This chapter may be cited as the City of Krugerville Animal Control Chapter.
The following words, terms, phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Animal. Unless otherwise stated, means all living creatures; excluding human beings, and where applicable includes birds, fish, mammals and reptiles.
Animal Control Center. Means a facility maintained by the City of Krugerville or a facility contracted by the City of Krugerville for the purposes of Animal Control as described in this Article.
Animal Control Officer. Means the person designated by the city council to represent and act for the city in the impoundment of animals, controlling of stray animals and as otherwise required in this chapter.
Building. Means any enclosed structure intended for use or occupation as a habitation.
Enter. Means the intrusion of the entire body.
Habitation. Means a structure that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons and includes the following:
(1) Each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure; and
(2) Each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure.
Livestock. Means domesticated animals normally kept for farm purposes, including but not limited to cattle, horses, sheep, goats and pigs.
Owner. Means any person who has title to any animal, harbors or keeps any animal in his possession or who permits any animal to remain on or about his premises.
Possession. Means actual care, custody, control or management.
Premises. Means the grounds and all buildings and appurtenances pertaining to the grounds, including any adjacent premises if they are directly or indirectly under the control of the same person.
Prohibited Animal. Means an animal not normally considered domesticated, including but not limited to the following:
(1) Class Reptilia. Family Helodermatidea (the venomous lizards); family Viperidae (rattlesnakes, pit vipers and true vipers); family Elapidae (coral snakes, cobras and mambas); family Colubridae-Dispholidus typus (boomsland), Cyclagras gigas (water cobra) and Boiga dendrophila (mangrove snake) only; order Phidia (racers, boas, water snakes and pythons); order Crocodilia (crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gavials);
(2) Class Aves. Subdivision Ratitae (such as ostriches, rheas, cassowaries and emus);
(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, dingos, coyotes and jackals), except domesticated dogs; family Mustelidae (such as weasels, martens, minks, badgers); family Procyonidae (raccoons); family Ursidae (such as bears); order Marsupialia (such as kangaroos and common opossums); 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).
Prohibited animal does not mean a psittacine bird; canary, finch, hamster, guinea pig, rat, mouse, gerbil or reptile families Leptotyphlopidae and Colubridae.
Public Place. Means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes but is not limited to streets, sidewalks, highways, alleyways, parks and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities and shops.
Running at Large. Means not restrained by leash, fenced yard or enclosed structure, in violation of Section 2.108 of this article.
Vicious Animal. Means any animal which, without reasonable provocation, attacks other animals or has bitten or physically attacked a human being.
(Ordinance 98-15 adopted 6/4/98)
Wild Animal. Lions, tigers, ocelots, cougars, leopards, cheetah, jaguars, bobcats, lynx, servals, carcals, hyenas, bears, coyotes, jackals, baboons, chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, and hybrids of these animals. (Ordinance 2002-007 adopted 4/4/02)
The city council shall select and establish facilities for the impoundment, adoption, maintenance and destruction of stray, diseased or vicious animals.
(a) Enforcement of this article shall be the responsibility of the city council.
(b) The animal control officer shall have the authority to issue citations for violations of this article.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person, upon being issued a citation, to intentionally or knowingly give the animal control officer other than his true name and address.
(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly interfere with the animal control officer in the performance of his duties.
Sec. 2.105 Animal Shelter Advisory CommitteeCreation
(a) There is hereby established and created the animal shelter advisory committee to be composed of five (5) members who shall meet the following qualifications:
(1) One (1) licensed veterinarian;
(2) One (1) city official;
(3) One (1) animal control officer;
(4) One (1) representative of an animal welfare organization; and
(5) One (1) person who is not involved by occupation or membership in any of the above categories.
(b) Each member shall serve a term of office of two (2) years from the date of his appointment, and terms shall be staggered.
(a) It shall be the purpose of the animal shelter advisory committee to assist the city in complying with the requirements of the Animal Shelter Act, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Codes, Section 823.005, and to make recommendations to the city council regarding methods and procedures necessary to ensure compliance with the Act.
(b) The committee shall meet at least one (1) time each year.
The animal control officer is authorized to:
(1) Kill an animal which poses an imminent danger to a person or property and a real or apparent necessity exists for destruction of the animal.
(2) Impound an animal which is diseased and endangers the health of a person(s) or another.
(3) Destroy an impounded animal at the animal control center if the animal control officer determines that recovery of the animal from injury, disease or sickness is in serious doubt.
