RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With several days of excessive heat in the forecast for Central Virginia, Richmond Animal Care and Control is reminding pet owners to keep their animals safe.
“It’s going to be HOT for the next few days! HOT, HOT, and more HOT! The only good thing about this heat is we get to roll out our new City of Richmond, VA Government tethering code,” RACC wrote in a Facebook post.
Earlier this year, RACC wrote new language to prohibit tethering dogs in extreme weather:
"It shall be unlawful for any person to tether a dog for more than one hour cumulatively within any 24-hour period, whether or not the tethered dog has been provided adequate space. No dog shall be tethered for any amount of time while the owner or custodian thereof is physically absent from the property where the dog is tethered. No dog shall be tethered for any amount of time in inclement, adverse, or extreme weather conditions.”
With a heat advisory in effect for at least six days, RACC says they have the right to prohibit dogs from being tethered in the City of Richmond.
Supervisor Rob Leinberger says while RACC officers patrol the community, they rely heavily on neighbors calling in potentially dangerous situations.
“The public is just invaluable when it comes to being the eyes and ears with situations that go on in the city," said Leinberger. “Animals need to be taken care of and they need to be taken care of properly.”
Leinberger says the City of Richmond tethering code is more restrictive than the State of Virginia Code. The City of Richmond code specifies that dogs cannot be left tied up in extreme temperatures such as cold weather, heat, even hurricanes and tornadoes.
Dogs could suffer from heat exhaustion, which could lead to heat stroke if they are left tied up outside. RACC says if they arrive to a house on an extreme weather day and find a dog tethered, if the owner is home, they will tell them to take the dog inside. If RACC arrives and finds a dog tethered and no one is home, RACC will likely seize the dog.
“You should not have your pet tied up outside, it’s just that simple - you cannot," said Leinberger.
RACC is asking anyone who may see a dog tethered outside in extreme heat to call 804-646-5573 and report it.
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