City council passes dog tethering bill

January 18, 2011 2:49:15 PM PST
The New York City Council is getting tough on dog owners.

Tuesday, members passed a so-called "tethering bill".

It passed 47 to 1 and it limits the type of collars that can be used and even how long animals can be tied-up.

The gruesome, inhumane injuries on three dogs highlight the callous practice of tethering.

That's when dogs are collared and chained for hours on end.

"This chain is now embedded into this dog's skin," New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

A bill prohibiting this treatment was passed by city council and seeks to stop the vicious practice.

"We simply don't have tough enough laws on the books to deal with this. Nor do we have enough people and power to enforce the law," Quinn said.

The bill prohibits a pet from being tethered for more than three hours in a 12 hour period.

Also prohibited: The use of a tether that is too heavy, choke or pinch collars, or one that would become entangled.

"An animal that's abused like that becomes more dangerous, three times more likely to bite. This law protects our animals and people," City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. said.

"Eliminating tethering can help cut down on some aggressive dogs and some interactions where humans are bit by dogs that are tied up," said Michelle Villagomez, an ASPCA senior manager.

The first violation could result in a written warning or $250 fine.

Repeat offenders face a $500 fine or three months in jail.

Chris Gatterdam is a dog walker.

"I hope they actually implore it and actually do it once they start to," Gatterdam said.

Bently, a chocolate lab, was out with his owner Ruth Pyne.

"They don't have much of a life. In weather like this, or when it's very hot, I think it's very important. They should be part of the family," Pyne said.

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