Bill Text: TX SB474 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to the unlawful restraint of a dog; creating a criminal offense.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 63-37)

Status: (Enrolled) 2021-05-29 - Sent to the Governor [SB474 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB474-Enrolled.html
 
 
  S.B. No. 474
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the unlawful restraint of a dog; creating a criminal
  offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 821, Health and Safety Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter E to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER E. UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOG
         Sec. 821.101.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Adequate shelter" means a sturdy structure:
                     (A)  that allows the dog protection from rain,
  hail, sleet, snow, and subfreezing temperatures; and
                     (B)  with dimensions that allow the dog while in
  the shelter to stand erect, sit, turn around, and lie down in a
  normal position.
               (2)  "Collar" means a band constructed of nylon,
  leather, or similar material, specifically designed to be placed
  around the neck of a dog.
               (3)  "Harness" means a set of straps constructed of
  nylon, leather, or similar material, specifically designed to
  restrain or control a dog.
               (4)  "Owner" means a person who owns or has custody or
  control of a dog.
               (5)  "Properly fitted" means, with respect to a collar
  or harness, a collar or harness that:
                     (A)  is appropriately sized for the dog based on
  the dog's measurements and body weight;
                     (B)  does not choke the dog or impede the dog's
  normal breathing or swallowing; and
                     (C)  is attached around the dog in a manner that
  does not allow for escape and does not cause pain or injury to the
  dog.
               (6)  "Restraint" means a chain, rope, tether, leash,
  cable, or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object or
  trolley system.
         Sec. 821.102.  UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOG; OFFENSE. (a) An
  owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a
  restraint unless the owner provides the dog access to:
               (1)  adequate shelter;
               (2)  an area that allows the dog to avoid standing water
  and any other substance that could cause harm to the health of a dog
  that is subjected to prolonged exposure to the substance, including
  feces or urine;
               (3)  shade from direct sunlight; and
               (4)  potable water.
         (b)  An owner may not restrain a dog outside and unattended
  by use of a restraint that:
               (1)  is a chain;
               (2)  has weights attached;
               (3)  is shorter in length than the greater of:
                     (A)  five times the length of the dog, as measured
  from the tip of the dog's nose to the base of the dog's tail; or
                     (B)  10 feet;
               (4)  is not attached to a properly fitted collar or
  harness; or
               (5)  causes pain or injury to the dog.
         (c)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly
  violates this section. The restraint of each dog that is in
  violation is a separate offense.
         (d)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor,
  except that the offense is a Class B misdemeanor if the person has
  previously been convicted under this section.
         (e)  If conduct constituting an offense under this section
  also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be
  prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.
         Sec. 821.103.  EXCEPTIONS. (a) Section 821.102 does not
  apply to:
               (1)  the use of a restraint on a dog in a public camping
  or recreational area in compliance with the requirements of the
  public camping or recreational area as defined by a federal, state,
  or local authority or jurisdiction;
               (2)  the use of a restraint on a dog while the owner and
  dog engage in, or actively train for, an activity conducted under a
  valid license issued by this state provided the activity is
  associated with the use or presence of a dog;
               (3)  the use of a restraint on a dog while the owner and
  dog engage in conduct directly related to the business of
  shepherding or herding cattle or livestock;
               (4)  the use of a restraint on a dog while the owner and
  dog engage in conduct directly related to the business of
  cultivating agricultural products;
               (5)  a dog left unattended in an open-air truck bed only
  for the time necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task
  that requires the dog to be left unattended in the truck bed;
               (6)  a dog taken by the owner, or another person with
  the owner's permission, from the owner's residence or property and
  restrained by the owner or the person for not longer than the time
  necessary for the owner to engage in an activity that requires the
  dog to be temporarily restrained; or
               (7)  a dog restrained while the owner and dog are
  engaged in, or actively training for, hunting or field trialing.
         (b)  Section 821.102(b)(3) does not apply to a restraint
  attached to a trolley system that allows a dog to move along a
  running line for a distance equal to or greater than the lengths
  specified under that subdivision.
         (c)  This subchapter does not prohibit a person from walking
  a dog with a handheld leash.
         Sec. 821.104.  EFFECT OF SUBCHAPTER ON OTHER LAW. This
  subchapter does not preempt a local regulation relating to the
  restraint of a dog or affect the authority of a political
  subdivision to adopt or enforce an ordinance or requirement
  relating to the restraint of a dog if the regulation, ordinance, or
  requirement:
               (1)  is compatible with and equal to or more stringent
  than a requirement prescribed by this subchapter; or
               (2)  relates to an issue not specifically addressed by
  this subchapter.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter D, Chapter 821, Health and Safety
  Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 3.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.
  An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For
  purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the
  effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred
  before that date.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 474 passed the Senate on    
  April 21, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 28, Nays 3; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendment on May 27, 2021, by the
  following vote: Yeas 28, Nays 3.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 474 passed the House, with
  amendment, on May 14, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 83,
  Nays 32, two present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor
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