New Texas bill makes chaining dogs outside illegal



Governor Greg Abbott signed a new bill on Oct. 25 banning inappropriate restraints on dogs in Texas.

The bill, which will come into force on January 18, 2022, also criminalizes if dog owners do not provide adequate shelter and safe drinking water for their pets.

Cierra Barela, marketing coordinator for the Gulf Coast Pet Humane Society, said she was delighted the bill is coming into effect.

“It will also give us the security of knowing that when our dogs are adopted, there is no possibility that this could happen to them when they leave here,” said Barela. “This is one of our concerns. We follow up with owners, but they don’t respond every time.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott pats a dog on Saturday, August 24, 2019, in Fulton.  The governor discussed rebuilding the area after Harvey.

Barela said the bill will hopefully educate more dog owners in the community.

“Seeing this take effect, they will understand how damaging it is for a dog to stay outside for that long,” said Barela. “It will teach them that keeping a dog outside for that long is not an ideal life for them. There is no affection towards them when they are chained outside. When you choose to own a pet, you choose to keep it. ‘love and care for it all his life, not just throwing him out. “

When it comes to adopting or buying a new dog, Barela said people should think twice and understand that a pet is a lifelong commitment.

“You have to have a plan for this dog,” Barela said. “Think about how long you’ll be away from home at all times. Think about the weather conditions; you don’t want a dog to be outside in the rain or the heat. Think carefully before you bring a dog home. “

What is in the new bill?

The new bill prohibits owners from leaving their dogs outdoors and unattended using an appropriate restraint, unless the dog has adequate shelter, open space to avoid water stagnant and exposure to excessive animal waste, shade from direct sunlight and drinking water. .

The restraint cannot be a chain, have weights attached, be attached to a loose collar or harness, or be less than 10 feet or five times the length of the dog, measured from the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of the tail.

Corpus Christi Animal Cruelty Investigator Noemi Rodriguez takes notes on a call for a dog on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Rodriquez has previously visited this residence and is taking notes to see if the dogs are healing or thin.

An offense under this section is a Class C offense, but if a person has already been convicted, it is a Class B offense.

Law enforcement has the opportunity to correct the problem and owners must be given 24 hours’ notice to correct the sometimes inhumane treatment of animals.

Are there any exceptions?

The new bill does not apply to dogs immobilized in a public campsite or recreation area as long as the owner complies with the appropriate requirements of the area.

If a dog is trained, shepherd, herding cattle or cattle or in the business of growing agricultural products, the bill is not in force.

A border collie gathers sheep during a demonstration.

A dog may only be left unattended in an outdoor truck bed for a reasonable time necessary for the owner to perform a temporary task that requires the dog to be left unattended. In addition, a dog may be taken by the owner or another person, with the permission of the owner, from the owner’s residence and restrained for a period not exceeding the time necessary for said owner to engage in an activity requiring the temporary immobilization of the dog.

The bill does not apply to a restraint attached to a cart system that allows a dog to travel along a running line a distance equal to or greater than the lengths specified in the bill or a person walking a dog with a hand-held leash.

Ordinances of Corpus Christi

Joel Skidmore, program director for Corpus Christi Animal Care Services, said the city has already put restrictive orders in place. He said the orders restrict the use of chains, fixed tethers and require adequate shelter for the animals.

“We have proactively improved the lives of our animal citizens,” said Skidmore. “State law only reflects what we have already put in place.”

In Chapter 6 of the Corpus Christi Code of Ordinances, Article 6 clarifies the care and custody of animals.

Corpus Christi City Health Department Tex Villarreal Animal Care and Vector Services Center.

Similar to Abbott’s new bill, the citizens of Corpus Christi must provide adequate shelter, food and water, and appropriate restraints on animals.

Other provisions include the obligation for owners to take their animals to veterinarians if necessary; no abuse towards the animal; owners cannot abandon their animal; no one other than a licensed veterinarian can cut a dog’s ears, cut a dog’s tail or remove a dog’s dew claw; no one may sell, buy or trade an animal for an animal in an establishment without a valid license; and no one can sell or give an animal to another person on public property (including streets, alleys, sidewalks, parking lots and rights-of-way) in the city.

For the full list of prescriptions, visit


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John Oliva covers education and community news in South Texas. Consider supporting local journalism with a Caller-Times subscription.



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