Texas Penal Code - Section 42.09. Cruelty To Animals
Legal Research Home >
Texas Laws > Penal Code > Texas Penal Code - Section 42.09. Cruelty To Animals
Section: 42.055 42.06 42.061 42.062 42.07 42.072 42.08 42.09 42.091 42.10 42.11 42.12 42.13 43.01 43.02
§ 42.09. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. (a) A person commits an
offense if the person intentionally or knowingly:
(1) tortures an animal;
(2) fails unreasonably to provide necessary food,
care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody;
(3) abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's
(4) transports or confines an animal in a cruel
(5) kills, seriously injures, or administers poison to
an animal, other than cattle, horses, sheep, swine, or goats,
belonging to another without legal authority or the owner's
(6) causes one animal to fight with another;
(7) uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training
or in dog coursing on a racetrack;
(8) trips a horse;
(9) injures an animal, other than cattle, horses,
sheep, swine, or goats, belonging to another without legal
authority or the owner's effective consent; or
(10) seriously overworks an animal.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
the actor was engaged in bona fide experimentation for scientific
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Abandon" includes abandoning an animal in the
person's custody without making reasonable arrangements for
assumption of custody by another person.
(2) "Animal" means a domesticated living creature and
wild living creature previously captured. "Animal" does not include
an uncaptured wild creature or a wild creature whose capture was
accomplished by conduct at issue under this section.
(3) "Cruel manner" includes a manner that causes or
permits unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering.
(4) "Custody" includes responsibility for the health,
safety, and welfare of an animal subject to the person's care and
control, regardless of ownership of the animal.
(5) "Necessary food, care, or shelter" includes food,
care, or shelter provided to the extent required to maintain the
animal in a state of good health.
(6) "Trip" means to use an object to cause a horse to
fall or lose its balance.
(d) An offense under Subsection (a)(2), (3), (4), (9), or
(10) is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a state
jail felony if the person has previously been convicted two times
under this section.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5)
that the animal was discovered on the person's property in the act
of or immediately after injuring or killing the person's goats,
sheep, cattle, horses, swine, or poultry and that the person killed
or injured the animal at the time of this discovery.
(f) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(8)
that the actor tripped the horse for the purpose of identifying the
ownership of the horse or giving veterinary care to the horse.
(g) It is a defense to prosecution for an offense under this
section that the person had a reasonable fear of bodily injury to
the person or to another by a dangerous wild animal as defined by
Section 822.101, Health and Safety Code.
(h) It is an exception to the application of this section
that the conduct engaged in by the actor is a generally accepted and
(1) use of an animal if that use occurs solely for the
(A) fishing, hunting, or trapping; or
(B) wildlife control as regulated by state and
federal law; or
(2) animal husbandry or farming practice involving
(i) An offense under Subsection (a)(1), (5), (6), (7), or
(8) is a state jail felony, except that the offense is a felony of
the third degree if the person has previously been convicted two
times under this section.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 917, ch. 342, § 12, eff.
Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 549, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 78, § 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.
Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 42.11 and amended by Acts
1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. Amended by
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, § 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts
1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1283, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001,
77th Leg., ch. 54, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg.,
ch. 450, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275,
§ 2(116), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Last modified: August 11, 2007