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Texas House Passes Bill to End Dog Breed Discrimination in Public Housing

Kanab, UT - National animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society today celebrated House passage of Texas House Bill 3798, which would prohibit breed discrimination of dogs by public housing authorities.

Currently, some public housing authorities ban certain breeds based on the outdated and disproven assumption that breed makes a dog dangerous, conflicting with existing state law. The legislation, authored by Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-124), passed the House by a vote of 100-43 after passing unanimously out of committee last month.

"The Texas House stood up for families and their pets today," said Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. "Breed discrimination has long been disproven as a method for determining a dog's behavior, and this bill will protect families from having to choose between putting a roof over their head or parting with their pet. Residents of public housing should not be unfairly targeted by policies that go around existing state law."

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), a strong show of bipartisan support in both urban and rural districts. The legislation is now to be considered by the Texas Senate.

HB 3798 would require housing authorities that allow pets to comply with county and/or municipal restrictions. Currently, Texas Health and Safety Code Sec. 822.047 prohibits local governments from creating dangerous dog laws based upon breed. The bill would promote healthier communities by protecting families, keeping more pets out of shelters, and reducing the financial burden on the taxpayer.

There are more than 60,000 public housing units in Texas, a state where nearly 97,000 pets die in shelters each year. Housing is the top reason cited by Texas pet owners surrendering a dog to a taxpayer-funded shelter. Breed organizations, including the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinary Medical Association, agree that breed does not dictate behavior and that breed discriminatory laws do not make communities safer. More information on Best Friends' campaign to keep pets and families together is available here.

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 625,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation's largest no-kill animal sanctuary.  Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,200 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.

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Contact:

Kate Constantini katec@bestfriends.org

Katherine Patterson katherinek@bestfriends.org (706) 766 - 7055