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Phoenix passes dog tethering ordinance ahead of extreme heat

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PHOENIX — Dog owners have a new ordinance to learn about as Phoenix gears up for a weekend of extreme heat.

The Phoenix City Council passed an ordinance on tethering dogs earlier this week. Under the new rule, dogs must have at least 10 feet of tether in harsh weather and a collar that is not too tight.

It is the first such measure to be passed in Arizona.

Chris West with the Arizona Humane Society said the ordinance was passed in the nick of time.

“We’ve had a number of calls, just this week, concerning animals that were tethered out,” he said.

In a release, the Humane Society said it fields thousands of calls annually about dogs that are tied up and in distress because of extreme temperatures.

A person found responsible for a first offense of the ordinance will be fined. Subsequent violations mean the owner(s) will not only be fined — they’ll do time in jail.

“The ordinance allows us to contact the owners, correct the situation and work with law enforcement to cite those that don’t improve the conditions of their pets,” Dr. Steve Hansen, CEO of the Arizona Humane Society, said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to stop neglect where it starts.”

The Arizona Humane Society is planning a citywide education program to explain the new law.

Phoenix is expecting a hot weekend. The National Weather Service said the mercury could top out at 112 degrees on Saturday.

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