Animal tether ordinance passed by Fernandina Beach City Commission

New law says owners cannot tether animals unless their outside with them

The Fernandina Beach City Commission has passed its own animal tethering ordinance a month after another tethering law was approved by the Nassau County Commission.

The new tether law limits pet tethering to times when the owner is outside with the animal, which must be in sight of the owner.

The tether, which must be at least 10 feet in length, must be attached to the animal by a buckle collar or body harness to prevent injury or entanglement.

Dogs can suffer mental and physical abuse when tethered for long periods.

"A dog that has been tied up or confined to a space on its own, if it happens to get lost, the chances are that dog might bite somebody, or attack another dog, or cause an issue just because the dog has pretty much no social interactions," Hot Paws Pet Resort owner Oscar Martinez said.

In May, Nassau County enacted its own tether ordinance where animals can't be tied for longer than 12 hours in a 24-hour period. The tether location must not allow the animal to extend over a fence and the animal must have access to proper shelter, food and water.

Fernandina Beach residents previously couldn’t tether animals for longer than 10 hours over a 24-hour period. Violators will earn a $100 citation the first time, $200 the second time and $300 the third time.

For tethering laws in other counties, go to: