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Animal Ordinances Change in Killeen, Texas, Regarding Dog Tethering and Dangerous Animals

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012


English: American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Animal Control Ordinances in Killeen, Texas, were revised last week as a result of a ruling by Killeen City Council.  It is now against the law to tether a dog, which means to restrain a dog by tying him to a stake in the ground.  In addition, owners of dangerous dogs now have the opportunity for an appeal process; previously, dogs deemed dangerous were either euthanized or returned to their owner, with no middle ground.

While no breeds are named in the new tethering ordinance, it is widely said that the new code was meant to target pit bulls and reduce the number of pit bull attacks.  But it’s also believed that tethering creates aggression in dogs, which puts citizens at risk for dog bites.  Tethering poses a threat to the animal, as well, since a dog can be strangled or become entangled.

Violations of the new tethering law are class C misdemeanors with fines of up to $200.  The violations will be enforced either by complaints or by animal control officers discovering tethered animals while on patrol.

Animal control officers cannot take actions to protect citizens from a dog merely believed to be dangerous.  Instead, the dog must move aggressively against a person before the dog can be detained or an investigation can be made to determine whether the dog is dangerous.  This procedural limitation is frustrating to people in the community, since it essentially means that a person must be hurt by the animal before something can be done.

Owners with a dog deemed dangerous must fulfill a number of requirements in order to retain the dog as a pet, such as obtaining a minimum of $100,000 in insurance coverage and sterilization of the animal.

–By Guest Contributor



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