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Anti-tethering ordinance in effect in Madison

Madison residents can now face fines if an animal is left tied up outside without the owner present.
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The Madison City Council passed an ordinance banning the tethering of pets on Monday, passing it by a 5-1 vote. Now, Madison residents can face fines if an animal is left tied up outside without the owner present.

“It starts with a $250 fine were there to be a first offense,” said Mayor Paul Finley.

Finley says although the ordinance was passed, they don’t see it often in Madison.

“We talked to our police department and while we really haven’t had that many incidents in the city of Madison, our police department did feel that if there was a situation — if an animal was in danger — this would give them a little more teeth to use to make sure that animal was taken care of,” he said.

RELATED: Don’t get fined: Know Huntsville’s new outside pets law

The ordinance, he explained, is about protecting animals who may be in danger.

Here’s what the rule will not apply to:

“One thing we won’t have any changes on — people who have their animals in a fenced in back yard, people who have their dog on a leash while they’re doing yard work,” said Finley. “We will continue to have no problems with that. This is simply something that is put in place if they’re unattended, in danger, and our police department needs to step in via animal control to help with that animal’s safety.”

A second offense for leaving an animal tethered is a fine of $500. A third offense could mean 10 days in jail.