HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE


TITLE 10. HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ANIMALS


CHAPTER 822. REGULATION OF ANIMALS


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS; DOGS THAT ATTACK PERSONS OR


ARE A DANGER TO PERSONS


Sec. 822.001. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

(1) "Animal control authority" means a municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area in which the dog is kept or the county sheriff in an area that does not have an animal control office.

(2) "Serious bodily injury" means an injury characterized by severe bite wounds or severe ripping and tearing of muscle that would cause a reasonably prudent person to seek treatment from a medical professional and would require hospitalization without regard to whether the person actually sought medical treatment.

(3) "Dangerous dog," "dog," "owner," and "secure enclosure" have the meanings assigned by Section 822.041.

(4) "Secure" means to take steps that a reasonable person would take to ensure a dog remains on the owner's property, including confining the dog in an enclosure that is capable of preventing the escape or release of the dog.

Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669 (H.B. 1355), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 822.0011. APPLICATION TO CERTAIN PROPERTY. For purposes of this subchapter, a person's property includes property the person is entitled to possess or occupy under a lease or other agreement.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669 (H.B. 1355), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 822.002. SEIZURE OF A DOG CAUSING DEATH OF OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY TO A PERSON. (a) A justice court, county court, or municipal court shall order the animal control authority to seize a dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure:

(1) on the sworn complaint of any person, including the county attorney, the city attorney, or a peace officer, that the dog has caused the death of or serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person; and

(2) on a showing of probable cause to believe that the dog caused the death of or serious bodily injury to the person as stated in the complaint.

(b) The animal control authority shall seize the dog or order its seizure and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions until the court orders the disposition of the dog.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 822.001 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 822.003. HEARING. (a) The court shall set a time for a hearing to determine whether the dog caused the death of or serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person. The hearing must be held not later than the 10th day after the date on which the warrant is issued.

(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; and

(2) the person who made the complaint.

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

(d) The court shall order the dog destroyed if the court finds that the dog caused the death of a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person. If that finding is not made, the court shall order the dog released to:

(1) its owner;

(2) the person from whom the dog was seized; or

(3) any other person authorized to take possession of the dog.

(e) The court may order the dog destroyed if the court finds that the dog caused serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person. If that finding is not made, the court shall order the dog released to:

(1) its owner;

(2) the person from whom the dog was seized; or

(3) any other person authorized to take possession of the dog.

(f) The court may not order the dog destroyed if the court finds that the dog caused the serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person and:

(1) the dog was being used for the protection of a person or person's property, the attack, bite, or mauling occurred in an enclosure in which the dog was being kept, and:

(A) the enclosure was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and provided notice of the presence of a dog; and

(B) the injured person was at least eight years of age, and was trespassing in the enclosure when the attack, bite, or mauling occurred;

(2) the dog was not being used for the protection of a person or person's property, the attack, bite, or mauling occurred in an enclosure in which the dog was being kept, and the injured person was at least eight years of age and was trespassing in the enclosure when the attack, bite, or mauling occurred;

(3) the attack, bite, or mauling occurred during an arrest or other action of a peace officer while the peace officer was using the dog for law enforcement purposes;

(4) the dog was defending a person from an assault or person's property from damage or theft by the injured person; or

(5) the injured person was younger than eight years of age, the attack, bite, or mauling occurred in an enclosure in which the dog was being kept, and the enclosure was reasonably certain to keep a person younger than eight years of age from entering.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 822.002 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 822.004. DESTRUCTION OF DOG. The destruction of a dog under this subchapter must be performed by:

(1) a licensed veterinarian;

(2) personnel of a recognized animal shelter or humane society who are trained in the humane destruction of animals; or

(3) personnel of a governmental agency responsible for animal control who are trained in the humane destruction of animals.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 822.003 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 822.005. ATTACK BY DOG. (a) A person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a dog and the person:

(1) with criminal negligence, as defined by Section 6.03, Penal Code, fails to secure the dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person that occurs at a location other than the owner's real property or in or on the owner's motor vehicle or boat and that causes serious bodily injury, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, or death to the other person; or

(2) knows the dog is a dangerous dog by learning in a manner described by Section 822.042(g) that the person is the owner of a dangerous dog, and the dangerous dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person that occurs at a location other than a secure enclosure in which the dog is restrained in accordance with Subchapter D and that causes serious bodily injury, as defined by Section 822.001, or death to the other person.

