Chaining dogs without ‘adequate shelter’ could be criminal offense starting Monday

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 11:06 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Tethering your dog outside, unattended, could result in a misdemeanor citation starting Monday.

A new state law will ban tethering dogs unless owners provide “adequate shelter,” providing a space that is comfortable for the dog to move around in, providing water and protection from weather like wind or rain.

Animal Services Director Steven Greene said many of these state laws have already been covered by a Lubbock ordinance. Greene said the biggest impact from the state law is banning the use of chains on a dog, and he has personally seen the negative impact of chaining dogs.

“It had a very, very heavy, like a tow chain. And not only was it on a tow chain, but the chain was actually around its neck and padlocked. So no one could steal a dog. I understand a lot of people feel they need a dog in the front yard for protection, but I have picked up dogs that have been injured or killed from other animals attacking them, because they have nowhere to go,” Greene said.

All dogs should be within a fenced area and the length of the restraint can be no longer than 10 feet, according to both state and city law. Lubbock city ordinance bans ties that can get caught in fences.

“I’ve picked up dogs that have jumped over a fence and hung herself on a tether,” Greene said.

Field officers responding to calls are asking pet owners to comply; however, if a pet owner fails to protect their pet, animal control can remove the dog or give a Class C misdemeanor citation.

State law has increased the penalty for repeat offenders.

“One of the things this new law does... If you’ve been previously convicted of a tethering offense, then it can go up to a Class B misdemeanor. So there is a little more teeth to the ordinance and a little more enforcement action that we can take,” Greene said.

There are some exceptions to these new regulations about tying up your dog, if you are camping or training your dog for hunting purposes.

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