10-10-15 ALERT for Fairfax County VA. On Oct 20 The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on an anti-tethering bill that will limit any tethering to no more than 1 hour (cumulative) in a 24 hour period. This is a one-size-fits-all bill. It will cover:
–Attended and unattended dogs,
–Outside and inside tethering,
–Stationary and moving (trolley) tethers,
–Leashes if you go for long walks or anything that ends up being over an hour cumulatively in a 24-hour period,
–Grooming your dog if you tether it to a grooming table,
–Dog show and field trials where dogs may be tethered between events,
–Tethering your “escape artist” will no longer be possible,
–And there is NOTHING about the dog’s age, health or condition.
The bill folds in the Virginia State code on cruelty (3.2-6570) so the tethering clause is buried. There is no need to adopt the state code at the county level as they are bound by it regardless. This is a “smoke and mirrors” tactic so if anyone votes against it their opponents can say they are not for fighting cruelty.
Only the “G” clause presents anything that is not already state law. Here is the clause in question:
G. It shall be unlawful for any person to tether a dog for more than one hour cumulatively within any twenty-four hour period, whether or not the tethered dog has been provided adequate space as defined in the Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6500, as amended.
Each violation of this subsection constitutes a separate violation of this subsection. The first violation of this subsection shall be punished as a Class 3 misdemeanor. However, a second violation of this subsection, whether or not involving the same dog, within one year after conviction of the first violation shall be punished as a Class 2 misdemeanor. The third and each subsequent violation of this subsection, whether or not involving the same dog, within one year after conviction of the first violation shall be punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Class 3 misdemeanor is a fine up to $500.
Class 2 either or both – jail up to 6 months and fine up to $1,000.
Class 1 either or both – jail up to 12 months and fine up to $2,500.
And any conviction under this section can trigger a judge taking away your right to own a dog.
What to do:
Contact Fairfax County Board members – it does not matter if you live in the county or not if you bring your dogs in for shows or other events you could be cited.
• Contact the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors prior to the October 20 hearing and express your concerns with the proposal as written:
Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Chair (At-Large)
Supervisor Penelope Gross (Mason)
Supervisor John Cook (Braddock)
Supervisor John Foust (Dranesville)
Phone: 703-356-0551(McLean office); 703-471-5076 (Herndon office)
Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (Hunter Mill)
E-mail: : firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Jeff McKay (Lee)
E-mail: SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.gov or email@example.com
Supervisor Gerald Hyland (Mount Vernon)
Supervisor Linda Smyth (Providence)
Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield)
Supervisor Michael Frey (Sully)
Attend the October 20 public hearing and express your concerns about the proposal as it is currently written.
View the county’s hearing notice, and sign up online to speak by clicking here.
Public hearings are held at the Fairfax County Government Center located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, in the Board Auditorium, which is off to the right of the lobby when you enter the building.
Thanks for your help!
Questions? Contact Alice Harrington, Legislative Liaison, Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders, firstname.lastname@example.org 703-533-5581