House mea­sure would reg­u­late chain­ing of dogs,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Julie Chang jchang@states­man.com Con­tact Julie Chang at 512912-2565. Twit­ter: @juliechang1

A Repub­li­can lawmaker has filed a bill that would make it a mis­de­meanor for chain­ing up a dog in Texas.

State Rep. Sarah Davis, of West Univer­sity Place, has filed House Bill 1156 which would pro­hibit a per­son from teth­er­ing a dog out­side with a chain or with a re­straint that has weights or is shorter than five times the length of the dog. In ad­di­tion, a dog could be re­strained to a sta­tion­ary ob­ject only if the dog has ac­cess to a clean and sturdy shel­ter, shade and wa­ter and if the area is dry.

The bill was heard on Tues­day be­fore the House Pub­lic Health Com­mit­tee.

Davis told her col­leagues that the law is con­fus­ing and al­lows abu­sive own­ers to re­ceive mul­ti­ple warn­ings be­fore they’re pe­nal­ized.

“There is ac­tu­ally record of no one ever be­ing cited be­cause it is so dif­fi­cult to en­force. So be­cause of the dif­fi­culty, abu­sive dog own­ers are able to re­peat­edly of­fend with­out any reper- cus­sions,” Davis said.

The bill would not in­ter- fere with cities or coun­ties that have more re­stric­tive teth­er­ing reg­u­la­tions.

Davis said on Tues­day that she op­poses teth­er­ing al­to­gether but her bill gives five ex­cep­tions that would al­low a dog to be re­strained. Those ex­cep­tions are if a camp site re­quires a dog to be re­strained and if the dog is re­strained dur­ing train­ing for a valid state li­cense, herd­ing live­stock or help­ing in “cul­ti­vat­ing agri­cul­tural prod­ucts” and is left in an open-air truck tem­po­rar­ily.

Any­one who vi­o­lates the law would be charged with a Class C mis­de­meanor, which brings a fine up to $500.

About half a dozen peo­ple, many from law en­force­ment agen­cies, tes­ti­fied in sup­port of the bill on Tues­day, say­ing that the bill would keep dogs from dy­ing on the ends of ropes and chains.

How­ever, some or­ga­ni­za­tions that ad­vo­cate for hunt­ing, fish­ing and trap­ping rights are con­cerned that the bill would un­fairly af­fect law-abid­ing dog own­ers.

“Rather than a one-siz­e­fits-all law that crim­i­nal­izes dog own­ers, it would be bet­ter to judge a teth­ered dog by the to­tal­ity of care pro­vided and its health,” Luke Houghton with the Ohiobased Sports­men’s Al­liance, said on the group’s web­site.

The bill was left pend­ing in the com­mit­tee.

About half a dozen peo­ple, many from law en­force­ment agen­cies, tes­ti­fied in sup­port of the bill on Tues­day, say­ing that the bill would keep dogs from dy­ing on the ends of ropes and chains.

AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN 2006 LAURA SKELDING /

House Bill 1156 would pro­hibit a per­son from teth­er­ing a dog out­side with a chain or with a re­straint that has weights or is shorter than five times the length of the dog.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.