(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree unless the attack causes death, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree.

(c) If a person is found guilty of an offense under this section, the court may order the dog destroyed by a person listed in Section 822.004.

(d) A person who is subject to prosecution under this section and under any other law may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 822.004 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669 (H.B. 1355), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 822.006. DEFENSES. (a) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is a veterinarian, a veterinary clinic employee, a peace officer, a person employed by a recognized animal shelter, or a person employed by this state or a political subdivision of this state to deal with stray animals and has temporary ownership, custody, or control of the dog in connection with that position.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or a law enforcement agency and trains or uses dogs for law enforcement or corrections purposes and is training or using the dog in connection with the person's official capacity.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is a dog trainer or an employee of a guard dog company under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and has temporary ownership, custody, or control of the dog in connection with that position.

(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is disabled and uses the dog to provide assistance, the dog is trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability, and the person is using the dog to provide assistance in connection with the person's disability.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person attacked by the dog was at the time of the attack engaged in conduct prohibited by Chapters 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29, and 30, Penal Code.

(f) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person and the dog are participating in an organized search and rescue effort at the request of law enforcement.

(g) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person and the dog are participating in an organized dog show or event sponsored by a nationally recognized or state-recognized kennel club.

(h) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person and the dog are engaged in:

(1) a lawful hunting activity; or

(2) a farming or ranching activity, including herding livestock, typically performed by a working dog on a farm or ranch.

(i) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person's dog was on a leash and the person:

(1) was in immediate control of the dog; or

(2) if the person was not in control of the dog, the person was making immediate and reasonable attempts to regain control of the dog.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669 (H.B. 1355), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 822.007. LOCAL REGULATION OF DOGS. This subchapter does not prohibit a municipality or county from adopting leash or registration requirements applicable to dogs.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669 (H.B. 1355), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

SUBCHAPTER B. DOGS AND COYOTES THAT ARE A DANGER TO ANIMALS


Sec. 822.011. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

(1) "Dog or coyote" includes a crossbreed between a dog and a coyote.

(2) "Livestock" includes exotic livestock as defined by Section 161.001, Agriculture Code.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1002, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 822.012. CERTAIN DOGS AND COYOTES PROHIBITED FROM RUNNING AT LARGE; CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) The owner, keeper, or person in control of a dog or coyote that the owner, keeper, or person knows is accustomed to run, worry, or kill livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may not permit the dog or coyote to run at large.

(b) A person who violates this section commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is punishable by a fine of not more than $100.

(c) Each time a dog or coyote runs at large in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 822.011 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1002, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 822.013. DOGS OR COYOTES THAT ATTACK ANIMALS. (a) A dog or coyote that is attacking, is about to attack, or has recently attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may be killed by:

(1) any person witnessing the attack; or

(2) the attacked animal's owner or a person acting on behalf of the owner if the owner or person has knowledge of the attack.

(b) A person who kills a dog or coyote as provided by this section is not liable for damages to the owner, keeper, or person in control of the dog or coyote.

(c) A person who discovers on the person's property a dog or coyote known or suspected of having killed livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may detain or impound the dog or coyote and return it to its owner or deliver the dog or coyote to the local animal control authority. The owner of the dog or coyote is liable for all costs incurred in the capture and care of the dog or coyote and all damage done by the dog or coyote.

(d) The owner, keeper, or person in control of a dog or coyote that is known to have attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowls shall control the dog or coyote in a manner approved by the local animal control authority.

(e) A person is not required to acquire a hunting license under Section 42.002, Parks and Wildlife Code, to kill a dog or coyote under this section.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 822.033 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1002, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

SUBCHAPTER C. COUNTY REGISTRATION AND REGULATION OF DOGS


Sec. 822.021. APPLICATION TO COUNTIES THAT ADOPT SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter applies only to a county that adopts this subchapter by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the county voting at an election held under this subchapter. This subchapter shall not apply to any county or municipality that enacts or has enacted registration or restraint laws pursuant to Chapter 826 (Rabies Control Act of 1981).

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 489, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 822.022. PETITION FOR ELECTION. (a) On receiving a petition signed by at least 100 qualified property taxpaying voters of the county or a majority of the qualified property taxpaying voters of the county, whichever is less, the commissioners court of a county shall order an election to determine whether the registration of and registration fee for dogs will be required in the county.

(b) The election shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date prescribed by the Election Code that allows sufficient time to comply with other requirements of law.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.023. NOTICE. In addition to the notice required by Section 4.003, Election Code, notice of an election under this subchapter shall be published at least once in an English language newspaper of general circulation in the county. If there is no English language newspaper of general circulation in the county, the notice shall be posted at the courthouse door for at least one week before the election.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.024. BALLOT PROPOSITION. The ballot for an election under this subchapter shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the proposition: "Registration of and registration fee for dogs."

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.025. ELECTION RESULT. (a) If a majority of those voting at the election vote in favor of the measure, the requirement that dogs be registered takes effect in the county on the 10th day after the date on which the result of the election is declared.

(b) The county judge shall issue a proclamation declaring the result of the election if the vote is in favor of the measure. The proclamation shall be published at least once in an English language newspaper of general circulation in the county or, if there is no English language newspaper of general circulation in the county, the proclamation shall be posted at the courthouse door.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.026. INTERVAL BETWEEN ELECTIONS. (a) If the result of an election is against the registration of and registration fee for dogs, another election on that subject may not be held for six months after the date of the election.

(b) If the result of an election is for the registration of and registration fee for dogs, an election to repeal the registration and fee may not be held for two years from the date of the election.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.027. REGISTRATION TAGS AND CERTIFICATE. (a) The commissioners court of a county shall furnish the county treasurer the necessary dog identification tags.

(b) The tags must be numbered consecutively and must be printed or impressed with the name of the county issuing the tags.

(c) The county treasurer shall assign a registration number to each dog registered with the county and shall give the owner or person having control of the dog the identification tag and a registration certificate.

(d) The county treasurer shall record the registration of a dog, including the age, breed, color, sex, and registration date of the dog. If the registration information is not recorded on microfilm, as may be permitted under other law, it shall be recorded in a book kept for that purpose.

(e) If the ownership of a dog is transferred, the dog's registration certificate shall be transferred to the new owner.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.028. REGISTRATION FEE. (a) An owner of a dog registered under this subchapter must pay a registration fee of $1. However, the commissioners court of the county may set the fee in an amount of more than $1 but not more than $5, and if the court sets the amount of the fee the owner must pay that amount.

(b) Registration is valid for one year from the date of registration.

(c) If a dog is moved to another county, the owner may present the registration certificate to the county treasurer of the county to which the dog is moved and receive without additional cost a registration certificate. The new registration certificate is valid for one year from the date of registration in the county from which the dog was moved.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 870, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2001.

Sec. 822.029. DISPOSITION OF FEE. (a) The fee collected for the registration of a dog shall be deposited to the credit of a special fund of the county and used only to:

(1) defray the cost of administering this subchapter in the county, including the costs of registration and the identification tags; and

(2) reimburse the owner of any sheep, goats, calves, or other domestic animals or fowls killed in the county by a dog not owned by the person seeking reimbursement.

(b) Reimbursement under Subsection (a)(2) shall be made on the order of the commissioners court only on satisfactory proof of the killing.

(c) The commissioners court shall determine the amount and time of reimbursement. If there is insufficient money in the fund to reimburse all injured persons in full, reimbursement shall be made on a pro rata basis.

(d) The county treasurer shall keep an accurate record showing all amounts received into and paid from the fund.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.030. REGISTRATION REQUIRED; EXCEPTION FOR TEMPORARY VISITS. (a) The owner or person having control of a dog six months of age or older in a county that has adopted this subchapter must register the dog not later than the 30th day after the date on which the proclamation is published or adopted.

