Story at a glance

  • Texas Gov. Gregg Abbot (R) on Friday vetoed a bipartisan legislation that could have strengthened protections for dogs against abuse.
  • The bill overwhelmingly passed through both chambers of the Texas legislature.
  • Abbot argued in his veto that there are already statewide laws protecting dogs from acts of cruelty and the new legislation risked “micro-managing and over-criminalization.”

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbot (R) on Friday vetoed a bipartisan legislation that could have strengthened protections for dogs against abuse. 

The Republican governor shot down the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, a law targeting the use of heavy chains to restrain the animals. The bill overwhelmingly passed through both chambers of the Texas legislature.

Abbot argued in his veto that there are already statewide laws protecting dogs from acts of cruelty and the new legislation risked “micro-managing and over-criminalization.”

“Senate Bill 474 would compel every dog owner, on pain of criminal penalties, to monitor things like the tailoring of the dog’s collar, the time the dog spends in the bed of a truck, and the ratio of tether-to-dog length, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail,” Abbot wrote. “Texas is no place for this kind of micro-managing and over-criminalization.”


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

MICHAEL JORDAN CATCHES DOLPHINFISH IN $3.4M FISHING TOURNAMENT

MAN-SIZED HALIBUT REELED IN IN THE NORTH SEA

WOMAN PUNCHES CROCODILE TO SAVE HER TWIN SISTER

NEW STUDY NAMES THE 10 SMELLIEST STATES IN THE US

CICADAS OVERRUN WHITE HOUSE PRESS PLANE


The legislation would have slapped first time offenders with a possible $500 fine and class C misdemeanor followed by a class B misdemeanor, a $2000 fine and possible jail time, The Guardian reported.

“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 officers – would have clarified the vague language that makes the statute completely unenforceable,” said Shelby Bobosky, the Texas Humane Legislative Network’s executive director told the Guardian in a statement. 

Lawmakers and law enforcement officials expressed their frustration and disappointment over Abbott's veto. 

Brian Hawthorne, the Chambers County sheriff and legislative chairman of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas, told the Houston Chronicle that the legislation included “favorable things to help us enforce the law in which people weren’t properly taking care of their pets.”

Meanwhile, Eddie Lucio Jr, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation, told The Texas Tribune that he was “disappointed in the governor,” adding that while he does not always agree with the governor, he respects him “when it comes to quality of life and protecting life.”

“I want to include dogs in that issue,” Lucio Jr. concluded. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ANNOUNCES EARTH HAS A FIFTH OCEAN

FORD UNVEILS NEW HYBRID PICKUP THAT GETS 40 MPG FOR UNDER $20,000

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 3,000 YEARS, TASMANIAN DEVILS HAVE BEEN BORN ON AUSTRALIAN MAINLAND

‘EXTINCT’ GIANT TORTOISE FOUND IN GALAPAGOS

CONSERVATIONISTS THRILLED AS ‘EXTINCT’ WILD RIVER PREDATOR POPS UP

Published on Jun 23, 2021