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We complain about it all the time, the Texas heat and humidity and how unbearable it is for us. Well for dogs that are chained and tethered up it's worse because they can't escape the heat and find any relief because their movement is limited.

Last week when it was over 100 degrees in Parker County, west of Ft. Worth/Tarrant County, neighbors of 28-year-old Rachel Langley called the Parker County Sheriff's office to report her because she had left her dog tethered up in the heat without access to shelter, food or water.

When deputies arrived they found the dog dead in its small fenced area still tethered to the fence by a cord. Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Division tells CBS 11 that Langley allegedly left the dog for the day without providing adequate water, food, or shelter for the dog. Doing so was in violation of the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act that went into effect in Texas on January 18, 2022.

Upon further investigation and a necropsy, it was determined that the dog died from heatstroke (Weatherford Democrat). When neighbors called the sheriff's office they told them that the dog could be heard panting. Rachel Langley was arrested yesterday (May 19th) and charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals and is currently being held in the Parker County Jail waiting on her bond to be set.

Texas Safe Outdoors Act

This act went into effect on January 18, 2022, and it imposes criminal penalties on Texas dog owners who chain up their pets outside in inhumane conditions. Outside dogs may no longer be tethered by chains. Only humane systems may be used, like a trolley or zipline system for outside dogs. (KENS5) In addition, they also need shelter, shade, and access to clean fresh water. Failure to comply, dog owners could face a $500 fine with repeat offenders facing a class B misdemeanor, up to 180 days in jail or a fine of $2000. (Texas Public Radio)

As It Begins To Get Hotter, Here's A Friendly Reminder

If you are going to have an outside dog, it's simple, be responsible for them. If you think it's hot outside, just imagine yourself as your dog, covered in all that fur and not being able to sweat as a human does.  Don't be like Rachel Langley, don't chain up your dog and make sure they have access to clean fresh water, shelter and shade.

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