(b) A dog brought into a county for not more than 10 days for breeding purposes, trial, or show is not required to be registered.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.031. UNREGISTERED DOGS PROHIBITED FROM RUNNING AT LARGE. The owner or person having control of a dog at least six months of age in a county adopting this subchapter may not allow the dog to run at large unless the dog:

(1) is registered under this subchapter with the county in which the dog runs at large; and

(2) has fastened about its neck a dog identification tag issued by the county.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 822.035. CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally:

(1) fails or refuses to register a dog required to be registered under this subchapter;

(2) fails or refuses to allow a dog to be killed when ordered by the proper authorities to do so; or

(3) violates this subchapter.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $100, confinement in the county jail for not more than 30 days, or both.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

SUBCHAPTER D. DANGEROUS DOGS


Sec. 822.041. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

(1) "Animal control authority" means a municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area where the dog is kept or a county sheriff in an area with no animal control office.

(2) "Dangerous dog" means a dog that:

(A) makes an unprovoked attack on a person 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

(B) 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.

(3) "Dog" means a domesticated animal that is a member of the canine family.

(4) "Secure enclosure" means a fenced area or structure that is:

(A) locked;

(B) capable of preventing the entry of the general public, including children;

(C) capable of preventing the escape or release of a dog;

(D) clearly marked as containing a dangerous dog; and

(E) in conformance with the requirements for enclosures established by the local animal control authority.

(5) "Owner" means a person who owns or has custody or control of the dog.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 822.042. REQUIREMENTS FOR OWNER OF DANGEROUS DOG. (a) Not later than the 30th 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 for the area in which the dog is kept;

(2) restrain the dangerous dog at all times on a leash in the immediate control of a person or in a secure enclosure;

(3) obtain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in an amount of at least $100,000 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 control authority for the area in which the dog is kept; and

(4) comply with an applicable municipal or county regulation, requirement, or restriction on dangerous dogs.

(b) The owner of a dangerous dog who does not comply with Subsection (a) shall deliver the dog to the animal control authority not later than the 30th day after the owner learns that the dog is a dangerous dog.

(c) If, on application of any person, a justice court, county court, or municipal court finds, after notice and hearing as provided by Section 822.0423, that the owner of a dangerous dog has failed to comply with Subsection (a) or (b), the court shall order the animal control authority to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. The authority shall seize the dog or order its seizure and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions.

(d) The owner shall pay any cost or fee assessed by the municipality or county related to the seizure, acceptance, impoundment, or destruction of the dog. The governing body of the municipality or county may prescribe the amount of the fees.

(e) The court shall order the animal control authority to humanely destroy the dog if the owner has not complied with Subsection (a) before the 11th day after the date on which the dog is seized or delivered to the authority. The court shall order the authority to return the dog to the owner if the owner complies with Subsection (a) before the 11th day after the date on which the dog is seized or delivered to the authority.

(f) The court may order the humane destruction of a dog if the owner of the dog has not been located before the 15th day after the seizure and impoundment of the dog.

(g) For purposes of this section, a person learns that the person is the owner of a dangerous dog when:

(1) the owner knows of an attack described in Section 822.041(2)(A) or (B);

(2) the owner receives notice that a justice court, county court, or municipal court has found that the dog is a dangerous dog under Section 822.0423; or

(3) the owner is informed by the animal control authority that the dog is a dangerous dog under Section 822.0421.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 96, Sec. 1, eff. May 17, 1999.

Sec. 822.0421. DETERMINATION THAT DOG IS DANGEROUS. (a) If a person reports an incident described by Section 822.041(2), the animal control authority may investigate the incident. If, after receiving the sworn statements of any witnesses, the animal control authority determines the dog is a dangerous dog, it shall notify the owner of that fact.

(b) An owner, not later than the 15th day after the date the owner is notified that a dog owned by the owner is a dangerous dog, may appeal the determination of the animal control authority to a justice, county, or municipal court of competent jurisdiction. An owner may appeal the decision of the justice, county, or municipal court in the same manner as appeal for other cases from the justice, county, or municipal court.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 822.0422. REPORTING OF INCIDENT IN CERTAIN COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES. (a) This section applies only to a county with a population of more than 2,800,000, to a county in which the commissioners court has entered an order electing to be governed by this section, and to a municipality in which the governing body has adopted an ordinance electing to be governed by this section.

