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Phoenix passes ordinance limiting dog tethering practices


PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council passed an ordinance last week to protect dogs from cruel tethering and aid law enforcement in pursuing animal cruelty cases.

“The tethering ordinance passed today will aid our law enforcement in pursuing animal cruelty cases,” Councilwoman Thelda Williams said when the ordinance passed. “I’ve seen first-hand the results of neglectful and abusive behavior on our pet population. A person who is capable of abusing animals will eventually be involved in violent crimes against domestic partners and other family members, which may lead to violent crimes outside the home. We owe it to the most vulnerable among us to attempt to stop the violence.”

The action outlaws restraining a dog outside using a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement during extreme weather conditions, when the outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, when a heat advisory has been issued or when a monsoon, hurricane, tropical-storm, dust-storm, or tornado warning has been issued.

A restraint unreasonably limits a dog’s movement if the restraint uses a collar that is not properly fitted to the dog; is in length shorter than 10 feet; places the dog in unsafe or unsanitary conditions; causes injury to the dog; or does not permit the dog access to food, water, shade, dry ground, or shelter.

A person found responsible for a first offense of the ordinance would be subject to a fine. Subsequent violations are a Class One misdemeanor with increasing fines and jail time.