Over the summer, Texas Governor Greg Abbott vetoed a bill that would protect dogs from being chained in inhumane conditions. Yet, after viewing an updated version of the bill, he had a change of heart.
In October 2021, Abbott passed a bill that will update Texas’ laws about chaining dogs outside. The law will make regulations about chaining dogs more specific to avoid animal neglect. Some believe that these new conditions are too specific, but it’s what needs to be done to protect dogs in danger. Dogs are a part of the family, so they should never be put in such deplorable conditions.
A Better World for Dogs
Abbott vetoed the original bill because he said it was “micro-managing” and “over-criminalizing.” Since then, slight changes have been made to the bill, but they will not affect its original intentions. San Antonio already has similar rules in its city limits, but it’s time for those laws to spread further.
According to the new law, dogs cannot be tied up using chains or heavy restraints. Their restraints should never be shorter than five times the dog’s body length from nose to tail. Also, their collars must be made of a material that’s designed for a dog’s neck.
Once the law goes into effect, dogs must also have access to shade, shelter from inclement weather, and access to drinkable water if left alone outside. Before, law enforcement could only get involved with a chained animal situation if it had been at least 24 hours. Now, the new rules will eliminate that restriction, depending on the circumstances.
There will be some exceptions to the rule, such as temporary restraints. Dogs that are camping, hunting, or guarding livestock may be exempt in certain circumstances.
When Will This New Law Take Effect?
The law will go into effect on January 18th, 2022, and it’s a change that’s long overdue. Jamey Cantrell, the president of the Texas Animal Control Association, said that the public’s opinions likely encouraged Abbott to approve the revised bill. Yet, he knows advocates would’ve kept pushing for it regardless of other people’s views.
“If there was no outcry … it would still be something that we’d be planning on working on next legislative session,” Cantrell said. “But collectively, the Texans that did come through and make their voices heard, they’re the ones who are really responsible for where we’re at right now.”
This upcoming change is not only important for Texas but for all animals. Hopefully, it will encourage more places to put similar bans into effect. No dogs should be chained up and left to suffer, so this is a long-overdue law.