Is it against the law in Washington to leave your dog chained outside? This is How the Law States

In Washington state, while it is not illegal to leave your dog chained outside, there are specific regulations that must be followed to ensure the dog’s safety and well-being. These regulations are detailed in RCW 16.52.350: Dog Tethering—Penalties. Key provisions include:

  1. Tethering Method: Dogs must not be tethered in a way that leads to frequent entanglement on the restraint or other objects.
  2. Multiple Dogs: Each dog must have a separate tether and not be fastened to the same fixed point.
  3. Comfort and Movement: The tether should allow the dog to sit, lie down, and stand comfortably without becoming taut.
  4. Health Conditions: Dogs should not be tethered if they are unwell, injured, or under six months old, among other health conditions.
  5. Access to Necessities: Tethered dogs must have access to clean water and a safe, protective shelter.
  6. Sanitary Conditions: Tethering should not subject the dog to unsafe or unsanitary conditions.
  7. Collar Type: Dogs should not be tethered with certain types of collars, like choke or prong-type collars.
  8. Tether Weight: The tether’s weight should not restrict the dog’s free movement.
  9. Injury or Pain: Tethering should not cause the dog injury or pain​​.

Exceptions to these regulations include situations such as dogs receiving medical care, being groomed, participating in temporary events, or being temporarily restrained after being unloaded from a vehicle​​.

Violations of these regulations constitute separate offenses, with a first offense typically resulting in a correction warning, requiring the dog’s owner to rectify the issue within seven days of the warning being issued​​.

Therefore, while tethering a dog outside is not outright illegal in Washington, it is subject to strict regulations designed to protect the welfare of the animals. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties​