The proposed new tethering law has generated some great conversation! I would like to follow up my original write up on this topic to clarify some of the concerns that have been raised. Below I am providing the new language that would be incorporated into the Village of Greenhills Codified Ordinances regarding tethering along with some commentary for clarification:
(a) No owner, keeper, or harborer shall allow a dog to be tethered:
1) for more than six (6) hours in a twenty-four (24) hour period;
2) between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am;
3) when no owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog is present on the premises;
4) in any area where there is an accumulation of feces or other waste, insect infestation, rodent infestation, foul odor, or another unsanitary or dangerous condition within the radius of the tether.
5) if there is a heat or cold advisory or a severe weather warning.
Commentary: If, perhaps, you are just coming home from a late shift at work and want to let your dog out, or maybe you just want to sit out and enjoy a nice evening – the new law would not pertain to you for a number of reasons. First, you would have to leave the dog out for more than 6 hours between the stated hours of 10 pm and 6 am. Secondly, the dog would have to be tethered. There is nothing in this law that prohibits you from letting your dog run in your fenced-in yard.
(b) No owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog shall use any of the following types of tethers for the dog:
1) A tether of less than 10 feet in length, or less than four times the length of the dog’s body from tip of nose to base of tail, whichever is greater;
2) A tether the length of which allows the dog to cross the property line of the property on which it is tethered;
3) A tether that causes injury or pain to the dog because of the material of which it is made or because of the size or weight of the tether; generally, a tether should not weigh more than one-eight (1/8th) of a dog’s body weight.
Commentary: This section is to ensure humane treatment of the animal and gives the Police a tool if they witness a dog tied out in in-humane conditions. The Police will not be measuring leashes unless there is a valid reason under this proposed new Code section to do so. There were some very sad instances just this winter of animals freezing to death while tied outside. With out a law such as the one being proposed, the Police or the SPCA could not enter private property to get an animal to a safe environment.
(c) No owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog shall tether the dog:
1) by attaching the tether to the dog by means of a choke chain, pinch collar, or prong collar, as they are defined by the Humane Society of the United States;
2) by attaching the tether to a collar that is not property fitted;
3) in an area likely to cause injury or pain to the dog because of entanglement; or
4) in an area likely to cause injury or pain to the dog because of surrounding structures.
Commentary: This section is similar to the one above in that it deals more with the humane treatment of the animal. It is tool for the Police to take some action if they witness in-humane treatment of a dog.
The Animal Humane Society recommends a standard adjustable plastic clip or buckle collar. They cite a study by Dr. Linda Lord of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine that showed traditional collars are just as safe as breakaway collars and possibly slightly MORE safe. Some breakaway collars break apart too easily and often, causing frustration for pet and their people. This makes well-fitting traditional collars the better option. For dogs with narrow heads (i.e. Greyhounds, Whippets, etc.) they recommend a Martingale collar. They do not recommend elastic collars (which tend to stretch over time, losing their proper fit) or choke collars. For additional information, visit their website.
All other sections of Chapter 505 remain the same.
One of the complaints that led to this legislation involved a barking dog that was tied out at the rear of someone’s yard night and day. The dog was confined to an area that was unsanitary. The dog stopped barking when the Police showed up. There was nothing that could be done to help the situation. There are many other similar situations that – if Council approves this legislation – would enhance the quality of life for many in the Village of Greenhills!