Changes coming for dog owners in Rowan County - | WBTV Charlotte

Changes coming for dog owners in Rowan County

(Photo source: Pixabay) (Photo source: Pixabay)

New rules are slated to hit dog owners in Rowan County starting in the new year.

In October, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners made changes to ordinances for the "keeping of pets" which will become effective January 1.

The major focus of the changes is specific in the way dogs may be tethered outside when left unattended. Officials say the goal of the changes is to "make dogs more comfortable while being tethered and allow more freedom of movement for the dogs."

In the past, many dog owners have kept dogs on chains anchored to the ground, to dog houses or to trees or posts. 

Under the new ordinance, chains will no longer be allowed to keep dogs restrained outside. Dogs may still be kept outside in fenced yards or at a minimum in fenced or kennel area with 10 feet by 10 feet space for each dog.

"Dogs over 6 months old may be tethered to a restraint system outdoors," the ordinance reads. "A restraint system can be an overhead pulley trolley system, a retractable cable system, or a swivel cable anchored into the ground. All of these must allow the dog a minimum of 10 feet of travel perpendicular to the anchor point."

"For an overhead pulley system, the stationary cable that the pulley runs on must be at least 10 feet in length and anchored on each end to a stationary object. The restraint line attached to the pulley must allow the dog to move perpendicularly at least 10 feet from the stationary cable," the ordinance continues."The restraint line must be attached to the dog with a buckle type collar or body harness and the line can weigh no more than 10 percent of the animal’s body weight. A swivel to prevent entanglement should be on at least one end of the restraint line attached to the animal."

Officials remind dog owners that the animals should have access to shade and adequate shelter as well. 

Adequate shelter by definition in county ordinance means that it is a shelter "which will keep an animal dry, out of the direct path of winds and out of the direct sun, and at a temperature level that is healthful for the animal. A shelter shall include four walls, a roof, and a solid floor raised up off of the ground, with an opening entrance large enough to allow access to the animal, and it should be placed in such a way as to keep the animal out of the direct path of winds."

It is also a requirement by law that your pet’s shelter must have an appropriate bedding material in it for comfort and heat retention for your pet.

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