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Online petition to change tethering law - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Online petition to change tethering law

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Dog tied up outside during weather event Dog tied up outside during weather event

The March flooding of more than 25 parishes in Louisiana caused widespread damage and havoc and once more put into perspective the treatment of animals: in this case, the stories of two dogs who were subjected to torrential rains and rising waters, while chained outside. One dog's story became the focal point of an online petition that has generated more than 21,000 signatures from around the country and that asks Louisiana officials to ban the tethering of dogs. The other incident also created a stir on social media and led to the dog's surrender by her owner and eventual custody by the Humane Society of Louisiana.  

The stories of these two dogs, both left out in the thunderstorms and rising waters, were shared widely on social media and may bring about lasting change, if more parishes in Louisiana ban the tethering of dogs, as the primary or stationary means of confinement, as it is in some parishes (Jefferson and Orleans Parishes, for example).

The photos of the pit bull seen on Pappy Road in Gonzales, which led to the on-line petition, were seen by tens of thousands of people. Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene and, eventually, a relative of the owner took the dog in. The other dog, now named "Fuzz," was also seen by a wide audience on Facebook, as she was photographed, chained to a pole in the rain. In Fuzz's case, deputies were also called to the dog owner's residence on 4th Street in Morgan City, and the owner moved the dog under a carport during the storm; the owner then surrendered Fuzz to the local shelter in Morgan City.  From there, the Humane Society of Louisiana made arrangements to pick up Fuzz and transfer her to a new home in another state.

The plight of these dogs, and others like them, left out in the March storms and floods may result in a change in public policy or new laws.  For example, in this most recent legislative session, Senate Bill 402 was introduced by Senator J. P. Morrell with the intended purpose of making it a criminal matter to leave a dog tethered or tied up outside during any type of weather event that has led to a declaration of an emergency by the National Weather Service. A copy of the Bill is available at: https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=990401

The online petition that gathered more than 21,100 signatures will be hand-delivered to the Governor's Office after this legislative session, and members of the Humane Society of Louisiana will ask the Governor's assistance in strengthening the existing tethering law. The petition may be viewed at: https://www.change.org/p/governor-john-bel-edwards-prohibit-chaining-of-dogs-in-all-louisiana-parishes-enforce-new-orleans-tethering-law.

The Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the state's largest animal advocacy organizations and oversees the operations of two no-kill sanctuaries.  For more information, visit their website at www.humanela.org or call them at 1-888-6-humane.

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