Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dog Tethering Prohibited in Fulton County Beginning September 4

Residents who chain or tether dogs to fixed objects while they are unattended must find an alternative means of restraining their pets beginning September 4, 2009. In March, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to ban the practice of chaining or tethering dogs. District 2, At-Large Commissioner Robb Pitts sponsored the resolution.

The introduction of the amendment attracted dozens of animal advocates who supported the ban. According to the Humane Society, “A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.”

Additionally, the Humane Society warns that tethering is dangerous to dogs because they become targets for other animals, humans and biting insects. Tethers can become entangled with other objects, which can choke or strangle dogs. Tethers can also cause dogs necks to become raw and covered with sores because of poorly fitted collars along with the animal straining against the collar in constant attempts to escape Collars can also become embedded in a dog’s neck without proper care and fitting.

Under the amended ordinance, dogs cannot be tethered to a fixed object unless held by an attendant or by the owner.

Options for properly restraining dogs include dog runs, mesh fencing and chain link fences. Chain link fences are stronger and more durable; however, residents of cities and unincorporated areas within Fulton are urged to check with their local governments for any required fencing permits and homeowners associations to determine the appropriate types of fencing before purchasing fencing or fence construction supplies.

For additional suggestions or supplies, owners should visit their local hardware or home improvement stores. Additionally, Barking Hound Village , the County’s Animal Services provider, has instructions for constructing appropriate fencing. Call 404-794-0358 or visit www.bhvf.org.

For more information on the dog-tethering ban in Fulton County , contact the Department of Environment and Community Development’s Code Enforcement Division at 404-612-2723.

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