Tethering a dog for more than one cumulative hour during any 24-hour period, unless the dog is under the direct supervision and control of its owner or custodian, is now prohibited in Fairfax County. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to amend the Fairfax County Code to incorporate the Code of Virginia’s cruelty to animals provisions along with the tethering provision.
According to the amendment:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to tether a dog for more than one hour cumulatively within any 24 hour period, whether or not the tethered dog has been provided adequate space as defined in the Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6500, as amended, unless the dog is under the direct supervision and control of its owner or custodian.”
The amendment is modeled after the City of Richmond’s tethering ordinance, determined to be the best fit based on a survey of jurisdictions across Virginia, and endorsed as model legislation by the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. Other cities and counties in Virginia that have enacted tethering legislation include:
- City of Fairfax
- City of Alexandria
- Arlington County
- Fauquier County
Fines and penalties for violating the tethering provision, are as follows:
- First violation — Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by fine of up to $500.
- Second violation (whether or not involving the same dog) within one year of first violation — Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by fine of up to $1,000 and/or penalty of up to six months in jail.
- All subsequent violations within one year of first violation — Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by fine of up to $2,500 and/or penalty of up to one year in jail.