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Rogersville’s new tethering ordinance used for first time to free chained dog

Jeff Bobo • Apr 6, 2017 at 8:50 AM

ROGERSVILLE — A new city tethering ordinance that prohibits dogs from being chained outside for more than 12 hours per day was put to use for the first time Friday, resulting in the dog being voluntarily surrendered by the owner.

The Hawkins County Humane Society named its first tether ordinance rescue dog Miss Rogersville.

On Friday morning, the Hawkins County Humane Society responded to an anonymous complaint of a 5-month-old female Husky mix being chained outside 24 hours per day at a residence near downtown Rogersville just off Hasson Street.

HCHS assistant manager Julie Baker went to investigate the allegation, at which time she met the owner.

“I wasn’t going to knock on his door or anything. I was just taking a ride by because we’d just received an anonymous complaint,” Baker said. “But he was outside, so I stopped and told him who I was with and why I was there. I asked him if he was aware of the new ordinance prohibiting dogs from being chained outside for longer than 12 hours per day, and he wasn’t.”

The man told Baker that his landlord doesn’t allow pets inside the residence, so he had no other choice but to keep the dog outside on a chain 24 hours per day.

The man had gotten the dog only a few weeks ago.

Baker said that after she spoke to the man about why the tethering ordinance was passed and the effect that being outside on a chain 24 hours per day has on a dog, the man agreed to surrender the animal to the Humane Society.

“He said, ‘I don’t have any other options. Can you take her with you?’ and he apologized for having her chained,” Baker said. “We educated him and gave him his options, and he picked the best option for him. It was a very positive contact.”

As of Wednesday evening, Miss Rogersville was still at the HCHS shelter and available for adoption.

“She’s a sweetheart,” Baker said. “She is very healthy, she’s had her first set of shots, and she’s been de-wormed. She’s also very lucky she lives in Rogersville.”

Anyone interested in adopting Miss Rogersville or any other HCHS dogs or cats can call (423) 272-6538 or visit 5180 Highway 11-W just east of Rogersville Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Last month the Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the third and final reading of its new tethering ordinance.

The ordinance puts the HCHS in charge of investigating complaints and attempting to correct the dog owner’s behavior before involving the Rogersville Police Department.

If the owner refuses to comply after at least two contacts by the HCHS, the owner can be cited into Municipal Court and fined.                                                     

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