After impassioned words on both sides, the West York Council narrowly voted down an ordinance concerning dogs being tethered and left outside in severe weather.

Solicitor Stacey MacNeal told council before the vote that she researched the ordinance proposed by the York County SPCA, as well as the borough code. She said it is not clear whether the borough has the legal authority to enforce the ordinance.

Councilwoman Nancy Laird said she thought it should be a state issue.

Melissa Smith, executive director of the York County SPCA, said the legislation was not successful on a state basis, in her opinion, because so much of the state is rural.

Laird also asked why so few municipalities are adopting the ordinance. Smith said two municipalities are expected to approve the ordinance later in April.

Councilwoman Dawn Shue said West York has a dog problem that some other municipalities may not have the problem. "We need to prevent abuse," she said.

President Steve Herman said he asked representatives from one borough and one township why they won't pass the ordinance. They told him they believed the ordinance invades people's rights, doesn't define dogs designed to live outside and can be used by people who have issues with their neighbors.

"Their solicitor suggested to not pass it, and they will not," he said.

Smith said the language of the ordinance can be modified.

After the meeting, Metzler said a petition would be brought door-to-door to borough residents to ask them if they support or are opposed to the proposed ordinance.

How they voted

Voting against the ordinance were President Steve Herman, Vice President Shane Louthian, Nancy Laird and Annette Christine.

Voting for the ordinance were Dawn Shue, Shelley Metzler and Brian Wilson.