AUSTIN, TX — The Safe Outdoors Dog Act, also known as Senate Bill 474, would have banned the use of heavy chains to tether dogs.
This past Friday, after passing with bipartisan support from both the Texas House and Senate, Governor Abbott vetoed the bill.
This expansion to the State's animal cruelty laws would have made this now unlawful restraint, a criminal offense.
For clarification, this bill would still allow dog owners to keep their dogs outside. However, would ban them from restraining their dogs with chains, short lines, or any other restraint that could cause suffering or physical injury to them.
Under SB 474, dog owners would have faced up to a $500 penalty for a first offense class C misdemeanor and the penalty would have jumped up to a class B misdemeanor as well; the likes of which, can lead up to a $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.
Abbott, a dog owner of a Golden Retriever named Pancake, stated in a news release, that requiring owners to be mindful of how long they keep their dog in the bed of their truck or measuring their chains, would be 'micro-managing and over-criminalization'.
Had SB 474 been signed into law, pet rescue facilities would have also received tax breaks, and animal control and shelters would have been required to scan lost dogs for microchips.
To view a complete version of Senate Bill 474, read here.
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