Reminder: New animal cruelty laws ban tethering in extreme heat

Reminder: New animal cruelty laws ban tethering in extreme heat
Dog tethered in a backyard (Source: KAIT-TV)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Heat can be deadly to animals, and a new Virginia law creates serious consequences for leaving animals outside without adequate food and water.

One law prohibits tethering an animal unless it is safe from predators and well equipped to tolerate its environment. That being said, tethering in Virginia is illegal during a severe weather warning, heat advisory and freezing or below-freezing weather.

“Extreme temperatures, like what we are currently experiencing here in Virginia, pose a real threat to the health and safety of animals that are left outside without adequate shelter or water,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “These new laws further protect animals, require owners to protect their animals from the elements with adequate shelter, and give law enforcement the tools they need to ensure the health and safety of animals.”

Herring sent a letter to all animal control officers as a reminder of the new provisions.

“As we continue to deal with this oppressive heat wave, I would encourage all Virginians to take care of yourselves, your friends and your families and don’t forget about also taking care of your pets,” Herring said.

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