TEXAS COMPANION ANIMAL RELATED LAWS
Texas Penal Code Title 9. Offenses Against Public Order and Decency. Chapter 42
§ 42.091. ATTACK ON ASSISTANCE ANIMAL
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly attacks, injures, or kills an assistance animal.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly incites or permits an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor to attack, injure, or kill an assistance animal and, as a result of the person's conduct, the assistance animal is attacked, injured, or killed.
(c) An offense under this section is a:
(1) Class A misdemeanor if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor attacks an assistance animal;
(2) state jail felony if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor injures an assistance animal; or
(3) felony of the third degree if the actor or an animal owned by or otherwise in the custody of the actor kills an assistance animal.
(d) A court shall order a defendant convicted of an offense under Subsection (a) to make restitution to the owner of the assistance animal for:
(1) related veterinary or medical bills;
(2) the cost of:
(A) replacing the assistance animal; or
(B) retraining an injured assistance animal by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide special equipment for or special training to an animal to help a person with a disability; and
(3) any other expense reasonably incurred as a result of the offense.
(e) In this section:
(1) “Assistance animal” has the meaning assigned by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code.
(2) “Custody” has the meaning assigned by Section 42. 09.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 710, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
§ 42.092. CRUELTY TO NONLIVESTOCK ANIMALS
(a) In this section:
(1) “Abandon” includes abandoning an animal in the person's custody without making reasonable arrangements for assumption of custody by another person.
(2) “Animal” means a domesticated living creature, including any stray or feral cat or dog, and a wild living creature previously captured. The term does not include an uncaptured wild living creature or a livestock animal.
(3) “Cruel manner” includes a manner that causes or permits unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering.
(4) “Custody” includes responsibility for the health, safety, and welfare of an animal subject to the person's care and control, regardless of ownership of the animal.
(5) “Depredation” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.001, Parks and Wildlife Code.
(6) “Livestock animal” has the meaning assigned by Section 42.09.
(7) “Necessary food, water, care, or shelter” includes food, water, care, or shelter provided to the extent required to maintain the animal in a state of good health.
(8) “Torture” includes any act that causes unjustifiable pain or suffering.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(1) tortures an animal or in a cruel manner kills or causes serious bodily injury to an animal;
(2) without the owner's effective consent, kills, administers poison to, or causes serious bodily injury to an animal;
(3) fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody;
(4) abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's custody;
(5) transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner;
(6) without the owner's effective consent, causes bodily injury to an animal;
(7) causes one animal to fight with another animal, if either animal is not a dog;
(8) uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing on a racetrack; or
(9) seriously overworks an animal.
(c) An offense under Subsection (b)(3), (4), (5), (6), or (9) is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a state jail felony if the person has previously been convicted two times under this section, two times under Section 42.09, or one time under this section and one time under Section 42.09.
(c-1) An offense under Subsection (b)(1) or (2) is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the person has previously been convicted under Subsection (b)(1), (2), (7), or (8) or under Section 42.09.
(c-2) An offense under Subsection (b)(7) or (8) is a state jail felony, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the person has previously been convicted under this section or under Section 42.09.
(d) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) the actor had a reasonable fear of bodily injury to the actor or to another person by a dangerous wild animal as defined by Section 822.101, Health and Safety Code; or
(2) the actor was engaged in bona fide experimentation for scientific research.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (b)(2) or (6) that:
(1) the animal was discovered on the person's property in the act of or after injuring or killing the person's livestock animals or damaging the person's crops and that the person killed or injured the animal at the time of this discovery; or
(2) the person killed or injured the animal within the scope of the person's employment as a public servant or in furtherance of activities or operations associated with electricity transmission or distribution, electricity generation or operations associated with the generation of electricity, or natural gas delivery.
(f) It is an exception to the application of this section that the conduct engaged in by the actor is a generally accepted and otherwise lawful:
(1) form of conduct occurring solely for the purpose of or in support of:
- A) fishing, hunting, or trapping; or
(B) wildlife management, wildlife or depredation control, or shooting preserve practices as regulated by state and federal law; or
(2) animal husbandry or agriculture practice involving livestock animals.
(g) This section does not create a civil cause of action for damages or enforcement of the section.
Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 886 (H.B. 2328), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 576 (S.B. 762), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 739 (S.B. 1232), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2017.