(4) Impound any animal treated in a manner determined by the animal control officer appointed by the City of Krugerville to be cruel or inhumane.
If a stray animal is found upon the premises of another, the occupant of the premises may confine the animal only for so long as reasonably necessary to notify the animal control center and have the animal impounded. In attempting to confine the animal, the occupant shall not use any force that is intended or known by the occupant to cause or in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or injury to the animal.
No person shall permit any animal to run at large.
The animal control officer is authorized to impound any animal which is running at large within the city, any animal which has been confined under Section 2.107 or for which impoundment is otherwise authorized by this article or state law. Where an animal is running at large in a public place, the impounding officer may enter upon the public place for the purpose of impoundment or issuance of a citation or both, unless the officer has notice that entry is forbidden. In no case, however, shall an animal control officer enter a building on private property for the purpose of impoundment or the issuance of a citation without the effective consent of the owner, the order of a magistrate or as otherwise allowed by state law. All animals will be impounded at a shelter as contracted by the City of Krugerville or at city facilities if they are available.
It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly keep for breeding purposes or employ for breeding purposes any prohibited animal or any animal deemed unfit to breed.
It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly move herds of animals along or upon any public place within the corporate limits of the city without the permission of the city council, except that this section shall not be applicable to any officer, agent or employee of the federal, state or local government if such herding is done in the performance of his official duties.
(Ordinance 98-15 adopted 6/4/98)
(a) Hogs. It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly feed or keep any species of swine in any lot, pen, building, stable or other enclosure in the city, any part of which lot, pen, building, stable or other enclosure is nearer than one thousand (1,000) feet to any building. The Public School Agriculture Department may be granted an exception with a permit, said permit to be issued by the city council upon proof of a valid claim for exception provided by the FFA on request. (Ordinance 98-15 adopted 6/4/98; Ordinance adopting Code)
(b) Other Animals. It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly feed, stable, pasture or keep any cow, goat, horse, mule, donkey, sheep or other livestock, except swine covered in subsection (a) above, in any lot, pen, building, stable or other enclosure in the city, on any property less than one acre, exclusive of the residential lot.
(a) Size of Lots. It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly stable, pasture, feed or keep any hog, pig, cow, goat, horse, mule, donkey, or sheep in any lot, pen, building, stable or other enclosure in the city, smaller in size and dimensions than is required by the following specifications:
(1) For one (1) cow, sheep, goat, horse, mule, donkey, hog or pig, a lot, pen, building or other enclosure of not less than one (1) acre shall be required.
(2) For each additional cow, sheep, goat, mule, donkey, hog or pig in any such lot, pen, building or other enclosure, an additional one (1) acre shall be required.
(b) Manure Boxes. Each and every lot, pen, building, stable or other enclosure in the city in which any of the animals named in subsection (a) of this section or other related species are kept, fed, bred, stabled, pastured or housed shall have a manure box. Each such box shall be securely screened or otherwise protected from flies, vermin and rodents and shall be thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected when necessary. It shall be unlawful to pile or stack manure in open stacks in the city.
Manure from cow lots, horse stables, poultry yards, fowl coops, pigeon lofts, other animals and similar matter shall be disposed of by the owner or person controlling same.
It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally kill, injure or administer poison to any bird whatsoever within the city limits without the permission of the city council.
Except as may be otherwise provided in this article, it shall be unlawful to intentionally or knowingly interfere with, injure, capture or kill any animal within any public park, driveway, street or other public property of the city except by permission of the city council, provided that this section shall not apply to harmful rodents, reptiles or insects.
It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly keep any chicken, turkey, guinea, goose, duck, quail, pheasant or other game fowl in any fenced yard or enclosure, any part of which is within two hundred (200) feet of any adjacent building in the city.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who owns a pigeon to intentionally allow the pigeon to stray in the city.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under subsection (a) above that the bird was an Antwerp Messenger, homing or carrier pigeon and was identified or marked as the owner's property.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly be in possession of more than twenty-five (25) pigeons on any premises within the city.
(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly keep the enclosure in which such pigeons are confined in such a manner so as 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 allow such pigeons to cause considerable noise to the annoyance and discomfort of surrounding neighbors so that the reasonable use and enjoyment of their property is disturbed or, in any manner, to endanger the public health or safety or otherwise create a public nuisance.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, offer for sale, exchange or give away any chicken, duckling or other fowl, rabbit or aquatic turtle younger than eight (8) weeks of age as a toy, premium, novelty or pet unless the manner or method of display is first approved by the animal control officer.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly color, die, stain or otherwise change the natural color of any chicken, duckling, or other fowl, rabbit, or aquatic turtle or to possess for the purpose of sale, exchange or gift any of the abovementioned animals which have been so colored.
