Birmingham, Alabama

July 21, 2020

Dogs may not be tethered with a chain or to a fixed point and may not be tethered for more than eight consecutive hours.

Sec. 6-1-16. – Care of tethered dogs.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to tether a dog in an inhumane manner and it shall be unlawful for any person to leave a dog tethered without its owner or a competent person to care for it.

(b) Except as provided in this ordinance, no person may tie or chain a dog, other than with a humane tethering device, as a primary means of containment or restraint.

(c) A humane tethering device shall provide for unrestrained range of movement for the animal and prevent entanglement. The dog shall be attached to an overhead running line or cable with a trolley by means of a properly fitting collar or harness attached to a cord with a swivel on both ends to prevent entanglement. The cable or running line shall be at least 12 feet in length but shall not allow the dog to access a street, sidewalk, other public right-of-way, or the property of anyone other than its owner without permission of the other property owner. The humane tethering device shall not present a hazard to the dog or to the general public.

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to tether a dog with a chain at a fixed-point.

(e) The overhead running line or cable of a humane tethering device shall allow the trolley to run smoothly without catching. 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 (2) fingers may fit. Choke collars and pinch collars are prohibited for purposes of tethering a dog with a humane tethering device.

(f) There must be a swivel on at least one (1) end of the tether to minimize tangling of the tether.

(g) The cable, running line, or cord of the humane tethering device must be of adequate size and strength to effectively restrain the dog. Chains may not be used to tether. The size and weight of the tether must not be excessive, but must be proportional considering the age, size, and health of the dog. The dog must not be tethered in a manner that presents a hazard to themselves or the general public, as determined by the investigating law enforcement or animal control officer, considering the age, size, and health of the dog. No dog that is sick, injured, or six months of age or under may be tethered.

(h) The cable, running line, or cord of the humane tethering device must be at least twelve (12) feet in length and mounted at least four (4) feet and no more than seven (7) feet above ground level. The cable, running line, or cord of the humane tethering device must allow access to the maximum available exercise area and continuous access to water and shelter. The trolley system must be of appropriate configuration to confine the dog to the owner’s property, to prevent the dog from extending the tether over an object or an edge, including climbing over a fence, railing or wall, that could result in injury or strangulation of the dog, and to prevent the tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals.

(i) Only one dog may be restrained per humane tethering device.

(j) It shall be unlawful to tether or shelter a dog outdoors during the course of a severe weather event, including, but not limited to, heat, cold, rain, flood, storm, or tornadic activity, in which a warning has been issued.

(k) Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to prohibit owners or others walking dogs with a handheld leash.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind