Ordinance #041415-1

 Sec. 2.01.001     Right to keep animals

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, own, maintain, use or have in his possession or on premises under his control within the city, any livestock, fowl, pet, or other animal, except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

 Sec. 2.01.002     Definitions

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Adult animal. An animal that is six (6) months of age or older.

Animal. Any living creature including but not limited to dogs, cats, cows, horses, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, insects, fowl and livestock, but specifically excluding human beings.

Animal control authority/officer. A person designated by the city to represent and act for the city in the impounding of animals, controlling of animals running at-large and as otherwise required to enforce the provisions of this article and to enforce all regulations relating to animals as authorized by the state.

At-large.

(1)     Off-premises. Any animal which is not restrained by means of a leash or chain of sufficient strength and not more than six feet (6') in length to control the actions of such animal while off the owner’s property.

(2)     On-premises. Any animal not confined on-premises of owner by a substantial fence of sufficient strength and height to prevent the animal from escaping therefrom, or secured on the premises by a metal chain or leash sufficient in strength to prevent the animal from escaping from premises and so arranged that the animal will remain upon the premises and not come any closer than six feet (6') to a public walkway or sidewalk when the restraint leash is stretched to full length.

Currently vaccinated. Vaccinated against rabies and satisfying the following criteria:

(1)     The animal must have been at least three (3) months of age at the time of vaccination;

(2)     At least thirty (30) days have elapsed since the animal was vaccinated; and

(3)     Not more than twelve (12) months have elapsed since the date of the most recent vaccination of the animal.

Domesticated. An animal that has been tamed by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet, work animal or food source.

Fowl. Chickens, turkeys, pheasant, quail, geese, peacocks, ducks, or other similar feathered animals regardless of age, breed or sex.

Kennel.

(1)     Any lot, building, structure, enclosure or premises where five (5) or more adult animals are kept; and

(2)     Any premises wherein any person engages in the business of boarding, breeding, buying, letting for hire, training for a fee, or selling dogs, cats, or other animals.

Livestock. All domesticated animals, including but not limited to horses, cows, mules, goats, sheep, pigs, hogs, rabbits, and pigeons, and does not include dogs and cats.

Notice/official notice. By personal service, certified mail return receipt requested, or a written notice left at the entrance to the premises where the animal is harbored.

Owner. Any person, partnership, or corporation owning, keeping, or harboring one (1) or more animals. An animal shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for three (3) consecutive days or more.

Pet. Any animal kept for pleasure rather than utility.

Pig. All swine animals regardless of age, breed or sex.

Public nuisance. A condition which exists when any owner or person allows an animal to: Molest passerby or passing vehicles; attack other animals; repeatedly roam at-large; damage public or private property; bark, whine, meow, crow, howl, or otherwise make noise in an excessive, continuous, or untimely fashion; or, violate any of the conditions set forth in this article.

Rabbit. All members of the leporine family regardless of age, breed or sex.

Restraint. Secured by a leash, lead, cord, chain or rope six feet (6') or less in length; or secured within a kennel or pen, or secured within the fenced real property limits of its owner, and may not come any closer than six feet (6') to a public walkway or sidewalk when the restraint lead is stretched to full length.

Sanitary. Any condition of good order and cleanliness which precludes the probability of disease transmission.

Secure enclosure. A fenced pen, kennel or structure that is locked, and is capable of preventing the entry of the general public, including children; is capable of preventing the escape or release of an animal; is clearly marked as containing a quarantined/dangerous animal; and is in conformance with any additional requirements for enclosures, as established and provided in writing to the owner by the health department.

Unprovoked. The animal was not hit, kicked, pulled, struck, pinched, or squeezed by a person with an object or a part of the person’s body, or otherwise teased or tormented in any manner.

Vaccination. An injection of United States Department of Agriculture approved rabies vaccine administered every twelve (12) months or as prescribed by the state board of health by a licensed veterinarian.

Veterinary hospital/clinic. Any establishment maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for surgery, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of animals.

