Northampton County, Virginia

May 10, 2004

No animal shall be tethered for more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period. Tethers must be at least 10 feet long.


(A)  An animal owner in the county shall allow each animal to (i) easily stand, sit, lie, turn about and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal and (ii) interact safely with other animals in the enclosure. When an animal is tethered, “adequate space” means a tether that permits the above actions and is appropriate to the age, size, and health of the animal; is attached to the animal by a properly applied collar, halter, or harness configured so as to protect the animal from injury and prevent the animal or tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals, or from gaining access to public thoroughfares, or from extending over an object or edge that could result in the strangulation or injury of the animal; and is at least ten feet in length or three times the length of the animal whichever is longer, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, except when the animal is being walked on a leash or is attached by a tether to a lead line. When freedom of movement would endanger the animal, temporarily and appropriately restricting movement of the animal according to professionally accepted standards for the species is considered provision of adequate space. Provided, however, that no animal shall be tethered for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.

(B)  Animals involved in agricultural activities shall not be subject to this section.

(C)  It shall be an unlawful act if any person violates any provision of this section and it shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

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