Strengthen animal cruelty punishments in current Texas Statute 42.09
  • Petitioning Texas Governor

This petition will be delivered to:

Texas Governor
Texas State Senate
Texas State House
State Rep. Geanie Morrison
State Rep. James White
State Rep. Travis Clardy
State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen
State Rep. Rick Miller
State Rep. Matt Schaefer
State Rep. Allan Ritter
State Rep. Bryan Hughes
State Rep. Todd Hunter
State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt
State Rep. Ron Reynolds
State Rep. Marsha Farney
State Rep. Abel Herrero
State Rep. Lance Gooden
State Rep. David Simpson
State Rep. John Raney
State Rep. Greg Bonnen
State Rep. Steve Toth
State Rep. John Otto

Strengthen animal cruelty punishments in current Texas Statute 42.09

    1. Petition by

      Meadow Haven Horse Rescue

Steps need to be taken to make animal cruelty a serious crime.  Our current statute considers it a Class A Misdemeanor with multiple convictions required to make this crime a felony. This crime should be a felony and soon.  Additionally, individuals who surrender their animals to avoid prosecution should have to pay restitution to their future caretakers for the care of the animals surrendered.  If stronger punishments are not levied, this cruelty will continue unchecked. 

Recent signatures


    1. Waiting for the Political Wheels to Turn

      Yesterday I contacted Justin Unruh, Chief of Staff for Rep. Geanie Morrison, to be told again that they are working on getting our request for action to the proper committees. Please call (512-463-0456), write or email Rep. Morrison's office and let her know we are serious about getting changes to Statute 42.09 to make failure to provide water, feed and care for animals a state jail felony and not a Class A Misdemeanor.

    2. Reached 17,500 signatures
    3. Small Steps Forward

      I am pleased to let everyone know that Justin Unruh, Chief of Staff for Representative Morrison, has contacted me and advised that our cause has been placed on the Agenda for consideration for upcoming legislation. It is vital that every Texan who wants to see our penalties for animal cruelty strengthened send a letter, make a phone call or email Rep. Morrison's office to let them know your thoughts. The more support shown, the more likely our cause will be heard. Don't just say you want to help - take a moment and contact Rep. Morrison's office. Make that effort TODAY!

    4. Progress Slowed

      Am very disappointed to report that Representative Geanie Morrison has chosen NOT to support our cause. Her office has "re-directed" me elsewhere. Feel free to let her know how you feel about her decision. I will continue to source for a representative who will help us.

    5. Positive Progress towards our Goal

      Today I received a phone call and email from my contact in Rep. Herrero's office/Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence detailing the results of their research comparing Texas animal cruelty laws to other states along with other valuable and helpful data. With this information I've sent a letter to Rep. Geanie Morrison asking for her support in carrying a revised and strengthened version of the penalty portion of Section 42.09 to the next legislative session. I will keep you posted.

    6. New Year's Update

      Received a call on January 10, 2014, from my contact in Rep. Herrero's office (Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence) to advise me that a draft has been prepared and is now being reviewed. States with strong animal cruelty laws (WA, OR, CA) were analyzed in conjunction with this draft and I should be receiving the draft within the next two weeks. At that time the process will begin to get a Representative to consider sponsoring it for legislation presentation. I will keep you posted on any and all progress. Please continue to share and pass information along to generate more signatures for this Petition. We are being heard.

    7. Response from Committee On Criminal Jurisprudence

      Today I contacted Representative Abel Herrero’s office (Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence) and was advised that an individual has been assigned to do further research regarding strengthening the penalties in Texas Statute 42.09 on animal cruelty. This will involve reviewing both our Texas law and those in other states who have stronger penalties along with analyzing what meets legal requirements and due process. When this review is complete, draft legislation will be prepared. We still have a long ways to go to accomplish our goal, but the ball is rolling. Don’t stop sharing the Petition so that more signatures may be gathered! Contact your legislators; utilize social media….whatever it takes! The more signatures we have, the louder our voice to our Senators and Representatives. Let us be heard!

    8. Response from State Representative!

      We thank Representative Patrick for her response and acknowledgment of our concerns. Please keep sharing the Petition to gain even more signatures. We are being heard!

    9. Decision-maker Diane Patrick responds:

      Diane Patrick

      Thank you for contacting our office regarding your concern for animal cruelty punishments in Texas. I appreciate you providing this information and will review the penal code as it relates to animal cruelty to ensure their process and pun...

    10. Reached 15,000 signatures
    11. Over 8000 signatures in one day!

      In one day we have gained over 8000 signatures - people are letting their thoughts be heard. Thank you everyone who has signed and shared and let's keep this momentum going. Texans are now 76% of our signers so our lawmakers will know we mean it when we say we want the animal cruelty punishment laws strengthened.

    12. Reached 10,000 signatures
    13. WE DID IT!

      Thank you everyone for signing - we have now reached 2505 signatures - let's not stop the momentum. Please continue to share with friends and family. Our goal is a MINIMUM of 5000 signatures of individuals who want to put some teeth into our punishments for animal cruelty in Texas Penal Code 42.09.

    14. Reached 2,500 signatures
    15. Progress Update

      We are making great progress! As of today we are approaching 2500 signatures and we want to thank each and every one of you for taking your time to support this cause. I would also like to report that Rep. Herrero’s office has responded to my correspondence as follows: “I am working with The Texas Legislative Council and Texas Legislative Reference Library to research the laws in other states as well as past legislative attempts to fully address animal cruelty in Texas. Please know that we are working diligently on this matter and will get back you as soon as possible.” We are being heard!

      Please continue to help get more people to sign this petition. I would love to have at least 5000 signatures to present to our Legislators to show that we truly believe these laws need to be strengthened to protect against animal cruelty! Please help us accomplish this goal so that those who commit this horrendous crime will be faced with severe penalties.

    16. Reached 2,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sarah Tucker CRESSON, TX
      • 4 days ago

      As I feel the courts have often times not given offenders hard enough punishment for their cruelty against animals in their care.

    • Antonio Merlo SAN ANTONIO, TX
      • 8 days ago

      Animals have rights! Its time people pay for their crimes.. All crimes against animals should be a felony

      • about 1 month ago

      What disgusting treatment of these animals!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!!! STOP AND PUNISH THOSE AND PUT THEM IN JAIL. NO animal should be treated like this!!!!

    • Tina Sabey WALNUT CREEK, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      what is wrong is wrong is nobody is standing up for the ones who love us with true hearts

    • Cindi Salvatore CHANDLER, AZ
      • about 1 month ago

      We must be the voice for the voiceless. Animal cruelty is inexcusable.


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