The Tethering Bill that Failed Last Session is Costing Lives This Summer

As the temperatures rise across Texas, the number of animals who are dying because of extreme heat and lack of adequate shelter is also climbing.

We’re hearing horror stories from McAllen to Abilene to Lubbock. Animals are being left outdoors, on chains, without sufficient shade and water, and they are suffering cruel deaths that could be prevented.

BUfford_.jpgTHLN is already preparing to reintroduce a bill in the 2019 legislative session – “the tethering bill” – which aims to improve Texas’ current law for animals living on chains, and we need your help. Your donations and commitment to taking action during the legislative session will be critical to our success.

As so many of you may remember, our legislation includes important language to define the term “adequate shelter,” something the current tethering law lacks. Under a stronger law, law enforcement would be able to act when an animal in distress does not appear to have proper shelter or water.

A few recent Texas cases highlight the need for passage of a stronger tethering bill:

  • Rocko, a Houston dog who died of heat stroke in his owner’s yard with no food or water at the end of a four-foot chain
  • El Paso dog (name unknown) who died on a chain with no access to food or water
  • Molly, a six-month-old German Shepherd in San Antonio who was chained without access to shade and suffered the “equivalent to severe sunburns” resulting in blistered, red skin.

We need a clear, enforceable statewide law that will send a message to all Texans: when you chain up your dog and leave them without shade and water, you’ll be breaking the law.

Until we pass this law, we’re asking all of you to share this message with your friends, families, and networks: make sure if your pets are spending time outdoors this summer that they have access to water, food, and adequate shelter during these hot summer months – and report neighbors who are not doing the same for their pets.


Showing 12 reactions

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  • Dawn Gatlin
    Please help us get this bill passed next session.
    This is what I am doing in my county and I hope you can do the same in your county:
    1. Talk (set up a meeting) with your local state rep.
    2. Post THLN updates, including this petition on your Facebook and Nextdoor Neighbor accounts.
    I have even put the petition on local beg barter sites.
    3. Email or call your state rep with reminders of your concerns.
    4. Ask friends, family, and neighbors to support Texas dogs by doing all of the above.
    5. Help get more signatures on the tethering petition. I use Facebook and Nextdoor to accomplish that.
    Thank you to everyone who is helping. We need action. If everyone commits to doing at least a couple of the things listed above, we can really make a difference for Texas dogs.
  • Tammy Kamienesi
    My plea to everyone commenting with the understandable cry for justice through legislation is that you PLEASE contact your elected officials (it’s simple and quick to find the Rep and Senator for your district) and be both polite and firm about this issue. Express your dissatisfaction that this bill has failed twice and hasn’t been treated with more urgency. Put yourself on the THLN mailing list, and be willing to make runs to the capitol during session to “sign in” for these bills when they go to committee or the floor. And consider participating in the big Humane Lobby Day in April. Our legislature NEEDS to see that the people they represent will NOT stand for the abuse of our animals. Just as with animal rescue, TIMING IS CRITICAL when trying to change laws and the fate of those affected by them.
  • Shannon Ackerman
    This has to stop!!! It’s just pure torture to these innocent animals!!! It’s complete animal abuse!!!
  • Joan McGurr
    Pass this bill immediately
  • Penny Gray Holcomb
    Get this passed immediately
  • Darlene Luedtke
    Tethering a dog should be against the law…period!! If you have too tether a dog…you have no business owning one. 😡
  • Linda Hughes
    What a sad life for mans best friend. Who would want to spend life on the end of a chain? Something needs to be done, they shouldn’t suffer with owner neglect.
  • Samantha Spiro Landry
    Absolutely unacceptable. This is animal abuse.
  • Samantha Spiro Landry
  • Katrina Jones
    When you get a pet your are accepting responsibility for their care. Just like a child that is food,water,shelter, personal hygiene and love. Stop letting society treat animals like they lack emotions and pain. We are the voice for these sweet animals. Take a stand.
  • Susan Taylor
    Don’t forget the rest of our sentient beings. They are just as important as the human ones.
  • Brianna South