Virginia lawmakers take on bill about pet owners’ rights to tether animals

RICHMOND, Va. – A bill introduced at the Senate committee on agriculture, conservation, and natural resources could change how you care for your pets.

One of them applies specific parameters when it comes to tethering animals.

The bill hopes to change tethering laws, especially when extreme weather conditions are a factor. For example, if it’s really cold outside and a dog or another animal is tied up with nowhere to go.

Experts say leaving animals outside in extreme temperatures can be dangerous. The Virginia Senate OKed a bill last year that would have banned tethering and animal welfare groups praised the decision. However, when the bill reached the House it did not make it out of committee.

Some lawmakers thought the bill overstepped the rights of dog owners. Hunting groups also think the legislation is unnecessary because of animal welfare laws already on the books.

On Wednesday the same house panel that shot down the tethering bill last year advanced a measure that would require dog owners to give their animals more room to move if they are tied up.

They’ve yet to concern the extreme temperatures bill.

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