Proposed legislation currently under consideration would amend Bexley's animal-cruelty code and ban tethering animals outdoors unattended under certain conditions.

If Bexley City Council adopts Ordinance 32-17, it would update Bexley's animal-cruelty code "to keep us in line with current thinking on tethering," said Councilman Troy Markham, chairman of council's Recreation and Parks Committee, who introduced the legislation on Nov. 14.

Markham said the proposed ordinance grew out of discussions about responsible pet ownership that arose when the city adopted new guidelines last year, lifting the ban on residents owning pit bulls.

If approved, the ordinance would prohibit the following:

* Tethering an animal outdoors unattended between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and in the event of a severe cold or heat advisory issued by a local, state or national government authority.

* Tethering animals with a pinch, prong or choke-type collar or any type of tether that is unsuitable for an animal's size and weight.

* Using a tether on an animal that is entangled or does not allow free movement of the animal for the tether's full length.

* Tethering animals in a manner that could allow the animal to become entangled with a fence or other tethered animals.

* Tethering an animal in a manner that would allow it to reach the property of another person other than the pet owner, a public walkway or a road.

The legislation is designed to strengthen existing provisions in Bexley's animal-cruelty code, said Mayor Ben Kessler.

"Our current code does require food and water be provided to animals outside who are on a tether," he said.

If council approves the legislation, it will not prevent all instances in which pet owners act irresponsibly but will provide a framework for the city to keep dogs and other pets from being tethered outside in inhumane conditions, Bexley City Attorney Marc Fishel said.

"This ordinance is not going to stop somebody from keeping their dog out there for a half an hour and letting it bark and then yelling at it to keep it from barking," he said.

The second reading of the ordinance was scheduled for council's Nov. 28 meeting. The third and final reading is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.