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New Texas Senate Bill 5 ‘Safe Outdoor Dog Act’ becomes law today

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:10 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:15 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - After six years, lawmakers and an animal advocacy lobbyist non-profit “The Safe Outdoor Dog Act” passed through the senate.

Governor Greg Abbott signed the act in 2021 and today the Texas Senate Bill 5 became Texas law.

The “Safe Outdoor Dog Act” eliminates the use of chains to restrain dogs.

Requires instead legal restraints such as tethers and trolley systems to allow for dogs to stand, turn around and lie down.

Animal Control Officer Lisa Cox is a 20 year veteran and shared her thoughts on the new law.

“I think it’s a long time coming. I kinda wish they would say a dog can’t be restrained on anything personally,” said Lisa Cox. “In Canyon like I said I’m not too worried about this law coming out. I’m just glad it finally happened.”

The law also prevents dogs from being left out in extreme temperatures, inclement weather or in standing water without adequate shelter and must also have potable water.

It also lifts the 24 hour waiting period so animal control and law enforcement can act immediately if a dog is in distress.

“Your first time or class misdemeanor and it’s punishable of a fine up to $500. 180 days in jail $2,000 fine,” said Victoria Medley, director of Amarillo Management and Welfare.

In Borger, they said they addressed the misconception of some residents banning on chaining a dog meant that it was a ban on having outdoor dogs altogether.

“We also have dogs that help on the ranch and things like that and we did not want our residents to be confused thinking this new outdoor law is preventing my outside dog from being outside. we just wanted to reiterate it’s about humane treatment if the dog is left outside,” said Marisa Montoya, communications manager, City of Borger.

Executive Director of the Texas Humane Legislation Network and her colleagues pushed on for six years and Monday January 18, they say this is a new day for outdoor dogs in Texas.

“You’re killing me because I haven’t been emotional at all today you’ve really made me stop and think what a big day this is. Why I love Texas Humane Legislation Network so much is through one law, you can effectually change lives for dogs at any given time. This is for all the dogs that perished during the February storm. This is in their memory that we’re fixing it,” said Shelby Bobosky, exec. director of Texas Humane Legislation Network.

In Amarillo, you can click here, to report violators virtually.

There are exemptions to this law, if you are camping with your dog or in other recreational areas.

If you own a herding or working dog who is assisting with farming tasks and when hunting or participating in field trials.

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