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Texas Law Would Criminalize Leaving Dogs on Chains


This week, the Texas House of Representatives have debated a bill that would make it illegal to leave a dog tied up on a chain or with heavy weights unless very specific conditions were met.

KHOU reports that, under House Bill 1156 (proposed by Harris County Rep. Sarah Davis) would make it a misdemeanor to leave a dog restrained and unsupervised outside without access to shelter from the sun and the elements, access to potable water, and an area where the dog can avoid standing water.

The bill, which an be read online, would outlaw chains, as well as other restraints, that are shorter than five times the length of the animal from its nose to the base of its tail, shorter than 10 feet, not fitted to a properly fitting collar or harness, or may cause pain to the animal.

As outlined in the bill, exceptions include:

  • A dog restrained in a public camping or
    recreational area in compliance with the requirements of the public
    camping or recreational area as defined by a federal, state, or
    local authority or jurisdiction
  • A dog restrained while the owner and dog are
    engaged in, or actively training for, an activity that is conducted
    pursuant to a valid license issued by this state if the activity for
    which the license is issued is associated with the use or presence
    of a dog
  • A dog restrained while the owner and dog are
    engaged in conduct directly related to the business of shepherding
    or herding cattle or livestock
  • A dog restrained while the owner and dog are
    engaged in conduct directly related to the business of cultivating
    agricultural products
  • A dog left in an open-air truck bed for no longer
    than necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task that
    required the dog to be left in the truck bed

The bill also specifies that it does not apply to people walking dogs with leashes.

What do you think about the law? Is it long over-do, or is it overreaching? Let us know your thoughts, and vote in our poll.

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