Birmingham approves ordinance to prevent inhumane tethering of animals

Birmingham, dogs
Photo via Wade Cline for Bham Now

At its weekly meeting, the Birmingham City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to amend the city’s code to prevent animals from being inhumanely tethered.

In a recent Bham Now interview before the vote, City Councilor Hunter Williams, Chair of the Public Safety Committee stated the reason for the initiative.

“Essentially we have had a large amount of complaints about people who are using dogs as a cheap alarm system. They get a puppy and tether them – chain them to a tree or some sort of fixed post in their yard. This ordinance will make that illegal and it sets out specific fines.”

Illegal Tethering

As a result of the July 21st vote, it is now illegal in Birmingham for dogs and other animals to be tethered for more than eight consecutive hours. What are the penalties?

  • The first offense will be a $150 fine. 
  • The second and third offense within a 12-month period will carry fines of $250 and $400, respectively.

“If someone has been found to committing the offense two times in a 12 month period, they actually have to show up to court, they can’t just pay a fine. It makes using a chain or tying up a dog illegal in the city of Birmingham,” Williams told Bham Now.


Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s CEO Allison Black Corneilius praised the passage of the new Birmingham ordinance in a Facebook post immediately after the vote.


Read the entire amendment to the city code – HERE.

Will Other Cities Follow?

Birmingham, dogs
Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

In her taped Facebook message, Corneilius calls on surrounding municipalities to follow Birmingham’s lead.

From the video: If you see this Facebook Live and live in a different city that does not have a ban on tethering, you need to contact your chair of the city council or mayor and tell them enough is enough and we need to stop it.

Will other cities follow? Stay tuned.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

Articles: 2087