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High Point leaders approve new shelter law to help protect pets

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Helping pets find comfort is what volunteers with Project BARK have done for about eight years now.

“You know, helping to get those dogs off chains and helping them to get into homes comfortably, the way we know the owners genuinely want to do but might not always have the ability,” said Jennie Lama, volunteer with Project BARK.

Over the last eight years, the nonprofit has helped provide more than 1,300 free dog houses. However, recently, they noticed the need is even greater

“Some of the results of the tethering ordinance, which are now trickling into High Point, we saw that folks have taken the dogs off the chain and put them in a box to avoid the tethering. The challenge is that when a dog is in a box and especially with weather like this, or in a wired cage -- that's me outside in this jacket,” Lama said.

She says last month, the group brought the issue to the city and in turn, Monday, city council passed an ordinance requiring adequate shelter for pets.

Under this new law, dog owners will have to provide food, shelter and meet medical needs.

The shelter itself will have to be fully enclosed on three sides with a roof and solid floor.

It must be sturdy enough to protect dogs from the weather and large enough so they are comfortable.

“My hope is that we get an influx of new folks coming in needing dog houses, that we need more people helping us build them,” Lama stated.

Just like the tethering law, there will be a one-year education phase and then a six-month warning before it goes into effect next year.

Project BARK says if you need help on what to do or even with getting a dog house, you can reach them here.