This law is way overdue. Beginning on Jan. 18, 2022, "unattended dogs will no longer be allowed to be restrained with chains or heavy weights outdoors" in Tyler, Longview, and throughout the state of Texas.

Most animal lovers, really even folks with neutral feeling toward animals, have had a hard time understanding how someone could bring a dog home only to leave it chained up outside. But now, at least, doing so will be punishable by Texas law.

The new law will also prohibit owners from "leaving a dog without shelter, shade from direct sunlight, drinking water, and an area that allows the animal to avoid standing water and exposure to excessive animal waste."

The bill has come to be known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Bill, and Governor Gregg Abbott signed Senate Bill 5 on Monday. This bill was an update to one that the Governor vetoed earlier this year calling it "too micromanaging."

That veto from Abbott lead to public outcry from animal right activists. Jamey Cantrell, president of the Texas Animal Control Association, told the Texas Tribune that he believes the backlash is what ultimately got the new bill signed

More on the new law that goes into effect in January: it will eliminate the 24-hour rule that had barred law enforcement from intervening if an animal was observed in inhumane or illegal conditions.

Violations of the new law will be considered a Class C misdemeanor and will be punishable by a fine of up to $500. Repeat offenders could face a Class B misdemeanor.

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