Pet owners in Brenham should not expect any changes as a result of a new state law regarding the outdoor tethering of dogs.

Animal Services Manager Allison Harper says the city already has an ordinance in place that is more stringent than Senate Bill 5, which is called the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act and goes into effect January 18th.

Harper says the new law is aimed more at rural areas, such as outside of city limits, where there are not any laws pertaining to outdoor dogs.



The law says pet owners may not leave their dogs restrained and unattended outside without adequate shelter, shade from direct sunlight, potable water and the ability to avoid standing water and exposure to excessive animal waste.  The law also bans the use of restraints that are chains, have weights attached, are shorter than five times the length of the dog or 10 feet, or are attached to an improperly fitted collar or harness.

Brenham’s pet ordinance, passed in 2019, makes it unlawful to restrain any animal in a manner that causes it pain or prevents it from reaching shelter, food or water.  The ordinance also prohibits restraining animals in a way that allows the animal to leave the owner’s property or become entangled with an object.  In addition, animals cannot be restrained between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., or by using a rope or leash that is shorter than 10 feet or five times the length of the animal and is not equipped with swivel ends.

The ordinance also prohibits the restraining of an animal during extreme weather conditions, such as during a heat advisory, when the temperature is below 32 degrees, or when a hurricane, tropical storm or tornado warning has been issued.

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  1. While the 2019 Brenham Pet Ordinance may have more stringent components for pet owners in the city limits, I can certainly tell you from seeing some areas of town, that they are not enforced. Cities often place ordinances on the books for looks instead of actual value to the community or, in this case, animals. Ordinances and laws are of no use unless they are fully, universally, and equally enforced. Even the photograph accompanying the story shows the dog chained to something or another.

    1. Citizens need to call the authorities (City and County) and demand some type of action at least respond to these calls. Call back and ask what was done. Do Open Record requests to hold the authorities(City and County)accountable for these complaints to make sure the calls were responded to. These are no longer proactive departments as they once were. Make sure these Deputies and ACO’s are not just clearing the calls without responding. This new law will be very hard to enforce especially in the county. But some welfare changes can be forced on the animal owners.

      1. The city departments aren’t proactive? Weird. I bet if you put in an open record request to see how many code cases were worked by the staff you might have to eat your words there. When was this department actually more proactive than it is now. I would like statistics please to verify your telling the truth. I don’t believe they will be provided but I’m interested to see your data used to make this assessment. I will eat my words if your correct and bow to thee all knowing. Also out of curiosity how many cases a month do you think is reasonable for the very very small staff they have? I’d redirect my anger at the irresponsible pet/property owners that forced cities and states to put these kind of laws in place first.

  2. Sheriff get to work! FM 50 north, 12000 block. Just north of independence. Just drive slow and see for yourself. Dogs and horses on chains and ropes.

    1. Thank you Bill! I often wondered why they see obvious animal cruelty and never do anything. Just drive back behind the Big Recycle area and you’ll go home crying. Animals in small cages or tied to trees. Not to mention what’s running free.

  3. And don’t think for a minute that WCSO will enforce any animal laws in the county. Not an issue that they care about. This will be almost impossible to enforce.

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