On Tuesday, the Texas House State Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 5 by a vote of 7-1, with 5 absent committee members.
Senate Bill 5 is similar to Senate Bill 474 which was passed and sent to the governor during the Texas regular 2021 legislative session, but the governor ultimately vetoed the bill. This legislation seeks to regulate tethering in the state by providing guidelines for how a dog may be tethered.
A link to our most recent story on four similar tethering bills that are pending during this special session can be found here. Three other bills were introduced on this topic during this session, but they have not received any hearings.
The American Kennel Club has not taken a position on Senate Bill 5 or the other related tethering bills before the legislature in 2021.
The most recent amended version of SB 5 includes amendments to address concerns that came from the governor’s office.
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. An amendment was also included to specify that “collars” designed for use around a dog’s neck are required when tethering.
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.”
The bill still includes exemptions for training, hunting, walking a dog and other activities that require a dog to be temporarily restrained.
Those who wish to contact their State Representative regarding Senate Bill 5 may do so by visiting the Texas Capitol’s website and typing your address in the “Who Represents Me?” form.
AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor Texas legislation. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.