(b) A person may report an incident described by Section 822.041(2) to a municipal court, a justice court, or a county court. The owner of the dog shall deliver the dog to the animal control authority not later than the fifth day after the date on which the owner receives notice that the report has been filed. The authority may provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions until the court orders the disposition of the dog.

(c) If the owner fails to deliver the dog as required by Subsection (b), the court shall order the animal control authority to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. The authority shall seize the dog or order its seizure and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions until the court orders the disposition of the dog. The owner shall pay any cost incurred in seizing the dog.

(d) The court shall determine, after notice and hearing as provided in Section 822.0423, whether the dog is a dangerous dog.

(e) The court, after determining that the dog is a dangerous dog, may order the animal control authority to continue to impound the dangerous dog in secure and humane conditions until the court orders disposition of the dog under Section 822.042 and the dog is returned to the owner or destroyed.

(f) The owner shall pay a cost or fee assessed under Section 822.042(d).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 96, Sec. 2, eff. May 17, 1999.

Sec. 822.0423. HEARING. (a) The court, on receiving a report of an incident under Section 822.0422 or on application under Section 822.042(c), shall set a time for a hearing to determine whether the dog is a dangerous dog or whether the owner of the dog has complied with Section 822.042. The hearing must be held not later than the 10th 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; and

(2) the person who made the complaint.

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

(d) An owner or person filing the action may appeal the decision of the municipal court, justice court, or county court in the manner provided for the appeal of cases from the municipal, justice, or county court.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 822.043. REGISTRATION. (a) An animal control authority for the area in which the dog is kept shall annually register a dangerous dog if the owner:

(1) presents proof of:

(A) liability insurance or financial responsibility, as required by Section 822.042;

(B) current rabies vaccination of the dangerous dog; and

(C) the secure enclosure in which the dangerous dog will be kept; and

(2) pays an annual registration fee of $50.

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

(c) If an owner of a registered dangerous dog sells or moves the dog to a new address, the owner, not later than the 14th 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. On presentation by the current owner of the dangerous dog's prior registration tag and payment of a fee of $25, the animal control authority shall issue a new registration tag to be placed on the dangerous dog's collar.

(d) An 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.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 822.044. ATTACK BY DANGEROUS DOG. (a) A person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a dangerous dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person outside the dog's enclosure and causes bodily injury to the other person.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(c) If a person is found guilty of an offense under this section, the court may order the dangerous dog destroyed by a person listed in Section 822.004.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669 (H.B. 1355), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 669 (H.B. 1355), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 822.045. 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 Section 822.042 or Section 822.0422(b) or an applicable municipal or county regulation relating to dangerous dogs.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted under this section.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 822.046. DEFENSE. (a) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.044 or Section 822.045 that the person is a veterinarian, a peace officer, a person employed by a recognized animal shelter, or a 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 in connection with that position.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.044 or Section 822.045 that the person is an employee of the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or a law enforcement agency and trains or uses dogs for law enforcement or corrections purposes.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.044 or Section 822.045 that the person is a dog trainer or an employee of a guard dog company under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.809, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.047. LOCAL REGULATION OF DANGEROUS DOGS. A county or municipality may place additional requirements or restrictions on dangerous dogs if the requirements or restrictions:

(1) are not specific to one breed or several breeds of dogs; and

(2) are more stringent than restrictions provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

SUBCHAPTER E. DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS


Sec. 822.101. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

(1) "Animal registration agency" means the municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area where a dangerous wild animal is kept or a county sheriff in an area that does not have an animal control office.

(2) "Board" means the Texas Board of Health.

(3) "Commercial activity" means:

(A) an activity involving a dangerous wild animal conducted for profit that is not inherent to the animal's nature;

(B) an activity for which a fee is charged and that is entertainment using or an exhibition of the animal; or

(C) the selling, trading, bartering, or auctioning of a dangerous wild animal or a dangerous wild animal's body parts.

