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Washington Council Looks to Amend Animal Protection and Control Codes

Posted: Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 at 6:25 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

Maizie is a dog at PAWS and More in Washington waiting to be adopted. Photo courtesy of PAWS and More.


City of Washington staff has been directed to formally draft changes to Chapter 55 of the code – Animal Protection and Control.

The current city code allows for owners to tether dogs for up to five hours at a time, which is not enforceable by police officers. The new proposal would allow only for dogs to be tethered when a responsible party is on the premises, inside or outside.

Police Chief Greg Goodman said there are some problems currently with people leaving their dogs outside while they’re gone all day for work. The proposed amendments include the tether cannot be more than half the dog’s weight; a dog must have access to water, shelter and dry ground; and a dog is not outside during extreme weather from near-freezing temperatures to extreme heat or storms.

Evie Richardson, who asked that the city look at the code, said there is one bad example in her neighborhood and she supports these changes, “My biggest thing, when I first brought this up, was enforcement. It’s not good for the neighborhood. This dog is more likely to bite, and just bark, and cry, and whine, and be a nuisance because he’s outside 24/7. We need to have a way to hold people accountable. That’s not the way to treat a dog.”

The ordinance changes will have three readings at council meetings, allowing for more public input. The first reading will be at the June 6th council meeting.