(With amendatory language concerning tethering based on the Orange County ordinance.)
AN ORDINANCE REVISING CHAPTER FOUR OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCE TO ADJUST THE TOWN REGULATIONS ON RESTRAINT OF DOGS (2009-03-23/O-7a)
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF CHAPEL HILL as follows:
Section 1. Sect. 4.1 of the Town Code is hereby amended as follows:
“Sec. 4-1. Definitions.
For the purposes of this chapter the following definitions shall apply:
(a) Animal: Any live vertebrate creature specifically including, but not limited to dogs, cats, farm animals, birds, fish and reptiles.
(b) Adequate food: The provision at suitable intervals, not to exceed twenty-four (24) hours, of a quantity of wholesome foodstuff suitable for the species and age, sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of nutrition for the animal. Such foodstuff shall be served in a receptacle, dish or container that is physically clean and in which agents injurious to health have been removed or destroyed to a practical minimum.
(c) Adequate water: A constant access to a supply of clean, fresh water provided for in a sanitary manner.
(d) Adequate shelter: That shelter which will keep a non-aquatic animal dry, out of the direct path of winds and out of the direct sun and at a temperature level that is healthful for the animal. The containment area for the animal shall be free of accumulated waste and debris so that the animal shall be free to walk or lie down without coming in contact with any such waste or debris. A suitable method of draining shall be provided to rapidly eliminate excess water or moisture. Aquatic and semi-aquatic animals shall have an adequate amount of clean water in which to move.
(e) Cruel and cruel treatment: Every act, omission or neglect whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted. Such acts or omissions shall include, but not be limited to: beating, choking, kicking, hanging, submerging under water, suffocating, poisoning, confining in a closed vehicle without functioning air conditioning or ventilation whenever the ambient temperature exceeds seventy (70) degrees Fahrenheit, confining in the closed trunk of a vehicle, setting on fire and depriving of adequate food, water, shelter and medical treatment, or otherwise subjecting the animal to conditions detrimental to its health or general welfare.
(f) Custodian: The custodian shall be the person owning, keeping, having charge of, sheltering, feeding, harboring or taking care of any animal.
(g) Restraint: A dog is under
restraint within the meaning of the chapter if
: it is under
sufficient physical restraint such as a leash, cage, bridle, or similar
effective and humane device which restrains and controls the animal, or within
a vehicle, or adequately contained by a fence on the premises or other secure
enclosure as permitted in accordance with Section 4-5 of this ordinance. If a
competent adult is physically outside on the land with the animal, on land
where the owner or keeper of the animal resides, then the animal shall be deemed
to be under restraint during the time the animal is in the company of and under
the control of that competent person and the animal is on the premises. If any
unattended animal is restrained by a chain, leash or similar restraint, it shall
be designated and placed to prevent choking or strangulation. Such chain or
restraint shall not be less than ten (10) feet in length and shall be on a
swivel designed to prevent the animal from choking or strangling itself. The
restraint of unattended dogs by a chain, leash or similar restraint is further
regulated under Section 4-5 of this ordinance. (1) It is on or within a vehicle being
driven or parked; (2) It is
within a secure enclosure; (3) It is controlled by means of a
chain, leash or other like device. If an unattended animal is
restrained by a chain, leash or other like device, it shall be designed and
placed to prevent choking or strangulation. Such restraint will not be less
than ten (10) feet in length and either on a swivel designed to prevent the
animal from choking or strangling itself, or on a chain run. (4) It is on the premises of the
custodian and attended by and under the control of a competent person.
(h) Competent person: A person of suitable age and discretion to keep an animal under sufficient control in order to prevent harm to the animal, to persons, to other animals or to property.
(i) Stray dog: Any dog within the town limits, off the premises of the custodian and not under restraint.
(j) Wild and dangerous animals: Wild animals which are dangerous to persons and property include, but are not limited to: all felines (other than the domestic house cat), nonhuman primates, bears, wolves, coyotes, reptiles (poisonous, crushing and giant), and any crossbreed of such animals which have similar characteristics of the animals specified herein.
(k) Exotic animals: Exotic animals are animals other than domestic animals, farm animals, and wild animals which are not native to North Carolina.
(l) Vicious animal: Any animal, on or off the premises of its custodian, which is three (3) months of age or older and without provocation has killed, bitten or caused physical harm through bite(s) to a person; or has without provocation attempted to bite or cause physical harm through bite(s) to a person; or without provocation has injured, maimed or killed a pet or domestic livestock.
