Escambia Considering New Animal Control Regulations
September 1, 2011
Under the county’s current law, no animal over six months old can be tied, chained or otherwise tethered outdoors unless the owner is located outdoors with the animal. But the new ordinance, if approved by the county commission, would allow an animal to be tethered if it is “a location on the property within the visual range of the primary structure”.
The ordinance also removes the requirement that the tethered animal be provided food, leaving language that it must have water, shelter and dry ground.
“A ‘primary structure’ can not monitor a chained dog. An unattended chained dog is at risk for the tether becoming tangled thus prohibiting the dog from reaching water, shelter or food; strangulation by the tether; attacks by roaming animals or abusive humans; attacks by biting insects, or subjected to dangerous weather conditions,” said animal rights activist Laura Catterton of Cantonment.
She helped draft the current ordinance that the county commission may amend . As a volunteer for the Junior Humane Society and Escambia County Animal Services, she has spent a lot of time over the past five years photographing and documenting animal tethering abuse in Escambia County. Here photos were also viewed by the commissioners prior to their vote on the current ordinance bay in April 2010.
“The only safe way for a dog to be tethered is if a human is in visual range at all times to monitor the dog. Any chained dog left unattended is at risk for injury or death,” Catterton said.
To read the complete proposed animal control ordinance, click here. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at 5:32 p.m. today in the Escambia County commission chambers. A public forum will also be held at 4:30 p.m.
Pictured: An example of animal tethering in Escambia County in a photo by Laura Catterton of Cantonment. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.