EUFAULA, Ala. — As a result of a 4 to 0 vote by the Eufaula City Council, the chains are broken.
Council unanimously approved the revisions to the city’s tethering ordinance. Now, dogs and small animals will no longer be allowed to be chained to fixed, single point. Instead, a tether or pulley-restraint system will be used.
According to the revised ordinance, no owner may tether, fasten, chain or tie a dog to any permanent structure; any post to the ground or to any weight designed to restrict the dog’s freedom of movement to a limited area of space.
In addition, only one dog or small animal may be tethered to each cable run; the tether must be attached to to a properly fitting collar or harness worn by the dog or small animal allowing two fingers of space; the cable must be at least 15 feet in length and mounted at least four feet and no more than seven feet above the ground; the dog or small animal must also have access to shelter, water and food.
Esther Harris is one of the Animal Control Officers in Eufaula. She has held that position for almost 15 years. In that time, she has seen her fair share of animals in undesirable situations.
“Huge lock and chains around necks of dogs without collars even with collars, the heaviness of the chains,” Harris said. “Some puppies as young as three or four months with these large chains around their necks.”
Betty Kramer is the owner of Kramer’s Kritters, a rescue organization in the city. She said she is glad to see the city make these changes to the ordinance.
“If you’re going to have an animal, it’s a pet,” Kramer said. “It’s a member of your family. It’s not an object. If you want something to notify you that visitors are coming, get a doorbell. Don’t get a dog and chain it up. That’s a member of your family.”
The Animal Control Division of the Eufaula Police Department is giving a 30-day grace period to residents in order to comply with the revised ordinance.