislators there pass a proposed ban on tethering animals. The bill would fine owners who tether animals outdoors in extreme weather conditions, overnight or while they are away from home. Tethers may not be shorter than 20 feet or used with choke or prong collars. It would also be illegal to tie an animal up for longer than six hours at a time. First offenders would be fined. Fines for subsequent violations can go as high as $1,000. Violators whose dogs become ill or injured while tethered could also receive jail time.

There is no such law in Pennsylvania, although bills were introduced in February in both House and Senate.

*  Cats rule on Aoshima Island in Japan. Their presence has begun to make the island a popular stop for tourists, according to a photo essay by Alan Taylor, in The Atlantic. The cats live in abandoned houses and schools - or wherever they want - and thrive on a diet of fish as well as cat food left for them in a designated area. Residents must shoo them away if they don't want to trip over them as they leave their homes. Apparently, a cat underfoot is a universal experience.