Vicious animal. Any animal which without reasonable provocation habitually attacks other animals, or has without provocation bitten or physically attacked a human being or has behaved in such a manner that the owner thereof knows or should reasonable know that the animal is possessed of tendencies to attack or bite, but does not include an animal which bites, attacks or menaces a trespasser on the property of its owner or harms or menaces anyone who has tormented, tortured or exhibited cruelty to such animal.

Wild/prohibited animal. Any live animal, other than a common domestic species, regardless of the state or duration of captivity which can be normally found in the wild state, or may pose a potential physical or disease threat to the public or that is protected by international, federal, or state regulations, including but not limited to the following:

(1)     Animals not listed. The director of health may declare any species of animal not listed in this subsection as “prohibited” if the confinement of the animal within the city can be shown to constitute a threat to public health and safety; and does not mean any bird kept in a cage or aviary that is not regulated by international, federal, or state law, or a gerbil, hamster, guinea pig or laboratory mouse or rat;

(2)     Class Aves. Order Falconiforms (such as hawks, eagles, and vultures); Subdivision Ratitae (such as ostriches, rheas, cassowaries, and emus); and Order Strigiforms (such as owls);

(3)     Class Mammalia. Order Carnivora, Family Felidae (such as ocelots, margays, tigers, jaguars, leopards, and cougars), except commonly accepted domesticated cats; Family Canidae (such as wolves, wolf-dog, hybrids, dingos, coyotes and jackals), except domesticated dogs; Family Mustelidae (such as weasels, skunks, martins, mink and badgers) except domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo); Family Procyonidae (raccoon); Family Ursidae (such as bears); Order Marsupialia (such as kangeroos, wallabies and common oppossums); Order Edentata (such as sloths, anteaters and armadillos); Order Proboscidea (elephants); Order Primata (such as monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas); Order Rodentia (such as porcupines); and Order Ungulata (such as antelope, deer, bison and camels), unless the Order Ungalata are located on-premises which meet the definition of the farm/ranch;

(4)     Class Reptillia. Family Heldermatidea (venomous lizards); Family Viperidae (rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, other pit vipers and true vipers); Family Elapidae (coral snakes, cobras, mambas, and other elapids); the following listed species of Family Colubridae Dispholidus typus (boomsiang), Hydrodynastes gigas (water cobra), Bioga (mangrove snake), and Thelotornis (African twig snake) only; Order Phidia, Family Boidae (racers, boas, water snakes, and pythons); and Order Crocadilia (crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gavials).

 Sec. 2.01.003     Types of animals

(a)     Dogs and cats. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or to permit the keeping of dogs and/or cats on premises owned by him or under his control except as follows:

(1)     Any person who owns, possesses or harbors a dog within the corporate limits of the city, commits an offense, without regard to his mental state, if he allows said dog to run at-large.

(2)     All dogs and cats which are kept, harbored or maintained within the corporate limits of the city, shall be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian by the time it is six (6) months of age and within each subsequent twelve (12) month interval thereafter, a vaccination certificate must be issued to the owner and maintained as proof of vaccination.

(3)     Commercial kennels are prohibited.

(b)     Livestock. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or to permit the keeping of livestock on premises owned by him or under his control except as follows:

(1)     No livestock shall be kept on any premises of less than three (3) areas.

(2)     For each premises three (3) acres or larger, an owner may keep one head of adult livestock for each two (2) acres.

(3)     It shall be unlawful to erect a structure, pen or corral for the keeping of livestock closer than two hundred feet (200') or five hundred feet (500') in the case of pigs, from any building located on another’s property that is used for habitation.

(4)     The distance provisions of this section shall not apply to a structure, pen or other enclosure in which livestock are kept and maintained prior to:

(A)     The passage of this article.

(B)     The time a residential structure was erected on another’s property so as to cause a violation of the distance requirements stated above.

(5)     It shall be unlawful for any person, without regard to his mental state, to allow any livestock to run at-large.

(6)     Fences for pens, corrals and grazing areas must be of sufficient height and strength to retain said animal.

(7)     Premises must be maintained in clean and sanitary conditions at all times.

(8)     It shall be unlawful for an owner of any dead horse, cow, sheep, goat or pig on private property to fail to lawfully dispose of the dead animal within twenty-four (24) hours of its discovery by the owner.

(c)     Fowl and rabbits. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or to permit the keeping of fowl and/or rabbits on premises owned by him or under his control except as follows:

(1)     No fowl and/or rabbits shall be kept on any premises of less than three (3) acres.

(2)     For each premises three (3) acres or larger an owner may keep five (5) adult fowl or rabbits for each two (2) acres.

(3)     It shall be unlawful to erect a structure, pen or other enclosure for the keeping of fowl and/or rabbits closer than twenty-five feet (25') from any building on another’s property that is used for habitation.

(4)     The distance provisions of this section shall not apply to a structure, pen or other enclosure in which fowl and/or rabbits are kept and maintained prior to:

(A)     The passage of this article.

(B)     The time a residential structure was erected on another’s property so as to cause a violation of the distance requirements stated above.

(5)     It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, to permit fowl and/or rabbits kept or possessed by them or under their control to wander in or upon or invade the premises of any other person.

(6)     All structures, pens or other enclosures for the keeping of fowl and/or rabbits must be maintained in clean and sanitary conditions at all times.

(7)     It shall be unlawful to color, dye, stain or otherwise change the natural color of any chickens, ducklings or other fowl or rabbit.

(d)     Vicious animals.

(1)     Confinement.

(A)     All vicious animals shall be securely confined, either indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked kennel, pen or structure outdoors, except as provided for in subsection (2) below.

(B)     Such outdoor kennel, pen or structure shall meet the following standards:

(i)     All kennels, pens or structures shall comply with all zoning and construction regulations of the city.

(ii)     All kennels, pens or structures must be of sufficient design and construction to restrain said vicious animal at all times.

(iii)     At no place within the kennel, pen or structure shall a vicious animal be able to put his mouth outside of the enclosure.

(iv)     All kennels, pens or structures used to confine vicious animals must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals are within the enclosures.

(v)     All gates or doors opening through such enclosures shall be equipped with a self-closing and self-latching device for keeping the gate or door securely closed at all times when not in actual use, except that the door of any dwelling which forms a part of the enclosure need not be so equipped.

(vi)     All kennels, pens or structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and must be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

(2)     Leash and muzzle.

(A)     It shall be unlawful for any person to permit a vicious animal to go outside its kennel or place of enclosure unless said animal is securely leashed with a leash no longer than four feet (4') in length and unless said animal is muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent said animal from biting persons or other animals.

(B)     An owner shall be in physical control of a leashed vicious animal at all times, and it shall be unlawful for said owner to leave such animal tied on a chain, rope or other type leash outside of its kennel or place of enclosure to an inanimate object such as a tree, post, building, car or truck.

(3)     Prohibited animals. A person commits an offense if he owns, possesses, exhibits, or harbors a prohibited animal within the corporate limits of the city.

 Sec. 2.01.004     Animal care guidelines

The following are established as guidelines for animal care and are not intended to contravene the provisions for animal cruelty in the Texas Penal Code.

(1)     All animals shall be fed with a quantity of good wholesome food sufficient to keep them in a well-nourished condition, and such food shall be served to said animals in a clean and sanitary manner.

(2)     All animals shall be provided with pure, clean water in sufficient quantities at all times.

(3)     All animals shall be provided with proper shelter and protection from the weather.

(4)     All stables, pens, corrals, yards or enclosures in which animals reside shall be kept and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

(5)     All animals shall be provided with veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering.

(6)     No person shall beat, cruelly treat, torment, torture, overload, overwork or otherwise abuse an animal, or cause, instigate or permit any dogfight, cockfight, bullfight or other combat between animals or between animals and humans.

(7)     No person shall intentionally or knowingly confine or allow to be confined any animal in a motor vehicle or trailer under such conditions or for such a period of time as may endanger the health or well-being of the animal due to heat, lack of food or water or any other circumstance which causes suffering, disability or death of said animal.

