Pet-tethering ban?

Dog owners, the City Council is peeking into your backyard.

During a public hearing today at 10 a.m. at 250 Broadway, the Health Committee will discuss prohibiting New Yorkers from leaving animals tied up outdoors for more than three hours.

People often report neighbors’ dogs being tied up to the ASPCA, but unless they see obvious signs of cruelty — like collars grown into necks — officers can’t do anything.

“I want to protect animals from being chained as a way of life,” said Council Member Peter Vallone, who introduced the legislation.

“It’s not good for [dogs’] psyches,” said Michelle Villagomez of the ASPCA. “Especially when the temperature starts dropping, it starts snowing, it’s something [we] worry about.”

Vallone first introduced the bill in 2007, but he spent three years finding a palatable way to enforce it. He settled on the three-hour limit. “My goal was not to outlaw someone chaining their dog to a pole while they get some milk,” he said.

A separate bill would increase the fee to license a dog that is not spayed or neutered from $11.50 to $34, with the extra money funding animal population control.  

Judy Wong, a dog owner and owner of Paws in Paradise dog care in Park Slope, said leaving dogs tied
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is inhumane. Still, she was apprehensive about the city regulating pet discipline. “How long a dog is out there is not anyone’s business but the owner,
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danger."

Under the proposed legislation, violators would face fines and jail time. 


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