LYNCHBURG, Va. – If you have a dog, you'll need to pay attention to new rules in Lynchburg.
The Lynchburg City Council has passed two ordinances meant to protect dogs. Under these new rules, dogs cannot be tethered between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. They also cannot be left outside unattended for more than 30 minutes if the temperature is below 32 degrees or above 95 degrees. The exception to this is if the dog house or kennel is heated or air-conditioned.
A dog can also not be tethered if it is injured, sick, in "heat," or in danger of strangulation. Puppies younger than four months can't be tethered either. This tethering ordinance comes about a month after a Lynchburg couple rescued their neighbor's dog from hanging itself.
If a dog is left outside when the temperature is between 32 degrees and 40 degrees, it must have access to a dog house or shelter with straw or similar bedding.
Violators will be charged with a class four misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $250. Repeat offenders will be charged with a class two misdemeanor and may have their animals taken. If convicted, you could get up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
The ordinances will be enforced starting October 1. In the meantime, residents will find informational pamphlets with their water bills. Animal control officers will also hand out pamphlets to let people know about these rules.