Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. Files THLN’s Top Legislative Priority in the Texas Senate

”Safe Outdoor Dogs” legislation will improve public safety and ensure dogs have basic standards while restrained outside. 

Austin, Texas – Today, Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. filed SB 474, Texas Humane Legislation Network’s (THLN) top priority legislative item in the Texas Senate, to ensure dogs are properly restrained outdoors and to prevent them from becoming a public safety hazard for unsuspecting people. Representative Nicole Collier is the House author of the companion bill, HB 873. The legislation would establish basic standards of outdoor shelter and care and provide much-needed clarification to the existing law to better promote the safety of surrounding communities. 

Dogs that are inhumanely restrained become desperate and aggressive, causing them to lash out at people, especially unsuspecting children who do not understand the signs of an animal in extreme distress. Over the past couple of years, Texas has seen dozens of attacks by dogs inhumanely restrained outdoors, with some even being fatal. 

“THLN has and always will advocate for commonsense animal welfare legislation. However, SB 474 is truly about public safety,” said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of THLN. “We must ensure dogs kept outside are safe – safe for them and safe for us.”

SB 474 key clarifications include protecting dogs from extreme outdoor temperatures and preventing the use of overly heavy, cruel chain restraints. The bill also ensures dogs have access to drinking water and can move around without being trapped in standing water or mud. Finally, the bill strikes the 24-hour waiting period to allow law enforcement to address critical situations immediately, instead of only after tragedy has struck. 

"Today I am proud to file SB 474. As we know, poor living conditions of animals outside are a safety risk not only for the animals but for the communities in which they live," said bill author Senator Lucio Jr. "I am looking forward to working with Representative Collier and my colleagues to better establish this basic standard of care to protect the lives of our outdoor dogs and the health and safety of our communities." 

“We are grateful for Senator Lucio Jr. for filing this bill and are confident that the legislation will pass in 2021 to better protect Texas dogs outdoors and Texas communities,” concluded Bobosky.