Last year during the summer we had a few calls from our Animal Control Officers asking about heat advisories and unlawful restraint. So I would like to take this opportunity to remind you about Chapter 821 Subchapter D UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOG
I know that Fox 21 warned of a heat advisory for today (8/2/13). I would then say that any area which can receive the transmissions from that channel is applicable. Some other television stations or radio stations may have advised the same in viewing areas outside of Fox 21. I believe we can safely assume that any of our counties that are experiencing temperatures in the upper 90’s with the possibility of reaching 100 degrees is under a heat advisory.
With that in mind:
Section 821.077 (a) An owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement:
(3) in the case of extreme weather conditions, including conditions in which:
(A) the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees
(B) a heat advisory has been issued by a local or state authority or jurisdiction
Please note that under 821.079 Penalty
(b) the peace officer or ACO should provide the owner with a written warning, which the officer plainly writes the time, dates and signs
(c) it is a Class C misdemeanor if they do not correct the situation
(d) it is a Class B misdemeanor if they do it again
(e) each dog counts as a violation
As per usual we would want you to read this entire section thoroughly to be sure that there actually is an offense being committed and if you need any assistance in understanding any part of the law we are always happy to try to clarify for you.
Thank you and keep yourselves cool and hydrated!
Zoonosis Control Region 4/5N