H.B. 963 has passed the legislature and has been sent to Gov. Rick Perry for signature. This bill makes appeals to a county court de novo in cases where an animal is taken from an owner convicted of cruel treatment, meaning the court must consider the case as if no decision had been made by a lower court. The defendant would have a right to a jury trial.
The bill would also require a cash or surety bond to be posted to cover the costs of caring for animals held pending an appeal.