City Council Unanimously Votes In Ordinance To Help Dogs

On Monday, the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society (MACS) announced the unanimous passage of an ordinance in Detroit which will help prevent cruelty to dogs. According to MACS, the Detroit City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance which bans the prolonged (over three continuous hours per day) tethering of dogs.

Thanks to the newly passed ordinance, dog owners cannot tether a dog on any device other than a coated steel cable which is at least three times the length of the dog (tip of nose to base of tail). Additionally, dogs must not be tethered on heavy chains (any assembly/attachment over 10 percent of the dog’s weight), and food and water for tethered dogs much be secured in such a manner that it cannot be tipped over or spilled by the tether.

The ordinance outlines other safety issues which dog owners must now abide by – according to MACS, dog owners shall not:

  • Tether a dog without access to shade when sunlight is likely to cause overheating or without access to appropriate shelter for insulation and protection against cold and dampness when the atmospheric temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  •  Tether a dog without securing its food and water source to prevent its being tipped over or spilled by the tether
  • Tether a dog in an open area that does not provide the dog protection from attack from people or other animals
  • Tether a dog in an area composed entirely of bare earth subject to becoming wet and muddy in the event of precipitation, and without any dry surface area for cover or protection
  •  Tether a dog under four months old
  •  Tether more than one dog to a single tether
  • Tether a dog to a stationary object that would allow the dog to come within five feet of any property line
  • Tether a dog without a swivel attached or equipped at both ends

Of note – the use of a rope or a metal chain would be a violation. Dog owners who do not comply with the ordinance face penalties up to $500 and possible relinquishment of the dog to animal control for a third offense.

To assist Detroit dog owners in need comply with the new rules, MACS will try to help with supplies, as availability and conditions permit:
· Coated steel cable with swivel attachments
· Dog houses
· No-tip water and food bowls
· Enclosures or fencing

To request assistance, please call MACS at 313-891-7188 or email

About Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society

Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society has been helping pets and pet owners in Detroit since 1935. Every year MACS helps thousands of pet owners with free or low cost veterinary services and other pet-related resources. MACS is located at 13569 Joseph Campau, Detroit, Michigan 48212. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook at

(Images via Pixabay Free Images)

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Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.

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  1. JERRY EDELMAN says:


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