Dog Duty: Laws About Dogs in Texas
Texas has a reputation of being a no nonsense state. This extends to their laws about dog ownership and owner responsibilities. They are so aggressive in their enforcement of laws that animal law enforcement officers have been featured on TV in the program Animal Cops Huston. In the program camera crews follow around enforcement officers, recording the lengths that they will go through in their daily efforts.
The work as a dog catcher/animal enforcement officer is so intense, that in Huston Texas, perspective dogcatchers must submit to psychoanalysis before being hired. This is to ensure they can handle the emotional demands of working with the dogs and animals they encounter, not to mention the humans who may be guilty of abusing their pets.
Some of the more heavily enforced dog abuse laws in Texas are the laws about improper dog restraint. With the heat and dry weather of Texas, it is life threatening for a dog to be restrained outside without access to adequate shade and water. The specifics of these laws can be found at this website. They list the requirements of proper leashing and shelters. In fact, they come right out and say that chains are prohibited unless they are being physically held by a person. They cannot be used as a tether in any way.
This may paint the picture that Texas is out to get dog owners, when it is quite the contrary. A quick search of the web will show that many municipalities seek to support responsible dog ownership.
Huston for an example has a whole webpage dedicated to assisting residents in enjoying their pet.
On this page in particular, they talk about the “4’Ls” of safely owning a dog in Texas:
One set of laws you should be aware of in Texas are the Pet Trader Ordinances. These laws prohibit anything but the legal sale of dog (this does not apply to shelter adoptions). According to this law, not only must the dog be sold, but they must be sold at the location they were bred. Why? It is our best guess that this law was put into place to prevent puppy mills. Those looking to purchase a dog (not adopt) must physically go to the location where the dog was born. This will help the future owner gage the health of the animal along with keeping public eyes on any breeding operation.