The City of Follansbee (West Virginia) City Council will be considering seeks to limit the amount of time a dog can be tethered, maintained, or kept outside under certain conditions. on Monday, July 12 at the City Council meeting scheduled for 6:00pm.
This proposal was brought before City Council by a local resident who was concerned about dogs being kept outdoors. AKC agrees with the goals of the proposed ordinance amendment seek to address but believes that while it will protect some dogs in Follansbee it will not protect all dogs. AKC believes that a minor change is necessary to ensure a fair, reasonable and effective ordinance that truly protects all dogs. Those who wish to comment are encouraged to do so using the information provided below.
Section 505.011 of Follansbee’s current ordinance does not directly address dogs outside beyond stating that “No person shall impound or confine any dog or cat in any place unprotected from the elements ….” The proposed amendment would add a new section prohibiting an owner from tethering, maintaining, or keeping a dog outside any longer than thirty (30) minutes during an extreme weather event including but not limited to:
- extreme heat defined as 90 Degrees Fahrenheit and above
- freezing temperatures defined as 32 Degrees Fahrenheit and below
- extreme weather events including but not limited to lighting and/or thunderstorms, hail, extreme wind, ice and/or snowstorms, tornadoes, and/or floods.
Regardless of the conditions, the amendment further states that “Depending upon the size, breed and/or overall health of the dog upon inspection, the ultimate determination pertaining to any dog’s health, safety and/or welfare during weather events shall be in the sole discretion of either the animal control officer and/or law enforcement officer.”
Since the proposed ordinance already provides for the discretion of the animal control officer, AKC recommends eliminating the first part of the proposed Section 505.012 and replacing it with the following: No dog shall be tethered, maintained, or kept outside any longer than thirty (30) minutes during extreme weather conditions, including, but not limited to, extreme heat, freezing or near freezing temperatures, lighting and/or thunderstorms, hail, extreme wind, ice and/or snow storms, tornadoes, and/or floods, based on the breed, age, and general health of the dog and its ability to handle the environment.
View AKC’s Issue Brief for more information on AKC’s position on keeping dogs safe in inclement weather.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
We encourage those who would like to comment to do so prior to the Monday, July 12 meeting by contacting the Follansbee City Council members and asking them to remove temperature standards from the ordinance:
1st Ward –Tammy Johnson, (C) 304-919-0688
2nd Ward – Charles McCoy, 304-794-6983, McCoy4Follansbee@gmail.com
3rd Ward –Nick Cekinovich, (H) 304-527-1141 (C) 304-400-3220 firstname.lastname@example.org
4th Ward – Alexis Russell, 304-527-0452 email@example.com
5th Ward –Wendy DeAngelis, (C) 304-670-1223 firstname.lastname@example.org
Council-at-Large –John Casinelli, Sr., (C) 304-670-6549 email@example.com
If able, you can also contact the City of Follansbee and ask to speak at the Monday, July 12 meeting by calling (304)527-1330 or attending the 6pm meeting in person at the Follansbee City Building 872 Main Street, Follansbee, WV 26037
For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.