Rock­mart teth­er­ing or­di­nance gets ap­proval

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­

Rock­mart has of­fi­cially joined the rest of the county in adopt­ing a teth­er­ing or­di­nance, and those with pets are now pro­hib­ited from chain­ing, fas­ten­ing, or oth­er­wise teth­er­ing their an­i­mal un­less all con­di­tions and pro­vi­sions are met.

A much more lax ver­sion of Cedar­town or Aragon’s or­di­nance, the doc­u­ment still per­mits the teth­er­ing of an­i­mals if the re­straint is a com­mer­cially avail­able, suf­fi­ciently-sized body har­ness made of ny­lon or leather. The tether must be of a size and weight nec­es­sary to safely re­strain the an­i­mal, and no fas­tener is al­lowed to ex­tend over an ob­ject that could re­sult in stran­gu­la­tion.

Pets may not be fas­tened dur­ing bouts of heat, cold, thun­der­storms, light­ning, tor­na­does, hur­ri­canes, or other pe­ri­ods of ex­treme weather. No sickly or in­jured an­i­mal may be teth­ered, and pets un­der the age of six months may not be teth­ered un­less the owner is read­ily present. All an­i­mals must be pro­vided with san­i­tary shel­ter from the el­e­ments and clean wa­ter.

The or­di­nance has no listed time lim­its on re­strain­ing, which sets it apart from the en­ti­ties’ or­di­nances.

Aragon’s or­di­nance sug­gests an­i­mals can be teth­ered for no more than two hours even af­ter meet­ing the var­i­ous rules, for ex­am­ple.

“You’ve all been pro­vided elec­tronic copies with re­vi­sions as late as to­day,” Mayor Stephen Miller said. “This has been an on­go­ing ef­fort for sev­eral months, and in this point in time, I would sug­gest we ap­prove Or­di­nance No. 20180-06.”

The or­di­nance was an on­go­ing ef­fort, but the topic was ap­pear­ing on the coun­cil’s agenda fewer and fewer times un­til lo­cals started get­ting in­volved.

Vel­vet Clay was one cit­i­zen who spoke be­fore the

coun­cil to urge the adop­tion of the or­di­nance, and while suc­cess­ful, she hopes to see up­dates made.

“I am very happy that the city coun­cil, the city at­tor­ney, the mayor and the city man­ager took the time to come up with the new teth­er­ing or­di­nance,” Clay said. “I ap­pre­ci­ate their hard work, and I am hope­ful that the po­lice depart­ment and an­i­mal con­trol will be en­forc­ing it. I look for­ward to a few tweaks over time, but we are off to a great start.”

Clay hopes that the group will ad­just the or­di­nance to pro­hibit all teth­er­ing whether a com­mer­cial fas­tener is used or not. She points to K-9 Un­chain USA, a cam­paign that seeks na­tion­wide un­chain­ing of dogs.

“The im­por­tance of the or­di­nance for me and my colleagues na­tion­wide is to ‘Un­chain the Dogs,’” Clay said. “We wanted the teth­er­ing or­di­nance to read just like Cal­i­for­nia.”

Only time will tell if the coun­cil is will­ing to make ad­just­ments, but the group is clearly open to sug­ges­tions from the pub­lic.

/ Kevin Myrick/SJ

Vel­vet Clay came be­fore the Rock­mart City Coun­cil a sec­ond time ask­ing for an­swers on their pre­vi­ously pro­posed teth­er­ing or­di­nance.

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