Texas Health and Safety Code

Sec. § 821.023
Hearing; Order of Disposition or Return of Animal


(a)

A finding in a court of competent jurisdiction that the owner of an animal is guilty of an offense under Section 42.09 (Cruelty to Livestock Animals) or 42.092 (Cruelty to Nonlivestock Animals), Penal Code, involving the animal is prima facie evidence at a hearing authorized by Section 821.022 (Seizure of Cruelly Treated Animal) that the animal has been cruelly treated.

(a-1)

A finding in a court of competent jurisdiction that a person is guilty of an offense under Section 21.09 (Bestiality), Penal Code, is prima facie evidence at a hearing authorized by Section 821.022 (Seizure of Cruelly Treated Animal) that any animal in the person’s possession has been cruelly treated, regardless of whether the animal was subjected to conduct prohibited by Section 21.09 (Bestiality), Penal Code.

(b)

Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 576 (S.B. 762), Sec. 2, and Ch. 739 (S.B. 1232), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2017.

(c)

Each interested party is entitled to an opportunity to present evidence at the hearing.

(d)

If the court finds that the animal’s owner has cruelly treated the animal, the owner shall be divested of ownership of the animal, and the court shall:

(1)

order a public sale of the animal by auction;

(2)

order the animal given to a municipal or county animal shelter or a nonprofit animal welfare organization; or

(3)

order the animal humanely destroyed if the court decides that the best interests of the animal or that the public health and safety would be served by doing so.

(e)

After a court finds that an animal’s owner has cruelly treated the animal, the court shall order the owner to pay all court costs, including:

(1)

the administrative costs of:

(A)

investigation;

(B)

expert witnesses; and

(C)

conducting any public sale ordered by the court; and

(2)

the costs incurred by a municipal or county animal shelter or a nonprofit animal welfare organization in:

(A)

housing and caring for the animal during its impoundment; and

(B)

humanely destroying the animal if destruction is ordered by the court.

(e-1)

After a court finds that an animal’s owner has cruelly treated the animal, the court shall determine the estimated costs likely to be incurred by a municipal or county animal shelter or a nonprofit animal welfare organization to house and care for the impounded animal during the appeal process.

(e-2)

After making the determination under Subsection (e-1), the court at the time of entering the judgment shall set the amount of bond for an appeal equal to the sum of:

(1)

the amount of the court costs ordered under Subsection (e); and

(2)

the amount of the estimated costs determined under Subsection (e-1).

(e-3)

A court may not require a person to provide a bond in an amount greater than or in addition to the amount determined by the court under Subsection (e-2) to perfect an appeal under Section 821.025 (Appeal).

(e-4)

Notwithstanding any other law, the amount of court costs that a court may order under Subsection (e) and the amount of bond that a court determines under Subsection (e-2) are excluded in determining the court’s jurisdiction under Subtitle A, Title 2, Government Code.

(f)

The court may order that an animal disposed of under Subsection (d)(1) or (d)(2) be spayed or neutered at the cost of the receiving party.

(g)

The court shall order the animal returned to the owner if the court does not find that the animal’s owner has cruelly treated the animal.
Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 157, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 14.43, 14.44, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1043, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Amended by:
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 886 (H.B. 2328), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1278 (H.B. 963), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 576 (S.B. 762), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 739 (S.B. 1232), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2017.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 739 (S.B. 1232), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2017.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 7, 2021