(m) Provocation: Any act that would reasonably be expected to cause an animal to defend itself, its young, its custodian or the property of the custodian of said animal.
(n) Life threatening injury: Any injury which is serious enough to require immediate medical attention to preserve the life of the injured person.”
(a) It shall be unlawful to commit any of the acts of cruel treatment as described in section 4-1(e).
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully or through neglect to overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, torture, deprive of adequate food, adequate water or adequate shelter, cruelly beat, choke, needlessly mutilate or kill any animal or cause any of the aforesaid things to be done.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to restrain a dog using a chain, wire or
other type of tethering device in a manner prohibited by this subsection.
(1) No person shall tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog, or cause
such restraining of a dog, to a tree, fence, post, dog house, or other stationary object for
more than a total of 3 hours in a 24-hour period. During periods of tethering that are not
unlawful under this subsection, any tethering device used shall be at least 10 feet in
length and attached in such manner as to prevent strangulation or other injury to the dog
and entanglement with objects. In no event shall the time limitations established by this
subsection 1 and subsection 2 below be added together to allow for tethering, fastening,
chaining, tying, or restraining to either a stationary object or to a cable trolley system for
more than a total of 3 hours in a 24-hour period.
(2) No person shall tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog, or cause
such restraining of a dog, to a cable trolley system, that allows movement of the
restraining device, for more than a total of 3 hours in a 24-hour period. During periods of
tethering that are not unlawful under this subsection, the length of the cable along which
the tethering device can move must be at least 10 feet, and the tethering device must be of
such length that the dog is able to move 10 feet away from the cable perpendicularly and
attached in such manner as to prevent strangulation or other injury to the dog and
entanglement with objects.
(3) No person shall tether a dog with a chain or wire or other device
to, or cause such attachment to, any collar other than a buckle type collar or body
(4) No person shall tether with a chain or wire or other device to, or
cause such attachment to, a head harness, choke-type collar or pronged collar to a dog.
(5) No person shall tether with a chain, wire or other device to a dog
where the weight of the tethering device and the collar combined exceeds ten (10) percent
of the dog’s body weight.
(6) No person shall tether with a chain or wire or other device a dog in
such manner that does not allow the dog access to adequate food, water, and shelter.
(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this
subsection, a person may, subject to the provisions of subsections (3)-(6) of this Section, and subject to the requirement that any stationary tethering devise used shall be at
least 10 feet in length, and subject to the requirement that for any cable trolley system
used the length of the cable along which the tethering device can move must be at least
10 feet, and the tethering device must be of such length that the dog is able to move 10
feet away from the cable perpendicularly:
(i) Tether and restrain a dog while actively engaged in:
a. Use of the dog in shepherding or herding livestock, or
b. Use of the dog in the business of cultivating agricultural products, if the restraining is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog, or
c. Use of the dog in lawful hunting activities if the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog, or
d. Use of the dog at dog training or performance events, including but not limited to field trials and obedience trials where tethering does not occur for a period exceeding
7 consecutive days, or
e. Camping or other recreation where tethering is required by the camping or recreational area where the dog is located, or
f. Any activity where a tethered dog is in visual range of its Owner or Keeper, and the Owner or Keeper is located outside with the dog.
(ii) After taking possession of a dog that appears to be a stray dog and after having advised animal control authorities of the capture of the dog, tether and restrain the dog in accordance with the provisions of this Section for a period not to exceed seven (7) days as the person having taken possession of the dog is seeking the identity of the owner of the dog.
(iii) Walk a dog with a handheld leash.”
but prior to the expiration of the eighteenth month following the date this amendment was
adopted shall be issued a written warning giving the violator notice of the provisions of
this amendment. Any person who violates subsection 4-5(c) after the expiration of the
eighteenth month following the date of adoption of this amendment is subject to one or
more of the Penalties established in Section 4-6 of this ordinance. Any dog that is kept
in violation of subsections 4-5(c) of this ordinance may be seized and subsequently
impounded in accordance with Section 4-19 of this ordinance until such a time as the
Animal Control Director is reasonably assured that the dog will not be subject to restraint
in violation of this ordinance. The Animal Control Director shall post a notice at the
place of the illegal restraint, or at such other location, that is designed to reasonably
apprise the Owner or Keeper of the dog the place, date, and time the dog was seized
along with the location where the dog was taken. Such notice shall clearly state that the
dog may be returned to the Owner or Keeper upon providing reasonable assurances to the
Animal Control Director that the dog will not be subject to restraint in violation of this
This the 23rd day of March, 2009.