Mail for the dogs

Published 9:53 pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

The city will send information about the city’s new anti-tethering ordinance to every Suffolk household after a City Council vote Wednesday.

The new law goes into effect Sept. 1. It prohibits tying a dog outside for any length of time unless someone is outside with the dog.

City Council voted 7-1 to send a notice of the new law to all residences. The dissenting vote was cast by Councilman Roger Fawcett, who preferred less expensive ways of letting the population know about the law.


Email newsletter signup

“I’m looking at libraries, the city website, newspapers, things of this nature that can help us,” he said. “I’m not so sure a total mailer is the answer.”

Another option, suggested by Councilman Mike Duman, was to send notices only to those households that hold dog licenses — a little more than 6,000.

But that suggestion was shot down for a number of reasons.

“Those are the people that follow the rules,” Councilman Charles Parr said. “It’s all the other folks that aren’t following the rules that need to get a copy of the rules so they’ll understand the rules.”

Parr also said ignorance of the law could be a complaint or potential defense for those who get charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor under the new law.

And, he said, even households that don’t own a dog would need to know about the new regulation.

“We really need neighbors looking out for each other,” he said.

Other council members agreed a mailing should be sent to all households.

“I think it’s very important that we be a city that’s consistent and fair to all,” Vice Mayor Charles Brown said. “Whatever you do for one, you have to do for all.”

City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn said the city will work “as quickly as we can” to get the mailing out to the city’s 30,000-plus households.