Beginning Aug. 1, Oxford residents who tether their dog could be in violation of a new city ordinance that carries a civil penalty of $100 for each day they are found to be out of compliance.
The board adopted the ordinance at their July 13 meeting. City Commissioner John Tovey said he brought the issue before the board several weeks ago “in response to a concern from a city resident about an older dog who was tied 24 hours a day.” Tovey told WIZS News Friday via email he went to see the situation for himself and “it was then I decided that the city needs to have an ordinance to stop this abuse.”
Community feedback since the ordinance was adopted has been “nothing but positive, very positive,” Tovey said, adding that there have been more reports of dogs being tied out all day, every day – “it’s good that light is being shed on this problem.”
Tovey researched laws and ordinances in other communities and states to see what, if any, policies are in place elsewhere.
Animal Control will make initial contact with a person not complying with the new ordinance. If the issue is not resolved, police may be called in, he said.
The objective of the ordinance is “to regulate the unattended restraint or tethering of dogs” and provides details to describe “acceptable tethering devices.”
“No person shall tether a dog to a tree, fence, post, dog house, or other stationary objects for more than three (3) hours total in a twenty-four (24) hour period,” the ordinance states. The rope or chain used has to be at least 10 feet long and fastened in a way to prevents the animal from getting tangled or causing itself harm.
A cable system is considered an acceptable form of tethering – for no more than the three hours specified in the ordinance, which also has details about how the tether is attached to the dog, as well as weight restrictions.
“Someone HAS to speak for the animals, we are (basically) a nation of animal lovers, but there are always a few who will abuse animals, it has to stop,” Tovey wrote.