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New Laws for Land O' Lakes Dog Owners

It’s no longer legal to leave an unattended dog chained up in Pasco County.

Land O’ Lakes dog owners have some new rules to follow.

The Pasco County Commission approved changes to its animal ordinance yesterday, Feb. 19, that outlaw tethering dogs on chains unless they’re under direct human supervision. The law does not pertain to dogs on leashes out for walks.

The new tethering law is just one of several changes made to the ordinance during Tuesday’s meeting. Other changes include new restrictions for kennels and other rules that are meant to help ensure animals are properly cared for.

The tethering rules make it mandatory for a person to be physically outside with a dog while it is on a chain. They also require that a person have visual contact with the dog. The rules also require a two-point restraint or a crate if a dog is being transported in the back of a pickup truck. (Read the draft ordinance in the attached PDF.)

Pasco residents and animal rights activists from all over the Tampa Bay area came out to the Feb. 19 meeting to urge commissioners to approve the tethering rule change.

“I’m encouraged by the excellent tethering section,” Marilyn Weaver, the executive director of the League of Humane Voters and the Feral Cat Coalition of Tampa Bay told commissioners.

New Port Richey Animal Protection Unit volunteer Beth Robbins also encouraged the passage of the tethering rules.

“Chained dogs are almost three times more likely to bite,” she told commissioners. “Research demonstrates the act of being continuously chained causes aggression. Please enact an effective and enforceable ordinance.”

Weaver and others, however, were concerned about a portion of the proposed law that would continue to allow sales of animals at flea markets.

“Many of the puppy mill-related ordinances ban the sale of pets in public places,” she said. “Pasco County should follow suit. Allowing flea market sales is a backward step.”

In the end, commissioners agreed to explore the flea market issue in greater depth. They approved the ordinance amendments – with the tougher tethering rules, but removed the portion about flea market sales to take up at a later meeting.

Commissioner Jack Mariano was the only one to vote against the changes.

The new rules take effect April 1. It is unclear when the commission will address flea market sales of pets.

Veronica Dilbert February 23, 2013 at 04:58 PM
I agree. I also feel that a law for dog owners should require a secure sturdy fenced in yard for all dog owners. Today while out walking my pit bull we were chased by a boxer who had no collar, no tags and ther owners were stalling the dog, but the dog did not listen. Startled mr and my dog which is in training. The lye owner's back yard faces carpenters run blvd and is not fenced in. Dog chased us across the street and almost got hit my cars. His was witnessed by an elderly man walking with his 2 yr old grandson. The owners of the boxer are irrisponsible dog owners.
Tammy Penn February 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM
I think and hope that this law takes effect everywhere. I think having dogs chained up is cruel.
Liz Lynch February 27, 2013 at 02:26 PM
This has been a long time coming! Dogs in the back of trucks should of NEVER been legal! I hope they get the selling of pups at the flea market outlawed, nothing bothers me more than seeing those poor things in the summer heat. While they are at it ban the sale of them on the SIDE OF THE ROAD. I have seen that a few times also!!!!

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