Proposed law to make dog chaining illegal

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Proposed law to make dog chaining illegal

CREATED Mar 27, 2012

Reporter: Aaron Brackett

NOGALES, AZ (KGUN9-TV) - Arizona heat is on the way and during this first blast of warmth pets often come to mind. A proposed law in Santa Cruz County may make it illegal for pet owners to leave their dog chained outside.

Animal advocate Michelle Phillips is leading the charge for the no-tether law. She believes many owners chain their dogs outside and forget about them and she fears chained dogs can become agressive, posing a danger to people around them.

"I started three years ago with the idea because I saw that there were a lot of dogs being chained up in Santa Cruz County and personally I have had to go and rescue several," said Phillips. "I'm about laws that protect and not harm.  When you have the USDA saying that they disallowed this in 1991, this is inhumane treatment."

Lt. Jose Pena is the supervisor of Santa Cruz County Animal Control. Pena told 9OYS he doesn't have a strong opinion either way about the law, but does worry if it passes, more animals may be euthanized. He says it comes down to owner responsibility.

"What am I going to do if this ordinance passes", questioned Pena. "There are so many low income people here, am " going to have to take their animals away because they cannot afford fencing? If we can help them, fine, but we probably aren't going to be able to help everybody. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people that take care of their animals all of the time."

Phillips argues no tether laws also prevent violent dog attacks.

Current Santa Cruz County law allows dogs to be chained on a 10 foot or longer lead. As for the proposed tether ban, the Santa Cruz County Animal Care Commission is still hearing ideas before writing a formal proposal.