The Cape Charles Planning Commission moved closer to creating a 100% ban on animal tethering in town by unanimously approving language that would eliminate the practice; that language, once drafted will be sent on to Town Council for approval. In March and May, the Commission dealt with the issue of house pets being kept in outdoor pens, and continued further discussion about the condition of dog confinement pens in the Residential – 1 District. The Commission’s work around outdoor pens led to the “tethering of domestic dogs outdoors for a prolonged period of time”. The current Town animal ordinance (Article X Chapter 50) as part of the Town Code relies on the Northampton County Animal Control Office for enforcement. The specific regulation of tethered animals is found in Section 50 – 190 which deals with the physical condition of the tethered dog and sets a time period of “12 hours in a 24-hour period” as a maximum.
The Planning Commission has looked at the City of Suffolk ordinance as a possible boiler plate for its own approach. That ordinance approaches tethering with this language:
Sec. 10-42. – Unattended tethering of dogs prohibited.
It shall be unlawful to tether any unattended dog whether or not the dog has been provided adequate space. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a class 4 misdemeanor.
Where Suffolk allows tethering to take place as long as someone is present, and even allows unattended tethering to take place for one hour or less, the Planning Commission is drafting language that will create a 100% ban on tethering within town limits.
Planner Larry DiRe is drafting language for the tethering ordinance, with a possible time frame of September to bring it before Council.