At the beginning of the week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill passed by the state legislator’s third special session this year, making it illegal for Texas dog owners to chain up their pets outdoors.
Texas Senate Bill 5 will go into effect on January 18, 2022 where owners will be barred from tying up their dogs outside with chains or weighed-down restraints. The length of an outdoor restraint must be at least ten feet long or five times the dog’s length from nose to tail. In addition, owners will not be allowed to leave a dog unattended outdoors while restrained unless the owner gives the dog access to “adequate” shelter, shade from direct sunlight, drinkable water, and proper protection from “inclement weather.”
In June, Abbott vetoed a similar bill protecting dogs and received a huge public backlash from animal lovers across the state. That bill put restrictions such as “tailoring of the dog’s collar, the time the dog spends in the bed of a truck and the ratio of tether-to-dog length. Advocates say it was likely the huge public pressure Abbott received, led him to sign the new bill.
State senator and author of the bill Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville (D) hopes the newly signed bill would help a lot of dogs previously left out to endure inhumane and cruel lives a new chance.
The new law also eliminates a rule that prevented law enforcement intervening in a situation where a dog’s welfare was concerned for 24 hours. There are exceptions to some of the rules including dogs used in hunting, shepherding livestock, agricultural purposes and camping.
Violators will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor with fines up to $500. Repeat offenders could face more charges.
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