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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing for October 20 on a proposal that would, among other provisions, prohibit tethering a dog for more than 1 hour cumulatively a day – with no exceptions. 

The proposal specifically states that this restriction is in place even if the dog is provided with the required amount of space as set out in state law.  It would also seem to apply even if the owner is with the dog. 

There is also no definition of tethering in the proposal, so this provision could negatively impact veterinary offices, shelters, grooming businesses, private homes, AKC and other dog events, and situations where dogs are safely and humanely tethered to be groomed or examined, or to prevent them from escape or harm when there is no fence or other appropriate enclosure. 

It is common practice for participants in AKC dog shows, field trials, hunt tests, and other sportsmen and dog activities to temporarily tether a dog during training or events.  In each of these instances, dogs can be safely and humanely tethered, and the tether may actually protect the dog from injury or harm. 

Those found in violation of the tethering ban will be subject to penalties, and those convicted could be prohibited by the court from possessing or owning companion animals.

The AKC is urging the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to change this language to prohibit tethering that endangers a dog’s health and safety, or to remove that portion of the proposal in its entirety.

Read AKC’s blog entitled “Sassy’s Story and the Question of Tethering” for more about this issue.

What You Can Do:

The proposal is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, October 20.  If you are a resident of Fairfax County, please do the following:

Attend the October 20 public hearing and express your concerns about the proposal as it is currently written.  View the county’s hearing notice, and sign up online to speak by clicking here.

Contact the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors prior to the October 20 hearing and express your concerns with the proposal as written:

 

Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Chair (At-Large)
Phone: 703-324-2321
E-mail: chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov

Supervisor Penelope Gross (Mason)
Phone: 703-256-7717
E-mail: mason@fairfaxcounty.gov

Supervisor John Cook (Braddock)
Phone: 703-425-9300
E-mail: braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov  

Supervisor John Foust (Dranesville)
Phone: 703-356-0551
E-mail: dranesville@fairfaxcounty.gov 

Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (Hunter Mill)
Phone: 703-478-0283
E-mail: huntermill@fairfaxcounty.gov

Supervisor Jeff McKay (Lee)
Phone: 703-971-6262
E-mail: SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.gov  

Supervisor Gerald Hyland (Mount Vernon)
Phone: 703-780-7518
E-mail: mtvernon@fairfaxcounty.gov

Supervisor Linda Smyth (Providence)
Phone: 703-207-3541
E-mail form

Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield)
Phone: 703-451-8873
E-mail: springfield@fairfaxcounty.gov

Supervisor Michael Frey (Sully)
Phone: 703-814-7100
E-mail: sully@fairfaxcounty.gov

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide more information on this proposal as it becomes available.  For more information contact Alice Harrington, Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders Legislative Liaison, at aharrington4832@verizon.net or (703) 533-5581 (h) or (703) 965-7401.  You may also contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing for October 20 on a proposal that would, among other provisions, prohibit tethering a dog for more than 1 hour cumulatively a day – with no exceptions.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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