Harrisburg City Council discusses dog tethering ordinance

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We haven't quite hit the dog days of summer yet, but some Harrisburg City Council members are hoping to pass a new ordinance that they hope will make things a little easier on our four-legged friends.

During a joint committee meeting Wednesday night, council members discussed a new measure that, if passed, would regulate how long a dog can stay tethered outside and under what conditions.

Dogs would still be allowed to be tethered but, under the possible ordinance, the type of chain would be regulated. It would also forbid city owners from leaving their dogs outside during severe weather. For example, a dog would only be able to spend 30 minutes tethered when it is above 90 degrees or below freezing.

It also says the tether, “must be the type commonly used for the size of the dog.” If it's a chain, it cannot be thicker than one-eighth of an inch.

It also says the tether may not be attached to a “choke collar.”

Violators would pay a $350 fine and could eventually have their dog taken away.

The measure garnered support from some, including a city animal control officer.

“This addresses [the issue] a little more clearly and concisely and we would be able to mitigate and get some mitigating circumstances and get that dog out of that environment,” said Harrisburg Animal Control Officer Fred Lamke.

A handful of others spoke in support of the ordinance as well. Many council members seemed to agree but questioned enforcement.

“Who is going to help him enforce this law because we have a large city?” asked Council President Wanda Williams.

The ordinance was proposed by council member Brad Koplinski. It is set to be voted on during the council's May 14 legislative session.

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