Animal Wellness Action issues statement about new Texas law preventing people with cruelty convictions to own pets

New law will prohibit people who commit animal cruelty from owning pets

Stronger laws needed to prevent cruelty before it occurs

Cruelty to animals is a crime of violence and it is socially abnormal behavior. It’s often an indicator of a larger pathology.”

— Julie Marshall of AWA

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES, August 18, 2023/ — Today, Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy issued a statement on news that a new law in Texas will make it illegal for people with animal cruelty convictions to have a pet or live in a house with a pet for at least five years.

“It is critical that people convicted of animal cruelty prove that they have turned a corner and can safely live with animals,” said Julie Marshall, national communications director for Animal Wellness Action. “Cruelty to animals is a crime of violence and it is socially abnormal behavior. It’s often an indicator of a larger pathology.”

This new law is broad, and offenses include dogfighting, cockfighting, attacking an assistance animal or cruelty to a non-livestock animal.

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have issued the Fighting Inhumane Gambling and High-Risk Trafficking (FIGHT) Act, and the authors hope to include the provision as an amendment to the Farm bill. Both pieces of legislation were driven by concerns for the barbarism of animal fighting, other criminal behavior comingled with it, and disease threats to poultry posed by transporting fighting roosters.

The FIGHT Act, amending Section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act, would enhance the enforcement opportunities by banning simulcasting and gambling of animal fighting ventures; halting the shipment of mature roosters (chickens only) shipped through the U.S. mail (it is already illegal to ship dogs through the mail); creating a citizen suit provision, after proper notice to federal authorities, to allow private right of action against illegal animal fighters; and enhancing forfeiture provisions to include real property for animal fighting crimes.

Animal Wellness Action sends thanks to the Texas Humane Legislative Network and so many other Texas-based animal-welfare groups for advocating for strong laws for animals.


Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty and to encourage enforcement of our laws. We believe helping animals helps us all.

The Center for a Humane Economy (“the Center”) is a non-profit organization that focuses on influencing businesses to pay attention to animal cruelty in their operations and to eliminate harmful practices. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Wayne Pacelle Pacelle
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