New law protecting animals goes into effect August 1
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A new animal care and control law goes into effect August 1 in South Bend. If you break the law, you could face fines up to $2,500.
As of August 1, it will be illegal to tether your dog to a tree, fence - anything.
The law is designed to stop people from leaving a dog chained up 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
Neighbors say a dog on Jackson Street lives his life on a chain.
"Day after day my husband and I take our dogs walking and I would hear that dog crying every single morning out there," said Sarah Florkowski.
Clumps of the dog's fur are in the grass, it has sores on its nose and its water bowl is empty despite the 80-degree weather. Shards of glass litter the yard where he tries to find some shade.
"For a while he did have a dog house but then after the dog house fell down they just tied him to a vacant house fence and left him there," said Florkowski.
Neighbors say they've tried to help the dog, but haven't had any luck due to a language barrier.
We took our Spanish speaking producer to ask the family why the dog is living in such poor conditions.
The woman, Rosa Tomas, says the dog is her sister's. She admits the dog is always tied up outside regardless of the weather - rain, snow, heat.
South Bend Common Council member Valerie Schey has been working on this law for years.
"What the new law will include is that dogs cannot be chained out in their yard when there is not a responsible adult at home to supervise. The dog has to have a leather or nylon collar. You can't just have the chain around the dog's neck. The dog can't be chained out between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.," said Schey.
That means the dog on Jackson Street may no longer have to bear the weight of the heavy chain. And as of Friday it will be illegal to keep it tied to a tree.
Tomas says her sister may not keep the dog.
"I will have her think about that-- if she wants to have him as an inside dog. She can decide whether she wants to keep him or sell him," said Tomas.
The law also says a dog must be spayed or neutered to be outside.
South Bend Animal Care and Control cited the owners of the dog on Jackson Street on Wednesday. The owner has 10 days to comply or will face a fine.
If they continue not to comply, the dog could be taken away.