Sunday marked the last day Governor Abbott could sign or veto a bill, and as you may have heard, Senate Bill 762 - our bill to address violent animal cruelty - was signed!
Strengthening animal protection laws is always a significant victory, but was even more-so a fait de complet this session. Of the 6,600 bills filed, only 19% passed, the lowest number since 1995.
Unbelievably though, for the first time in Texas history, a Governor has declared his stance against animal cruelty! Governor Abbott recently tweeted from his personal twitter account, “Animal Cruelty is unacceptable in Texas. Thanks to #txlege for strengthening the law.”
On September 1st, SB 762 will become law. This marks the 5th time the THLN has strengthened felony cruelty provisions in this statute. The last enhancement was in 2001, when the story of a blind dog named Loco brought a statewide spotlight to plight of animals suffering from extreme torture and cruelty. After a decade and a half of insufficient penalties, we have now right-sized the punishment and have confidence this will provide prosecutors with the law they need to bring justice to these voiceless victims.
We want to thank author Senator Menendez, sponsor Representative Moody, and all the legislators who supported this critical bill. Did your legislator vote the right way? If so, please email him or her and say thank you! You can see the recorded bill votes here.
While THLN worked tirelessly on our legislative priorities, our Legislative Committee and lobbying team was also laser focused on nearly 60 other bills that amended protections for animals in some way. We helped lobby for, and provided witness testimony, coalition building, and technical assistance to more than a dozen bills. What passed and what didn’t? Check out our 2017 legislation page here. Bills are hyperlinked back to the Texas Legislature Online website where you can see the history of actions and bill sponsors.
Our Network is stronger than ever because of you and your support, and THLN is committed to making our grassroots advocacy build critical momentum as we prepare for the evaluation of humane candidates for the March primaries. Please check out upcoming events and let us know if you’d like to volunteer!
Thank you advocates!