Tethering Restrictions

Tethering a dog in the Burlington City limits is prohibited except in specified circumstances and never for longer than 7 consecutive days. However,tethering a sick, diseased and/or injured dog, or puppy (a dog that is one year of age or younger) is never permitted.

Tethering is Permitted for the following specific reasons and only for fewer than 7 consecutive days:

  •  Lawful animal events and hunting activities
  • To meet the requirements of a camping or recreational facility
  • Law enforcement activities
  • After taking possession of a stray and having notified animal control
  • When a caretaker is outside and within eyesight of the tethered animal

What are the penalties for violations?
1st Offense: Written Warning

2nd Offense: $100 civil penalty (if dog is not already spayed/neutered, the fine can be waived if dog is spayed or neutered by a vet and proof is provided within 14 days)

3rd Offense:
$250 civil penalty  

4th + Offenses: Violators can be found guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor and punished by a fine of up to $500. 

 What is tethering?
Tethering refers to keeping dogs on chains, ropes, or other such tie-outs versus within a fenced structure. It is often defined in reference to a stationary object, but also includes overhead trolley systems. Walking a dog on a leash is not considered tethering.
What are some alternatives to tethering? 

Dogs are social animals and want to be a member of the family. Having your dog spayed or neutered and keeping him or her primarily indoors has many benefits for you, and your dog. For more information about bringing our "outdoor dog" inside, click here 
Here are some links to additional resources to make the switch from tethering:

What types of tethers may be used during periods of lawful tethering?

  • Tethers must be made of rope, twine, cord, or similar material with a swivel on one end or must be made of a chain that is at least 10 feet in length with swivels on both ends. The weight of the tether, collar or harness combined must not exceed 10 percent of the dog's body weight. 
  • Only buckle type collars or body harnesses made of leather or fabric may be used when a dog is tethered
  • The use of a head harness, choke-type collar or pronged collar for tethering is prohibited.

What are the rules for Trolly Systems?

  •     The length of the cable along which the tethering device can move must be at least ten feet, and the tethering device must be of such length that the dog is able to move ten feet away from the cable perpendicularly and attached in such a manner as to prevent strangulation or other injury to the dog and entanglement with objects

    What are the rules related to fenced yards or enclosures?

    Any dog confined within a fenced yard or enclosure must have adequate shelter, adequate space, and exercise. Enclosures must be structurally sound, in good repair,  humanely clean, and provide adequate space. These  provisions are defined as follows:

    Adequate Shelter: a clean, safe place for each animal  where it will be protected from natural elements, pain,  suffering, or impairment to health. 
    Adequate Exercise:
     providing a dog with the opportunity to move in a manner to maintain sufficient muscle  tone.

     Adequate Space:
     space sufficient for the animal to  make  all normal body movements (sit, stand, lie, etc.) in a comfortable and normal position.
    Humanely Clean Conditions:
     periodic cleaning of  animal enclosures to maintain basic sanitation and  health.