Columbus Council approved an amendment to the city code on Tuesday that restricts the tethering of dogs within city limits.
The decision comes two weeks after about 35 people showed up to a city council meeting pushing for a chain-free city.
The measure passed on Tuesday with a unanimous vote, with only Councilor Jerry “Pops” Barnes absent.
Before voting, Mayor Pro-Tem Evelyn Turner-Pugh asked what would happen to animals left untied. She received clarification from Councilors Glenn Davis and Evelyn “Mimi” Woodson.
“I had the same question because there are some dogs that you can’t leave them in the yard pretty long,” said Woodson. However, she assured Pugh that the ordinance would affect people who keep their dogs tethered long-term and not those who tie up the animals for short periods of time.
The ordinance - sponsored by Councilors Davis, Walker Garrett, Gary Allen and Skip Henderson - amends Chapter 5 of the city code to “establish and clarify various standards for the care of dogs and cats, in Columbus, Georgia, and for other purposes,” according to the city agenda.
Community proponents of the ordinance clapped and cheered when the measure passed.
“We rarely get that reaction,” said Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.
Here are some of the provisions in the ordinance:
- No animal shall be tethered and left unattended for more than 12 consecutive hours in a 24-hour period.
- No animal shall be tethered except on a three-point pulley system.
- Tethers must be made of commercial approved leash or tethering material which cannot be chewed by the animal and shall not weigh more than five percent of the body weight of the animal; ropes and chains are not considered appropriate tethering material.
- The tether must be at least five times the body length of the dog and mounted no more than seven feet above the ground level.
- The animal must be attached to the tether by a properly fitted harness or collar with enough room between the collar and the animal's throat through which two fingers may fit.
- Choke collars and Pinch collars are prohibited for the purpose of tethering an animal.