Resident circulating petition to change tethering law

SWARTZ CREEK — With more than 2,000 signatures in total, Swartz Creek resident Annie Carlson is still pushing to change Michigan law regarding 24- hour tethering of dogs.

Carlson, who began her online petition in August 2010, has been gathering online and written signatures to help change the current law. As a step closer to realizing her goal, she will be meeting with a state representative in the next two weeks.

“We need a compassionate legislator to understand this,” Carlson said.

Under current Michigan law, an individual cannot tether a dog “unless the tether is at least three times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail and is attached to a harness or nonchoke collar designed for tethering.” It is legal for an individual to keep a dog tethered 24 hours a day for its entire life, regardless of breed said Carlson.

Instead of the current law, Carlson is pushing for it to be changed so that “No person or persons shall have the right to tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog any longer than is necessary for the person to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be restrained for a reasonable period.”

Until the a new law is introduced, Carlson is informing as many people as she can on the current Michigan law. “So many areas don’t know about the law, and I’m just trying to help educate the public,” she said.

People interested in signing the petition can visit canine_ tethering/. For more information, individuals can e-mail her at or call her at 810-869-5539 for a written copy of the petition.

In addition to the petition, Carlson has started a Facebook page called “Michigan Citizens Against Canine Long Term Tethering.” Individuals interested in learning more about her petition, along with details on upcoming informational meetings, can visit the page by searching for it on Facebook.

There will be an info meeting 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 19 at Shap’s on Hill Rd. To attend, call or e-mail Carlson.

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