Burlington, North Carolina

October 9, 2014

This ordinance limits tethering to seven consecutive days. It contains additional provisions, including the minimum length and maximum weight of tethers and discussion of unattended versus attended tethering.

Sec. 6-23. – Mistreatment of animals prohibited

(f) No person shall tether, fasten, chain tie, or restrain an animal, or cause such restraining of an animal to any object during periods of which tethering is unlawful. Periods of lawful tethering shall be temporary in nature and for no longer than seven (7) consecutive days and shall not be misconstrued to permit the practice of continuous tethering of a dog as a method of restraint or confinement. An animal may be tethered, subject to the requirements of section 6-23 in the following circumstances:

(1) Tethering for a period not to exceed seven (7) consecutive days while actively engaged in:

a. Lawful animal event (such as a show or sporting event).

b. Lawful hunting activities, if reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.

c. While a dog is actively engaged in shepherding or herding livestock.

d. When meeting the requirements of a camping or recreation facility.

e. Law enforcement activities.

f. After taking possession of a dog that appears to be a stray dog and after having advised animal control of the stray.

(2) When the animal’s caretaker is outside and within eyesight of the animal.

(g) During periods of lawful tethering, the following are stipulations to the types of tethers that may be used:

(1) Tethers must be made of rope, twine, cord, or similar material with a swivel on one end or must be made of a chain that is at least ten (10) feet in length with swivels on both ends and which does not exceed ten (10) percent of the dog’s body weight.

(2) All collars or harnesses used for the purpose of the lawful tethering of a dog must be made of fabric or leather.

(3) No person shall tether a dog with a chain or wire or other device to, or cause such attachment to, any collar other than a buckle-type collar or body harness.

(4) No person shall tether with a chain or a wire or other device to, or cause such attachment to, a head harness, choke-type collar or pronged collar to a dog.

(5) No person shall tether with a chain, wire or other device to a dog where the weight of the tethering device and the collar combined exceeds ten (10) percent of the dog’s body weight.

(6) No person shall tether with a chain or wire or other device a dog in such a manner that does not allow the dog access to adequate food, water and shelter.

(7) Trolley systems: The length of the cable along which the tethering device can move must be at least ten (10) feet, and the tethering device must be of such length that the dog is able to move ten (10) feet away from the cable perpendicularly and attached in such a manner as to prevent strangulation or other injury to the dog and entanglement with objects.

(8) No person shall tether a sick, diseased and/or injured dog, or puppy (a dog that is one (1) year of age or younger).

Back to Search

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind