Just days after Gov. Ralph Northam signed Senate Bill 272 and House Bill 1552 into law, thereby significantly increasing protections for tethered dogs statewide, comedy icon and PETA supporter Carol Burnett — who previously wrote an op-ed in support of the measure — sent him a thank-you note on PETA’s behalf.

“As someone who is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, I’m taking precautions to protect myself, and I’ve developed a much deeper understanding of the loneliness, frustration, fear, anxiety, and desperation that dogs endure when they’re kept chained and isolated for their entire lives,” writes Burnett. “You’ve made Virginia a more humane place for dogs as well as a safer place for all residents.”

PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” — notes that Gov. Northam’s administration supported the bills during session and that as of July 1, Virginia law will prohibit leaving dogs tethered during freezing temperatures, extreme heat, and hurricanes and other severe storms. The legislation also increases the minimum length of a tether from 10 to 15 feet.

The group has lobbied the General Assembly for legislation to restrict the continuous tethering of dogs for several years.

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