New Texas dog law closing tether law loopholes goes into effect in January

Originally Published in: San Antonio Express-News
Published on: December 30, 2021
Written By: Cathy M. Rosenthal

The Safe Outdoor Dog Act goes into effect on Jan. 18. It closes the loophole that required animal control officers and law enforcement to wait 24 hours before helping a tethered dog in distress, outlines proper protection from the elements, requires dogs to have access to drinkable water and prohibits the use of chain restraints.

In 2015, the Texas Humane Legislative Network (THLN) began its effort to update Texas'Health and Safety Code to ensure humane treatment for dogs tethered and left unattended outdoors. The previous law failed to outline proper humane care for these dogs, failed to ban chains that can injure dogs, and required a 24-hour waiting period before law enforcement and animal control officers could help a dog in distress. Law enforcement and animal control officers wanted this law updated.

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