Monday night the Arlington City Council unanimously passed a law that limits how people can tether their dogs.
The new law restricts tethering of animals between the hours of 11 PM. and 5 AM. It also requires that the animal must have access to clean water and adequate shelter while tethered.
Arlington is the second city in the state to set limits on tethering. Tacoma passed tethering regulations in 2009 but didn’t set a limit on how long dogs can be tethered.
The new laws go into effect by October 1, 2015.
This issue wasn’t on the city’s radar until Q13 Fox ran a story about Blaze, a black Labrador Retriever which people have seen tethered to a tree in its back yard for multiple hours a day and wearing a cone for the last 5 years.
“Dozens” of people called 911 to report Blaze’s condition. However, the city of Arlington did nothing because “no laws have been broken.”
This outraged dog lovers in Arlington. Several of them organized a grassroots effort to convince the Mayor and City Council to set limits on tethering. One of them immediately posted this petition asking the city to help Blaze. Almost 15,000 people signed it.
They then worked with the Washington Association of Animal Care and Control Agencies and Pasado’s Safe Haven to make recommendations for the new regulations and work to get them passed.
It is now a violation in Arlington:
(1) To tether any animal in such a manner as to permit the animal to leave the owner’s property;
(2) To tether any animal in such a manner that allows the animal to be within ten feet of any public right-of-way;
(3) To tether any animal in such a manner that the animal can become entangled with any obstruction or any other tethered animal or be able to partially or totally jump over any fence;
(4) To tether any animal in a manner that prevents it from lying, sitting, and standing comfortably, and without the restraint becoming taut;
(5) To tether any animal that is sick, injured, or in distress, in the advanced stages of pregnancy, or under six months of age;
(6) To tether any animal during any severe weather advisories, warnings, or emergencies that have been issued or declared by the national weather service for the location at which the animal is tethered, unless the animal is provided with natural or manmade shelter that is adequate to keep it safe, dry, and protected under such conditions;
(7) To tether any animal in a manner that results in the animal being left in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, or that forces the animal to stand, sit, or lie down in its own excrement or urine; or otherwise endangers the health or safety of the animal.
(8) To tether any animal between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am.
Kudo’s to Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert and the City Council for passing tougher tethering standards. I hope other Washington cities will follow their example.