Virginia City Bans Dog Tethering Outright

Tethering a dog outside will soon be illegal in Suffolk, Virginia.

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Many municipalties have dog-tethering laws on the books, as a way to limit what many see as animal cruelty and to avoid the “barking neighbor’s dog” syndrome. Usually, such laws set a time limit on how long an owner can leave his or her dog tied up outside. But a city in southeastern Virginia has taken things a step further: the Suffolk City Council voted 6-2 to enact an outright ban on dog tethering, effective September 1.

This was a shock, even to the councilman who initially introduced the idea of tethering regulations:

“I personally favored a limit of 10 hours a day to allow residents who go to work every day to leave their dogs outdoors,” he explained. “I wanted to be reasonable.”

However, the city’s chief of police testified that any such time limit would be very difficult to enforce, and Mayor Linda Johnson argued that ten hours was too long and that “no tethering is the answer.”

What do you think? While I’m sure that we all agree that long-term tethering is bad, is this smart legislation or taking the issue too far?

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