New Virginia law makes it illegal to tether dogs in extreme heat

Law went into effect on July 1

ROANOKE, Va – A new Virginia law requires all dogs must be given adequate shelter during extremely hot weather.

Senate Bill 272 and House Bill 1552, which were passed this past legislative session, state that pets cannot be tethered outside when the temperature is either above 85 degrees or below 32 degrees.

It also extends the required length of a tethered rope or leash from 10 feet to 15 feet.

The Roanoke Valley SPCA said with temperatures nearing 100 degrees almost daily, pet owners need to be more vigilant than ever.

“If you are walking an animal outside, there are some things to look out for, like excessive panting or drooling, those are all signs that maybe the animal is starting to get overheated. In addition, especially walking dogs, you have to watch about walking them on paved surfaces,” explained Roanoke Valley SPCA Communications Manager Julie Rickmond.

The RVSPCA encourages anyone who may see an animal outside in extreme heat to call their local animal control office.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.