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HAMPTON -- Dog owners in Hampton will no longer be able to tether their dogs in the city.

City Council voted Wednesday night to give residents six months to comply.

A revised proposal would have banned tethering between sunset and sunrise, tethering only if the owner is in the 'immediate physical presence' or if the owner obtains a permit. To get a permit, an animal control officer would have had to go to the home to ensure the pet was licensed and would have adequate food, water, shelter, room to move and be restrained with proper equipment. Once cleared, the pet owner would have had to pay a $25 fee to help defray the cost of the inspections.

Council, however, decided to amend the proposal and voted unanimously to ban all dog tethering.

Animal rights groups, like Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, applaud the decision.

'PETA congratulates Hampton on being the first city on the Peninsula to legislate against chaining dogs, a cruel practice that denies dogs the opportunity to fulfill their most basic needs: exercise, companionship, the chance to walk about and explore, and even the opportunity to escape their own waste. Chaining is not just cruelty to animals-it is a danger to the community as well, something that Hampton is no stranger to (an 8-year-old boy was killed by his own family's chained dog in 2000). Just one week after Independence Day, dogs can celebrate, too,' PETA senior vice president Daphna Nachminovitch told WVEC.com.

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