EL PASO, Texas - Texas Senator Jose Rodriguez introduced a bill in the Texas legislature that would prevent convicted animal abusers from possessing another animal.
The Possession Ban Bill, SB 804, would amend a 2017 animal cruelty law and would allow judges the discretion to prohibit a defendant from possessing or exercising control over any animals or residing in a household where animals are present, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
In a video sent to ABC-7 Sen. Rodriguez said, "We know that people who abuse animals, abuse human beings, so we're trying to do everything we can to protect not just animals to get abused but also other people."
Regardless of what happens with the bill, the El Paso Animal Services told ABC-7 it has a process that prevents convicted animal abusers from adopting another pet.
Director of Animal Services Paula Powell said, "If we do get notification from the cruelty unit (EPPD) or from our own office, we actually put the person on the do not adopt list."
Powell said if the bill was passed it would formalize the policy they already have in place.
The Animal Cruelty Unity with the El Paso Police Department started in November 2017. An official told ABC-7, in 2018, there were 277 animal abuse cases. Out of those, 77 were issued criminal warrants and there were only a few convictions.
The bill was filed by Sen. Rodriquez in December, and it has a few more stages to go through before it becomes a law.