The West York Borough Council will get a third crack at an ordinance that would make it illegal to tether dogs that live their entire lives outdoors.

Council members voted Monday to re-advertise an anti-tethering ordinance that was once voted down and once approved by the council. That approval was later vetoed by former mayor Sam Firestone, who said it could be challenged in the courts and cost taxpayers money.

Councilwoman Shelley Metzler, who is also the borough's animal enforcement officer, said it's high time the council re-addressed tethering.

"Everybody was for it. Everybody wanted it," she said. "Residents wanted it."

The ordinance: In early 2012, the York County SPCA sent out packets to every municipality in York County, asking them to consider adopting a tethering-restriction ordinance. Enclosed in each packet was a proposed ordinance crafted by the SPCA and the Humane Society of the United States.

It would require owners of dogs that are kept outside for long periods of time to either build kennels or fences, or take their dogs inside regularly. It also would require residents to bring in their dogs during severe weather conditions.

The SPCA's humane officer enforces the law at no cost to the municipality. Dog owners who violate the law would first receive a warning, then could be cited and fined.


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Since it was first sent out, the ordinance has been passed by six municipalities in the county, said Melissa Smith, executive director of the York County SPCA.

"That sounds like a small number but we are leaps and bounds above other counties in Pennsylvania," she said.

Metzler said the ordinance will go far in protecting dogs from neglect.

"We have to help a lot of animals," she said.

The council unanimously approved advertising the ordinance and is expected to vote on it Monday, Jan 20. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the West York borough building, 1700 W. Philadelphia St.

-- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.