New Texas law prohibits pet owners from tying dogs up with chains, catching up with San Antonio efforts

Texas should become a much safer place for pets, especially dogs, very soon. A new state law aimed at ensuring pets receive proper care is set to go into effect this week — years after San Antonio passed a similar city ordinance.

Senate Bill 5, better known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, will take effect on Tuesday, January 18, a way to end the inhumane treatment of pets. Across Texas, pet owners will no longer be allowed to use chains to tie dogs outdoors, but will be required to use human tethers like carriage systems that can be properly fitted to the animal.

Owners will also need to provide the basic necessities of shelter, shade, and clean water for their pets.

“It’s something San Antonio has been working on for years now,” says Sgt. Bethany Snowden with City of San Antonio Animal Care Services. “It’s something we fought for. We are delighted that the state has now recognized this as a problem.

The Outdoor Dog Safety Act is not far off from two existing city ordinances. Despite existing efforts to keep animals safe, officials say animal abuse is still a problem in San Antonio, primarily due to a lack of awareness. Snowden says it doesn’t help that popular culture like movies and TV shows generally stereotype animal agencies as simply dog ​​catchers.

“We’re not dog hunters by any means,” says Snowden. “We are animal protection officers. We care about our animals and make sure we hold the public accountable. »

Lisa Norwood, public relations manager for ACS, agrees that accountability comes with awareness.

“We’ve changed the way we educate people,” Norwood says. “We are a law enforcement agency, and these officers enforce the law and educate.”

She says part of that education is making sure residents understand what violence is by definition. During the past fiscal year, ACS received or handled approximately 3,900 calls related to animal cruelty. Norwood says a number of calls received aren’t actually related to abuse, such as residents wanting to silence a loud dog.

Although residents may believe that intentionally physically injuring a pet is the only way to mistreat an animal, ACS considers failure to provide veterinary care, neglecting an animal, and having animals tied up without proper food, water, or shelter to be also forms of passive violence.

Snowden agrees, adding that residents should consider the law if they are going to have a pet.

Norwood understands that there are sometimes cases or reasons owners need to tether their dog, such as a broken fence or a hyperactive dog that likes to go outside. Still, she encourages owners in situations like this to contact ACS if they need help caring for their pet properly.

“We care 100% for our community and want to make sure everyone has the resources to ensure their pets are properly taken care of,” says Snowden. “We are here to help them and the animals in our community.”

Previous Texas Community Virtual Power Plant Will Use SolarEdge's Energy Bank Battery Storage
Next Texas Law-Defying Abortion Clinics Suffer Another Setback