Texas governor vetoes anti-animal cruelty measures for tethering dogs outdoors

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott vetoed an animal protection law which would have replaced and repealed provisions of the Health and Safety Code. The new law (The Safe Outdoors Dog Bill SB474) would have prohibited tethering a dog outside without shelter and/or water, and tethering a dog outside where it had to stand or rest in mud and/or water.

The legislation meant to provide “adequate shelter” for dogs also addressed the lengths of tethers, infliction of cruelty and pain on an animal and empowered law enforcement to act more quickly in cases of extreme cruelty or neglect.

C.S.S.B. 474 amends the Health and Safety Code to repeal and replace provisions relating to the
unlawful restraint of a dog. The bill repeals provisions prohibiting an owner, with certain
exceptions, from leaving a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that unreasonably
limits the dog’s movement between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., within 500 feet of the
premises of a school, or in the case of extreme weather conditions. The bill repeals the penalty
provisions regarding the failure to comply with provisions regarding the unlawful restraint of a
dog within 24 hours of receiving an applicable written statement from a peace officer or animal
control officer.

C.S.S.B. 474 prohibits an owner instead from doing the following:

leaving a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint unless the owner provides the
dog access to:

o adequate shelter;

o an area that allows the dog to avoid standing water and any other substance that
could cause harm to the health of a dog that is subjected to prolonged exposure to
the substance, including feces or urine;

o shade from direct sunlight; and

o potable water; or

restraining a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that:

o is a chain;

In addition, the new legislation would have prohibited tethering a dog with a chain, or attaching weights to a dog’s tether.

Earlier this month, the Microchip Scan Bill  passed. #HB604

“This law requires animal control agencies to scan pets for microchips to be reunited with their families as soon as possible. This will save taxpayer dollars by reducing costs associated with taking animals to the shelter and reducing stress when a person and their pet are separated.”
(Photo via screenshot from Facebook of dog chained in rain in Marlin, Texas)

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3 replies
  1. Diana Rowell says:

    EXACTLY what I’ve been saying for years. THIS is the MOST evil state we have in terms of animal welfare. PLEASE BOYCOTT EVERYTHING TEXAS/TEXANS. EVERYTHING! Traveling: go around Texas to avoid buying ANY products there; flying: take NO flight through to avoid giving revenue to airlines/airports paying fees to Texas; vacationing: go to Arizona, New Mexico or Louisiana for very similar landscape, eateries, old towns, and hot spots; buying products from Amazon, Ebay, etc.: make sure you don’t buy from a seller IN Texas, very easy to tell. Even Louisiana, KNOWN for dog fighting rings, recently enacted much stricter animal protection laws, while Arizona and New Mexico made great strides in animal welfare in the past 5 years. SPREAD THE WORD, encourage everyone you know to be aware of WHAT they’re supporting in this DEMON state.

  2. Barkley's Mom says:

    Every time this Texas Governor does something like this, I have to wonder who voted for him. There have to be some “good ” people in Texas of this law would never have made it to Abbott’s desk, so how did he ever get elected? I feel for the pets of Texas, so many times the abuse stories are about pets in Texas and the the governor won’t even sign a law to help. I’m with Diana Rowell, I will be checking what I buy from now on and if it says Texas on it, I will look for another product.


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