Dallas considers making tethering of dogs legal

Dallas is considering making tethering dogs legal so someone with a loose dog, but no fence, has an affordable and quick solution.

The Animal Advisory Commission voted Thursday to recommend the city council approve legalizing tethering. But they also decided to create a sub-committee to come up with a plan to make tethering illegal in three years.

Organizations like The Humane Society say tethering makes dogs more aggressive, so some are worried this could make Dallas's dangerous dog problem worse.

"We thought they were seeking to make it easier to enforce the anti-tethering ordinance,” said Stephanie Timko, animal advisory commissioner. "But what they've done is they've rewritten the ordinance to effectively allow tethering."

Right now the tethering limit is three hours, but it's rarely enforced. Timko says she's not only worried about animal cruelty issues, she's worried about public safety.

"Everyone has a fight or flight response, when you're tethered you lose your flight response. So your only response is a fight response and everything is danger to you,” Timko said.

Timko said even the city's current ordinance is better than the proposed one.

"Today I can tell an owner it's illegal to tether your dog, let me help you find a way to make this work,” Timko said.

Timko says there are organizations that will help repair fences like the one for Taz the dog. Taz’s owner has him tied up with a chain because he said he keeps breaking out of the fence.

"Even if I fix it, he's going to find a way to get out,” the owner said.

Experts said if the dog was neutered, he'd be less likely to try to escape. Right now foundations are funding free spay neuters in most of southern Dallas.

Taz's owner says he's been meaning to make an appointment.