Lufkin City Council considers implementing anti-tethering ordinance for dog owners

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The Safe Outdoor Dogs act became law Tuesday in Texas. The law implements restrictions on how dog owners can tether their dogs. The City of Lufkin Animal Services hopes to take the state law one step further as The Lufkin City Council contemplates an anti-tethering ordinance.

The Lufkin City Council passed, on first reading, an ordinance to ban the tethering of dogs inside city limits. Aaron Ramsey, the director of animal services for the City of Lufkin, said they’ve been working to create an ordinance to ban all tethering for the last couple of years.

“For the nine years I’ve been in this position and doing this type of work, calls come in daily to every other day reporting dogs that are tethered to various objects … I mean they’re extremely common,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said instead of tethering your animal outdoors, consider building a fence in your backyard to give your dog the freedom to roam around. If a fence is not an option, make sure to take your pet on regular walks outside.

“The punishment, if approved, would be punitive. It would be a Class C misdemeanor with up to a $500 fine if people are in violation. You know. of course. that the last thing we want to do is go out and fine people, but we understand sometimes that is what it takes to gain compliance,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said tethering your dog is often a public safety issue, due to the psychological and physical impacts the action leaves on the animal.

“A lot of these tethered animals become very aggressive over time, and we’ve had many, many incidents where they’ve gotten loose and severely hurt members of the public,” Ramsey said.

By enacting this legislation, Ramsey believes the quality of life will be improved for the animal and the community.

“Instead of letting the animal get to that point of being neglected, we’re just preventing it upfront. A lot of cruelty laws can be vague or hard to interpret, but this it is very straightforward, very easy to understand,” Ramsey said.

The ordinance is not yet finalized, as the Lufkin City Council will consider the ordinance at the second reading in February.

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