Animal Rights Activists Fight to Get Dogs Off Chains
Animal rights activists are pressing Marion County leaders to become the twelfth county in the state to ban the practice of keeping dogs on a tether.
Marion County Commissioners have received about 1500 emails regarding tethering and took up the issue at Tuesdays meeting.
On Tuesday commissioners heard from the Mayor of Ocala, the Ocala Police Chief, local veterinarians, animal rights activists and several residents.
All who support getting dogs off chains, but the outcome left many of them shocked and disappointed.
" I don't want to drive by that dirt road everyday wondering if those 27 dogs are chained to that tree," said an anti-tethering supporter.
It's a sight you may see driving around a neighborhood. A dog chained up,outside, all by itself.
"Out of sight out of line commissioners. before long that animal has no social skills. nobody is paying attention to it," said a supporter.
Supporters of anti-tethering spoke up at Tuesdays commission meeting.
Expressing to the commission their belief that chaining up a dog has an impact on both public safety and the health of a dog.
"A study by the Centers and Disease Control found that chain dogs are three times more likely to bite," said Renee Rivard who is with the League of Humane Voters.
"These dogs usually live in filthy conditions, suffer from many debilitating diseases as well as mental anguish from being chained everyday of their lives," said a veterinarian.
"During my career I investigated over 400 animals that had to have collars surgical removed out of their necks," said a supporter.
At Tuesdays meeting, Commissioner David Moore requested approval to hold a workshop to discuss the chance of adding anti-tethering into the current ordinance.
The motion died without a second.
"We already have a lot of laws in the books for inhumane treatment of animals and currently we can't even keep up with all that," said Commissioner Stan McClain.
"There are certain civil rights that people have to take care of dogs," said Commissioner Earl Arnett.
Chair Kathy Bryant and Commissioner Carl Zalak said they were unavailable to comment and we have yet to receive an comment from them.
In the meantime, supporters said they are not giving up.
"The plan now is to get in on the ballot in 2014. We will just take it to the voters of Marion County," said Linda norman who is a a Marion County Humane Society Board Member.
Norman said in 2011 she and other supporters brought the anti-tethering topic up at a county workshop, but nothing happened after that.
Since then the Marion County Humane Society has been educating people about pet parenting and also prividing free fencing to pet owners.
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