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Q. - Does Terrell have a city ordinance regarding
leaving an animal unattended in a hot vehicle? I recently encountered
this and was extremely disappointed at how this was handled by the police
officer that answered the call 90 minutes later. If we do not, we are
in desperate need of one.
Answer - According to Police Chief Lay, a case like
you described would most likely be considered under the Texas Penal
Code relating to cruelty to non-livestock animals. According to this
code, "a person commits an offense if the person intentionally,
knowingly, or recklessly fails unreasonably to provide necessary food,
water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody. If, under
the circumstances such treatment is deemed "unreasonable,"
the law provides for a very serious punishment. A Class A misdemeanor
carries up to a 1 year jail sentence and up to a $4,000 fine.
If you feel the situation was not handled properly, it would be helpful
if you would contact the Terrell Police Department and ask to speak
to a supervisor or with Chief Lay. The leadership of the City is committed
to excellent service and job performance. As with any organization,
we need feedback from our "customers".
Hal Richards, Mayor