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Texas City Looks to Ban Chaining Dogs Outside Homes

One woman called on city officials to ban chaining dogs outside homes in what she labeled abuse.MyFoxAustin.com

One Texas woman wants her city’s homeowners to release the hounds.

Vanessa Harris, a pet owner, approached the Kyle, Texas, City Council to try to ban chaining dogs outside homes, MyFoxAustin.com reported.

“I never thought that a chained dog is an abused dog,” she told the station. “But these dogs are perpetually chained.”

The ban, which sailed passed its first reading in the council, is now headed to a second reading on May 3, when members will take a final vote. The ban would force dog owners who let their dogs outside either to have the dogs fenced in their yard or to keep them inside a pen at least 150 feet wide.

Texas already has a law making it illegal to have dogs tied for more than three hours or overnight. But the city of Kyle, which sits to the south of Austin, runs on a small budget, so its animal control team is made up of just one officer who works 9-to-5, Monday through Friday. This makes enforcing the three-hour ban difficult and the overnight ban nearly impossible.

The new ban would make any unattended chained dog a violation.

“This chain ban would make enforcement a lot easier,” Mayor Lucy Johnson told FoxNews.com. “All (the animal control officer) would have to do is see a chained dog alone, and she could react.”

The crime would be a misdemeanor that comes with a fine of $500 to $2,000. The city said it intends to educate residents before the ban takes effect.

“We’d be happy to never write a ticket on this,” Jerry Hendricks, Kyle's communications director, said. “We will offer our residents every opportunity to be in compliance here.”

Johnson said the overall reaction in the city has been positive, except for a few citizens who want the city government to stay off their leashes.

Some caveats of the ban would be people with disabilities or if they stay outside with their pet tied up.

“We just saw the problem and tried to make a solution,” Johnson said.

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