‘Abbott Hates Dogs’ tops Twitter trends after Texas governor vetoes animal cruelty bill


Texas Governor Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State speech at Visionary Fiber Technologies outside Lockhart, TX. Abbott is proposing expansion of telemedicine and increased broadband access for rural Texans among other policies. (Bob Daemmrich for Nexstar)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After his Monday veto of a bill expanding animal cruelty laws in Texas, the internet’s giving Governor Greg Abbott a “ruff” time.

If the governor had signed Senate Bill 474, or the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, it would have become a Class C misdemeanor if someone knowingly left a restrained dog outside while unattended — unless certain humane parameters were made to ensure the animal’s safety and comfort.

But Abbott said the bill would be “micro-managing” dog owners. He added that existing laws already outlaw animal cruelty.

“Texans love their dogs,” he said. “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 ratio.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the Twittersphere — including Texas Democrats — took Abbott to task. So much so that #AbbottHatesDogs appeared at the top of the national trending boards.

In addition to the canine criticism, Abbott vetoed over 20 other bills this legislative session. One notable action was his veto of the article of the state budget that pays for the Legislative branch’s pay — citing a Democrat-led walkout over the state’s failed elections bill, SB 7.

KXAN has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment.

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