Texas

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Titlesort ascending Summary
TX - Assault, sexual of animal - § 21.09. Bestiality This law represents Texas' prohibition on bestiality, which was enacted in 2017. A person commits this offense if he or she engages in listed contact with an animal. Additionally, a person violates this law if he or she: possesses or provides an animal for such purpose; organizes, promotes or participates in such conduct; permits such conduct at premises under his or her control; engages in conduct listed described in the presence of a child younger than 18 years of age; or advertises, offers, or accepts the offer of an animal with the intent that the animal be used in this state for conduct described. Violation is a state jail felony unless the conduct is done in the presence of a child younger than 18 or the conduct results in serious bodily injury or death of the animal; the offense is a felony of the second degree in those cases.
TX - Animal Regulation - § 215.026. Animals at Large

This statute gives municipalities in the state of Texas to establish and regulate pounds and the running at large of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, swine or goats. The statute also allows municipalities to handle the capture, impounding, and sale of any animal at large that is in violation of this statute. Municipalities may also impose penalties on the owner of the animal that is in violation of the statute.

TX - Alligators - Chapter 65. Alligators


Under these Texas statutes, no person may take, sell, purchase, or possess an alligator, an alligator egg, or any part of an alligator without a permit. An offense is a misdemeanor.

Tilbury v. State


Cruelty conviction of defendant who shot and killed two domesticated dogs. Defendant knew dogs were domesticated because they lived nearby, had demeanor of pets, both wore collars, and had been previously seen by defendant.

Texas Attorney General Opinion No. JC-0552


Texas Attorney General Opinion clarifying a new provision in Chapter 822 of the Texas Health & Safety Code that requires all dangerous wild animals to be registered in the county in which they're located.  Otherwise, possession of these animals is unlawful.

Texas Attorney General Opinion No. JC-0048


Texas Attorney General Opinion regarding the issue of whether city ordinances are preempted by statutes that govern the treatment of animals. Specifically, the opinion discusses pigeon shoots. The opinion emphasizes that organized pigeon shoots are prohibited under Texas cruelty laws but that present wildlife laws allow the killing of feral pigeons.

Texas Attorney General Letter Opinion 94-071


Texas Attorney General Opinion regarding the issue of whether staged fights between penned hogs and dogs constitutes a criminal offense. The Assistant Attorney General deemed these staged fights as violating the criminal cruelty laws.

Swilley v. State In the indictment, the State alleged Appellant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly tortured or in a cruel manner killed or caused serious bodily injury to an animal by shooting a dog with a crossbow, a state jail felony. The dog in question was a stray, which fell within the statutory definition of an “animal.” After a jury found Appellant guilty, the trial court assessed his punishment at two years' confinement in a state jail. On appeal, Appellant contended that the trial court erred by denying his motion for a mistrial after the jury heard evidence of an extraneous offense also involving cruelty to animals. Since the video that mentioned the extraneous offense was admitted without objection, the court held the Appellant waived the error and the trial court did not err by denying Appellant's motion for mistrial or by giving the instruction to disregard and overrule Appellant's first issue. Appellant further asserted the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. The court, however, held the evidence was sufficient for a rational trier of fact to have found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Appellant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly tortured or in a cruel manner killed or caused serious bodily injury to an animal by shooting it with a crossbow. The trial court's judgment was therefore affirmed.
Strickland v. Medlen


The Supreme Court of Texas considers petitioner's appeal from the court of appeals' decision holding that a dog owner may recover intangible loss-of-companionship damages in the form of intrinsic or sentimental-value property damages. The facts underlying the action involved the improper euthanization of respondents' dog, Avery. They sued for Avery's “sentimental or intrinsic value” because the dog had little or no market value and was irreplaceable. The trial court found that Texas law barred such damages, and dismissed the suit with prejudice. The Court of Appeals of Texas became the first court to hold that a dog owner may recover intangible loss-of-companionship damages in the form of intrinsic or sentimental-value property damages. The Supreme Court reverses that decision here, ruling that dogs are ordinary property, with damages limited to market value, and noneconomic damages based in relational attachment are not permitted.

State v. Taylor


Defendant was charged with a violation of Section 822.005(a)(2) of the Texas Health and Safety Code - the dog attack statute. The trial court dismissed the indictment stating that Section 822.005(a)(2) was unconstitutional because it fails to set forth any required culpable mental state. The Court of Appeals, however, found that the statute was constitutional because it does set forth a culpable mental state. "[B]oth the plain language of Sections 822.005(a)(2) and 822.042 impose upon the owner of a dangerous dog the duty to restrain or secure his or her animal."   

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