Anti-tethering law for dog owners in Panama City passes first reading

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

An ordinance banning dog owners from tethering their animals in Panama City has cleared its fist hurdle.

Panama City commissioners passed the first reading of an anti-tethering ordinance Tuesday night. It would prohibit people from chaining their dogs, then leaving them unattended.

Humane Society of Bay County President, Terri Davidson, supports an anti-tethering ordinance.

"Well, to tether an animal, to leave them out on a chain, causes aggression. They become very territorial of the area that they are chained to and then should a child or anyone sort of wander into it and go 'nice doggy', they are at great risk of being harmed. It's just unkind. It's cruel," said Davidson.

There are not any anti-tethering laws in effect in Bay County, but there are in 5 other Florida counties and 9 more have partial anti-tethering laws.


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  • by Debbie Location: Outer Panama City on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:38 PM
    I have just become aware of the Anti-tethering Law that has passed it first read. I have mixed emotions about it. I live on an acre of land in a small subdivision. I had just put my dog out to go to the bathroom on a tethering that is roughly 30 feet long. I have a huge yard and why shouldn't he be able to enjoy it. On this same day/same time my dog was attacked by a neighbor's dog. I regret that he was tethered since he couldn't defend himself because he had become entangled. I was there and watched it happen. He is only tethered for bathroom breaks and while we are outside. I am trying to abide and keep my animal on my property. Sometimes it just doesn't matter what you do. My Vet brought this to my attention on a visit due to the dog attack. Like I said I have mixed emotions!
  • by Concerned Location: Apalachicola on Jul 5, 2011 at 10:07 AM
    Thank goodness for the anti-tethering ordinance. The only really remarkable thing is that it had to be an Ordinance NOW rather than an obvious law years ago. I have seen too many dogs killed in the heat, buried by their owners in their own yards, and other short chained dogs here obviously bred for fighting. Thank you Bay County! I hope Franklin County follows your superlative lead.
  • by DOG LOVER Location: WEWA on Jun 30, 2011 at 07:03 PM
    IF YOU HAVE TO KEEP A DOG TIED UP ALL THE TIME YOU DON'T NEED A DOG. PERIOD. ITS A HORRIBLE WAY TO KEEP AN ANIMAL AND IT SHOULD BE OUTLAWED EVERYWHERE.
  • by Catherine Location: Panama City on Jun 30, 2011 at 02:20 PM
    Dogs are better off being humanely euthanized than tied up to a chain 24/7. And neighborhoods are safer without these miserable and unsocialized and neglected dogs in them.
  • by NightStalker on Jun 30, 2011 at 02:06 PM
    BLAH, BLAH! If you own an animal and have to tie it then you shouldn't have one. build you a dang fence or train it for in doors. Leaving a dog chained is messed up. Stop crying because things change and its for the better of the city and animals.
  • by Patty Location: DeFuniak Springs on Jun 30, 2011 at 01:31 PM
    All of you that oppose the anti-tether law should spend one day and night with a tight collar around your neck and a chain confining you, then you may have a better sense of what a dogs life is like that lives this way , day in day out. It is a disgusting way to treat an animal. I don't know how people can believe this is a fair way to treat any living thing much less a pet. Ignorance is bliss and there is plenty of bliss around NW Florida. I pray this law goes through in every county in the state. Ever think of all of the dogs that are tethered and forgotten on a daily basis? There are alot of them, just go to the shelter and see them, emaciated and abused, there are plenty for you to view!
    • reply
      by AL on Jul 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM in reply to Patty
      Yeah, right. And the people who dont have the extra money to fence their yards for the dogs they choose to keep, end up buying those 8x8 or 10x10 dog pens to keep them in. How is that any different than being on a tethered chain. And as someone else has stated, its easy for a dog to dig under a fence in the sand we have in this area. A few people have said "get an invisible fence". They dont work for all dogs, some figure out that they can run through it and only get shocked once, then they are free to run again.
  • by jamie Location: Lynn Haven on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:37 AM
    There is a marvelous contraption called a FENCE which has proven remarkable at containing dogs! And keeping nosy children away.
    • reply
      by John on Jun 30, 2011 at 03:01 PM in reply to jamie
      That marvelous thing called a "FENCE" is installed in a marvelous thing called "SAND" that dogs love to dig in.....and under the fence they go!
      • reply
        by Jen on Jul 1, 2011 at 05:57 AM in reply to John
        there's also this marvelous thing called HOTWIRE that attaches to the bottom of the fence that stops dogs from digging under. Also a cheaper alternative called MOTHBALLS crumble them and sprinkle along the fence line will stop dog from digging too... oh! and Spending Time with your dog & training it will stop such...
