Tethering ordinance amended

Published 9:32 pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

City residents will be able to keep their dogs chained outside if the owners are outside with them, City Council decided Wednesday.

Council members voted to amend an ordinance they passed in March that would have banned dog tethering altogether. Several members said they have received numerous phone calls asking if residents are allowed to chain their dogs if they also are outside — for example, working in the garden.

The ordinance still bans chaining unattended dogs. It goes into effect Sept. 1, and violation of the ordinance will be a Class 4 misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $250.

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Councilman Mike Duman, who initiated the conversation on tethering, said in March that a complete ban on tethering was not his first choice. Efforts to pass a less restrictive ordinance that would restrict such things as the length of time an animal could be chained, the age of the dog, weather conditions and other factors failed.

However, Police Chief Thomas Bennett had said banning tethering for a set length of time would be difficult to enforce.