A committee of council wants to limit the length of time a dogs can be tethered outside in Windsor.

The environment, transportation and public safety standing committee says a dog should be tethered for no longer than four hours at a time.

Presently dogs in Windsor can be tethered indefinitely, so long as they have access to adequate food, water and shelter.

Melanie Coulter, the executive director of the local chapter of the Humane Society, supports the tethering bylaw.

Coulter said dogs are "easy to ignore because they're chained up"

"A lot of situations we see that turn out to be severe neglect situations start out with a dog chained up," Coulter said.

She said veterinary issues and needs can be easily missed if a dog remains tethered outside.

"Chaining is bad for dogs. Dogs are pack animals. They're social animals. A lonely life on a chain is basically slow torture for them," Coulter said. "They suffer a lot of psychological damage. They can become aggressive, anxious, neurotic even through lack of socialization, and it's just a really difficult life for them."

Coun. Bill Marra requested the review of Windsor's bylaw that governs animal welfare. He made the request during this year's extreme winter weather.

At the same council meeting, Coun. Hilary Payne asked a dog tethering provision be added to the bylaw.

City council wants to hear from the public on the issue.

The issue goes before city council at a future, unspecified date.

The committee's recommendation goes against a staff report that said no changes needed to be made.

It's not clear what an owner has to do with their dog after the four-hour time limit.