(8)     It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly bring into the city an animal having any infectious or contagious disease, whereby the health or lives of other animals shall be endangered.

(9)     It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or give away any animal under four (4) weeks of age.

 Sec. 2.01.005     Public nuisances

(a)     Noise. No person shall willfully or knowingly keep or harbor on his premises or elsewhere in the city, any animal or fowl of any kind that makes or creates an unreasonable disturbance of the neighbors or the occupants of adjacent premises or persons living in the vicinity there of, or permit such animal to make or create disturbing noises by howling, barking, crowing, bawling or otherwise. A person shall be deemed to have willfully and knowingly violated terms of this section if such person shall have been notified by an elected official of the city, peace officer or code enforcement of such disturbance and shall have, within twenty-four (24) hours failed or refused to correct such disturbance and prevent its recurrence.

(b)     Odors. The owner or person in possession of animals shall keep yards, pens and enclosures in which such animals reside in such a manner so as not to give off odors offensive to persons of ordinary sensibilities residing in the vicinity, or to breed or attract flies, mosquitoes or other noxious insects, or in any manner to endanger the public health or safety.

(c)     Procedure for declaration of a public nuisance. When a police officer or other designee of the city to provide animal control is of the opinion that an animal is a public nuisance, that person shall do the following:

(1)     The officer or designee shall notify animal control.

(2)     Animal control is hereby authorized and directed to take any reasonable actions necessary to abate the nuisance, including but not limited to:

(A)     Fines.

(B)     Requiring further constraints.

(C)     Requiring the animal be kept indoors.

(D)     Muzzling.

(E)     Destroying the animal.

(3)     Any animal is declared to be a public nuisance which:

(A)     Molests passersby or passing vehicles;

(B)     Attacks other animals or human beings;

(C)     Trespasses on school grounds;

(D)     Roams at-large;

(E)     Causes any damage or defilement to public or private property; or

(F)     Barks, whines, meows, howls or makes other annoying noises in an excessive, continuous, or unreasonable fashion, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. The violation of public nuisance as defined in this article will be enforced as a citable offense between these hours per the officer’s discretion.

 Sec. 2.01.006     Abandonment of animals prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly abandon any animal within the corporate limits of the city.

 Sec. 2.01.007     Poisoning of animals prohibited

No person shall poison any domestic animal or distribute poison in any manner whatsoever with the intent or for the purpose of poisoning a domestic animal.

 Sec. 2.01.008     Traps

(a)     Only humane live-animal traps may be used for capturing animals roaming unrestrained in the city. The use of steel jaw traps to apprehend animals is illegal. As an exception to this section, governmental agencies and entities shall be permitted to use such traps and equipment as necessary and permitted by state law or regulation.

(b)     No person shall remove, alter, damage or otherwise tamper with a trap or equipment set out by the animal control authority.

 Sec. 2.01.009     Investigation

(a)     For the purpose of discharging the duties imposed by this article and to enforce its provisions, any agent of the city or any police officer is empowered to enter upon any premises upon which an animal is kept or harbored and to demand the exhibition by the owner of such dog, cat or other animal or the license for such animal.

(b)     It shall be unlawful for any owner or person to interfere with an animal control officer or peace officer in the performance of his duties as prescribed by this article.

(c)     Animal control officers have the right to pursue and apprehend animals running at-large onto private property while enforcing the provisions of this article.

 Sec. 2.01.010     Enforcement

(a)     The provisions of this article shall be enforced by representatives of the police department and the animal control officer designated by the city. The police department and animal control officer have the authority to issue citations to persons violating the provisions of this article.

(b)     It shall be unlawful for any owner or person to interfere with an animal control officer or peace officer in the performance of his duties as prescribed by this article.

(c)     Animal control officers have the right to pursue and apprehend animals running at-large onto private property while enforcing the provisions of this article.

(Ordinance 041415-1 adopted 4/14/15)