Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

City Bans Tethering, Chaining Dogs

FORT WORTH — The Fort Worth City Council today approved an ordinance banning dog tethering. The new ordinance, which becomes effective this week, makes it illegal to use a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable or other device to attach an unattended dog to a stationary object or trolley system. A dog still must be confined within a secure enclosure at all times.

This new ordinance is partly due to a new state law passed in 2007, which allows tethering during certain time frames, under certain circumstances and using certain types of restraints.

“There is evidence that tethering dogs makes them more dangerous,” said Assistant Public Health Director Scott Hanlan. “Unfortunately, our animal control officers encounter on a daily basis tethered dogs that are neglected and left without food, water or shelter.”

One study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that animals that are kept roped or chained are 2.8 times more likely to bite people than dogs not kept roped or chained. In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends never tethering or chaining a dog, because it can contribute to aggressive behavior. Anti-tethering campaigns are also endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Humane Society of the United States.

Under the new ordinance, the tethering of dogs will still be allowed under limited circumstances when the owner is present. The exceptions include a lawful animal event, city dog park, veterinary treatment, grooming, training or law enforcement activity.

Those who violate the new ordinance could face a fine as high as $2,000. However, Animal Care and Control staff emphasize that they will work with residents to educate them on this new law. Staff members also will provide residents with information on low-cost, more humane ways to restrain dogs before issuing citations for violations that don’t pose immediate threats to people or animals.

The issue of chained-up dogs is one element in the larger problem of irresponsible pet ownership faced not only by Fort Worth but by communities across the United States. Fort Worth animal control officers impounded 25,500 animals last year. Unfortunately, about 70 percent of those animals never made it out of the shelter alive.

For more information, call the Animal Care and Control Division at 817-392-3737.


Media Contact:
Susan Whittenberger
Public Education Coordinator
Public Health Department
817-871-6658 (office)
817-999-8493 (cell)

1 comment:

  1. On the same day that Fort Worth passed a tethering ordinance, the Miami-Dade County Commission refused to vote on a similar one that was proposed by the County's Dept. of Animal Services. By refusing to vote, commissioners are allowing dogs to spend their lives on the end of a chain. Please don't let this cruelty continue. Help the dogs by writing to Commissioners.

    The Commissioner's statements against the tethering ban showed that they didn't care that chained dogs suffer terribly or that the AVMA, animal lovers and animal protection groups condemn tethering. They were only concerned about losing the votes of people who keep their dogs chained. Breeders and the AKC also lobbied against the ban.

    What you can do:

    Write and fax the Miami-Dade County Commissioners. Explain why tethering is cruel. Tell them to be humane and pass a ban that protects dogs. Other jurisdictions have enacted tethering ban ordinances. There are statewide bans in California, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Connecticut.

    Commissioner emails:,,,,,,,,,,,
    Commissioner Seijas has no email. Fax her at 305-375-2011

    Board of County Commissioners website:

    Facts about chaining:

    Continuous tethering makes dogs aggressive:

    A 1994 study by the Centers for Disease Control found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association said in 2003, "Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior."

    When confronted with a threat, dogs instinctively run or fight. A chained dog, unable to flee, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person who comes into his or her territory. Children have been injured or killed after going into a chained dog's area, or encountering a dog who has broken free from a chain.

    Continuous tethering is inhumane:

    In 1996, The United States Department of Agriculture said, "Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane."

    Tethered dogs are easy targets for attacks by other animals. They are killed or injured by extremes in weather, poisoned by humans, and made sick from animal feces or bird droppings. In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores from the dogs' constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Dogs have been found with collars embedded in their necks.

    Dogs are social animals. Tethering inflicts cruelty on dogs by forcing them to live in solitary confinement, unable to interact normally. Lonely and isolated, chained dogs are know to bark excessively at all hours of the day and night.

    The tethering ban proposed by Miami-Dade County Animal Services:

    Sec. 5-21.  Tethering of dogs.
    (a) As used in this section, tether means to restrain a dog by tying the dog 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 to walk a dog.
    (b) It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to tether the dog while outdoors, except when all of the following conditions are met:
    (1) The dog is in visual range of the responsible party, and the responsible party is located outside with the dog.
    (2) The tether is connected to the dog by a buckle-type collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather, not less than one inch in width.
    (3) The tether has the following properties:  it is at least five times the length of the dog's body, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail; it terminates at both ends with a swivel; it does not weigh more than 1/8 of the dog's weight; and it is free of tangles.
    (4) The dog is tethered in such a manner as to prevent injury, strangulation, or entanglement.
    (5) The dog is not outside during a period of extreme weather, including without limitation extreme heat or near-freezing temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes.
    (6) The dog has access to water, shelter, and dry ground.
    (7) The dog is at least six (6) months of age.  Puppies shall not be tethered.
    (8) The dog is not sick or injured.
    (9) Pulley, running line, or trolley systems are at least 15 feet in length and are less than 7 feet above the ground.
    (10) If there are multiple dogs, each dog is tethered separately.
    (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to excuse a violation of § 5-20 of this chapter.
    (d) This section shall not apply to the transportation of dogs, and in the event of a conflict with § 5-15 of this chapter, § 5-15 shall govern


Please do not write in all capital letters, it is seen as yelling and is difficult to read. No personal attacks on me. Comments related to the article will be posted, all others will not be published. If you liked this article, subscribe to my blog to get more great information! Thank you for visiting my blog and giving your opinion.