It’s a new year, and that means several new state laws are set to go in effect, including Senate Bill 5.

Last year, when the Texas state legislator was in session, lawmakers passed SB-5, also known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act. The bill is pretty self-explanatory, in ensuring that all dog owners are providing the basic care, and needs for their dogs, and that they are not harmed.

Under the new law, dog owners cannot leaved a dog chained outside without having access to food, water, or shelter. If a dog is chained, then the chain must be five times longer than the dog from the tip of the dog’s nose, to the base of the dog’s tail. Now, this new law isn’t just about chaining your dog’s outside either. The bill also states that you cannot place weights on dogs or leave them unattended and confined in standing water, or in an area with excessive animal waste. Failure to follow these new regulations could result in fines, or even jail time.

If you’re a dog lover like me, then this new law shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience at all.  In fact, these new regulations should be common sense to any dog owner. Quite frankly, I think that it’s pretty sad that we had to have the state legislator pass this law, but I’m glad, that we now have basic protections in place for ‘man’s best friend’. No dog should be chained outside with out access to food, water, or shelter. We all love our pets, and should take care of them the best that we can.