Beginning July 1, a new tethering law goes into effect in the city of Phoenix, to protect dogs from abuse and neglect.

“The tethering ordinance … will aid our law enforcement in pursuing animal cruelty cases,” Councilwoman Thelda Williams said. “I’ve seen first-hand the results of neglectful and abusive behavior on our pet population. A person who is capable of abusing animals will eventually be involved in violent crimes against domestic partners and other family members, which may lead to violent crimes outside the home. We owe it to the most vulnerable among us to attempt to stop the violence.”

The new ordinance, passed by the Phoenix City Council on June 1, outlaws restraining a dog outside using a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement during extreme weather conditions, when the outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, when a heat advisory has been issued or when a monsoon, hurricane, tropical-storm, dust-storm or tornado warning has been issued.

A restraint unreasonably limits a dog’s movement if the restraint uses a collar that is not properly fitted to the dog; is in length shorter than 10 feet; places the dog in unsafe or unsanitary conditions; causes injury to the dog; or does not permit the dog access to food, water, shade, dry ground or shelter.

A person found responsible for a first offense of the ordinance would be subject to a fine. Subsequent violations are a Class One misdemeanor with increasing fines and jail time. To report a suspected case of animal abuse or a violation of the new tethering ordinance, call the Phoenix Police Department’s non-emergency line at 602-262-6151.




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