New Texas Dog Laws starting
• A dog's unprovoked attack away from its
owner's property kills someone, permanently disfigures them or
destroys or impairs a body part or organ. A previous attack by
the dog isn't required, but prosecutors must prove the owner was
criminally negligent in failing to secure the animal – not
heeding a "substantial and unjustifiable risk."
• The owner knows the dog has previously injured someone or been
deemed dangerous by authorities, and the dog makes an unprovoked
attack outside its enclosure causing death or injury requiring
In either situation, the offense is a third-degree felony with
punishment of two to 10 years in prison – a second-degree felony
(two to 20 years) in the case of death.
OTHER ANIMAL LAWS EFFECTIVE SATURDAY:
• Limit how long an owner can leave a dog unattended and
restrained outside. The anti-tethering law is designed to
prevent owners from keeping their dogs chained up outside
between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and from leaving them outside in
stormy conditions. Owners in violation of the law get a warning
from a peace or animal control officer before being charged with
a misdemeanor. Dogfighting opponents say this law will make it
harder for dogfighters to chain up several pit bulls in their
back yard all day, every day.
• Require most animal control officers to be trained and
certified to do their jobs. It's the first time the state has
required animal control workers to be certified.
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research