It will soon be illegal for dog owners in Texas to chain their pets outdoors.
On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbot signed the bill — passed in the state legislature’s third special session of the year — after vetoing a previous version this summer.
Under the new law, which will come into effect on January 18, 2022, owners will be prohibited from tying their dogs up outdoors with chains or weighted restraints. The length of an exterior restraint should be 10 feet or five times the length of the dog from nose to tail.
Owners will not be permitted to leave a dog outside and unattended while restrained unless the owner gives the dog access to “adequate” shelter, shaded from direct sunlight. sun, drinking water and appropriate protection against “bad weather”.
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The new law also eliminates a rule that currently bars law enforcement from responding to a situation involving a dog in illegal conditions for 24 hours.
Violators of the law will face a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. Repeat offenders could face a class B misdemeanor.
Abbott previously vetoed a similar version of the bill in June over the bill’s “micro-management” language regarding things like “how the dog is collared, how much time the dog spends in the bed of a truck and the attachment-length ratio of the dog.”
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Jamey Cantrell, president of the Texas Animal Control Association, said The Texas Grandstand in an article published earlier this month, the public’s pushback likely led Abbott to sign the revised bill into law.
“If there was no outcry … it would still be something we plan to work on the next legislative session,” Cantrell explained at the time. “But collectively, the Texans who came out and made their voices heard, they are the ones who are really responsible for the current situation.”
Shelby Bobosky, executive director of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, told the Grandstand last winter’s devastating winter storm showed the need to “put some basic standards in place for dogs that live permanently outdoors.”
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State Senator and author of the bill, Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, recently told the newspaper that the changes to the previous bill were “minor” and that he hoped the newly signed law would “give many dogs a new way of life”. ” in the state.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as public camping or recreation areas. Dogs and their owners involved in hunting, herding livestock and growing agricultural produce are also exempt. Dogs can also be left unattended in an outdoor truck bed.
Some temporary restrictions will also be permitted on a circumstantial basis, although the law does not specify how.