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County Toughens Leash/Tethering Laws

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Suki, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Suki

    Suki Guest

    County toughens leash law for dogs

    By Gareth McGrath
    Staff Writer


    A hearing to toughen New Hanover County's leash law drew a nearly full house Monday and featured dueling studies, passionate speeches on both sides of the issue and the censoring of some pictures deemed too graphic to show.

    And that was in the first 20 minutes.

    In the end, though, after nearly an hour of debate, the New Hanover County commissioners agreed to make it illegal to leave a tethered dog unattended - even in a fenced backyard or outside a coffee shop - or to use chains and ropes as leashes under any circumstances.

    Supporters called the decision a major step in protecting public health. Opponents labeled it another attack on responsible dog ownership.

    The changes will undergo a second vote at the board's April 2 meeting.

    The debate over the county's tethering ordinance began in October when breeder Andrea Press was cited for having one of her bulldogs tied up in her fenced backyard.

    Press, who was inside her house just off Blue Clay Road at the time, challenged the $250 fine and the vagueness of the ordinance.

    "I was just trying to be the best possible dog owner I could be," she said of the two measures she took to stop her dog from roaming free.

    For the majority

    A majority of the board voted for the change, apparently swayed by county health officials who said strengthening the existing rule would benefit the majority of county residents.

    "In a perfect world, we wouldn't need a law like this because everyone would be a social pet owner," local veterinarian Robert Weedon said.

    Weedon, also a county Board of Health member, said studies show chained animals are involved in three times as many bite incidents as non-tethered dogs.

    The Health Department's presentation included a display of pictures of malnourished and neglected dogs on tethers, although some images were deemed too graphic to be shown.

    But opponents of the restrictive leash law countered with Katherine Houpt, a veterinarian from Cornell University who flew in for Monday's hearing.

    She said that during a four-month study she conducted of sled dogs, such as huskies, there was no tangible behavioral difference between tethered and non-tethered animals.

    Several speakers said people, not dogs or housing techniques, were responsible for bad behavioral tendencies.

    "It's people who do the neglecting, not the housing," said Barry Marlowe, one of several breeders who spoke out against the change Monday. "We shouldn't be discriminated against because of the poor decisions of just a few irresponsible dog owners."

    Press, a board member of Responsible Dog Owners of Eastern States, said that she has already moved her dogs out of New Hanover County and Monday's decision means she'll likely be following them.

    "I won't leave my dogs," she said.

    Press added that opponents would consider all options to fight the stronger rule, including a possible court challenge.

    "We have a lot of support from across the country from people who feel strongly that this isn't fair," she said. "We feel it's discriminatory."

    Gareth McGrath: 343-2384


    http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070313/NEWS/703130356/-1/State (link with 'pic', :rolleyes: )
  2. chloesredboy

    chloesredboy CH Dog

    if thats not the stupidest F-ing thing ive ever heard of!
  3. Pitbull219

    Pitbull219 CH Dog

    Here we go again. When will people wake up? If your dog is neglected on it's chain, if it gets horribly mangled because you didn't set it up right, if you didn't provide adequate food water and shade, you are already guilty of animal cruelty. No reason to make a new law. This targets APBT owners specifically since it is widely known that's the most secure way to keep a bulldog.....and it saddens me to see so many "pet bull" owners happy about laws such as this. Not everyone can bring their dogs inside, not everyone can afford the right kind of fence. Just another way for them to get our dogs..........
    1 person likes this.
  4. Michele

    Michele Guest

    good post Pitbull219........i tried to give you rep points...
  5. DryCreek

    DryCreek CH Dog

    So, you take your dog outside to do it's business. You have a tie out you attach him/her to because you have no fencing, he/she has a house, full water bowl and toys, and you start doing gardening, washing your car or whatnot. You go inside to use the facilities and come right back out to find.....Animal Control. You are now breaking the law for leaving your dog unattended on a tie out for 5 minutes. You lose your dog, get fined, all because you had to pee?

    Would a surveillance system count as attendance? Would watching through your window while you cook dinner count as attendance? Would mowing the front lawn with your dog in the back count as attendance? What if one of those pesky salesmen or religious groups come knocking, is your dog unattended if you go out front to chase them off your yard?

    Chain set ups and tethers do not abuse/neglect an animal. People do. And no matter if the dog is crated inside or tied outside, an abuser/neglecter will continue to abuse/neglect. Just that now their forced to keep them inside, it's more likely than not that the dogs being neglected/abused will not be noticed at all anymore.

    Good job New Hanover County, you just made it harder to get those that do wrong, and easier to start punishing those that don't.
  6. simms

    simms CH Dog

    I think you should send them somthing along the lines of this....your reply to this artical. It's those critical points that can make or break it IMO.

    As far as that Qauck of a dvm
    I think he needs to exsposed to his community.....No such thing as a pet utopia!
  7. It sounds like they are trying to lump the irresponsible owners with the responsible ones. I understand they cant monitor who is responsible and who is not BUT this is a typical band-aid fix........it is just not reality. Its a shame really and in the end are they really going to monitor every dog in every household? We know how well they do that already, ha ha! I always say......stricter punishments for the real abusers! If the punishment was greater people would be less likely to act out AND these stupid little laws wouldnt be neccessary. Bottom line, you abuse your dog on the chain, ie embedded collar or something like that they should get more then just a crappy citation. Peopel arnt taking ownership seriously because woo hoo a citation, big effin deal. Plus what ever happened to property laws?
  8. Old Timer

    Old Timer CH Dog

    they just did a thing like this here in Texas somewheres,i think out of Houston.all i have to say is they are gonna have some hard work trying to see my dogs and see they are tethered.they will have to scale a wall or bust down one massive gate with a tank,lol.and since someone did scale my wall just the other day(go figure) i am making it larger again.so far none of this shit has passed here yet but i hope it never does.
  9. ChiaPit

    ChiaPit Top Dog

  10. miakoda

    miakoda GRCH Dog

    I guess we should just open the door & let all our animals run loose & be "friends."
  11. DryCreek

    DryCreek CH Dog

    Where I live, out in bush country, people seem to think this is the correct way to manage their dogs. Every place I've lived, when I encounter this, I make a request to our neighbors to please make sure their dogs stay off my yard. I explain that it is whats best for their animals health. Most do listen, yet those that don't....

    If one happens to stray onto our yard and enters the wrong area, it's highly unlikely they will ever see that dog again.

    It's not just dogs either. A few days ago I had 2 horses, 2 cows and a donkey on my front yard. They were touring up our street toward a highway.

    We have wolves, coyotes, bears and all different sizes of wild cats that live in our area. It's just common sense to me to keep the animals on the yard or they might become dinner for god knows what. Or, if they tick off a moose or deer they might not make it out of the bush.

    You can call AC and complain till your blue in the face about this but nothing will happen. But whisper the words Pit Bull in their ear and they'll show up, with reinforcements.

    I get so PO'ed that I'm being forced to follow someone else's idea of standard of care. I already have a very high standard for that. They can't force me to follow their political or religious views, so why their views on containment.
  12. Michele

    Michele Guest

    [QUOTEA few days ago I had 2 horses, 2 cows and a donkey on my front yard][/QUOTE]
  13. DryCreek

    DryCreek CH Dog

    It was sooooo tempting to just take those cows out back so as to fill our freezer LOL.

    They are owned by the neighbor down the road who has already lost multiple chickens to the foxes in the area. His animals get loose all the time and live in atrocious conditions. They all live in one barn together that looks like it has never been cleaned.

    It would have been a pleasure to end the cows suffering right then and there :D

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