A model dog and cat ordinance that would make it illegal to leave dogs tied up outside of shops and that bans leashes longer than 6 feet will start making the rounds of local governing bodies soon.
They can approve parts or none of the model ordinanceÂ developed by the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission at the request of heads of local governments in the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council.
Other possibly controversial parts of the proposed model ordinance include not allowing dogs to be tied up unattended in temperatures below 32 degrees or above 85 degrees; no feeding of stray cats; when leaving a dog unattended, the tether cannot be longer than 10 feet or longer than five times the length of the dog (whichever is shorter); and when leaving a dog unattended the owner cannot use a choke collar, a pronged collar or a pinch collar; finally,Â dogs cannot ride in the open back of pickup trucks unless they are in crates or tethered so they cannot fall or jump out of the truck.
The model ordinance came to mixed reactions from leaders in the southeren Milwaukee County.
In Greendale, for example, where dog and cat regulations are few, Village President Jim Birmingham said certain parts of the proposed model ordinance offer appealing additions to the village’s slim codes.
“Our ordinances are wide open. There are some things that need to be looked at,” he said.
At the same time, over in Greenfield, where Darren Rausch ,health department director, is looking over the model ordinance for the city, a fair number of the recommendations are for problems Greenfield doesn’t have, he said.
Leaders in Greenfield, Greendale, West Allis and Hales Corners said their communities would likely review the model ordinances in November or at least before the end of the year. Except for West Allis , which has not even begun to review the model ordinance, initial reactions of community leaders to some of its proposals include:
Greendale’sÂ Birmingham said he comes at the issue of tying up dogs outside of shops from two perspectives. One is as village president, but the other is as a coffeeshop owner.
“The greatest problem is people tying up dogs outdoors,” he said. They tie them to outdoor chairs and tables, he said.
“The dog immediately starts to bark when the owner goes in and pulls the chair in front of the door,” he said.Â However, Birmingham said in general he doesn’t have an issue with dogs being tied outside of shops, if only they could be away from doorways, he said.
The rationale MADACC offered for the ban is that a dog that is tied and left on a sidewalk could get into fights with other dogs or might nip at adults or children who approach and try to pet them.
Rausch said, “Broadly speaking, in Greenfield we haven’t had issues with either of those things. They may be issues in other parts of the county.”
Hales Corners Village President Daniel BessonÂ tended to agree with not letting owners leaving dogs unattended outside of shops.
“For the animal’s safety and the residents’ safety, I think that’s a good idea,” he said.
Maybe 6-foot leashes are a good idea for around stores, said Greendale’s Birmingham. Big dogs are hard to control with long leashes, so shorter ones should be discussed, said Hales Corners’ Besson. Again, it’s a solution in search of a problem in Greenfield, Rausch said.
MADACC recommends an ordinance against leaving dogsÂ out in temperatures hotter than 85 degrees or colder than 32 degrees.
That’s micromanaging, said Birmingham in Greendale. Limits should be both higher and lower, said Besson in Hales Corners. Greenfield has an ordinance touching on this, but hasn’t encounteredÂ a violation for 12 years, said Rausch.Â
“I’m probably more against that than neutral,” said Greendale’s Birmingham. “Some say the only way to keep a dog under control is with a training collar that pinches,” Besson in Hales Corners said. “We really have to look at how it’s being used and what type.”
“They seem a little inhumane. This could be something we could add,” said Rausch in Greenfield.
“I think everybody can see that. It breeds more cats,” said Greendale’s Birmingham. “I guess I have a problem with this one,” said Hales Corners’ Besson. “I’m a nature-lover and I would like to feed an animal rather than see it go hungry or kill other animals. I understand both sides of the argument.”
“Our ordinances have always said you cannot feed any stray or wild animal,” said Rausch of Greenfield.