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Fort Worth, Texas

Code of Ordinances. City of Fort Worth, Texas. Part II - Code. Chapter 6. Animals and Fowl.

Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 06/2012
Disclaimer: Due to the overwhelming number of cities and counties across the United States, the Animal Legal & Historical Center's collection reflects only a sample of all animal-related ordinances. Many ordinances are not complete sets and have been edited for a particular topic. If you do not see your city or county listed on the website, please refer to your local government’s website or try searching Municode or American Legal Publishing (http://www.amlegal.com/library/ and http://www.municode.com/Library). Please note that we update ordinances once a year, so the ordinances on this website may not be the most current version.
Statute Details
Printable Version

Citation: Sec. 6.1 to 6.86

Summary:  

The following comprises Fort Worth, Texas' animal-related ordinances. A person commits an offense if the person owns, keeps, harbors, or has custody of any female dog or cat over 6 months or of any male dog or cat over 8 months of age that is unaltered unless such person has a valid intact pet permit. Another section makes it unlawful to interfere with an animal care and control officer while engaged in the performance of his or her duties. The city outlines sanitation standards for animals kept by owners and limits the number of dogs and cats one may keep to 3 of each species. In addition, the city declares that a person who keeps a dangerous animal (as defined) other than a dog as commits a public nuisance, and outlines specific registration and enclosure requirements for dangerous animals. A subsequent section describes the dangerous dog provisions. In addition to registration, licensing, rabies vaccination, and impoundment provisions, the city has some interesting ordinances related to the keeping of miniature swine, unlawful acts of docking and cropping, and the procedure for picking up of dead animals by the city.



Ordinance Text in Full:

ARTICLE I. - IN GENERAL

ARTICLE II. - RESTRAINT OF ANIMALS

ARTICLE III. - DANGEROUS ANIMALS

ARTICLE IV. - DOG AND CAT LICENSES

ARTICLE V. - RABIES CONTROL

ARTICLE VI. - ANIMAL CONTROL IMPOUNDMENT; FEES

ARTICLE VII. - ADOPTIONS AND STERILIZATION FOR ADOPTED DOGS AND CATS; MANDATORY STERILIZATION FOR UNRESTRAINED DOGS AND CATS

ARTICLE VIII. - CARE AND HUMANE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS

ARTICLE IX. - ANIMAL ESTABLISHMENTS

ARTICLE X. - MINIATURE SWINE

ARTICLE XI. - ANIMAL SHELTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

ARTICLE I. - IN GENERAL

Sec. 6-1. - Definitions.

Sec. 6-2. - Purpose and scope.

Sec. 6-3. - Animal care and control section; animal care and control.

Sec. 6-4. - Exemption of city officials from liability.

Sec. 6-5. - Violations; penalties.

Sec. 6-6. - Incorporation by reference.

Sec. 6-7. - Interference with animal [care and] control officer.

Sec. 6-8. - Sanitary standards.

Sec. 6-9. - Inspection of animals and premises.

Sec. 6-10. - Noncomplying premises; remedies.

Sec. 6-11. - Number of dogs and cats at residences.

Sec. 6-12. - Nuisances declared.

Sec. 6-12.1. - Parental responsibility.

ARTICLE II. - RESTRAINT OF ANIMALS

Sec. 6-13. - Restraint of animals.

ARTICLE III. - DANGEROUS ANIMALS [35]

DIVISION 1. - DANGEROUS ANIMALS OTHER THAN A DOG

Sec. 6-13.5. - Nuisance declared.

Sec. 6-14. - Finding of an animal, other than a dog, as "dangerous."

Sec. 6-15. - Requirements for owner of dangerous animal other than a dog.

Sec. 6-16. - Failure to comply with requirements.

Sec. 6-17. - Registration of a dangerous animal other than a dog.

Sec. 6-18. - Attack by dangerous animal other than a dog.

Sec. 6-19. - Violations.

Sec. 6-20. - Defense.

DIVISION 2. - DANGEROUS DOGS [36]

Sec. 6-20.1. - Nuisance declared.

Sec. 6-20.2. - Dangerous dog incident.

Sec. 6-20.3. - Dangerous dog investigation.

Sec. 6-20.4. - Reporting of incident.

Sec. 6-20.5. - Hearing for dangerous dog determination.

Sec. 6-20.6. - Failure to surrender dog

Sec. 6-20.7. - Requirements for owners of a dangerous dog.

Sec. 6-20.8. - Dangerous dog registration.

Sec. 6-20.9. - Defenses.

Sec. 6-20.10 - Violations.

ARTICLE IV. - DOG AND CAT LICENSES [37]

Sec. 6-21. - Purpose.

Sec. 6-22. - License required.

Sec. 6-22.1. - Intact pet permit.

Sec. 6-23. - License application; fee.

Sec. 6-24. - Revocation.

Sec. 6-25. - Collection of license fees and issuance of tags by designated veterinarians.

Sec. 6-26. - Supplies accounting procedure.

Sec. 6-27. - Penalty.

Secs. 6-28—6-40. - Reserved.

ARTICLE V. - RABIES CONTROL

Sec. 6-41. - Rabies vaccination.

Sec. 6-42. - Domestic animals that exhibit rabies symptoms or reasonably indicate rabies symptoms.

ARTICLE VI. - ANIMAL CONTROL IMPOUNDMENT; FEES

Sec. 6-43. - Impoundment; notice; disposition.

Sec. 6-44. - Time; fees: impoundment; bite; boarding; vaccination or license.

Sec. 6-45. - Release from impoundment.

ARTICLE VII. - ADOPTIONS AND STERILIZATION FOR ADOPTED DOGS AND CATS; MANDATORY STERILIZATION FOR UNRESTRAINED DOGS AND CATS [38]

Sec. 6-46. - Requirements for adoption and reclamation.

Sec. 6-47. - Confirmation of sterilization and vaccination, death or lost or stolen animal.

Sec. 6-48. - Noncompliance with sterilization agreement; animal care and control center right of reclamation.

Sec. 6-49. - Reserved.

Sec. 6-50. - Reserved.

Secs. 6-51—6-60. - Reserved.

ARTICLE VIII. - CARE AND HUMANE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS

Sec. 6-61. - Unlawful acts enumerated.

Sec. 6-62. - Keeping of certain animals prohibited.

Sec. 6-63. - Guard dogs.

Sec. 6-64. - Dead animal pickup.

Sec. 6-65. - Proper care of animals.

Secs. 6-66—6-76. - Reserved.

ARTICLE IX. - ANIMAL ESTABLISHMENTS

Sec. 6-77. - Compliance.

Sec. 6-78. - Minimum standards for animal establishments.

Sec. 6-79. - Prohibited sales.

ARTICLE X. - MINIATURE SWINE

Sec. 6-80. - Miniature swine generally.

Sec. 6-81. - Vaccination requirements.

Sec. 6-82. - Registration requirements.

Sec. 6-83. - Conditions.

Sec. 6-84. - Violations; penalties.

ARTICLE XI. - ANIMAL SHELTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Sec. 6-85. - Creation.

Sec. 6-86. - Meetings.


Sec. 6-1. - Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:

Adequate enclosure:

(1) Means an enclosure or structure that complies with all of the requirements of section 6-13(a) of this Code.

(2) Adequate enclosure does not mean enclosure or confinement by an invisible or electronic fence.

Adoption of a dog or cat: The release of the animal from the care, custody, control or ownership of the animal care and control center to a person who agrees to assume ownership responsibilities for the care of that animal as defined in this chapter.

Aggressive animal: Any animal which, when unprovoked chases or approaches a person upon any public or private property in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack such that a reasonable person would believe the animal would cause physical injury to the person.

Aggressive dog: Means any dog that the director determines has, without provocation:

(1) Repeatedly attacked and injured other domestic animals within its own enclosure, provided, however that basic interaction and play among animals of the same species does not constitute an "attack" for purposes of this provision; or

(2) Repeatedly bitten one (1) or more persons who are lawfully inside the animal's enclosure; or

(3) Repeatedly attempted to climb over, dig under, chew through, break, or otherwise escape from its enclosure in an attempt to attack, chase, or harass a person or another domestic animal as observed by a person charged with enforcing this chapter.

Animal: Any living, vertebrate creature, domestic or wild, other than homo sapiens.

Animal care and control center: Center operated by City of Fort Worth.

Animal care and control center: Any facility operated or designated by the city for the purpose of impounding and caring for animals as prescribed by law.

Animal [care and] control authority: A municipal animal [care and] control office with authority over the area where the dog is kept.

Animal care and control officer: The animal care and control manager and his/her authorized agents or employees of the animal care and control division.

Animal establishment: Any pet shop, kennel, grooming shop, auction, performing animal exhibition, or other facility engaged in the handling of domestic animals, excluding veterinary clinics, hospitals, animal shelters and individuals caring for animals in their private residence in compliance with the terms of this chapter.

Animal shelter: A facility that keeps or legally impounds stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals.

Applicable fees: Those reasonable charges incurred for the care and maintenance provided by the animal care and control center for impounded animals.

Assistance animal: An animal that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and that:

(1) Is used by a person with a disability who has satisfactorily completed a specific course of training in the use of the animal; and

(2) Has been trained by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide animals with training of this type.

At large or running at large: Any animal not kept under restraint.

Bodily injury: Physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

Cat: A commonly domesticated member of the Felidae (feline) family, other than a lion, tiger, bobcat, jaguar, panther, leopard, cougar or other prohibited animal.

Cat license: A legally granted privilege, upon compliance with the terms of this chapter, to own, keep, harbor, or have custody or control of a cat within the city.

Cat license tag: A metal tag authorized by the city for attachment to a cat collar which displays a serial number corresponding to the number of cat license for such animal, and which shows the year the license was issued by the city or a designated veterinarian.

Circus: A commercial variety show featuring animal acts for public entertainment.

City: The City of Fort Worth.

City health officer: The director of public health for the city, or his/her designated representatives.

Dangerous animal: An animal, other than a dog, that:

(1) Makes an unprovoked attack on a person or other animal that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the animal was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the animal from leaving the enclosure on its own; or

(2) Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the animal was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the animal from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the animal will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.

Dangerous dog: A dog that:

(1) Makes an unprovoked attack on a person or other animal that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or

(2) Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.

Designated veterinarian: A licensed veterinarian who has been approved by the city animal care and control manager to collect fees and issue cat license tags or dog license tags for animals upon proof of an owner's current rabies vaccination for that animal.

Director: The Director of the City of Fort Worth Code Compliance Department or that individual's designee.

Direct physical control: Within the owner's observation and in such close proximity as to permit the owner reasonable opportunity to control the animal, should it become necessary to do so in order to protect the animal, a human or another animal from harm.

Dog: A commonly domesticated member of the Canidae (canine) family, other than a wolf, jackal, fox, dingo, coyote, or other prohibited canines.

Dog license: A legally granted privilege, upon compliance with the terms of this chapter, to own, keep, harbor or have custody or control of a dog within the city.

Dog license tag: A metal tag authorized by the city for attachment to a dog collar which displays a serial number corresponding to the number of dog license for such animal, and which shows the year the license was issued by the city or a designated veterinarian.

Dog tethering: Using a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device to attach a dog to a stationary object or trolley system.

Domestic animal: Includes livestock, caged or penned fowl other than animals belonging to the class aves, order Falconiforms and subdivision Raptae, normal household pets, such as but not limited to dogs, cats, cockatiels, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, fish or small, nonpoisonous reptiles or nonpoisonous snakes.

Emu: A fowl of the Order of Struthioniforme.

Ferret license: A legally granted privilege, upon compliance with the terms of this chapter, to own, keep, harbor, or have custody or control of a ferret within the city.

Ferret license tag: A metal tag authorized by the city for attachment to a ferret collar which displays a serial number corresponding to the number of ferret license for such animal, and which shows the year the license was issued by the city or a designated veterinarian.

Fowl: Any bird.

Guard dog: Any dog which has been trained for the purpose of protecting property by a guard dog company which is required to be licensed pursuant to Art. 4413(29bb), V.T.C.S., as amended from time to time.

High risk animals: Animals which have a high probability of transmitting rabies; including but not limited to skunks, bats, foxes, coyotes and raccoons.

Impound: To take an animal into custody by the city; impoundment shall begin at the time any animal [care and] control officer or police officer takes control of an animal either by hand, rope, trap, projectile or confinement to a vehicle.

Institution of higher education: Has the meaning as defined by Section 61.003(8) of the Education Code, V.T.C.A., as amended from time to time.

Intact animal: An animal which is sold without a spay/neuter contract.

