City of Brownsville Animal Ordinances

Sec. 10-1004. - Vicious animals.

(a)A vicious animal means any animal that commits an unprovoked attach upon a person or animal on public or private property or that attacks, threatens to attack or terrorizes a person or an owner on public property or in a public place.

(b)It is a defense to a charge of vicious animal that the alleged victim was committing a unlawful trespass or other tort on the premises of the animal's owner or that the victim was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal.

(c)No person shall own or harbor a vicious animal within the city. Such an animal shall be impounded as a public nuisance.

(d)If impoundment of a vicious animal running at large cannot be made with safety to the animal control officer or other persons, the animal may be destroyed without notice to the owner or harborer.

(Ord. No. 2013-971-E, § 1, 8-20-2013)

Sec. 10-1061. - Humane treatment

(a)Generally. No owner shall fail to provide his animal with good wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather (unusual extremes of cold and windstorm advisories), veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and humane care and treatment. Any owner of an animal shall maintain a clean and healthful shelter and living area for any animal being kept, which area shall be free of accumulated waste, debris, pests, fleas, and ticks so that the animal shall be free to walk or lie down without coming in contact with such waste, debris, or pests. All such shelters or living areas must be cleaned and maintained regularly so as to promote proper health for the animals being kept.

(b)Use of chain or restraint. If any animal is restrained by a chain, leash or similar restraint, it shall be designed and placed to prevent choking or strangulation. Such chain or restraint should not be directly attached to the animal's neck but instead attached to a properly fitted collar constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material specifically designed to be used for a dog. "Properly fitted" means the device is at least the circumference of the dog's neck plus one inch. Such chain or restraint shall be of an appropriated length but not be less than ten feet in length, appropriate in size and shall be either on a swivel designed to prevent the animal from choking itself or on a chain run.

(c)Abandonment. No owner shall abandon any animal. Abandonment consists of leaving such animal for a period in excess of 24 hours without providing for someone to feed, water and check the animal's condition. No owner shall leave an animal by a roadside or other area or leave such animal on either public or private property without the property owner's consent. An animal so left shall be deemed abandoned. If an animal is found so abandoned, such animal may be taken by an animal control officer or police officer and impounded in the animal shelter or other facility maintained by a Humane Society and there confined in a humane manner. Such animal, if taken from private property, shall be kept for not less than 72 hours in accordance with the procedures set forth by the city animal regulation and care division and state laws. If the animal is so abandoned, the owner or the person who has been charged with the animal's care, shall be subject to a citation for violation of this section.

(f)Removal from immediate danger. Any animal observed by a police officer or an animal control officer to be in immediate danger may be removed from such situation by the quickest and most reasonable means available.

Sec. 10-1062. - Keeping nuisance animals.

The keeping of any animal within the city or in territory outside the city limits adjacent thereto and within 5,000 feet thereof in such manner or under such conditions as to cause a hazard or danger to the public health or which produce noxious odors or disturbing noises or discomfort or annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities in the immediate vicinity thereof is declared to be a nuisance and is prohibited.

(Ord. No. 2013-971-E, § 1, 8-20-2013)

Sec. 10-1091. - Running at large.

(a)It shall be unlawful for any person owning a dog or other pet animal, other than a cat, to permit such animal to run at large.

(b)Cats are not required to be leashed. Owners are responsible for the behavior of their cats so that they do not become a nuisance. Any owner of a cat that is allowed to be unleashed is liable for any damages or nuisance caused by such cat. Upon a finding by the court that a particular cat is a nuisance or causes damages, the court may remove the privilege of allowing a particular cat to be unleashed or physically unrestrained.

(c)A cat that is allowed to run at large by the owner must be surgically altered (nonreproducing cats), must have an identification tag with the owner's name and correct phone number listed on the tag, must be currently vaccinated against the rabies virus, and must not become a nuisance to other citizens in the city. A cat owner who follows these guidelines shall be responsible for any damage caused by such cat. A cat that causes problems or damage off its owner's property shall be restricted to its owner's private property.