(a) No performing animal exhibition or circus shall be permitted in which an animal is induced or encouraged to perform through the use of a chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual device in a manner which causes or is likely to cause physical injury or suffering. It is a defense to prosecution under this section that, at the time of the conduct charged, the actor was engaged in bona fide experimentation for scientific research.
(b) All equipment used on a performing animal shall fit properly and be in good working order.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly abandon any animal within the corporate limits of the city. Any person violating this section shall bear the full costs and expenses incurred by the city in the care of the abandoned animal and the person shall reimburse to the city all costs therefore as determined by the animal control officer.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly confine or allow to be confined any animal in a motor vehicle or trailer under such conditions or for such periods of time as may endanger the health or well being of the animal due to heat, lack of food or water or any circumstances which might cause suffering, disability or death. If the animal control officer or any police officer of the city has reasonable grounds to believe that an animal is in a motor vehicle or trailer under such circumstances, he is authorized to immediately impound the motor vehicle or trailer and enter it if necessary to remove the animal. Removed animals will be taken to the animal control center and impounded.
(a) It is unlawful for a person to harbor, own or exhibit a prohibited animal within the city.
(b) It is an exception to the application of subsection (a) above if the owner or exhibitor holds a prohibited animal permit or is a governmental entity.
(c) A permit for the possession of a prohibited animal may be issued only to a zoo, research institution, individual researcher, public or private primary or secondary school, performing animal exhibition, rodeo or circus of which the animal is an integral part if the animal is restrained from inflicting injury upon persons, property or other animals and adequate provision is made for the care and protection of the animal. A permit may be issued to an individual researcher only upon the recommendation of a medical institution or the director of a research institution.
(d) The fee for a permit shall be established by the city council and is on file in the office of the city secretary, and the permit is valid for a designated period of time not to exceed twelve (12) months. A permit may be renewed for the same fee.
(e) A permit is issued for one (1) or more animals of an owner or exhibitor at a single location. A list of each prohibited animal must be submitted before the issuance of any permit.
(a) If the animal control officer refuses to issue or renew a prohibited animal permit or revokes a permit, he shall send to the applicant or permit holder by certified mail, return receipt requested, written notice of his action and a statement of the right to an appeal. The applicant or permit holder may appeal the decision of the animal control officer to the city council by filing with the city council a written request for a hearing, setting forth the reasons for the appeal, within ten (10) days after receipt of the notice from the animal control officer. The filing of a request for an appeal hearing with the city council stays any action by the animal control officer to revoke a permit until the city council makes a final decision. If a request for an appeal hearing is not made within the ten day period, the action of the animal control officer is final.
(b) The city council shall serve as hearing officers at an appeal hearing and shall consider evidence offered by any interested person. The formal rules of evidence do not apply at an appeal hearing. The hearing officers shall make their decision on the basis of a preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing. The hearing officers must render a decision within thirty (30) days after the request for an appeal hearing is filed. The hearing officers shall affirm, reverse or modify the action of the animal control officer and their decision is final.
It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly:
(1) Keep any animal that unreasonably barks, howls, whines, crows or makes other unreasonable noise common to its species near a private residence so that the reasonable use and enjoyment of such property is disturbed;
(2) Keep any animal in such a manner as to endanger public health by the accumulation of organic body wastes;
(3) Keep any animal which habitually deposits body wastes upon or destroys by chasing, scratching, digging or otherwise property other than that of the owner of such animal;
(4) Keep bees in such a manner as to deny the reasonable use and enjoyment of adjacent property or endanger the personal health and welfare of the inhabitants of the city.
A report alleging a violation of Section 2.124(1) must be written and signed by a person who has personal knowledge of such violation and who can identify the owner of the animal or the premises where the animal is located. The animal control officer shall investigate the report to determine whether probable cause exists for the issuance of a citation. However, informal resolution of the complaint may be attempted by the animal control officer according to the following procedure:
(1) Written notice of the report shall be personally served or sent by certified mail to the alleged violator with a request to correct the problem.
