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2015-04-02

'Convenience killings' no longer acceptable

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

A Senate Bill has been introduced in the Texas Legislature would, if enacted, end the killing of impounded animals out of convenience.
SB 1781 would make it illegal for shelters in the cities of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso and Austin to euthanize animals when empty cages are available or animals can safely share kennels or cages. This is already standard operating procedure in Austin.
Sponsored by Texas Senator Jose Menedez of San Antonio, SB 1781 relates to using euthanasia as a "last resort" in a county or municipal animal shelter in certain counties. This bill applies only to a county or municipal animal shelter in a county having a population of more than 500,000.
Additionally, this bill would not apply to:
• an animal suspected of carrying and exhibiting signs of rabies, as determined by a licensed veterinarian;
• a dog that, after severely injuring a person, has
been determined by a court with jurisdiction to be a dangerous dog under state law; or
• an animal with a poor or grave prognosis for
being able to live without severe, unremitting pain even with comprehensive, prompt and necessary veterinary care, as determined by a licensed veterinarian.
The bill can be viewed in its entirety at http://bit.ly/1xnvoqy. If enacted, it would take effect on Sept. 1.
Texas residents are urged to contact their state senators and request that they cosponsor SB 1781. A list of state senators is available at http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx.