New Texas Law on Dog Restraints
If you are or know a dog-parent in Texas, listen up! Texas has a new law on restraining dogs that could result in a fine of up to $2,000 and a Class B misdemeanor. Read on for more details about the Texas dog restraining laws.
A new law from Senate Bill 5 will take effect on January 18th, 2022 that will punish those found unlawfully restraining their dogs. Violations on first-timers will result in a $500 fine and a Class C misdemeanor while second-time violations will face a $2,000 fine, a Class B misdemeanor, and potentially 180 days in jail.
So, what exactly does unlawful restraint mean now? Dogs are not allowed to be ‘restrained’ on a chain (no matter the length), have weights attached to the chain (to keep it in place, prevent running, etc.), and collars/harnesses must be fitted properly to the pooch’s body (be sure to check measurements of current restraint gear or if purchasing).
Restraining Gear: What Qualifies?
For your pup’s collar to be lawful, it should be flat (e.g. not a chain-link) to fit comfortably around their neck. The collar should be tight enough that your pooch can’t slip loose with ease, but relaxed enough that they are not choking or have difficulty breathing. To know if your dog’s collar fits properly or needs adjustment, you should be able to fit 2 fingers under the collar comfortably, meaning you shouldn’t exert effort when checking the fit.
Similar to collars, a harness shouldn’t be so tight that your dog is unable to move, but isn’t loose enough for them to slip through. A harness should always have at least 1 clip for attaching a leash and it should sit higher than the chest to prevent choking or wrapping hazards. Use the same 2 finger method as a collar measurement to adjust the fit of your pup’s harness.
Under the new law, dogs will also be required to have protection for weather elements of all kinds such as ice, snow, rain, high heat, high winds, etc. Your dog’s shelter must be able to fit them standing fully erect on all 4 legs, have them lie in a comfortable position, and be able to turn around.
Shelters must be in dry, stable conditions meaning void of standing water and clean (no excess animal or human waste of any kind). The pooch also needs to have a proper water source available in the shelter and be out of direct sunlight (i.e. sunlight shining in on the dog).
Dogs that must be restrained have to follow all the precautions and requirements as stated above. The means of restraint (i.e. the runner/lead) must be 5x the length of your dog or at least 10 feet, whichever measurement is greater must be abided by.
If you are a dog owner in Texas, be sure to follow all of these new rules to avoid any unfortunate events or even your dog being taken away from you. All doggies need their needs met and deserve the best quality of life, even when the owners are away.