Texas Senator Eddie Lucio files new bill to prevent dog abuse
Texas Senator Eddie Lucio filed a bill to prevent dog abuse.
If approved, dog owners would be required to follow certain rules or face misdemeanor charges.
Lucio currently has seven dogs, and says if there's a dog in need, his family will make room.
"Quite frankly, they become part of the family," Lucio said. "And you enjoy being with them, and you enjoy watching them grow up."
The new bill, if passed, would make it mandatory for dogs left outside to have access to potable water, for them to be restrained by a leash that is no shorter than five times the length of the dog, and to have shelter while it's raining, or during other severe weather conditions. Owners would no longer be allowed to restrain dogs with chains.
"It's important to remember that this isn't just about animal safety, it's about public safety," Lucio said. "Mistreated animals, especially those chained up in front yards, can become a public health risk to neighborhoods."
Representatives from Palm Valley Animal Society say the Rio Grande Valley has a serious problem with animal neglect.
"Hidalgo County is approximately 800,000 people up until this past year," said Adam Ricci. "Historically, we were seeing over 20,000 animals, cats and dogs, coming in a year. I've worked in communities that were a population of 1 million people, taking in 16,000, taking in half as many pets."
Lucio says he's filling this bill now because he feels like he has enough bipartisan support for this to pass, adding animal neglect is a problem throughout Texas and is something that can no longer wait.