In 2021, the Texas Governor finally signed SB5, the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act. And on January 18th, 2022, the law went into effect! This is such phenomenal news for all the dogs in our state who spend their lives at the end of a chain. Though it might seem like a minor technicality to some, by making chains illegal, owners will now have to put more effort into humanely tethering their dogs outside and hopefully they will reconsider the practice altogether.
Houston PetSet Co-Presidents Tama Lundquist and Tena Lundquist Faust have been advocating for this bill for what seems like forever, so this has been a hugely satisfying win for us and our partners at Texas Humane Legislation Network.
Chains aren’t the only thing that this bill addresses. It also more clearly defines what is meant by ‘adequate shelter’, and requires that dogs have access to food and drinkable water. And finally, SB5 waives the 24-hour waiting period that previously required law enforcement officers to give owners a day to fix the problems. Instead, if a dog is chained or does not have access to shelter, food, or drinkable water, the officers can remove them from the premises immediately. We truly believe this will save so many dogs from perishing due to exposure. For a detailed look at the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act and all it entails, click here.