Residents push for tethering ordinance after video shows dogs chained in yard

Animal advocates push for tethering ordinance

MT. HEALTHY, OH (FOX19) - Animal advocates are fighting for a "tethering ordinance" in Mt. Healthy to help dogs stuck on chains and left with little to no food or water, but city officials are taking a different approach to the issue.

Videos showing dogs outside on a Mt. Healthy property are causing a stir on social media and in the community. The footage reportedly shows at least eight dogs chained and padlocked.

"They have burning on their pads," Lisa Sullivan, an animal advocate, said. "They have frostbite on their ears and tails, and they have heartworms, and they're not medically attended to."

Animal advocates and animal lovers alike said they're alarmed by what they're seeing because the dogs are rarely given food or water and are never allowed to walk free.
"It's a life sentence for them," Sullivan said."
The cause for concern is what prompted a group to rally in front of the city council Tuesday, pushing for a "tethering" ordinance.

"A tethering law is you're allowed to have your dogs on a chain for six to eight hours at a time, but when you leave the house, put them in the house. When you go in at night, bring them in" Sullivan said.

The idea has been on the table for awhile, but the mayor said that right now, they aren't comfortable putting it in place. They believe there are too many gray areas and enforcing it would be tough.

"If we pass this ordinance that could force those dogs into sheds, into basements, with no witnesses, and no one could call for help," James Wolf, the Mayor of Mt. Healthy, said.

Instead, they're closing loopholes and re-working an ordinance they already have in place that limits how many dogs someone is allowed to own to three dogs.

"There is a particular residence that has caused a lot of this outrage, and I'm not comfortable with the way those dogs are being treated," Mayor Wolf said. "We already are going to limit the amount of dogs this individual has to hopefully bring relief to some of the dogs."

Although grateful for a change, those who want to ban tethering are not ready to give up their fight.

"It's torture for animal lovers to have to watch this inhumanity in Mt. Healthy when all Mt. Healthy has to do is say okay, here's a tethering ordinance, boom," Sullivan said.

The mayor said that they are also citing the owner of the dogs in the videos for code violations.

He wanted to make it clear that the SPCA handles neglect and cruelty cases for the county, and the city doesn't have that power.

Animal advocates told us their focus is solely on saving lives, and they won't give up.

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