COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Chain-Free Dogs is a new ordinance being considered by the Columbus City Council.
At Tuesday night's Columbus City Council Meeting, dozens gathered before the board pleading for better standards for dogs in the valley.
Under the proposed new ordinance, it would only allow for animals to be chained for a maximum of 12 hours per day, in order to decrease the amount of animal cruelty reports and a proper harness for neck safety.
"We took great concern making sure this is a fair document, something that is not imposing on somebody to take care of the animal, because the main concern that we have is community safety," said Becky Carter, a member of the Animal Advisory Board.
The movement started just eight months ago. Now, through change.org, the group Chain-Free Dogs has collected nearly 20,000 signatures on their petition.
"It's incredible. People all the way from Thailand have joined in, saying let's get these dogs off chains. It's time," said Christy Noullet, lead advocate of the group.
Thousands have expressed interest and support for the in the Valley area, bringing to the forefront the reportedly growing issue of animal neglect within the city.
"Their collars are getting imbedded, the dogs are not being fed and taken care of, they aren't getting vaccinated, which causes problems with rabies, parvo, you're making animals sick, as well as children," said Noullett.
Members of the Columbus City Council showed their support for the cause, and the Mayor, Teresa Tomlinson made sure to distinguish between the ordinance and animal cruelty.
She says people who violate the current animal cruelty measure can still face up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if found guilty.
The board will vote on this chain-free dog ordinance at the next regularly scheduled council meeting, on March 7 at 5:30 p.m.