Hernando County, Florida

May 10, 2016

This ordinance prohibits unattended chaining while providing criteria for lawful attended tethering.

Section 6-34. Regulation of Tethering.

In order to protect the public safety and welfare, the following conditions shall apply when tethering an animal:

A. No person, to include owner, harborer, or caretaker, shall tether an animal to a stationary or inanimate object as a means of confinement or restraint unless such person is with the animal and the animal is at all times visible to such person.

B. The tether must be constructed of material sufficient to restrain the animal but may not place the animal in danger of injury or death. At no time shall the tether extend over an object or edge in such a manner that could result in strangulation, entanglement of or injury to the animal. Logging chains and vehicle tow chains may not be used to tether an animal. The addition of weight to an animal’s collar, harness, chain, or tether is prohibited.

C. The tether shall be of a length and weight to allow an animal to move at least ten feet in all directions from the point of tethering and allow entry and egress to proper shelter and enclosure as defined herein. No person shall keep an animal in any enclosure without daily exercise and change of air.

D. The tether shall be attached to a properly fitted buckle-style collar or buckle-style harness sufficient to restrain the animal. The tether must have an operative swivel attached to a collar or harness and may not be attached to a stationary object at a height higher than the animal’s neck in standing position. The tether must swivel on both ends and be free of tangles. A leash or lead may not be attached directly to the animal’s neck in lieu of a manufactured collar or harness. Choke, chain, slip, or prong type collars shall not be used on an animal when such animal is tethered.

E. The animal must have access to sufficient wholesome food and a continuous supply of clean, potable water, and freedom to move about and avoid area of animal waste, parasites, or anything that would adversely harm an animal’s health or safety.

F. The tethered animal must be at least six months of age and may not be sick or injured.

G. The animal may not be outside during extreme weather conditions, including, but not limited to, extreme heat or near-freezing temperatures or during thunderstorms, lightning storms, tornado watches or warnings, or during tropical storm or hurricane watches or warnings.

H. No tether may extend any closer than six feet from the perimeter fence or lot line. If it is connected to a pulley, the running line must be at least 15 feet in length and less than seven feet above the ground. If multiple dogs, they must be tethered separately, with no sharing of running lines, or near enough to each other that they may become tangled. No animal shall be tethered so that it has access to public property, including easements, and rights of way property, or the property of another.

I. When the animal is transported in a pickup truck with a metal bed, the animal shall be provided protection from the metal bed; and, shall be safely and properly tethered as defined herein.

J. Tethering and/or inappropriately sheltering an animal in violation of the provisions of this section shall be unlawful and a Class V violation of this Chapter. When a violation of this section occurs, and officer may take reasonable measures to remove the animal from the tether and/or inappropriate shelter and impound the animal. . .

K. No animal shall be tethered on vacant or abandoned property.

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