YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been six months now since Youngstown City Council passed a law banning dogs from being kept outside on chains.
The ordinance came about after the bitter cold spell this winter. Back then, the concern was about dogs getting frostbite or even freezing to death. But officials from the dog warden’s office say the law is also helping keep animals from overheating this summer, and protecting them from other injuries.
“We find so many of them with these gigantic tow truck chains around their necks,” Deputy Warden Dave Nelson told WKBN 27 First News.
Nelson said he’s glad the city of Youngstown took action six months ago to cut down on the number of animals stuck outside on a chain. The Dog Warden’s Office has been phasing in enforcement, to make sure people know about the law.
“What we’re doing is moving into it slow to let people know this isn’t the way to keep the dogs outside,” Nelson said.
But when the temperature gets this hot, there’s no messing around. This summer, they’ve taken in 15 dogs because their owner violated the new law and the dog was in danger.
“I’ve stopped at a couple already this week,” Nelson said. “This is what you need to do, and then if we have to go further it could be a citation. It could be removal of the animal.”
This week, they’re telling owners to just bring them inside.
“With the excessive heat especially this week, we’re advising people to keep their dogs indoors,” said Mahoning County Dog Warden’s Office Kennel Manager Rick Tunison. “If you do have to have the dog outside, the dog should not be tethered. It should be in an enclosed fenced area with access to shade, fresh cold water.”
“When it looks like it’s going to be an issue as it is now where the sun is beating down bring the dog in,” Nelson said. “Put them in the basement. Whatever as far as that to get them out of the sun until it passes and then go form there.”
Nelson said it’s really common sense.
“When you come outside, try to feel the same thing,” Nelson said. “These dogs have fur on them.”