In vetoing the legislation, Abbot called the measures excessive.
“Texans love their dogs, so it is no surprise that our statutes already protect them by outlawing true animal cruelty,” he stated. “Yet Senate Bill 474 would compel every dog owner, on pain of criminal penalties, to monitor things like the tailoring of the dog’s collar, the time the dog spends in the bed of a truck, and the ratio of tether-to-dog length, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Texas is no place for this kind of micro-managing and over-criminalization.”
Rivadeneira disputed that description.
“This isn’t about micromanaging,” Rivadeneira said. “A lot of the things in the bill already existed in less strict terms. It’s about protecting the animals that live here and providing them basic resources.”
The vetoed bill defined adequate shelter to mean a sturdy structure that would allow protection against rain, hail, sleet, snow and subfreezing temperatures.
Adequate shelter would also allow for the dog to be able to sit, stand, turn around and lie down normally.
While shelter is important, dogs that are “inappropriately living full-time on tethers” are often unsocialized, said Carrie Kuehl, executive director at the Animal Birth Control Clinic.