OPPOSE SB 5 AND HOUSE COMPANIONS
HEY FOLKS HERE IT IS AGAIN. OUR GOVERNOR CURRED OUT AND WE NEED TO CALL, E MAIL OR GO DOWN THERE AND TRY TO NIP THIS RIDICULOUS LAW IN THE BUD. ASK THE GOOD LORD FOR HIS DIVINE INTERVENTION ONCE AGAIN AND THANK HIM IN ADVANCE. MAY HE CONTINUE TO BLESS US ALL……GARY J. HAMMONDS……..10-5-2021
Subject: OPPOSE SB 5 AND HOUSE COMPANIONS
Dear State Affairs committee members,
Regarding SB 5 –
See engrossed attached.
Gov. Abbott’s Veto objections taken from Gov. Abbott’s website –
Texans love their dogs, so it is no surprise that our statutes(1) already protect them by outlawing true animal cruelty. Yet Senate Bill 5 would compel every dog owner, on pain of criminal penalties, to monitor things like the tailoring of the dog’s collar(2), the time the dog spends in the bed of a truck(3), and the ratio of tether-to-dog length, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail(4). Texas is no place for this kind of micro-managing and over-criminalization
- <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Texas has one of the most strict animal cruelty statutes in The US! See Sec. 821.077 & Sec. 821.078.We don’t’ need duplicate needless legislation as mentioned in Governor’s veto.
Numbers (2), (3), & (4) – aren’t all these ‘micro-managing’ items still in the bill that were opposed in the veto?
We are opposed to this legislation because it criminalizes law abiding animal owners in Texas.
- This bill is redundant – most cities already have tethering laws.
- Exemptions – the exemptions list licensed activities… Hunting/cultivating ag products?/cattle/herding/working dogs – none are licensed and do not need to be licensed! Licensed coon hunts? What? Coon hunts are NOT licensed and do not need to be licensed! If you look at the animal rights agenda, you will see this is one of their first step agendas to eventually license activities out of existence just like they quote!
- Interpretation and enforcement of the bill is left up to agencies/govt authorities that are infiltrated by animal rights activists with their agenda to eliminate ownership(property rights) of animals for any reason. We have quotes to prove this!
- Senator Bob Hall and staff found multiple red flags catching their attention in this bill including:(1) could lead to the removal of due process for the owner, namely the notification of an owner ahead of separation from their dog under another statute, (2) potential abuse of the proposed law by disgruntled neighbors(Dallas & many other cases), such as a neighbor’s dog they dislike or are afraid of, and finally, (3) the specificity of the definitions in SB 5 for “adequate shelter” and “properly fitted” that would place an undue burden on dog owners, especially those who own larger breeds.
- Several reputable canine associations came out in opposition to tethering laws such as SB 5. For example, the American Kennel Club says on their website: “The American Kennel Club has seen a troubling increase in proposed anti-tethering laws in states and local municipalities seeking to prevent animal cruelty… proposals that arbitrarily ban tethering could actually cause harm to some dogs and are unlikely to stop bad actors already in violation of animal welfare laws.”
Please see the following SB 5 Analysis (brief) by our attorney –
One of the major issues with this bill is that it targets owners who tether their dogs by means of a chain. There are some dogs that can easily destroy other tethering devices. If the law is enforced as written, then that could result in numerous dogs at large.
Fencing of dogs is not as simple as erecting the fence. Some dogs must be contained so that they do not come in proximity to other dogs so fencing is not an option unless it provides distance between each kennel run. Some dogs have a propensity to fence fight.
This law will unleash the confiscation and destruction of large dogs such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, so in practice is a discriminatory law that targets certain breeds of dogs. I wish that all dogs could enjoy the luxury that mine do, but that is not the reality in Texas. A humanely sized chain is a safer tethering device and ensures that the dogs stay on the owner’s property. An appropriately sized chain is no less humane than a rope that a dog can gnaw through and end up at large. This is a safety issue that concerns all citizens so they are protected from loose dogs.
(b) An owner may not restrain a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that:
(1) is a chain;
Violations of this law are Class C misdemeanors which are tickets that do not result in jail and may include a fine of up to $500.00. However, each dog that is, for example, tethered by means a chain, may be a separate offense and there is no grace period to cure the infraction. The owner is charged with knowing the law from the start and is actually no different from other laws. The big difference is that live animals are involved and compliance with the law may put all the owner’s neighbors at risk of the dogs running loose. It also puts the owner at risk for the acts committed by the dog while loose even though the owner was following this law.
If the owner’s neighbors were asked if they would prefer the dogs be contained by a chain or a rope, you can rest assured that they would opt for a chain. That does not mean a chain that is used for anchoring boats, but a chained that is sufficiently strong to contain a strong dog. All dogs have the same number of teeth, but large dogs have bigger teeth and stronger jaws and are able to chew through ropes and lines with ease.
This law is about to enact a huge safety concern for Texas citizens.
Texas Dog Lawyer
7941 Katy Freeway, No. 412
Houston, Texas 77024-1924
713 222 7600
Please see another attorneys appraisal of SB 5 as follows –
American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen(CGC) dog training program is the gold standard of behavior for dogs!
CGC training is prerequisite for service dogs, medical assistance dogs, military dogs, rescue dogs, and therapy dog certifications.
This legislation makes CGC training illegal as it’s not licensed and it’s not necessarily hunting or ag related.
Common advanced obedience dog training for CGC involves restraining the dog to a tree, post, etc. in an area with distractions and getting out of the dog’s site. The dog is required to sit/down until you return. Once this step is mastered, off-lead training begins. Off-lead manners are a requirement for service dogs.
This bill also makes it illegal to leave your unattended dog tied outside if you go in the house to answer phone, go to the backyard to get extra yardwork supplies, etc. Leaving the dog is illegal according to this bill. Also some neighborhoods with HOAs don’t allow dogs off leash in the front yard so they are tethered as the owner goes in and out of the house(violation – tethered unattended out of site).
This really isn’t in the dogs’ best interest.
If you will take time to read it, the American Kennel Club has produced an excellent article including many examples of where micro-management of your dogs can lead –
I hope you will consider the impact of legislation on law abiding animal owners before you pass legislation that criminalizes law-abiding citizens of Texas!
We are opposed to this legislation because it criminalizes law abiding animal owners in Texas!
Please let me know if you have questions.
North Texas Director – Responsible Pet Owners Alliance – The AKC Federation club in Texas
President Lone Star Fox Terrier Club
Legislative Liaison to American Kennel Club
Legislative Liaison to American Fox Terrier Club