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North Carolina county passes dog tethering law

Chaining or tethering a dog in a way that causes abuse or neglect will be illegal in Forsyth County, North Carolina, after the board of commissioners heard arguments on both sides and voted 4-3 to pass the amendment to the county's animal control ordinance, the News & Record reports.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), tethering for long periods of time deprives a dog of socialization and can lead to negative behaviors. In addition, tethered dogs are often victims of abuse or neglect, fed and given water sporadically and forced to eliminate in the same confined area.

The tethering regulations will go into effect in two years, a waiting period designed to educate people about the rules. Supporters of the ban said that while it doesn't ban the practice altogether, it will make life better for many animals. Opponents of the amendment said that it is too vague, and argue that the county needs to outline the ways in which an owner can legally tether a dog.

Chaining a dog for a short period of time using appropriate equipment and with access to plenty of water, shade and toys is generally harmless, the ASPCA reports.
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