To the Editor:
I was very pleased to read the article “Commission Eyes Changes to County Animal Ordinance” in the Upson Beacon Jan. 11 issue. I congratulate Commissioner Benjamin Watson, who voiced concerns regarding the tethering of pets. During the county commission meeting, Watson proposed banning tethering altogether.
There are currently 50 counties in Georgia where the tethering of animals is either completely illegal or “restricted.” It is time for Upson County to make chaining or tethering of animals illegal or apply restrictions to this inhumane practice.
According to the “Georgia Companion Animal Advocacy Group”:
•Chaining is a safety hazard for people.
•Most tethered dogs are generally not well cared for.
•The U.S. Department of Agriculture considers tethering inhumane.
•Tethering/chaining contributes to aggressive behavior.
•Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.
•Chained dogs do not make good guard dogs.
•A tethering ban or partial ban gives law enforcement officials a tool to crack down on illegal dog
fighting since most fighting dogs are kept chained.
A chaining or tethering law should not cost Upson County more money because animal control officers are already spending resources responding to reports of chained and neglected dogs. A ban would allow animal control officers to fine individuals in violation of the law. This would be a source of additional revenue for Upson County.
Most importantly, the lives of many dogs in Upson County would be improved if they did not have to live attached to a chain, rope, or cable.