Rockmart City Seal

Rockmart Mayor Steve Miller promised the city council will look into a proposed ordinance that would make tethering pets outside for long periods of time illegal.

The City of Cedartown took up the issue in past months and passed an ordinance explicitly forbidding animal owners from leaving their pets tethered up outside without adequate access to food, water and shelter with penalties involved for those who break the new rule.

Now Cedartown Humane Society president Charlotte Harrison wants the City of Rockmart to follow suit.

Harrison said she came to the meeting on the invitation of council member Sherman Ross to speak to other members briefly about the problems of tethering, specifically what harm it does to the community.

"Dogs feel the cold and the heat just like you," she said. "They experience isolatio nand neglect just as you would if you were tethered. They die just as you would when starvation and neglect rave run their course."

She contends that along with the harm it causes to animals, it also does serious harm to neighborhoods, especially with "children, who are likely to learn from it and inflict similar acts of cruelty on their pets and playmates."

Harrison also pointed out that when pets are tethered, specifically dogs, they become aggressive since they don't have usual human contact. When those dogs get loose, they often become a threat to pedestrians and neighbors alike, and are never seen again.

She also provided the council with sample legislation much like the one Cedartown passed in January, with the goal in mind that the City of Rockmart can move forward quickly with the proposal.

Right now, Cedartown is the only municipality in Polk County to bar tethering of pets outdoors, with the other three local governments still allowing the practice.

See more from the Rockmart City Council meeting on Feb. 14 in the coming edition of the Standard Journal.