New Heat Law to Affect Dog Owners

By: Will Jones Email
By: Will Jones Email

Dog owners have some studying to do this week to make sure the way they take care of their dog doesn't break the law.

Monday night, Charleston City Council passed a 22-page dog ordinance. Now, dog owners will need to watch the clock when the temperature hits 90.

Joe Mullins says he takes good care of his dog.

"He's very well mannered and well-behaved," said Mullins. "Everybody in the neighborhood loves him."

But a new law could get him in trouble.

If the temperature reaches the nineties, the new dog ordinance will kick in, making it illegal for people who live in the city to leave their dog outside for more than an hour at a time.

"Hot weather is a very dangerous times for pets especially for dogs who are unable to sweat and cool themselves like people are," said pet owner Elizabeth Matheny.

Dr. Sarah Stephenson sees a lot of dogs in her office suffering from heat stroke.

"The important aspect of pet ownership is you treat your dog right and not tie them out for days. It's dangerous," said Dr. Stephenson.

That's why Joe Mullins says this ordinance is needed.

If you leave it to individuals, you'll have individuals mistreat their dogs," said Mullins.

The dog ordinance also gives the city more power to respond to dangerous dogs. The new law goes into effect in about a week.

The Charleston Police Department's two humane officers will be responsible for enforcing the ordinance.

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