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Texas continues its third special session of the year, and now four bills relating to tethering are pending in the House State Affairs Committee:

Senate Bill 5 and its companion House Bills 34, 70, and 104 are very similar to Senate Bill 474, which was passed but then vetoed by the governor during the state’s regular legislative session earlier this year.

The bills provide guidelines for how a dog may be tethered, and include many exemptions for training, hunting, walking a dog on a leash, and other activities that require a dog to be temporarily restrained.  Read AKC’s previous alert for more information or click on the link above to read the current bills.

Senate Bill 5 passed the Senate on September 27.  As amended by the Senate, the bill further clarifies that when a dog is tethered outside, the dog must have access to an area where it can avoid standing water or exposure to excessive animal waste.

Amendments also clarified when suitable shelter must be provided.  The introduced version of Senate Bill 5 (and House Bills 34, 70, and 104) required adequate shelter to protect from rain, sleet, hail, snow and subfreezing temperatures.  As written in the original SB 5, and in the House companion bills, an appropriate outdoor shelter to protect the dog must be provided, unless the owner meets one of the exemptions outlined in the bill.   Senate Bill 5 was amended to instead state that a shelter must provide protection from “inclement weather”, which is defined as “rain, hail, sleet, snow, high winds, extreme low temperatures, or extreme high temperatures.”

Those who wish to contact the House State Affairs Committee on these bills may do so using the following information:

Rep. Chris Paddie, Chair
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0556
District Phone (Marshall): (903) 935-1141

Rep. Ana Hernandez, Vice Chair
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0614
District Phone (Jacinto City): (713) 675-8596

Rep. Joe Deshotel
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0662
District Phone (Port Arthur): (409) 982-6266

Rep. Sam Harless
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0496
District Phone (Spring): (281) 251-0194

Rep. Donna Howard
Capitol & District Phone: (512) 463-0631

Rep. Todd Hunter
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0672
District Phone (Corpus Christi): (361) 949-4603

Rep. Phil King
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0738
District Phone (Weatherford): (817) 596-4796

Rep. Eddie Lucio III
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0606
District Phone (Brownsville): (956) 542-2800

Rep. Will Metcalf
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0726
District Phone (Conroe): (936) 539-2455

Rep. Richard Peña Raymond
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0558
District Phone (Laredo): (956) 753-7722

Rep. Matt Shaheen
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0594

Rep. Shelby Slawson
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0628

Rep. John T. Smithee
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0702
District Phone (Amarillo): (806) 372-3327

AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor Texas legislation.  For more information, contact AKC GR at