Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill Passes Out of Texas House and Senate

SB 474 clarifies existing law and establishes basic standards of shelter and care for dogs restrained outdoors.

May 19, 2021

Austin, Texas – The Texas Legislature has passed SB 474 by Chair Nicole Collier (D-Dallas) and Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) out of both chambers. A top legislative priority for the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN), the Safe Outdoor Dogs bill will 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.

"Our Texas legislators are taking a critical step toward protecting outdoor dogs and improving public safety, while still respecting the freedoms of Texas dog owners," said Stacy Sutton Kerby, Director of Government Relations for THLN. "We are thrilled and so thankful for both the authors and the over 90 joint-authors and co-authors."

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 happens. 

The bill also includes key exemptions for 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 are so thankful to Chair Collier and Senator Lucio for their tireless leadership on the Safe Outdoor Dogs bill and for all the Texans who reached out to their legislators urging them to protect Texas dogs and the people around them," finished Kerby. 

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


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