Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law the new Senate Bill 5, also known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill.

The new law takes into consideration the extreme temperatures in Texas and provides guidelines to keep pets safe when left outdoors. For instance, the law prohibits a dog owner from leaving a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint unless the owner provides the dog access to adequate shelter, an area that allows the dog to avoid standing water and exposure to excessive animal waste, shade from direct sunlight, and potable water.

Likewise, the law prohibits dog owners from restraining a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that is a chain, has weights attached, is shorter in length than the greater of 10 feet or five times the length of the dog, as measured from the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of the dog’s tail, or, is attached to a collar or harness not properly fitted.

The new law does provide some exceptions, such as when camping or at recreational areas, when temporary restraint is being used (such as a quick run into a pharmacy), or when involved in specific business activities (including shepherding and herding).

“We applaud Gov. Abbott and the Texas State Legislature for working to achieve meaningful reforms for animals in Texas,” said Executive Director of Animal Wellness Action, Marty Irby. “Man’s best friend should never be chained or tethered outdoors, especially in instances of extreme weather and our modern day society will no longer tolerate these type of horrific abuses — this isn’t 1921 it’s 2021.”

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