SOAR IS IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS
- Adoption Counselors (twice per month @ Petsmart)
- Community Outings (checking on chained dogs)
- Book keeping/office skills
- Foster Homes
- Someone to refill SOAR Brochures around the Lexington Area
- Fence Building
If you can help in any of the following areas, please email Tracy:
SOAR attended Frankfort City Council September 13th...this last Monday. There was no Vote on the issue and there will be another Council Meeting in Frankfort on September 27th, 2010 at 5:00pm. Again, we need your support! Please join us for this meeting, without YOU this can's happen. The room needs to be overflowing with support, council members need to see you support this anit tethering ordinance.
The State Journal wrote a article about the meeting on Monday. Read below.
Tethering law needs teeth, activists say
By Paul Glasser
September 14, 2010
Animal welfare advocates asked city commissioners Monday to consider a total ban on tethering or chaining unaccompanied dogs; but, most commissioners indicated they support a less restrictive measure.
About 30 members of Speak Out and Rescue discussed the ban for two hours at the City Commission work session. Unaccompanied tethering became an issue after Big Boy, a young Rottweiler-mix, died from hanging himself in his yard Aug. 2.
His owner, Carla Graham, of 139 E. Main St., has been charged with animal cruelty.
The dog was chained to a tether cable approximately 30 feet in length, and “tied within feet of a large drop-off over East Main Street,” according to the police report.
Big Boy was found by a passerby hanging from the drop-off, struggling to breathe, the police report said.
“If we had an anti-tethering ordinance, Big Boy would probably still be here,” said Tracy Miller, president of SOAR.
Miller presented a model ordinance to the commission Monday, and City Solicitor Rob Moore presented a draft proposal. The proposal would ban tethering or chaining any dog that is not “physically accompanied” by its owner.
Similar bans in more than 100 cities have been successful, Miller said.
Mary Ann Fugate, a member of SOAR, presented a survey from 10 other cities with tethering bans including Austin, Texas; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; and Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Officials there reported a tethering ban does not require any extra funds or manpower to enforce, she said.
“When all is said and done, it actually reduced the work load and saved money,” Fugate said.
Stephanie Bramlett, treasurer for SOAR, said chaining a dog 24/7 is cruel.
“Dogs are living, breathing souls,” she said.
Advocates also asked for better standards on providing dogs with food, water and shelter. They urged for stronger enforcement measures and fines when animal cruelty cases are prosecuted.
Members of SOAR applauded when Commissioner Kathy Carter said she would support a ban on tethered or chained dogs.
However, Commissioner Sellus Wilder said he would prefer having restrictions on tethering rather than an outright ban.
“My sense is that tethering is not inherently bad,” he said.
For instance, some people don’t have a fence and if they are rental tenants can’t install one, Wilder said. In that case, they tether a dog so the animal can have the benefit of being outside, he said.
In addition, Wilder said he would prefer to allow a dog to be tethered if the owner can observe the animal directly. He also said he prefers a set of limits such as the ordinance in Louisville that limits tethering to one hour during the day.
However, Miller said time limits are impossible to enforce and said SOAR does not support the Louisville law.
Local activist Trudi Johnson said tethering laws must be “black and white,” otherwise there will be too many loopholes.
Commissioner Bill May said he is inclined to support a ban on tethering but is concerned the proposal made Monday would be too narrow.
Commissioner Rodney Williams said the majority of pet owners are responsible. However, he acknowledged the current system isn’t working.
“Personally, I am very careful about taking everyone’s rights away in order to overcome the irresponsibility of a few,” he said.
Miller said she disagreed.
“Some people will have to be inconvenienced for the greater good.”
Wilder asked Moore to research the Louisville ordinance and provide the commission with additional information at the October work session.
“We have a duty to consider all other options,” he said.
Miller expressed frustration at the commission’s desire to explore alternatives instead of adopting a ban on tethering.
“We aren’t seeing eye to eye,” she said.