Jacksonville, Florida

May 28th, 2013

Animals may not be tethered to a stationary point. Animals may be tethered only when the owner is outside and within visual range of the animals and only if certain specific restrictions are observed in terms of tether material, collar/harness material, shelter accessibility, distance from other tethered animals, and distance from property perimeters. Animals who are sick, injured, or less than 1 year old may not be tethered, and animals may not be tethered during extreme weather.

Sec. 462.204. Restraint by tethering.

The City of Jacksonville recognizes that there is a clear link between animals that are left tethered in one location and increased aggressiveness. In order to protect the safety and welfare of citizens and visitors, restraint by tethering may only be used provided all of the following conditions are met:

(a) The tether is constructed of material sufficient to restrain the animal, but also not place the animal in danger of injury or death. Welded metal link chain with links larger than 2.5 mm in thickness (2.5 mm welded link chain has a working load of 750 pounds and a breaking load of 2,000 pounds) cannot be used to tether an animal regardless of the length or weight of the chain. The tether shall not weigh more than one-eighth of the animal’s body weight. When a violation of this provision occurs, an animal control officer is authorized to take reasonable measures to remove the animal from the tether and take the tether and animal to the shelter;

(b) The tether shall be at least long enough to allow the animal to move ten feet in all directions from the point of tethering. The tether must have operative swivels on both ends and be attached to an elevated line, not less than seven feet from the ground and not more than ten feet from the ground, connected to two stationary points not less than 15 feet apart and sufficient to hold the dog without breaking or coming loose;

(c) The tether shall be attached to a properly fitted buckle-style collar or buckle-style harness made of nylon or leather with a width of not less than one inch worn by the animal; the tether may not be attached to a slip or prong collar;

(d) The animal, while restrained by tether, is able to access proper shelter with sufficient floor, at least three walls, and roof to protect the animal from the weather, extreme temperatures and direct sunlight; and is able to access sufficient potable water and sufficient wholesome food.

(e) Beginning October 1, 2014, the tethered animal is within the visual range of the owner, and the owner is located outside with the animal;

(f) The animal is at least one year of age or older, and is not sick or injured;

(g) The animal is not outside during a period of extreme weather, including but not limited to extreme heat or near freezing temperatures, tropical storm or hurricane watches or warnings, thunderstorms, and/or tornado watches and warnings;

(h) Every animal must be tethered separately with each complying with all provisions herein, plus the animals must not be able to tangle their tether with any other animal on the property;

(i) No tethered animal may extend any closer than five feet from the perimeter fence or lot line; and

During the educational phase of the revision of this Section, beginning upon enactment of this ordinance and for a period of six months thereafter, animal code enforcement officers shall provide a warning to all first time tethering violators and allow them 30 days to correct the violation before any civil citation is issued for the tethering violation. Provided however, nothing herein prohibits any animal code enforcement officers from citing an owner for violations of any other portion of Chapter 462, Ordinance Code, including other prohibited acts of cruelty or neglect.

In the interest of public safety, animal control officers and/or law enforcement officers are authorized to remove aggressive and dangerous dogs from tethers and impound such animals where the animal is accessible by children or the public without a secured fence or enclosure.

A violation of this Section shall subject the violator to a civil fine of not less than the amount designated in Chapter 462, Part 18, Ordinance Code.

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