New animal tethering law keeping Animal Care and Control officers busy

Animal Control relies on tips from community

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - For dog owner Lisa Brown and her family, a visit from Animal Care and Control was a surprise. A concerned citizen had called to complain that the Brown family had tied up their dog Sassy outside.

"She's good, she's perfectly taken care of, she's spoiled, and we love her to death," Brown said.

The family says they have never left Sassy unattended outside while tied to a tether. But Animal Care arrived to educate the family, and ended up giving them a warning.

"It is illegal to leave a dog tied out, unattended for any time," said Captain David Walesky. 

Walesky says his officers have been kept busy by similar calls since this new animal tethering law was passed. The law prohibits people from leaving pets outside tied up without supervision. If a dog is left in a contained space like a fenced yard, they must have ample water and shade to keep them healthy and comfortable.

"If you're somebody who leaves a dog out in a kennel, that kennel has to be at least 80 square feet," he said. "If there's a second dog in there, it's got to be an additional 40 square feet. We are receiving a lot of calls on this. We are dedicating personnel as much as we can, specifically to these issues, but it's also fast-paced world where they get pulled off calls."

The Brown family is adamant that Sassy has a good home, and is well cared for. 

"She's perfect, she's taken care of, she doesn't need any help from anyone but us, and we love her," Brown explained.

The consequence for tethering an animal unattended ranges from a warning, a fine or even criminal charges, depending on the situation. To report abuse, call Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1200.

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