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Raleigh's dog-tethering ordinance takes effect Wednesday

Posted June 30, 2009

— A Raleigh ordinance regulating the unattended restraint of dogs goes into effect Wednesday.

Under the measure, a dog cannot be tied outdoors on a rope, chain or other line meant to restrain for more than three hours total during a 24-hour period.

Raleigh's dog-tethering ordinance takes effect Raleigh's dog-tethering ordinance takes effect

Violators would be charged with a misdemeanor and be could be subject to a civil fine of $100 per day for each violation.

The City Council passed the measure in March with the goal of preventing dogs from being left exposed to harsh weather conditions without shelter, without food and water, as well as to prevent the possibility of strangling.

Any device used to tether a dog must be at least 10 feet long and attached in a way to prevent strangulation or other injury to the dog or entanglement with objects.

The device, which must attach to a buckle-type collar or body harness, also cannot weigh more than 10 percent of the dog’s body weight and must allow the dog access to food and water.

Clayton, Chapel Hill, Orange County and Durham County have adopted similar regulations. Chapel Hill and Durham County's ordinances go into effect Jan. 1.


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  • KniftyKnitter Jul 1, 2009

    I love being outside too, but that doesn't mean I should live out there full time.......mocena

    Mocena = person (people live inside)......Dog = animal (animals live outside)

    I guess some of you people would rather see dogs crated indoors for long periods of time instead of free to run around on a lead and enjoying being outside.

    If you don't like what I do with MY dog, then, by all means, please send me some money to pay for training or to buy a fence. Oh, I guess I should have let her be put down instead bringing her into my family where she is treated like the pet that she is.

  • catlady Jul 1, 2009

    I have been looking for this law to be passed for many years!! However, now there is another issue which authorities have to address next: owners keeping dogs in pens too small to move around in for their size. I'm afraid we will see more of this soon. As for anti-dog or anti-animal people- what about dogs that save lives? Ever thought how it would feel to be chained up, seeing a house burning, and barking at the top of your lungs to alert your owners and they just tell you to shut up? It happened when I was a young girl- the owners never chained him up again afer they realized what was going on. Just don't get a dog to tie him up and say, "hey,I have a dog". It is a life- one God gave all of us, including animals- be appreciative of them;look for abusers, don't be one yourself.

  • Lovey Jun 30, 2009

    Kudos to the Raleigh City Council. There are dogs who live their entire lives on chains to the point that chains have been seen to grow into their necks. It is time for this stop. Next we need to tax the irresponsible dog (and cat) owners who allow their pets to breed constantly and fill up our animal shelters. Who do you think pays the huge amount of taxes to support the Wake County Animal Center? And to kill the many unwanted animals. You and Me.

  • bleth Jun 30, 2009

    I wonder if this will apply to Garner. My neighbor has two dogs always leashed on less than 10 feet. All weather always outside, they bark and howl at any given opportunity.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Jun 30, 2009

    Wonder how many wild dogs will be let loose because of this? I'm guessing it will be a much bigger issue than anyone thought of!

  • mocena Jun 30, 2009

    Also, for the people who say that their dogs love being outside but will get out of fences or whatever, I say this: If you bring your dog inside, that won't happen. And if you crate your dog when it's inside and unattended, your dog won't tear everything up. Escaping and digging and all of those other problems people have with dogs outside are all symptoms of boredom and stress, consider that when you say that your dog "loves being outside." I love being outside too, but that doesn't mean I should live out there full time.

  • mocena Jun 30, 2009

    Why do people have dogs if they never do anything with them?

    That's exactly my question. Why even have a dog if you don't have it inside your house? I understand that some people have dogs that hunt, that makes sense to me and most of the hunting dogs I've seen that are kept outside have very nice kennels, but if you aren't going to hunt or otherwise work your dog and you aren't going to treat it as a pet, why have it at all? This has always puzzled me.

  • yellow_hat Jun 30, 2009

    btw, you can go to dollar general, wally world, taget, etc and still buy tethers...so this is like outlawing Big macs but leaving McDonalds in business to sell all they want...stupid.

    Well, we agree on the stupid part. Did you actually read the article? You can still tether your dog, just not for more than 3 hours in a 24 hour period.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Jun 30, 2009

    I am glad to see this. I have a neighbor who has a large dog that barks constantly because it is chained to a tree and gets wrapped around it so tightly that it can't move. It is heartbreaking, but the dog is mean (go figure) so we can't get close enough to untangle it or give it water. The owners never seem to be home.

  • subee Jun 30, 2009

    I understand the new law will save many dogs from a horrible existence. I had a very difficult situation with one of our dogs. She had a great 1/2 acre fenced in back yard and a large dog house and STILL climbed/jumped the fence everyday. After a consult with the vet and many attempts to keep her in the fenced area..our only option was to attach her to a 100ft zip line between two trees. She still had access to her house and food/water and was let off several times per day while supervised. The last thing I wanted was for her to be picked up my Animal Control and pay the huge fine to get her home again. So....sometimes there are reasons dogs are not left to roam free in their fenced in yard. I wonder what the "officials" would say about her situation now?