The law also gets rid of a rule that currently states law enforcement can only intervene in a situation regarding a dog in illegal conditions after 24 hours.
Pets deserve all the love and care in the world, and ought to be treated like royalty. After all, they shower us with unconditional love and support, don't they? However, there are people for whom dogs are only meant to guard and protect humans. They are barely concerned about the conditions in which their dog lives. In some cases, some dogs have to go through some extreme situations where they are made to spend their entire life outside the house irrespective of the weather conditions.
However, a new law in Texas has taken a step to change things. The law, which goes into effect from January 18, 2022, forbids dog owners from leaving their pets chained outside their homes. On November 1, 2021, Gov. Greg Abbot signed the bill that was passed during the state legislature's third special session of the year, after vetoing a previous version this summer, reports PEOPLE.
Under the new law, dog owners will be banned from tying up their dogs outside with chains or restraints that weigh them down. It also specifies that the length of an outdoor restraint must be 10 feet long or five times the dog's length from nose to tail. Owners will not be allowed to leave a dog outside and unattended while restrained unless the owner gives the dog access to "adequate" shelter, shade from direct sunlight, drinkable water, and proper protection from "inclement weather."
New Texas Law Will Make It Illegal to Chain Up Dogs Outside Beginning in 2022 https://t.co/qsJU58DEX6— People (@people) October 29, 2021
The law also gets rid of a rule that currently states law enforcement can only intervene in a situation regarding a dog in illegal conditions after 24 hours. Anyone who violates the law will face a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. Repeat offenders could face a Class B misdemeanor.
However, it must be noted that there are some exceptions to this rule, such as public camping or recreational areas.
Dogs and their owners participating in hunting, shepherding livestock, and cultivating agricultural products are also exempted from the bill. Dogs may be left unattended in an open-air truck bed circumstantially as well. Though some temporary restraints will be permitted circumstantially, the law does not outline how.
Finally a law in Texas I can agree with. Chaining up dogs is wrong on so many levels.— SG (@TiredMom3boys) October 30, 2021
Earlier in June, Abbot had vetoed a similar version because of the bill's "micro-managing" language regarding items such as "the 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." However, the new bill uses different language in certain sections, changes made “in coordination with the governor’s office” that “do not affect the purpose of the bill,” Texas Humane Legislation Network executive director Shelby Bobosky said, per The Texas Tribune.
State senator and author of the bill Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, also shared that the changes to the previous bill were "minor" and that he hoped the newly-signed law would "give a lot of dogs a new way of life" in the state.
Absolutely. Why just in Texas? Make it everywhere.— Sonja Puc (@SonjaPuc17) October 29, 2021
Meanwhile, Jamey Cantrell, president of the Texas Animal Control Association, said that public outcry over vetoing the bill the first time around prompted Abbot to sign off on it. "If there was no outcry … it would still be something that we'd be planning on working on next legislative session," Cantrell explained. "But collectively, the Texans that did come through and make their voices heard, they're the ones who are really responsible for where we're at right now."
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images | Viesinsh