Anti-tethering ordinance goes into effect March 1

Lufkin City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to outlaw the tethering of dogs by ordinance.

After March 1, canine tethering is not allowed within city limits. The ordinance makes an exception for tethering dogs on leashes in the company of owners or caretakers. Violating the ordinance is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. The ordinance does not apply to residents outside city limits. 

On Jan. 18, the state enacted a canine tethering law. The state law prohibits tethering while creating several exceptions. With those exceptions, the state law is difficult to enforce, according to Interim City Manager Kevin Gee.

“In the state law, there are so many possibly ambiguous conditions that we decided to write our own ordinance,” Gee said. “It is in everyone’s best interest to eliminate tethering.” 

In the weeks leading up to March 1, the city will have an “educational period,” according to Asst. City Manager Gerald Williamson.

“In the meantime, our main focus will be education for the public from our police officers and animal control personnel,” Williamson said. “However, they will be able to take enforcement action before March 1 if we find a truly exceptional or egregious case.”

Tethering can be reported to the city’s non-emergency number at 936-633-0356.