The cities of Houston County are discussing unifying their animal control ordinances on tethering.
Warner Robins, Perry, Centerville, and the county are working to ban tying down animals in a yard.
Officer Greg Langston says Warner Robins Animal Control is one agency joining the to fight stop, what it calls, a potentially fatal practice.
Langston says he's an animal person, and he should be, to help care for 85 of them at the city shelter. One thing he hates seeing, he says, is animal suffering.
"They're living creatures," says Langston. "They live like we do, breathe like we do. They need water, food, and love."
But he says tethering is one practice that frequently gets in the way of those basic necessities. While it's legal, if the yard is fenced or if the pet is in a kennel, he says, they hope to ban it all together because of the potential danger.
"Chains will get twisted up on grass, wires, and everything on the ground, and it makes the leashes or chains shorter," says Langston.
That, in turn, can keep a pet from reaching food, water, and shade--all crucial needs in extreme heat.
Langston says he sees pets tied-up outside nearly every day.
"We have so many animals being hung on fences when they jump the fence," says Langston. "I've charged a few people with cruelty to animals in those situations."
He says in many cases though, the owners are unaware they're injuring a pet because they're simply following the rules, but that doesn't change his reaction when he comes across a tragic case.
"It really upsets the animal control officers here," says Langston. "We either want to remove the animal off the premises or charge the people with cruelty to animals."
Better to outlaw tethering outright, he says, so there's no confusion on what is considered humane treatment of pets.
City attorneys are working on the ordinance. When complete, it will be sent to all city councils and the county commission for consideration.