BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday to amend the city’s code to prevent animals from being inhumanely tethered.
It is now illegal for anyone to tether a dog or other animal with a chain or to a fixed point.
Among other changes, owners will be required to provide a running line for their animal and, according to the ordinance, “the tether must be attached to a properly fitting collar or harness worn by the dog, with enough room between the collar and the dog’s throat through which two fingers may fit.”
Councilor Hunter Williams, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, said these changes are necessary to prevent the passive abuse of animals.
The ordinance also makes it illegal for dogs to be tethered for more than eight consecutive hours. The first offense will be a $150 fine. The second and third offense within a 12-month period will carry fines of $250 and $400.
“Our committee has received a large number of complaints about individuals chaining dogs to trees and never taking the dog off the chain, essentially using them as a cheap alarm system and causing them real harm in the process,” Williams said. “This is an effort to curb that type of animal cruelty. If you aren’t willing to responsibly take care of your animal you shouldn’t have one and we want to make that clear in the city’s code.”