Feral Cats, homeless dogs & the law: www.THLN.com/?pageID=7D0E4D78-3048-C277-11D5702982B04857

Legislative Victories via TX Humane Legislation Network

www.THLN.com/?pageID=7D0E4D78-3048-C277-11D5702982B04857

Animal Cruelty Statute Amendments

Happy PuppySome of the amendments to the State Animal Cruelty Statute that THLN has been  involved with include:

  • A  bill that increased the penalty for a third animal cruelty offense from  a  Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony (SB 143, passed 1997).
  • A  bill that increased the penalty for aggravated acts of animal cruelty  from  a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony, and from a state  jail felony to a  third degree felony on the third conviction (HB 653/SB  1724, passed  2001).
  • HB 2328 (passed 2007) makes it a  felony to kill, administer poison to, or  cause serious bodily injury to  homeless dogs and feral cats. It also closed  numerous loopholes in the  existing Cruelty Statute, and lowered the mental state  for proof of  animal cruelty from intentional or knowingly to reckless, which  makes  proof of animal abuse much easier.  It also added the requirement of  water  to the list of required care elements for an animal in someone’s   custody.
  • THLN was instrumental in the passage of HB  963 (2011) which provides one common set of rules and requirements for  appeals from all civil courts hearing cases involving the seizure and  disposition of cruelly treated animals.  It also provides adequate  security for restitution of the costs incurred by the government agency  or non-profit organization in taking care of the animals during the  litigation process and expedites the appeal process so that the animals  are not held in limbo for extended periods of time.
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