MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The city of Myrtle Beach considers adding tethering to its list of what it considers to be ‘mistreatments of animals,’ which would make animal tethering illegal in city limits.
City council passed a first reading of the ordinance amendment, which would forbid the tethering of animals under the following circumstances:
- Tethering of an animal for more than two hours in a continuous 12-hour period without a responsible person present.
- Tethering of an animal that is sick or injured.
- Tethering of an animal on a restraining device exceeding more than 10% of the animal’s body weight and has a length of less than 10 feet.
- Tethering by chain or metal devise which is in direct contact with the skin.
- Tethering of an animal in a manner that causes injury, strangulation or entanglement.
In addition, the ordinance would make it illegal to expose an animal to extreme weather conditions and to confine an animal in a closed vehicle with no air conditioning or proper air ventilation when it is hotter than 70 degrees.
Myrtle Beach police animal control officer, Steven Trott says making animal tethering illegal will help prevent animals from living on a chain; he says tethering can have a lot of negative consequences on your pet’s life.
“We find that that’s not natural behavior,” said Trott. “(groups) say its not a humane, primary way of enclosing an animal, so it decreases many things like natural behaviors.
“The animal is abused on the chain. It doesn’t have socialization, which makes it aggressive, too. So, (the ordinance) is a way to combat the mistreatment of the animal, plus it allows the animal to receive proper socialization,” Trott said.
Trott says the ordinance would not make it illegal to keep your pet outside, but owners need to ensure the animal has proper food, water, shelter and is not chained or tethered. However, he prefers people keep their animals inside and treat them as members of the family.
The ordinance amendment would also require all impounded dogs and cats be spayed or neutered within 30 days, with exceptions made for certain animals based on age, health reasons or service animals. The impounded animals would also need to be microchipped under the proposed change.
City council must pass one additional reading before it becomes law.