Denying Proper Shelter to Man's Best Friend Is Not Only Inhumane - It's Against the Law

Jan 11, 2010, 16:58 ET from Texas Humane Legislation Network

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In the coldest winter in 30 years, concerned citizens are citing an alarming number of dogs being kept outdoors on chains or in pens with little or no protection from the extremities of weather.

Texas Humane Legislation Network urges you to report such cases to your local animal control officer, animal welfare agency, police department or county sheriff's department if outside the city limits.

Texas' animal cruelty statute (Penal Code, Chapter 42) makes it a Class A misdemeanor to fail to provide an animal with necessary food, water, care or shelter. Texas' Health and Safety Code, Chapter 821, provides local law enforcement officials the authority to seize cruelly treated animals and place them under the protection of a local animal welfare agency.

Current state laws enacted to protect animals from abuse and neglect can be found on the Texas Humane Legislation Network's website at State laws, however, are only effective if local law enforcement officials investigate cruelty reports and enforce the law.

If state laws are not being enforced in your city or county, contact your mayor, city council or county commissioners' court with specific examples along with detailed information and ask that those laws be enforced. Encourage other caring and responsible citizens in your community to do the same.

THLN commends Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada for his pro-active efforts to protect animals from this winter's freezing temperatures. Mayor Ahumada urges pet owners to bring their companion animals inside from the cold. If a pet cannot be kept inside, the City of Brownsville has made its animal shelter available and has opened an additional shelter to provide temporary care for pets during the winter weather. City of Brownsville Animal Control officers patrol the streets to intervene on behalf of animals found suffering in the outdoor elements and to issue citations to their owners for leaving them in the cold.

THLN is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that lobbies for effective state laws to protect animals from cruelty.

SOURCE Texas Humane Legislation Network