Leash Law: City Cracks Down on Animal Abuse

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LYNDHURST, Ohio – Paula Stone doesn't mind gritting through the cold, especially with her little brown-hair pup, Cinnamon.

“Oh, we`re going for a walk because it`s nice out,” she said. “We need a stretch.”

But now the City of Lyndhurst, where Stone is from, is cracking down on animal abuse by limiting how people leash their pets.

“Makes sense to me,” Stone said. “You don`t want to hear a dog barking to get in the house and he`s on a chain.”

According to the ordinance, it is now illegal if:

- Pets are tethered outside for more than 2 hours at a time. People can leash their pets for 6 hours in 24 hours

- Pets are tethered during a severe weather warning issued by the city, state or National Weather Service

- The tether is shorter than 10 feet long

- The tether allows animals to touch a fence, cross into a neighbors yard or public property

- An animal can be injured by the tether or get tangled in it

- The tether is not suitable for the animals size and weight or causes discomfort to the animal

- No owner is present at home while an animal is tethered

Police Chief Rick Porrello says animal neglect had been a problem a couple of years ago, but most pet owners are responsible.

“You can't leave that dog out if nobody`s home,” he said. “You got to make sure that it's not able to jump over a fence and hang itself. You can`t leave it out in severe weather.”

“Probably the most important parts of the ordinance are the restriction on the type of tether,” Porrello continued. “It boils down to common sense. The tether must match the animal.”

As for Stone, she doesn’t leash her dog outside, but says she’s grateful the city is moving forward to protect animals.

“I guess it's good, but I don't know anybody who does it,” she said. “Most people have some kind of fence here. And the dogs just run around the back yard.”

First-time offenders will face fourth-degree misdemeanor charges. However, if people violate the ordinance repeatedly, it can be upgrade to a third- or second-degree misdemeanor. Any animal harmed as a result of tethering could face a first-degree misdemeanor.

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