Residents concerned over Spartanburg dog ordinance

Petition started to better protect animals left out in the cold in Spartanburg.

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – A group of Spartanburg residents are looking for change to the city’s dog ordinance.

A number of residents spoke out during the public comment portion of Monday’s Spartanburg City Council meeting stating that the current ordinance is too vague.  They went on to explain that it doesn’t protect the animals when the temperatures drop below freezing.

“We need more specific language because when it says four walls, a roof and a floor it doesn’t say how big the door is so what if it’s a Chihuahua in a huge dog house that’s not going to help, and it doesn’t require any insulation,” said Susan Myers, concerned city resident.

With the cold temperatures last week, an online petition was started and over 7,000 people signed it in the first 72 hours asking for change. With the petition and vocal concern at the meeting, city council members said they recognize that there’s an issue.

The petition calls on city leaders to pass a stronger ordinance that penalizes pet owners who leave animals outside in extreme and dangerously cold weather.

It goes on to state:

It should be illegal for a pet to be left leashed and alone or caged outside in temperatures and for a length of time that exceed safe limits as determined by qualified experts (for instance in below-freezing temperatures). Pet owners found violating these restrictions should face stiff fines and repeat offenders should face pet forfeiture and jail time.

City council members plan to look at what other cities are doing and make changes going forward.