Terrace, B.C. discusses banning dog tethering

There are fears that dogs can be injured or worse if tied up outside

Anyone thinking of tethering their dog outside could be breaking a new bylaw discussed at Terrace city council last night.

The proposed bylaw passed second and third readings but still has to be voted on whether to be adopted at a future meeting.

City development services director David Block said the existing allowed an unattended animal to be tethered up to one hour but it’s a safety issue because an animal can be injured by the tether and if it’s going to be outside, it should be in a fenced yard instead.

He said that the city received few complaints  but that there was one repeat offender whose dog was left tethered outside all day while the owner was at work.

The yard could be fenced as it was already fenced on three sides, said Block.

In past, tethering was likely used more and was an issue but not so much today, he added.

Councillor Michael Prevost asked if an overhead line was included in the current bylaw.

Block said the bylaw permitted any form of tethering for an animal left unattended for no longer than one hour.

Councillor Stacey Tyers said it reminded her of her grandfather, who had limited mobility and couldn’t walk his dog, and would tie his dog to an overhead line so it could get some exercise.

“My concern is creating a bylaw for one person that may hurt others,” she said.

Councillor Brian Downie asked whether city staff looked at animal control bylaws in other municipalities and whether no tethering was the standard.

Block said staff had done that and animal injuries were what was driving the bylaw change; in five or 10 minutes, a dog could get hung up on a tether line.

Councillor Sean Bujtas said he has rescued dogs who had been tied in the back of trucks and were strangling and that a friend’s child had a dog die when tethered.

(An earlier version of this story indicated that council had voted unanimously to ban dog tethering, which was incorrect)