Why are there new laws for outside pets in Texas during extreme weather?
TEXAS, — Why have new laws been enacted in Texas for outside pets and extreme weather?
Governor Greg Abbott signed the "Safe Outdoor Dogs Act" into law in October. On January 18, the law took effect.
The goal is to keep man's best friend safe in Texas during severe weather.
The law was enacted in response to horrifying accounts of dogs being left outside during the February blizzard, with several of the animals discovered frozen to death.
During the freeze, the Harris County Animal Cruelty Hotline reported receiving over 6,000 calls in a two-day span.
Dogs left outside must be provided with enough cover to protect them from the elements during inclement weather, according to the new rule. The dog must be able to stand, turn around, and lie down in that shelter.
The usage of chain restraints on dogs is currently prohibited. Also, after receiving a report of an animal in distress, law enforcement does not have to wait 24 hours. They are now able to reply quickly.
However, animal advocates warn that leaving pets outside, even if they have shelter, is not a good idea when the temperature lowers.
Small breed dogs, dogs with thinner coats, and the extremely young and old should not be outside for long periods of time when the temperature is below 32 degrees. All canines are prone to hypothermia and frostbite whenever the temperature drops below 20 degrees.