What is the new outside leash law in Texas?

By: Kyley Wilhite

Multimedia Journalist

On Jan. 18, 2022, a new law in the state of Texas makes it illegal to leave dogs chained up outside without shelter. This includes any type of chain or weighed-down restraints.

This law was passed by Gov. Gregg Abbott who states, “Texas is no place for micro-managing and over-criminalization.”

Jamey Cantrell, president of the Texas Animal Control Association, states, “If there was no outcry… it would still be something that we’d be planning on working on next legislative session.”

The law also states that dogs must have protection from the weather and an adequate shelter with enough room to move around.

According to People magazine, “Dogs must have properly fitted collars and cannot be restrained with a chain.”

Some dog owners are asking about “tethering.” As far as this law is concerned, tethering is the same as any person who ties a dog with a chain, rope or line to a stationary object such as a house or shed.

Safe ways to keep your dog outside.
Photo Courtesy of West Wind Dog Training.

The law eliminates the need for a 24-hour period before intervention to help a chained animal.

Fox news outlines the differences as, “Major differences between the new law and the one that was vetoed include the definition of inclement weather, and provisions clarifying that dogs must be able to avoid standing water and excessive animal waste.”

This law to Abbot seems like one that will personally affect many dog owners and make them change the way that they care for their dogs.

Violating these laws can result in a Class C misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor for repeated offenses. A class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500, while a class B is punishable by up to 180 days in prison and up to a $2,000 fine.

Some may argue that the punishment needs to be more brutal for the neglect of your dog, but as far as our government sees it, this law is a step in the right direction.

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1 Response

  1. Paul says:

    I am so glad this issue is getting support from our government. This is long overdue, although there is still so much that still has to be done. We need to continue to speak up for the animals with no voice.