Arlington Bans Tethering of Unattended Dogs

Dog owners who tether unattended dogs could face fines

Arlington dog owners soon will not be allowed to tie up unattended pets outside.

The new city ordinance that forbids tethering unattended dogs takes effect May 18.

"If you're outside, washing your vehicle and you have the dog tethered at the time while you're washing the vehicle, that would be OK," said Ray Rentschler, Animal Services field supervisor. "But if you have the dog tethered in the front yard while you're in the house watching TV -- that would not be OK."

People also may not tie their dogs up outside a store while they shop.


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Rentschler said tethered dogs are more likely to bite someone who approaches them.

"Owners don't spend time socializing that animal, so when they're tied up like that, it builds their frustration and aggression to where, when they finally do break loose or someone wanders unknowingly into their area, they're attacked," he said.

City officials say the ordinance comes down to the safety of both residents and dogs.

"It's going to help the animals because a lot of our cruelty calls that we get are animals that have been tethered, and generally, we find that they don't have food and water," Rentschler said. "We also get calls where the dog has jumped the fence while it's on the tether and hung itself."

Ann Glenn, who owns two dogs, said she supports the ordinance.

"Dogs that are left unattended -- another dog that's running loose can come up and attack and they can't get away," she said. "They can also strangle themselves or get tangled in things. We've had to tether one of our dogs and we stay with him. We don't leave him unattended."

Under the ordinance, pet owners who tether unattended dogs will be given a 24-hour notice. After that, dog owners still in violation face a fine of up to $2,000.

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