The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals wants to increase the awareness of how to prevent and report animal abuse, doing so by declaring April “Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month,” and urge people to educate themselves and others about existing laws on unintentional abuse, which can lead to misdemeanor charges.
The animal law Web site defines animal cruelty as torturing, failing to provide food, care or shelter, abandonment, transporting or confinement in a cruel manner, killing, seriously injuring or poisoning, causing an animal to fight with another, using a live animal as a lure in a dog race, tripping a horse or seriously overworking an animal.
The Texas animal cruelty laws are unique in that they only apply to domesticated animals, and if prosecuted in a criminal case, the subject may face penalties including a fine, loss of freedom or both. These convictions are classified as a either a misdemeanor or a felony. Additionally, if a minor is convicted of the offense, they will be required to undergo counseling.
In April 2008, a young adult chow-labrador mix was picked up by the Palo Pinto Humane Society after reports that J.R. Rosamond, had dragged the dog behind his pickup truck.
Dr. Jacqueline Talley from the Pet Western Animal Hospital in Mineral Wells explained the dog’s injuries included its toenails worn off or shredded, the pads on his feet missing, abrasions on elbows, knees, the tops of his back feet and under his stomach.
Another animal cruelty case, right here in Weatherford, in June 2000, David Tracy Bradshaw was found guilty for violating the Horse Protection Act. Bradshaw attempted to show his horse while it was sore and was caught. He was fined $2,000 and disqualified for one year from showing, exhibiting or entering any horse in any show or exhibition, including judging and managing.