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Texas law now bans dog owners from unlawful outdoor tethering

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Starting Jan. 18, a new tethering law is in effect that imposes criminal penalties on Texas dog owners who chain up their pets outside in inhumane conditions.

The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act bans the use of chains or heavy weights as restraints for dogs outside, and also requires owners to provide adequate shelter, shade and clean water for the tethered animals.

A dog owner who breaks the law can be fined $500 and repeat offenders could face a class B misdemeanor, up to 180 days in jail, or a fine of up to $2,000.

Gov. Abbott initially vetoed the legislation, saying the state had no business “micro-managing” Texas dog owners, then brought back a similar version in the third special legislative session that was eventually signed into law.

Animal advocates have been calling for such changes for years, and say the new law will have a positive impact on dogs across Texas.

What are the specifics of this new state law? Will it prevent mistreatment? How will the new rules be enforced in San Antonio?


  • Lisa Norwood, public relations and outreach manager for the City of San Antonio's Animal Care Services department
  • Lt. Aimee DeContreras, ACS field manager

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, January 18.

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