Iron Mountain, Mich. (WZMQ) – In Dickinson County, officials are cracking down on animal neglect in the hot summer months. Animal Control is educating residents on proper animal care, reminding pet owners to leave their pets at home in extreme heat and provide proper ventilation and plenty of water. The county prosecutor is warning residents that providing inadequate shelter for a dog chained up outside is against the law. Animal control is encouraging residents to check with reputable online resources on how to property construct a dog shelter, if necessary.
County Prosecuting Attorney, Lisa Richards, informed that she is starting with educating residents, but this is her official warning for animal offenses.
“We’ve only had a couple of nice weeks here in the U.P., and I’ve already seen several incidents of concern. We won’t hesitate to enforce the laws in an effort to protect our pets,” said the prosecutor.
Residents are reminded that animals are to be provided with adequate care, which constitutes food, water, a proper shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise, and veterinary care. Residents are being warned that a tree does not provide sufficient shelter from the elements for a dog chained up outside. Water should be made regularly available to the animal.
Animal owners who violate the law could face criminal charges, forfeiture of the animal, psychiatric evaluation, community service, and fines. In some cases, violators could be ordered not to possess animals in the future.
Proper tethering guidelines state that the tether should be at least three times the length of the dog and attached to a harness or non-choke collar designed specifically for tethering. The measurement for the tether should be taken from the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of its tail, and a tether should be 3x that length. Dogs must also be leashed at local hiking trails and parks.
Dog owners should not allow dogs to run at large outside areas that are designated for dogs, unless the property of the dog owner.
“The animal control officer did want me to mention leashing at Lake Antoine Park. I guess there have been a fair number of reports of unleashed dogs, and you know a person can be ticketed for that, so make sure your dog’s on a leash,” she commented.
Residents are urged to know the laws and to provide proper care for their animals to avoid penalties and ensure the safety and well-being of their pets. Residents are also urged to check with their city or township for local dog and animal ordinances, and to follow those as well as state and county laws. For residents who are struggling with being able to care for their animal, they are asked to seek help from friends or family members, or neighbors first, but may also contact a local shelter or rescue to avoid an animal care emergency.
The prosecuting attorney is asking the citizens of Dickinson county to report violations or suspected violations of these regulations to local law enforcement and remind everyone that animal abuse or neglect will not be tolerated.