Friday, March 13, 2009

Help Defeat House Bill HB 1046

HB 1046, the bill that would allow appeals in civil seizure cases involving cruelty to animals will be heard before the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee at 2:00 pm, Monday, March 16, 2009, in Room E2.010, the Capitol Extension Building, Austin, Texas.

Thank you to those who responded to our original Action Alert to oppose this bill. Your calls, letters and emails have been duly noted by the members of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee and are having a BIG impact. Now's the chance to put the final nail in this bill's coffin!!

Under current law 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.

Action NeededPlease contact or re-contact the members of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee and ask them to oppose HB 1046. Also, if possible, please come to Austin to sign in as opposing this bill. You will not be asked to testify, all you have to do is sign a card and turn it in to the clerk.

Talking Points
HB 1046 will make the seizure and disposition of cruelly treated animals by law enforcement officers much more difficult and much more expensive.

  • 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.
  • Allowing appeals will cause additional expense to the cities and counties to keep and care for the animals during the appeal process which could last for months.
  • 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.
  • Taxpayers should not have to pay the expense of keeping cruelly treated animals.

Contact Information
Contact the members of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee at these adresses:

Representatives Email 512 Phone/Fax
Todd Hunter (Chair) todd.hunter@house.state.tx.us463-0672/463-2101
Bryan Hughes (Vice-Chair) 463-0271/463-1515
Roberto Alonzo 463-0408/463-1817
Dan Branch 463-0367/322-9935
Will Hartnett 463-0576/463-7827
Jim Jackson 463-0468/463-1044
David Leibowit 463-0269/320-0555
Tryon Lewis 463-0546/463-8067
Jerry Madden 463-0544/463-9974
Armando "Mando" Martinez 463-0530/463-0849
Beverly Woolley 463-0696/463-9333

Please call, write/FAX or email each of them to oppose the bill
Ask your friends and neighbors to do the same. As always, please be courteous and polite when communicating with the Representative and their staff.