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