Humane Society proposes new leash regulations



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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- The Humane Society is proposing a law that would make it illegal to chain up a dog outside for an extended period of time. The ordinance would be the first of its kind in the state.

Currently, there is no law against tethering your dog, and the Humane Society says an ordinance like this is long overdue. A press conference was held Monday to introduce the ordinance.

The Humane Society is proposing that it be illegal for anyone to chain up their dog for more than eight hours at a time in a 24-hour period. It would also prohibit anyone from tying up their dog anytime in extreme weather.

The Humane Society says, over the years, cruelty investigators have seen a number of dogs chained or roped up but not much could be done. Now, they hope that will change.

"We think this ordinance is long overdue, because solitary life for a dog on the end of a chain, it's a cruel sentence for any dog," said Gene Baierschmidt, director of the Humane Society of Utah.

Baierschmidt says dogs living in isolation, paired with a lack of socialization, can make them more dangerous and prone to bite more.

The proposed ordinance already has the backing of two county councilmen. Both Councilman Randy Horiuchi and Council Chairman Joe Hatch were at the press conference to voice their support.

"You see, a dog that's clearly been tethered a long, long time--days, weeks, months--it's just wrong. It's inhumane," Hatch said.

The ordinance would only affect unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County.

The Humane Society says if this passes, they hope other cities will follow with their own laws.

The fine could be up to $1,000 for repeated offenses. But the law would have some exceptions, such as having the dog attached to a running line or using the dog in a farming operation.

E-mail: aforester@ksl.com

Anne Forester

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