Kennel: Any premises in which four (4) or more dogs three (3) months of age or older are kept; or where the business of buying, selling, breeding, grooming, training or boarding of dogs is conducted; does not include veterinary hospitals or humane societies.

Licensed veterinarian: A human being authorized to practice veterinary medicine who is currently licensed by the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Livestock: An animal raised for human consumption or an equine animal including, but not limited to, a horse, stallion, mare, gelding, filly, colt, mule, hinny, jack, jennet, hog, sheep, goat, a head of any species of cattle, or an emu, ostrich or rhea.

Livestock dog: A dog which is used for agrarian purposes in the herding and/or guarding of livestock.

Local rabies control authority: The officer designated by the city under the Health and Safety Code § 826.017 or his or her designee.

Low risk animals: Animals which have a low probability of transmitting rabies; including but not limited to all animals of the orders Marsupialia, Insectivora, Rodentia, Lagomorpha and Xenarthra.

Miniature swine: Any member of the swine family which has, through selective breeding, been genetically manipulated so as to attain a maximum height of twenty (20) inches at the shoulder and a maximum weight of one hundred twenty (120) pounds.

Ostrich: A fowl of the Order of Struthioniforme.

Owner: Any person who owns, keeps, shelters, maintains, feeds, harbors or has temporary or permanent custody of a domestic or prohibited animal, or who knowingly permits a domestic or prohibited animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by that person over which that person has control. An animal shall be deemed to be owned by a person who harbored it, fed it or sheltered it for three (3) consecutive days or more.

Person: means an individual, association, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, joint-stock company, or foundation.

Pet: Any animal kept for pleasure rather than utility.

Pet shop: A commercial enterprise regularly engaged in the buying, selling, grooming, breeding or boarding of animals.

Places of public assembly: Any place where people congregate, such as public buildings, parks, schools, flea markets and recreations areas; does not include a private residence, residential or commercial street.

Prohibited animal:

(1) Any animal not normally born and raised in captivity, including but not limited to the following:

a. Class Reptilia: Family Helodermatidae (venomous lizards) and Family Hydrophiidae (Venomous Marine snakes); Family Viperidae (rattlesnakes, pit vipers and true vipers); Family Elapidae (coral snakes, cobras, and mambas); Family Columbridae-Dispholidus Typus (boomslang); Bioga Dendrophilia (mangrove snake) and Kirklandii (twig snake only); Order Crocodilia (such as crocodiles and alligators);

b. Class Aves: Order Falconiforms (such as hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures);

c. Class Mammalia: Order Carnivores,

1.Family Felidea (such as lions, tigers, bobcats, jaguars, leopards and cougars), except commonly domesticated cats;

2. Family Canidae (such as wolves, dingos, coyotes, foxes and jackals), and any hybrid of an animal listed in his section except commonly domesticated dogs;

3. Family Mustelida (such as weasels, skunks, martins, minks, badgers and otters) except ferrets;
4. Family Procyonidae (such as raccoons and coati);

5. Family Ursidae (such as bears);

6. Marsupialia (such as kangaroos, opossums, koala bears, wallabys, bandicoots, and wombats);

7. Chiroperta (bats);

8. Edentata (such as sloths, anteaters, and armadillo);

9. Probosidea (elephants);

10. Primata (such as monkeys, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas);

11. Rodentia (such as beavers and porcupines); and

12. Ungulata (such as antelope, deer, bison and camels);

d. Class Amphibi: Poisonous frogs. Does not include non poisonous reptiles or non poisonous snakes.

(2) Does not include livestock, fowl or normal household pets, such as but not limited to dogs, cats, cockatiels, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, fish or small, nonpoisonous reptiles, or nonpoisonous snakes.

Properly fitted with respect to a collar or other neck restraint: One that measures the circumference of a dog's neck plus at least one (1) inch. With respect to a harness, properly fitted means one (1) that is of an adequate size, design, and construction as appropriate for the dog's size and weight.

Public nuisance: Whatever is declared by the city health officer to be dangerous to human life, health or welfare, or to threaten to become detrimental to the public health or welfare.

Quarantine: To take into custody and place in confinement as defined in this chapter isolated from human beings and other animals in such a way as to preclude the possibility of disease transmission. The quarantine period for a dog, cat, or a domestic ferret in rabies quarantine is ten (10) days from the date of the bite, scratch or other exposure, or as recommended by the regional veterinarian from the Texas Department of Health.

Rabies: An acute viral disease of man and animal affecting the central nervous system and usually transmitted by an animal bite.

Releasing agency: Animal care and control center, animal shelter, or nonprofit organization engaged in caring for animals.

Replacement license: A license issued to the new owner of a dog or cat which was currently licensed with the city at the time of the transfer of the ownership of the animal. A replacement license shall be valid only through the expiration date of the original license.

Restraint: An animal is under restraint under the following conditions:

(1) It is kept in an adequate enclosure; or

(2) It is accompanied by its owner or trainer at a bona fide dog show, field trial or exhibition; or

(3) It is secured by a leash of at least five (5) and not more than ten (10) feet in length and of sufficient strength to control the animal while the animal is being walked; or

(4) A specially trained dog that is used by a blind or deaf individual to aid him/her within the city; or

(5) A guard dog in the performance of duty in an enclosed building or securely fenced and locked area which is marked on all sides with signs in four-inch letters stating "guard dog" and clearly visible to the public; or

(6) A dog in a place of public assembly and effectively and securely muzzled in order to prevent the dog from biting.

(7) A cat on the boundaries of the premises of the person who has charge, care or ownership of the cat.

Rhea: A fowl of the Order of Rheiforme.

Sanitary: Any condition of good order and cleanliness which discourages and limits disease transmission.

Secure enclosure: A fence or structure of at least six (6) feet in height, forming or causing an enclosure suitable to prevent the entry of young children, and suitable to confine a dangerous animal in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner. Such enclosure shall be securely enclosed and locked and designed with secure sides, top and bottom and shall be designed to prevent the animal(s) from escaping from the enclosure. The enclosure shall be posted with signs on all sides in four-inch letters warning of the presence of a dangerous animal and shall include a symbol of a dangerous animal understandable by young children.

Securely enclosed or confined:

(1) Means an area that is completely surrounded by a substantial fence or enclosure of sufficient strength, height, construction, materials, and design as to prevent any animal from escaping from the area and in manner that will isolate the animal from the public and other animals except for animals owned or under the control of the owner.

(2) Securely enclosed or confined does not mean enclosure or confinement by an invisible or electronic fence.

(3) Such fence or enclosure shall comply with the appropriate zoning regulations in Article 3, section 5.304 of this Code.


Serious bodily injury: An injury characterized by severe bite wounds or severe ripping and tearing of muscle that would cause a reasonable prudent person to seek treatment from a medical professional and would require hospitalization without regard to whether the person actually sought medical treatment.

Service animal: An animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability or by the virtue of a natural aptitude or acquired ability is able to provide therapeutic treatment, mitigation, safety or rescue.

Sporting dog: A dog which is used for recreational purposes in the hunting and/or tracking of game.

Sterilization: Surgical removal of the reproductive organs of a dog or cat to render the animal unable to reproduce.

Stray: An animal which is roaming with no physical restraint beyond the premises of an animal's owner or keeper.

Unprovoked attack by a dog: An incident in which a dog which attacked a human being or an animal was not hit, kicked, or struck by a human being with any object or part of a human being's body, nor was any part of the dog's body pulled, pinched, or squeezed by a human being, nor was the dog taunted or teased by any human being, nor was the human being in the dog's territory on the property of the dog's owner at the time of the attack.

Vaccinated animal: Unless otherwise indicated, an animal vaccinated against rabies within the past twelve (12) months by a licensed veterinarian.

Vaccination certificate: The certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian on a form approved by the Texas Department of Health for presentation to the animal [care and] control section as a condition precedent to the granting of a dog or cat license and showing on its face that, at the time of such presentation, the dog or cat covered thereby has been vaccinated for rabies.

Veterinary hospital: Any establishment maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for surgery, diagnosis and treatment of disease and injuries to animals.

Vis major: A loss that results immediately from a natural cause without the intervention of persons, and which could not have been prevented by the exercise of prudence, diligence, and care.

Working dog: A dog which is:

(1) Registered as a guard dog under this chapter;

(2) Under the control of a person working as a law enforcement officer or commissioned security officer; or

(3) An assistance dog as defined under § 121.002 of the Texas Human Resources Code.


Zoological park: Any permanent collection of living animals for public display, other than a pet shop or kennel, displaying or exhibiting one (1) or more species of animals.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 11113, § 1, 6-9-92; Ord. No. 11139, § 1, 7-28-92; Ord. No. 11528, § 1, 4-5-94; Ord. No. 12495, § 1, 4-23-96; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 1, 12-4-01; Ord. No. 15178, §§ 1, 2, 8-8-02; Ord. No. 16022, § 1, 7-6-04; Ord. No. 17655, § 1, 1-22-08; Ord. No. 18029, § 1, 3-25-08; Ord. No. 18099, § 1, 5-20-08; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 1, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-2. - Purpose and scope.

(a) It is the purpose of this chapter:

(1) To provide regulations by which the transmission of rabies to human beings and domestic animals can be prevented and controlled in the city;

(2) To decrease the number of unwanted and stray dogs and cats in the city;

(3) To encourage responsible animal ownership

(4) To protect the public health, safety and welfare of the city.

(b) The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to authorize the keeping of any animal in violation of any other city ordinance, state or federal statute or law.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-3. - Animal care and control section; animal care and control.

(a) The animal care and control section shall be a unit of the department of public health and shall be in the charge of a person having suitable qualifications and designated by the city as the animal care and control manager.

(b) In addition to the duties specifically prescribed in this chapter, it shall be the responsibility of the animal care and control manager to execute such other duties under the jurisdiction of the department of public health as the director may delegate

(c) The animal care and control manager shall manage the operation of the city animal care and control center.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 14874, § 2, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-4. - Exemption of city officials from liability.

All of the regulations provided in this chapter and the functions and duties of all officers, agents, servants or employees of the city in the enforcement of this chapter are declared to be governmental and for the benefit, health and welfare of the general public. Any city official or employee charged with the enforcement of this article, acting for the city in the discharge of his/her duties, shall not thereby render himself/herself personally liable by the performance of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his/her duties.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-5. - Violations; penalties.

(a) Any violation, disobedience, omission, neglect, failure or refusal to comply with the enforcement of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) for each violation. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) If any person is found guilty of having violated section 6-61 of this chapter, any license held by such person under this chapter shall be automatically revoked.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-6. - Incorporation by reference.

Any reference made in this chapter to any other law, statute, code, ordinance, rule or regulation is intended to incorporate such material as it presently exists and also any future amendments, changes, revisions, repeals or recodifications of such material, unless otherwise expressly provided.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-7. - Interference with animal [care and] control officer.

It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with an animal [care and] control officer while engaged in the performance of his/her duties. A person interferes with an animal [care and] control officer if he/she:

(a) Releases or causes an animal to be released after an animal [care and] control officer has impounded the animal; or

(b) Physically constrains the movement of an animal [care and] control officer or his/her vehicle or equipment by:

(1) Placing any part of the person or person's property in the way of the animal [care and] control officer's progress in the performance of the officer's duties; or

(2) Taking or moving an officer's equipment which causes a time delay in the officer's ability to use the equipment.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-8. - Sanitary standards.

(a) The owner of any animal allowed by this chapter to be kept in the city shall comply with the following standards of sanitation for that animal:

(1) Remove manure and droppings from pens, stables, yards, cages and other enclosures and handle or dispose of the excretions in such manner as to keep the premises free of any nuisance.

(2) Place food only in impervious containers or on impervious surfaces.

(3) Equip watering troughs or tanks with adequate facilities for draining the overflow.

(4) Remove all refuse, as defined in Chapter 14 of the City Code, on the premises and dispose of same by a means approved by the city health officer.

(b) Such standards of sanitation shall be administered by the city health officer.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-9. - Inspection of animals and premises.

The city public health department shall have the authority to inspect animals and/or premises. For purposes of discharging the duties imposed by the provisions of this chapter or other applicable laws, an animal [care and] control officer may enter upon private property to the full extent permitted by law.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-10. - Noncomplying premises; remedies.

Where premises do not comply with the provisions of this chapter or if any health ordinance or law is not observed, the city health officer may, upon written notice to the person owning or controlling the premises, order the correction of the objectionable conditions. In addition to any criminal proceeding, failure to comply with such order shall entitle the city to obtain relief by injunction.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-11. - Number of dogs and cats at residences.