(2) If the complainant notifies the animal control officer the problem persists, a final notice shall be personally served or sent by certified mail to the alleged violator informing the person that an investigation will be conducted by the animal control officer within seven (7) days of the receipt of the notice and that if the problem is not corrected within this time, the violator will be requested to appear before a hearing officer appointed by the city council.
(3) If the investigation shows that the problem persists, an informal hearing on the complaint shall be held on adequate notice to the parties and shall be conducted by the animal control hearing officer with the alleged violator, complainant and any witnesses present.
(4) The hearing officer shall make written recommendations concerning what, if any, remedial measures are required. If the violation is not corrected within seven (7) days of the date of the hearing, a citation requiring a court appearance shall be issued. If the animal control officer issuing the citation has no personal knowledge of the violation, the complainant shall be informed that his appearance, along with any witnesses, shall be required at the court hearing on the citation.
(a) It shall be the duty of any person having knowledge of an animal bite or scratch to a human that the person could reasonably foresee as capable of transmitting rabies or of an animal that the person suspects is rabid to report the incident to the animal control officer a soon as possible, but not later than twenty-four (24) hours from the time of the incident.
(b) Every veterinarian having an animal quarantined for a bite or scratch incident shall submit a written report to the animal control officer describing the condition of the animal on the initial day of observation, the fifth day and the tenth day of observation.
(c) Every veterinarian shall report immediately to the animal control officer his diagnosis of any animal observed as a rabies suspect.
(a) The animal control officer shall have the authority to offer the quarantining of animals responsible for bite or scratch incidents or having any zoonotic disease considered to be a hazard to the human population or other animals.
(b) The owner of an animal that is quarantined under this article shall pay to the city the reasonable costs of the quarantine and disposition of the animal, and the city may bring suit to collect these costs.
(a) When an animal which has bitten or scratched a human has been identified with rabies or is under suspicion of having rabies, the owner, at his sole expense, must immediately place the animal in quarantine at such animal control facilities specified for this purpose by the animal control officer. The owner shall surrender possession of such animal to the animal control officer on demand for supervised quarantine which shall be for not less than ten (10) days immediately following the time of the bite or scratch incident. In the event the owner refuses or fails to surrender the animal for supervised quarantine, the animal control officer may obtain a warrant from a magistrate to seize and impound the animal for a period of time as provided for in this subsection and in subsection (c) of this section.
(b) The owner of the dog or cat under subsection (a) of this section may request permission from the animal control officer for home quarantine if the following criteria are met:
(1) Secure facilities are available at the home of the animal's owner and are approved by the animal control officer;
(2) The owner has an unexpired rabies certificate for the animal; and
(3) The animal was not in violation of this article at the time of the bite or scratch incident.
The violation of home quarantine by any person shall be just cause for seizure and impoundment of the quarantined animal by the animal control officer. In the event of violation of home quarantine, the animal control officer may obtain a warrant from a magistrate to seize and impound the animal for a period of time as provided for in subsections (a) and (c) of this section.
(c) A licensed veterinarian or the animal control officer will supervise the quarantine for a minimum ten day observation period during which the quarantined animal's health status shall be monitored and filed with the animal control officer. If no sign of rabies has been observed or reported at the end of the quarantine period, a release from quarantine shall be issued to the owner in writing and a copy filed with the animal control officer if:
(1) The owner has an unexpired rabies vaccination certificate for the animal; or
(2) The animal is vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's expense.
(d) Unauthorized prohibited animals shall not be placed in quarantine. All such animals involved in biting or scratch incidents will be humanely destroyed in such a manner that the brain is not mutilated. The head shall be sent to the nearest laboratory certified to perform the fluorescent antibody test for rabies.
(e) Without permission of the animal control officer, it shall be unlawful for any person to kill or remove from the city limits any animal that has bitten a person or other animal or that has been placed under quarantine, except when it is necessary to kill such animal to protect the life of any person or other animal.
(f) The animal control center shall direct the disposition of any animal suspected of being rabid.
(g) The carcass of any dead animal exposed to rabies or suspected of having been rabid shall, upon demand, be surrendered to the center.
(h) Every animal that has been bitten by another animal shall be immediately confined by the owner who shall promptly notify the center of the place where such animal is confined and the reason therefore. The owner shall not permit such animal to come in contract with any person or animal during this time.
(i) Any animal exposed to rabies shall be handled in one (1) of the following manners:
(1) Humane destruction with notification to or under supervision of the center;
(2) If not currently vaccinated, quarantine in a veterinary hospital for at least six (6) months immediately following the date of the exposure.
