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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: https://gov.texas.gov/apps/contact/opinion.aspx

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PETITION TARGET: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texans were a few pen strokes away from life-saving and much-awaited legislation that would have banned using heavy chains to tether dogs outside. But then Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed the bill.

On June 18, Abbott announced that Texas already had laws to address “true animal cruelty” and that SB 474 — a law that would have made it illegal to chain dogs outside without drinkable water, shade, or shelter — would be “micromanaging.”

In his veto proclamation, Abbott said other provisions of the bill would “compel” Texans to pay too much attention to the tailoring of their dogs’ collars, the time dogs spent in the bed of a truck, or the ratio of tether-to-dog length.

The governor’s decision comes during one of the state’s hottest months, where dogs left chained outside can face deadly temperatures in the high 90s or that top 100 degrees.

Any person who adopts a dog also accepts responsibility for properly taking care of that dog. Paying attention to an innocent animal’s well-being is not too much to ask. 

Abbott’s decision got him slammed by the public, with the hashtag #AbbottHatesDogs trending on Twitter following his office’s announcement.

The bill had the support of animal control officers, law enforcement agencies,  and county prosecutors, as well as animal advocates for provisions that would have banned keeping dogs outdoors tied to heavy chains, required animal control officers and shelters to scan lost pets for microchips, and given tax breaks to pet rescue facilities.

The bill also had the support of legislators — passing with a 28-3 vote in the Senate, a 83-32 vote in the House, and strong bipartisan support.  Although Texas law allows legislators to override vetoes with a two-thirds majority vote from each house, they can only do so while the legislative session is still in session. Abbott chose to wait to veto the bill until that session ended — effectively removing the constitutional checks-and-balance on his power.

Lady Freethinker is beyond disappointed at the reckless rejection of this critical protection for dogs, who now will continue to face the deadly threats from chains and exposure to Texas’ brutal heat this summer.

We thank the more than 38, 600 people who signed our petition urging for the passing of this important legislation. And we’re calling on you again to use your voice for dogs.

Sign our petition denouncing Gov. Greg Abbott’s veto on SB 474 and the life-saving and extremely reasonable protections it would have provided to Texan dogs. 

You can also respectfully tell Abbott why you denounce his decision and feel the law would have been important and life saving for Texan dogs by filling out this contact form the Office of the Texas Governor at https://gov.texas.gov/apps/contact/opinion.aspx.