Whether the weather is freezing cold or sweltering hot, seeing a dog chained up in a yard suffering from the elements is ever an easy sight to see. Back in October, Texas Governor Greg Abbott finally decided to sign State Bill 474, or the Safe Outdoors Act. That bill went into effect today, January 18th, which makes "unlawful restraint of a dog" a crime. That means a dog must have:

  • Adequate shelter- clean sturdy structure to protect the dog from the weather and other elements. The shelter must also be big enough for the animal to stand up, turn around, and lie down in.
  • Properly-fitted collar or harness
  • Proper restraint- no chain or weights attached, also with adequate shelter and away from standing water, shade from sunlight, and the dog must have drinking water available. The restraint used also has to be five times the length of the dog.

If someone is found to be in violation of this law it is a Class C misdemeanor, or a Class B if it is a repeat offense. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by fines up to $500 and a Class B can be up to a $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.

There are some exemptions, like when someone is camping or has the dog in the bed of their truck but you can read all the exemptions on the Texas Government website.

KLAQ El Paso logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

If you find someone in violation of this law, they are committing a crime and you can report them to the appropriate law enforcement authority. That includes calling 311, the El Paso Police Department non-emergency line at (915) 832-4400, or El Paso Animal Services at (915) 212-PAWS. You can also visit the El Paso Animal Services website for more information.

Rescue Dogs Transported Through El Paso To Their Forever Homes

This Houston stray took his freedom flight through El Paso and we were lucky to learn his story and the amazing people who help these dogs in need.

Howl-O-Ween Costume Entries

Our friends at Vista Hills Animal Hospital are just as excited as we are for pets in costume. For 2021, we have teamed up once again to host a costume contest for cats and dogs, for a chance to win a wellness check-up at Vista Hills Animal Clinic. Here is a galley of the cute photos we have received.

More From KLAQ El Paso