Karen Rankin

  • Letter to the Editor: Protect Dogs and People

    From The Dallas Morning News, March 22, 2021

    The Texas Legislature must pass HB 873 by Rep. Nicole Collier of Fort Worth to protect dogs kept outdoors and the public around them. The legislation ensures dogs have adequate shelter from extreme temperatures and access to drinking water and can move around without being trapped in standing water.

    As an animal cruelty investigator, I have seen firsthand the danger inhumanely restrained dogs pose, often to unsuspecting children. These dogs suffer from behavioral problems and become aggressive when unable to retreat from perceived threats. HB 873 will fix the current, broken law, allow law enforcement to intervene in dangerous situations, and protect Texans and Texas animals.

    Monica Ailey, Fort Worth
    President, Animal Investigation & Response

  • Letter to the Editor: Safe for Them, Safe for Us

    From The Pittsburg Gazette, April 1, 2021

    Last month's bitter winter weather sadly claimed the lives of hundreds of Texas Dogs. These dogs perished un­necessarily in the storm. As a volunteer for Texas Humane Legislation Network, we received many phone calls and pictures from across Texas of dogs freezing and dying. One picture imprinted on my mind is of one such dog in our own Camp County. The dog was chained outside without shelter. It's unfathomable to suffer freezing to death. Most importantly, from a human safety perspective, dogs living on the end of a chain are more aggressive and unpredictable. Children have been attacked and some fatally injured by their family dog who lived chained outside.

    I want to tell you about an important way you can help make our community safer while helping Tex­as dogs in 2021. Help make our community Safe for Them, Safe for Us. I'm asking for your support of HB 873 & SB 474, The Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill, which will hopefully be voted on and passed during this current legislative session.

    Among other things, this bill strikes the current mandatory 24-hour waiting period required by the current state statute. In effect, it will allow Ani­mal Control Officers and Law Enforcement to immediately remove a dog from a perilous situation. To me, that is HUGE!

    The bill also defines shelter for dogs on restraints so that now Law Enforcement, Animal Control Officers, owners, and judges can now define shelter. Without this bill, shelter remains with no definition, and some judges rule that a broken, wet doghouse is "adequate shelter."

    Because you are a citizen who cares about the wel­fare of our animals and the safety of our communities, your support of this bill would certainly be impactful to our local representatives. PLEASE call or email to­day and be the voice for those who have no voice. Ask our representatives for their UNWAVERING support of HB 873 and SB 474. Call now, Legislation is in session. Five minutes of your time could save lives.

    Your Representative is Cole Hefner, reach him at [email protected] or 512-463-0271.

    Your Senator is Bryan Hughes, reach him at [email protected] or 512-463-0101.

    "I'm not telling you it is going to be easy; I'm telling you it's going to be worth it." -unknown

    Rhonda Braudis, Legislative Ambassador, THLN

  • Safe Outdoor Dogs Legislation Passes 7-2 Out of House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

    Safe Outdoor Dogs Legislation Passes 7-2 Out of House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
    HB 873 would clarify existing law and establish basic standards of shelter and care for dogs restrained outdoors.

    March 23, 2021

    Austin, Texas – Yesterday, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee passed HB 873 by Chair Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) on a vote of 7 to 2. A top legislative priority for the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN), HB 873 would establish basic standards of shelter and care for dogs left outdoors, and provide much-needed clarification to existing law to promote the safety of animals and the people around them.

    "Yesterday's vote is a critical step toward protecting outdoor dogs, improving public safety, and still respecting the freedoms of Texas dog owners," said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. "We are grateful to the members of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee for their support on this important legislative issue."

    The legislation also ensures dogs have access to drinkable water and can move around without being trapped in standing water or any other dangerous substance. Along with preventing exposure to extreme weather, the legislation strikes the 24-hour waiting period in the current statute. This will allow law enforcement to address critical situations immediately, before tragedy strikes. 

    The bill also includes key exemptions to respect the choices of dog owners and the variety of ways in which dogs accompany Texans outdoors. Exemptions include dogs restrained in public places like parks and campgrounds, those used for farming, field trials, and hunting tasks, dogs restrained on a trolley system and those temporarily unattended in an open-air truck bed. 

    "We thank Chair Collier for her leadership on the Safe Outdoor Dogs bill and we look forward to seeing it move through the legislative process, where we are already seeing strong, bipartisan support," finished Bobosky. 

    The bill will now be considered by the Calendars Committee before it would move to a vote on the House floor and ultimately over to the Senate.

    To learn more or to schedule an interview about Safe Outdoor Dogs legislation, contact Cara Gustafson at 561-797-8267 or [email protected]


  • Safe Outdoor Dogs Legislation to Be Heard in House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Today

    Safe Outdoor Dogs Legislation to Be Heard in House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Today
    HB 873 would have prevented unnecessary deaths in recent winter storm

    March 8, 2021

    Austin, Texas – Today, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee is hearing HB 873 by Chair Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth). HB 873 includes key elements to protect dogs, including from extreme outdoor temperatures, which could have prevented unnecessary deaths during last month's winter storm. The legislation would establish basic standards of shelter and care for dogs left outdoors, and provide much-needed clarification to existing law to promote the safety of animals and their surrounding communities.

    "We received hundreds of calls, texts, and emails as the temperature dropped last month, including reports of dogs freezing and dying," said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. "Our Safe Outdoor Dogs bill would have prevented many of these unnecessary deaths and would have made it easier to intervene in life-threatening situations."

    Along with preventing exposure to extreme temperature, the legislation also ensures dogs have access to drinking water and can move around without being trapped in standing water or mud. The legislation strikes the 24-hour waiting period in the current statute so that law enforcement can address critical situations immediately, instead of only after tragedy has struck. 

    "We are very thankful to Chair Collier for filing and supporting the Safe Outdoor Dogs bill. As seen in last month's tragedy, it is not enough to provide temporary fixes like free dog houses. We must clarify the law to require adequate shelter," said Bobosky. "As summer approaches and we prepare for extreme heat conditions, HB 873 could help prevent future death without infringing upon the freedom of Texas dog owners."

    If the bill is voted out of committee, it will move to the Calendars Committee to be scheduled for consideration by the House floor.

    To learn more or to schedule an interview about safe outdoor dogs legislation, contact Cara Gustafson at 561-797-8267 or [email protected]


  • Webinar Wednesday: A Deep Dive into Texas Animal Bills

    PRESENTER: Jaime Olin

    With so many bills filed each session, it can be difficult to know which ones really matter, and how they will impact Texas animals if passed. This webinar will explore several key pieces of legislation that will be at the Capitol in 2021, including the Safe Outdoor Dogs bill, the Licensed Breeders Program, the Working Animals bill, and the Possession Ban bill. We’ll talk about the details and importance of each bill, the implications to animals, and answer any of your questions so you’ll be armed with all the relevant information as we make our way into the Session.

    After signup below you will receive an auto-response email with a link to the webinar.


    February 28, 2029 at 12pm

  • Take Action to Prevent Puppy Mills in Texas!

    SIGN OUR PETITION: Tell Texas Legislators NOT to Eliminate Important Animal Protections!  

    The Problem.

    The Texas legislature is preparing to gut the state program that prevents unregulated puppy mills. Since 2011, the Texas Dog & Cat Breeder Act has given the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) the right to regulate the conditions in large-scale animal breeding facilities. Without this Act, unregulated, large scale breeding facilities could likely become inhumane puppy mills producing dogs for profit in the cruelest conditions.


    In 2011, THLN helped pass the Texas Dog & Cat Breeder Act to regulate the conditions in large-scale dog and cat breeding facilities. The law, the first of its kind in Texas, has prevented inhumane puppy mills with requirements and inspections of these facilities.

    By law, Texas requires a "Sunset Review" of each state agency every 12 years to determine whether that agency should continue to exist. The state agency that oversees this Program, TDLR is currently under its “Sunset Review” and must be reauthorized by the Texas Legislature during the 2021 Session. Last month, the preliminary Sunset Review report recommended that this Program is eliminated.

    How YOU Can Make a Difference!

    We must remind Texas legislators of the importance of this Program. 

    Elimination of the Program means zero regulations for those profiting off puppies. The absence of even the most basic minimum care standards will lead to horrific puppy mills, causing thousands of dogs and cats will suffer a lifetime of neglect.

    THLN’s goals are first to protect this incredibly important Program and then fix the existing loopholes to strengthen it.

    NOW is the time for action. Please help us change the fate of thousands of animals in commercial breeding facilities by signing and sharing our Petition today. When you sign our Petition, your state representative and state senator will know you support the regulation of large-scale animal breeding facilities.

    To ensure the Petition’s validity and efficiency, please include your full address so we can notify your state senator and representative of your support.

    Texas residents only.

    Thank you for signing!


    GOAL: 4,326 signatures
    Add signature

  • Volunteer


    THLN is looking for enthusiastic, self-motivated individuals to join in our mission to advocate for Texas animals by effecting systemic change. If you’ve got a passion for animals and want to contribute to making a tangible difference in thousands of Texas animal’s lives, volunteer with us and become part of the most powerful statewide network for animals.

    With a variety of volunteer opportunities available, you’re bound to find something that suits your interests, talents and schedule.

    Please fill out the form linked below to get started, and make sure to check out our upcoming events!

    Step 1: Please complete the form below and then click 'Next' to answer some questions about where you would most like to help us.  PLEASE NOTE: YOUR APPLICATION WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED COMPLETE UNTIL THE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED.

    Become a volunteer

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