Amend Miami-Dade County Anti-Tethering Ordinance - The Petition Site

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Amend Miami-Dade County Anti-Tethering Ordinance - The Petition Site
This petition serves to gather support to amend Miami-Dade County's new Anti-Tethering Ordinance. After dealing with a repeat offender over the last few months who refuses to untie his dog and does not care about the fines he has received from MDAS, I have come to conclude that this law does not have teeth it desperately needs. Miami-Dade Animal Services has been doing all they can for this dog, but their hands are tied because of the way the law was written.

Continuous tethering of a dog is an act of animal cruelty and should be treated as such.

As quoted from The Humane Society's website:
"In addition to the psychological damage wrought by continuous chaining, dogs forced to live on a chain make easy targets for other animals, humans, and biting insects. A chained animal may suffer harassment and teasing from insensitive humans, stinging bites from insects, and, in the worst cases, attacks by other animals. Chained dogs are also easy targets for thieves looking to steal animals for sale to research institutions or to be used as training fodder for organized animal fights. Finally, dogs' tethers can become entangled with other objects, which can choke or strangle the dogs to death."

We, the undersigned believe that the Miami-Dade County Commission must amend the law as follows:

Section 1. Section 5-21 of the Code of Miami-Dade County is hereby created as follows:1
Sec. 5-21. Tethering of dogs.

(a) As used in this section, tether means to restrain a dog by tying the dog to any object or structure, including without limitation a house, tree, fence, post, garage, or shed, by any means, including without limitation a chain, rope, cord, leash, or running line. Tethering shall not include using a leash to walk a dog.
(b) It shall be unlawful for a responsible party to tether a dog while outdoors, except when all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The dog is in visual range of the responsible party, and the responsible party is located outside with the dog.
(2) The tether is connected to the dog by a buckle-type collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather, not less than one inch in width.
(3) The tether has the following properties: it is at least five times the length of the dog%u2019s body, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail; it terminates at both ends with a swivel; it does not weigh more than 1/8 of the dog's weight; and it is free of tangles.
(4) The dog is tethered in such a manner as to prevent injury, strangulation, or entanglement.
(5) The dog is not outside during a period of extreme weather, including without limitation extreme heat or near-freezing temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes.
(6) The dog has access to water, shelter, and dry ground.
(7) The dog is at least six months of age. Puppies shall not be tethered.
(8) The dog is not sick or injured.
(9) Pulley, running line, or trolley systems are at least 15 feet in length and are less than 7 feet above the ground.
(10) If there are multiple dogs, each dog is tethered separately.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to excuse a violation of § 5-20 of this chapter.
(d) This section shall not apply to the transportation of dogs, and in the event of a conflict with § 5-15 of this chapter, § 5-15 shall govern.
(e) For a first-time violation, the Department shall issue a warning notice to the responsible party and shall wait at least thirty (30) days before taking any further enforcement action against the responsible party. Thereafter, each violation of this section shall be subject to enforcement in accordance with § 5-2 of this chapter. For all civil penalties for violations of this section collected pursuant to Chapter 8CC, 75% of the amount collected shall be paid to the Animal Services Trust Fund, created by Miami-Dade County Resolution No. R-1385-06, as may be amended from time to time.

Section 2. Section 8CC-10 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 8CC-10. Schedule of civil penalties.

The following table shows the sections of this Code, as they may be amended from time to time, which may be enforced pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; and the dollar amount of civil penalty for the violation of these sections as they may be amended.

The "descriptions of violations" below are for informational purposes only and are not meant to limit or define the nature of the violations or the subject matter of the listed Code sections, except to the extent that different types of violations of the same Code section may carry different civil penalties. For each Code section listed in the schedule of civil penalties, the entirety of that section may be enforced by the mechanism provided in this Chapter 8CC, regardless of whether all activities proscribed or required within that particular section are described in the "Description of Violation" column. To determine the exact nature of any activity proscribed or required by this Code, the relevant Code section must be examined.

Code Section
Description of Violation
Civil Penalty
Unlawful tethering of dog %u2013 First Offense
Warning with 30 day correction period

Unlawful tethering of dog %u2013 Second Offense
$100.00 and an additional 15 day correction period.

Unlawful tethering of dog %u2013 Each Subsequent Offense Third Offense

Unlawful tethering of a dog - Each Subsequent Offense
$500.00 & One count of Animal Cruelty ($500 fine (plus a $10.00 surcharge) and/or imprisonment for up to 60 days).

Note: Text to be removed is stricken; words underlined are additions.


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