The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act goes into effect Tuesday
The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act goes into effect Tuesday.
Under the new law, dog owners can no longer use heavy chain restraints to tether outside dogs. Instead, dog owners will have to use humane tethers, like cable tie-outs and trolley systems that are attached to a properly fitted collar or harness.
Dogs left outside must have adequate shelter to protect them from inclement weather and standing water, and they should be able to stand, turn around and lie down.
Advocates say the most significant change is the removal of the 24-hour warning period.
"If an animal control officer or law enforcement is called out to a property where a dog is unsafely tied out, they can take action immediately,” said Stacy Sutton Kerby, director of the Texas Human Legislation Network. “They don't have to wait 24 hours, which was the requirement, previously."
Kerby says the new law is also about educating dog owners and giving them an opportunity to cure the problem.
"We're not interested in penalizing folks, what we want is those dogs that are tethered outdoors to be safe, and to be able to stay with their people."
Violators could receive a $500 fine. A second offense could equal jail time.
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