- Unsplash / Kristijan Arsov
- Texas Senate Bill 474 largely establishes basic standards of shelter and care for dogs restrained outdoors.
Texas Senate Bill 474, which establishes basic standards of shelter and care for dogs restrained outdoors, passed through both chambers of the Texas Legislature this week.
The Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill would ensure that owners provide outdoor pups with adequate shelter from extreme weather conditions, access to drinkable water and humane tethering conditions. It also would prohibit the use of heavy chains as restraints.
In addition, the bill would enable law enforcement officials to move more quickly when dealing with cases of animal cruelty. Under current state statutes, if a witness sees a dog in distress, authorities may issue a warning, but they must wait at least 24 hours before taking further action.
Assuming it's signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, SB474 would go into effect September 21.
Pet owners who violate the new rules, would face a Class C misdemeanor for each dog found in conditions that violate the rules. If the offender has previously been convicted under the same circumstances, the offense is elevated to a Class B misdemeanor.
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