Some people might get the impression that the Town of Clayton is more concerned about water consumption than animals. Sound ridiculous?
New rules require owners of new landscaping to obtain a permit if they want to irrigate more often than current rules allow. For the first offense, Clayton will fine you $250. If you tether a dog, the town will fine you $50 the first time. In other words, it is a worse crime irrigate new landscaping without the proper permits than it is to let a dog be chained to a tree outside for possibly several hours.
I don’t think the town intended for people to view the new ordinances negatively. But, for animal lovers like myself, the low violation cost sends the wrong message. I’ve never been a fan of tethering dogs. If you can, install a fence or dog run or keep them enclosed. Owners can crate-train their dogs if they do not want their dog running loose. If you need to tether the dog to wash the car or mow the lawn, that is fine. But leaving a dog tethered all day is unacceptable.
Of course, residents should obey the rules for irrigating new landscaping. But if you irrigate new landscaping without the permit on a wrong day, you get slapped with fines up to $500. You will also face the threat of your water being shut off for 45 days. Fines don’t get that high for animal cruelty. But perhaps, it is time they should.