Texas House Bill 1083 seeks to provide for the quick termination of ownership rights in animals that are impounded by an animal shelter. Instead of a uniform statewide minimum holding period before ownership rights would be terminated, as is customary in other states, HB 1083 would let local governments set a holding period for such animals; however, it does not require them to do so and does not require holding periods to be of a minimum amount of time.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) works to protect the rights of all dog owners. We believe HB 1083 represents a radical step toward ending an individual’s ownership rights in cases where dogs accidentally get out of their owner’s possession, or the possession of someone entrusted to their care, including pet sitters, boarding kennels, dog day cares, groomers, and veterinarians. The lack of mandated, minimum holding periods would effectively provide shelters with the power to automatically terminate an individual’s ownership rights in their animals without giving owners an appropriate amount of time to reclaim their animal.
It is imperative that all Texas dog owners contact the members of the House County Affairs Committee to respectfully urge opposition to HB 1083 before it considers the bill on Tuesday, April 20.
What You Can Do:
Texas dog owners are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the House County Affairs Committee to respectfully urge them to vote no on HB 1083 as introduced. Texas residents who wish to electronically submit comments against HB 1083 without testifying in person can do so until the Tuesday, April 20, meeting is adjourned by visiting: https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c210.
Individual committee members may be reached as follows:
Rep. Garnet F. Coleman, Chair (Dist. 147 – Houston)
Dist. Phone: 713-520-5355
Rep. Lynn Stucky, Vice Chair (Dist. 64 – Denton)
Dist. Phone: 940-243-0230
Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson (Dist. 56 – Waco)
Dist. Phone: 254-754-3892
Rep. Jeff Cason (Dist. 92 – Bedford)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0522
Rep. Oscar Longoria (Dist. 35 – Mission)
Dist. Phone: 956-580-6944
Rep. Ray Lopez (Dist. 125 – San Antonio)
Dist. Phone: (210) 684-5419
Click here for a form to email Rep. Lopez.
Rep. David Spiller (Dist. 68 – Jacksboro)
Capitol Phone: 512-463-0526
Rep. Phil Stephenson (Dist. 85 – Wharton)
Dist. Phone: (281) 232-7900
Rep. John Turner (Dist. 114 – Dallas)
Dist. Phone: 214-234-7625
Texas residents who would like to testify in person, information for in-person witness registration can be found here: https://mytxlegis.capitol.texas.gov/HWRSPublic/About.aspx. A live video broadcast of the committee hearing will be available here: https://house.texas.gov/video-audio/.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to provide updates on HB 1083 and other pending Texas legislation as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org; or contact AKC’s Texas federation, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance at email@example.com.