(j) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly keeps or harbors an animal from supervised quarantining or humane destruction as required herein for rabies control when demand is made by an animal control officer for surrender of the animal.
(k) Any person having possession of or responsibility for any quarantined animal shall immediately notify the center if such animal escapes or becomes or appears to become sick or dies. In case of death of the animal while under quarantine, the person shall immediately surrender the dead body to the center for diagnostic purposes.
(a) Registration Required. Every owner of a dog or cat kept in the city which is over four (4) months of age shall, within thirty (30) days of the time the person becomes the owner of the animal and each year thereafter, register the animal with the City of Krugerville. An owner within the city temporarily shall not be required to register a dog or cat which is not kept within the city for a period of more than sixty (60) days.
(b) Procedure and Fees. The owner of a dog or cat required to be registered herein shall register such animal each year on forms provided by the animal control officer. Each animal to be registered must have a current rabies vaccination certificate. The registration fee for each animal shall be established by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary. Owners who submit written proof, satisfactory to the animal control officer, that the animal to be registered is incapable of procreation shall be charged a fee established by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(c) Registration Certificates; Identification Tags.
(1) Upon proper registration of the animal and payment of the proper fee, the owner shall be issued a registration certificate and animal identification tag which shall be valid for one (1) year. The certificate shall contain the name and address of the owner of the animal, the effective date, a description of the animal and such other information as the animal control officer deems necessary.
(2) The tag shall be affixed to the collar or harness of the animal registered and the owner shall cause the collar or harness with the affixed tag to be worn at all times by the animal.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to alter or obliterate any information contained on a current identification tag.
(4) If such tag is lost or destroyed, the owner shall obtain a duplicate upon payment of a fee established by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(a) The owner of any dog or cat shall have such dog or cat vaccinated against rabies by the time it is four (4) months of age and within each subsequent twelve month interval thereafter. After immunization, a licensed veterinarian shall issue to the owner of the animal a vaccination certificate in a form approved by the state department of health and a metal tag to be worn by the dog or cat on a collar or harness for one (1) year.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly use a certificate of vaccination or tag for any dog or cat other than the one for which it was issued.
(c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly is in possession of a dog or cat that has not been vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the dog or cat was younger than four (4) months of age.
The animal control center contracted by the city shall be authorized to place for adoption dogs or cats impounded by the city under their rules.
To redeem an impounded dog or cat, the owner of the dog or cat shall:
(1) Pay the animal control center all applicable fees and costs as enumerated in this chapter; and
(2) Pay a licensed veterinarian, unless the owner has an unexpired rabies vaccination certificate for the dog or cat, a rabies vaccination fee for the immunization of the animal and bring the receipt of such payment to the animal control center.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to place, put or leave a dead animal upon a public place, street, alley, right-of-way or public way or in any solid waste container or upon the property of another person without the other person's consent.
(b) All veterinarians and residents, in the city limits, shall be charged a fee established by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary for each trip by city employees to pick up one (1) or more dead animals. All dead animals shall be placed in a sealed plastic bag prior to pickup by city employees. Any veterinarian requesting pickup of a dead animal shall, in order to receive pickup service for animals weighing over thirty-five (35) pounds, provide loading assistance to city employees at the time of pickup.
(c) All veterinarians and residents bringing dead animals to the city's animal control facility shall be assessed and pay a disposal fee per trip, as established by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary, prior to acceptance of the carcass for disposal.
(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to place or leave an animal carcass at the city's animal control center, except at times when such center is open to the public and a city employee is available to receive such carcass.
(e) The collection and removal of dead animal bodies shall be a service of the city and shall be furnished upon request or notification by any interested party. Requests shall be made to the animal control officer.
An owner or resident bringing an animal or animals to the city's animal control facility for disposal shall be assessed and pay for each animal the fee established by city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(a) The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the city by providing for the destruction of animals determined to be dangerous.
(b) The administrative procedures of this article shall apply to any animal which, while running at large or while restrained in a public place, has bitten or attacked a person or another animal and for which a complaint has been filed in accordance with this article.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Animal. Means any animal required to be restrained in accordance with Section 2.207 below.
Restrained in a Public Place. Means physically held or tethered by a leash, rope or similar device in any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any place to which a child may freely wander and includes but is not limited to streets, highways and the common areas and unfenced yards or grounds of schools, churches, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, residential dwellings and businesses.
