Animal Cruelty Felonies in Texas
In 2007 the Texas legislature passed Penal Code Chp 42.092 which increased the penalties for certain acts of animal cruelty from a misdemeanor to a felony and expanded the state’s cruelty laws to cover stray dogs and feral cats. The following is an overview of the statue.
State Jail Felonies include intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Killing, poisoning, or causing serious bodily injury to an animal without the owner’s consent
- Torturing an animal
- Killing an animal in a cruel manner
- Causing serious bodily injury to an animal in a cruel manner
- Causing one animal to fight with another animal
- using a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing on a racetrack
Class A misdemeanors include:
- Failing unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody
- abandoning unreasonably an animal in the person's custody
- Transporting or confining an animal in a cruel manner
- Causing bodily injury to an animal without the owner's consent
- Seriously overworking an animal
In addition, if a person who commits a class A misdemeanor has two prior convictions under the statue, the third offense will be deemed a state jail felony. Similarly, if a person who commits a state jail felony has two prior convictions under the statue, the third offense will be a deemed a 3rd degree felony.
The information in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice. The information provided is not intended to create, and viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Reporting Animal Abuse in Texas
- Texas SPCA- Report Animal Abuse
Anonymously report animal abuse occurring in the following eight counties: Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains & Van Zandt.
- Houston SPCA: Animal Cruelty Laws and Online Cruelty Submission Form
Anonymously report animal cruelty to the Houston SPCA.
- Houston Humane Society - Online Cruelty Submission Form
Anonymously Report animal cruelty to the Houston Humane Society.
- Tigers in Texas
There are at least 4,000 tigers in captivity in Texas, more than in the wild in India, a dangerous situation for citizens and cruel to the animals.
- Recent Animal Law Achievements in Texas
Overview of recent pro-animal laws passed in Texas. Summary of animal law achievements dealing with animal cruelty, animal abuse, dog fighting, cock fighting, and puppy mills.
More by this Author
Learn how to get free or reduced cost legal services in Texas. Overview of the best nonprofit legal service providers in Texas. Apply to get free legal representation.
Overview of the Texas Small Claims Court. Learn how to file a small claims suit in Texas.
Overview of the the different types of foreclosures in Texas. Step-by-step guide to the Texas foreclosure process.