Mon. Jul 26th, 2021

The hashtag “#AbbottHatesDogs” is trending on Twitter after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vetoed a measure on Friday that would have expanded animal cruelty laws.

The Houston Chronicle on Tuesday reported that the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act garnered widespread bipartisan support in the state legislature and would have expanded protections for dogs.

Dog owners who violate provisions laid out in the bill, such as using heavy chains or tethering dogs outside with short leashes, would have been subject to fines between $500 and $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

In his veto statement, Abbott, himself a dog owner, argued that Texas already had sufficient laws protecting dogs.

“Senate Bill 474 would compel every dog owner, on pain of criminal penalties, to monitor things like the tailoring of the dog’s collar, the time the dog spends in the bed of a truck, and the ratio of tether-to-dog length, as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Texas is no place for this kind of micro-managing and over-criminalization,” Abbott wrote.

Thousands of Twitter users using the hashtag tweeted their outrage following Abbott’s decision.

Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted, “I have to hand it to the governor. ‘Anti-voting rights, pro-animal cruelty’ is a bold re-election message,” referring to the GOP-backed bill passed last month that has been blasted by critics for disproportionately affecting low-income and minority communities.

Others tweeted photos of dogs while voicing their anger.