Columbus City Council presented with chain free dog ordinance

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Some residents are working to make chaining dogs in Columbus illegal.  City council heard a first reading of an ordinance to change the chaining policy of dogs in Columbus.

A crowd with 'chain free dogs' signs showed up to lend their support for the amended ordinance at city council Tuesday night.  Christy Noullet is spearheading the initiative.  She started an online petition against chaining dogs in Columbus, which now has almost 20,000 signatures.

"Right now they are on the ends of chains 24/7.  They're not being fed.  They're not being watered.  They're not given shelter so, in this ordinance it will disallow people from chaining their dogs up 24/7," she said.

This amended ordinance would not prevent dogs from being restrained 24/7.

"In the ordinance, it actually is 12 out of 24 hours of the day and it will not be a chain.  They'll have to have the proper, a trolley so, it would have to be so many feet off the ground and a harness, which is a lot safer than wrapping something around their neck," she explained.

Members from the public lined up to speak on behalf of chain free dogs.

"Take them off their tethers, rope, chains whatever it is.  We can't do that to the animals anymore," one woman said.

It event got emotional.

"No water.  No food," another woman tearfully said.

The city councilors who spoke at the meeting on the issue of chain free dogs were in favor of the amended ordinance.

"This has got to be something that is strictly enforced and for you in the audience, you've got to help us enforce that because we can't monitor everything so, you've got to call 311 and help us in that end," said Councilor Walker Garrett.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says there is an animal cruelty ordinance in Columbus.

"It is illegal today in Columbus, Georgia to not provide water or shelter to your animal.  Chain or no chain, that's animal cruelty," she explained.

Mayor Tomlinson says animal cruelty is a criminal misdemeanor in Columbus punishable with 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

City council will vote on this amended ordinance at their next regular council meeting in two weeks.


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