NORMAN, Oklahoma - A new city ordinance designed to protect unattended animals is now in effect in Norman.  

The law making it illegal to tie, chain or tether an unattended dog or cat went into effect September 1, however, Norman Animal Welfare officers said they won’t be patrolling the streets looking for violations.  

“It’s only going to be compliant driven,” Norman Animal Welfare Manager Mark Bechtel said. “We are not going to be proactive in enforcing this. Hopefully, that will rest some minds.”

Bechtel said there have been instances where dogs were attacked and unable to defend themselves from other animals because they were limited by a chain or rope.

“It’s very common that we see a lot of injuries due to unsupervised tethering or inappropriate equipment, heavier chain so that it is a real burden to the animal, neck wounds,” Bechtel said. “That is the real challenge, that we are seeing several wounds from tethering.”

The ordinance allows violators to be ticketed, however, the department said it’s much more likely calls will be treated as educational opportunities with the animal’s owner rather than enforcement actions.