CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) — The city of Charleston is reviewing its animal cruelty rules and is expected to present new guidelines to the city council that, among other things, would make tethering illegal.
Tying is the practice of tethering an animal to limit its ability to move.
The exact language of any proposal has yet to be released, but the idea is popular with people like Virginia Ellison.
She started an online petition before she knew the city was working to make tethering illegal. She says leaving dogs tied outside in hundred-degree temperatures is animal cruelty.
“I thought animal chaining in Charleston was already illegal and considered inhumane until I was recently exposed to someone in my community chaining their dog 24/7. , in all weathers – in the heat like today,” Ellison said. “It’s cruel to animals. They depend on us for their physical and mental well-being, and it’s our duty to take care of them.
Tethering has become illegal in other cities. Most recently, Georgetown approved banning the practice in April.
Meredith Jones is the Medical Director of Pet Helpers, a 501(c)3 adoption center and spaying clinic in Charleston. She says leaving dogs tethered can be extremely dangerous.
“They can get tangled in the ties. . . which can cause all kinds of injuries and pretty serious problems with their legs, their tails, even death if they get too caught and strangled,” Jones said, noting that sometimes the tethers and collars go wrong. embed in the dog’s flesh. “It takes a lot of supportive care, sometimes surgery to fix that, and a lot of the time the dog has some variation of a scar for the rest of its life.”
Pet Helpers also runs a program called Unchain Charleston that helps pets with dog fencing and kennels, so pets don’t have to be tethered when outdoors.
It’s unclear when changes to the current ordinance would be sent to city leaders.
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