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Today in Texas history might very well become known as the 'Day of the Dog'.

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A new Texas law protecting man's best friend from being exposed to severe weather and being chained outdoors under poor conditions is now in effect beginning today

Texas Animal Rights Activists believe this is a long time in coming, but it's a start.

A good start.

Young Man Canoeing With His Dog
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It's called the Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill or SB5 and it's in full effect today in Texas, Tuesday, January 18th.

The new law bans the use of heavy chains for tethering your pet outdoors as chains on dogs often left unattended have notoriously been found to cause injury to the animal.

The new law also offers that pets tethered outdoors must have access to water and shelter from extreme weather conditions. The Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill also includes that local law enforcement no longer has to wait 24 hours to penalize someone found to be breaking the SB5 laws. Here are the SB5 laws in their entirety here.

Chained up dog laying in wooden kennel with head out waiting to be released
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What can you use to tether your pet instead?

Dog owners can instead use what animal activists consider to be humane tethers like trolley systems. But the collar or harness has to fit properly as the new law also defines that any restraints must allow the animal to "always have access to proper shade/shelter and water."

Homeless and ownerless sad dogs are kept in cages.
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What are the fines and penalties if you don't comply or are found to be breaking the new law?

Violations of the Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill will be considered a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Repeat Texas residents offenders who have previously been convicted of the law can face a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Additionally, the new law eliminates the 24-hour rule that previously barred law enforcement from intervening if an animal was observed in inhumane or illegal conditions so if a law enforcement officer sees a dog tethered illegally, they can immediately intervene on the animal's behalf.

Protect your dogs Texas, please.

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