(a) Except as provided by this section, no residence within the city shall house more than three (3) dogs and three (3) cats over the age of eight (8) weeks.

(b) A person may file an application for an administrative hearing for a permit to keep dogs and/or cats in excess of the number allowed in subsection (a). The applicant shall pay an application fee at the time of filing in an amount established by the city council.

(1) The application shall be filed with the animal care and control division of the health department on a form provided by the city health officer.

(2) At a minimum, the application form shall require the applicant's name, address, and telephone numbers; the number, gender (including spay/neuter status), size, and species of dogs and cats currently housed at the address and their city registration numbers; the number of dogs and/or cats the applicant wants to keep at the address; and information on the type and size of the residence, the area where the animals will be kept, and the distance that such area is from abutting residences.

(3) The application form shall also contain forms and instructions for providing notice of the application and hearing to the occupants and/or owners of abutting residences. The applicant shall notify said persons no later than ten (10) days prior to the date set for the hearing.

(c) A hearing on the application will be conducted by the city health officer.

(1) At the hearing, the applicant shall have the burden of proof to establish that the applicant will be able to properly care for the number of dogs and/or cats requested, without the animals creating noise or odor nuisances or otherwise being detrimental to the public health.

(2) The applicant shall provide proof to the city health officer that all persons required to be notified of the application and hearing were served with notice either in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(3) Each of the persons required to be notified of the application and hearing shall be given an opportunity to testify at the hearing either in favor of or in opposition to the application.

(d) At the conclusion of the hearing, the city health officer shall either approve the application, modify the application, or deny the application.

(e) The city health officer may deny the application if the applicant:

(1) Has not met the burden of proof established in (c)(1);

(2) Has within the preceding twenty-four (24) months been cited for violating this chapter, maintaining animal nuisance complaints, or been charged with violating state laws regulating the care of animals;

(3) Has not properly vaccinated and licensed all dogs and cats at the residence in accordance with this chapter; or

(4) Has not spayed/neutered all dogs and cats at the residence in excess of three (3) dogs and three (3) cats.

(f) If the city health officer determines that the applicant will not be able to care for the number of animals requested without the creation of noise or odor nuisances or without being otherwise detrimental to the public health, the city health officer may modify the application and approve the keeping of more than three (3) dogs and/or more than three (3) cats, but fewer than the number requested in the application.

(g) A permit issued under this section shall be valid for an open-ended term, but shall be subject to revocation for violation of its conditions. The permit shall specify the number of dogs and/or cats the permittee shall be able to keep, and shall not be specific to individual animals. The permit shall remain valid if the permittee moves and properly notifies the city health officer of the change of residence.

(h) A permit issued under this section is subject to the following conditions:

(1) A permittee shall notify the city health officer, in writing, prior to changing residences;

(2) A permittee shall keep all dogs and cats housed at permittee's residence vaccinated and registered in accordance with this chapter;

(3) A permittee shall not keep more than three (3) dogs and/or three (3) cats which have not been spayed or neutered.

(4) A permittee shall not maintain any animal odor or noise nuisances at the residence;

(5) A permittee shall keep his/her dogs and/or cats under restraint at all times in accordance with this chapter;

(6) A permittee shall cooperate with the city should any of the animals be involved in a bite, and shall follow all rabies quarantine procedures as outlined by the Rabies Control Act, Title 25, Chapter 169 of the Texas Administrative Code, and this chapter. If the animal [care and] control authority determines that any of the permittee's dogs is a dangerous dog, such determination shall subject the permit to revocation;

(7) A permittee shall comply with all applicable distance regulations for the keeping of animals under city code; and

(8) Any other reasonable conditions placed upon the permit by the city health officer.

(i) The city health officer may set a hearing if the city health officer determines that grounds exist to revoke a permit issued under this section.

(1) Written notice shall be served on the permittee in person or by registered mail at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing. The notice shall specify the date, time, and place of the hearing, as well as any allegations of permit condition violations.

(2) Notice that is mailed shall be deemed received five (5) days after it is placed in a mail receptacle of the United States Postal Service.

(3) No decision may be rendered at a hearing by reason of the permittee's failure to appear unless proof of actual service is shown.

(4) A decision to revoke a permit shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence. The city shall have the burden of proof. At the conclusion of the hearing the city health officer shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall issue a written decision without undue delay.

(j) At application and revocation hearings, the following shall apply:

(1) The city health officer shall be empowered to administer oaths, to promulgate procedural rules for the conduct of the hearing and shall act as the hearing officer.

(2) A hearing under this section shall exhaust all administrative remedies of the applicant/permittee.

(3) Whenever any deadline specified in this section falls upon a Saturday, Sunday, or a city-recognized holiday, the deadline shall be the next regular city business day.

(Ord. No. 12533, § 1, 5-8-96; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 3, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-12. - Nuisances declared.

The keeping of any animal or bird which, by causing frequent or long-continued noise, shall disturb the comfort and repose of any person of ordinary sensibilities in the immediate vicinity is declared a nuisance in violation of this section. Whatever the city health officer determines to be dangerous to human life or health, or that is offensive to the senses, or that is or threatens to become detrimental to the public health, is hereby declared to be a nuisance and shall be unlawful, and the specific acts, conditions and things set forth in this chapter are, among others, declared to be nuisances and prohibited and made unlawful.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 14114, § 1, 2-29-00)

 

Sec. 6-12.1. - Parental responsibility.

(a) If an animal is owned or purported to be owned by an individual who is younger than seventeen (17) years of age, responsibility and liability for compliance with this chapter with respect to such an animal shall be imposed on the parent, legal guardian, or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of the minor individual, regardless of whether the parent, legal guardian, or other person otherwise meets the definition of "owner" with respect to the animal at issue.

(b) Financial liability imposed under subsection (a) of this provision shall not exceed limits imposed by state law.

(c) It shall be an affirmative defense to imposition of responsibility and liability under subsection (a) that the parent, legal guardian, or other person establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she made a reasonable good faith effort to ensure compliance with this chapter.

(Ord. No. 18028, § 1, 3-25-08)

Editor's note— Ord. No. 18028, § 1, adopted March 25, 2008, amended the Code by adding provisions to Article I designated as § 6-121. At the discretion of the editor, said provisions have been codified herein as § 6-12.1


Sec. 6-13. - Restraint of animals.

(a) It shall be unlawful for an owner or person in control of an animal to fail to keep the animal in an adequate enclosure, which is one that complies with all of the requirements of this subsection.

(1) Subject to the further requirements of this subsection, an enclosure shall be an area that is completely surrounded by a substantial fence or other structure of sufficient strength, height, construction, materials, and design as to prevent any domestic animal from escaping from the area and to isolate the animal from the public and from other animals not under the control of the same owner.

(2) For all dogs, an enclosure shall have an outside-perimeter barrier that is a minimum height of forty-eight (48) inches when measured from the ground. For aggressive dogs, an enclosure shall have an outside-perimeter barrier that is a minimum height of seventy-two (72) inches when measured from the ground. Any portion of a building that is intended to form part of an enclosure must have a continuous wall (inclusive of windows and doors) that meets the applicable height requirement.

(3) All non-building portions of an enclosure, including gates, shall be constructed of chain link, welded wire, wrought iron, brick, mortared stone, concrete block, wood stockade, or other similar fencing-type material approved by the director.

(4) Where a building forms a part of an enclosure, there shall be minimal separation between the building and the remaining parts of the enclosure to prevent escape of the animal or animals intended to be contained.

(5) An enclosure shall be designed, erected, and maintained in accordance with all applicable zoning and building regulations of this Code.

(6) When not in use, all gates shall be closed and secured in a manner that prevents an animal from leaving the enclosure.

(7) Broken or damaged portions of an enclosure shall be repaired with like material and provide a seamless barrier that reasonably inhibits or prevents escape.

(8) If petitioned by an owner, the director may modify or waive the requirements of subsections (2), (3), and (7), provided that the director determines that proposed alternate measures will adequately contain the animal(s) in question. In considering a petition, the director may take into account factors that include, but are not limited to, zoning requirements, deed restrictions and covenants, and the size and physical characteristics of the animal or animals to be enclosed. The decision of the director shall be final and un-appealable

(b) It shall be unlawful for an owner to fail or refuse to exercise diligent care and control of his or her animal to prevent such animal from becoming a public nuisance.

(c) It shall be unlawful for a person having charge, care, or ownership of a cat to fail to keep the cat from roaming beyond the boundaries of the person's premises.

(d) It shall be unlawful for a person to use a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device to attach a dog to a stationary object or trolley system.

(e) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (d) that the dog tethering:

(1) Is during a lawful animal event, veterinary treatment, grooming, training, or law enforcement activity;

(2) Is required to protect the safety or welfare of a person or the dog, and the dog's owner maintains direct physical control of the dog;

(3) Occurs in the direct physical control of the owner in a designated city dog park; or

(4) Occurs on the owner's premises and:

a. While the dog is within the owner's direct physical control; and

b. Prevents the dog from advancing to within fifteen (15) feet of the edge of any public street.

(f) The affirmative defenses provided in subsection (e) are only available if the following specifications are met:

(1) The chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device is attached to a properly fitted collar or harness worn by the dog;

(2) The chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device is not placed directly around the dog's neck;

(3) The chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device does not exceed 1/20th of the dog's body weight;

(4) The chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device, by design and placement allows the dog a reasonable and unobstructed range of motion without entanglement, and

(5) The dog has access to adequate shelter and clean and wholesome water.

(g) It shall be unlawful for an owner or person in control of an animal to carry or transport the animal on any public roadway in an unenclosed vehicle (such as a pick-up or flatbed truck, jeep, or similar vehicle) unless the animal is:

(1) Contained in a closed, vented animal carrier that is secured in such a manner as to prevent the carrier from being thrown from the vehicle in the event of a collision; or

(2) Secured by a leash or other device that is cross-connected to prevent the animal from falling, jumping, or being thrown from the motor vehicle and from strangling on a single lead.

(h) A person commits an offense if the person fails to comply with this section.

(1) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. If a person fails to comply with this section with respect to more than one (1) dog, the person's conduct with respect to each dog constitutes a separate offense.

(2) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00).

(i) This section does not prohibit a person from walking a dog with a hand-held leash.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 12495, § 1, 3-13-96; Ord. No. 12620, § 1, 8-13-96; Ord. No. 15178, § 3, 8-8-02; Ord. No. 17655, § 1, 1-22-08; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 2, 8-11-09)


Sec. 6-13.5. - Nuisance declared.

It is hereby declared to be a public nuisance that an owner or other person harbors, keeps, or maintains a dangerous animal other than a dog in the city unless the owner complies with the requirements of this article.

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-14. - Finding of an animal, other than a dog, as "dangerous."

(a) A person learns that the person is the owner of a dangerous animal when:

(1) The owner knows of an attack as described in section 6-1, definition of "dangerous animal"; or

(2) The owner is informed by the animal [care and] control authority that the animal is a dangerous animal.

(b) If a person reports an incident described in section 6-1, definition of "dangerous animal," the animal [care and] control authority may investigate the incident. If, after receiving the sworn statements of any witnesses, the animal [care and] control authority determines that the animal is a dangerous animal, it shall notify the owner of that fact.

(c) An owner, not later than the 15th day after the date the owner is notified that an animal owned by the owner is a dangerous animal, may appeal the determination of the animal [care and] control authority to municipal court. An owner may appeal the decision of municipal court in the same manner as other appeals from municipal court.

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-15. - Requirements for owner of dangerous animal other than a dog.

Not later than the thirtieth day after a person learns that the person is the owner of a dangerous animal, the person shall:

(1) Register the dangerous animal with the city animal [care and] control authority;

(2) Restrain the dangerous animal at all times on a leash in the immediate control of a person or in a secure enclosure as described in section 6-1, "Secure enclosure";

(3) Further secure the dangerous animal with a muzzle in a manner that will not cause injury to the animal nor interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal when the dangerous animal is taken off the property of the owner for any reason;

(4) Obtain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in an amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous animal causing bodily injury to a person and provide proof of the required liability insurance coverage or financial responsibility to the city animal [care and] control authority;

(5) Provide the dangerous animal with a fluorescent yellow collar visible at fifty (50) feet in normal day light so that the animal can be identified;

(6) Spay or neuter the dangerous animal; and

(7) Microchip the dangerous animal for its life with a national registry, and present proof to the animal care and control manager. The owner of the dangerous animal shall microchip the animal by implanting a microchip identification device on the animal within seven (7) calendar days after being notified by the animal care and control manager or by the municipal court that such animal is dangerous. The cost of the service shall be at the owner's expense.

