Louisiana: St. Landry Parish Tethering Restriction Runs Amok

As we’ve outlined throughout the week, St. Landry Parish will consider a proposed Animal Control Ordinance (ACO) that does all the wrong things while doing little to actually promote animal welfare. In previous discussions, we’ve described how the massive ordinance will make pest control a crime, prohibit carrying animals in vehicles and will define all animal owners as breeders requiring a license. If the list of stupid ideas in this 33-page proposal ended here, the Parish Council would be perfectly justified in voting it down, but, unfortunately, the list continues….

Stupid Idea #4 – Tethering an Animal is a Crime?

The ACO is very clear on this point: tethering an animal without supervision is prohibited.  There is no exception for training, field trialing or hunting. In numerous training exercises, trialing and while hunting, dogs are often temporarily tethered, but the ACO fails to recognize this fact. Even more problematic, this is often done to protect the dogs from harm.

Moreover, it appears that animal control officials will be the ones to decide when a tethered dog is “supervised” or when it is not, leaving many dog owners subject to the whim of animal-control investigators.

As with many other provisions, the ACO takes this unworkable “supervised” issue and doubles down on excess. The tethering section lists out 12 different requirements that must all be met for tethering to be ok. Included in this list, “…The dog shall be neutered or spayed unless the dog is tethered within another secured enclosure….” This means that you cannot tether an intact dog outside of a fenced yard – like when hunting, trialing or training – even temporarily, for whatever purpose, anywhere, ever.

For violators of this no tethering policy, authorities “shall” impound the animal if the owner “has no other means to confine the animal.” Well, this is one of those lawyer trick bags because if I’m cited for tethering while hunting, I obviously have no other means of confinement in such cases. If supporters of the ACO claim they “didn’t mean to do that,” then we ask they do a better job of actually writing what they meant.

“I can’t tell if this is terrible drafting or if the supporters of this measure really want to stop all tethering during hunting, trialing or training,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs at Sportsmen’s Alliance. “I’ve tethered dogs hundreds of times in such cases, often to protect my dogs from potential harm, but whoever is behind this proposal doesn’t care about that, they just want to shut all of us down.”

Recap: Seven Stupid Ideas in the ACO

  1. Rat Killing is Illegal
  2. Riding in Cars with Dogs is Prohibited
  3. Everyone is a Breeder and must be licensed
  4. Tethering 101 for Dummies

Stupid Idea #5: No Hunting with Dogs – coming tomorrow!

Please use the TAKE ACTION button below to email or call the St. Landry Parish Council urging them to OPPOSE the massive government overreach of the “Animal Control Ordinance.”  If you have family and friends who live in St. Landry Parish, make sure you let them know about this shocking example of government overreach.

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.