Dogs can’t be left chained up outside under new Texas law for 2022

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Texas dog chain law

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AUSTIN, Texas — A new Texas law will make it illegal for people to leave their dogs chained up outside.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law last week. He had vetoed an earlier version of the bill, which had passed both legislative chambers with bipartisan support. At the time, Abbott said “Texas is no place for micro-managing and over-criminalization.”

The bill got another chance during a special legislative session. Abbott signed the new version into law after it passed. It goes into effect on Jan. 18, 2022.

The law requires dogs to have protection from the elements and a shelter that has enough room. Dogs must have properly fitted collars and can’t be restrained with a chain, a restraint with weights attached or restraints that are too short, according to People.

Dogs can’t be left outside unless they have adequate shelter, the ability to avoid standing water and animal waste, shade and drinkable water.

The law also eliminates the 24-hour waiting period for law enforcement to intervene when inhumane treatment is reported.

Major differences between the new law and the previous version that was vetoed include the definition of inclement weather and provisions clarifying that dogs must be able to avoid standing water and excessive animal waste.

There are some exceptions, including camping or tying dogs up in a truck bed while running errands (for is as long as is “reasonably necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task”).

Violating the laws is a Class C misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor for a repeated offense.

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