Chaining a Dog Could Soon Become Illegal in Texas, Bill Passes State Senate

Posted by Christy Caplan
Chained Dogs

Have you passed by a dog tethered to a post or chained to a dog house before? It is terribly depressing and the big debate you play out in your head is whether or not to say something to the owners or animal control. Dogs can die from starvation or dehydration pending the season. Why do people do this? People tether their dogs for a variety of reasons. Most people who do this are unaware of the harm it can cause to their dogs. 

The state of Texas has good news that I hope all states pay attention to in the coming months. Thank you, TexasA bill that would criminalize chaining a dog as well as not providing adequate shelter for them is one step closer to becoming law.

There are a set of bills is making it through the Texas Legislature could help put an end to the inhumane treatment of dogs statewide, according to the Houston Chronicle, 

"Senate Bill 295would make it a criminal offense if owners unlawfully restrained their dogs with chain leashes and do not provide adequate shelter for their animals. That bill recently passed the Texas Senate, according to Fox 26.

SB 295, also known as the "Adequate Shelter and Restraint Bill" outlines adequate shelter as "a clean and sturdy shelter that allows the dog protection from rain, sleet, snow and subfreezing temperatures." The shelter must be large enough for a dog to stand, sit, turn around and lie down in a normal position, per the bill."

Once the bill becomes law, owners that are cited for violations could be charged with a class c misdemeanor. We pulled the highlights from the bill.

Unlawful restraint of dog definitions in the bill is as follows.

  • "Adequate shelter" means a clean and sturdy structure: that allows the dog protection from rain, hail, sleet, snow, and subfreezing temperatures; and dimensions that allow the dog while in the shelter to stand erect, sit, turn around, and lie down in a normal position.
  • "Collar" means a band constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material, specifically designed to be placed around the neck of a dog.
  • "Harness" means a set of straps constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material, specifically designed to restrain or control a dog.
  • "Owner" means a person who owns or has custody or control of a dog.
  • "Properly fitted" means, with respect to a collar or harness, a collar or harness that: is appropriately sized for the dog based on
    the dog 's measurements and body weight; does not choke the dog or impede the dog 's normal breathing or swallowing, and is attached around the dog in a manner that does not allow for escape and does not cause pain or injury to the dog.
  • "Restraint" means a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other devices that attach a dog to a stationary object or trolley system.

Read the full bill here. (You can also read through the exceptions). If it passes the House, the Governor must sign the bill before it becomes law. If passed, they would go into effect September 1, 2019.

Tethering dogs, chaining dogs and keeping dogs confined in one place for long periods are all inhumane. This provides momentum for aggressive behavior and we've all seen the excessive barking in fenced yards! No dog should be straining against the end of a chain.

The extreme heat could literally kill them without proper shelter. Dogs are social animals and this can cause psychological damage. If the tethering law passes, hopefully, this will also impact the number of dogs that end up in animal shelters. Pet owners should be accountable for their dog's well-being. This includes proper veterinary care for our companion animals.

The Humane Society has a comprehensive FAQ on these topics if you're looking for more information.

What do you think of this updated pet law? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

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Chaining a Dog Could Soon Become Illegal in Texas, Bill Passes State Senate