Local animal groups react to veto of Safe Outdoor Dogs Act

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Animal welfare is near and dear to the hearts of many and after the veto of the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act by Governor Abbott, local animal groups and pet owners are wondering if these issues are important to him too.

The bill that Governor Abbott vetoed was Senate Bill 474, also known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act. The bill would have made it illegal to chain up dogs, leave them without drinkable water, adequate shade or shelter.

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If passed it would have expanded already set animal cruelty laws and made unlawful restraining of a dog a criminal offense. The already set laws surrounding animal cruelty deal with the issue on a city ordinance, while passage of senate bill 474 would have made it a state-wide ordinance.

“I was highly disappointed we were all hoping that this bill would go through,” said Cheryl Heineken, Director of the Wichita Falls Humane Society.

Pet owners around town weren’t too pleased about the bill’s veto either.

“We live in one of the hottest states so I mean that’s a very important bill for our family members, pets are our family to a lot of people,” said Hannah Reynolds, a local dog owner.

Governor Abbott states that he believes Texas already has the statutes in place to protect dogs from animal cruelty and the penalties in the new bill seemed excessive while others disagree.

“It’s a big kick in the pants for us but we’re not gonna stop there. We’re gonna keep pushing for it,” said Heineken.

Although the bill did get vetoed, the fight does not end here as local animal groups hope to see the bill reintroduced at a later time. You can find out more about the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act bill and the explanation for its veto here.

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