Can a person be prosecuted for letting a trapped cat out of the trap?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a person be prosecuted for letting a trapped cat out of the trap?

I live in a neighborhood in Texas, where the ordinance states that all pets must be on confined to the owners property or restrained on a leash. Stray/neighborhood Cats have taken to peeing on my porch and shrubs. I can’t deter them, so have a trap with a spring loaded drop door that I use to trap them, then call animal control. This morning, I trapped a cat and called animal control. When they arrived, someone had already released it. Could they be prosecuted for trespassing or any other criminal offense?

Asked on September 5, 2017 under Criminal Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The person can't be prosecuted yet....emphasis yet.  If you know who it was that came on your property, then you can issue them a criminal trespass warning.  Your local police department can assist with this.  If the person violates the warning, then they can be prosecuted. 

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