In partnership with the Lexington Police Department and Rockbridge Dog Rescue, Unchained Lexington worked with individual dog owners to get dogs off their chains in 2014. Two dogs in the City of Lexington were unchained–the first was an older dog that had lived most of his life chained up. Seeing him now prancing around in his kennel is a cause for celebration! Unchained Lexington recognized that dogs are chained for a variety of reasons, including financial, which is why they raised money with generous community support and provided kennels to the owners, free of charge. In addition, they worked to pass an ordinance within Lexington City limits, prohibiting the continuous tethering of dogs. An amended ordinance that included a time limit–instead of complete prohibition–was proposed after little support from City Council, but the amended ordinance also proved unsuccessful.
In January, 2015, 17 bales of straw, 5 dog houses, a tarp and a large amount of cat food were distributed as part of a straw initiative that was funded by donations collected in our community. While we would love to see every animal sleep indoors, the reality is many will live out their lives outdoors. The purpose of the straw initiative was to make those animals more comfortable. Tarps were also purchased and provided to animal control to distribute.
Rockbridge Area Alliance has taken over where Unchained Lexington left off. We are excited to continue providing shelter and warmth to chained and outdoor animals in our area. Be sure to check out the feral cat houses we distributed! We are also working to help protect dogs from extreme heat in the summer time. In May, 2015, we distributed 5 dog houses and 4 tarps to help protect outdoor dogs from the heat. In the winter of 2015-2016, we gave out 6 dog houses and 16 bales of straw. As we help dogs in need, we also work to get them spayed/neutered in exchange for assistance.
Communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia that have taken a stand against chaining:
- City of Hampton: banned https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=14532&stateId=46&stateName=Virginia
- City of Suffolk: banned https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=11612
- City of Norfolk: banned http://www.norfolk.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/1956?fileID=3666
- City of Staunton: banned from 10pm to 6am (thanks to work by Augusta Dog Adoptions- formerly Chains Hurt) http://www.codepublishing.com/VA/staunton.html
- Town of Smithfield: 8 hour time limit and prohibited between 11pm and 6am https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=11578&stateId=46&stateName=Virginia
- City of Chesapeake: 1 hour time limit https://www.municode.com/library/va/chesapeake/codes/code_of_ordinances/?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH10AN_ARTIINGE_S10-22TEANOTDOIM
- City of Richmond: 1 hour limit http://www.richmondgov.com/AnimalControl/AnimalControl.aspx
- Arlington County: 3 hour time limit/12 hour time limit for cables/trolleys http://arlingtonva.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2014/01/County-Code-2-Animals-and-Fowl.pdf
- City of Portsmouth: 3 hour time limit https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=13866
- City of Virginia Beach: 3 hour time limit https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=10122&stateID=46&statename=Virginia
- City of Alexandria: 3 hour limit/12 hour time limit for cables/trolleys https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10349
- City of Martinsville: 4 hour time limit https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10095
- City of Danville: banned when outside temperature is less than 32 degrees, 4 hour time limit https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10628
- City of Charlottesville: 10 hour limit https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=12078
- Northampton County: 12 hour time limit http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Virginia/northampton_co_va/northamptoncountyvirginiacodeofordinance?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:northamptonco_va
- Fauquier County: 12 hour limit of “confining” an animal https://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=10294