The bill received overwhelming support from both parties and rural lawmakers

Austin, Texas – The Texas Humane Legislative Network’s (THLN) Executive Director Shelby Bobosky released the following statement regarding Governor Abbott’s veto of Senate Bill 474. The bill would have provided much-needed clarification to existing law to establish basic standards of outdoor shelter and restraint for dogs.

“THLN and its thousands of members across Texas are devastated by the veto of the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act.

Governor Abbott says that the current Texas statute already protects dogs, but this bill – which was carried with active support from sheriffs, law enforcement and animal control offers – would have clarified the vague language that makes the statute completely unenforceable. SB 474 contained simple fixes to protect dogs that are left outside on heavy chains with no shelter or water in a state that experiences extreme high and low temperatures. All the elements Governor Abbott cited as “micromanagement” were carefully negotiated compromises that addressed concerns from lawmakers in both parties to strike the right balance for our diverse state. The passage of the bill in both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support from rural, urban, and suburban members was the result of six years of tireless effort by THLN and all stakeholders who care for dogs inhumanely restrained outdoors. The issues that this bill intended to address will not go away, and neither will we. Preventing animal cruelty while making our state a safer place is one of the few nonpartisan issues facing the legislature and animal advocates are reliable primary and general voters.”

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