Humane Legislation: Please Help Defeat HB 1046

This communication is from the Houston SPCA:

The 81st Texas Legislative Session is in full gear and we need your help to continue protecting animals in the state of Texas. We ask that you take a moment to speak out for the animals seized in cruelty cases each year. The Houston SPCA, The Texas Humane Legislative Network and the Animals NEED YOUR VOICE.

ACTION ALERT: IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED TO DEFEAT HB 1046

Background
Under current law (Chapter 821B of the Health & Safety Code) when law enforcement officers seize cruelly treated animals the trial to determine whether or not the owner will be divested of ownership is held within 10 days in a Municipal or Justice of the Peace Court and the decision of that court is final and not appealable.

HB 1046 will change that and allow the owner to appeal the Municipal or Justice Court’s decision and get an entirely new trial.  If this bill passes, city and county attorneys will have to try these cruelty cases twice, which will be very costly to the cities and counties and will make the seizure and disposition of cruelly treated animals by law enforcement officers much more difficult and much more expensive.  Many small towns and lesser populated counties (where starving horses and puppy mills most often are) will not have the resources to pursue these types of cases.

Action Needed
This bill has been referred to the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee in the House of Representatives.  We need to contact each member of that Committee and ask that they oppose HB 1046.

Talking Points

1. HB 1046 will make the seizure and disposition of cruelly treated animals by law enforcement officers much more difficult and much more expensive.
2. If this bill passes, many small towns and lesser populated counties (where starving horses and puppy mills most often are) will not have the resources to pursue these types of cases.
3. Allowing appeals will cause additional expense to the shelters, cities and counties to keep and care for the animals during the appeal process which could last for months or even years.  Also during this time, the seized animals (which often total in the hundreds and are almost always malnourished and sick) will suffer longer and cannot be adopted or, when necessary, be euthanized.
Contact Information
The members of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee and their contact information is as follows:

Representatives  Email     512 Phone/Fax
Todd Hunter (Chair)
todd.hunter@house.state.tx.us 463-0672/463-2101
Bryan Hughes (Vice-Chair)
bryan.hughes@house.state.tx.us 463-0271/463-1515
Roberto Alonzo
roberto.alonzo@house.state.tx.us 463-0408/463-1817
Dan Branch
dan.branch@house.state.tx.us  463-0367/322-9935
Will Hartnett
will.hartnett@house.state.tx.us 463-0576/463-7827
Jim Jackson
jim.jackson@house.state.tx.us 463-0468/463-1044
David Leibowitz
david.leibowitz@house.state.tx.us 463-0269/320-0555
Tryon Lewis
tryon.lewis@house.state.tx.us  463-0546/463-8067
Jerry Madden
jerry.madden@house.state.tx.us 463-0544/463-9974
Armando “Mando” Martinez
mando.martinez@house.state.tx.us 463-0530/463-0849
Beverly Woolley
beverly.woolley@house.state.tx.us 463-0696/463-9333

PLEASE CALL, WRITE/FAX OR EMAIL THEM AND ASK THAT THEY OPPOSE THE BILL.  ALSO ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO DO THE SAME.  AS ALWAYS, PLEASE BE COURTEOUS AND POLITE WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR REPRESENTATIVES.

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