(d)When an animal control officer has commenced pursuit of an animal running at large, he may continue the pursuit and follow the animal onto any unenclosed private property for the purpose of apprehending it as soon as possible.

(Ord. No. 2013-971-E, § 1, 8-20-2013)

Sec. 10-1093. - Disturbances.

It shall be unlawful for any owner to harbor any dog, cat or other pet animal which, by any sound or cry or other activity, shall disturb the peace, comfort or property of the inhabitants of the neighborhood, and such disturbance is declared to be a public nuisance. The animal control officer may require a written statement from a complainant before issuing a citation for a violation of this section.

(Ord. No. 2013-971-E, § 1, 8-20-2013)

Sec. 10-1121. - Vaccination required.

(a)Every owner of a dog or cat three months of age or older shall have such animal vaccinated against rabies. All dogs or cats vaccinated at three months of age or older shall be revaccinated at one year of age and annually thereafter.

(b)Any person moving into the city from a location outside the city shall comply with this article within 30 days after having moved into the city.

(c)If a dog or cat has inflicted a bite on any person or another animal within the last ten days, the owner of the dog or cat shall report such fact to the veterinarian or city health department, and no rabies vaccine shall be administered until after the ten-day observation period.

(Ord. No. 2013-971-E, § 1, 8-20-2013)

Sec. 10-1122. - Certificate of vaccination.

Upon vaccination, the veterinarian shall execute and furnish to the owner of the dog or cat, as evidence thereof, a certificate upon a form furnished by the city. The veterinarian shall retain a duplicate copy, and one copy shall be filed with the health department. Such certificate shall contain the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the vaccinated dog or cat, the date of vaccination, the type of rabies vaccine used and the number of the rabies tag.

(Ord. No. 2013-971-E, § 1, 8-20-2013)

Sec. 10-1133. - Microchipping of dogs and cats.

(a)All dogs and cats over the age of four months must be implanted with an identifying microchip. Nothing in this section supersedes, eliminates, or alters the licensing requirements of this chapter 10.

(b)The microchip requirements of this section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1)A dog or cat with a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily injury if implanted with the microchip identification due to the health conditions of the animal. The owner must obtain written confirmation of that fact from a Texas licensed veterinarian. If the dog or cat can be safely implanted with an identifying microchip at a later date, that date must be stated in the written confirmation.

(2)A dog or cat that is kenneled or trained in the city but is owned by an individual that does not reside in the city.

(c)An owner who offers any dog or cat over the age of four months for sale, trade, or adoption must provide the microchip identification number in writing and, in the case of a dog, the valid dog license number at the time of the sale, trade, or adoption.

(d)When an impounded dog or cat without microchip identification, in addition to satisfying applicable requirements for the release of the animal, including but not limited to payment of impound fees, the owner shall also have the dog or cat implanted with a microchip by a veterinarian (or other person legally qualified to implant microchips in cats and dogs) selected by the owner. The owner shall pay the cost of the city transporting the animal to the veterinarian for the implantation and, when the veterinarian certifies in writing that the microchip has been implanted and all charges of the impound facility have been paid, the animal shall be released to the owner.

(e)The fee for the identifying microchip device shall be included in the cost of adopting the dog or cat.

(f)The city manager or his designees shall engage in a continuing program to explain and clarify the purposes and requirements of this Article to citizens affected by it, and to guide owners, operators, and managers in their compliance with it. The program may include publication of a brochure for affected businesses and individuals explaining the provisions of this section.

(Ord. No. 2015-971-G, 9-1-2015)

Sec. 10-1161. - Duty to report animal bites.

Any person having knowledge that an animal has bitten a human shall immediately report the incident to the public health director, an animal control officer, the state department of health, or his private veterinarian. Every physician or other medical practitioner who treats a person for such bite shall, within 12 hours, report such treatment to the public health director, to the animal control officer, or to the state department of health, giving the name, age, sex and precise location of the bitten person and such other information as the officer or agency may require.

(Ord. No. 2013-971-E, § 1, 8-20-2013)