Learn from the best and email with questions. The animal laws need to change.
On October 25, 2021, after the most contentious Texas legislative session in memory, the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act was signed into law. THLN never wavered during the six-year quest to pass this legislation, even when it was targeted by an extremist lawmaker and unexpectedly vetoed.
Texas dogs and the communities where they reside deserve a common-sense, balanced policy governing the restraint of dogs outdoors. The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, which goes into effect January 18, 2022, achieves that by:
Arguably the most significant change wrought by the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act is removing the 24-hour warning period that allowed bad actors to flout the law. Officers can take immediate action for tethered dogs in distress from now on.
Exceptions to the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act
The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act does not prevent owners from tethering dogs. The law requires that unattended dogs are tethered in a way that keeps them and the people around them safe, and there are several exceptions to the law. The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act does not apply to dogs who are:
Restraining Dogs Without Using Chains
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control agree that chaining dogs is an inappropriate method of restraint. Not only do chains tangle, rust, and break, but they often cause pain and injury.
Conversely, cable tie-outs and trolley systems are designed to restrain dogs, so they are lightweight, strong, and flexible. On average, they cost between $15-$30 and are easy to find in stores and online. Below are links to highly rated cable tie-outs and trolley systems:
Watch this short video to see examples of cable tie-outs recommended by a company that rates affordable pet products. Always install cable tie-outs and trolley systems according to the manufacturer's instructions.
When the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act goes into effect on January 18, 2022, we all want our friends and neighbors who have dogs tethered outdoors to be prepared for this change.
The following list of resources is available to qualified applicants. Bear in mind each organization has its own application process and service area.
Local nonprofits and civic groups:
BASTROP & TRAVIS COUNTIES: Dejando Huella ATX – donates dog houses & specializes in outreach to Spanish-speaking dog owners. | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CORPUS CHRISTI: People Assisting Animal Control organizes pet wellness & educational events, distributing cable tie-outs. | Contact: email@example.com
DALLAS/FORT WORTH: SPCA of Texas’ Russell H. Perry Pet Resource Center provides temporary support to pet owners in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex who are experiencing financial hardship and are at risk of having to surrender their pets. | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
MCLENNAN COUNTY: Cribs For Canines provides dog houses to under-resourced dog owners. | Contact: Cribs for Canines (cribs4canines.com)
MIDLAND: Fix West Texas donates dog houses and other pet supplies to under-resourced dog owners. | Contact: email@example.com
NORTH TEXAS: The Love Pit is a Dallas-based nonprofit that improves the quality of life for pit bull-type dogs through rescue, education, and outreach in the DFW area. | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
TRAVIS COUNTY: The City of Austin Fencing Assistance Program donates fence material to under-resourced dog owners in Travis County. The city also donates dog houses to qualified residents. | Contact: Amber.Harvey@austintexas.gov
TYLER: The SPCA of East Texas donates doghouses and other pet supplies to under-resourced dog owners. | Contact: email@example.com
VICTORIA: South Texas Tales – donates dog houses and other resources to under-resourced dog owners. | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
WICHITA FALLS: Chain Off Wichita Falls – donates fencing materials and labor for under-resourced dog owners. | Contact: email@example.com
WILLIAMSON COUNTY: Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter – serving Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Hutto, and rural Williamson County. Donates dog houses and other items to under-resourced dog owners. | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chain Off | P.E.T.S. Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic (petsclinic.org)
The Home Depot | Community Impact Grants Grants are available to nonprofit groups working to help local citizens.
Fences for Fido Provides support and mentorship to groups dedicated to getting dogs off chains | Contact: katrina.FencesForFido@gmail.com
THLN wants to help those in
underserved communities, and we need your help! We encourage
everyone who wants to see the successful implementation of the Safe
Outdoor Dogs Act to engage at the local level. Consider doing the
following in your community to help outdoor dogs:
Click here for free DIY Doghouse blueprints.
Are you already working in your community to help under-resourced dog owners? Do you have other ideas for assisting folks in complying with the new law? We'd love to hear it!
Show Us Your Success Stories
The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act starts a brand-new chapter for Texas dogs. And nothing is better for showing the impact of this law than your stories of helping those in need. Send us your photos, videos, and firsthand accounts of helping those in your community…we can't wait to see your success!