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If you have ever come across dogs chained up to a post or dog-house before then you know how heartbreaking it is to see them left alone, tied in place so they can’t do anything but stay in one tiny area. Not only does it make you question humanity in general, but it also creates a huge internal dilemma about what to do about it, or what kind of person you are if you don’t.
Should you say something? To who? The owners, or Animal Control? All of these questions will race through your head about how you can help those poor dogs. Any number of things could happen, like strangulation, starvation, and even dehydration if they are left too long in the summer heat.
Often times people keep their dogs chained up outside for a myriad of reasons, but most people who do aren’t intentionally trying to abuse their dogs…they just don’t really know any better.
Fortunately, the good folks of Texas may not have to ever worry about encountering chained dogs again if a new bill passes.
The bill moves to criminalize the act of chaining a dog up outside, as well as failing to give them proper shelter. Thankfully, the bill is seeing a lot of upward movement in the legislature.
This bill and several others are gaining traction in the Lone Star state in an effort to eradicate the mistreatment of dogs throughout all of Texas.
The Houston Chronicle goes over the details of the animal rights bill that is making so much headway:
“Senate Bill 295would make it a criminal offense if owners unlawfully restrained their dogs with chain leashes and do not provide adequate shelter for their animals. That bill recently passed the Texas Senate, according to Fox 26.
SB 295, also known as the ‘Adequate Shelter and Restraint Bill’ outlines adequate shelter as ‘a clean and sturdy shelter that allows the dog protection from rain, sleet, snow and subfreezing temperatures.’ The shelter must be large enough for a dog to stand, sit, turn around and lie down in a normal position, per the bill.”
After the bill is made law, violaters cited for chaining their dog or keeping them in cramped quarters can also face charges of a Class C misdemeanor.
The bill outlines the definition of “Unlawful Restraint of a Dog” as follows:
- “Adequate shelter” means a clean and sturdy structure: that allows the dog protection from rain, hail, sleet, snow, and subfreezing temperatures; and dimensions that allow the dog while in the shelter to stand erect, sit, turn around, and lie down in a normal position.
- “Collar” means a band constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material, specifically designed to be placed around the neck of a dog.
- “Harness” means a set of straps constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material, specifically designed to restrain or control a dog.
- “Owner” means a person who owns or has custody or control of a dog.
- “Properly fitted” means, with respect to a collar or harness, a collar or harness that: is appropriately sized for the dog based on
the dog ‘s measurements and body weight; does not choke the dog or impede the dog ‘s normal breathing or swallowing, and is attached around the dog in a manner that does not allow for escape and does not cause pain or injury to the dog.
- “Restraint” means a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other devices that attach a dog to a stationary object or trolley system.
In order for the bill to become law, it first must pass The House and then the Governor has to sign it. If all goes well, it will be illegal for anyone in Texas to chain up their dogs or leave them in an inadequate shelter as of September 1st of this year!