To invoke the provisions of this article, a written complaint must be filed as follows:
(1) The complaint shall be filed with the animal control center within two (2) business days of the date the person or animal was attacked or bitten, on a form provided by the city which shall give notice of the penalty for the filing or signing of a false complaint as provided in this article.
(2) The complaint shall be signed by the person or owner of the animal attacked or bitten, as the case may be. If the person required to sign the complaint is a minor or is incapacitated, the complaint shall be signed by the person's parent, guardian or legal representative.
(3) The complaint shall contain the following information:
(A) The name, address and telephone number of the person attacked or bitten or the owner of the animal attacked or bitten, as the case may be.
(B) The facts and circumstances of the incident, including the date, time and location; a description of the animal complained of; and if known, the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the animal complained of and of any witness.
(C) A statement that the animal complained of, while running at large or while restrained in a public place, attacked or bit a person or another animal.
(4) The complaint shall be accompanied by a written statement from a physician or veterinarian, as the case may be, showing that the person or animal attacked or bitten was examined or treated within forty-eight (48) hours of the incident and stating the nature and extent of any injures suffered.
It shall be unlawful for any person to file or sign the written complaint required by this article when the person knows that the complaint contains false information.
(a) If a complaint is properly filed in accordance with Section 2.203, the animal control officer shall promptly investigate the complaint, prepare a written report of the result of the investigation and deliver a copy of the complaint and report to the mayor.
(b) Upon receiving the complaint and investigative report, the mayor shall, if the owner of the animal complained of is known, immediately schedule a hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the animal complained of is a dangerous animal and should be impounded pending a determination hearing. The owner of the animal complained of shall be given a written notice of the hearing, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the time of the hearing, by personal service or by delivering a copy of the notice to the last known address of the owner.
(c) At the time of the scheduled hearing, which shall be conducted informally, the mayor may consider the complaint filed, the investigative report, medical statements, the testimony of the owner of the animal complained of, the testimony of the complainant, witnesses or other interested parties, and any other information relevant to the incident.
(d) If the mayor determines that the evidence received shows there is probable cause to believe that a hearing panel could, in accordance with Section 2.207(b)(1), find that the animal complained of would be a danger to the community if not destroyed, then the mayor shall promptly schedule a determination hearing as provided for in Section 2.206 and issue a written order that the animal be impounded pending the outcome of the hearing.
(e) If the mayor determines that there is no probable cause to believe that the hearing panel could, in accordance with Section 2.207(b)(1), find that the animal would be a danger to the community if not destroyed, no further action shall be taken on the complaint.
(a) If a determination hearing is scheduled by the mayor in accordance with Section 2.205, it shall be held not later than the fifteenth day after the impoundment of the animal. At any time prior to the hearing date, the mayor may continue the hearing to a later date upon the written request of the owner of the animal complained of, if good cause is shown, upon the written statement of the physician of a person injured by the animal stating that the person is not medically able to attend the hearing, or if it is necessary to give notice of the hearing by newspaper publication.
(b) The owner of the animal complained of, if known, shall be given written notice of the hearing by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, at least five (5) days prior to the hearing date. If the written notice cannot be given by personal delivery or mail, then the notice shall be published one (1) time in the official newspaper of the city at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the hearing. The notice shall include the following:
(1) A general description of the animal;
(2) The place, date and time of the hearing;
(3) That the owner of the animal complained of may appear at the hearing and present evidence, cross examine witnesses and be represented by legal counsel;
(4) That the animal shall be ordered destroyed if found to be a danger to the community.
(c) The hearing shall be held before a hearing panel of three (3) members as appointed by the mayor. The members shall consist of a veterinarian, a physician and a member of the city's staff. The hearing panel shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence, but shall conduct the hearing informally in accordance with procedures to ensure an orderly hearing. All persons wishing or called to give testimony shall be sworn and may be questioned by the panel, the complainant and the owner of the animal complained of. The hearing panel may receive, elicit and consider all evidence it considers relevant on the issue of whether the animal complained of would be a danger to the community if not destroyed, including but not limited to the following:
(1) The seriousness of the attack or biting and the attendant medical treatment, if any;
(2) Any prior incidents of attacks or biting by the animal complained of, while the animal was running at large or restrained in a public place, so as to indicate the potential danger the animal may pose to the community if not destroyed;
(3) Whether the attack or biting was the result of some provocation or circumstance that is or is not likely to reoccur in the future.
