Release the Hounds! Dog Tethering Hearing Set for Nov. 17

Updated Nov. 16


We want to provide more protection for man’s best friend.

The Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, Nov. 17, to consider a proposed amendment to the Fairfax County Code that would, among other provisions, prohibit tethering of dogs for more than one hour cumulatively during any 24-hour period unless the dog is under the direct supervision and control of its owner or custodian.

The amendment, if approved, will also incorporate into county code the Code of Virginia’s cruelty to animals provisions, which address the definitions and penalties for neglect, cruelty and abandonment of companion animals.

The dog tethering proposal 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. Cities and counties in Virginia that have enacted tethering legislation include Hampton and Suffolk, and locally, the cities of Fairfax and Alexandria and Arlington and Fauquier counties.


Proposed Fines and Penalties

Fines and penalties for violating the tethering provision, would be 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 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 penalty of up to one year in jail.


Sign Up to Speak

To sign up to speak at the Nov. 17 public hearing, complete the sign-up form or call the clerk’s office at 703-324-3151, TTY 711, before 10 a.m. on Nov. 17.

Sign Up to Speak Nov. 17


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