Keeping dogs chained in a yard will soon be against the law

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - The city council of Huntsville, Alabama, has passed an ordinance to ban the tethering of unattended animals, and it goes into effect next month.

News outlets report the ban says owners will be fined several hundred dollars for animal cruelty if unattended animals are left restrained to stationary objects. The director of Huntsville Animal Services, Karen Sheppard, says the ban was part of a nationwide push to determine if it's fair to leave a dog chained to a fixed spot. She says "more and more cities are saying no, it's not."

The ordinance that banned tethering passed in November and also strengthened other area pet regulations, including requiring outdoor pets have access to potable water, weatherproof shelter and food. The ordinance goes into effect March 1.