Free At Last: Abbott Signs Dog Tethering Bill in Texas

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For those who follow pet groups in and around the Texarkana Area, you may have noticed a few celebratory posts over the last week, as concerned dog neighbors and citizens are celebrating the bill that was signed by Governor Greg Abbott last week. Over the summer Abbott received backlash from animal rights activists after he vetoed a similar bill. The hashtag #Abbotthatesdogs began trending on Twitter and other social media sites, which may have led to Abbotts recent decision to update and sign a similar bill last week.

In the bill titled The Safe Outdoors Dog Act, or Senate Bill 5, dog owners around the state of Texas are facing stricter regulations regarding how they can treat, manage, and handle their dogs on their property. The new bill, similar to the one vetoed earlier this summer sparking controversy for Abbott, is more specific in how pet owners can manager their tethered animals outside.

The new regulations for dog owners provide clear but strict instructions on how owners can tether their animal outside. With the bill, owners who fail to provide proper shelter for their dogs in instances such as inclement weather: such as rain, hail, sleet, snow, high winds, high or low temperatures etc.,  face a Class C misdemeanor, or a Class B misdemeanor. The new bill also specifies the types of tethering that is allowed to be used on animals outdoors. Dog owners can no longer use chains or heavy weight restraints on their outdoor pets, and there is even specification on the types of collars that can be used on those animals.

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For pet owners that do tether their dogs outside, it is crucial they read Senate Bill 5, to ensure they are following proper procedure to prevent any misdemeanor charges. If you have any concerns about animals that you are seeing on the Texas side of Texarkana, be sure to contact your local law enforcement officials to file formal complaints so that action can be taken.

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