Dog tethering rules move forward in Greenville County


GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A dog tethering ordinance is moving forward in Greenville County.

“I am encouraged that we are taking this step to at least make it dogs will not be living on chains and resulting in potentially, you know, chains embedded in their necks,” said Susan Bufano, Founder/President of Speak for Animals, adding life on a chain can hurt the dog physically and psychologically. “We’ve seen male dogs torn apart by other male dogs that are not neutered coming after them – they can’t get away.”

She was among the group of people dressed in red at the Greenville County Council meeting Tuesday, embarking on a mission against animal cruelty. 

“Started Speak for Animals in 2003 and the first call we got was from someone saying there are 5 chained dogs that are emaciated,” said Bufano. 

Greenville County leaders spent months working on an ordinance addressing the problem.   

“Whether it’s this issue or another issue, please come out and have your voice heard. I think what we saw tonight was council was responsive and we hope to be responsive to people who are advocates and experts in the field,” said Greenville County Council member Liz Seman. “It’s a start and we really wanted something that was going to be enforceable – gave our code enforcement officers what they need to be out in the field.”

The ordinance sets rules for tethering or tying up dogs in the county.

“It’s not complicated. It’s not going to be hard to be enforced,” said Councilman Joe Dill. 

It’s enforcement they said will be driven by people who make complaints to code enforcement. 

“Be able to call, be able to document so the officers will be able to come out and talk to the homeowner the animal owner about what the requirements are,” said Seman. “Certainly they’ll try to educate the animal owner and they will have an opportunity to rectify the situation before being fined.”

Read the proposed amendment here:

(10) tether a dog or dogs except when: (a) tethered pursuant to requirements of park, camping or recreational areas; or (b) tethered while engaged in lawful hunting activities; or (c) tethered to a running line, pulley or trolley system elevated no higher than seven (7) feet off the ground, in a manner that allows the tether to move freely along the length of the running line, pulley or trolley system and allowing the dog fifty (50) square feet of usable space. The tether must be connected to the dog by a buckle – type collar or body harness made of nylon, leather or other durable and non – metallic material and must be properly fitted so as to not cause injury to the dog or embed in the dog’s neck. Only one dog may be attached to each running line, pulley or trolley system so as to prevent injury, strangulation, or entanglement.

Council voted to approve the second reading of the ordinance with the exception of Councilman Bob Taylor who said he wanted to see fencing addressed. 

“To protect the animals otherwise they’re just, you know, open prey,” he said. 

Councilman Ennis Fant voted for the ordinance and said he’d like to see the same community passion for people. 

“Be as passionate about making sure that there’s quality housing for children who cannot speak for themselves as we are about animals,” said Fant. 

There will be a third reading and public hearing before the ordinance can be adopted. 

“Hopefully we’ll see an end to animal cruelty by this step and maybe we can do more in the future,” said Seman. 

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