Smith County, Texas: Let's Ban the Cruel 24/7 Tethering of Dogs!

Too many dogs spend their entire lifetime cruelly tethered, confined to a small radius where they live out their days in all kinds of weather, wondering what’s beyond, wondering what they did wrong, longing for human interaction that never comes.

Why do we sentence our “Best Friend” to years of entrapment with absolutely no quality of life?

  • Tethered dogs are often completely neglected by their owners other than occasional food and water;

  • Tethered dogs are naturally defensive in nature due to their restricted movement and inability to flee from harm – making them appear mean or aggressive;

  • Tethered dogs do not receive the exercise they need to remain healthy or the socialization necessary to make them good companions;

  • Tethered female dogs, when left unaltered, are continually bred resulting in dozens of unwanted litters during one dogs lifetime;

  • Tethered dogs’ cables and chains often become tangled making it impossible for them to seek shelter in extreme cold and water and shade in extreme heat.

Please visit and read this article by for more on information on tethering, why it is cruel, and the negative effects caused by chaining our dogs outside.

The state of Texas has a law in place, HB 1411, that has been in effect since 2007, that regulates the tethering of dogs.
Texas Dog Tethering Laws
This law forbids tethering for longer than 3 hours, and in cases of extreme weather, but dogs on trolley systems are excluded from this protective law, as if this makes them any safer than being tethering directly to a fixed object. Also, timed tethering limits have proven to be ultimately inneffective, as they are practically impossible to enforce. State law is worded so ambiguously that it is often left up for interpretation by the individual officer called to the scene.
That is why this petition aims to eliminate all unsupervised tethering of any form (via direct tethering, or trolley system) with the exception of certain unique or special circumstances.

A county ordinance banning all unsupervised tethering of dogs could end the suffering and torment of our companion animals.  Support Smith County, Texas joining the numerous other compassionate, humane, pet-friendly cities and counties nationwide that have successfully enacted this ordinance.

Update #17 years ago
Thanks to ALL of you who've signed, local buzz is being generated from animal rights groups and news journalists. A premier local news station, KLTV 7, has covered my story, and the reason for me starting the petition, a dog tethered next door to me, who serves as a sad, daily reminder to me of dogs suffering everywhere, living their lives at the end of a tether. View the story here:
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