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Archive for Sunday, January 4, 2004

Wichita anti-tether law considered a success

January 4, 2004

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— Although a few dog owners have been forced to give up their pets as a result of an ordinance that limits how long people can keep their dogs tied up, most government officials and animal lovers consider the 3-month-old law a success.

"We're pleased," said Ellen Querner, president of Pals Animal Rescue, which urged the City Council to adopt the anti-tethering ordinance. "I guess I can say that we're pleased with the enforcement.

"But it will take time before we're going to be a totally chain-free community. That doesn't happen overnight."

At least 28 cities and six counties nationwide restrict the tethering of animals.

Dennis Graves, supervisor of the city's animal control program, said his department has written about 30 citations for violations of the law. In other cases, he said, violators have been given warnings and an opportunity to find other ways to keep their dogs without tethering them.

"It's depending on the severity of the situation," Graves said. "If a dog is chained with no food and water, on a short chain, the owner is given 24 hours, a notice saying that we've observed this situation and we'll be back tomorrow.

"If it's a good setup, and they just need to fix some holes on a fence, we can work with them longer. We take each one on a case-by-case basis."

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