A bill to allow local governments to ban and otherwise regulate or restrict tethering or chaining of companion animals

Under current Virginia law, persons caring for dogs must provide "adequate space" and when it comes to tethered companion animals, "adequate space""means sufficient space to allow each animal to: (i) easily stand, sit, lie, turn about, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal; and (ii) interact safely with other animals in the enclosure."

The Virginia law also requires that the tether must be appropriate to the age and size of the animal; is attached to the animal by a properly applied collar, halter, or harness configured so as to protect the animal from injury and prevent the animal or tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals, or from extending over an object or edge that could result in the strangulation or injury of the animal; and is at least three times the length of the animal, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, except when the animal is being walked on a leash or is attached by a tether to a lead line." Va. Code Section 3.2-6500

Now Patron Kenneth C. Alexander has introduced H.B. 888 which would allow any locality to ban tethering or chaining or otherwise regulate or restrict tethering or chaining of companion animals. The bill has been assigned to the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee.