Passing Safe Outdoor Dogs Legislation (HB 873)

THE ISSUE: Currently, Texas state law attempts to define the standards of shelter for animals that are left outdoors. However, the law is not working as intended, which means that animals suffer especially in extreme conditions. In such conditions, dogs left outside become aggressive and agitated, desperate for shelter and relief from the elements. Law enforcement cannot intervene in this kind of cruelty due to the current law requiring a mandatory warning before taking action. This warning stays in effect for twenty-four hours and is required each time, even for the same dog outside on the same chain day after day. In short, the situation is never resolved until a tragedy has struck a community member or the animal itself.

THE SOLUTION: The Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) has been working since 2015 to clarify the current law and ensure Texas keeps outdoor dogs safe – safe for them and safe for us. During the upcoming legislative session beginning in January, THLN is more dedicated than ever to passing the “safe outdoor dogs” bill, HB 873.


Maintaining the Licensed Breeders Program and Stopping Puppy Mills:

THE ISSUE: The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is currently under review by the Sunset Advisory Commission. During this process, the Sunset Commission staff have recommended eliminating the Licensed Breeders Program, which will assuredly cause a resurgence of cruel puppy mill practices in Texas. The Program was established in 2011 with the help of THLN to enact basic standards of care in large-scale commercial breeding facilities to prevent animal cruelty. Without the Program in place, Texas dogs and cats in these facilities will be left with no oversight into their treatment or condition, and the burden of intervening will shift completely to law enforcement, putting animals and consumers at risk. Law enforcement is simply not equipped to seize, house, feed, rehabilitate, and find homes for animals in cruel breeding operations.

THE SOLUTION: The Sunset Commission removed the Licensed Breeders Program from the Sunset Bill. As THLN continues to raise awareness about the possible elimination of the Licensed Breeders Program and has created a page to help concerned Texans send a letter to their legislator in support of keeping the program, it will continue to ensure that no amendment is allowed during the 2021 legislative session, thus repealing the Licensed Breeders Program. Click to learn more about the Licensed Breeders Program and how you can help maintain it.