SUMMARY: Apparently I'm swimming against the stream here.The vitriol that people use against other people who tether their dogs in the yard is amazing. More and more places are passing laws where it's illegal to tether your dog in the yard. Period. There is apparently no room for situations where tethering actually makes sense.
Let me give you two examples.
When I was a kid, the neighborhood we lived in was a nice, basic, middle-class neighborhood. And none of the yards had fences. You were considered a weird antisocial freak if you put a fence around your yard. Our family dog liked being in the yard and could entertain herself for hours with a toy or a stick or a rock (not that we gave them to her--she'd just find them or dig them up). Normally she was in the house with the family or out in the yard with us kids. But sometimes it was nice to let her be out in the yard on her own for a while. And if the whole family left the house for longer periods, it just made more sense sometimes for her to be outside (potty issues, like that). She always had shade. We never left her outside in bad weather conditions or anything like that. It was a good solution and worked well for all of us. This was not an abused or neglected dog.
As an adult, one of my dogs--Sheba--a Siberian Husky--couldn't be confined in the yard. She went over, under, and through fences. We added concrete and electric fence--didn't help. Added Invisible Fence--helped some but she'd still get out sometimes. When we were gone for even a short time, tethering was the only way to keep her safe (at home, out of traffic). She was never near a fence where she could go over and hang herself, always near drinking water, always had shade and shelter. I don't know what we'd have done if tethering were illegal. (And actually just tethering wasn't always a solution--she could slip collars and harnesses, too. The combination of that plus the Invisible Fence was the only thing that worked fairly well.)
I use a doggie door so that my dogs have access to the house as well. If we closed that and confined her to the house while we were gone, she sometimes would break through a window or tear up carpet, doors, or curtains trying to get out. So locking her in the house wasn't always an option.
None of my other dogs have ever been tethered (or needed to be). She had freedom of movement, ability to potty, and interaction with the environment and our other dogs that way, none of which she'd have had if I had to put her in a tiny wire crate whenever we left the house, sometimes for many hours at a time.
And, dunno about you, but I think that's a better solution for the dog than building a permanent concrete and chain-link kennel, in addition to that being an expensive and space-consuming option.
Antitethering laws are general-purpose laws made because some people are idiots and that ignore situations for when tethering makes sense.