(a) The hearing panel created in Section 2.206 shall, within three (3) business days of the conclusion of the hearing, issue its written findings of fact and an order.
(b) If the panel finds that the animal complained of attacked or bit a person or another animal while running at large or while restrained in a public place, then the panel shall make a further finding and issue its order as follows:
(1) That the animal would be a danger to the community if not destroyed and therefore shall be destroyed;
(2) That the animal would not, under specified conditions imposed for the safekeeping of the animal, clearly constitute such a continuing danger to the community as to warrant its destruction. In that case, the panel shall order the animal returned to the a owner if the owner agrees, in writing within two (2) business days of the issuance of the decision, to abide by the written conditions imposed by the panel for the safe-keeping of the animal. Should the owner fail to agree to the conditions imposed, then the animal shall be destroyed;
(3) That the animal would not, because of the circumstances of the biting or attack, constitute a continuing danger to the community and therefore shall be returned to the owner.
(c) If the panel finds that the animal complained of did not attack or bite a person or another animal or that the biting or attack, if any, did not occur while the animal was running at large or while restrained in a public place, then the panel shall order the animal returned to the owner.
(d) In any case where the panel orders the animal returned to the owner, the animal shall not be released, if impounded at the city's animal control center, except upon the payment of all impoundment fees as provided for in this chapter. If the animal is impounded pursuant to a quarantine for rabies, as provided by this article or state law, it may continue to be held for the duration of the required time.
If an animal is ordered destroyed in accordance with Section 2.207, a copy of the panel's findings and order shall be given to the owner of the animal, if known, by personal service or by leaving a copy of the last known address of the owner, within two (2) business days of the issuance of the findings and order. The order shall state that the animal will be destroyed no sooner than forty-eight (48) hours from the time and date the order is served or delivered unless such destruction is enjoined by order or a court of competent jurisdiction. The officer or employees shall note upon the copy of the order served or delivered the time and date or service or delivery. A copy of the order showing the date and time of service or delivery shall be retained by the officer or employee.
If, after the hearing panel orders the release of an animal upon specified conditions for the safekeeping of the animal as provided for in Section 2.207, the animal control center has reason to believe that a violation of one (1) or more of the conditions imposed has occurred, it shall report the violation to the city manager who shall schedule a hearing before the hearing panel. The hearing shall be held and notice given, as appropriate to the purpose of this section, in substantial compliance with the provisions of Section 2.206. If the panel finds that a violation of one (1) or more of the conditions imposed has occurred, it shall issue its order that the animal be destroyed. Notice of the panel's order shall be given in accordance with Section 2.208.
(a) If the mayor issues an order of impoundment in accordance with Section 2.207, the owner or person having control of the animal shall, upon presentation of a true and correct copy of the order by an officer or employee of the city, either surrender the animal to the officer or employee for impoundment at the city's animal control center or have the animal impounded with a kennel, veterinarian or other business that provides for the keeping of animals, within twenty-four (24) hours of the time notice of the order is given. If the animal is not surrendered for impoundment at the city's animal control center, the owner shall, within twenty-four (24) hours of service of the impoundment order, deliver written notice to the animal control center of the name and address of the business where the animal is impounded. The owner shall not remove or cause the removal of the animal from the place impounded until and unless an order is entered providing for the release of the animal to the owner.
(b) If the animal is not impounded at the city's animal control center and the animal is ordered destroyed in accordance with Section 2.207, an officer or employee of the city shall present true copy of the order to any person in authority at the business where the animal is impounded, who shall immediately surrender the animal to the officer or employee without the payment of any fees or charges owed for the care or keeping of the animal.
(c) If shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to surrender to any officer or employee of the city any animal for which an impoundment order has been issued upon presentation of a true copy of the impoundment order.
(Ordinance 98-15 adopted 6/4/98)
Dangerous dogs, as defined in V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, Section 822.041, shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, Chapter 822, Subchapter D. (Ordinance adopting Code)
(a) To redeem an impounded animal, the owner of the animal shall pay the animal control center such fee as shall be established by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary.
(b) For purposes of redemption, the number of impoundments for each animal shall be determined as within a continuous twelve month period beginning from the date of the first impoundment.
(c) A reduction in fees as determined by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary will be made for each dog and cat as follows:
(1) When the animal has not been previously impounded by the animal control center;
(2) When the owner has an unexpired rabies vaccination certificate for the animal;
(3) When the owner has an unexpired city registration; and
(4) When the owner can prove that the animal has been neutered, spayed or otherwise permanently sterilized.
