Dogs tied up outside discussed

Published 10:26 am Saturday, July 21, 2012


ISLE OF WIGHT— A need to do right by man’s best friend inspired emotional responses — and a second public hearing — during Thursday’s Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The issue was to amend and reenact an ordinance that would prohibit tying up dogs outside for more than 19 hours or when its 100-plus degrees or less than 10 degrees.

The penalty would be $2,500 and/or a year in jail.

County Attorney Mark Popovich said the ordinance’s goal would make “tethering more humane.”

Teresa Agee suggested banning tying up dogs altogether.

“It’s the right thing to do for dogs and the community,” Agree said during the public hearing.

With eight other members of the IOW Humane Society around her, Kim Horne reiterated that idea.

Tempering those pleas, however, was Mary Tyler, who said she takes care of seven cats and a dog in a rural part of the county.

“The temperature ban makes no sense,” she said, particularly when considering that different breeds of dogs react in their own way to extremes of hot and cold.

“I oppose a complete ban,” said Tyler. “This is more than just an emotional issue. We need to prosecute abuse.”

Newport District Supervisor Byron Bailey championed the ban.

“I think we should have no tethering in Isle of Wight. It’s just inhumane,” Bailey said, which was followed by an applause, including from several Humane Society members.

“The way the ordinance is written is not enforceable, and difficult to prosecute,” said Windsor District Superintendent Delores “Dee Dee” Darden. “There’s enough teeth in the existing ordinance that could be enforced.”

“I think a no-tethering law would be easier to enforce,” Bailey added.

Hardy District Supervisor JoAnn Hall expressed concern that as soon as the ordinance is passed, the board will have to deal with people claiming they’re exceptions to the new rule.

Popovich advised that considering the inconsistencies with the proposal, the board should authorize a second public hearing about a complete ban, to which all members agreed.

In other action:

n The superintendents discussed the feasibility of getting Hampton Roads Transit bus service for the county. The $700,000 was considered “cost prohibitive” and no action was taken.

n Windsor Mayor Rita Richardson asked for the board’s support in getting more businesses to the town’s intermodal park.

“We need to be aggressive in bringing businesses to the park and promote residency in Windsor,” said Richardson.

Darden suggested an intergovernmental meeting.