Great news for furry, feathered, and scaled Texans. Starting in September, animal abuse in Texas could earn culprits up to 10 years in jail and up to 20 years for repeat offenses. This past weekend Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 762 into law. The bill was penned by Senator Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) and Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso).
The new law turns a Class A Misdemeanor into a 3rd Degree Felony. Currently, even repeat offenders get at most two years in jail, with many walking away almost scot free. Under the new law, animal abuse in Texas becomes a much more serious crime with life-altering consequences. An abuser could be convicted at the age of thirty, and remain behind bars until his fifties. In light of the fact that many animal abusers also engage in domestic violence or escalate to child abuse, this law could well protect more than just pets.