(d) A daily handling fee shall be charged for every day or portion thereof that an animal is kept at the center. The fee shall be established by the city council and on file in the office of the city secretary and shall be based upon the class of animal, which class shall be on file in the office of the city secretary.
(e) No animal impounded at the city's animal control center by virtue of this chapter shall be released to the owner or the owner's authorized agent until all such costs and fees have been paid and until the person applying for the release of such animal shall have signed an affidavit to the effect that the person is the owner of the animal or the owner's authorized agent and entitled to possession thereof; provided, however, any animal impounded at the city's animal control center pursuant to an impoundment order issued under Section 2.205 and subsequently ordered returned to the owner under Section 2.207(c) shall be released to the owner without the payment of any impoundment or handling fees.
The animal control center shall keep records which contain the following information on impounded animals:
(2) Condition of health;
(3) Date and time of impoundment;
(4) Location of impoundment;
(5) Reason for impoundment;
(6) Name and address of owner, if known;
(7) Date and time or release or destruction.
(a) The redemption period for an impounded animal shall be within ninety-six (96) hours of impoundment.
(b) Any animal not redeemed within the time period specified in subsection (a) above may be humanely destroyed at the direction of the animal control officer.
As used in this article, a “protected migratory bird roost” means any place where migratory birds, whose species is protected by applicable law or treaty, live, gather or nest for a period of at least seven (7) consecutive days, congregating in numbers of fifty (50) or more and returning to such habitat annually.
Protected migratory bird roosts are hereby determined to be a health hazard which constitutes a public nuisance.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person having control or supervision of any lot, tract or parcel of land or portion thereof, occupied or unoccupied, improved or unimproved, within the corporate limits of the city to suffer or permit trees to exist within fifteen (15) feet of one another, measured from trunk to trunk, on a premises which has been used as a protected migratory bird roost or to leave debris or remains of vegetation upon the premises after the tree has been cut to eliminate the roost.
(b) It shall be a defense to any proceeding to enforce the provisions of this article that protected migratory birds are presently occupying the roost or that the premises upon which the roost is located is a lot, tract or parcel or land of four (4) or more acres, is zoned agricultural, is under single ownership and the roost is located more than two hundred (200) feet from any adjacent property under different ownership on which habitable dwellings exist and more than two hundred (200) feet from any public street or right-of-way.
(c) It shall be the duty of any person referred to in subsection (a) above to cut or cause to be cut and removed or cause to be removed such trees as may be necessary to comply with the provisions of this article.
(a) Notice of Violation. If the owner of property fails or refuses to comply with Section 2.403, the city shall give written notice to the property owner. The notice shall be delivered to the owner or mailed to the owner's post office address. If delivery in person is not possible or if the owner's post office address is unknown, notice shall be given by publication in the city's official newspaper at least twice within ten (10) consecutive days.
(b) City May Correct Violation. If, at the expiration of ten (10) days after delivery, mailing or publication of the notice, the owner fails to correct the violation, the city may enter upon the property and do the work, or pay for the work to be done, as necessary to correct the violation.
(c) Owner Assessed Costs. A statement of the costs incurred by the city in correcting a violation shall be mailed to the property owner. The costs shall include an administrative fee of eighty dollars ($80.00). The statement shall be due within thirty (30) days of the date of mailing.
(d) Lien to Secure Costs. If the statement is not timely paid, the city may file a statement with the county clerk of the costs incurred, including administrative costs. Upon filing the statement, the city shall have a privileged lien on the land upon which the costs were incurred, second only to tax liens and liens for street improvements. The amount of the lien shall include ten (10) percent on the delinquent amount from the date payment was made by the city. The statement of expenses or a certified copy of the statement is prima facie proof of the expenses incurred by the city. To collect the cots, suit may be instituted and recovery and foreclosure had in the name of the city.
(e) Appeal of Costs Imposed. Within fifteen (15) days of the date the statement of costs is mailed to the owner of the premises, the owner may appeal the reasonableness of the charges billed for abating the condition to the city council by filing a written statement with the city council stating why the charges are unreasonable. The appeal shall be submitted to the city council for its review within a reasonable time after filing. If the council finds the charges unreasonable, it shall assess the costs it deems reasonable. The administrative charge shall not be appealable.
(Ordinance 98-15 adopted 6/4/98)