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It is illegal in Texas to leave your dog outside without proper shelter in extreme temperatures

The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, signed by Gov. Abbott in Oct. 2021, gives harsher penalties for those who chain their dogs up or leave them without shelter.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It is about to get frigid in Texas. It is important to prepare for the cold temperatures, and pets should be at the top of the mind. As a reminder, it is against the law in Texas to leave your dog outside, without adequate shelter, in extreme temperatures.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 5, the "Safe Outdoor Dogs Act," in October 2021, which set harsher penalties for animal owners in Texas who chained their pets up outside or did not provide them enough shelter in extreme temperatures.

The law also eliminates the 24-hour waiting period for law enforcement to intervene in cases of inhumane treatment.  

The law defines what qualifies as an adequate shelter for a dog, which includes protection from extreme temperatures, standing water and other things that could be dangerous for an animal. 

But animal advocates have stressed that cold temperatures are not good for dogs even if they have shelter.

Below 32 degrees, small breed dogs, dogs with thinner coats or the very young or old should not be outside for extended periods of time. Once the temperatures get below 20 degrees, all dogs are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite.

If you feel someone is in violation of these rules, call your local animal protection officer as soon as you can. 

KVUE and KHOU contributed to this report.


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