--FEDERAL: (Click the links below for a fact sheet and more information).--
--STATE: FIX THE TEXAS TETHERING STATUTE--
Dog chaining is inhumane and dangerous. Dogs tethered by heavy chains often suffer injuries as a result of the weight of the chains and suffer from embedded collars. Dogs also often become entangled in their chains, leaving them cut off from any available food, water or shelter.
"Our cruelty investigators regularly encounter dogs that have died from starvation and dehydration - especially in the summer months -- after having twisted their chains or ropes to the point where they could no longer reach their food or water bowls," said Sherry Ferguson, executive director of the Houston Humane Society.
Texas law enforcement and animal control officers receive daily calls from citizens concerned about a dog being tethered by cruel and inhumane means. They report that many of the dogs they take into custody due to neglect and abuse are chained dogs who have been left for days on end without food and water, and often are in need of medical attention.
In 2007, the Texas legislature passed a bill to address tethering standards, but unfortunately, the law gives little or no protection to a tethered dog and, as written, is unenforceable because no citations can be issued, only warnings. Because there has not been a single prosecution since the law’s passage, it is time to fix this statute where citations can be issued before the dog’s situation becomes a cruelty case.