Taylor gets real about animal care after its unlawful restraint ordinance went into effect Wednesday Oct. 9.

There hasn’t been an ordinance, prior to this one. It details what is classified as unlawful restraint, which bans chains on animals. It does allow cable runs for freedom of movement and it addresses shelter from extreme weather conditions. 

Additionally, it requires that dogs get adequate access to natural resources. Owners are now required to provide water to their dogs and expose them to sunlight. 

Owners are also required to comply or they could receive a misdemeanor and a $500 fine.

Taylor Police Commander Joseph Branson said that sometimes when he sees pet owners not complying he will talk to them about better alternatives for restraining their dogs and that most people are willing to comply. He said the only thing that aided to their non-compliance was an unawareness of the ordinance.

According to Branson, police are not interested immediately reprimanding of residents who don’t follow the ordinance. He said education is a better tool.

“[I think it’s about] educating the public and letting them know it is in effect,” he said. “We’re not looking to write citations, we’re [enforcing law] with education. When we see [someone that is not complying], we want to let them know before we give citations.”

He also said that the animal control staff is following the ordinance closely and he feels that education is the main objective. He also believes the ordinance will strike a positive chord with animal lovers.

“I think most people want what’s best for most dogs,” he said. “It’s just them understanding what it is and complying. Those already concerned with the well being of dogs will see this as a positive development.”

In terms of animal protection, Branson said he thinks it will help dogs that are in dire situations and will better their living situation.

“I think it is a law that will certainly help out dogs in tough situations. It’ll make their situation better. It will also improve living conditions.”

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