Texas law aimed at reducing animal neglect will take effect in January

The law will ban the use of chain tethers on dogs left outdoors and will allow law enforcement officers to act quickly when they find an animal in distress.
Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 7:26 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Senate Bill 5, known as the “Safe Outdoor Dogs” Act was signed by Governor Greg Abbott in October of this year.

The law is aimed at reducing and preventing neglect and inhumane treatment of dogs.

The bill outlaws the use of chain tethers on dogs outside. It also requires owners to have the proper shelter from extreme weather and water to drink for their dogs. The new law also eliminates the 24 hour waiting period for law enforcement officers to intervene in cases where dogs are at risk of inhumane treatment.

Jennifer Young is the Executive Director for Aggieland Humane Society. She says they’re excited about the law and that it aligns with their mission.

“It’s actually great news for pets and everybody,” said Young. “Our mission is to promote responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals everywhere so were excited to see this.”

Dog owners like College Station resident Rob Estes says he takes great care of his dog and doesn’t think a new law is necessary. He says the overwhelming majority of pet owners are responsible and would never neglect or hurt a pet.

“We love our dog. This dog is just the delight of our lives and we have enjoyed him so much. So I don’t know if I need regulations to tell me how to take care of my dog. This dog’s treated probably as well as if we had a child,” said Estes.

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Posted by Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) on Monday, November 8, 2021

Estes says he understands there are exceptions to when action must be taken but thinks it’s rare.

“There’s probably some that do neglect their dogs like that and I guess in that case but I doubt there’s very many of those,” said Estes.

Young says the new law is not about overregulating pet owners. It’s about setting a standard for pet care.

“The law is to provide basic needs for animals, you know, access to food and water, to not be standing in their own waste, to be able to move about freely, and to have shelter from the elements,” said Young. “I mean, those are all basic human needs.”

The safe outdoors dog act is set to go into effect on January 18, 2022.

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