Due to numerous requests from citizens, Chief of Police Keith Powell says the Smithfield Police Department is looking at a new tethering ordinance. The police department oversees animal control.
At the March 5th meeting of the Smithfield Town Council, Chief Powell asked the council to consider amending the ordinance to prohibit animals from being tethered. The ordinance would prohibit 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. Under the proposed new ordinance, animals can still be kept outdoors in appropriate-sized shelters or pens.
Mayor Pro Tem Travis Scott said he was in support of the tethering ordinance change. Councilman David Barbour agreed saying it was disturbing to see animals chained.
Pending final review, the ordinance could be adopted at the April or May town council meeting.
Under the current ordinance, animals can be chained or tethered in the city limits as long as the tether doesn’t entangle the animal to prevent it from moving freely, lying down or having access to food, water and shelter.