Texas Law: unlawful restraint of dogs, feral / cats, non-livestock animals; puppy mills

www.DogsDeserveBetter.org  NO CHAINED DOGS

Texas Health & Safety Code:  Sec. 821.077.  UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOG.  (a)  An owner may not leave a dog outside & unattended by use of a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement:    (1)  between the hours of 10 p.m. & 6 a.m.;  (2)  within 500 feet of the premises of a school; or  (3)  in the case of extreme weather conditions, including conditions in which:   (A)  the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit;   (B)  a heat advisory has been issued by a local or state authority or jurisdiction; or  (C)  a hurricane, tropical storm, or tornado warning has been issued for the jurisdiction by the National Weather Service.     (b)  In this section, a restraint unreasonably limits a dog’s movement if the restraint:   (1)  uses a collar that is pinch-type, prong-type, or choke-type or that is not properly fitted to the dog;   (2)  is a length shorter than the greater of:   (A)  five times the length of the dog, as measured from the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of the dog’s tail; or   (B)  10 feet;  (3)  is in an unsafe condition; or (4)  causes injury to the dog.

Texas Penal Code:      Sec. 42.092.  CRUELTY TO NONLIVESTOCK ANIMALS.  (a)  In this section:   (1)  “Abandon” includes abandoning an animal in the person’s custody without making reasonable arrangements for assumption of custody by another person.  (2)  “Animal” means a domesticated living creature, including any stray or feral cat or dog, & a wild living creature previously captured.  The term does not include an uncaptured wild living creature or a livestock animal.  (3)  “Cruel manner” includes a manner that causes or permits unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering.  (4)  “Custody” includes responsibility for the health, safety, & welfare of an animal subject to the person’s care and control, regardless of ownership of the animal.  (5)  “Depredation” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.001, Parks and Wildlife Code.  (6)  “Livestock animal” has the meaning assigned by Section 42.09.  (7)  “Necessary food, water, care, or shelter” includes food, water, care, or shelter provided to the extent required to maintain the animal in a state of good health.  (8)  “Torture” includes any act that causes unjustifiable pain or suffering.   (b)  A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:   (1)  tortures an animal or in a cruel manner kills or causes serious bodily injury to an animal;   (2)  without the owner’s effective consent, kills, administers poison to, or causes serious bodily injury to an animal;   (3)  fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person’s custody;   (4)  abandons unreasonably an animal in the person’s custody;  (5)  transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner;   (6)  without the owner’s effective consent, causes bodily injury to an animal;   (7)  causes one animal to fight with another animal, if either animal is not a dog;   (8)  uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing on a racetrack; or (9)  seriously overworks an animal.     (c)  An offense under Subsection (b)(3), (4), (5), (6), or (9) is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a state jail felony if the person has previously been convicted two times under this section, two times under Section 42.09, or one time under this section & one time under Section 42.09.  An offense under Subsection (b)(1), (2), (7), or (8) is a state jail felony, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the person has previously been convicted two times under this section, two times under Section 42.09, or one time under this section & one time under Section 42.09.

Sec. 821.078.  EXCEPTIONS.  Section 821.077 does not apply to:

(1)  a dog restrained to a running line, pulley, or trolley system and that is not restrained to the running line, pulley, or trolley system by means of a pinch-type, prong-type, choke-type, or improperly fitted collar;

(2)  a dog restrained in compliance with the requirements of a camping or recreational area as defined by a federal, state, or local authority or jurisdiction;

(3)  a dog restrained for a reasonable period, not to exceed three hours in a 24-hour period, & no longer than is necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be restrained;

(4)  a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in, or actively training for, an activity that is conducted pursuant to a valid license issued by this state if the activity for which the license is issued is associated with the use or presence of a dog;

(5)  a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of shepherding or herding cattle or livestock; or

(6)  a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of cultivating agricultural products, if the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.

from Pamela Mitchell  Associate, Strategic Sourcing Solutions  MedAssets  Direct 972.813.7779  5100 Tennyson Parkway, Plano, TX  75024  www.medassets.com      The Broadlane Group was acquired by MedAssets on November 16,2010   Pam.Mitchell@Broadlane.com

All Breeding Board Members of The Texas Licensing & Regulations Board:  While we have made great efforts to improve the lives of dogs sanctioned to breed & live in cages throughout their existence, I believe we still have a long way to go.     Warehousing a domestic animal in a wire cage without a solid bottom & stacking the cages three high, for what purpose does this serve & why do we allow this?  Most breeders use the least expense cage usually homemade, & the wire is thin & sharp bringing damage to the caged animal.  Breeders do this so they do not have to clean.  The animals are subject to live their entire life in a cage:  please provide a solid surface for them & keep all cages on the ground.  If a breeder has to stack the cages, they do not have an adequate facility in the first place.  They are not TVs or other items to be warehoused.  They are animals.  I wonder what we were thinking when we allowed this.    Now, why in the world would we allow a breeder to keep animals in extreme temperatures for up to 4 hours?  What is the point of this?  — just another exception for the breeder.

If we are going to continue to allow puppy mills to exist, please make sure the regulations are protective of the animals.  I truly believe 95% of the breeders are non-compliant … trust me, I live in East Texas near Canton:  there are puppy mills & backyard breeders on every block & country road & in every Wal-Mart parking lot.  It would be nice to believe that breeders exist to protect the breed but unfortunately 95% are cruel puppy mills.

If you want a more clear picture, then please come visit the puppy-mill world in East Texas or just go to First Monday in Canton & take a stroll down “Dog Alley.”  If you have any compassion for dogs, you will be sick to your stomach.  Thank you for your time.

 

Your help is requested:    Remove Stacking of cages    Require solid surface for the bottom of the cage    Remove allowing animals to be left in extreme heat up to 4 hours 

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