On January 18, 2022, Texas will have a new “leash law”. Texas Senate Bill 5 states that the person that owns, has custody, or control of the dog will be held responsible for any violation.
The new law states that a dog that is kept outside it must have:
• Adequate shelter – Defined as: provides the dog protection from inclement weather (includes rain, hail, sleet, snow, high winds, extremely low temperatures, or extremely high temperatures) and be within the dimensions that allow the dog, while in the shelter, to stand erect, sit, turn around, and line down in a normal position
• Have an area that allows the dog to avoid standing water and exposure to excessive animal waste.
• Have shade from direct sunlight
• Have potable water
• Must have a properly fitted collar/harness – no choke collars, no collars that impede the dog’s normal breathing or swallowing, and no collars that cause pain or injury to the dog
• The dog may not be restrained by a chain or have weights attached to it
• The length of the restraint must be at least five (5) times the length of the dog (measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail) OR ten (10) feet, whichever is longer.
The penalty for those that violate this law will be a Class C Misdemeanor for the first offense with a fine up to $500. If there was a previous conviction the charge will be a Class B Misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $1000. Please note that this penalty will be for each dog.
There are exemptions to the law.
Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader said that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office will work with the Liberty County citizens to make sure that they understand this law. “The penalty for not complying will get your attention. It would be better to spend money to get a proper restraint and adequate shelter before paying the $500 fine and then having those expenses.” If you observe someone violating this new law, please contact the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office @ 936-336-4500 x1 and make a report.