Inspired by a young resident, the El Portal council has approved on first reading an ordinance that prohibits dog tethering within the village.
The council voted 4-0 in support of the ordinance, which will go into effect after it is approved on second reading later this month or September.
El Portal Mayor Claudia Cubillos says the ordinance was prompted by young Luna Balzano, who founded Think Petsitive, which promotes responsible pet ownership.
“I was impressed that at the tender age of 9 years old she was so compassionate, community driven and simply wanted to be involved in the process of change and improvement in her community,” Cubillos said of Luna, now 10. “I invited her to speak at our council meeting.”
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Luna was inspired after watching an incident first hand.
“There’s a dog outside in our neighborhood that is tied up to a tree that has no shelter or food, water and it is outside on the heat so it could be very ill,” said Luna who owns two cats. “I don’t want it to happen.”
The ordinance states that anyone found guilty of dog tethering will be given a warning the first time. A second offense would bring a $1,000 fine and fines would go up if repeated, Village Manager Jason Walker said.
Luna’s mother, Lesley Balzano, is proud of her daughter.
“I think its wonderful. It is part of a school project,” she said. “It has become a passion for her. She went way beyond. Just because she’s 10 years-old doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a voice.”
For more information about Think Petsitive, visit www.facebook.com/thinkpetsitive.