Are you someone who keeps your dog outside? You may want to keep an eye on this bill if it passes.

Texas Senator Eddie Lucio has filed a bill on how the state will handle animal abuse. If this bill passes, the owners of the dogs could face misdemeanor charges. Senator Lucio is a big dog lover, he actually has seven at his house. "Quite frankly, they become part of the family," Lucio said. "And you enjoy being with them, and you enjoy watching them grow up."

The new bill, if passed, would make it mandatory for dogs left outside to have access to potable water, for them to be restrained by a leash that is no shorter than five times the length of the dog, and to have shelter while it's raining, or during other severe weather conditions. Owners would no longer be allowed to restrain dogs with chains.

Lucio says he's filling this bill now because he feels like he has enough bipartisan support for this to pass, adding animal neglect is a problem throughout Texas and is something that can no longer wait. "It's important to remember that this isn't just about animal safety, it's about public safety," Lucio said. "Mistreated animals, especially those chained up in front yards, can become a public health risk to neighborhoods."

As always, many bills are being filed at the beginning of the year and of course not all of them will pass. We will see what happens with this bill in the next few months.

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