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New Texas Law Increases Prison Time For Animal Abusers

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For animal lovers, even briefly considering how poorly some animals are treated is devastating. Since many Texans find mistreating creatures deplorable, a new law has gained traction. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed Senate Bill 762, which increases jail time for first and repeat offenders of animal abuse. Chron.com explains that it closes a loophole the previous law left exposed and let some people walk free to offend again.

“Moving forward, the punishments will fit the crime,” Texas Human Legislation Network (THLN) executive director, Laura Donahue said. KXAN explains that now a “Class A misdemeanor [will turn] into a 3rd-degree felony. Right now, only repeat offenders can get two years in jail. But beginning in September, if convicted, a person can face 10 years in jail or 20 years for repeat offenses.”

THLN volunteer Natalie Lynch says that she’s seen many cases where animal abusers haven’t received strong punishment, and they turn to abusing people. She hopes that the passing of the new bill will show Texans that there are consequences to abusing animals.

KXAN also points out that some people are worried that the law could allow the criminal to convince a jury that animal abuse isn’t worth a long time behind bars, but we won’t see until the new law goes into effect this September.