Dog Tethering Ordinance

The City of Raleigh Dog Tethering Ordinance takes effect today, Wednesday July 1. 


The ordinance regulates the unattended restraint or tethering of dogs. Under the measure, a dog may not be tethered for more than three hours total in any 24-hour period.  The ordinance defines tethering as a means of tying out or fastening a dog outdoors on a rope, chain or other line for restraining a dog. The term does not mean the restraint of a dog on an attended leash.

The purpose of the ordinance is to prevent the possibility of strangling when a dog becomes entangled in ropes and chains or surrounding objects. The ordinance also seeks to prevent dogs from being left exposed to harsh weather conditions without access to shelter, and being unable to reach a supply of food and water.


Any device used to tether a dog must be at least 10-feet long and attached in a manner that prevents strangulation or other injury to the dog, or entanglement with objects, under the ordinance. A cable trolley system may be used to tether a dog for the allowed period as long as the stationary cable is at least 10-feet long and the dog can move perpendicularly at least 10-feet away from the stationary line. The line should be attached to the dog with a buckle-type collar or a body harness. The device used to tether can weigh no more than 10 percent of the animal’s body weight and must allow the dog access to food and water. In addition to being a misdemeanor, a violation of the dog tethering ordinance would be subject to a civil penalty of $100 per day for each day of violation.  

The Coalition to Un-chain Dogs  is a non-profit, volunteer effort dedicated to improving the welfare of dogs living outdoors on chains in and around the Triangle region of North Carolina.  In just over a year and a half, they have freed over 130 dogs.  Please contact them to find out about how to help, sponsor a fence or arrange a fence for a dog in need.