(4) "Dangerous wild animal" means:

(A) a lion;

(B) a tiger;

(C) an ocelot;

(D) a cougar;

(E) a leopard;

(F) a cheetah;

(G) a jaguar;

(H) a bobcat;

(I) a lynx;

(J) a serval;

(K) a caracal;

(L) a hyena;

(M) a bear;

(N) a coyote;

(O) a jackal;

(P) a baboon;

(Q) a chimpanzee;

(R) an orangutan;

(S) a gorilla; or

(T) any hybrid of an animal listed in this subdivision.

(5) "Owner" means any person who owns, harbors, or has custody or control of a dangerous wild animal.

(6) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, joint stock company, foundation, or association of individuals.

(7) "Primary enclosure" means any structure used to immediately restrict an animal to a limited amount of space, including a cage, pen, run, room, compartment, or hutch.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.102. APPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. (a) This subchapter does not apply to:

(1) a county, municipality, or agency of the state or an agency of the United States or an agent or official of a county, municipality, or agency acting in an official capacity;

(2) a research facility, as that term is defined by Section 2(e), Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2132), and its subsequent amendments, that is licensed by the secretary of agriculture of the United States under that Act;

(3) an organization that is an accredited member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association;

(4) an injured, infirm, orphaned, or abandoned dangerous wild animal while being transported for care or treatment;

(5) an injured, infirm, orphaned, or abandoned dangerous wild animal while being rehabilitated, treated, or cared for by a licensed veterinarian, an incorporated humane society or animal shelter, or a person who holds a rehabilitation permit issued under Subchapter C, Chapter 43, Parks and Wildlife Code;

(6) a dangerous wild animal owned by and in the custody and control of a transient circus company that is not based in this state if:

(A) the animal is used as an integral part of the circus performances; and

(B) the animal is kept within this state only during the time the circus is performing in this state or for a period not to exceed 30 days while the circus is performing outside the United States;

(7) a dangerous wild animal while in the temporary custody or control of a television or motion picture production company during the filming of a television or motion picture production in this state;

(8) a dangerous wild animal owned by and in the possession, custody, or control of a college or university solely as a mascot for the college or university;

(9) a dangerous wild animal while being transported in interstate commerce through the state in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments and the regulations adopted under that Act;

(10) a nonhuman primate owned by and in the control and custody of a person whose only business is supplying nonhuman primates directly and exclusively to biomedical research facilities and who holds a Class "A" or Class "B" dealer's license issued by the secretary of agriculture of the United States under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments;

(11) a dangerous wild animal that is:

(A) owned by or in the possession, control, or custody of a person who is a participant in a species survival plan of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association for that species; and

(B) an integral part of that species survival plan; and

(12) in a county west of the Pecos River that has a population of less than 25,000, a cougar, bobcat, or coyote in the possession, custody, or control of a person that has trapped the cougar, bobcat, or coyote as part of a predator or depredation control activity.

(b) This subchapter does not require a municipality that does not have an animal control office to create that office.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 992 (H.B. 2026), Sec. 31, eff. June 18, 2005.

Sec. 822.103. CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION; FEES. (a) A person may not own, harbor, or have custody or control of a dangerous wild animal for any purpose unless the person holds a certificate of registration for that animal issued by an animal registration agency.

(b) A certificate of registration issued under this subchapter is not transferrable and is valid for one year after its date of issuance or renewal unless revoked.

(c) The animal registration agency may establish and charge reasonable fees for application, issuance, and renewal of a certificate of registration in order to recover the costs associated with the administration and enforcement of this subchapter. The fee charged to an applicant may not exceed $50 for each animal registered and may not exceed $500 for each person registering animals, regardless of the number of animals owned by the person. The fees collected under this section may be used only to administer and enforce this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.104. CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION APPLICATION. (a) An applicant for an original or renewal certificate of registration for a dangerous wild animal must file an application with an animal registration agency on a form provided by the animal registration agency.

