Hello Council Members,
Hope you are doing well. There has been a lot of talk about the language of the ordinance. We don't see any reason to re-invent the wheel. Please use what is tried and true in other counties--it is working for them. We have sat through many commission meetings with legislators dissecting all different kinds of language---loopholes in all of them---just to go back to what has worked in the other counties.
There aren't any loopholes in "The owner must be outside AND in visual range of the tethered dog".You could even add to that language "The owner must be outside, in visual range, and in control of the tethered dog at all times".
Please make this ordinance effective THIS YEAR! It shouldn't take a year and a half to enact this. During that time, countless numbers of dogs with languish on chains, suffering and neglected.
We are trying to accomplish two things: Protect the public from chained dog attacks. And protect the dog from inhumane treatment and injury. If the language doesn't do that, there is no sense in enacting the ordinance.
"The owner must be within 100 feet of the tethered dog" does nothing about the current situation--and it creates loopholes. The public is not protected. The dog is not protected. Dogs will be left outside on the chain. There is a big loophole here because the owner could tether the dog outside and leave the house (let's say to go to work). How would an animal control officer know? If the officer knocked on the door and left a citation---the owner could say "I was sleeping" or "I was in the shower". How does the officer prove that person wasn't home?
We are including Palm Beach County's ordinance. You might find that you like the wording a little better. It is easier to understand. Notice that "outside AND in visual range" (tried and true language) is the key here also.
Palm Beach County Anti-Tethering Ordinance
Sec. 4-24 (d) No person shall tether an animal to a stationary or inanimate object as a means of confinement or restraint unless such person is with the animal and the animal is at all times visible to such person. Choke or prong type collars shall not be used on an animal while such animal is tethered. As used in this chapter, tether means to restrain an animal by tying the animal to any object or structure, including without limitation a house, tree, fence, post, garage, or shed, by any means, including without limitation a chain, rope, cord, leash, or running line. Tethering shall not include using a leash or lead to walk an animal.Notwithstanding the foregoing, an animal may be tethered while actively participating in or attending an organized show, field trial, agility event, herding contest or other similar exposition or event, of a limited duration, that involves the judging or evaluation of animals.
(e) Any dog maintained outdoors for all or part of the day in a fenced yard or other type of enclosure shall be provided a minimum of (80) square feet of open space. An additional forty (40) square feet shall be required for each additional dog kept in the same enclosed area. Each dog shall be provided sufficient shelter within the enclosed area. Any enclosed area where a dog is confined shall be kept free of objects that may injure the dog and shall be cleaned regularly to remove feces. Dogs shall not be maintained outdoors during periods of extreme weather including but not limited to hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornados.