STATE OF TEXAS

HEALTH & SAFETY CODE
CHAPTER 822. REGULATION OF ANIMALS[0]
SUBCHAPTER A. DOGS THAT ARE A DANGER TO PERSONS
 

822.001. DEFINITIONS. In this Subchapter:
(1) "Animal[0] control authority" means a municipal or
county animal[0] 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[0] 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.

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


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[0] 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[0], 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[0] 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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.
Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code 822.001 and
amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


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[0], 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[0],
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[0],
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[0], 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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.
Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code 822.002 and
amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 99, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


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[0] shelter or humane
society who are trained in the humane destruction of animals[0]; or
(3) personnel of a governmental agency responsible for
animal[0] control who are trained in the humane destruction of
animals[0].

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


822.005. PROVOCATION OR LOCATION OF ATTACK
IRRELEVANT. Except as provided by Section 822.003(f), this
subchapter applies to any dog that causes a person's death or
serious bodily injury by attacking[0], biting, or mauling the person,
regardless of whether the dog was provoked and regardless of where
the incident resulting in the person's death or serious bodily
injury occurred.

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

SUBCHAPTER B. DOGS AND COYOTES THAT ARE A DANGER TO ANIMALS[0]
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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


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[0] animals[0], 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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.
Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code 822.011 and
amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1002, 1, eff. Sept. 1,
2003.


822.013. DOGS OR COYOTES THAT ATTACK ANIMALS[0]. (a) A
dog or coyote that is attacking[0], is about to attack, or has recently
attacked livestock, domestic[0] animals[0], or fowls may be killed by:
(1) any person witnessing the attack; or
(2) the attacked animal's[0] 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[0]
animals[0], 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[0]
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[0] animals[0],
or fowls shall control the dog or coyote in a manner approved by the
local animal[0] 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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.
Renumbered from V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code 822.033 and
amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1002, 1, eff. Sept. 1,
2003.

SUBCHAPTER C. COUNTY REGISTRATION AND REGULATION OF DOGS
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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended
by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 489, 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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


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[0] animals[0] 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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.


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, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.