Dog tethering time limits changed in Casper - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Dog tethering time limits changed in Casper

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CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council adopted changes to the city’s animal care and control ordinance on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Councilman Steve Cathey and Councilman Bob Hopkins voted against the changes on the final vote.

The ordinance establishes new rules for tethering in Casper. Ahead of Tuesday’s third reading vote, the council adopted an amendment proposed by Councilman Ken Bates.

Casper’s previous animal care and control ordinance limited tethering times to no more than two hours in a 24 hour period. Metro Animal Services officers recommended allowing dogs to be tethered for up to 10 hours in a 24 hour period.

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The council amended the proposed ordinance on second reading to eliminate tethering time limits entirely over concern that tethering time limits can not be enforced.

Bates’ third reading amendment re-establishes tethering time limits. Under the amendment, time limits depend on whether a dog owner has a fenced in yard or not:

  • If there is a fence, dogs could be tethered up to two hours in a 24 hour period
  • If owner does not have a fenced yard, dogs could be tethered for up to 10 hours in a 24 hour period

The new ordinance also establishes a number of new rules for animal care and control. Changes under the new ordinance include:

  • prohibits feeding or sheltering non-domestic animals
    • would be illegal to shelter, feed or enticing non-domestic animal onto public areas or private property (excluding use of live box traps)
    • exception for birds and squirrels
    • exception for feral cats and dogs
      • those feeding feral cats and dogs will be deemed “keepers” responsible for damages and care of the animals
  • changes to tethering rules:
    • lines must be 3 times the animal’s body length or 8 feet long (whichever is longer)
    • tethers must not pose a risk to the animal’s safety
    • lines must not weigh more than a quarter of the animal’s body weight
    • tether must be strong enough to restrain the animal
    • non-choke collars or body harnesses must be used when tethering
    • area must be “reasonably free” of entanglements
    • If there is a fence, dogs could be tethered up to two hours in a 24 hour period
    • If owner does not have a fenced yard, dogs could be tethered for up to 10 hours in a 24 hour period
    • Food and water in non-spill containers have to be provided to tethered pets
  • requiring clean pet environments
    • “premises are free of feces and urine as to not cause offensive odors or unsanitary conditions” in an enclosure, yard or surrounding area
    • pet environment must be kept cleans so that it does not draw flies or insects which could cause illness or injury to an animal
    • environment must be free of physical hazards to the animal like broken or sharp objects
  • prohibiting tormenting or harassing confined/restrained animals
    • ban yelling in a harassing manner at animals
    • ban throwing objects at animals
    • ban making gestures or other behavior to elicit reactions or cause stress to animals
  • protecting animals in motor vehicles
    • illegal to leave animal in motor vehicle over 70 degrees (current limit is 60 degrees) or below freezing
      • unless animal control officer deems there is sufficient water, ventilation, heat, air conditioning and bedding
  • proper shelter protections
    • requires access to water, proper shelter at all times
      • unless animal protection officer deems the species and breed capable of maintaining safe body temp
    • shelter, bedding must be kept “reasonably clean”
  • grooming requirements
    • animal must be “reasonably groomed” to prevent skin irritation, damage or infection and to prevent entanglement of hazardous foreign bodies
  • safe transportation of animals
    • would be illegal to transport animals on hood, fender, running board or other external parts of a moving vehicles (excludes truck beds with a closed tailgate)
  • provisions regarding animal attacks
    • attack would be defined as aggressive action against another person or animal
    • if the attack occurs as a response to aggressive or violent action from a person or other animal when a pet is not on its owners property, the proposed ordinance states that this should be considered a mitigating factor by the court

Other changes include new definitions. The term “dangerous” animal would be replaced by a definition for “aggressive” animal. Under the ordinance, animals which are defined as either “vicious” or “aggressive” would be illegal to possess unless:

  • the animal is properly restrained while on an owner’s property
  • when off premises the animal would have to be caged or muzzled and restrained by a secure collar and leash not longer than 3 feet

Pets which exhibit dangerous behavior could be defined as either “aggressive” or “vicious”:

  • an aggressive animal is any animal not on an owner’s property that
    • “has attacked a domestic animal or livestock in such a manner that resulted in physical contact between the animals not necessarily requiring medical treatment to either animal” or
    • that has “chased, approached or otherwise interacted with a human being, domestic animal or livestock in an intimidating or aggressive manner”
  • a vicious animal is any animal:
    • that has attacked a human causing injury or death
    • which is in a place it is “not legally entitled to” and attacks a domestic animal or livestock causing injury which results in visits to a veterinarian or which causes death
    • which has previously been declared an “aggressive” animal and engages in “aggressive” behavior

If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:

Mayor Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Vice Mayor Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601

If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.