(b) The application must include:

(1) the name, address, and telephone number of the applicant;

(2) a complete identification of each animal, including species, sex, age, if known, and any distinguishing marks or coloration that would aid in the identification of the animal;

(3) the exact location where each animal is to be kept;

(4) a sworn statement that:

(A) all information in the application is complete and accurate; and

(B) the applicant has read this subchapter and that all facilities used by the applicant to confine or enclose the animal comply with the requirements of this subchapter; and

(5) any other information the animal registration agency may require.

(c) An applicant shall include with each application:

(1) the nonrefundable fee;

(2) proof, in a form acceptable by the animal registration agency, that the applicant has liability insurance, as required by Section 822.107;

(3) a color photograph of each animal being registered taken not earlier than the 30th day before the date the application is filed;

(4) a photograph and a statement of the dimensions of the primary enclosure in which each animal is to be kept and a scale diagram of the premises where each animal will be kept, including the location of any perimeter fencing and any residence on the premises; and

(5) if an applicant holds a Class "A" or Class "B" dealer's license or Class "C" exhibitor's license issued by the secretary of agriculture of the United States under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments, a clear and legible photocopy of the license.

(d) In addition to the items required under Subsection (c), an application for renewal must include a statement signed by a veterinarian licensed to practice in this state stating that the veterinarian:

(1) inspected each animal being registered not earlier than the 30th day before the date of the filing of the renewal application; and

(2) finds that the care and treatment of each animal by the owner meets or exceeds the standards prescribed under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.105. DENIAL OR REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION; APPEAL. (a) If the animal registration agency finds that an application for an original or renewal certificate of registration under this subchapter does not meet the requirements of Section 822.104 or, after inspection, that an applicant has not complied with this subchapter, the animal registration agency shall deny the applicant a certificate of registration and give the applicant written notice of the denial and the reasons for the denial.

(b) If the animal registration agency finds, after inspection, that a registered owner provided false information in or in connection with the application or has not complied with this subchapter, the animal registration agency shall revoke the certificate of registration and give the owner written notice of the revocation and the reasons for the revocation.

(c) A person may appeal the denial of an original or renewal certificate of registration or the revocation of a certificate of registration to the justice court for the precinct in which the animal is located or the municipal court in the municipality in which the animal is located not later than the 15th day after the date the certificate of registration is denied or revoked. Either party may appeal the decision of the justice or municipal court to a county court or county court at law in the county in which the justice or municipal court is located. The decision of the county court or county court at law may not be appealed.

(d) The filing of an appeal of the denial or revocation of a certificate of registration under Subsection (c) stays the denial or revocation until the court rules on the appeal.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.106. DISPLAY OF CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION. (a) A holder of a certificate of registration shall prominently display the certificate at the premises where each animal that is the subject of the certificate of registration is kept.

(b) Not later than the 10th day after the date a person receives a certificate of registration, the person shall file a clear and legible copy of the certificate of registration with the Texas Department of Health. The department shall establish a procedure for filing a certificate of registration and shall charge a reasonable fee in an amount sufficient to recover the cost associated with filing a certificate of registration under this subsection.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.107. LIABILITY INSURANCE. An owner of a dangerous wild animal shall maintain liability insurance coverage in an amount of not less than $100,000 for each occurrence for liability for damages for destruction of or damage to property and death or bodily injury to a person caused by the dangerous wild animal.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.108. INSPECTION. An owner of a dangerous wild animal, at all reasonable times, shall allow the animal registration agency, its staff, its agents, or a designated licensed veterinarian to enter the premises where the animal is kept and to inspect the animal, the primary enclosure for the animal, and the owner's records relating to the animal to ensure compliance with this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.109. RELOCATION OR DISPOSITION OF ANIMAL. (a) An owner of a dangerous wild animal may not permanently relocate the animal unless the owner first notifies the animal registration agency in writing of the exact location to which the animal will be relocated and provides the animal registration agency, with respect to the new location, the information required by Section 822.104.

(b) Within 10 days after the death, sale, or other disposition of the animal, the owner of the animal shall notify the animal registration agency in writing of the death, sale, or other disposition.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.110. ATTACK BY ANIMAL; ESCAPE OF ANIMAL; LIABILITY. (a) An owner of a dangerous wild animal shall notify the animal registration agency of any attack of a human by the animal within 48 hours of the attack.

