By Justin Cox

Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen's animal advisory committee backs a ban on the use of ropes to tether dogs to a stationary point ? no exceptions, exemptions or permits allowed.

The 5-to-3 vote sends the measure to the City Council and is the latest recommendation from the committee in an ongoing series of revisions to the city's dangerous animal laws.

Municipal prosecutor Holli Clements said the addition would move Killeen in line with Fort Hood, which has a similar regulation in place.

"We're looking at going to a no-tie ordinance. Currently, the ordinance allows for a pulley system so it's not tied to a single point. A lot of research shows that it tends to breed aggression in animals," Clements said.

The ordinance is intended to limit ties on dogs, particularly pit bulls. The committee considered the possibility of permitting tethering for more than 40 minutes.

Councilman and committee chair Larry Cole, who sided with the minority, wanted to see some level of permit authorization included to account for special circumstances.

Councilman and committee member Juan Rivera sided with the majority and condemned the practice of tying down animals.

Cole has spoken out against practices such as tethering as he said he sees it often in his line of work, which takes him all over the city.

"If you can't afford to properly fence and maintain the animal, you shouldn't have it," Cole said.

The committee recommended substantial changes to the dangerous animal ordinance earlier this year.

Perhaps, the biggest additions are of the legal variety, provisions for the owners of animals deemed to be dangerous.

The old ordinance gave no middle ground for such animals ? either they were euthanized or returned to the owner.

This ordinance establishes clear guidelines for owners, including an appeals process for the hearing to review evidence and determine the animal's status and a course of action required to keep it.

The ordinance requires the owner to get liability insurance of at least $100,000, have the animal sterilized, register it once a year with animal control, identify it with a special external tag, such as a collar as well as an internal tag via a microchip implant underneath the skin, and provide proof to the animal control office.

Contact Justin Cox at or (254) 501-7568.

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