AUSTIN, Texas — A new Texas law will make it illegal for people to leave their dogs chained outside.
Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law last week. He had vetoed an earlier version of the bill, which passed both legislative houses with bipartisan support. At the time, Abbott said “Texas is not a place for micromanagement and overcriminalization.”
The bill got another shot at a special legislative session. Abbott signed the new version into law after it passed. It comes into force on January 18, 2022.
The law requires that dogs have protection from the elements and a sufficiently spacious shelter. Dogs must have properly fitting collars and cannot be restrained with a chain, restraint with attached weights, or restraints that are too short, according to People.
Dogs may only be allowed outdoors if they have adequate shelter, the ability to avoid standing water and animal droppings, shade, and drinking water.
The law also removes the 24-hour waiting period for law enforcement to intervene when inhumane treatment is reported.
The main differences between the new law and the previous version which was vetoed include the definition of inclement weather and provisions specifying that dogs must be able to avoid standing water and excessive animal waste.
There are a few exceptions, including camping or tying dogs in a truck bed while they run errands (for as long as it is “reasonably necessary for the owner to perform a temporary task”).
Violation of laws is a class C misdemeanor or a class B misdemeanor for repeat violation.