(b) An owner of a dangerous wild animal shall immediately notify the animal registration agency and the local law enforcement agency of any escape of the animal.

(c) An owner of a dangerous wild animal that escapes is liable for all costs incurred in apprehending and confining the animal.

(d) An animal registration agency, a law enforcement agency, or an employee of an animal registration agency or law enforcement agency is not liable to an owner of a dangerous wild animal for damages arising in connection with the escape of a dangerous wild animal, including liability for damage, injury, or death caused by the animal during or after the animal's escape, or for injury to or death of the animal as a result of apprehension or confinement of the animal after escape.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.111. POWERS AND DUTIES OF BOARD; CAGING REQUIREMENTS AND STANDARDS. (a) The board by rule shall establish caging requirements and standards for the keeping and confinement of a dangerous wild animal to ensure that the animal is kept in a manner and confined in a primary enclosure that:

(1) protects and enhances the public's health and safety;

(2) prevents escape by the animal; and

(3) provides a safe, healthy, and humane environment for the animal.

(b) An owner of a dangerous wild animal shall keep and confine the animal in accordance with the caging requirements and standards established by the board.

(c) An animal registration agency may approve a deviation from the caging requirements and standards established by the board, only if:

(1) the animal registration agency has good cause for the deviation; and

(2) the deviation:

(A) does not compromise the public's health and safety;

(B) does not reduce the total area of the primary enclosure below that established by the board; and

(C) does not otherwise adversely affect the overall welfare of the animal involved.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.112. CARE, TREATMENT, AND TRANSPORTATION OF ANIMAL. (a) For each dangerous wild animal, the owner shall comply with all applicable standards of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments and the regulations adopted under that Act relating to:

(1) facilities and operations;

(2) animal health and husbandry; and

(3) veterinary care.

(b) An owner of a dangerous wild animal shall maintain a separate written log for each dangerous wild animal documenting the animal's veterinary care and shall make the log available to the animal registration agency or its agent on request. The log must:

(1) identify the animal treated;

(2) provide the date of treatment;

(3) describe the type or nature of treatment; and

(4) provide the name of the attending veterinarian, if applicable.

(c) When transporting a dangerous wild animal, the owner of the animal, or a designated carrier or intermediate handler of the animal, shall comply with all transportation standards that apply to that animal under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments or the regulations adopted under that Act.

(d) A person is exempt from the requirements of this section if the person is caring for, treating, or transporting an animal for which the person holds a Class "A" or Class "B" dealer's license or a Class "C" exhibitor's license issued by the secretary of agriculture of the United States under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.113. OFFENSE AND PENALTY. (a) A person commits an offense if the person violates Section 822.103(a), Section 822.106, or Section 822.110(a) or (b). Each animal with respect to which there is a violation and each day that a violation continues is a separate offense.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly sells or otherwise transfers ownership of a dangerous wild animal to a person who does not have a certificate of registration for that animal as required by this subchapter.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.114. CIVIL PENALTY. (a) A person who violates Section 822.103(a) is liable for a civil penalty of not less than $200 and not more than $2,000 for each animal with respect to which there is a violation and for each day the violation continues.

(b) The county or municipality in which the violation occurs may sue to collect a civil penalty. A civil penalty collected under this subsection may be retained by the county or municipality.

(c) The county or municipality in which the violation occurs may also recover the reasonable costs of investigation, reasonable attorney's fees, and reasonable expert witness fees incurred by the animal registration agency in the civil action. Costs or fees recovered under this subsection shall be credited to the operating account from which payment for the animal registration agency's expenditures was made.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.115. INJUNCTION. Any person who is directly harmed or threatened with harm by a violation of this subchapter or a failure to enforce this subchapter may sue an owner of a dangerous wild animal to enjoin a violation of this subchapter or to enforce this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 822.116. EFFECT OF SUBCHAPTER ON OTHER LAW. (a) This subchapter does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of this state or a political subdivision of this state.

(b) This subchapter does not prevent a municipality or county from prohibiting or regulating by ordinance or order the ownership, possession, confinement, or care of a dangerous wild animal.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.