Texas Senate Bill 5, known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, was passed by the 87th Legislature, 3rd Special Session, and will take effect January 18. Under the new law, pet owners can not restrain their dog with chains or weighed down restraints.
All ties must be a minimum of ten feet long or five times the length of the dog from nose to tail. All allowable tethers must be attached to a properly fitting collar or harness.
Along with the ten-foot tie, all dogs must be provided with adequate shelter which can protect the dog from harsh weather, including sub-freezing temperatures and rain. Sheltered areas must be large enough for the dog to enable him to stand, sit, turn around and lie down in a normal position. Additionally, all dogs must have access to food and clean water.
The few exceptions to the requirements listed in the new law include situations involving camping, or being in designated recreational areas, herding livestock or actual dog training sessions. The entirety of SB 5 can be found online at https://capitol.texas.gov/.
Violations of the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act are a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500. Repeat offenders could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.
The website for the Texas Legislature provides information on legislation, committees, House and Senate. Individuals can refer to capitol.texas.gov.