Dog owners can no longer tie their dogs to a stationary object after the Carrboro Board of Aldermen unanimously passed an anti-tethering ordinance Tuesday.
The measure, effective immediately, also creates weight-based requirements for kennels and fences.
Carrboro Animal Control officers estimate that there are approximately 40 to 50 tethered dogs within Carrboro city limits, and that number has caused concern among some residents.
One resident expressed her concern that Carrboro did not have an anti-tethering ordinance in an email to the board that prompted the tethering discussion.
Both Orange County and Chapel Hill have already passed measures restricting the use of tethers.
According to the meeting agenda abstract, tethered dogs are more likely to be aggressive and are less able to defend themselves. They could become a public nuisance by barking and could strangle themselves with their tethers, the agenda states.
Alderwoman Jacquelyn Gist said she favors more humane restraints for dogs and strongly supports the ordinance.
“People see tethered dogs and are concerned with animal abuse,” she said. “It’s emotionally disturbing.”
Orange County’s Animal Ordinance, effective November 2009, restricts the time dogs can be tethered to 3 hours within a 24-hour period.
Chapel Hill followed in 2010, banning tethering and adopting minimum size requirements for fences and kennels.
Carrboro’s ordinance sets minimum enclosure sizes of 100 square feet for a dog that weighs fewer than 20 pounds and 200 square feet for a dog more than 20 pounds.
The ordinance allows dogs to be tethered in some situations, like if their owner is in sight.
The benefit to an anti-tethering measure will be happier and healthier dogs, Gist said.
Robert Nekoranec, an animal control officer in Carrboro, said he was thrilled to see the law pass because it will make his job easier.
He said Orange County’s 3-hour tether limit was a step in the right direction, but it has been hard for him to enforce.
“I almost have to sit on the dogs for three hours to see who’s complying.”
The board spoke briefly about the measure at their Tuesday meeting before electing to skip a public hearing in favor of an immediate vote.
James Morgan, a Carrboro dog owner, said he was excited about the new law. He said he wouldn’t want to keep his dog on a tether.
“As his owner I know I wouldn’t want to be stuck outside all day in the same place. So why would I want that for him?”
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