Officials voted in favor of a new ordinance that places more restrictions on dog tethering in the City of Trenton.
The new ordinance, which made it past the first reading Monday, must be voted on once more before it becomes an active city ordinance.
A Downriver animal cruelty group called C.H.A.I.N.E.D., Continuing Helping Animals In Need & Educating Dog owners, inspired Ordinance 768 at a city council meeting on Jan. 22.
An ordinance similar to the one proposed in Trenton was recently passed in Woodhaven.
Woodhaven Mayor Patty Odette is a volunteer for the group and attended the January meeting.
"These people (C.H.A.I.N.E.D.) are unsung heroes," Odette said. "They're out in the middle if the night. They're out in freezing cold. They're out in 100 degree temperatures."
Odette said Dearborn and Dearborn Heights also passed a similar ordinance.
Janet Conley, director of field operations C.H.A.I.N.E.D., spoke to council members on Jan.22 about the growing concern for tethering dogs in Trenton, the Downriver area and in Detroit.
The non-profit group's mission statement is to enhance the lives of dogs who are tethered outside at all times by providing supplies and services and by educating dog owners, according to the C.H.A.I.N.E.D. website.
Conley told council there is at least one case of a dog in Trenton that is tethered outside at all times and has been for the past ten years. She said she has been working with the owner to provide help and education for the dog and the owner.
"The dog is still chained 24/7 as we speak today," Conley said to council. "When we first went to this home in Trenton the owner was very unreceptive."
Tethering dogs for a long period of time or indefinitely can cause them to be anti-social, territorial and prone to attack, according to Conley.
According to the ordinance, tethering means the practice of securing a dog to a stationary object by means of a metal chain or coated steel cable for keeping a dog restrained in its movement. Tethering does not mean walking a dog on a leash, or for temporary grooming, or other professional service, according to the new ordinance.
Ordinance 768 would make it unlawful for a resident to:
- Continuously tether a dog for more than three hours per day.
- Tether a dog on a tether made of anything but a coated steel cable more than ten feet in length:
- Use a tether or any assembly or attachments, thereto to tether a dog that shall weigh more than ten percent of the the animal's body weight, or due to weight, inhibit the free movement of the animal within the area tethered; or
- Tether a dog on anything except a buckle-type collar or harness, or tethering on a choke chain around the dog's neck, or tethered to training collars such as choke or pinch-style collars, or in such a manner at to cause injury, strangulation, or entanglement of the dog on fences, trees, or other man made or natural obstacles; or
- Tether a dog without access to shade when sunlight is likley to cause overheating, or appropriate shelter to provide insulation and protection against cold and dampness when the atmospheric temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or tether a dog without securing its food and water supply so that it cannot be tipped over by the tether; or
- Tether a dog in an open area where it can be teased by persons or an open area that does not provide the dog protection from attack by other animals; or
- Tether a dog in an area composed entirely of bare earth subject to becoming wet in and muddy in the event of precipitation, and without any dry surface area or cover for protection.
- Tether a dog less than four months of age.
- Tether more than one dog to a single tether.
- Tether a dog to a stationary object with would allow a dog to come within five feet of any property line.
- Tether a dig without a swivel attached and/or equipped on both ends.
The ordinance could be enacted on Feb. 19 and published on or before March 3.
What do you think about the new ordinance? Tell us in the comments!