Resident circulating petition to stop lifetime tethering of dogs

— Annie Carlson wants to see an end to 24-hour tethering of dogs, and needs the community’s help to change current Michigan law.

The Swartz Creek resident recently created an online petition in early August, and hopes to get a bill introduced into legislature that will stop lifetime tethering of dogs. What sparked Carlson to take action was seeing a short-chained to its doghouse New Year’s Eve in the western part of the state.

“It was sub-zero and the dog was shortchained to a dilapidated dog house,” she said. “I called the sheriff’s office and it was after hours. The deputy sheriff called me the next day and said unfortunately, the owner was within the law. I couldn’t believe it. I’ll never forget that sight.”

From that moment, Carlson began researching tethering laws, discovering that California passed a limit on tethering five years ago. Her husband said she should start a petition, and Carlson took action after witnessing a beagle down the street who was chained to its doghouse. Carlson now has the beagle, and he is up for adoption.

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.

“It is a very sad sight to see a dog chained to a dog house day after day without any love or attention,” Carlson wrote on the petition’s website. “Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained (or tethered), can become very aggressive. A chained dog, unable to take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person. Dogs have even been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain.”

Her goal is 1,000 signatures in hopes of changing the current law, making it 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. The State of California limits the time to three hours.”

Individuals interested in viewing or signing the petition can visit
/. Donations are not required to sign. For more information, individuals can contact Carlson at 810-869-5539 or e-mail

To read the current law regarding animal tethering, visit


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