Animal advocates around the country will be happy to hear that the cruel act of keeping a dog chained outside in cold weather is now illegal in Virginia. With frigid temperatures upon us, this law has passed just in time!
Around the country, there are dogs that spend the majority of their days on a chain in their backyard without adequate shelter. While this action is heart wrenching enough, some face this reality in the unbearable winter months as well.
Not only is an outdoor life hard enough for a pup to process, but it can even be deadly when temperatures drop below freezing. Exposure to freezing temperatures without adequate shelter can cause their water sources to freeze, increased risk of hypothermia, and even death in some cases.
“Dogs are flesh and blood, not picnic tables, so if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s too cold for your dog!” – PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch
PETA understands just how dangerous it can be to chain a dog outdoors, especially in areas that experience harsh winters. This is why they fought tirelessly to persuade Virginia legislators to acknowledge this harsh reality, and come to a safe resolution for the furry friends in this state.
“Animals depend on us for everything from food, water, and shelter to keeping them safe and happy—and the law now recognizes that that includes not leaving them to shiver in the cold.” – PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch
This new law also includes the details of what an adequate shelter must contain if your dog remains outdoors. All outdoor dogs, tethered or not, must have access to an insulated bed that protects them from frigid wind and all other extreme weather. They must also have access to food and water that is protected from freezing, or from weather that can soil these sources.
If a dog does not have an insulated shelter or protection from harsh weather, the pet parent can face harsh fines and other penalties. PETA and the Humane Society of the United States both recommend contacting your local authorities if you see a direct violation of this law, as the dog’s life could be at risk.
If you have any questions about keeping a dog warm in the winter, you can refer to the Humane Society of the Unites States’ cold weather guide. If you see a dog in need in your area, be sure to contact local authorities on what to do next!