TYLER, Texas (KETK)- The Safe Outdoor Dog Act is now a law in Texas. The main goal is to ensure pets are not left outside in hazardous conditions.

Specifically, this bill makes it illegal to chain pets with weighted tow chains.

“They have to have protection from the sun, hail… anything like that. They have to be able to stand up, turn around, sit down, lay down unobstructed,” said Arp Police Chief, Joe Keegan.

Any tie-out this is utilized must be at least a minimum of ten feet long to allow your pet enough room to roam.

“They can be tethered with a rope or a wire, but chains are no longer authorized,” said Chief Keegan. Dogs must also be able to stand in any enclosure without being forced to stand in their waste.

President of the SPCA of East Texas, Deborah Dobbs said the new law is good news.

“These chains are placed around the dog’s neck to build strength, allegedly. Sometimes, they even add multiple padlocks to the chains. These dogs can barely move with these chains on,” said Dobbs.

The chains are painful for these animals and can cause them to have open wounds.

“If they are in a situation where they need to, say get away from a predator or something dangerous or they need to get to their water and get out of the cold. These chains are extremely prohibitive in allowing freedom of movement. Not to mention, just the general pain and discomfort it causes. Especially dogs that live outdoors 365 days a year in hot and cold, rain or shine,” added Dobbs.

According to Arp Police Chief Keegan, the consequences of leaving your dog in unsafe conditions could result in charges for the owner. 

“A Class C Misdemeanor is basically the equivalent to a traffic citation. A Class B misdemeanor, there are obviously more consequences to include jail time”, said Chief Keegan.

All in an effort to ensure the safety of our furry friends across the State of Texas.