Tethering animals; adequate shelter and space. (SB272)

Introduced By

Sen. John Bell (D-Chantilly) with support from co-patrons Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach), and Sen. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Tethering animals; adequate shelter and space. Provides that the outdoor tethering of an animal does not meet the requirement of adequate shelter during a hurricane warning or tropical storm warning or if the animal is not safe from predators or well suited or equipped to tolerate its environment. The bill provides that unless an animal control officer has inspected an animal's individual circumstances and determined it to be safe from predators and well suited and equipped to tolerate its environment, no such outdoor tethering during a heat advisory, a severe weather warning, or a period when the temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower shall constitute the provision of adequate shelter. The measure increases the minimum tether length required to constitute adequate space to 15 feet in length or four times the length of the animal, whichever is greater. Current law requires the tether to be at least 10 feet in length or three times the length of the animal, whichever is greater. The bill provides an exception for a case in which an animal control officer, having inspected an animal's individual circumstances, determines that a shorter tether of at least 10 feet or three times the length of the animal makes the animal safer, more suited, and better equipped to tolerate its environment than a longer tether would. This bill is identical to HB 1552. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/03/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20103262D
01/03/2020Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/08/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB272)
01/29/2020Assigned ACNR sub: Companion Animals
02/04/2020Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with amendments (7-Y 6-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/06/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2020Read second time
02/07/2020Reading of amendments waived
02/07/2020Committee amendments agreed to
02/07/2020Engrossed by Senate as amended SB272E
02/07/2020Printed as engrossed 20103262D-E
02/10/2020Read third time and passed Senate (19-Y 19-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/10/2020Chair votes Yes
02/12/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB272E)
02/13/2020Placed on Calendar
02/13/2020Read first time
02/13/2020Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/26/2020Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (14-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2020Committee substitute printed 20109173D-H1
02/28/2020Read second time
02/28/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB272H1)
03/02/2020Read third time
03/02/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20109173D-H1
03/02/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB272H1
03/02/2020Passed House with substitute (66-Y 32-N)
03/02/2020VOTE: Passage (66-Y 32-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020Conference substitute printed 20109609D-S1
03/05/2020House substitute rejected by Senate (0-Y 39-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020House insisted on substitute
03/05/2020House requested conference committee
03/05/2020Senate acceded to request (29-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020Conferees appointed by Senate
03/05/2020Senators: Bell, Favola, Pillion
03/05/2020Conferees appointed by House
03/05/2020Delegates: Levine, Gooditis, Fariss
03/05/2020C Amended by conference committee
03/05/2020First Conference substitute printed 20109609D-S1
03/07/2020Conference report agreed to by House (54-Y 41-N)
03/07/2020VOTE: Adoption (54-Y 41-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2020Conference report rejected by Senate (3-Y 36-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2020Senate requested second conference committee (27-Y 11-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
03/07/2020House acceded to request for second conference committee
03/07/2020Second conferees appointed by House
03/07/2020Delegates: Levine, Gooditis, Fariss
03/07/2020Second conferees appointed by Senate
03/07/2020Senators: Bell, Favola, Pillion
03/07/2020Second Conference substitute printed 20109923D-S2
03/08/2020Second conferees appointed by Senate
03/08/2020Senators: Bell, Favola, Pillion
03/08/2020Conference report agreed to by House (51-Y 44-N)
03/08/2020VOTE: Adoption (51-Y 44-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2020Conference report agreed to by Senate (26-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
03/16/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB272S2)
03/18/2020Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB272ER)
03/18/2020Signed by President
03/19/2020Signed by Speaker
03/20/2020Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 20, 2020
03/20/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
03/26/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB272ER)
04/09/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 955 (effective 7/1/20)
04/09/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0955)