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Anderson City Council considers tougher animal abuse ordinance

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ANDERSON, Ind. – An ordinance proposed to the Anderson City Council would put tighter restrictions on pet owners in an effort to prevent animal abuse.

The ordinance, proposed by Democratic council president Greg Graham, takes a cue from ordinances in other cities that require dogs to be protected from extreme weather conditions.

Madison County Humane Society’s Susie Schieve helped write the ordinance and hopes it will bring Anderson in line with other communities that have similar requirements.

“I’m hoping that dog owners will be made accountable for torturing the animals many times that are tied out 24/7 in freezing cold weather,” Schieve said.

The measure would change Anderson’s existing laws and require dogs be brought inside if the temperature outside goes below 20 degrees, or if a wind chill advisory is issued. It would also apply in the summer if the temperature goes above 90 degrees.

“Our communities around here all have wonderful ordinances,” Schieve said. “We are kind of sitting in a little bit of an area where we just haven’t quite come up to snuff with this.”

“We had two dogs come in not long ago, we went out and picked them up,” Schieve said. “And one didn’t survive, it was almost frozen to the ground.”

The dog that did survive, named Ronda, is now living at the Humane Society Shelter and is doing well.

Other measures included in the ordinance would ban tethering of dogs outside between the hours of 11 p.m and 6 a.m. It would also require dog shelters to be built from weather-resistant materials with enough room for a dog to stand up and turn around inside.

The ordinance also seeks to prevent so-called backyard breeders from over-breeding dogs.

“Those are the people that just breed them in their homes, breed them in the back yard,” Schieve said. “Puppy mill type breeders.”

The ordinance would stipulate that a single dog can not be bred more than twice a year.

“And even two times a year is really too much,” Schieve said. “But we would be agreeable to that for now.”

Some details of the ordinance are still being worked out, such as possible penalties violators would face. The council is expected to hear the ordinance at its next meeting on March 8.

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