Activists want ordinance against short dog tethers

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A group of animal activists in Valencia County say the practice of animal owners leaving dogs on short chains with no water and no shelter from the sun has gone on way too long. Now they want to see a change.

They say dogs left alone on short chains or tethers can be damaged for life, not only physically, but mentally, too. It’s why they’re trying to work with county officials to change the law.

Animal activist and Valencia County resident Mark Rosenblum says he’s seen animal abuse first hand. He’s a volunteer at the Valencia County Animal Shelter.

“Dogs come into the shelter quite often and have their necks cut by unreasonable collars,” says Rosenblum.

Yet, it’s not just the tight chain collars that bother him. It’s the way some people tie up their dogs.

“They use lengths of chain or rope or wire that are much too short,” says Rosenblum. “A dog on a two foot tether can’t exist.”

Some dogs have no access to shade or shelter, food or water, are never brought inside or untethered, and have little to no human contact.

“These constitute abusive practices,” Rosenblum says.

Now, Rosenblum and a small group of animal activists are trying to get it spelled out in the law books. They want an addition to the animal control ordinance that make practices like these illegal – an ordinance that can act as a teaching tool with minimum lead lengths, safe materials to tie up and collar dogs and collar types.

“This is a very inexpensive way to tether your dog,” says Rosenblum, holding up a trolley.

It’s about 20 feet long, the anchors bent pieces of reinforcing rod, buried into the ground with a pulley.

It’s because Rosenblum’s seen the alternative.

“A dog is there for a reason. You have a dog for a reason, even if it’s just protecting property. You owe it something, for doing its job,” explains Rosenblum.

Activists say they used to have an animal control advisory board and proposed a new ordinance that looked a lot like this one, but it didn’t pass. They say it might take some time, but they’re confident they’ll see a law eventually.

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