People in Athens push city council to change dog tethering ordinance

Right now the ordinance is that people can tether their dogs outside, as long as they have a 12 foot leash.

Posted: Dec 18, 2017 9:33 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2017 10:52 PM

The Athens Animal Warriors is a group trying to get the city to change an ordinance that allows dog owners to tether their dog outside.

Several people told the city council Monday night in Athens that they want this to be a priority.

Right now the law in Athens is that you can have your dog tethered outside as long as it has a 12 foot tether. 

A growing number of people said even that 12 foot distance is inhumane.

"It is something that needs to be stopped," said Karen Bethea.

Bethea started the Athens Animal Warriors group.

She said a big concern with tethered dogs is the possibility of them getting out and hurting other people, but she said it's also simply inhumane to keep dogs tied up outside.

"I'm just picking on the person who ties their dog out and has nothing out there for it," said Bethea.

Because of people like Bethea, the Mayor of Athens said city council will soon be looking at changing their ordinance.

"It would just be dealing with the short leashes. It would be more of a lead line, a swivel line, and some other things that would help facilitate better care of animals," said Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks.

Bethea said that isn't good enough.

"It is a no tether ordinance that I'm looking for. Following exactly what Florence says," said Bethea.

The Florence ordinance said no dogs can be tethered and that they must be kept in a fenced in yard that is big enough for them to run around.

Any change to the ordinance in Athens is still in the early stages.

The mayor did not give a time table for when a change might happen.

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