TEXAS, USA — A Texas legislative committee unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit breed discrimination of dogs by public housing authorities.
The legislation now goes to the Texas House Committee on Calendars to be debated or amended on the House floor. If the bill passes by a majority vote, it is sent to the Senate.
Currently, some public housing authorities ban certain breeds based on the assumption that breed makes a dog dangerous. The legislation, authored by Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-124), passed unanimously out of committee.
“Breed discrimination is an outdated assumption, that is not supported by science, hurting families and forcing them to make an unthinkable decision to part with their pet,” said Julie Castle, CEO of the national animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society.
In addition to Minjarez, the legislation is jointly authored by Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson (R-56), Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-64), and Rep. John Turner (D-114).
HB 3798 would require housing authorities that allow pets to comply with county and/or municipal restrictions.
“Residents of public housing should not be unfairly targeted by policies that go around existing state law," Castle said. "HB 3798 would give Texas citizens the treatment their families deserve and lead to happier Texas communities.”
Currently, Texas Health and Safety Code Sec. 822.047 prohibits local governments from creating dangerous dog laws based upon breed.
There are more than 60,000 public housing units in Texas.