Houston City Council Passes Four New Humane Ordinances

THLN, Houston PetSet Celebrate Houston City Council’s Passage of New Updated City Ordinances 
Ordinances include addressing sheltering standards, microchipping, and pet store practices.

January 19, 2022

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Today, the Houston City Council passed a range of new updated city ordinances including ones that are related to animal welfare and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner allocated $1 million to go towards spay and neuter efforts in the city. The Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) and Houston PetSet have been working with the City of Houston on the ordinances to address a myriad of challenges when it comes to animal sheltering and animals in the streets. 

These ordinances will support animal welfare organizations such as Houston’s city-run shelter, Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC), and will change the landscape of animal welfare in Houston for the better. The ordinances include:

-Updating the sheltering standards for outside animals. Owners are now given a clear definition on dog houses, restraints and these changes will help dog owners understand how to tether and house their dogs.

-Implementation of microchips. Loose dogs in the streets will be able to be returned home without ever entering the shelter.

-Cleaning up the dangerous dog ordinance. Houston neighborhoods will become safer with a clearer ordinance. 

-Implementation of the Humane Pet Store ordinance. Current Texas state law does not adequately protect consumers, puppies, or kittens from pet stores selling commercially bred animals with undisclosed health defects. The new ordinance protects consumers and animals alike. 

“THLN is in full support of these ordinances and is so thankful to the City Council, Chairwoman Alcorn and her staff, and leaders at BARC for understanding and supporting these transformational changes,” said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. “It is our hope that the people of Houston support these ordinances and BARC Houston in their efforts to keep the animals and people of Houston safer,” finished Bobosky. 

“These proposed ordinances are so important for the people and pets in the city of Houston,” said Tama Lundquist, Houston PetSet Co-President. “Having these ordinances will reduce the number of animals in our shelters by disallowing dogs from puppy mills to be sold in stores. Houston PetSet and dozens of our rescue partners are so happy for the leadership of Chairwoman Alcorn, BARC and THLN for supporting these ordinance changes to improve the welfare of pets and pet owners in the city of Houston,” finished Lundquist.  

“We would also like to thank Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner for allocating $1 million to BARC for spay/neuter services,” said Bobosky. “Mayor Turner recognizes that spaying and neutering is incredibly important to the safety of the City of Houston."

For more information about the ordinances, or to schedule an interview please contact Cara Gustafson at 561-797-8267 or [email protected]


The Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) is a 501c4 non-profit with over 45 years of experience at the Texas state capitol. THLN’s mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals through legislation and advocacy. THLN was instrumental in passing the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, making dogfighting illegal, creating humane standards for Texas shelters, establishing the Animal-Friendly license plate program, and enhancing the animal cruelty law. To learn more about THLN, please visit THLN.org.

Houston PetSet’s mission is to end the homelessness and suffering of companion animals and elevate their status in society. We envision a world where companion animals do not suffer and are valued by society.  


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  • Deborah Ullrich
    About time, this will help many animals have a better life although I don’t know how they will enforce the law with pets in back yard.
  • Karen Rankin