Leon Co. Comission Votes to Change Animal Ordinances

By: Jill Chandler Email
By: Jill Chandler Email

Tallahassee, Florida--

Leon County Commissioners took up the issue of Animal Control tonight at their meeting.

They discussed a proposed ordinance to keep animals from bad people, and keep people safe from bad animals. One of the most highly debated topics was tethering, or keeping your dog chained up.

Tula Motta is a volunteer for the Boxer Aid and Rescue Coalition. She said, "Dogs in that position, they can hang themselves, they can become aggressive. They become a safety hazard to the community. We know that dogs that aren't socialized are three times more likely to attack another person."

People shared their opinions at the meeting for more than an hour.

Many people talked about the animal cruelty case we covered in Wakulla County. The Ordinance passed with a stipulation that staff will continue to monitor the changes and report back to the commission.


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  • by Cornelius Location: gretna on Aug 24, 2011 at 08:56 AM
    my dog is my property, dont tell me what i can do wit it
    • reply
      by Michelle on Aug 24, 2011 at 11:26 AM in reply to Cornelius
      Just like the county can tell you how to upkeep your real estate property, it can tell you how to take care of your animal property. It's called "police power".
    • reply
      by Silly Humans on Aug 24, 2011 at 12:03 PM in reply to Cornelius
      I won't, and when it shows up on my property, don't ask for it back.
  • by Voice of Reason Location: Florida on Aug 24, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    Pity they didn't ban tethering/chaining, or at least set strict guidelines for it.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:57 AM
    From what I read about the new ordinances, I am distressed. I live close to the hoarder on the southside. The one who works for the city. this woman has a quarter acre and over 50 dogs. Now, from what I read, she will be legal to have that amount of dogs on that small parcel if she buys a permit. WTH???? She has a ton of violations on the records, Animal control regularly seizes her dogs, the neighbors are sick from the smell. ALL SHE HAS TO DO IS BUY A PERMIT??? This is stupid.
  • by Deadly Spaniel? Location: SouthSide on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:26 AM
    This issue ignores the elephant in the room; breeds are different and cause problems disproportionately. Follow other cities' example and address the problem breed/s. Most of the dogs put down at the shelter are of one breed. And the same breed is responsible for the largest percentage of off-property attacks. The same breed is part of the majority of criminal activity involving dogs. It's no fault of the dog, but that's not the point.
    • reply
      by Michelle on Aug 24, 2011 at 07:17 AM in reply to Deadly Spaniel?
      You are misinformed. There are mountains of literature that show the data is skewed when it comes to breed specific data (i.e., the purebred list has separate categories for each breed, but lumps six different breeds together into a "breed type" category. So of course the data is skewed when you compare one breed to a group of six different breeds. Even if you were correct on that point, you acknowledge the problem is not the breed by saying "it's no fault of the dog..." So if it's no fault of the dog/breed...are we not moving in the right direction by focusing on the owners?
      • reply
        by DS on Aug 24, 2011 at 08:11 AM in reply to Michelle
        Not misinformed, it's basic facts of bites vs. lethal bites, and on-property attacks vs. off-property attacks.
        • reply
          by Michelle on Aug 24, 2011 at 08:42 AM in reply to DS
          What "facts"? The data has been proven to be skewed. You cannot compare the number of bites of one breed against the number of bites of a group of different breeds. The group is always going to outweigh the single breed.
        • reply
          by Regardless on Aug 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM in reply to DS
          All this is owner-error and ignorance. But yes, if someone's Pug escapes, I'm not that worried for my daughter on her bike. And I have as of yet to see a staged backyard poodle fight.
    • reply
      by Me too on Aug 24, 2011 at 08:36 AM in reply to Deadly Spaniel?
      I live by a person also that has way more dogs than they need and they too do not tend to them as needed. Report them and all that happens is the Animal Control person will come out and listen to all of their lies about why their dogs are really okay and then tell them who reported them so there's trouble in the neighborhood. So what happens? Dogs go on being treated poorly - straving and no water and no socialization - and nobody reports it anymore because instead of helping Animal Control created more problems for the neighborhood.
  • by Hoping for change Location: Woodville on Aug 23, 2011 at 09:23 PM
    I lived for several years beside a small time (breed description deleted) breeder that kept all his dogs on short chains. He provided them with small shelters, fed them when he felt like it, and supplied water in small crocks that were more often that not, empty. These poor dogs weren't socialized at all, and were just there to be puppy makers. Several of the mother dogs often took their frustrations out on their pups by killing them. Yes, I called Animal Control over and over about what was going on, but nothing was ever done. IMO, this vote was a save face baby step with no teeth to it. Much stronger measures are needed to insure that NO dogs will ever have to live out a miserable life attached to a short chain.
    • reply
      by Michelle on Aug 24, 2011 at 07:09 AM in reply to Hoping for change
      Thank you for doing what you could, but if this issue is important to you, get involved. There will be a focus group working with the commission to address the issue of tethering. Come be a part of it.
  • by i was there Location: southside on Aug 23, 2011 at 09:00 PM
    i had an interest in the community and the animals involved here. my question is did our county commisioner, Bill Proctor? it was so nice of him to show up after the community shared their concerns. he showed his commitment to leon county and his district once again. thanks bill, for nothing as usual.
    • reply
      by Tom on Aug 24, 2011 at 04:17 AM in reply to i was there
      Animals can't provide votes and kickbacks. Plus, they're superior creatures. He's embarrassed to be around the four-legged ones. He prefers the two-legged animals who put him in office.
    • reply
      by Proctor? on Aug 24, 2011 at 05:31 AM in reply to i was there
      Proctor was busy rambling on at some other meeting about something else unrelated of which he had no understanding.
    • reply
      by Michelle on Aug 24, 2011 at 07:11 AM in reply to i was there
      I was also there and was embarrassed and insulted by Commissioner Proctor's behavior. If he did not intend to attend the meeting, that's fine. But to come in toward the end and sit so disrespectfully - he was slouched down in his chair and his boredom was evident. He should have stayed out of the hearing and abstained from voting if that is how he feels about listening to citizens' input.
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