UPDATE: Debate sparked in Bristol Tennessee about chaining up animals

UPDATE: Debate sparked in Bristol Tennessee about chaining up animals

BRISTOL, Tenn. - UPDATE 10:51PM:

The city of Bristol, Tennessee met tonight to discuss a heated topic--chained dogs.

It was a packed house, as members of the community came express their concerns on the issue.

The city council members agreed that something must be done, however there is no word on what they will decide.

Tonight was the first reading of the issue. The city council  agreed to have a workshop on the chaining of dogs later in July.

The council says they hope to work through the ordinance and have a decision in August.


Should owners be allowed to chain up their pets? That's a discussion that's brewing in Bristol, Tennessee.

The city council formed a task force earlier this year to take a look at their animal ordinances.

On Tuesday, the group brought their recommendations to the council.

Dogs chained up and left unsupervised are sparking a heated debate in Bristol, Tennessee. 

Liza Conway believes owners should not be allowed to chain their pets. "Chaining a dog for a long period of time can be an inhumane treatment for dogs. Many dogs become territorial and aggressive," she said.

David Hyde says everyone shouldn't be punished because of a few people who mistreat their animals. "I am in favor of tethering dogs. I keep mine on a tether. I've got a sports dog, and I think it needs to be outside," he explained.

The Bristol, Tennessee City Council decided to form a task force to take an in-depth look at the current animal ordnances in the city. That group is made up of six citizens with different opinions, especially when it comes to tethering animals. "That was one issue that every time we voted on it, we had a tie," says Conway.

The task force did agree to strengthen the current ordnance, giving owners more rules they have to follow. "The length of the tether has to be 12 feet. You have to have adequate food, adequate water, adequate housing, adequate shelter and shade," adds Hyde.

How would animal control officers enforce these rules? Bristol, Tennessee Police Chief Blaine Wade says usually officers find out through concerned neighbors. "Animal control personnel will find different issues while they are out and doing their daily job that they'll correct," he said.

Meanwhile, Liza Conway says she'll be fighting for a total ban while David Hyde is hoping the changes the task force came up with are enough.

Chief Wade says the council heard the recommendations Tuesday, but did not say if they'd be voting on changes just yet.

We checked and Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol Virginia have similar ordinances -- animals are allowed to be chained as long the chain is a certain length and the animal has adequate food, water, and shelter.

Most Popular