§ 42.10. DOG FIGHTING
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly:
(1) causes a dog to fight with another dog;
(2) participates in the earnings of or operates a facility used for dog fighting;
(3) uses or permits another to use any real estate, building, room, tent, arena, or other property for dog fighting;
(4) owns or possesses dog-fighting equipment with the intent that the equipment be used to train a dog for dog fighting or in furtherance of dog fighting;
(5) owns or trains a dog with the intent that the dog be used in an exhibition of dog fighting; or
(6) attends as a spectator an exhibition of dog fighting.
(b) In this section:
(1) “Dog fighting” means any situation in which one dog attacks or fights with another dog.
(2) “Dog-fighting equipment” has the meaning assigned by Article 18.18(g), Code of Criminal Procedure.
(c) A conviction under Subsection (a)(2) or (3) may be had upon the uncorroborated testimony of a party to the offense.
(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(1) that the actor caused a dog to fight with another dog to protect livestock, other property, or a person from the other dog, and for no other purpose.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a)(4), (5), or (6) is a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under Subsection (a)(1), (2), or (3) is a state jail felony.
Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 1610, ch. 305, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Renumbered from Penal Code Sec. 42.111 and amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 644 (H.B. 916), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1357 (S.B. 554), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.
CRUELTY COMPLAINTS REGARDING DOGS, CATS, HORSES AND ALL OTHER ANIMALS
Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force (HCACTF) - 832-972-PAWS (7297) www.972PAWS.org
Houston SPCA - 713-869-7722 - Ask for Cruelty Investigations
Texas Health and Safety Code TITLE 10. Health and Safety of Animals. Chapter 821
- § 821.077. UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOG
(a) An owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog's movement:
(1) between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.;
(2) within 500 feet of the premises of a school; or
(3) in the case of extreme weather conditions, including conditions in which:
(A) the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit;
(B) a heat advisory has been issued by a local or state authority or jurisdiction; or
(C) a hurricane, tropical storm, or tornado warning has been issued for the jurisdiction by the National Weather Service.
(b) In this section, a restraint unreasonably limits a dog's movement if the restraint:
(1) uses a collar that is pinch-type, prong-type, or choke-type or that is not properly fitted to the dog;
(2) is a length shorter than the greater of:
(A) five times the length of the dog, as measured from the tip of the dog's nose to the base of the dog's tail; or
(B) 10 feet;
(3) is in an unsafe condition; or
(4) causes injury to the dog.
Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 674 (H.B. 1411), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.
§ 821.078. EXCEPTIONS
Section 821.077 does not apply to:
(1) a dog restrained to a running line, pulley, or trolley system and that is not restrained to the running line, pulley, or trolley system by means of a pinch-type, prong-type, choke-type, or improperly fitted collar;
(2) a dog restrained in compliance with the requirements of a camping or recreational area as defined by a federal, state, or local authority or jurisdiction;
(3) a dog restrained for a reasonable period, not to exceed three hours in a 24-hour period, and no longer than is necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be restrained;
(4) a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in, or actively training for, an activity that is conducted pursuant to a valid license issued by this state if the activity for which the license is issued is associated with the use or presence of a dog;
(5) a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of shepherding or herding cattle or livestock; or
(6) a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of cultivating agricultural products, if the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.
Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 674 (H.B. 1411), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.
City of Houston Texas Code of Ordinances Article IV. – Dogs and Cats Division 4.
SEC. 6-118. ROADSIDE AND FLEA MARKET SALES
(a)It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, trade, barter, lease, rent, give away, or display for a commercial purpose a live animal on a roadside, public right-of-way, commercial parking lot, or at an outdoor special sale, swap meet, flea market, parking lot sale, or similar event.
(b)This section does not apply to:
(1)An agent of a business that has a certificate of occupancy from the building inspection division authorizing the occupancy of the premises for purposes of operating a business selling pets;
(2)An event primarily for the sale of agricultural livestock such as hoofed animals or animals or fowl commonly raised for food, dairy, or fiber products; or
(3)A tax-exempt non-profit organization founded for the purpose of providing humane sanctuary or shelter for abandoned or unwanted animals.
(Ord. No. 07-148, § 11, 1-31-07; Ord. No. 2010-398, § 21, 6-2-2010)
REPORT ROADSIDE ANIMAL SALES. Call (281) 999-3191 to report violators.
Last updated 09/2020
"We cannot discount the lives of sensitive and intelligent creatures merely because they assume non-human form."