As the 88th Texas Legislative Session Draws to a Close, We Celebrate Our Successes

The Texas legislature only meets every two years, which means when we want to create measurable change for animals we have to seize each opportunity with both hands. Together with our partners at the Texas Humane Legislation Network, our organization has been vocal in our support of several animal welfare bills during this session. To our great joy and relief, three important bills have been passed through the legislature and now make their way to the Governor’s desk!

Senate Bill 876The Texas Licensed Breeders Law
Texas has required dog and cat breeders to be licensed for over a decade, but the licensing law had significant loopholes. SB 876 fixes those loopholes by lowering number of breeding females that triggers licensing and removing the proof of sales requirement. As a result, commercial breeders with five or more breeding females now must pass inspections and meet basic standards of care for the animals in their facility.

House Bill 3660TNR is not Abandonment
In late 2022, confusion erupted over whether Trap-Neuter-Return (T-N-R) of unowned, community cats should be prosecuted as “abandonment” under Texas law. HB 3660 clears up this confusion by adding T-N-R to the statute without weakening the penalty for actual abandonment of owned companion animals.

House Bill 598Animal Cruelty Bill
Prior to 2023, Texas had an animal possession ban law, but it was quite limited in scope. A possession ban makes it a crime for a person convicted of animal cruelty to have access to more animals. HB 598 strengthens Texas possession ban by prohibiting anyone convicted of animal cruelty from acquiring or cohabitating with a companion animal for a period of five years.

We are fortunate to have friends in the Texas legislature who are willing to fight for the cause of animal welfare. We are proud to fight alongside them, our rescue partners, and the heroes at THLN to make life safer for companion animals throughout the state. And we are grateful to our supporters who give us the means to fight these worthy battles each and every day! To everyone who called your elected officials in support of these bills, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are all champions for the cause.

Lisa Tynan