Even though there are already laws in Texas against tethering your dog, they are rarely enforced.
New House Bill 1156 proposes that dog owners who keep their pet chained too long will receive misdemeanor punishment. The bill states that the dog should have the following:
- adequate shelter
- access to water
- access to shade
- an area to lie down
- leash longer than five times the length of the dog or at least 10 feet long
There is already a law that prohibits dog owners from tethering their dogs for long periods of time but it is rarely enforced. Loretta Hyde from the Animal Rescue League of El Paso told KFOX 14 that the root of the problem is stricter enforcement and, ultimately, education.
"There aren't enough officers to go to each house and help them understand what is allowed and what's not allowed or what should be enforced. And, a lot of the officers are saying, 'This is the way it's always been and this is just the way it is here in the county.' I think that attitude needs to change here in the community. A misdemeanor is a slap on the wrist, like a don't do it, let's fix the problem, but I think we need to educate the public that this is against the law to do."
The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Mary Gonzalez, will go to a House committee to be reviewed. It follows on the heels of an identical proposal brought to the House of Agriculture in Virginia in January.
Do you think it should be Texas law that dogs shouldn't be tethered in a yard for too long? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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