Safe Outdoors Dog Act: Groundbreaking new animal law means no more dogs on chains in Texas

HOUSTON, Texas -- A new law goes into effect across Texas on Jan. 18, which will help animals who unfortunately spend their lives outdoors.

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Called the Safe Outdoors Dog Act, it lays down basic safeguards for outdoor dogs, as follows:
  • Defines "adequate shelter" to protect dogs from extreme temperatures, inclement weather, and standing water. Previously, there was no definition for shelter, and dogs that were tethered could (and did) die from exposure.
  • Requires access to drinkable water. Before the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, state law did not include this vital requirement.
  • Requires safe restraints. The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act bans the use of chains. Other tethering options such as cable tie-outs can be used, as long as they are correctly attached to a collar or harness.


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Unfortunately, the Safe Outdoors Dog Act does not prevent owners from tethering dogs or from keeping them outdoors. But it does define base-level requirements to ensure the dog gets adequate shelter and water, and limits the types of restraints allowed to be used.

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