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Dekalb Animal Control Ordinance Revised Outdoor Pen Size and Tethering of Pets

Dekalb County Press Release

July 14, 2005, DECATUR, GEORGIA – DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones and the Board of Commissioners approved some major changes to the DeKalb County Animal Control ordinance.

Burrell Ellis, Presiding Officer of the Board of Commissioners, introduced revisions to the Animal Control ordinance, which regulates outdoor pen size and prohibiting the use of stationary tethering. DeKalb County is the first county in Georgia to institute a ban on tethering, and the ordinance is believed to be the most dog-friendly in the state.

“This ordinance is smart legislation that balances the interests of all parties,” said Commissioner Ellis. “It creates strong regulations for the protection of the public from dangerous animals, while providing fair rules for the humane treatment of pets without placing a substantial burden on pet owners. It will improve the quality of life for all citizens.”

DeKalb County pet owners should be aware of the following changes:

Any animal that is housed outside of its owner’s house shall be housed in a proper enclosure. The owner shall also ensure that the proper enclosure contains at least 100 square feet of open space.

Tethering of an animal is prohibited.

As a secondary means of restraint to a proper enclosure, an animal may be attached to a running cable line or trolley system providing that:

  • A running cable line or trolley is set inside a proper enclosure;

  • Only one animal may be attached to each running cable line or trolley system;

  • No animal may be attached to a running cable line or trolley system for more than 12 hours in a twenty-four hour period;

  • No animal may be attached to a running cable line or trolley system between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.;

  • Tethers and cables attaching the animal to the running cable line or trolley system must be made of a substance which cannot be chewed by the animal;

  • A running cable line or trolley system must have a swivel installed at each end and be attached to a stationary object that cannot be moved by the animal;

  • The running cable line or trolley system must be at least ten feet in length and mounted at least four feet and no more than seven feet above ground;

  • The length of the tether from the running cable line or trolley system to the animal’s collar should allow access to the maximum available exercise area and allow the animal free access to food, water, and shelter;

  • Be attached to a properly fitted harness or collar not used for the display of a current rabies tag and other identification; and with enough room between the collar and the dog’s throat through which two fingers may fit; and

  • Be tethered at sufficient distance from any other objects to prohibit the tangling of the cable, from extending over an object or an edge that could result in injury of strangulation of the animal and be of sufficient distance from any fence so as to prohibit the animal access to the fence.

    For more information, call the DeKalb Animal Services and Enforcement at 404-294-2992.