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 16102, § 1, 8-31-04)

 

Sec. 6-16. - Failure to comply with requirements.

If the owner of an animal determined to be dangerous under this article fails or refuses to comply with all the requirements specified in section 6-15, the animal shall be seized by the animal [care and] control authority and euthanized by the animal [care and] control authority or its authorized agent or a licensed veterinarian.

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-17. - Registration of a dangerous animal other than a dog.

(a) The city animal [care and] control authority shall annually register a dangerous animal if the owner presents proof of:

(1) Liability insurance or financial responsibility as required in section 6-15

(2) Current rabies vaccination of the dangerous animal if such vaccination is available for the species;

(3) The secure enclosure in which the animal will be kept; and

(4) Payment of an annual registration fee to the animal care and control division of (i) fifty dollars ($50.00) if the animal was declared dangerous as the result of an incident that occurred before September 1, 2009, or (ii) five hundred dollars ($500.00) if the animal was declared dangerous as the result of an incident that occurred on or after September 1, 2009.

(b) The animal [care and] control authority shall provide to the owner registering a dangerous animal a registration tag. The owner must place and maintain the tag on the animal's collar.

(c) The owner of a dangerous animal shall notify the animal [care and] control authority within twenty-four (24) hours if the dangerous animal is at large, unconfined, has attacked a human being or another animal, has died, or has been sold or given away. If the animal has been sold or given away, the former owner shall provide the animal [care and] control office with the name, address, and telephone number of the new owner. If the new owner's address is in the city or if the animal is kept in the city, the animal [care and] control authority shall notify the new owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, or in person that the animal has been determined to be a dangerous animal and provide the new owner a copy of the requirements contained in Article III. The new owner must be given notice to comply with the requirements for owners of dangerous animals, if the animal is physically located for any time within the city. It shall be unlawful for new owners to fail to comply with any requirement of sections 6-15 and 6-16. The same reporting requirements are imposed on any and all subsequent owners of the dangerous animal.

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 3, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-18. - Attack by dangerous animal other than a dog.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a dangerous animal other than a dog and the animal makes an unprovoked attack on a person or another animal outside the animal's enclosure and causes bodily damage to the person or other animal.

(b) An offense under this section is a class C misdemeanor, unless the attack causes serious bodily injury or death, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) If a person is found guilty of an offense under this section, the court may order the dangerous animal destroyed by an animal [care and] control authority or licensed veterinarian.

(d) In addition to criminal prosecution, a person who commits an offense under this section is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00). The city attorney may file suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to collect the penalty. Penalties collected under this subsection shall be retained by the city.

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-19. - Violations.

(a) A person who owns or keeps custody or control of a dangerous animal commits an offense if the person fails to comply with section 6-15

(b) Violation of any section under this division is punishable by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00).

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-20. - Defense.

It is a defense to prosecution under section 6-18 or section 6-19 that the person is a veterinarian, a peace officer, a person employed by a recognized animal shelter or person employed by the state or a political subdivision of the state to deal with stray animals, and that the person has temporary ownership, custody or control of the animal; provided, however, that for any person to claim under this section, that person must be acting within the course and scope of his or her official duties as regards to the dangerous animal.

(Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)


Sec. 6-20.1. - Nuisance declared.

It is hereby declared to be a public nuisance that an owner or other person harbors, keeps, or maintains a dangerous dog in the city unless the owner complies with the requirements of this article and state statutes regulating dangerous dogs. It is hereby declared to be a public nuisance that an owner or other person harbors, keeps, or maintains in the city or brings to the city a dog that has been declared dangerous outside of the city under one (1) or more of the following: (i) Chapter 822 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; (ii) a local law or ordinance adopted in accordance with Chapter 822; or (iii) a statute or ordinance that is substantially similar to Chapter 822 and that was adopted by a political subdivision outside of the State of Texas.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 4, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-20.2. - Dangerous dog incident.

A dangerous dog incident means an incident in which the dog:

(1) Makes an unprovoked attack on a person or other animal that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog is being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or

(2) Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)

 

Sec. 6-20.3. - Dangerous dog investigation.

The animal care and control authority or his or her designee may investigate all reports of dangerous dog incidents. The animal care and control authority may accept sworn statements from all victims and witnesses to the attack.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)

 

Sec. 6-20.4. - Reporting of incident.

(a) A person may report an incident described in section 6-20.2 of the City Code to the animal care and control authority.

(b) The animal care and control authority shall provide a sworn report describing the dangerous dog incident to the city prosecutor's office.

(c) The city prosecutor's office shall evaluate the case and determine whether to file a dangerous dog incident report with the municipal court (court). If such a report is filed, the court shall order the animal care and control authority or his designee to seize the dog and the court shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. The animal care and control authority shall seize the dog and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions until the court determines one (1) of the following:

(1) That the dog is not a dangerous dog pursuant to section 6-20.5 of the Code;

(2) That the dog is a dangerous dog and the court or animal care and control authority finds the owner has complied with the ownership of a dangerous dog pursuant to section 6-20.7; or

(3) That the dog should be humanely destroyed or is deceased.

(d) The animal care and control authority shall furnish written notice to the owner of the dog identified in the report to inform the owner that a dangerous dog report has been filed with the court. Notice shall be by hand delivery to the owner of the dog. If the owner cannot be located, notice shall be delivered to any adult at the dog owner's last known physical address or to any adult at the residence where the dog is believed to be kept, if at a location different than the owner's physical address. The notice shall also include a statement that the owner will be notified by the court of the date and time for a hearing pursuant to section 6-20.5

(e) If the court determines the dog to be a dangerous dog, the owner shall pay all costs and or fees assessed by the municipality related to the seizure and impoundment of the dog, including, but not limited to, boarding fees, microchip procedure, city license and rabies vaccination, and the cost of euthanasia of the dog if ordered by the court.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)

 

Sec. 6-20.5. - Hearing for dangerous dog determination.

(a) The court, on receiving a report of an incident under section 6-20.4 shall set a time for a hearing to determine whether the dog is a dangerous dog. The hearing must be held not later than the tenth day after the date on which the dog is seized or delivered.

(b) The court shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to:

(1) The owner of the dog or the person from whom the dog was seized;

(2) The person who made the complaint; and

(3) Any witnesses.

(c) Any interested party, including the city attorney, is entitled to present evidence at the hearing.

(d) The court shall issue its ruling within twenty-four (24) hours from the conclusion of the hearing.

(e) Appeals from convictions under this statute shall be handled like other appeals from convictions in municipal court.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)

 

Sec. 6-20.6. - Failure to surrender dog

It shall be a separate violation of this division for any person to refuse or fail to surrender a dog subject to this article, or harbor, hide or secret, transport or secure the transport of a dog subject to this article, for the purpose of preventing its impoundment.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)

 

Sec. 6-20.7. - Requirements for owners of a dangerous dog.

(a) Not later than the fifteenth day after a person learns that the person is the owner of a dangerous dog, the person shall:

(1) Register the dangerous dog with the animal control authority and pay an annual registration fee of (i) fifty dollars ($50.00) if the animal was declared dangerous as the result of an incident that occurred before September 1, 2009, or (ii) five hundred dollars ($500.00) if the animal was declared dangerous as the result of an incident that occurred on or after September 1, 2009;

(2) Restrain the dangerous dog at all times on a leash in the immediate control of a person or in a secure enclosure as defined in section 6-1 with the requirement that the enclosure be posted with signs on all sides in four-inch letters warning of the presence of dangerous dogs and shall include a symbol of dangerous dogs understandable by young children;

(3) Obtain and maintain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in an amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog causing bodily injury to a person and provide proof of the required liability insurance coverage or financial responsibility to the animal care and control authority.

(4) Secure the dangerous dog with a muzzle in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog nor interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal when the dangerous dog is taken off the property of the owner for any reason;

(5) Provide the dangerous dog with a fluorescent yellow collar to be worn by the dog at all times and to be visible at fifty (50) feet in normal day light so that the dog can be identified;

(6) Spay or neuter the dangerous dog; and

(7) The animal care and control authority shall implant a microchip identification device on the dog immediately after the court has ruled in a hearing pursuant to section 6-20.5 that such dog is dangerous. The dog's microchip shall be registered with a national registry. The cost of the service shall be at the owner's expense.

(b) The court, after determining that the dog is a dangerous dog, shall order the animal care and control authority to continue to impound the dangerous dog in secure and humane conditions until such time as:

(1) The court orders disposition of the dog and the dog is returned to the owner,

(2) The court orders disposition of the dog and the dog is thereby humanely destroyed, or

(3) The dog is deceased.

(c) The court shall order the animal care and control authority to humanely destroy the dog if the court determines after notice and hearing that the owner has not complied with subsection (a). The court shall order the authority to return the dog to the owner if the owner has fully complied with subsection (a) either after a hearing or without a hearing based on the recommendation of the animal care and control authority that the owner has complied with subsection (a).

(d) The owner may appeal the decision of the court by following the appropriate procedures for appeal of a decision of municipal court.

During the appeal period, the dog shall remain in the custody, care and control of the animal care and control authority.

If the appeal is ultimately unsuccessful, the owner of the dog shall be responsible for the dog's impoundment fees during the period the case was being appealed.

(e) Animal care and control may, at their option, request the owner of a dangerous dog to show proof, on a quarterly basis, of compliance with this division. If animal care and control determines that the owner of a dangerous dog has failed to comply with any requirement listed in subsection (a) above, animal care and control Authority shall issue notice of non-compliance to the owner of the dangerous dog and said owner shall deliver the dog immediately to the animal care and control authority.

(f) If animal care and control is not in receipt of the dog within forty-eight (48) hours after delivery of the notice, then the court shall order the animal care and control authority or his designee to seize the dog and the court shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. The animal care and control authority shall seize the dog and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions. After the expiration of three (3) days, if the owner of the dangerous dog has not sufficiently presented proof to the animal care and control authority that he or she is in compliance with subsection (a), the animal care and control authority shall refer the case to the municipal court for notice and hearing.

(g) Upon proof to the court of the dangerous dog owner's non-compliance, the court shall enter, no later than the day of the hearing, a final order for the humane destruction of the dog.

(h) The owner shall pay all costs and or fees assessed by the municipality related to the seizure and impoundment of the dog, including, but not limited to, boarding fees, microchip procedure, city license and rabies vaccination, and the cost of euthanasia of the dog if ordered by the court.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 5, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-20.8. - Dangerous dog registration.

(a) The owner of a dangerous dog shall notify the animal care and control authority within twenty-four (24) hours if the dangerous dog is at large, unconfined, has attacked a human being or another animal, has died, or has been sold or given away.

(b) If an owner of a registered dangerous dog sells or moves the dog to a new address, that owner, not later than the fourteenth day after the date of the sale or move, shall notify the animal control authority for the area in which the new address is located. Upon selling or moving the registered dangerous dog, that owner must notify the new owner or person who has care and control of the dog that he or she is keeping or owning a dog that has been declared dangerous. On presentation by the new owner of the dangerous dog's prior registration tag and payment of a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00), the animal control authority shall issue a new registration tag to be placed on the dangerous dog's collar.

(c) The owner of a registered dangerous dog shall notify the office in which the dangerous dog was registered of any attacks the dangerous dog makes on people or other animals.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)

 

Sec. 6-20.9. - Defenses.

(a) It is a defense to prosecution under this division that the person is a veterinarian, a peace officer, a person employed by a recognized animal shelter or person employed by the state or a political subdivision of the state to deal with stray animals and has temporary ownership, custody or control of the dog; provided, however, that for any person to claim a defense under this section, that person must be acting within the course and scope of his or her official duties with regard to the dangerous dog.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this division that the person is an employee of the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or of a law enforcement agency and trains or uses dogs for law enforcement or corrections purposes; provided, however, that for any person to claim a defense under this section, that person must be acting within the course and scope of his or her official duties with regard to the dangerous dog.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this division that the dog at issue is a trained guard dog in the performance of official duties while confined or under the control of its handler.

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)

 

Sec. 6-20.10 - Violations.

(a) A person who owns or keeps custody or control of a dangerous dog commits an offense if the person fails to comply with any section of this division;

(b) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00).

(Ord. No. 17831, § 1, 10-98-07)


Sec. 6-21. - Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to promote the licensing and vaccination against rabies of all dogs and cats within the city, and to facilitate that purpose through the use of a combined license/rabies tag. Pursuant to V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code section 826.031(c), the license fees provided for herein and collected by the city shall be used only to defray the city's costs of administering the Texas Rabies Control Act and the city's ordinances relating to the restraint, impoundment, licensing and vaccination of dogs and cats, and the quarantining and testing of animals for rabies.

(Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93)

 

Sec. 6-22. - License required.

(a) Offenses.

(1) A person commits an offense if the person owns, keeps, harbors, or has custody of any dog or cat over four (4) months of age without having such dog or cat currently licensed by the city.

(2) A person commits an offense if he owns a dog or cat required to be licensed by this section and fails to display on such dog or cat at all times a valid city combined license/rabies tag.

(3) A person commits an offense if he owns a dog or cat and displays on such dog or cat a combined city license/rabies tag issued to another animal.

(4) [Reserved.]

(b) [Reserved.]

(c) Defenses.

(1) It is a defense to a prosecution under subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) above that the animal was owned, kept or harbored by, or in the custody of, an animal establishment or releasing agency, was kept under restraint on the premises of the animal establishment or releasing agency, and was being offered for sale or adoption.

(2) It is a defense to prosecution under subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) above that the person who owned the animal was not a permanent resident of the city and was keeping the animal within the city for less than sixty (60) days.

(3) It is a defense to prosecution under subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) above that at the time of the offense the person was using the animal in a research program at an institution of higher education which is accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.

(d) [Reserved.]

(Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 12837, § 1, 1-28-97; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14461, § 1, 1-2-01; Ord. No. 16022, § 2, 7-6-04; Ord. No. 16009, § 1, 4-18-06; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 6, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-22.1. - Intact pet permit.

(a) Offenses.

(1) A person commits an offense if the person owns, keeps, harbors, or has custody of any female dog or cat over six (6) months of age or of any male dog or cat over eight (8) months of age that is unaltered unless such person has a valid intact pet permit issued in accordance with this section.

(2) A person commits an offense if the person owns, harbors, or has custody of an unaltered dog or cat and fails to display on such dog or cat at all times a valid city combined license/rabies tag indicating that the animal is subject to an unaltered pet permit.

(3) A person commits an offense if the person owns, harbors, or has custody of a dog or cat and displays on such animal a tag indicating that the animal is subject to an unaltered pet permit issued to another person.

(4) A person commits an offense if the person owns, harbors, or has custody of an intact animal at the residence or business property of an individual who has had a permit revoked under subsection (e), regardless of whether another person at the same property holds a valid permit.

(5) A person commits an offense if the person advertises for sale within the City or Fort Worth an unaltered dog or cat and fails to include in such advertisement the identification number of the owner's city-issued intact pet permit.

(b) Application.

(1) An application for an intact pet permit must be made on the form prescribed by the director and shall include the following information:

a. The name, telephone number, and physical address of the applicant;

b. The total number of animals sought to be included under the permit and the species, breed, gender, and age of each animal;

c. The current, valid city license number for each animal listed in the application.;

d. A statement affirming that the applicant is familiar with the provisions of this chapter and a promise to maintain all animals in accordance with applicable legal requirements.

(2) An application must be accompanied by either: (i) payment of an application fee in the amount adopted annually by the city council or (ii) documentation evidencing that the applicant has completed a responsible-pet-owner class approved by the director. This application fee shall be in addition to all other applicable license and registration fees required under this chapter. An application fee is not refundable.

(3) An application must be accompanied by photographic evidence, in digital or printed form, showing the enclosure or enclosures where the unaltered animals are to be kept.

(4) The animal care and control division may require such additional information and documentation deemed necessary to determine whether to issue the permit.

(c) Consideration of application.

(1) An application for permit may be denied if the applicant:

a. Fails or refuses to submit a complete application;

b. Fails or refuses to submit any information or supporting documentation required under this section or pursuant to a request of the animal care and control division;

c. Fails or refuses to submit the fee or documentation required under subsection (b)(2);

d. Provides false information on or in connection with the application;

e. Has, within the preceding twenty-four (24) months, been convicted, received deferred adjudication, or pleaded guilty or no contest with respect to one (1) or more violations of this chapter, of any state law relating to the care and humane treatment of animals, or both;

f. Has, within the preceding twenty-four (24) months failed to appear in court to respond to a citation relating to an alleged violation of any provision of this chapter or of any state law relating to the care and humane treatment of animals;

g. Has, within the preceding sixty (60) months, been convicted, received deferred adjudication, or pleaded guilty or no contest with respect to one (1) or more violations of any provision of this chapter or of any state law relating to animal cruelty;

h. Has previously had a permit revoked pursuant to subsection (e); or

i. Resides at the same physical address as another individual whose permit has been revoked pursuant to subsection (e).

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (c)(1), an application for permit may also be denied if the animal care and control division determines that specific circumstances exist indicating that issuance of the permit would not be in the best interest of the animals involved or of the health and safety of the public. If a permit is denied pursuant to this subsection, the animal care and control division shall issue a written statement citing the specific reason or reasons for the denial.

(3) If a permit application is denied by the animal care and control division, the applicant may appeal to the director. Such appeal must be made in writing and received within thirty (30) days of the date the application was originally rejected. The decision of the director shall be final and un-appealable.

(d) Issuance and maintenance of permit.

(1) A permit is issued to an individual owner. A permit is not transferable to another person.

(2) A permit is valid unless and until revoked.

(3) To maintain a permit, the permit holder must keep the animal care and control division apprised of current contact information for holder and identifying, licensing, and registration information for all animals included under a permit. In particular, a permit holder must notify the animal care and control division of any change of address or telephone number no later ninety (90) days after the new address or phone number is effective. In addition, within ninety (90) days of obtaining an animal that was not included in the original permit application, the permit holder must provide the animal control division with the species, breed, gender, age, and current, valid city license number of each such animal.

(e) Revocation of permit.

(1) The animal care and control division may revoke a permit if the holder:

a. Is convicted, receives deferred adjudication, or pleads guilty or no contest with respect to one (1) or more violation of this chapter, of any state law relating to the care and humane treatment of animals, or both;

b. Fails to appear in court to respond to a citation relating to an alleged violation of any provision of this chapter or of any state law relating to the care and humane treatment of animals;

c. Is convicted, receives deferred adjudication, or pleads guilty or no contest with respect to a single violation of any provision of this chapter or of any state law relating to animal cruelty;

d. Is discovered to have provided false or inaccurate information on or in connection with the original permit application;

e. Fails to license or vaccinate any animal in accordance with the requirements of state law and this chapter; or

f. Fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (d)(3).

(2) If a permit is revoked by the animal care and control division, the applicant may appeal to the director. Such appeal must be made in writing and received within thirty (30) days of the date the application was originally rejected. The director may: (i) reinstate the permit pursuant to its original terms, (ii) reinstate the permit subject to the holder meeting additional specified conditions, or (iii) affirm the revocation. The decision of the director shall be final and un-appealable.

(f) Defenses.

(1) It is a defense to a prosecution under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) if an owner produces a signed, written opinion from a licensed veterinarian that the animal in question should not be spayed or neutered due to health concerns.

(2) It is a defense to a prosecution under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) that the animal was owned, kept or harbored by, or in the custody of, an animal establishment or releasing agency, was kept under restraint on the premises of the animal establishment or releasing agency, and was being offered for sale or adoption.

(3) It is a defense to prosecution under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) that the person who owned the animal was not a permanent resident of the city and was keeping the animal within the city for less than sixty (60) days.

(4) It is a defense to prosecution under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) above that, at the time of the offense, the person was using the animal in a research program at an institution of higher education that is accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.

(Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 7, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-23. - License application; fee.

(a) Written application for a license and payment of the applicable license fee shall be made to the animal care and control division, to the Humane Society of North Texas, or to a designated veterinarian.

(b) The application shall include the name and address of the applicant, a description of the animal, and a current rabies certificate issued by a veterinarian licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which the animal was vaccinated.

(c) A new owner of a dog or cat over four (4) months of age shall apply for a license within thirty (30) days of acquiring the dog or cat.

(d) Upon acceptance of a license application, a City of Fort Worth combined license/rabies tag shall be issued, which shall bear an identifying number for the animal and the year of issuance. The animal care and control division is authorized to have the name, address, and phone number of the issuing designated veterinarian or Humane Society of North Texas imprinted on one (1) side of the tag.

(e) The city council shall adopt a schedule of license fees applicable to this article, which shall be available for review at the animal care and control division. The schedule of fees may include late fees relating to licenses, registrations, or other actions required under this article that are not accomplished voluntarily and within the time limits prescribed; such fees shall serve to off-set costs associated with staff time required to bring about compliance. Upon proof pursuant to section 6-62, presented to the animal care and control division, no fee shall be charged for animals trained and certified by recognized professional authorities as assistance or service animals. The director may, in his or her discretion, periodically reduce the license fees adopted by the city council in order to encourage adoption in conjunction with special events.

(f) Unless sooner revoked, licenses shall be valid for their period of issuance in accordance with this subsection. Licenses for animals that are implanted with a microchip currently registered with a national animal-identification database may be issued for a period of up to three (3) years, provided that the animal in question has been immunized against rabies with a vaccine that is effective for the entire three-year period. Licenses for animals that are not implanted with a microchip currently registered with a national animal-identification database may be issued for a period of up to one (1) year, provided that the animal in question has been immunized against rabies with a vaccine that is effective for the entire one-year period. Under no circumstances shall a license be issued for a period that extends beyond the time period for which the animal's most recent rabies vaccination remains in effect.

(g) Permanent city registration tags shall no longer be issued. A permanent registration tag issued prior to [January 1, 1994,] the effective date of this article shall remain valid for the lifetime of the animal for which it was issued as long as compliance with this subsection is maintained. The animal's owner must have the animal timely vaccinated against rabies annually and provide a copy of the rabies certificate to animal [care and] control. Failure to do so shall render the registration void.

(h) A license is not transferable between animals or between owners. All portions of section 6-23, "License application; fee," not specifically amended shall remain in effect.

(Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 12495, § 1, 3-13-96; Ord. No. 12837, § 1, 1-28-97; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 4, 12-4-01; Ord. No. 15598, § 1, 6-24-03; Ord. No. 16022, § 3, 7-6-04; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 8, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-24. - Revocation.

(a) The animal care and control manager may revoke any license issued for a dog or cat pursuant to this article under the following circumstances:

(1) A person has withheld, falsified, or provided incorrect information on the license application.

(2) A person has been convicted within the preceding sixty (60) months of cruelty to any animal under any animal cruelty law of this state or other jurisdiction in the United States.

(3) A person's payment for the license in draft form has been dishonored.

(b) Written notification of revocation shall be accomplished by depositing a certified letter, return receipt requested, in the United States mail and addressed to the last known address of the person to whom the license was issued.

(c) Any person whose license for a dog or cat is revoked may, within fifteen (15) days from the date the letter in subsection (b) above was deposited in the mail, make a showing of compliance or correction to the animal care and control manager and have the license reinstated. If a person fails to provide satisfactory proof of compliance or correction to the animal care and control manager within the fifteen (15) days, the owner must immediately surrender the license tag or permanent registration tag for that animal to the animal care and control manager.

(d) A license revoked pursuant to subsections (a)(1) or (a)(2) above may be reinstated upon a correct application being made by the owner in compliance with section 6-22. No person whose license has been revoked under subsection (a)(2) above may reapply for a period of sixty (60) months from the date of his cruelty to animals or animal cruelty law conviction.

(e) When a license is revoked, no licensing fees shall be refunded.

(f) When a license is revoked, the animal's owner shall immediately surrender to the animal [care and] control administrator the combined license/rabies tag or permanent registration tag, as applicable, for that animal.

(g) A person commits an offense if he knowingly fails to surrender a revoked combined license/rabies tag or permanent registration tag to the animal care and control manager or his designee.

(h) The animal care and control manager or his designee is authorized to immediately seize any revoked city license/rabies tag which comes to his attention.

(Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 5, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-25. - Collection of license fees and issuance of tags by designated veterinarians.

(a) A veterinarian who is licensed by the State of Texas, located within or outside of the city, and who treats dogs and cats which are maintained within the city, may apply annually with the animal care and control manager to become a designated veterinarian.

(b) The veterinarian designation application shall be on a form prescribed by the animal care and control manager, shall be signed by the veterinarian applying for designation, and shall have the force and effect of a contract. The agreement shall be valid only for the calendar year and shall expire on December 31st.

(c) A designated veterinarian shall be authorized to issue a city combined license/rabies tag to the owner of a dog or cat upon presentation by the owner to the veterinarian of a current rabies certificate for the animal to be licensed.

