In a much-anticipated and applauded move, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on the “Outdoor Dogs Safety Act” — meaning it’s now illegal to keep dogs outdoors on chains in Texas, according to The Houston Chronicle. 

Abbott signed Senate Bill 5, on Monday — effectively banning the use of chains as restraints and also allowing law enforcement to act quickly if they find an animal in danger.

The new bill allows law enforcement to immediately issue criminal citations for violations, rather than waiting the 24 hours dictated in current law. The legislation also requires adequate shelter and access to clean water for dogs left outside.

The bill replaced SB 474, an almost identical proposal that passed both houses of the Texas legislature but was vetoed by Abbott, who then faced a firestorm of public outrage and angry Tweets hashtagged #AbbottHatesDogs.

Lady Freethinker and our supporters added to the momentum through several petitions. We sent Texas legislators an original petition urging for support of SB 474, which was signed by close to 39,000 people. 

Then, we sent Abbott a petition of protest over his veto, which was signed by more than 32,000 people.

We followed that with another petition urging passage of Senate Bill 5, which was signed by close to 34,000 people.

We thank everyone who signed our petitions and helped keep the pressure on! Speaking up and demanding justice for these innocent animals left suffering outdoors has made all the difference.

We are overjoyed that these dogs will now be able to be helped, and any animal abusers will be able to more easily be held accountable. Thank you for helping us be a voice for animals!