Arlington Likely to Pass Dog Tethering Ordinance

Some Northern Virginia dog owners may soon have to loosen up their leashes as the county board prepares to vote Saturday on a dog tethering ordinance.

The proposal would limit the amount of time a dog can be left alone outside and tied to an object to three hours a day.

"I don't think anybody should just keep their dog tied up outside while they go to work," dog owner Nicki Bernstein said. "I don't understand what the purpose of having a dog is if you're just going to leave him outside all day."

Executive Director of Homeward Trails Animal Rescue Sue Bell is among those pushing for the ordinance.

"Animals who are tethered consecutively for hours, days or years are actually more of a threat to residents in the community," Bell said.

Violators of the ordinance would be charged with a misdemeanor and face a $100 fine. It'll be up to neighbors and passersby to report the offenders.

"It's concerned citizens and fellow animal lovers who might see an animal in distress or an owner that's treating an animal illegally and they report it to animal control, and animal control will come out and do the investigation and note the violations and take it from there," Bell said.

"I feel like if their owners aren't really taking care of them and if that's going to be the case than they really shouldn't have a dog," Bernstein said.

Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada told Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver the ordinance will likely pass unanimously Saturday. If it does, it'll go into effect immediately.

As of now, the board doesn't anticipate it'll cost taxpayers any money.

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