Anderson City Council Will Vote on Animal Tethering Ordinance -

Anderson City Council Approves Animal Tethering Ordinance

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July 9, 2013 Update at 5:30 a.m.

Anderson City council has approved a new tethering ordinance for dogs. The pets can't be tethered for more than two hours in a 12 hour period.

Tethers have to be at least 12 feet- long and can't be a chain. A violation can mean a fine of more than $1,000

A group called Freedom Fences will work with any pet owner who is found in violation of the rules.

July 8, 2013 Update

Anderson City Council will vote Monday, to decide how dogs will be tethered in the city. Most recently the City Public Works Committee discussed specifics of the animal care ordinance. Now council members said the 2nd and possibly final reading could be Monday.

Rhonda Sims founded Freedom, Train, Transport Rescue in Anderson and said this ordinance is a long time coming. She said she rescued her dog Penny when she was tethered and neglected by her previous owners.

" We see dogs on three foot chains who live their lives like that and these dogs normally don't have proper vet care and most are not spayed and neutered," said Sims.

Council members said that the ordinance is based on other ordinances like the one in Greenville County that limits the length of a leash.

In Anderson, the ordinance would require dogs be tethered for no longer than 2 hours in any 12 hour period. It also read pets must be given proper care, like food and water, and an appropriate number of visits to the veterinarian.

Sims told 7 On Your Side the animals that she finds often receive none of these necessities and have permanent physical and emotional scars.

"We see collars where the skin has grown around the neck and has to be removed and if you can imagine the scars it leaves on their skin, imagine how scared they are inside from the life they've lived," said Sims.

The ordinance, she said, could help control the number of neglected dogs in the city. 7 On Your Side spoke with many members of city council and they agreed something needed to be done. The said they did not hear from many people who opposed the ordinance, only some who felt they should be able to tether their dogs if they're well taken care of.

"There were a lot of people in the audience who were just interested, just plain interested and most of them were positive about it," said Council member Beatrice Rice Thompson.

In this statement she was referencing the recent Public Works meeting.

Council members say the ordinance has been changed to take out a few measures. Recently a part that limited the number of dogs someone could have, was removed.

Sims and council members agree it is also important to offer resources to anyone who would be in violation of the ordinance if it passed.

"When people do get assistance with their animals they're very appreciative and they wanted to be able to do it. Were not trying to create a problem we're just trying to make lives better for these dogs," said Sims.

That could he help, for example, from a non profit like Freedom Fences. They help pet owners build a fence at a low cost.

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