People who are accused of animal cruelty offenses in Texas may face criminal and civil sanctions.
In serious cases, those who are convicted of offenses against animals may end up in jail.
Recently, a man from Ennis man was convicted of felony animal cruelty and sentenced to 45 days in jail. The Dallas Morning News reported Daniel Loredo left an extension cord tightly wrapped around the neck of a pit bull terrier until it became embedded in the puppy’s neck.
The 30-year-old was convicted last year and received his sentence this month. According to information from Ellis County district attorney’s office, he agreed to a two-year term in state jail.
The majority of the 730 days were suspended, leaving Loredo serving 45 days in jail. He had to pay a fine of $2,000 and will serve five years of community supervision. Loredo will be banned from keeping any animals over the five years of supervision.
The puppy had to be put down due to an infection caused by the cord, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Loredo was arrested after animal control officers went out to his home in South McKinney Street in Ennis. Three children had reported the condition of the dog. The report said the cord had been wrapped around the puppy for so long it had disintegrated into the dog’s neck.
The puppy was removed from the home and taken to the SPCA of Ellis County, where it was euthanized due to the infection caused by the embedded extension cord.
Texas’s animal cruelty laws prohibit a person from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cruelly treating an animal. The SPCA points out the laws are narrow in that they only apply to domesticated animals or pets and livestock. Cruelty is defined as:
- Torture of an animal
- Failure to provide food, shelter or care to an animal;
- Abandonment of an animal
- Cruel transportation or confinement of an animal;
- Killing, seriously hurting or poisoning an animal;
- Arranging animals to fight;
- Using a live animal as a lure in a dog race;
- Tripping a horse;
- Injuring an animal that belongs another person;
- Seriously overworking an animal.
Animal cruelty became a felony in Texas in 2001 when “Loco’s Law,” was enacted. It was named after a puppy whose eyes were intentionally gouged out. Animal cruelty is punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to two years in jail. Animals can be taken away and owners can be ordered to pay restitution under the civil law in Texas which does not differentiate between domestic and wild animals.
There have been cases in which people who have shot dogs that have strayed onto their property and posed a possible threat, have faced an animal cruelty felony charge. If you have been charged with an animal cruelty offense, it’s important to hire experienced criminal counsel.