Anti-Tethering law for Winchester, VA and Frederick County, VA

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Winchester and Frederick County residents are tired of seeing forgotten domestic animals suffering in isolation, extreme temperatures, and inadequate living conditions.  We the people of Winchester and Frederick County, implore our governing bodies to stand with us and put a stop to the animal cruelty that has been condoned in our area for far too long. Existing animal cruelty laws are inadequate and antiquated.  They only require an animal have food, water, and shelter. "Shelter" is open to interpretation and puts animals at risk for hypothermia, heat stroke, attack, bullying, disease, and other health ailments. In addition to the aforementioned maladies, current law allows the uneducated, and/or less compassionate owner, to put an animal on a tether, confine it to a small territory away from the family home, for every moment of its entire life hence depriving it from the socialization and familiarity of a pack.  Dogs are pack animals and to deprive them of their fundamental nature is cruel and inhumane! This is a well researched and documented fact endorsed by experts for many years. The tethered animal also has a greater propensity for violence due to the pent up frustration of its condition.  The existing code also hinders law enforcement from seizing an animal who may be in danger of freezing to death or dying from heat exhaustion due to its inadequate definition of "shelter."  Language in our animal cruelty law needs to be definitive, it needs to be strong, and it needs to protect the domestic animals that also live in our community and rely on us for their care and protection. The law needs to address weather conditions, time limitations for tethering, the nature of the tether, and the environment in which a domestic animal is housed.  We the people of Winchester and Frederick County seek new law that will improve the quality of life for the domestic animals who also live in our community.  We must be the voice for those who have none!