- By law, Animal Services deputies cannot enter private property and remove an animal without the owner's consent or a search warrant related to a criminal investigation.
- After Animal Services receives a tethering complaint, deputies must first attempt to locate the owner and make them aware of the ordinance. If an owner is not at home, a note, requesting that they contact the Sheriff's Office, is hung on their door.
- During their initial contact with the owner, Animal Services recommends keeping the pet indoors or in a fenced in area. If a pet owner does not have the means to purchase a fence, they are referred to one of our community partners. Typically, within a few weeks, a fence is installed at no charge to the pet owner.
- If the owner is unwilling to follow the law, they receive a written warning. Additional tethering complaints will result in a civil penalty or criminal charges.
Animal Services deputies have learned criminal charges are not always a deterrent for violators of the tether ban. Through its Healthy Animal Initiative, the Animal Services Division offers pet owners a chance to comply with the law in a non-punitive way. If deputies immediately charge a pet owner for a tethering violation, the cost of court fees can prevent some pet owners from taking the necessary steps toward purchasing a fence for their animal and providing them a healthy home with a long-term solution. The Sheriff’s Office wants to prevent animals from entering the local animal shelter.