See a Dog Chained Outside in This Texas Heat? Is That Legal?
This summer heat wave has been the most common topic of conversation just about everywhere you go.
With temperatures soaring at, or near, triple digits for the past several days, and the forecast calling for even hotter temps next week, it's kind of hard to avoid the issue.
Hoping this isn't shocking news for you, but when it's hot to you, it's just as hot for your dog!
What Does Texas Law Say About Protecting Dogs From the Heat?
In Texas, there's a law designed to help keep Fido out of harm's way during times like this and it's actually illegal to leave a dog chained outside in a heat wave like we're experiencing.
Yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reminded us of the Unlawful Restraint of a Dog Bill, which states that dogs "cannot be tethered outside in extreme weather events" and this includes times of heat advisory, during a hurricane, tropical storm or when a tornado warning has been issued.
Texas Has Made Citizens Take Pet Ownership and Extreme Weather Seriously
But, to further protect our furry friends, new Texas legislation was passed in January of this year. Entitled "The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act", this new law,
...makes it illegal for pet owners to tether their dogs with heavy chains, weights or improperly fitted collars and requires animals have adequate shelter that keeps them from standing in their own feces and out of direct heat or freezing temperatures.
Here's what we found at capitol.texas.gov which gives more detail regarding the offense.
A person commits an offense if the person knowingly violates this section. The restraint of each dog that is in violation is a separate offense. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class B misdemeanor if the person has previously been convicted under this section.
Those found in non-compliance can be fined up to $500 for a first offense. Should the person have previously been convicted, the fine is raised to "up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail."