April 2, 2019
A Virginia bill that had many provisions of concern to responsible dog owners was significantly amended prior to the end of session in February, but some concerns remained.
The governor has now sent Senate Bill 1025 back to the General Assembly and they will be voting tomorrow (Wednesday, April 3) on his recommendations.
As passed by the General Assembly, a compromise was reached which required that all tethers be 10 feet in length or three times the length of the animal (whichever is greater), unless the dog is being walked on a leash. Since three times the length of the dog is current law, 10 feet is still significantly longer than what is currently required, and the AKC expressed concerns that this could unintentionally harm dogs.
The governor’s recommendations would take this further, and expand the tether requirement to 15 feet, or 4 times the length of the dog. AKC is concerned that this contradicts an important current law, where a dog may not be tethered in a manner where the tether can get tangled or the dog could get caught or harmed. Current law remains that allows for temporary restriction of movement if a dog could be harmed. However, again this seems contradictory with the new requirements where an excessive tethering length could result in entanglement or strangulation.
Those who reside or participate in dog events in Virginia are encouraged to contact the House and Senate TODAY and let them know that you remain concerned about the tether length requirement and its potential to harm dogs.
Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to find the names and contact information for your State Delegate and State Senator.
For questions or more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.