In a unanimous vote, the Smithfield Town Council has approved a new tethering ordinance.
In March, Chief of Police Keith Powell presented a proposed ordinance for members of the town council to review. The police department oversees animal control.
After gathering public input for the last 30 days, the town council voted April 2nd to adopt the ordinance which prohibits animals from being tied, chained, fastened or tethered in any way to a stationary object as a means of confinement.
The only exception would be if a pet owner who has an inside pet takes them outside and temporarily chains or ties the animal, however the pet must be in direct supervision at all times. However, between the hours of 10:00PM and 6:00AM animals have to either be in an enclosed pen or be inside a house. They cannot be on a temporary chain.
Animals can still be kept outdoors in appropriate-sized shelters or pens.
Mayor Pro Tem Travis Scott said citizens overwhelmingly support this and its long overdue.
Under the old ordinance, animals were allowed to be chained or tethered in the city limits as long as the tether didn’t entangle the animal to prevent it from moving freely, lying down or having access to food, water and shelter.
Chief Powell said police and animal control officials will implement a public education campaign which is important he says following the adoption of any new rules.