AUSTIN (KXAN) - A bill to create an animal abuse database in Texas passed the Senate Tuesday night 25-5. However, a last-minute amendment to HB 1103 made sure the database – similar to the state's sex offender registry – only be available to police.
In addition to the registry, animal cruelty offenders must attend a responsible pet owner class. Some people would not be allowed to adopt pets either.
The bill would require people convicted of cruelty to animals, attacks on an assistance animal, cruelty to livestock, and dogfighting to be listed on the registry, which would be managed by the Department of Public Safety.
Critics in the Senate argue the bill is too harsh for people convicted of animal cruelty as opposed to sex offenders.
KXAN covered the idea for this registry significantly since last fall, when lawmakers first started working with animal advocacy groups. Law enforcement was generally on board.
Monday marks the end of the regular session, and HB 1103 must now return to the House for final approval. A similar Senate bill was left pending in committee.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures will continue across much of Central Texas all day Saturday. A second disturbance associated with the winter storm that slammed Texas Thursday and Friday could lead to more freezing precipitation Saturday and …