  • by AL Location: FL on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM
    "Humane Society of Bay County President, Terri Davidson, supports an anti-tethering ordinance." They just did a report stating that the local animal shelters put down more dogs & cats in this area than in most areas of this size and population. Especially in this economy, many people cannot afford to fence an area for their dogs. So it looks like the local shelters are going to be faced with even more animal drop offs and performing many more euthanizations when/if this law gets passed. Congratulations Terri Davidson and Bay county commissioners..
    • reply
      by Jen on Jul 1, 2011 at 05:58 AM in reply to AL
      if you can't afford a fence then you really can't afford the up keep of a dog ( shots, food, meds, ect... )
    • reply
      by Debbie on Jul 1, 2011 at 04:02 PM in reply to AL
      That is because IGNORANT people like you do not spay and neuter their pets. Yes I am talking to you! ANIMALS that get tethered become VIOLENT. It would be great if all humans would use the brains that the God gave them to act responsibly but unfortunately more and more laws will need to be passed because humans, like you, continue to do the wrong things. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO TAKE CARE OF A PET DO NOT GET ONE! IF YOU GET ONE SPAY AND NEUTER IT so there is not an overpopulation problem. I cannot tell you how many IDIOTS around here think it is acceptable to drop off unwanted kittens and puppies because they "cannot afford" to spay and neuter.
      • reply
        by AL on Jul 4, 2011 at 11:06 AM in reply to Debbie
        Debbie, you need to stop being presumptuous and narrow-minded! Stop classifying everyone who speaks out against proposed laws, such as this one, as being, IGNORANT, IRRESPONSIBLE, DESTITUTE, IDIOTS. "because IGNORANT people like you do not spay and neuter their pets." I dont own any pets!! But your comments make it sound as if pets should only be allowed to be owned by people that are above a certain economic status. Thats a tractor trailer load of bull manure!!
        • reply
          by Disgusted on Jul 5, 2011 at 07:01 AM in reply to AL
          " But your comments make it sound as if pets should only be allowed to be owned by people that are above a certain economic status" What's wrong with that? If you can't afford to feed/shelter yourself, you certainly can't afford to feed/shelter a pet, so no, you shouldn't have one if you can't take care of it. Poor people shouldn't have children, either.
  • by Carmen Location: Trammell on Jun 30, 2011 at 09:34 AM
    >And what does dogs do when they're not tied, run around. Country or city, doesn't matter. If you don't contain your dog, the dog is likely to run around. So you think chaining is the only option? Here are some other ideas. 1. A physical fence. 2. An invisible fence. 3. Being with the family in the house. 4. Being in a friend or relative's fence while you're at work. 5. Being in a dog-loving, stay-at-home friend or relative's house while you're at work. 6. Day camp. (Don't knock it til you've tried it.) Can't afford anything that costs? 1. Give up your booze, cigarettes, manicures, tattoos, etc. 2. Sell stuff. 3. Take out a loan. 4. Cancel your cable TV, cell phone, netflix, etc., for a while and save some money. 5. Get a part-time job. If you had a human family member that needed some kind of special care -- an aging parent, a disabled spouse, a handicapped child -- you'd figure something out. You wouldn't tie them to a chair in the house. If you don't care enough about your dog to give it a decent life, please find it another home.
    • reply
      by Dog is Family on Jul 1, 2011 at 09:35 AM in reply to Carmen
      Bravo Carmen.. well said!!!
  • by Annalisa Location: Panama City on Jun 30, 2011 at 07:06 AM
    THIS IS A STUPID AND USELESS LAW. WE HAVE MORE THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT THEN THAT. I THINK AS LONG AS THE DOG HAS SHELTER,WATER,&FOOD THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH. HOW IS THE DOG SUPPOSED TO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS ALSO. I SWEAR SOME PEOPLE DONT MAKE ANY SENSE. YOU GUYS TELL PEOPLE TO HAVE THE ANIMALS CHAINED UP TO PREVENT ANY ISSUES AND NOW WE DONT WANT THEM CHAINED UP AND RUN FREE SO THEY CAN GET LOST AND YOU FIND THEM DEAD ON THE ROAD. MAKE SOME SENSE PLEASE.IF YOU SEE THE DOG CHAINED UP AND LOOKS NOT MAINTAINED THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BUT DONT TELL EVERY DOG OWNER THAT WE CANT CHAIN THE ANIMALS CAUSE THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR THEM. I LIVE OUT IN THE COUNTRY AND I HAD A DOG THAT WAS MADE TO GUARD MY HOME AND ILL TELL YOU IF I DIDNT HAVE THAT DOG CHAINED UP OUTSIDE I WOULD BE IN JAIL CAUSE HE PROTECTED HIS AREA AND THAT WAS ALRIGHT AND NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. HE HAD FOOD EVERY NIGHT,SHELTER,AND WATER AND WAS ABLE TO RUN FREE AT NIGHT WHEN EVERYONE WAS INSIDE ASLEEP.RE THINK YOUR DUMB LAWS.
    • reply
      by Disgusted on Jul 3, 2011 at 11:22 AM in reply to Annalisa
      "I THINK AS LONG AS THE DOG HAS SHELTER,WATER,&FOOD THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH" The problem is that the majority of these poor dogs that are left chained up DON'T have shelter/water/food.
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