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Covington approves first reading of tethering ordinance
Tethering ordinance
Photos provided by local residents show tethered dogs during different weather conditions. - photo by Staff Report

COVINGTON, Ga. – The City of Covington approved the first reading of an ordinance to prohibit tethering of animals within the city limits Monday evening during its meeting.

The ordinance, clearly states, “Tethering of animals is prohibited.”

PDF: Tethering ordinance

The ordinance allows for a running cable line or trolley system inside a proper enclosure, but states animals are not to be attached to the system for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour time period. It also states that animals are not to be left attached to the system between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or when the temperature is below 32 degrees or above 90 degrees.

“The only thing that I’m going to say to you is, tethering produces very, very aggressive animals,” Kristian Shriver, local veterinarian at Animal Medical of Covington, said. “If you read between the lines on your news articles, ‘a child was bit after an animal broke free from tethering,’ ‘child was bit trailing chain, trailing leash.’

“This anti-tethering will save y’all lots, and lots, of heartache. It will save the community lots, and lots, of grief. It will save us lots, and lots, money from insurance reasons.  We have no need for regulating breeds, which doesn’t work, we have a safer community and then for my benefit, we have healthier animals because animals that are tethered are not cared for as a rule – I will say there are exceptions, don’t get me wrong, but as a rule those are the animals that we see coming in that are emaciated, not cared for, not healthy, so I would strongly encourage you guys to look at this very carefully and adopt this in totality.”

The council approved the first reading of the ordinance unanimously. The ordinance will be brought before the council for a second reading at its March 5 meeting. If approved, the ordinance will go into effect after the second reading.

Councilwoman Susie Keck credited local residents for bringing this issue to the council’s attention.