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The Floyd County, Georgia, Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to vote TONIGHT, June 22, 2021, on changes to the animal ordinance. Among other provisions, the proposed ordinance seeks to outlaw common and safe use of tethers and enact provisions regarding the payment of costs of care for an impounded animal that DO NOT conform with Georgia state law.

Concerned animal owners are urged to immediately contact Floyd County Commissioners and ask that they do not approve the proposed ordinance as currently written.  The Board meets today, 6/22/21, at 6:00 p.m. A caucus session is held prior to the business meeting at 4:00 p.m.  Meetings are held at the Administration Building, 12 East 4th Avenue, Suite 206, Rome, GA 30161. Scroll down for county commissioners’ contact information.

A similar proposed law will be considered by the Rome City Commission on June 28thScroll down for a link to city commissioners’ contact information.

What the proposed ordinances would do:

Outlaw all unattended tethering of domestic animals and livestock. They further seek to outlaw the use at any time of tethers, indoors or outdoors, that are attached to “anything,” including but not limited to, a dog house, tree, fence, other animal, vehicle, runner, railing, house, or furniture.  As written the ordinances could outlaw use of:

  • A grooming noose, veterinary restraint, or other tether looped around an animal’s neck or attached to slip collar, which is a common and accepted configuration for a tether that is used to safely restrain an animal during grooming, bathing, or veterinary treatment.
  • Any tether used at any time that is “less than the greater of five feet and one-and-one half times the length of the animal’s body.”
  • A tether used in conjunction with confinement in an outside compartment of a running vehicle. It is unclear if this would include a horse or livestock trailer.
  • A tether used in conjunction with confinement in an inside compartment of a running vehicle when the tether is attached to the animal’s collar and any part of the vehicle. This could affect owners who safely restrain an animal with a tether inside a motorhome or other vehicle while traveling or while parked with the vehicle and air conditioning running.
  • Any tether, including all harnesses, weights, locks, and accessories that have their weight borne by the animal, which weigh more than 5% of the animal’s body weight. This could outlaw use of harnesses for horses and other carting/draft animals, pet safety seatbelt systems, tracking harnesses, and other safe and common equipment used in conjunction at any time and under any circumstances with a tether.
  • Brace couplers and harnesses that join animals during judging and that join carting/draft animals in harness.
  • Use of tethers as required by campgrounds and recreational areas.
  • Other common, safe, and accepted uses of tethers.

Outlaw allowing animals to leave the real property limits of their owners, possessors, or custodians while unattended.  It is unclear how this would affect lawful hunting, search-and-rescue, patrol and police work, and other working functions performed off-leash by dogs in areas other than on the owner’s real property.

Expand on Georgia state law regarding the submission of costs of care for impounded animals and the disposition of unused funds.  Under these proposals, in cases where a person is found not guilty or where charges were dropped, a defendant unable to afford the cost of care fees would be permanently deprived of their property, with no recourse, regardless of never having been proved to have committed a crime. The State of Georgia has enacted a cost of care law; however, the proposed language in both the county and city proposed ordinances do not conform with Georgia law.

Read more about problems with overreaching tethering laws.

Read more about cost of care laws, how they affect disadvantaged people, and how they interfere with due process.

What you can do: Immediately contact Floyd County Commissioners to voice your concerns and ask them to VOTE NO on the proposed animal ordinance as currently written. Please contact county commissioners first. 

Attend the county commission meeting tonight and state your opposition to the ordinance as currently written.  Meeting information and location is provided above.

Contact information for Floyd County Commissionersmeeting is tonight, 6/22/21

Commissioner Rhonda Wallace, Post One, 706-346-0637,

Commissioner Wright Bagby, Post Two, 706-291-5110,

Commissioner Allison Watters, Post Three, 706-291-5110,

Commissioner Larry Maxey, Post Four,

Commissioner Scotty Hancock, Post Five, 706-291-5110,

Next, contact Rome city commissioners to voice concerns and ask that they VOTE NO on the proposed animal ordinance as currently written. 

Contact information for City of Rome Commissioners – meeting is 6/28/21.

For more information, please contact AKC Government Relations at 919-816-3720 or