augusta free press news

Reminder: New state law makes it illegal to keep dog tied outside on cold, snowy days

dog tied outside snow
(© Oleksii Astanin –

With a forecast for some possibly serious winter weather upon us, it’s a good time to remind folks about a new state law that prohibits keeping animals tied outside in cold and severe weather.

The law makes it illegal to keep animals tethered outside in the following conditions:

  • When the temperature is under 33 degrees
  • During a severe weather warning
  • If the animal is in danger from predators or ill-equipped to tolerate tethering, e.g., puppies or dogs who are old, ill, injured, or vulnerable in some other way

The new law also requires that tethers be no less than 15 feet long.

Thanks to the Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters for sharing these tips.

Dogs and cats are required to have adequate food, water, shelter and veterinary care. The shelter must protect them from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, the adverse effects of cold, and be clean and dry.

During cold weather the shelter must have a windbreak at its entrance and a quantity of insulated bedding material consisting of hay, cedar shavings or the equivalent that is sufficient to protect the dog and cat from cold and promote the retention of body heat.

Anyone who witnesses a dog or cat without this legally required protection should report it to their local animal control department.

If possible, witnesses should take pictures and note how long an animal is left without adequate food, water, or shelter.

augusta free press
augusta free press