A new ordinance banning the outside tethering of dogs takes effect in Rome and Floyd County today.

Under this new ordinance, animals are not allowed to be outside on a chain or tether unless the owner is present, attests Jeff Mitchell, the Director of Public Animal Welfare Services (or PAWS).

Violators could face fines of $135 up to $1,000, adds Mitchell.

Assistance is available to those who do not have the proper fencing or kennel for their animal(s), according to Mitchell, who directs those in need to fill out a “Pet Aide Assistance” application via the PAWS page on the Floyd County website at www.floydcountyga.gov.

Mitchell urges anyone who needs help to comply with the new ordinance to reach out to him.

Floyd County Public Animal Welfare Services is located at 99 North Avenue in Rome, and their phone number is (706) 236-4537. The shelter remains in search of new adopters, foster pet owners, and volunteers at this time, asserts Mitchell.