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Can you leave a dog chained outside in your backyard in Texas? This is what the law says

Leaving a dog chained outside can result in jail time under Texas law.

This is a question that has been asked in social media discussions lately. A poster on a Fort Worth Nextdoor page read: “Our new neighbors have a beautiful dog that they immediately chained to a tree in their backyard, and he lives chained there day and night. It’s heartbreaking and sad to see.”


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What is the law in Texas that keeps dogs safe outside?

Governor Gregg Abbott signed the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act in 2022, banning the use of weights or chains to restrain dogs without supervision.

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The law states that dog collars must be made of material specifically designed to be placed around a dog’s neck and be five times its length (3 meters). Owners should also provide water, shade and shelter that will protect the dog from bad weather when left alone.

The 24-hour rule, which prohibited law enforcement officers from taking action if they witnessed an animal being kept inhumanely, was abolished by law. Animal advocates say they are grateful for the legislation, even though it was originally vetoed.

Some exceptions to the law include use while the owner and dog are actively training, to restrain the dog in a public campground, or while the dog is left in a truck bed out in the open.

Violating the rule is considered a misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $500. Repeat offenders can be charged with a class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of 180 days and a $2,000 fine.

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