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Chesapeake Joins Other Cities in Saying No Dog Tethering

No Dogs ChainedIn a move almost overlooked by this past week’s uproar over the death of storied pet pitbull Ozzie, the city of Chesapeake enacted a one hour limit to dog tethering. The city joins a handful of other Hampton Roads cities in limiting, and in some cases, banning tethering of dogs. You can find the details of the ordinance here: new Chesapeake City Code Section 10-22.1

Tethering Laws in the Other 6 Hampton Roads Cities

Hampton – Dog tethering is BANNED
Norfolk – Dog tethering restricted to 3 hours
Portsmouth – Dog tethering restricted to 3 hours
Suffolk – Unattended dog tethering is BANNED
Virginia Beach – Dog tethering restricted to 3 hours
Newport News does not have a tether ban, and their Animal Services Division page does little to express confidence. “The ASD also follows up on complaints of animals kept without adequate food, water and shelter and animals kept on short or entangled tethers.” Come on, Newport News!

What Does This Mean?

This does not mean you can’t tie your dog outside while you mop your floors. It means that a dog’s permanent home is not to be at the end of a chain or rope.

Outside Dogs and Cats

jupiterbeachPeople who tether dogs are generally of the impression that dogs don’t belong in houses. Many of these people feel the same way about their cats. Tethering of dogs is also an ugly truth when it comes to dog fighting participants. The dogs must be kept far enough from one another that they do not intermingle, and certainly they are not “house dogs” to the people who own them. While this and other laws do not protect dogs from being left outside without adequate shelter, water and food, many cities have this kind of cruelty covered under other ordinances and statutes. As pet sitters and dog walkers, we refuse care to folks who don’t treat their dogs and cats appropriately. It all starts with that: refusal to accept poor societal behavior. So what can you do?

Taking Action

So what do you do if you see a tethered dog hour after hour? Call your local police! That’s it. One simple call.

We are glad to see the cities here stepping up to the plate and, if necessary, forcing people to understand that dogs are capable of feelings, thoughts and emotions.

      Dogs may be Man’s best friend, but Man is often Dog’s severest critic, in spite of his historic protestations of affection and admiration…. He observes, cloudily, that this misfortune or that shouldn’t happen to a dog, as if most slings and arrows should, and he describes anybody he can’t stand as a dirty dog. He notoriously takes the names of the female dog and her male offspring in vain, to denounce blackly members of his own race. In all this disdain and contempt there is a curious streak of envy, akin to what the psychiatrists know as sibling rivalry. Man is troubled by what might be called the Dog Wish, a strange and involved compulsion to be as happy and carefree as a dog. ~James Thurber
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