Local News

West York expected to pass dog tethering ordinance

The York County SPCA is working hard to ban 24/7 dog tethering throughout the county. So far out of 72 municipalities, six have adopted a dog tethering ordinance drafted by the SPCA.”We were the first county to pass the ordinance and we certainly are leading the pack,” said Melissa Smith with the York County SPCA.

West York could be next to adopt the ordinance. “There’s dogs that are tied out continuously that neighbors have problems with. They are barking and they can become aggressive,” said West York Animal Enforcement Officer Shelley Metzler.

“It’s a huge problem,” said Smith. “Dogs are companion animals, they mostly want to be with us. It can cause a lot of other problems too. Certainly a dog that is chained outside it can lead to aggression problems, fear biting, and the dog really has no protection from predators,” said Smith.

Under the ordinance people are prohibited from tethering their dogs outside 24/7. Owners of dogs that are kept outside would either have to build kennels or fences, or take their dogs inside. There are also weather provisions for any dog that is living outdoors.

“This ordinance would not only talk about tethering, but it would also talk about a dog outside in a kennel if there were severe weather conditions such as a weather advisory, or temperatures as well. If the temperatures would drop below 32 degrees or above 90 degrees consistently then the dog would have to be taken inside,” said Smith. “In a situation where we had last week with the dangerous temperatures, that is a time where we would make immediately the dog come inside,” said Smith.

The SPCA would enforce the law. “If they [the municipality] want to do the enforcement themselves, certainly that’s their option, but we wanted to offer the enforcement for a couple of reasons. We certainly recognize this isn’t something the police department would have time to spend doing, and also we are at a lot of these place anyway. Our humane officers are already there on an investigation,” said Smith.

“We aren’t going to be traveling around looking for these situations. We really need the community to be our eyes and ears,” said Smith.

The penalty would be a $500 fine.  “It would be a summary offense and the dog would be removed temporarily until the situation is resolved,” said Smith. “But that’s certainly not our first step and most times not even our second step.”

West York is scheduled to vote on the measure on Monday January 20.

For more information on the York County SPCA click here


11 Comments to “West York expected to pass dog tethering ordinance”

    don1952 said:
    January 14, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    I don't understand first they make laws to keep your dog tied then they make laws saying you cant keep them tied this country is gong crazy with making laws, I understand keeping food, water and shelter to a dog tied up but these animals thrive in cold weather unless you keep pulling them In and out all the time ,,, but then who gives a hover dam about what us people think lawmakers never have

    veb said:
    January 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    i know the goal is to target those that are abusing their pets. but you can be hurting those who do actually love and take care of theirs. why not just have harsher punishment for the laws you have in place for actual abuse.

    D Root said:
    January 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    This is a stupid law. Huskies and Malamutes love freezing weather (anyone who’s been to Alaska knows this). As long as dogs are well fed, watered, get daily exercise and attention, and quiet, this is only a problem to anthropologists. Animal laws should be based on science, not feel-good gestures. Each dog and it’s owner should be treated as an individual case.

      D Root said:
      January 14, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Meant to say, anthromorphogy. Projecting human emotions onto animals.

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