(d) A designated veterinarian shall collect the license fee for each animal issued a license by the veterinarian. A designated veterinarian shall not charge an animal's owner a price which is greater than or less than the current annual fee. A designated veterinarian assumes full responsibility for ensuring that full payment is made to the city for each combined license/rabies tag issued. In payment for his/her services, the veterinarian may keep a service fee in the amount established by the city council.

(e) A designated veterinarian shall submit to the animal care and control manager the rabies vaccination information required by section 6-41(e) of this article.

(f) License fees collected by a veterinarian shall be paid to the city no later than the sixth (6th) day of the month following the month in which the fees were collected.

(g) A designated veterinarian shall be responsible for the proper handling of all combined license/rabies tags issued to him by animal [care and] control, and shall be responsible for contacting animal [care and] control to receive additional tags prior to his supply running out.

(h) Any designated veterinarian who fails to comply with the established procedures and requirements for the collection and timely payment of license fees to the city shall be deemed to be in violation of the agreement and shall forfeit his designation to participate in license issuance.

(Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 12495, § 1, 3-13-96; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 6, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-26. - Supplies accounting procedure.

The animal care and control manager shall provide the designated veterinarian(s) with necessary monthly report forms and combined license/rabies tags. The animal care and control manager shall establish a collection procedure for the fees, a format for the tags and shall record the number of dogs and cats registered, name of owner, and other appropriate information. The animal care and control manager also reserves the right to inspect at reasonable times the license records, rabies vaccination records, and tags on hand at a designated veterinarian's office.

(Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 14874, § 7, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-27. - Penalty.

(a) A person who violates a provision of this article shall upon conviction be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined a sum not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) for each offense. However, a violation of section 6-22(a)(1) is subject to a penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), pursuant to the Texas Rabies Control Act.

(b) Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

(Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93)

 

Secs. 6-28—6-40. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 6-41. - Rabies vaccination.

(a) Vaccine required.

(1) A person commits an offense if the person owns, keeps, harbors or has custody of a dog or cat over four (4) months of age that has not been immunized against rabies by injection of anti-rabies vaccine by a veterinarian validly licensed in Texas or in another jurisdiction.

(2) The same animal must receive a booster within the twelve (12) month interval following the animal's initial vaccination.

(3) The same animal must be revaccinated against rabies at a minimum of at least once every three (3) years by a rabies vaccine licensed by the department of agriculture.

(4) In the prosecution of this subsection, it is an exception that the dog or cat was kept, harbored or in the custody of an animal shelter.

(b) Every owner of a dog or cat immunized against rabies shall procure a rabies vaccination certificate from the veterinarian administering the vaccine.

(c) The provisions restricting the use and sale of rabies vaccine for animals as set forth in the state statute enacting the "Rabies Control Act of 1981" are hereby adopted by reference, as contained in Chapter 826 of the Health and Safety Code, V.T.C.S., a copy of which is on file in the office of the city secretary, and as amended from time to time.

(d) It shall be unlawful for a person to administer, sell, or distribute rabies vaccine for animals in a manner not authorized by section 6-41(c).

(e) Every veterinarian whose office or place of business is located within the city and every designated veterinarian, whose office or place of business is located within or outside the city, shall keep detailed records of animal rabies vaccination and, upon request of the director of health, shall provide a listing of rabies vaccinations to the animal care and control section. The listing shall include the owner's name and address, animal species, gender, date of vaccination and whether or not the animal has been altered.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 12837, § 1, 1-28-97; Ord. No. 14462, § 1, 1-2-01; Ord. No. 14874, § 8, 12-4-01; Ord. No. 15598, § 2, 6-24-03)

 

Sec. 6-42. - Domestic animals that exhibit rabies symptoms or reasonably indicate rabies symptoms.

(a) When a domestic dog, cat or ferret which has rabies or symptoms which could reasonably indicate rabies, or that bites, scratches or otherwise creates a condition which may expose or transmit to any human being or animal shall be immediately impounded as provided in section 6-43 and shall be held in quarantine in the city a minimum period of ten (10) days for a dog, cat or domestic ferret from the date of the bite, scratch or when the condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to a human being occurred, or longer as the local rabies control authority may deem necessary. Such quarantine will be subject to the following conditions:

(1) An unvaccinated dog, cat or domestic ferret should not be vaccinated against rabies during the ten-day observation period.

(2) The animals must be observed twice daily for rabies symptoms during the observation period.

(3) If an animal [care and] control officer is able to notify the owner of the subject animal, the owner may exercise the option to quarantine the subject animal within twenty-four (24) hours of notification and with the approval of the local rabies control authority, in a Texas Department of Health approved facility including a licensed veterinarian's clinic in the city which has the facilities for isolation cages, the animal care and control center, other approved sites designated and approved by the local rabies control authority or in a home quarantine as provided in subsection (b).

(b) Home quarantine.

(1) The owner or custodian of the dog, cat or ferret may request permission from the local rabies control authority to place the animal in home quarantine if the following criteria can be met:

(A) Secure facilities must be available at the home of the animal's owner or custodian, and must be approved by the local rabies control authority;

(B) The animal is currently vaccinated against rabies;

(C) The animal was wearing a current vaccination and license tag at the time of the incident;

(D) The animal bit person who lives at the same residence as the animal; and

(E) The animal has not been quarantined for a previous bite incident.

(2) The local rabies authority or a licensed veterinarian must observe the dog, cat or domestic ferret at least on the first and eighth day of the quarantine period and only a licensed veterinarian must observe the animal on the tenth day of the quarantine period. If the owner chooses that the local rabies control authority observe the animal on the first and eighth day for a dog, cat or domestic ferret, a fee will be charged by the animal care and control division according to a fee schedule approved by city council. If the animal becomes ill during the quarantine period, the person which has possession of the animal must notify the local rabies control authority immediately.

(3) At the end of the quarantine period, the animal shall only be released from quarantine by a letter written by a licensed veterinarian authorizing release.

(c) If the animal, whether owned or unowned, is a high risk animal, which bit, scratched or created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to a human being or another animal it shall be euthanized and its head submitted to the Texas Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

(d) If the animal is a low risk animal, which was cage-raised, which bit, scratched or created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to a human being neither quarantine nor rabies test will be required unless the local rabies control authority has cause to believe the animal is rabid, in which case it should be humanely killed and tested for rabies.

(e) A domestic animal which has bitten a human and has been designated by the local rabies control authority as unclaimed may be humanely killed in such a manner that the brain is not mutilated. The head shall be submitted to the Texas State Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

(f) The local rabies control authority may require an animal which has inflicted multiple bite wounds, punctures, or lacerations to the face, head, or neck of a human being to be humanely killed and its head submitted to the Texas Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

(g) Any animal required to be quarantined under this section which in the determination of the local rabies control authority cannot be or is not being maintained in a secure quarantine, shall be humanely killed and its head submitted to the Texas Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

(h) If the animal is not included in subsection (a), (c), (d), (e) or (f) of this section, the biting animal will be humanly killed and the brain tested for rabies or the local rabies control authority may require the animal to be confined for a thirty-day observation period at a licensed veterinarian's animal clinic or the animal care and control center. Home quarantine described in subsection (b) does not apply in this subsection

(i) The owner of any animal that is reported to have rabies or symptoms thereof, or to have been exposed to rabies, or to have bitten, scratched or otherwise created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to any human being or animal, or that the owner knows or suspects to be rabid or to have bitten, scratched or otherwise created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to any human being or animal, shall submit such animal for quarantine to the local rabies control authority or any police officer. If the animal dies prior to its quarantine, the owner shall submit the animal to the animal care and control center for rabies diagnosis.

(j) Any person who has knowledge of any animal that exhibits symptoms of, or has been exposed to rabies, or of any animal which has bitten, scratched or otherwise created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to any human being or animal, shall immediately report the incident to the local rabies control authority. The report shall include the name and address of the victim and owner of the animal, if known, and any other information he/she has relating to the incident or animal.

(k) Every veterinarian or other person who is called to examine or professionally attend any animal with rabies or any other reportable communicable disease shall within twenty-four (24) hours thereafter, report the following in writing to the local rabies control authority:

(1) Species and description of the animal;

(2) Location of such animal;

(3) Name and address of the owner thereof;

(4) Type and character of the disease.

(l) The local rabies control authority shall investigate and record all cases of rabies and suspected rabies.

(m) The body of any animal that has died of rabies or that dies or is destroyed while in quarantine shall not be disposed of except as directed by the local rabies control authority.

(n) The owner of any animal quarantined under this section shall pay all reasonable costs of the quarantine and disposition of the animal, including charges for shipment of animal tissues, if required, to the Texas Department of Health laboratory for testing.

(o) An animal which has been quarantined may be released by the local rabies control authority under the following conditions:

(1) At the end of the observation period upon a written release from a licensed veterinarian and proof of vaccination or receipt of vaccination prior to release from quarantine;

(2) When all applicable fees have been paid;

(3) If the animal is not being held for legal proceedings; and

(4) If appropriate city license registration has been obtained.

(p) It shall be unlawful for the owner of an animal that has rabies or symptoms which could reasonably indicate rabies, or that bites, scratches, or otherwise creates a condition which may expose or transmit the rabies virus to any human being or other animal to fail or refuse to comply with any provisions of this article.

(q) Currently vaccinated guide dogs in service or currently vaccinated police dogs when a bite is inflicted in the line of duty shall not be required to be placed in quarantine.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 9, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-43. - Impoundment; notice; disposition.

(a) Animals may be impounded by the animal care and control manager under any of the following circumstances when:

(1) An animal, other than a cat, is at large. Effective January 1, 1997, the animal care and control manager shall be further authorized to impound any cat which is at large;

(2) A dog, cat, ferret or miniature swine does not wear or have a valid city license tag affixed to its collar and said animal is not being used currently in a research program at the owner's institute of higher education which is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care;

(3) An animal is reasonably suspected of having inflicted bodily harm on any human being or animal, or poses a threat to public safety or constitutes a public nuisance;

(4) A dog, cat or ferrets does not have a valid current rabies vaccination;

(5) A miniature swine does not have valid, current vaccinations for erysipelas, parvo virus and leptospirosis;

(6) A vicious, prohibited or unmuzzled animal is in a place of public assembly;

(7) An animal is not cared for in violation of section 6-65

(8) An animal has rabies or symptoms thereof, or that a person could reasonably suspect as having rabies, or that bites, scratches or otherwise creates a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to any human being or animal;

(9) An animal is not kept in conformity with this chapter or state law; and

(10) A cat is roaming beyond the boundaries of the premises of the person having charge, care, or ownership of the cat.

(b) If, by a license tag or other means, the owner of an impounded animal can be identified, the animal care and control manager shall, as soon as practicable after impoundment, notify the owner, if reasonably possible, that if the impounded animal is not redeemed within three (3) days after impoundment, disposition of the impounded animal shall occur in accordance with this chapter, and that the owner has a right to a hearing on the validity of the impoundment and applicable fees, and the disposition of the impounded animal in accordance with this chapter. A hearing shall be held as soon as practicable if requested by the owner prior to the disposal or destruction of the animal as provided in this chapter.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 11139, § 3, 7-28-92; Ord. No. 12495, § 1, 3-13-96; Ord. No. 12620, § 1, 8-13-96; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 10, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-44. - Time; fees: impoundment; bite; boarding; vaccination or license.

(a) Impounded animals, including those released from quarantine, shall be kept for three (3) days from the date of impoundment. In calculating the length of this time, the first day after impoundment shall be day one. If the owner of such impounded animal does not redeem it within three (3) days after impoundment, disposition will be in accordance with this chapter. The animal may be disposed of prior to the expiration of such time if in the professional opinion of the animal control authority disposition is necessary to avoid the unnecessary suffering of a sick or injured animal.

(b) Impounded animals, including those released from quarantine, shall have a microchip implanted in the animal by the animal care and control center.

(c) Impounded and quarantine animals, except for prohibited animals, shall be available for immediate redemption to their owner upon presenting photo identification to the city (of which the city shall keep a copy) and paying all applicable fees. Impounded prohibited animals shall be available for immediate redemption by the owner after presenting photo identification (of which the city shall keep a copy) and paying all applicable fees. In addition, the owner of a prohibited animal must sign an agreement with the city stipulating that the owner 1) shall lawfully and immediately remove from the city limits the prohibited animal and shall not allow the prohibited animal to return to the city; and 2) shall consent to the city humanely destroying the prohibited animal if the animal returns and is found within the city limits. If the owner of a prohibited animal fails to comply with this subsection, the prohibited animal may be either euthanized or removed from the city as determined by the animal care and control division. The owner of a prohibited animal shall pay to the city the applicable fees and costs of impoundment and handling.

