Here’s someone we can all get behind as she works to improve her part of the world.
She’s fighting for dogs’ lives
She wants the Clay County Commission to outlaw tying up animals endlessly.
By ANNE MARIE APOLLO, The Times-Union
Betty Rammon isn’t above begging.
Moved by the plight of dogs left tied outside in the Florida heat, the Orange Park pet sitter has phoned owners unmoved by her requests to treat the animals better.
Now she’s calling on the Clay County Commission, asking for an ordinance that would outlaw leaving pets endlessly tethered.
“You don’t tie your friends to a tree,” said the owner of six dogs. “It’s not a normal behavior for them. They’re pack animals. They want to be with you.”
Rammon’s petition for a change will go before the commission at its meeting Tuesday.
Commissioner Doug Conkey said if the ordinance saves one animal, it will be worth pursuing. Similar prohibitions are in effect elsewhere, he said.
Rammon hopes the county will consider adopting an ordinance similar to one passed in Okaloosa County in 1993.
Dee Thompson-Poirrier, director of animal services there, said communities across the country have called for information on the ordinance, which was passed after several dogs died from strangulation and lack of access to their water bowls.
Years after Okaloosa County passed its ordinance, workers there still spend a lot of time talking to people who see no problem with tethering, Thompson-Poirrier said.
Signs are posted near tethering equipment at Okaloosa County hardware stores that the practice is illegal and when a complaint comes in that a dog has been tied up, animal control works with owners to help them consider fencing a run or a kennel.
When constant tethering isn’t fatal it can often be an end to a dog’s temperament, Thompson-Poirrier said.
Jacksonville dog trainer and retired Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jim Crosby said the impact potentially can go beyond the individual animal.
Crosby, who investigates fatal dog attacks, said about a quarter of such incidents involve an animal that was either tethered or had a history of being tied up.
Jacksonville allows the tethering of animals, so long as the chain meets requirements on length and weight, according to its animal control ordinances. The dog also has to have access to shelter, food and water.