Hill County Paw Pals, Hill County, Texas

Shooting a Dog or Cat Can Lead to a Felony Offense


Any person who shoots a non-livestock animal, which includes any stray or feral cat or dog, and a wild living creature previously captured, can be charged with a felony offense.  Penal Code 42.092 of the State of Texas law states that a person must have the owner’s consent to kill the animal (exceptions to prosecution are provided in Section 42.092(e)(1)).  It is clear that a “stray” dog or cat either has no owner or that the person who shoots the animal did not get the owner’s consent.  So what do we as citizens, law enforcement, or a community as a whole do without a place to take a “stray”?  The answer lies with your proactive action—as a citizen, become directly involved—let your elected representative know you want positive change in how our county and your community deals with (or in some cases won’t deal with) animal control.  Doing nothing is simply inviting undesirable consequences because of the liabilities inherent in pet overpopulation—health, economics, legal, and safety (HELS).  There is a pressing and undeniable need for animal control which would include an operational animal shelter serving all of Hill County.  Without an animal shelter, there is absolutely no support for over 70% of Hill County citizens to take “strays”.  Of the fourteen cities with elected governments in Hill County, only one has a dedicated impoundment facility (Hillsboro).  With almost the entire county lacking basic animal control protection and limited lawful means to handle “strays”, many Hill County residents are left out in the cold to watch helplessly as “strays” are simply allowed to roam and breed at will, potentially endangering livestock, property, and human lives.


The exponential breeding rate of dogs and cats perfectly illustrates why proactive measures are needed in the form of Education, Legislation, and Sterilization programs:  One female and one male dog, in seven (7) generations, can produce 4,372 offspring.  Two uncontrolled breeding cats can produce 420,715 cats in seven (7) generations.  This total for cats balloons to 10 million cats after 10 years.


Simply reacting after the fact to pet overpopulation is similar to hiding our heads in the sand.  Pet overpopulation can be easily corrected with the positive intervention of us, as citizens, and our elected representatives, serving the people.  Only a small segment of irresponsible pet owners are at the root of pet overpopulation.  If education cannot alone correct these irresponsible attitudes towards pet ownership responsibility, then the enforcement of existing animal control laws (there are some nine State of Texas laws) can adjust their attitudes through the penalty of fines or even imprisonment.  Pet overpopulation is a serious liability to live with and it can be controlled.  The majority of animal control laws were written specifically with the safety of our families in mind. 


If you would like to help with Paw Pals’ endeavors to correct pet overpopulation in our great county, call (254) 580-0679; email hcpawpals@yahoo.com; or visit our website hcpawpals.org for more information.  A public meeting (always on the first Thursday) for Paw Pals has been scheduled at 6:30pm on Thursday, February 7th at Hill College Cafeteria in Hillsboro.  Invited guest speakers are: Michelle Carlson, Attorney at Law, who will speak on the Legal Liabilities of Pet Overpopulation, Mr. Tom Hemrick, Candidate for Hill County Sheriff, and Mr. Danny Bodeker, Candidate for County Commissioner Precinct #1 who will speak about their respective candidacies.