(d) Amounts of the "applicable fees" are established by the city council. Types of "applicable fees" which must be paid by the animal owner to reclaim impounded or quarantined animals shall be determined in accordance with this subsection.

(1) An impoundment and boarding charge will be charged for all reclaimed animals. This charge shall take into account and reflect the species of the animal in question, the amount of staff time required to capture the animal, and whether such animal is: (i) a prohibited animal; (ii) currently vaccinated against rabies, (iii) validly licensed, (iv) microchipped, and (v) spayed or neutered. The impoundment and boarding charge shall also reflect whether the animal required quarantine. This charge will also reflect, apart from any quarantine issue, whether the animal could be housed with one (1) or more others or required its own cage due to size or temperament. This charge shall also take into account and reflect the number of times that any dog or cat belonging to the same owner has been impounded at the animal care and control center within the preceding twelve (12) months, for whatever reason. In each instance, the factors affecting the amount of the impoundment and boarding charge shall be itemized in the invoice provided to an owner at the time the animal is reclaimed.

(2) A microchip implantation fee will be charged if the impounded and/or quarantined animal does not have microchip identification implanted in that animal prior to being impounded or quarantined.

(3) For any animal released pursuant to a sterilization and vaccination agreement, a deposit will be charged in an amount established annually by the city council. If an owner fails to provide proof to the animal care and control division from a veterinarian that each animal subject to such agreement was sterilized and vaccinated within thirty (30) days from the date the animal was reclaimed, the amount of such deposit shall be forfeited and used to defray costs associated with additional staff time required to ensure that each animal in question was sterilized and vaccinated.

(4) An impoundment and boarding charge will be made for every day and any part of a day that the animal is in the custody of the animal care and control center.

(5) Where an owner cannot provide proof to the animal care and control division at the time of release from impoundment that the impounded animal is currently vaccinated against rabies and validly licensed, then a charge for the legally required vaccination and/or licensing will be made and a voucher provided to the owner to receive vaccination services from a veterinarian.

(6) A schedule of the current "applicable fees" for reclaiming impounded or quarantined animals is available for review at the animal care and control center.

(7) It is not a defense to prosecution of any citations that applicable impoundment, bite, boarding, vaccination, microchip or license fees have been paid.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 12193, § 1, 10-3-95; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 11, 12-4-01; Ord. No. 15598, § 3, 6-24-03; Ord. No. 16102, § 4, 8-31-04; Ord. No. 16009, § 2, 4-18-06; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 9, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-45. - Release from impoundment.

Conditions for release of impounded animals are as follows:

(a) Before releasing any animal to the owner, the animal care and control manager shall require sufficient proof that reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent further violations of this chapter. If the owner does not submit sufficient proof of such precautions, the animal may continue to be impounded for three (3) additional days. Upon the expiration of that second three-day period, the animal care and control manager shall determine the disposition of the impounded animal in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) No impounded animal suffering from any disease, ailment or injury may be redeemed until the animal care and control manager is provided with sufficient information to determine that arrangements have been made for proper treatment of the animal by a licensed veterinarian.

(c) Except where otherwise provided in this chapter, animals not redeemed within three (3) calendar days following impoundment or release from quarantine shall become the property of the city and shall at the direction of the animal care and control manager be placed for adoption in a suitable home, transferred to a bona fide humane society, kept for city purposes, be humanely disposed of or destroyed, or be disposed of for medical purposes in compliance with section 6-45(d) of this chapter.


(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 10586, § 1, 5-16-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 14874, § 12, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-46. - Requirements for adoption and reclamation.

(a) The animal care and control center may not release a dog or cat for adoption unless the animal (1) has a microchip implanted; (2) has been sterilized; and (3) has received rabies vaccination according to section 6-41. Vaccination and sterilization are not required if the release is made to an owner who has signed an agreement to have the animal sterilized and vaccinated by a private veterinarian and who has paid the deposit required by section 6-44(d)(3).

(b) The animal care and control center may not release a dog or cat for reclamation unless the animal (1) has a valid, current city license; (2) has been sterilized, and (3) has received rabies vaccination according to section 6-41. Vaccination is not required if the release is made to an owner who provides proof that the animal is current on its vaccinations or has signed an agreement to have the animal vaccinated by a private veterinarian and has paid the deposit required by section 6-44(d)(3). Sterilization is not required if the release is made to an owner who has signed an agreement to have the animal sterilized by a private veterinarian and has paid the deposit required by section 6-44(d)(3) or to an owner who provides proof that (i) the animal been previously sterilized, (ii) a veterinarian has issued a signed, written opinion that sterilization would jeopardize the animal's health, or (iii) the animal is the subject of a valid intact pet permit and has not been previously impounded in the city.

(c) The sterilization and vaccination agreement must contain:

(1) A sterilization completion date, which is:

a. The thirtieth day after the date of adoption or reclamation in the case of an adult animal; or

b. The thirtieth day after a specific date estimated to be the date an infant female animal becomes six (6) months old or an infant male becomes eight (8) months old; and

(2) A statement, printed in conspicuous, bold print, that sterilization and vaccination of the animal are required, and that if the animal is not sterilized on or before the appropriate date or is not vaccinated within a reasonable time, the owner commits a criminal offense punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and forfeits the deposit paid under section 6-44(d)(3).

(d) Except as provided by this subsection, an owner who signs a sterilization and vaccination agreement under this section shall have the animal sterilized on or before the sterilization completion date stated in the agreement. If the sterilization completion date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the deadline is extended to the first day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The animal care and control center may extend the deadline for thirty (30) days on presentation of a written report from a licensed veterinarian stating that the life or health of the animal may be jeopardized by surgery. There is no limit of the number of extensions that may be granted for this reason.

(e) When adopting or reclaiming an animal from the city's animal care and control center, an owner must sign an adoption or reclamation agreement and must present government-issued photo identification to the city so that the city can make a copy of it.

(f) It shall be unlawful for a person who adopted or reclaimed a dog or cat from the animal care and control center and executed a sterilization and vaccination agreement for the subject animal (i) to fail or refuse to have the subject animal vaccinated within a reasonable time or (ii) to fail or refuse to have the subject animal sterilized by the date specified in the agreement or in subsequent extension(s) of the deadline as may be granted by the animal care and control center pursuant to section 6-46(d).

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 16102, § 5, 8-31-04; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 10, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-47. - Confirmation of sterilization and vaccination, death or lost or stolen animal.

(a) Except as provided by subsection (b) and (c) of this section, every owner who signs a sterilization and vaccination agreement under section 6-46 of this article shall provide the animal care and control center from which the owner adopted a dog or cat, a certificate of sterilization and/or vaccination signed by the veterinarian who performed the surgery and/or vaccination; this certificate must include a brief description of the animal and provide the date of sterilization and/or vaccination. It shall be unlawful for a person who adopts or reclaims a dog or cat from the animal care and control center and who has executed a sterilization and vaccination agreement for the subject animal to fail or refuse to provide a certificate of sterilization and/or vaccination for the animal to the animal care and control center by seven (7) days from the date the animal is sterilized and/or vaccinated.

(b) If the adopted or reclaimed animal dies on or before the deadline provided by section 6-46 of this article, the owner shall provide to the animal care and control center, no later than seven (7) days from the date of the animal's death, a signed letter stating that the animal is dead, describing the cause of death, if known, and providing the date of death. The letter required by this subsection is in lieu of the letter required by subsection (a) of this section.

(c) If an adopted or reclaimed animal is lost or stolen before the sterilization completion date, the owner shall deliver to the animal care and control center a signed letter stating that the animal is lost or stolen. The letter must be delivered not later than the seventh day after the date of the animal's disappearance and must described the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and provide the approximate date of the disappearance. The letter required by this subsection is in lieu of the letter required by subsection (a) of this section.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 11, 8-11-09)

 

Sec. 6-48. - Noncompliance with sterilization agreement; animal care and control center right of reclamation.

(a) The animal care and control center may promptly reclaim the adopted animal from the new owner if the animal care and control center does not receive the following from the new owner after the expiration of the seventh day after the sterilization completion date agreed to under section 6-46

(1) A certificate of sterilization under section 6-47(a); or

(2) A letter stating the animal has died under section 6-47(b) or

(3) A letter stating that the animal is lost or stolen under section 6-47(c) from the new owner.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-49. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 12, adopted August 11, 2009, repealed § 6-49, which pertained to affirmative defense. See also the Code Comparative Table.

 

Sec. 6-50. - Reserved.

Editor's note— Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 13, adopted August 11, 2009, repealed § 6-50, which pertained to mandatory spay/neuter of unrestrained dogs and cats. See also the Code Comparative Table.

 

Secs. 6-51—6-60. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 6-61. - Unlawful acts enumerated.

(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to crop a dog's ears, dock a tail, remove dew claws or perform other surgical procedures on a dog or a cat except as provided by the veterinary licensing act.

(b) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell or deliver live chickens, ducklings, goslings or rabbits less than eight (8) weeks of age to any person in quantities of less than five (5).

(c) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, offer for sale, barter or display any living chickens, rabbits, ducks or any other fowl or animal which has been dyed, colored or otherwise treated so as to impart to them an artificial color.

(d) It shall be unlawful for a person to give away any live animal as a prize or inducement for the purpose of attracting trade or business.

(e) It shall be unlawful for a person to use steel jaw or leg-hold traps except in the case of rat control.

(f) It shall be unlawful for any person to beat, starve, overwork or to otherwise abuse any animal.

(g) It shall be unlawful for an owner or other person having care and control of any animal to abandon said animal.

(h) It shall be unlawful for a person to confine an animal in a parked or standing vehicle in such a way as to endanger the animal's health, safety, or welfare. It is presumed that an animal's health, safety, or welfare is endangered when the animal is confined in a parked or standing vehicle for a period of five (5) or more minutes when the ambient outside air temperature measures above eighty-five (85) degrees Fahrenheit or below thirty-five (35) degrees Fahrenheit.

(i) It shall be unlawful for a person to use a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device to attach a dog to a stationary object or trolley system. Restraint under such conditions is presumed to be cruel confinement for purposes of this chapter.

(j) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, it shall be unlawful for a person to confine an animal for a substantial portion of the day in an outdoor enclosure that provides less than forty-eight (48) square feet of space for each animal that it contains that is at least six (6) months old. It is presumed that an animal is being confined for a substantial portion of the day if a police officer, animal care and control officer, code enforcement officer, or the person charged with enforcing this ordinance witnesses the animal in said enclosure at least twice on the same day at two (2) separate times that are at least five (5) hours apart.

The prohibition in this paragraph (j) shall not apply to (i) registered non-profit agencies that keep animals for purposes of rescue, rehabilitation, or adoption so long as such animals are otherwise maintained in accordance with the requirements of this chapter; or (ii) situations in which animals are being boarded for a period of less than thirty (30) days so long as such animals are otherwise maintained in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

(k) It shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly manufacture, buy, sell, barter, exchange, possess, advertise, or otherwise offer equipment used for training or handling a fighting bird, including, but not limited to, a cage, decoy, pen, house for keeping a fighting bird, feeding apparatus, training pen, or a gaff, slasher, or other sharp implement designed for attachment to a fowl with the intent that the equipment be used in birdfighting. For purposes of this provision, "gaff" means an artificial steel spur designed to attach to the leg of a fowl to replace or supplement the fowl's natural spur, and "slasher" means a steel weapon resembling a curved knife blade designed to attach to the foot of a fowl. For purposes of this provision, it is presumed that equipment is intended to be used for birdfighting if the decoy or gaff, slasher, or other implement (i) bears blood or other biological matter or residue; or (ii) if a police officer, animal care and control officer, code enforcement officer, or other person charged with enforcing this ordinance witnesses the decoy or implement (a) attached to a bird or (b) in the pen, coop, or yard in which the bird is located.

(l) The actions prohibited by this section are in addition to any prohibitions existing elsewhere in this code or any applicable state or federal law. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any duty imposed on an owner by any other provision of this Code or any applicable state or federal law.

(m)

(1) Public safety officers, including officers in the city code compliance, public health, fire, and police departments, shall have the authority to seize any animal that is the subject of any violation of this section if doing so is believed to be necessary to protect the animal's health, safety, or welfare.

(2) If an officer personally witnesses a violation of any provision of this section occurring in plain view from or on public property, the officer may seize the animal without seeking issuance of a warrant even if doing so requires entering onto or into private property.

