Statement on Governor Abbott’s Veto of the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act (SB 474)

The bill received overwhelming support from both parties and rural lawmakers

June 21, 2021

Austin, Texas – The Texas Humane Legislative Network’s (THLN) Executive Director Shelby Bobosky released the following statement regarding Governor Abbott’s veto of Senate Bill 474. The bill would have provided much-needed clarification to existing law to establish basic standards of outdoor shelter and restraint for dogs.

“THLN and its thousands of members across Texas are devastated by the veto of the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act. Governor Abbott says that the current Texas statute already protects dogs, but this bill – which was carried with active support from sheriffs, law enforcement and animal control offers – would have clarified the vague language that makes the statute completely unenforceable. SB 474 contained simple fixes to protect dogs that are left outside on heavy chains with no shelter or water in a state that experiences extreme high and low temperatures. All the elements Governor Abbott cited as “micromanagement” were carefully negotiated compromises that addressed concerns from lawmakers in both parties to strike the right balance for our diverse state. The passage of the bill in both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support from rural, urban, and suburban members was the result of six years of tireless effort by THLN and all stakeholders who care for dogs inhumanely restrained outdoors. The issues that this bill intended to address will not go away, and neither will we. Preventing animal cruelty while making our state a safer place is one of the few nonpartisan issues facing the legislature and animal advocates are reliable primary and general voters.”

To learn more or schedule an interview, contact Tori Varyu at (425) 577-2072 or [email protected]


Showing 14 reactions

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  • Dorothy Hyatt
    What Governor Abbott did is unacceptable. Politics have no place in the protection of animals. I do not care what side of the aisle you are on. Animals, like children, are our responsibility. Totally disgusting behavior. Everyone should go to his website, and encourage all the people they know to do the same, and send a clear message that this will cost him votes, as it should. Since he is a politician I do believe that is the only thing that gets through to any of them. We must always remember that just a few moments of our time to support the work of THLN by voicing our opinions to the powers that be in our state, can, should and will make a difference because we are the only voices these poor animals have and united we are a significant force. Post to your FB pages, Nextdoor feeds, any place you can to unite others in the common cause of protecting outdoor dogs.
  • Patti Morris
    I find the governor’s lack of compassion and empathy regarding this bill to be deplorable! NO ANIMAL DESERVES TO BE CHAINED OR TIED! His action and justification for vetoing this bill – especially with the overwhelming support from lawmakers, animal welfare organizations, and law enforcement – is completely unacceptable. I will NEVER support him! And he’s supposed to be such a big "Christian "?
  • Jo Gurley
    Any way to introduce this bill again? What can I do other than post comments to condemn Abbot and help this cause?
  • Alma Rick
    We must stand up for the voiceless.
  • Misty Walton
    How dare you not sign this bill!! It shows a lot about what is important to you, and what you stand for! These innocent babies cannot defend themselves, so how dare you not protect them!!
  • Jo Gurley
    This is disgusting. Abbot should be ashamed but sure he does not care. He needs to be out of office,
  • Tina Crawford
  • Lily N Cirio Sanchez
    Beyond upset about Abbott vetoing this vote! The fact that you think it’s ok to get rid of this and continue to let some people leave their fur babies without adequate shelter and to suffer says ALOT about a person! You should be voted out, you’re trash!
  • JoAnn Cochennet
    I wonder if he is going to show us where this is already in the laws? I’d like to fact check that.
  • Paulina Towner
    Why would you veto this bill!! Very upsetting that an innocent animal is allowed to suffer!!!
  • Dona Readinger
    Abbott, you have fallen to a new low. This Bill was bipartisan supported, everyone wanted to help these abused dogs….everyone but you! Trust me, this mean decision will bite you where you will remember it. Even Republicans love dogs. They will remember you did this. You will be voted out!
  • Ignacio Sanchez
    I am extremely disappointed you vetoed a bill that had such wide spread support and would have done nothing but reduce animal cruelty and improve animal welfare in this state.
  • Julie Cassidy
    To say this is disappointing, is an understatement. Governor Abbott has failed to see what needs to be rectified in this state. Animal Cruelty prevails because of loose laws, and lack of clarification. That is why officers, both animal control and law officers, were behind this Bill! So now, and for God knows how long, more dogs will suffer at the end of a chain, they will suffer with non-drinkable water, figure out how to maneuver through the piles of excrement around them, have minimal shelter (if at all), and live a dismal, abhorrent life! The Great State of Texas just became not so great…..
    And Governor Abbott, shame on you for not listening to you State Senators and Representatives, and more importantly, your constituents! My vote for you just changed!!!!
  • Karen Rankin