Animal Cruelty cases

936-539-7800
Mon – Fri 8am - 5pm
Sat & Sun Closed

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office is committed to the prosecution of individuals who abuse animals. The need for the zealous prosecution of these crimes against animals is heightened by the link between violence against animals and violence against humans.


How can I help stop Animal Cruelty in Montgomery County?
You can help by reporting animal cruelty in Montgomery County to the law enforcement department where the cruelty is occurring or has occurred. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact the Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867). If an animal is in immediate danger, please call 911

Montgomery County Animal Control Authority
8535 Hwy 242
Conroe, Texas 77385


Dispatch:

936-442-7738 (Press 2) Fax: 936-442-7739


Shelter Hours:

Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

What is Animal Cruelty?
Animal cruelty occurs when someone intentionally injures or harms an animal or when a person willfully deprives an animal of food, water or necessary medical care. 

Is Animal Cruelty a crime?
In Texas, a person can be charged with the criminal offense Animal Cruelty if they commit any of the following acts:


  1. A person tortures an animal
  2. A person fails to provide necessary food, care or shelter for an animal
  3. A person abandons an animal
  4. A person transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner
  5. A person kills, seriously injures, or administers poison to an animal
  6. A person causes an animal to fight with another animal
  7. A person injures an animal belonging to another
  8. A person seriously overworks an animal


Is Animal Cruelty a felony or a misdemeanor?
Animal Cruelty charges can be brought against an individual as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the specific facts of the case and the person’s criminal history. Animal Cruelty is a State Jail Felony when a person tortures an animal, kills or seriously injures an animal, or causes an animal to fight another animal. Unless a person has been previously convicted of Animal Cruelty, most other Animal Cruelty cases are Class “A” Misdemeanors. Of the 22 Animal Cruelty charges brought against Defendants since 2012 in Montgomery County, 16 of the cases were felony Animal Cruelty cases.     


If a person is charged with Animal Cruelty, what kind of punishment will he or she typically face?
Like most criminal offenses, there is no “standard punishment” for Animal Cruelty cases, and the type of punishment can vary depending on a number of factors, including the gravity of the offense and the criminal history of the person charged. For example, if a person has been convicted of Cruelty to Animals two previous times, the offense is enhanced to a 3rd Degree Felony and a person can face up to 10 years of imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. If a person is charged with misdemeanor Animal Cruelty, the range of punishment is up to a $4000 fine and confinement in the Montgomery County jail not to exceed 1 year.


There's an animal in my community who isn't being cared for properly—is that animal cruelty?
It certainly can be. You don't have to hit an animal to be cruel to him—substantially depriving an animal of food, water or necessary medical care can be neglect, which is a form of cruelty.


There are three general categories of animal neglect: simple neglect, abandonment and severe neglect. 

  1. Simple neglect (failure to provide basic needs) is not always considered a criminal act, and can often be resolved by the intervention of local animal care and control or humane agencies, which may be able to offer resources and educate offenders on how to provide proper care for their animals. 
  2. Abandonment can occur when an owner moves and leaves an animal behind, or in serious cases intentionally deposits an animal in a place with no intention of retrieving the animal or securing proper care for the animal.
  3. Severe neglect can occur when a person intentionally or knowingly withholds food or water needed to prevent starvation or dehydration. Severe neglect can also occur in situations where animals are hoarded, bred commercially, or kept in vehicles that are too hot. 


What are signs of Animal Cruelty?
Citizens can be watch for signs of animal cruelty in Montgomery County and then report them to the appropriate law enforcement agency (The District Attorney’s Office prosecutes Animal Cruelty cases after receiving investigations from law enforcement agencies, but generally does not receive reports of animal cruelty directly).  Without tips from the public, many animals would remain helpless and in potentially dire situations.


Signs of animal cruelty include the following:

  • Open wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that is not being treated 
  • Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes 
  • Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible 
  • Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites 
  • Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally 
  • Heavy discharge from eyes or nose 
  • An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal 
  • Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness
  • Killing, seriously injuring, or poisoning an animal
  • Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary 
  • Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter 
  • Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them 
  • Animals are housed in kennels or cages that are too crowded with other animals or are too small to allow them to stand or turn around 
  • Animal is seriously overworked
  • Animals being forced to fight with another animals


Why is it important to prosecute the crime of Animal Cruelty?
An increasing amount of research has indicated that there is a direct correlation between animal abuse and other violent crimes. One reason for this link is the fact that when children observe violent acts, they are gradually numbed to the commission and consequences of those disturbing acts, and subsequently more likely to commit those acts themselves. When a child does not have respect for the lives of animals and begins to abuse animals at a young age, this often results in a propensity towards violence against humans later in the child’s life. A study found that 70% of people who abuse animals have committed at least one other criminal offense, and that 40% of those people have committed a violent crime against another person. When a person has no regard for the lives of animals, this disregard is often indicative of a person’s disregard for the lives of humans. 


By reporting acts of animal cruelty, the community can potentially uncover other types of violence. 


Additional Animal Cruelty Resources: 
For information about Montgomery County’s Animal Control Program, please follow this link:
http://www.mctx.org/dept/departments_a-b/animal_control/


For a visual diagram that details the proper weight of a non-livestock animal, please follow this link:
http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/nutrition-support-service/body-condition-scoring-chart


For general information about Animal Cruelty, please follow this link:
http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty


For information about Animal Cruelty Laws in Texas, please follow this link:
http://www.spca.org/law


For a visual diagram the details the assessment of body condition for horses, please follow this link:
http://purinamills.com/animal-nutrition-information/articles/horses/body-condition-scoring/


For information about the correlation between animal cruelty and other violent crimes, please follow this link:
http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/NDAA%20Animal%20Abuse%20monograph%20150dpi%20complete.pdf​