Lee co. animal services is pushing some changes to the local ordinances, and two of them could affect a lot of dog owners. One would prohibit tethering of dogs for extended time periods; the other would ban dogs out all night.
"We have problems with tethering because dogs get tangled and cannot get to their water, some die of heat exhaustion. Others may strangle if they jump a fence. It's just not a good way to keep an animal," says Andrea Rothwell of Lee Animal Services.
She says the agency wants to ban tethering, along with keeping dogs outside overnight.
"Some people do keep dogs in their backyards, and they may have fencing and a doghouse and food and water. But the dogs tend to hear things and bark in the middle of the night. We get 800 nuisance barking complaints a year, and many come in the middle of the night. It's just not right or fair that people cannot sleep, because the neighbor's dog is barking at two A.M.," says Rothwell. The agency wants the ordinance to dictate that people bring in their dogs at night.
Lee commissioners will get a briefing on the proposed changes in the ordinance next Monday. They will decide whether to move ahead with the ideas.