December 18, 2020
”Safe Outdoor Dogs” legislation will improve public safety and ensure dogs have basic standards while restrained outside.
Austin, Texas – Today, Chair Nicole Collier filed HB 873, Texas Humane Legislation Network’s (THLN) top priority legislative item, to ensure dogs are properly restrained outdoors and prevent them from becoming a public safety hazard for unsuspecting people.
HB 873 would establish basic standards of outdoor shelter and care and provide much-needed clarification to the existing law to better promote the safety of surrounding communities.
Dogs that are inhumanely restrained become desperate and aggressive, causing them to lash out at people, especially unsuspecting children who do not understand the signs of an animal in extreme distress. Over the past couple of years, Texas has seen dozens of attacks by dogs inhumanely restrained outdoors, with some even being fatal.
“THLN has and always will advocate for commonsense animal welfare legislation. However, HB 873 is truly about public safety,” said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. “We must ensure dogs kept outside are safe – safe for them and safe for us.”
HB 873 improves the current law through a few simple but key clarifications. HB 873 defines adequate shelter to protect dogs from extreme outdoor temperatures, and prevents the use of overly heavy, cruel chain restraints. The bill also ensures dogs have access to drinking water and can move around without being trapped in standing water or mud. Finally, the bill strikes the 24-hour waiting period to allow law enforcement to address critical situations immediately, instead of only after tragedy has struck.
"I look forward to working with my fellow lawmakers to pass HB 873,” said Chair Collier. "Simply put, making Texas communities safer and stopping abject animal cruelty is the right thing to do."
“We are grateful for Chair Collier filing this bill and are confident that the legislation will pass in 2021 to better protect Texas dogs outdoors and Texas communities,” concluded Bobosky.
To learn more or to schedule an interview about safe outdoor dog legislation, contact Cara Gustafson at 561-797-8267 or [email protected].