Animal Cruelty Laws Strengthened by New State LawPress Release
AUSTIN, TX – Animal abusers in Texas will now face stiffer penalties thanks to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who recently signed new legislation into law.
Senate Bill (SB) 762 authored by Senator Jose Mendez (D) San Antonio and sponsored by State Rep. Joseph Moody (D) El Paso, strengthens the current animal cruelty law by increasing punishment says the Texas Humane Legislative Network (THLN). Penalties for certain types of violent offenses such as torturing, cruelly killing, poisoning, or causing serious bodily injury to an animal wil now increase to a third-degree felony's punishable by a two to ten year prison sentence.
Until now, an abuser could receive a sentence as little as 180 days for dousing a dog with accelerant and setting it on fire, an all-too-common form of abuse that has been seen in cities like Dallas, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, and others.
THLN Executive Director Laura Donahue said, “The days of negligible prison sentences for the most heinous and violent acts of cruelty against our companion animals are officially a part of Texas history.” She continued. “Moving forward the punishment will fit the crime.”
According to the THLN, instances of cruelty to animals have been increasing across the state. “The link between animal cruelty and domestic violence is well documented.” Donahue said. “When animals are safe from harm, communities are safer.”
The nonprofit organization, which advocates for strong, enforceable laws that will prohibit cruel acts against animals, has been working with Sen. Menendez and Rep. Joe Moody, on SB 762 long before the 2017 session started.
The new law takes effect September 1st.