Joplin, MO- A new Joplin city ordinance will effect many dog owners.
The Joplin city council has voted that tethering a dog with a chain or rope won't be allowed.
Right now, outdoor dogs can be tethered or placed in a fenced yard or pen.
But the change means that as of July 1st, 2010, tethering is not an option.
The change dates back several months when the city council asked health workers to look for options of curbing aggressive behavior by dogs.
Joplin City Health Director Dan Pekarek said, "They were continuing to receive concerns from citizens about dangerous situations where people were chaining their dangerous dogs in the yard. And people were frankly scared to walk down the sidewalk in their own neighborhood for fear of that dog getting off its chain."
The measure won't be official until next summer, and city workers say they'll start working with citizens now to make sure they're aware of the change.
The new ordinance also has guidelines for owners who decide to build a pen for their dog - with the amount of space based on the size of the animal.