Safe Outdoor Dog Act, effective January 18

Jan 10, 2022

A new Texas law taking effect on January 18, 2022 is aiming to protect dogs. It’s called the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, and it has to do with dogs being tethered (chained) outside. 

“We’ve had laws like this all the way back to 2007, but the rules are changing. If you’re a pet owner, we want to make sure you aren’t breaking the law when it comes to leaving your dog outside,” said Shelby County Sheriff Kevin W. Windham. 
 
Dogs are man’s best friend, and that is why a new Texas law is taking aim at people who are leaving their dogs outside in unsafe conditions. 

Under the new law, you can no longer chain your dog with weighted chains, and any tie-out must be a minimum of 10 feet long. 

“I have seen some dogs chained up, and it’s just heart breaking to see,” said Windham. 
 
Along with the 10-foot tie, there also has to be an adequate shelter that can shield your pet from harsh weather conditions. 

Your dog also needs access to food and water. 

So, when should you call your local law enforcement if you think a dog is in danger?  

 
First thing you want to look for is if the animal has room to move.  

Does the animal have room to move out of its own waste before it’s cleaned up? That will help you determine if it has a long enough tie-out. It has to be either 10-foot-long or 5 times the length of the animal 
 
If you get caught breaking the law, you can be charged up to $500. 

And if you get caught multiple times, you may even face a misdemeanor charge. 
 
“If they are tethering their animal, they need to have the proper collar, then a cable not a chain, that has a swivel to help from tangling up, Sheriff Windham said. 

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