The Board voted unanimously to adopt changes to the Arlington County Code which went into effect immediately on Saturday. Previously, the Animals and Fowl ordinance did not specifically address dog tethering.
Under the new regulations, dog owners cannot leave their pet tethered unattended for more than three hours in a 24 hour time period. Dogs tethered to running cables or trolley systems can be tethered for up to 12 hours in a 24 hour period. As previously reported, the rules only apply to dogs that are not within physical reach of their owners.
The county staff report on the issue states that the regulations were suggested because tethering an animal for extended periods of time can put the animal’s life at risk.
“The Board’s action today is meant to protect dogs from abuse,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. “Tethering can put dogs at risk if the tethered animal is unable to get to food, water or shelter. Dogs can also become aggressive if tethered too long. Animal control officers have long made it a practice to respond to reports of dogs being tethered for hours on end. The new rules help responsible dog owners by providing clarity on what’s acceptable and what isn’t.”
Violations are considered a misdemeanor and come with a fine of up to $100.
Residents who wish to report a violation of the dog tethering rules are asked to call the Animal Welfare League of Arlington at 703-931-9241.