Council approved a motion to appeal an unlawful tethering ordinance in a unanimous 4-0 vote, which will be in effect October 9 of this year.
Police Chief Henry Fluck introduced the ordinance during the Thursday night meeting, and maintained that its purpose is to ensure that animals are safely and humanly restrained.
There hasn’t been an ordinance, prior to the upcoming one. It bans chains on animals, but does allow cable runs for freedom of movement and addresses shelter from extreme weather. Owners are required to comply and will be given a citation if they do not.
Its three month-long window before it goes into effect is to provide Taylor citizens with time to become educated on the ordinance and make adjustments if needed.
Council member Robert Garcia asked if electric collars were mentioned in the ordinance, to which Chief Fluck replied they were not.
“This ordinance was modeled after state law, and state law doesn’t address that,” Fluck said. “This is a tethering law. Electric collars allow for freedom of movement in yards, but tethering restrains animals.”
Garcia followed with another question about if the police department was prepared to deal with people who didn’t comply with the ordinance.
“Are you prepared for an influx of owners who say ‘I can’t follow the tethering rule, so I’m just gonna let my animals go, or run around town?’ Are we prepared for that if that occurs?,” Garcia asked.
Fluck said he hopes it doesn’t get to that point and that the department would do the best in its sheltering abilities if things do go that route.
“We do hope that people become responsible enough and rise to the occasion,” Fluck said.
Council member Mitch Drummond asked if dogs have to be on a trolley and if a stake with a tether of adequate length is allowed. Fluck said trollies are allowed, and tethers, in general, are not allowed.
“You cannot be tethered if the animal is outside unattended,” Fluck said. “But, it can be on a trolley.”
The ordinance did not make it as a state law, and while council member Dwayne Ariola is disappointed in that, he is still glad to see the ordinance prepare to go in effect locally.
“Unfortunately, it’s not a state law,” he said. “I’m not a proponent of laws just to be laws, but I do wish it was more dramatic in other areas. The animal lovers have been adamant, and as an animal lover, I’m glad to see this happen.”