Texas pet lovers can go to sleep a little easier knowing things are getting done to protect our furry friends. Texas Senator Eddie Lucio is taking a big step and filing a bill that could help combat dog abuse and mistreatment. Lucio, who owns seven dogs himself, has a firm understanding of the need to help protect animals, particularly dogs, who are one of the most beloved family pets.

On KRGV, Lucio talked about his own family's contribution to animals' well-being and how if there is a dog in need, his family will make room to care for it. "Quite frankly," Lucio says, "They become part of the family, you enjoy being with them, and you enjoy watching them grow up."

The bill, SB 474, Lucio is putting forth would make it mandatory for dogs left outdoors to have accessible water. They would also need to be kept on a leash that is no shorter than five times the dog's length, which means no more tying up these giant dogs to tiny little ropes. Dogs would no longer be allowed to be tied up with chains as well. The bill could give dogs more legroom to run around or have access to more shade because that is extremely important, especially in Texas. Regarding shelter, dogs left outdoors must be given access to appropriate shelter when it is raining or other severe weather.

This is not the only bill Lucio has filed for this upcoming legislation. He has also filed HB 91, which outlines the requirements and punishment of those who are convicted of criminal offenses involving animals. The bill could require the person to relinquish custody of all animals in their possession, prohibit any future possession of animals, and/or order psychological counseling or other appropriate treatment programs for a period of time.

Lucio has already filed the bill and feels that he has enough bipartisan support to get this bill passed. Lucio also felt filing was urgent because animal neglect is a problem throughout Texas and filing the bill is something that can no longer wait.

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