City of Miami Passes Anti-Tethering Ordinance!

The City of Miami has passed an anti-tethering ordinance! Commissioner Joe Sanchez, an avid supporter of the ordinance, said he received thousands of emails from all over the world in support of this ordinance.

Sanchez said, "Animals have a special place in my heart, and it pains me to see the many cases of abuse that take place in our city.  Animals have no voice to express their pain, and causing them bodily harm is cruel, inhumane and wrong!  The Tether Ban that I have urged the City of Miami to adopt is a step in the right the direction to ease the suffering of many pets."

Here is the ordinance which bans tethering or chaining of dogs unless the owner is with the animal. Even then there are restrictions. 

Tethering of dogs.

(a) As used in this section, tether means to restrain a dog by tying the dog to any object or structure, including without limitation a house, tree, fence, post, garage, or shed, by any means, including without limitation a chain, rope, cord, leash, or running line.  Tethering shall not include using a leash to walk a dog.

(b) It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to tether the dog while outdoors, except when all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The dog is in visual range of the responsible party, and the responsible party is located outside with the dog.

(2) The tether is connected to the dog by a buckle-type collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather, not less than one inch in width.

(3) The tether has the following properties: it is at least five times the length of the dog’s body, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail; it terminates at both ends with a swivel; it does not weigh more than 1/8 of the dog’s weight; and it is free of tangles.

(4) The dog is tethered in such a manner as to prevent injury, strangulation, or entanglement.

(5) The dog is not outside during a period of extreme weather, including without limitation extreme heat or near-freezing temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes.

(6) The dog has access to water, shelter, and dry ground.

(7) The dog is at least six (6) months of age.  Puppies shall not be tethered.

(8) The dog is not sick or injured.

(9) Pulley, running line, or trolley systems are at least 15 feet in length and are less than 7 feet above the ground.

(10) If there are multiple dogs, each dog is tethered separately.

Why Anti-Tethering Laws are Important

Tethering or chaining makes dogs aggressive:

A 1994 study by the Centers for Disease Control found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said in 2003, "Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior."

When confronted with a threat, dogs instinctively run or fight. A chained dog, unable to flee, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person who comes into his or her territory. Children have been injured or killed after going into a chained dog’s area, or encountering a dog who has broken free from a chain.

Continuous tethering or chaining is inhumane:

In 1996, The United States Department of Agriculture said, "Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane."

Tethered dogs are easy targets for attacks by other animals. They are killed or injured by extremes in weather, poisoned by humans, and made sick from animal feces or bird droppings. In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores from the dogs’ constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Dogs have been found with collars embedded in their necks.

Dogs are social animals. Tethering inflicts cruelty on dogs by forcing them to live in solitary confinement, unable to interact normally. Lonely and isolated, chained dogs are know to bark excessively at all hours of the day and night.