It Is Now Illegal To Leave A Dog Chained Up Outside In The Cold

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Virginia recently made some important changes to state laws to help ensure the welfare of our furry friends here.

Among other things, the two identical bills  (HB 1552 and SB 272) extend the minimum length of a tether to fifteen feet, and limit the conditions in which an animal can be tethered outside to temperatures between 32 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Summary:

Tethering animals; adequate shelter and space. Provides that the outdoor tethering of an animal does not meet the requirement of adequate shelter during a hurricane warning or tropical storm warning or if the animal is not safe from predators or well suited or equipped to tolerate its environment. The bill provides that unless an animal control officer has inspected an animal's individual circumstances and determined it to be safe from predators and well suited and equipped to tolerate its environment, no such outdoor tethering during a heat advisory, a severe weather warning, or a period when the temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower shall constitute the provision of adequate shelter. The measure increases the minimum tether length required to constitute adequate space to 15 feet in length or four times the length of the animal, whichever is greater. Current law requires the tether to be at least 10 feet in length or three times the length of the animal, whichever is greater. The bill provides an exception for a case in which an animal control officer, having inspected an animal's individual circumstances, determines that a shorter tether of at least 10 feet or three times the length of the animal makes the animal safer, more suited, and better equipped to tolerate its environment than a longer tether would.

There’s a lot in there for animal lovers to cheer, and it’s good to see the state looking out for it’s non-human residents.

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Maddison Pace

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