SB 1781

84(R) - 2015
Senate Intergovernmental Relations
Senate Intergovernmental Relations
Intergovernmental Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Jose Menendez

Bill Caption

Relating to the euthanasia of animals in animal shelters located in certain counties.

Fiscal Notes

The cost to a local government would depend on the number of stray animals in an area, the amount of kennel and shelter space,and other resources of an entity. According to Texas Association of Counties, El Paso County reported 2,428 animals were picked up by the Sheriff's office in the unincorporated areas of the county last year. These animals spent an average of three days in shelter prior to being adopted, returned to owner, or euthanized. Approximately 95% of the animals were euthanized. The county reported every additional day in shelter is $10 and the cost to euthanize an animal is $16.

Bill Analysis

SB 1781 seeks to make the euthanasia of cats, dogs, or other shelter animals a last resort for shelters in Bexar county and counties along the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border.  

Under the provisions of this bill a person may not euthanize a cat, dog, or other shelter animal if they can be safely placed in an empty or shared (with an animal of the same species) cage, kennel, or other living environment. This does not include areas designated for people to become acquainted with the animals nor does it include areas designated for the treatment of sick or injured animals.

SB 1781 would not apply to to sick or rabid animals, animals deemed dangerous to themselves or others, or terminally ill animals. 

SB 1781 does not require an agent of a shelter to: group unrelated or unfamiliar animals together before health and behavior screenings, group animals that bully other animals together, or place more than 6 dogs or 12 cats in a cage, kennel, or other living environment unless deemed appropriate by a staff member. 

SB 1781 does not prohibit a person who is an agent of an animal shelter from euthanizing an animal to make a cage or kennel space available for an additional animal, if the additional animal is expected to arrive at the animal shelter within a reasonable period of time.

Vote Recommendation Notes

SB 1781 seeks to make euthanasia a last resort for shelter animals in the counties bracketed into this bill by maximizing space at the shelters. It is debatable whether this will solve the issue or simply delay animal euthanasia until the shelter becomes full. Even so this is a bracketed bill that deals with what is largely a social issue. We do not take positions on social issues, therefore we are neutral on this legislation.