(3) If an animal is seized without a warrant under subsection (m)(2), a timely post-seizure hearing shall be held to satisfy the constitutional requirements of due process.

(n) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent public safety officers, including officers in the city code compliance, public health, fire, and police departments from euthanizing animals when authorized to do so by any statute, ordinance, or law, or when such action is deemed necessary to spare the animal unreasonable pain and suffering or in the interest of the public health and safety.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 11113, § 3, 6-9-92; Ord. No. 18027, § 1, 3-25-08; Ord. No. 18751-08-2009, § 14, 8-11-09; Ord. No. 19424-11-2010, § 1, 11-9-10)

Cross reference— License revocation for violation, § 6-5 (b).

 

Sec. 6-62. - Keeping of certain animals prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, offer for sale, barter, trade, keep, own, maintain, use or have in a person's possession or on premises under such person's control any of the following:

(a) Any dangerous animal except as provided in section 6-15 of Article III, pursuant to a final determination that the animal is dangerous; or

(b) Any prohibited animal unless that person is a person as exempted by Section 822.102, Subchapter E, Dangerous Wild Animals, of the Texas Health and Safety Code, as amended.

(c) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, offer for sale, barter, trade, keep, own, maintain, use or have in a person's possession or on premises under such person's control any of the following:

(1) Any dangerous animal except as provided in section 6-16 pursuant to a final determination that an animal is dangerous; or

(2) Any prohibited animal.

(3) A prohibited animal is exempt from this section if:

a. The animal(s) belongs to a bona fide zoological park, circus, educational institution, museum, licensed laboratory, publicly owned nature center, or animals kept by bona fide members of an educational or scientific association or society approved by the director of health, or persons holding permits from an agency of the state or the United States for the care and keeping of animals for rehabilitative purposes. If a person holds a permit from the Texas State Department of Parks and Wildlife to operate a wildcare center in the city, the permit holder must also comply with the city comprehensive zoning ordinance, as amended, and must keep any and all animals or reptiles in cages of sufficient size, construction and strength to restrain the animal or reptile at all times; or

b. The animal is an assistance or service animal as defined herein, that has been registered with the city and has provided to the animal care and control manager:

1. Records of vaccination appropriate for the species of animal;

2. Documentation from a veterinarian that the animal is healthy;

3. Proof of proper restraint for the animal; and

4. Proof that the animal has been or is being trained to perform tasks of an assistance or service animal.


(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 16022, § 4, 7-6-04; Ord. No. 16009, § 3, 4-18-06)

 

Sec. 6-63. - Guard dogs.

(a) All guard dogs shall be registered with the animal care and control manager prior to being used as guard dogs and thereafter registered annually. The combined license/rabies tag issued for a guard dog, pursuant to section 6-22, shall be of an easily identifiable shape and color and must be worn on the dog at all times.

(b) A guard dog that commits an unprovoked bite upon a human being or animal shall be quarantined as required in section 6-44. If a person committing a crime is bitten by a guard dog that is protecting life or property, the animal may be observed at a kennel, or the animal care and control center as directed by the city health officer or his authorized representative.

(c) That portion of the "Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act," Article 4413(29bb), V.T.C.S., which refers to guard dog companies and restrictions on the use of guard dogs, is hereby adopted by reference.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 11464, § 1, 12-7-93; Ord. No. 14874, § 14, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-64. - Dead animal pickup.

(a) If the city is asked to pick up a small dead animal from premises which are used for nonresidential purposes, the owner of the animal or the person in control of the premises on which the animal is located shall pay the sum established by city council for each animal which the city picks up.

(b) Owners are responsible for the proper disposition of large dead animals other than a dog or cat.

(Ord. No. 10563, § 2, 4-10-90)

 

Sec. 6-65. - Proper care of animals.

Every owner or other person having care and control of any animal shall provide the following for each animal under his or her care and control:

(a) Sufficient nutritious and wholesome food, served to the animal in clean containers, to maintain the animal in good health;

(b) Clean and wholesome water, served to the animal in a clean container, such water to be available to the animal at all times;

(c) Adequate shelter, which shall allow the animal to remain dry and protected from the elements at all times and which shall provide either natural or artificial shade for the animal to avoid direct sunlight. If the shelter is provided by enclosure, the enclosure shall allow for adequate ventilation; and

(d) Veterinary care as needed to prevent suffering.

(Ord. No. 11113, § 4, 6-9-92; Ord. No. 15822, § 1, 1-13-04)

 

Secs. 6-66—6-76. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 6-77. - Compliance.

(a) It shall be unlawful for an animal establishment to sell, trade or give away any dog or cat, over three (3) months of age, unless the dog or cat has been licensed and vaccinated as required by this chapter.

(b) The animal care and control manager shall be permitted to inspect any animal establishment and all animals and the premises where such animals are kept at any reasonable time during normal business hours to ensure compliance with all provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 12837, § 1, 1-28-97; Ord. No. 14874, § 15, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-78. - Minimum standards for animal establishments.

In addition to the other requirements of this article, animal establishments shall comply with the following minimum standards:

(a) Remove manure and droppings from pens, yards, cages, and other enclosures daily and handle or dispose of the excretions in such manner as to keep the premises free of any nuisance.

(b) Place food in impervious containers on impervious surfaces.

(c) Remove all refuse on the premises and dispose of same by a means approved by the city health officer.

(d) Such standards of sanitation shall be administered by the city health officer.

(e) Such establishments will comply with all laws and city ordinances.


It shall be unlawful for any animal establishment to fail or refuse to comply with any minimum standard set forth in this section.

(Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90)

 

Sec. 6-79. - Prohibited sales.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, exchange, trade, barter, lease, rent, give away, or display for a commercial purpose any live animal on any roadside, public right-of-way, parkway, median, park, playground, swimming pool, other recreation area, flea market, or commercial or retail parking lot that is generally accessible by the public, regardless of whether such access is authorized.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person fails to comply with this section.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under subsection (a) that the person is a: veterinary clinic; animal hospital; animal shelter; animal welfare, rescue, and/or adoption agency that is a registered non-profit entity in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; bona fide zoological park; circus; educational institution; museum; licensed laboratory; publicly owned nature center; bona fide member of an educational or scientific association or society approved by the director of health; persons holding permits from an agency of the state or the United States for the care and keeping of animals for rehabilitative purposes; animal establishment in compliance with the terms of this chapter; or individual caring for animals in his private residence in compliance with the terms of this chapter.

(d) Officers in the city's public health, code compliance, and police departments are authorized to investigate alleged violations of this section and to issue citations for such violations.

(Ord. No. 18099, § 1, 5-20-08)


Sec. 6-80. - Miniature swine generally.

Miniature swine, as defined in section 6-1, may be kept as pets in the City of Fort Worth. The following requirements shall apply to the keeping of miniature swine within the City of Fort Worth:

(a) There shall be a maximum of two (2) swine per household or business. The swine may be of any age. Under no circumstances may a person keep more than two (2) miniature swine per household or business.

(b) All swine must be either spayed or neutered. Under no circumstances may a person engage in the propagation or breeding of miniature swine within the city limits of the City of Fort Worth.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain miniature swine outdoors. A person may permit miniature swine outdoors for brief periods (but not to exceed one (1) hour per occurrence), as necessary for exercise or for the elimination of waste. The outdoor area used for exercise and waste elimination must be a secure area from which the swine may not escape. Miniature swine are subject to all other sections of this chapter, including sections on restraint of animals.

(Ord. No. 11139, § 2, 7-28-92; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98)

 

Sec. 6-81. - Vaccination requirements.

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain miniature swine unless the swine have received annual vaccinations against erysipelas, parvo virus and leptospirosis. The first inoculations for such diseases must be received before the animal is four (4) months of age. The owners of all miniature swine must forward to the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control Division a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian, within fourteen (14) days of vaccination. Such certificate shall contain the following information:

(a) Name, address, driver's license number and telephone number of the owner;

(b) Name, address and telephone number of the licensed veterinarian providing the vaccinations and certificate;

(c) Name, recent photograph and description of the animal, giving the age, weight and height;

(d) The types and dates of the vaccinations;

(e) A statement of the general health of the animal; and

(f) Certification that the animal has been either spayed or neutered.

(Ord. No. 11139, § 2, 7-28-92; Ord. No. 14874, § 16, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-82. - Registration requirements.

(a) All miniature swine kept within the City of Fort Worth shall be registered with the animal care and control division within fourteen (14) days from the time the animal is taken to its place of residence. The following requirements shall apply to registration of all miniature swine:

(1) Filing of a health certificate as described above;

(2) Payment of an annual fifty dollar ($50.00) registration fee; and

(3) Obtaining a registration tag from the animal care and control division.

(b) The owner or keeper of miniature swine must inform the animal [care and] control division within fourteen (14) days of the death, change in ownership or caretaker, or change in residence location of a miniature swine.

(Ord. No. 11139, § 2, 7-28-92; Ord. No. 14874, § 17, 12-4-01)

 

Sec. 6-83. - Conditions.

All locations where miniature swine are kept shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition. Exercise areas shall be cleaned of swine excrement on a daily basis.

(Ord. No. 11139, § 2, 7-28-92)

 

Sec. 6-84. - Violations; penalties.

(a) Any violation, disobedience, omission, neglect or failure or refusal to comply with the enforcement of any of the provisions of this article shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) for each violation. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) If any person is found guilty of having violated any provision of this article, such violation may result in revocation of such person's authorization to keep or maintain miniature swine.

(Ord. No. 11139, § 2, 7-28-92)


Sec. 6-85. - Creation.

(a) There is hereby created, pursuant to V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, Section 823.005, an animal shelter advisory committee.

(b) The purpose of the committee shall be to assist animal shelters located in the city with compliance with Chapter 823 of the Health and Safety Code. Additionally, the committee may provide recommendations to the city regarding its compliance with the Texas Rabies Control Act, and may recommend ways to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the city's animal [care and] control program.

(c) The committee shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by a majority vote of the city council. Committee members shall serve two-year terms except as provided in subsection (d).

(d) Appointments shall be as follows:

(1) Places 1, 3, 5, and 7. Terms expire each October first, each odd-numbered year. The first term of such members shall expire October 1, 1995.

(2) Places 2, 4, and 6. Terms expire each October first, each even-numbered year. The first term of such members shall expire October 1, 1996.

(e) The composition of the committee shall include at least one (1) licensed veterinarian, at least one (1) municipal official, at least one (1) person whose duties include the daily operation of an animal shelter, and at least one (1) representative from an animal welfare organization. The same person shall not be appointed to fulfill more than one (1) of these requirements.

(f) Members of the committee shall be subject to removal at any time by the city council. Any vacancy in the membership of the committee shall be filled by the city council for the unexpired term of the member whose place has, by removal or otherwise, become vacant. Vacancies shall be filled within sixty (60) days after the city council removes the member or within sixty (60) days after the city council receives notice of the member's resignation.

(Ord. No. 11547, § 1, 4-19-94)

 

Sec. 6-86. - Meetings.

(a) The committee shall meet a minimum of three (3) times per calendar year.

(b) A quorum of the committee shall consist of a majority of the members, excluding any vacancies. The presence of a quorum of the committee shall be required prior to a meeting being called to order.

(c) Approval of all items before the committee shall require a majority vote of those in attendance.

(d) The committee may adopt rules, subject to city council approval, for the conduct of its meetings.

(Ord. No. 11547, § 1, 4-19-94)

 

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FOOTNOTE(S):


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(35) Editor's note— Ord. No. 13537, § 1, adopted July 29, 1998, amended Art. III, in its entirety, to read as herein set out in §§ 6-13.5—6-20.9. Prior to inclusion of said ordinance, Art. III pertained to similar subject matter. See the Code Comparative Table.

(36) Editor's note— Ord. No. 17831, § 1, adopted October 9, 2007, amended Div. 2, in its entirety, to read as herein set out. Prior to inclusion of said ordinance, Div. 2 pertained to similar subject matter. See also the Code Comparative Table.

(37) Editor's note— Section 1 of Ord. No. 11464, adopted Dec. 7, 1993, repealed Art. IV in its entirety. Formerly, Art. IV consisted of §§ 6-21—6-25, which pertained to dog and cat licenses and derived from § 1 of Ord. No. 10553, adopted Mar. 27, 1990. Section 1 of Ord. No. 11464 provided further for the addition of a new Art. IV, §§ 6-21—6-27, as herein set out.

(38) Editor's note— Ord. No. 13537, § 1, adopted July 29, 1998, amended the title of Art. VII to read as herein set out. See the Code Comparative Table.

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