Advocates Continuing Push to Strengthen the Charlotte’s Dog Tethering Ordinance

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte City Council has delayed a discussion on possible changes to the city’s dog tethering ordinance.

“It is a morality cause. Animal abuse is not right,” says East Charlotte resident Holly Newton.

Animal advocates want to make it illegal to leave your dog tied up by itself.

“A dog living its life tethered outside in all the elements is no way for another living being to live,” Newton says.

The current ordinance says you can tether your dog, but the tether must be at least 10 feet long.

It must have a swivel on both ends. The weight of the tether cannot be more than 10 percent of the dog’s body weight.

And it must be used with a buckle-type collar or harness. No choke collars are allowed.

Some have raised issues of equity – concern that low-income residents might not be able to afford the fencing needed if a dog can’t be tethered.

City Council member Matt Newton says he considers this is a public safety issue.

He supports changing the ordinance, in part, because of studies that show dogs tied up for a long time can become aggressive.

“My hope is we’re working towards a solution rather than making excuses not to act,” Councilmember Newton says.

He says council will take the time to decide what approach is best.

“Other cities have looked at the data, have considered contextually, limitations that are not burdensome among, or on citizens,” Councilmember Newton says.

He says that means council might simply place a limit on the amount of time a dog can be tied up by itself, instead of an outright ban.