The vote to pass an anti-tethering ordinance was postponed by the Mansfield City Council on Tuesday, according to The Mansfield News Journal.
Known as Fido’s Law, the ordinance would prohibit the tethering of pets outdoors between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., and during a heat or cold advisory, or severe weather warning. The tether would have to be at least 20 feet long and could not be used for pets under six months old or on senior dogs. Tethered dogs would need to be current on their rabies vaccination.
While Councilman at Large Don Bryant noted that “The longer we wait, the longer we have animals out there that are tethered, that are kept outside in inhumane circumstances,” Second Ward Councilman Jeff Rock said the legislation needed further discussion. According to Rock, residents questioned whether they could be cited for walking their dogs late at night, since the legislation prohibits tethering an animal outside during certain hours.
In a 5-2 vote on Tuesday, the council approved Rock’s motion that the ordinance should have three readings.
Fido’s Law would be enforced by the Richland County Dog Warden, the Mansfield Police Department and the Humane Society of Richland County. Owners requesting their pet be exempted would have to contact the Humane Society of Richland County for consideration.
A first offense violation of the ordinance would be a minor misdemeanor. A third offense would be a first-degree misdemeanor.
Councilman at Large Don Bryant launched the anti-tethering bill initiative in partnership with Law Director John Spon, Richland County Dog Warden Dave Jordan, Humane Society of Richland County Director Missy Houghton, and several Mansfield residents.
Although Bryant and other proponents of the legislation were disappointed at the delay, they will have their chance to again speak up for the ordinance on May 5, 2015 when Fido’s Law next comes before Mansfield City Council.