PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The city of Portsmouth has made it illegal to leave a dog tethered and unattended outside.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the change moves Portsmouth’s tethering policy from one of the region’s weakest to one of its strictest. Hampton, Norfolk and Suffolk have similar bans. Newport News, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake have time limits on tethering.

The city council voted earlier this week on the change. The new rule prohibits tying a dog up unless the animal is watched by someone who is outside and within 35 feet. It makes the practice a misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine.

The change came after the city received complaints about dogs being chained all day and night.

Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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