To Tether or Not to Tether? Lawmakers Weigh In

Mar 7, 2018

Lawmakers in Richmond are deadlocked on how to handle tethering of dogs.

What happens when a dog is tethered to a leash that’s too short? Or it’s freezing? Or it’s just too hot to keep a dog outside? Senator Lionell Spruill of Chesapeake says restrictions on dog tethering should be statewide.

“Make it mandatory because some people don’t realize or may not know that when it’s real cold you need to bring the dog in. They don’t know that. They don’t know that when the chain is too short that a dog can hurt himself.”

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Republican Delegate Bobby Orrock of Spotsylvania disagrees. He says local governments should make the determination about whether they want to enact local ordinances on tethering.

“Nowhere has any veterinary practice or other national standards said the actual act of tethering is in and of itself inhumane.”

In the end, neither Spruill nor Orrock got what they wanted. Speaker Kirk Cox killed the bill after Orrock brought a procedural challenge.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.