In a 5-2 vote, Asheville City Council approved an ordinance banning all unattended tethering of dogs in the city at its Sept. 22 meeting. The ban is effective immediately, but enforcement won’t kick in until 2011. In the meantime, the Asheville Police Department and its Animal Control Services unit will engage in an education program and issue warnings to people in violation.
Under the ordinance, dogs cannot be chained or tied up outside without a responsible party present and in view of the dog. The same goes for T-runners. Hand-held leashes are permitted.
A proposal to allow tethering for a specified number of hours was rejected due to the inability to enforce it.
The move came after repeated requests by the group Chain Free Asheville, which plans to enhance the ordinance by paying for and building fences for dog owners who have no other option but to tie up their pets.
The final vote was 5-2, with Council members Bill Russell and Carl Mumpower voting no.
Also at the meeting:
• Council approved a 600-foot buffer between family-care homes — rehabilitation/transitional housing located in residential areas — that have become more dense in some Asheville neighborhoods.
• The city finalized a city/county 911 agreement that the Buncombe Commissioners signed the week before.
• For the second year, the Grove Park Inn donated $40,000 to Asheville for fireworks in downtown during the holiday season. The move is intended to maintain downtown-business traffic into the evening.
• And a proposal by Mumpower to put drug-sniffing dogs in city parks got no other Council support.
For extensive City Council coverage, pick up the Sept. 30 issue of Xpress.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer