UnChained Canine Assistance

In Virginia, it is lawful to keep a dog chained/tethered 24/7. There are state codes that include provisions for tethered companion animals such as the animals must have adequate shelter ( protects the animal from adverse affects of heat or cold) access to clean, fresh potable water of drinkable temperature, a chain length of no less than 4 times the length of their body or 15 ft, whichever is greater attached to a well-fitting collar. Tethered dogs must also must have access to shade/protection from wind/rain. 

Many jurisdictions (including Culpeper County) have adopted county codes to provide additional protective guidelines for chained canines such as temperature restrictions ( no chaining under 32 degrees or above 90 degrees, no chaining of puppies under 4 months of age and no chaining of dogs in estrus). CHS UnChained Canines of Culpeper Program provides support services to help educate owners and hopefully increase daily care levels, ultimately improving the lives of these unfortunate dogs that live their lives on chains. 

Keeping an animal on a chain is a way of life. It is often generational and the families see nothing wrong with this practice. This program started in Fauquier County over 28 years ago and over the years we have witnessed the difference in many dogs lives when owners are made aware of the law and have access to upgraded supplies and services. If you provide food, medical services and upgraded housing, the owners will take better care of their current dogs. Education is the key. If you simply remove the animals, the families simply take on another puppy and the cycle continues..... 

If a family wants to relinquish an animal, we are very happy to take that animal as CHS will provide these dogs with the behavioral and medical services needed for them to have a second chance at a happy and healthy life. If we are able to remove an animal from a chained life, we are certain to discuss and encourage no more new animals as well as we remove ALL dog houses, chains and pens in hopes that this will discourage the family from getting a new animal. 


How YOU can help: 

  • Donate gift cards to Walmart, Tractor Supply, Southern States/feed & pet stores ( to purchase supplies such as straw, food, large rawhides etc. We do not have the space to store lots of supplies and often need to purchase as needed)

  • Donate (insulated only please) igloo style dog houses, all sizes needed but mostly large ( for us to upgrade housing)
  • Donate funds to purchase chain link or wire dog kennel panels ( we upgrade dogs housing by getting dogs off of chains and into roomy pens so they can move freely)
  • Keep your eyes peeled for dogs that are chained in yards and contact us at info@culpeperhumanesociety.com or call and leave a message at 540-445-0255. We will make a visit to see if the family/dog(s) are in need of assistance.