Huntsville Animal Services is asking for volunteers to help install runners in people's backyards, and it's all for free.
They told WAAY 31 they still have a lot of dogs in the shelter and over recent months, they've seen a large increase in dogs being surrendered. This comes about one month after the 'No-Chain Ordinance' went into effect. Animal services said this could encourage people to keep their pets that used to be chained.
"The ordinance passed that prohibits chaining dogs, which is a great ordinance, it's a good law, it needs to be passed county-wide, but a lot of irresponsible owners just say they aren't going to put a fence up, they aren't going to contain the dog, so they just let it go," said a new volunteer, Vicki Bell.
Over the past couple of months, Huntsville Animal Services says they have brought in a record number of dogs. Some people speculate this is because of the 'No-Chain Ordinance' that started on March 1.
"People who really care about their dogs aren't going to leave them chained anyway. They'll either have a fence or keep them inside," said Bell.
The shelter has spent $5,000 on runners to replace chains, and they said the money all came from donations.
"We just want to make sure we are offering all the help needed to set people up for success instead of creating an ordinance or a law that punishes people," said Dr. Karen Sheppard with Huntsville Animal Services.
The shelter and an organization called Helping Animals Without Shelter is providing people with runners and also installing them for free.
"Providing some benefit to both owners and dogs, to allow the dogs a little more freedom," said Bell.
Volunteers believe the runners will keep people from surrendering their dogs to the shelter.
"We don't want to ever take someone's dog from them. We want people to keep their pets," said Sheppard.
The shelter told WAAY 31 they installed their first runner in a pet owner's yard on Wednesday, and they hope to continue helping as long as there is a need.
The shelter said when they see a surge of dogs come in, it takes more money to provide vaccines, food and more. They said the money is a combination of tax-payer money and donations, but they hope the runners will help financially as well.