New laws for outside dogs in Texas

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 9:29 PM CST
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - Six new laws in Texas went into effect on Tuesday, one of them Senate Bill 5.

It changes the legal way to restrain a dog.

“We see so many dogs in Texas that are tethered by a chain and the fact that that is no longer going to be a legal tether is a huge deal,” Senior Marketing Communication Specialist for SPCA of Texas Madeline Yeaman said.

Senate Bill 5, otherwise known as the Safe Outdoor Dog Act, went into effect Tuesday.

It requires dogs to have adequate shelter, collars must fit the dog properly, and the dog can’t be restrained by a chain, or anything too short or that has weights attached.

“With this new law coming into place something that we really want to do is be able to help people come into compliance and help people through education and providing these resources so they can better care for their pets,” Yeaman said.

Yeaman said this new law gets rid of the 24 hour waiting period.

Previously law enforcement and animal control officers had to wait to take action if a dog was in a desperate situation.

“It’s just important that people read up on this, pay close attention if you are a dog owner because we aren’t looking to get anybody in trouble, we are just looking to keep all of our pets safe,” Media Relations Coordinator for Denison Police Department Emily Atkins said.

A first time offender will get a Class C misdemeanor, or a fine of up to $500.

A repeat offender will get a class B misdemeanor, and you could have to serve jail time.

“We work closely with animal control because it is important to us not just to keep our dog safe but really all of our pets safe as well,” Atkins said.

The bill was signed into law in October during the 87th legislature’s 3rd special session, after online pressure forced Governor Abbott to reconsider his original veto of it in the regular session.

“And so this is a huge win to protect these animals,” Yeaman said.

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