Leaving your dog chained outside could become a sight of the past in Texas if one state lawmaker has their way. Restraining a dog with a chain or tethering them outside without shelter or water might become unlawful in September, should a bill read in committee in the Texas state legislature Tuesday become law.
Bill author State Rep. Sarah Davis told other lawmakers that current laws are lax and that new legislation is needed to prevent animal cruelty.
“There is actually record of no one ever being cited because it is so difficult to enforce,” she said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “Because of the difficulty, abusive dog owners are able to repeatedly offend without any repercussions.”
The bill calls on the legislature to amend the state’s health and safety code to prohibit leaving a dog outside unattended if the pet is tied to a “stationary object” without shelter, drinkable water or an area to avoid standing water. The bill also would ban chains, restraints with weights attached, or any kind of leash that would hurt the dog or is shorter than five times the dog’s length.
Those found in violation, should the bill become law, would be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500, the Statesman reported. The bill allows for some exceptions on camp sites or for state licensed activities that require a dog to be restrained, like herding livestock.
According to the state legislature’s website, the bill remains in committee.