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Is It Illegal to Abandon a Dog in Texas?


Recently, a man was arrested for abandoning his dog on the side of the road in Dallas. According to WFAA, the incident happened on Teagarden Road near Dowdy Ferry Road. A surveillance camera in the area recorded the man pulling to the side of the road, letting his German Shepherd mix out of his vehicle, and driving off as the dog chased after him.

Dallas Police were able to use the footage to identify and track down the man. He admitted to abandoning the dog. He was arrested and charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals – abandon, which is a misdemeanor.

Types of Animal Cruelty in Texas

In Texas, it is illegal to mistreat an animal, abandon it without providing reasonable care and attention, fail to provide necessary food and water, transport an animal in a cruel manner, hurt or injure an animal, or kill an animal without legal justification. It’s important to note that each individual case may have its own unique set of factors that can influence potential punishments. However, often those found guilty of committing animal cruelty can face severe fines and jail time along with a permanent scar on their criminal record.

What Is Considered Illegally Abandoning a Dog in Texas?

It is considered animal cruelty and illegal to abandon a dog in Texas. This is defined as leaving a dog in any public place or on someone else's property without intending to return for it. Abandoning or neglecting a dog by not providing the dog with food, water, adequate shelter, or care is also considered illegal in Texas. If convicted of breaking this law, there are serious repercussions, including fines and possible jail time.

Penalties for Illegally Abandoning a Dog in Texas

In Texas, abandoning a dog is considered a serious animal cruelty offense that carries strict punishments. The penalties for abandoning a dog in Texas can include:

  • Misdemeanor – Abandoning a dog is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. If convicted, a person can face up to a year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
  • Felony – People who are arrested for abandoning a dog in Texas more than once can face State Jail Felony charges. If convicted, a person can face up to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

The judge also has the discretion to impose additional punishments depending on the severity of the case and any extenuating circumstances. In addition, depending on the municipality where an individual is charged with animal cruelty for abandoning a dog, violations may carry civil fees in addition to those imposed by criminal law. This means individuals convicted of abandoning animals can be required to pay fines even exceeding what was initially suggested by criminal court.

Charged with Illegally Abandoning a Dog in Texas? Contact Our Animal Cruelty Defense Attorney in Denton Today

If you have been charged with animal cruelty for abandoning a dog in Texas, Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law may be able to help you. Attorney Adame has been successfully helping clients facing criminal charges in Texas defend their rights for over two decades. He understands what it takes to have criminal charges reduced or dismissed, and he has a proven track record of securing the best possible outcome for his clients.

To learn more about Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law, check out our case results.

Call us at 940.441.4239 or contact us online today for a free consultation with our experienced animal cruelty defense lawyer in Denton.

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