Burke County, North Carolina

Sec. 6-1. Definitions

Adequate space means sufficient space to allow each animal to (i) easily stand, sit, lie, turnabout, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal and (ii) interact safely with other animals in the enclosure. When an animal is tethered, adequate space means a tether that permits the above actions and is appropriate to the age and size of the animal; is attached to the animal by a properly applied collar, halter, or harness configured so as to protect the animal from injury and prevent the animal or tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals, or from extending over an object or edge that could result in the strangulation or injury of the animal; and is at least three times the length of the animal, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, except when the animal is being walked on a leash or is attached by a tether to a lead line. When freedom of movement would endanger the animal, temporarily and appropriately restricting movement of the animal according to professionally accepted standards for the species is considered provision of adequate space.

Tethering means to restrain a dog outdoors by means of a rope, chain, wire or product manufactured for the purpose of tethering a dog, one end of which is fastened to the dog and the opposite end of which is connected to a stationary object or to a cable or trolley system. This does not include walking an animal with a handheld leash.

Sec. 6-12. Chaining and tethering

Except as provided in this section, it shall be unlawful for any person owning or keeping a dog to leave a dog restrained to a stationary object for a period of time or under conditions that are harmful or potentially harmful to the animal.

At no time may a dog remain on an uninhabited property such as a vacant lot or a lot without an occupied domicile.

Any dog less than four months old shall not be tethered.

Under no circumstances shall an unaltered female dog be tethered without direct supervision by the owner or attendant or must be secured in a secondary enclosure.

Only one dog shall be attached to a tether at one time.

The minimum length of the tether shall be ten feet.

The tether line shall weigh no more than five percent of the dog’s body weight and be made of a substance which cannot be damaged by the dog.

The tether must be attached to the dog with an appropriate harness or buckle-style collar properly fitted with room enough for two fingers to fit between the collar and the dog.

The use of pinch, weighted, or choke collars is prohibited when tethered.

Tethering shall be used for no longer than 14 consecutive hours within a 24-hour period after such time the dog must be released from the restraint to engage in supervised exercise and socialization.

The restraint system shall maintain the dog’s freedom of movement and freedom from entanglement, and it shall allow access to food, water, shelter, and shade.

The restraint system shall be affixed to a stationary object which does not permit the dog to travel within five feet of any property line and housed or restrained no closer than 15 feet from a public street, road, sidewalk, or right-of-way, such circumstances constitute a public nuisance. If the animal is on the street, road, sidewalk, or right-of-way, the animal services enforcement officer shall issue a notice to the owner directing the owner to move the animal. If the animal is found on a public street, road, sidewalk, or right-of-way and the owner is not at home or refuses to remove the animal from the street, road, sidewalk, or right-of-way, the animal may be seized and impounded.

If tethered to a pulley or zip line, the stationary cable that the pulley runs on must be at least ten feet in length, anchored on each end to a stationary object which cannot be moved by the dog, and include stops on each end to prevent the animal from becoming wrapped around the stationary object.

The restraint system shall be situated at least five feet away from any fence to prevent strangulation.

The line attached to the restraint system must allow the dog to move perpendicularly at least ten feet from the stationary cable.

A swivel of proper size and durability shall connect the tether to the pulley or zip line to prevent entanglement.

The clamps attaching the tether to the dog’s harness must be of proper size and durability.

In cases where deemed necessary for public safety, written exemptions may be made by the animal services director’s discretion for other restraint methods but only after opportunities to verify those methods are needed and that they serve the purpose and intent of this section.

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