Texas House Bill 873, which seeks to rewrite the state’s dog tethering laws, is scheduled for consideration by the House Criminal Justice Committee on Monday, March 8, 2021. Interested dog owners are encouraged to share their views with the committee before this meeting.
HB 873 would replace Texas’ current dog tethering statutes with updated provisions. The bill would allow for a dog to be kept outside and unattended if it is provided adequate shelter, the area the dog is kept in allows it to avoid standing water, provides shade from direct sunlight, and is provided potable water. The bill would not allow the restraint of a dog kept outside and unattended by use of a chain restraint, a weighted chain, or does not meet minimum length standards (10 feet, or five times the length of the dog, whichever is greater).
HB 873 also updates exceptions under the tethering restrictions. Exceptions include dogs tethered in compliance with public camping and recreational area rules, dogs engaged in activities conducted under a valid state license, dogs engaged in herding activities, dogs engaged in business activities related to cultivating agricultural products, dogs temporarily left unattended in the bed of an open-air truck, dogs temporarily restrained to allow an owner to complete an activity, dogs actively in training or engaged in hunting and field trials, and dogs walked on a handheld leash.
Local laws on tethering that are compatible with or more stringent than what is provided in HB 873 would be permitted.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is monitoring this legislation. Interested owners are encouraged to contact the members of the House Criminal Justice Committee and share their views regarding the proposal.
Texas residents who wish to electronically submit comments to the House Criminal Justice Committee about HB 873 without testifying in person can do so until the hearing is adjourned by visiting https://comments.house.texas.gov/?c=c220.
For those persons who would like to testify in person, information for witness registration can be found at https://mytxlegis.capitol.texas.gov/HWRSPublic/About.aspx. Instructions related to public access to the meeting location and health and safety protocols for attending this meeting are available at https://house.texas.gov/committees/public-access-house-committee-meetings/. A live video broadcast of the hearing will be available at https://house.texas.gov/video-audio/.
For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.