Chained Dog Assistance

Unfortunately, many dogs in our area spend the majority of their lives chained in their owner's yards; forced to endure harsh weather conditions, limited mobility and lots of isolation.

MHF's Chained Dog Assistance Program was developed to improve the quality of life for these dogs and to help educate owners on the responsibilities of dog ownership.


While many people feel these chained dogs should be taken from their owners, chaining a dog is not breaking the law. Virginia law requires that adequate food, water, shelter be provided to the animal. The length of the chain must be a minimum of three times the length of the dog's body from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.


If the animals are taken from the owners, MHF has found that it is only a matter of time before another puppy is doomed to the same tethered life. Therefore, we feel it is more productive to work to improve the care and in turn, educate the family.

MHF goes to the home of each dog in the program, with donated food and supplies, and check on the animal’s overall condition and living environment. The dogs are vaccinated and dewormed; they are also spayed or neutered, whenever possible. Improperly fitted collars and chains are replaced. Dog houses are donated to the family when needed, and straw is taken in the winter to assure warm living conditions for each dog. When available, plastic coated cable tie-outs are given to the families so that the dog, although chained, can get adequate exercise without the risk of entanglement which many times leads to a knotted chain and possible strangulation. Along with the donated supplies and education in basic dog care, the families are given MHF’s phone number should an emergency arise and are encouraged to contact MHF concerning any animal-related issues.


Most families, although defensive at first, become very appreciative of this program. MHF is overjoyed to see improvement in the care of most of the dogs in this program, which encompasses Fauquier, Loudoun and Culpeper Counties.

Fauquier County Tethering Laws:

* No tethering of puppies 6 months or younger
* No tethering of female dogs while in estrus
* No tethering when the temperature is 25F & below/ 95F & above.


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Hours of Operation

10:30 - 5:30 Tuesday - Saturday

Please call for an appointment


5000 Cunningham Farm Drive | Marshall, VA | 20115

PO Box 684 | Marshall, VA | 20116

Federal Tax ID Number 54-1694317


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