AUSTIN (KXAN) — After Austin Pets Alive! said she cared for dogs with gunshot wounds, KXAN takes an in-depth look at animal cruelty laws in Texas.
The basis of the law states that “without the actual consent of the owner, kill, administer poison or cause serious bodily harm to an animal”.
“I think shooting and killing a dog should be a last resort,” said Eric Torberson, a central Texas attorney who has worked on several cases involving animals.
The law states that you can shoot a dog if it attacks your livestock, your pets, your children, or yourself.
“Would a reasonable person feel that they should prevent serious bodily harm to their children or themselves? That’s going to be a big factor in whether it’s animal cruelty or if you’re standing up for yourself,” Torberson said. “You can’t just kill a dog because he’s encroaching on your property.”
According to the Austin Police Department (APD), gun laws, both city ordinances and state law, must also be considered in these cases. The department said you may not harm or endanger another person while shooting a gun.
APD also stated that in Texas, dogs are considered property and “you may shoot/kill your dog for any reason.”
The law states, however, that you must do it “humanely”. This means you may not “torture an animal or cruelly kill or cause serious bodily harm to an animal.”
The definition of “cruel manner” is “a manner that causes or permits unwarranted or unwarranted pain or suffering.”