Animals on the Lege by Amy

This legislative session is shaping up to be an exciting one for Texas animals.  Just a quick glance at the animal-related bills being considered (puppy mill licensing, mandatory spay/neuter, etc) shows that our lawmakers are carefully considering ways to improve the lives of animals in Texas.  It’s definitely encouraging, but it can be challenging to stay up to date on all the humane legislation being considered in Texas.  To stay informed about developments at the Capitol, I go to two online sources and I thought they might be useful to you.

I prefer to start by going straight to the source and reading the full text of a bill without commentary.  If you like to do the same, you should visit the web site for Texas Legislature Online and set up a “My TLO.”  This is a free, personalized service that allows you to search for bills by keywords or subject areas and set up alerts that can be sent to you via e-mail or even your cell phone when an action is taken on bills in your lists.  I really appreciate getting an e-mail when a bill I am watching goes to committee or gets a hearing date.  I also get an alert if any new bills are introduced that might be of interest to me.  From the e-mail alert, I can easily click through and track progress on the bill as well as read it in it’s full format to help me get objective, detailed information.

After I’ve done that, I like to get a more subjective take on the bill from a source like the the Texas Humane Legislation Network for background information and analysis, and to get their take on the potential impact of the bill.  THLN is a non-profit that advocates for the enactment and enforcement of laws that ensure the humane treatment of Texas’ animals.  They maintain an action alert list of current bills that will have an impact on animals, and you can sign up for an e-mail alert system here as well.  You won’t get full text or the more technical information you can get directly from the TLO, but you can get very valuable information that will help you form an opinion about a bill, as well as directing you to take specific actions to help when needed.

I hope you find both of these sources as helpful as I have, and I encourage you to get informed about bills that might impact companion animals and thier owners in Texas. At the very least, it is exciting to get regular e-mails that reflect our great state’s progress towards becoming a more humane place for animals and the people who love them.


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