RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia’s House of Delegates and state Senate have passed versions of anti-tethering bills that could make a life-or-death difference for outdoor dogs.
Animal advocates from PETA worked with legislators to come up with Senate Bill 272, which calls for stricter tethering restrictions for outdoor dogs in extreme temperatures and weather events. The bill also seeks to restrict the use of tethers during overnight hours, as well as when the dog’s owner is not home.
In all of these cases, the dog can still be outside in a pen with adequate shelter, but cannot be chained up. The House passed another version of this bill, however advocates say it’s a more watered down version.
“When they’re tethered they can very easily get tangled up on debris, on trees, and then they can’t get in their dog house," Dogs Deserve Better Blue Ridge Founder Kimerbly Hawk said. "So they could freeze to death overnight during the winter. So if they are in a pen, they can still be outside, but at least they can defend themselves better.”
Legislators from the House and Senate will convene to go over each version of the bill to potentially come up with one version that Governor Ralph Northam could sign into law later this year.