Safe Outdoor Dog Act
On October 25, 2021, after the most contentious Texas legislative session in memory, the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act (Senate Bill No. 5) was signed into law. THLN never wavered during the six-year quest to pass this legislation, even when it was targeted by an extremist lawmaker and unexpectedly vetoed.
Texas dogs and the communities where they reside deserve a common-sense, balanced policy governing the restraint of dogs outdoors. The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, went into effect January 18, 2022, achieves that by:
- Defining adequate shelter to protect dogs from extreme temperatures, inclement weather, and standing water. Previously, there was no definition for shelter, thus tethered dogs routinely perished from exposure.
- Requiring access to drinkable water. Before the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, state law did not include this vital requirement.
- Requiring safe restraints. The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act strikes the use of chains. Other means of restraint, such as cable tie-outs, may be used so long as they are correctly attached to a collar or harness designed to restrain a dog.
- Removing a 24-hour waiting period previously required that prevented animal control or law enforcement officers from taking immediate action.
Arguably the most significant change wrought by the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act is removing the 24-hour warning period that allowed bad actors to flout the law. Officers can take immediate action for tethered dogs in distress from now on.
The Safe Outdoors Dog Act does not prevent owners from tethering dogs, but does define requirements that must be met to ensure the dog is allowed access to adequate shelter and water and limits the types of restraints allowed to be used.
The Trophy Club Police Department will respond to complaints of cruelty in Town, will work with owners to bring their pet’s living conditions into compliance with the Safe Outdoors Dog Act. To report suspected animal cruelty, please contact the TC Animal Control Officer at 682.237.2969 or EMAIL HERE.
To learn more about the Safe Outdoors Dog Act, please visit https://www.thln.org/a_brand_new_day.