Felony Animal Cruelty Enhancements

Animal cruelty is not just about animals. The heinous abuse of companion animals occurs in family violence situations, criminal enterprises, and in local neighborhoods. The link between animal abuse and human violence is real, and our society suffers when animals suffer. 

Animal cruelty is not just about animals. The heinous abuse of companion animals occurs in family violence situations, criminal enterprises, and in local neighborhoods. The link between animal abuse and human violence is real, and our society suffers when animals suffer. The good news is that Texas sent a strong message to animal abusers with the passage of SB 762.

Previously, even the most extreme animal cruelty (torture and killing or seriously injuring an animal in a cruel manner) was only a State Jail Felony under Texas law, incurring an inadequately weak penalty of six months to two years’ imprisonment for this type of cruel and violent crime. This bill increases the punishment for those types of violent offenses to a third-degree felony that carries a penalty of imprisonment of 2 to 10 years.

This law also clarifies existing language that aids prosecutors and law enforcement in prosecuting and convicting animal abusers.


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  • Antonella Munoz
    Thank you! this is great news! Thank you for showing the Legislators the seriousness of this type of crimes, and to punish them accordingly. Sincerely,
    Antonella Munoz.