Enforcement Of Texas Felony Law Making Progress

The past month has seen significant progress in Texas justice for animals. On September 2, the Dallas Morning News reported that a Dallas man convicted of felony animal cruelty in the death of his neighbor's dog received the maximum possible sentence allowable under the law: ten years in prison and a $14,000 fine. Carey McMillan was convicted and sentenced after jurors watched a videotape of him goading his two pitbulls to tear apart and kill his neighbor's dog, Cisco.

A few weeks earlier, in Denton County, Texas, prosecutors filed felony animal cruelty charges against a man who reportedly caused the death of Bull, a one-year-old black Labrador retriever. According to the Dallas Morning News, Richard Swift wrapped duct tape around Bull's snout, head and neck on a 95-degree day, reportedly to stop the dog from barking. Bull later escaped his yard and collapsed from heat stroke at a neighbor's feet. Despite efforts to save him, Bull suffered multiple seizures and swelling in his brain, and he later died at a veterinary hospital.

These developments are significant because although Texas passed its felony animal cruelty law in 1997, there have been few, if any, successful prosecutions under the law to date. These latest cases show that the tide may be turning for animals under Texas' legal system.


You can help ensure this upswing in prosecutions of violent animal abusers in Texas continues. Contact the Denton County District Attorney and thank him for pursuing the animal cruelty case against Richard Swift. Encourage him to maintain the felony charges against Mr. Swift and to seek significant jail time upon conviction.

Mr. Bruce Isaacks
District Attorney
1450 E. McKinney St
Ste. 3100
Denton, TX 76209
Fax: 940-349-2601

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