City council members in Elyria need more time to consider a proposed ordinance banning chains and choke collars for dogs in the city.
That was the outcome of a committee meeting Wednesday evening when the ordinance was first introduced. The ordinance did not get a majority vote to present to council, but city leaders said it will be brought up again in the future.
"It's just not a healthy, safe, humane environment for these dogs to be in. Sometimes we have seen it where the dogs are wrapped up in the chains themselves, unable to move, because it gets wrapped up around their back legs,” said Friendship APL Director Greg Willey.
Willey said when a dog does break away from their chain, some owners take it a step further.
"When they get them back, they go to another grade of chain, often times something like tow chains, which are 40 pounds of chain wrapped around a dog's neck,” Willey said.
“Sometimes the chain is actually growing inside the dogs neck, skin grows over it, because of the fur you can't really see that,” Willey said,
There are three main components to the proposed ordinance.
No chains or ropes can be used to tie the dog up.
A dog can't be tethered for more than 10 hours a day.
And no tethering between 10 PM and 6 AM.
"If you have your dog on a tether during a backyard barbecue, that's no problem, it's this 24 hour a day, seven days a week, regardless of the elements, regardless of the conditions, these dogs are being tied up outside with very little or no human contact or socialization,” Willey said.
As far as enforcement, Willey banks on concerned neighbors calling police or humane officers.
A first offense is a minor misdemeanor and would be a $150 fine.
According to Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely, the city received 784 animal-related calls in the last year. Whitely could not specify how many were specifically related to tethering dogs.
Lorain is considering a similar ordinance.
Cleveland has had one for several years.