IOW agrees not to prohibit tying up dogs

Published 11:54 am Saturday, August 18, 2012


ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight County supervisors on Thursday voted 3-2 against a ban that would limit when dogs can be tied up outdoors.

Newport News District Supervisor Byron “Buz” Bailey and Smithfield District Supervisor Al Casteen supported the ban.

Opposed were Carrsville District Supervisor Rex Alphin, Windsor District Supervisor Dolores “Dee Dee” Darden and Hardy District Supervisor JoAnn Hall.

The vote came after an hour-long second public hearing on the proposal that would prohibit residents from tying up dogs outside for more than 19 hours, or when it reaches more than 100 degrees or falls below 10 degrees. The penalty would be $2,500 and/or a year in jail.

More than half of the 20 who spoke supported the ban. Some were from the animal rights group PETA and other similar groups outside the county.

Patricia Lowe of Carrsville said the ban would “give some teeth to the existing ordinance to prosecute people abusing their dogs.”

Marlene White from the Hardy District, however, opposed the ban.

“I feel that dog owners like myself will be squeezed,” White said.

Sheriff’s Deputy J. Clarke said there’s no way his office could enforce the ban.

Darden agreed it would be difficult.

“This is a rural county and there’s no way to enforce the ban,” she said. “We also have to think of the welfare of people around these dogs (such as seniors, children, delivery men). Let’s beef up our animal cruelty laws.”

Bailey, who introduced the proposal, insisted that a ban would be easy to enforce while targeting residents guilty of neglecting their dogs.

“If we pass this ban, we need to give them [animal control officers] a tool to enforce,” Casteen said.

Alphin lauded Bailey and the speakers for their passion.

“But on the other side, I struggle with the proposed ban,” he said. “It does not allow for humane exceptions. It has the capacity to punish those who love their animals. I’d rather err on the side of those who love their animals.”

“I believe in less government, not more,” Hall added. “We already have a law on the books that will take care of it.”