Safe Outdoor Dogs Act returns for third special session after Governor Abbott’s veto

AUSTIN (KXAN) – During the regular session earlier this year, Governor Greg Abbott vetoed Senate Bill 474, known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act. The original legislation required pet owners to face a Class C misdemeanor if they left a dog outside, unattended and tied up, unless the dog had shelter, shade, and shelter. adequate water.

Abbott called the bill “micro-management and excessive criminalization,” saying Texas already has animal cruelty laws.

Texans love their dogs, so it’s no surprise that our statutes already protect them by prohibiting true cruelty to animals. Yet Senate Bill 474 would require every dog ​​owner, under pain of criminal penalties, to monitor such things as the tailoring of the dog’s collar, the time the dog spends in the bed of a truck and the report. dog tie length, measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Texas is not a place for this kind of micro-management and excessive criminalization.


However, many animal lovers across the state took to social media to express their disappointment using the hashtag. #AbbottHatesDogs.

“The governor heard from thousands of people across the state, members of his own party, law enforcement officials, lawmakers, longtime supporters who were shocked and dismayed,” Stacy said Sutton Kerby, director of government relations for the Texas Humane Legislation Network.

Abbott listened and made the point on his third special session proclamation. The Texas Humane Legislation Network, a Texas-based organization focused on tackling the state’s unfair animal welfare laws, didn’t expect this opportunity but are grateful for it.

“We are definitely open to changing the version of the bill so that we can both address concerns and keep these dogs tethered outside safely,” said the director of the organization.

Dogs love babies.

“She had been the subject of an animal welfare case for virtually the first three years of her life,” said Carri Crowe.

Her owners had been repeatedly cited and fined and they ultimately decided to turn her over to Austin Animal Center.

That’s when Crowe brought Baby home and gave her love and training she never had.

“She’s been a therapy dog ​​for years and she was doing so much outreach to schools and all kinds of different people,” she said.

In February, Baby passed away due to medical issues. Crowe hopes this bill will give other dogs a second chance.

“If you can get good laws off the books and get these dogs out of environments that aren’t human or improve their conditions, dogs are resilient, dogs will respond and they will have a better life for it,” he said. she declared.

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