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Friday, January 11, 2008

Council delays decision on dog-chaining law

By Chris Paschenko
The Daily News

Published January 10, 2008
DICKINSON — Saying law-abiding residents shouldn’t be made criminals, the Dickinson City Council decided to postpone enacting an ordinance banning the chaining of dogs, so it could review the language of the law.

Councilmen Mark Townsend and Kerry Neves said Wednesday they’ve had some dogs they’ve had to restrain during loud thunderstorms and temporary restraints were the only way to ensure the canines remained in their backyard fences.

Both councilmen said they would be against a total ban on chaining dogs.

“I had a black lab, and the dog would go nuts,” Townsend said. “He ate up the fence, the wood on the back door. When it thunders, that’s the end.”

Neves agreed, saying his dogs couldn’t be kept in his fence during thunderstorms.

“They go absolutely crazy during thunderstorms and loud noises,” Neves said. “One digs out, and one climbs over. When I’m not home, I restrain them on the porch. They have beds and everything. If I don’t, I’m afraid they’ll become grease spots on FM 517.”

A concerned citizen went to a council meeting last year, asking for members to pass a similar measure adopted in Texas City that prevents the continuous chaining of dogs.

“I understand her point of view,” Townsend said. “But then you’ve got people like Kerry, but if it lightnings, he ain’t the only one going to be in that boat.” If the council passes a total ban, Townsend said, “I think we’ll be making criminals out of law-abiding citizens.”

Neves said the council would likely discuss the matter during a work session as soon as late February or March.

“I guess I agree with it in principle,” Neves said. “It’s just got to be handled in a better fashion. I hate to pass an ordinance that criminalizes good folks trying to do the right thing.”

Neves said paying careful attention to the wording of the ordinance would be key.

“We need verbiage to the effect that it doesn’t apply when restraint is done for the health and safety of the animal, so we don’t criminalize somebody like me,” he said.

Neves said the chaining of dogs could be banned, but animal abuse laws would better serve the public when residents report neglected animals, such as those permanently chained without food, water or shelter.

Copyright © 2008 The Galveston County Daily News


Neves said. “It’s just got to be handled in a better fashion. I hate to pass an ordinance that criminalizes good folks trying to do the right thing.”

I believe this quote to be completely ridiculous! How can someone be so ignorant?
"folks trying to do the right thing." Chaining a dog is not the right thing for anyone to do. Who cares so little about their dog that they allow them to be chained outside during a thunderstorm? There needs to be some serious education in this town. It is so sad when these lawmakers consider the people first and the happiness and welfare of the dogs, who actually have to live outside.

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