Ohio City Bans Dog Tethering Outside Overnight

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A new city ordinance in Columbus, Ohio will prohibit people from tethering dogs outside overnight, as well as place stronger restrictions on how animals can be tethered at all.

I guess being the crazy dog person I am, I can’t even believe things like this need to be legislated, but I am glad that they are. Recently, the Columbus, Ohio City Council passed a new ordinance that will ban anyone from chaining their dogs outside overnight.

Related: New California Bill Only Allows Pet Stores to Sell Rescued or Shelter Animals

The passing of the ordinance was unanimous, and people who chain their dogs up outside over night can be charged with misdemeanors that could be minor all the way to first-degree offenses. The organization responsible for rule enforcement is Columbus Humane, which was formerly known as the Capital Area Humane Society. Rachel Finney is the executive director of Columbus Humane and says that living life as a dog on a chain directly conflicts with core values she knows her city’s citizens maintain.

Every day, she says, their agents come up on dogs who have sadly always lived life on a chain, and she is hopeful this is a step in the right direction for advocating for those pets.

Many other Ohioan communities already have adopted or are considering rules that ban chaining dogs, and city Councilperson Shannon G. Hardin said that this new ordinance helps them be in the front of the pack when it comes to protecting animals.

No Columbus resident may leave an animal chained outside between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., or any time there is a heat/cold advisory or severe weather threat. Dogs are also no longer allowed to be tethered with pinch/prong or choke collars or with chains that are not suitable for the animal’s weight and size–like tow chains, log chains or padlock chains.

Related: Washington State Senate Passes New Legislation Restricting Tethering Pets

IF a dog is tethered, they have to be able to move freely, though they are not allowed to reach outside property limits or in public walkways or roads. Councilperson Michael Stinziano says this new ordinance will not only help stop cruel treatment to animals, but hopefully reduce nuisance calls the city receives because dogs who are tethered often bark excessively (of course they do!).

And while he says this new ordinance is not intended to limit how dogs are walked or trained, or to ban tethering completely, I have to wonder why ban tethering to just night time? There is a big difference to tether training and living life on a chain. I hope this is a step to even more freedom for dogs–day or night.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

More by Lori Ennis