Escambia Details New Animal Tethering, Shelter Ordinance

August 30, 2010

The Escambia County Commission recently adopted an ordinance amending the definitions and restrictions related to sheltering and tethering animals.

The county released the following information outlining the new regulations:

Shelters should provide unlimited access for the animal. Structures should have a roof, walls and a floor. Shelters must also be dry, sanitary, clean, weatherproof and made of durable materials. At a minimum shelters must meet these requirements:

  • The size of the structure must allow the animal to stand up, turn around, lie down and stretch comfortably.
  • Protect the animal from the elements, provide shade and reduce exposure to inclement weather.
  • Free of standing water, accumulated waste and debris.
  • Provide adequate ventilation.
  • Provide a comfortable surface for the animal to lie.

Tether means to restrain an animal by tying to any stationary object or structure, including but not limited to a house, tree, fence, post, garage or shed, by any means, including but not limited to, a chain, rope, cord, leash or pulley/running line, but shall NOT include the use of a leash when walking an animal.

No animals under six months of age shall be tethered.

Those animals over six months in age can only be tethered when:

  • The animal is in visible range of the responsible party.
  • The tether is a minimum of six feet or is at least 5 times the length of the animal, has a swivel at both ends and does not weigh more than 1/16 of the animal’s weight.
  • Overhead run/pulley line shall be at least 15 feet in length and no less than seven feet above the ground at all times.
  • Tethers must be fastened to a properly fitted body harness or buckle collar made of nylon or leather.
  • Tether must be free from entanglement and other obstructions at all times.
  • Tethered animal shall have access to potable water, food, shelter and dry ground at all times.
  • Animals shall not be tethered while sick, injured or in distress.
  • Animals shall not be tethered outside during a period of extreme weather, including but not limited to, extreme heat, extreme cold, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes.
  • Multiple animals must be tethered separately.


13 Responses to “Escambia Details New Animal Tethering, Shelter Ordinance”

  1. C. B. Pierpoint on August 31st, 2010 6:33 pm

    How do I report many violations in Century?

  2. AL on August 31st, 2010 1:24 pm

    Just a Question…
    Please dont’ consider this a personal attack

    I AM SO SICK AND TIRED of people accusing those of us who support humane animal care laws of not caring about people. When you know how I spend my money, what charities I support and who I have housed in my home – THEN you can decide about my priorities – until that time, please don’t jump to conclusions and make judgements based on the comment section of a website.

  3. Just a Question on August 31st, 2010 9:44 am

    This is a good law, but it saddens me that the goverment is so worried about the security , well being, and rights of animals, yet a man can kill 2 ppl and nearly kill another family , and still be walking the streets, driving, doing as he pleases, and nothing be done, court dates put off time and time again.. does this mean that animals have more rights and are more important that ppl???

  4. Sammie on August 31st, 2010 6:27 am

    What about the time frame.. is’n't there a max allowable time to leave an animal out .. even on a pulley system?

  5. Sammie on August 31st, 2010 6:24 am


    And yes, it really IS a shame that you have to actually mandate that people not abuse their animals but honestly, it’s not much of a suprise. People would do the same thing to their kids if it wasn’t against the law. (It’s againsth the law and they do it anyway)

  6. Tina on August 30th, 2010 10:01 pm

    The ignorance of some of the people living in this county never ceases to amaze me. What are we? Cavemen?
    Someone has to TELL them that it is cruel and unacceptable to chain a dog and they have the gall to argue with that? There is no hope for some people. Let’s just hope those people can be prevented from owning/being in charge of living things.

  7. susie forrester on August 30th, 2010 12:18 pm

    *It is unfortunate that laws are needed to make people treat their dogs humanely.* Only someone who enjoys watching animals suffer would leave a dog chained 24/7 with no interaction, without companionship, in the hot Florida sun, in the rain, during storms, and when temperatures drop to freezing. This is a good law.

  8. unchainyourdog on August 30th, 2010 11:40 am

    Marty, Actually this is a badly needed law because currently, there is NO law prohibiting chaining 24/7. As a matter of public safety, chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite because chaining causes aggression. Chained dogs are nearly 5 times more likely to bite children. Dogs more likely to bite are male, unneutered, and chained. Victims are most often children, small and weak targets. CDC says that chained dogs kill as many children as firearms and can be compared to a loaded gun.

    Chained dogs are rarely vaccinated, presenting disease threats. Chained dogs are statistically more dangerous than free-running packs of dogs. American Veterinary Medical Association says “Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior.

    CHAINING CAN BE A SIGN OF DOG FIGHTING AND/OR DRUG DEALING. Chaining laws give Law Enforcement a valuable tool to crack down on these crimes. Outlawing chaining would make it more difficult for dogfighters and drug dealers to thrive in our community. These are REAL CRIMES!

    Any city that bans this practice is a safer, more humane community. Chaining or tethering dogs is a practice which affects public safety and health care costs, making it worthy of attention in Escambia Co. “For those communities who have passed these laws, “there has been a reduction in animal cruelty cases as well as animal bites.”

    Not to mention chaining is inhumane!

  9. AL on August 30th, 2010 11:27 am

    Good law…. too bad there is nobody to enforce it.

    by the way – “stupid” and “intrusive” laws would not be needed if “stupid” people would take care of their animals. What’s the point in having a dog if you aren’t going to provide adequate food, water and shelter?

  10. tired of change on August 30th, 2010 9:11 am

    The county should concentrate more on stopping real crime and quit making petty, intrusive rules on people.

  11. Just Me on August 30th, 2010 8:58 am

    If the Escambia Animal Control is is charge for enforcing this we won’t have to worry about it.

  12. jo harrison on August 30th, 2010 7:42 am

    I would like to know why they have time to tell u what to do with your animals as far as keeping them but cant find the time to come out when aanimals are in the middle of the road , in danger of getting hit or chasing child at bus stops

  13. Marty on August 30th, 2010 7:28 am

    This is the STUPIDEST waste of tax payers dollars in a long time. You can not fix stupid people with new regs when they are already laws to protect animals.

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