Breckenridge Animal Ordinance

ORDINANCE NO. 16-34

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BRECKENRIDGE, TEXAS REPEALING AND REPLACING ORDINANCE NO. 16-03; AMENDING CHAPTER 4, ANIMALS AND FOWL; REQUIRING STERILIZATION OF DOGS WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; AMENDING THE UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT REQUIREMENTS TO PROHIBIT CHAINING OF DOGS; SHORTENING THE REDEMPTION PERIOD FOR IMPOUNDED ANIMALS; PROVIDING A PENALTY CLAUSE; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE AND AN OPEN MEETINGS CLAUSE; AND ESTABLISHING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

WHEREAS, the City Commission of the City of Breckenridge (the “City Commission”) finds that the effective regulation, management, and control of animals and fowl within the City of Breckenridge are essential to the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City;

 

WHEREAS, the City Commission finds that an excessive number of stray dogs exist within the City limits and are often impounded by the City’s Animal Control Department, taxing the already limited resources of the Animal Control Department and the Stephens County Animal Shelter (the “Animal Shelter”);

 

WHEREAS, the City Commission finds that it would be in the best interest of the City that owners of all dogs within the City, with certain exceptions, be required to sterilize said dogs in order to control the stray population within the City; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Commission finds that strengthening the unlawful restraint rules to prohibit restraint by chaining serves to further the purpose of humane treatment of animals within the City;

 

WHEREAS, the City Commission finds that the redemption period for impounded animals should be shortened from 5 business days to 5 days because the Animal Shelter is now open on weekends; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Commission finds that certain other changes should be made throughout the Ordinance to reflect the Animal Shelter’s policy of placing animals for adoption, when possible, rather than euthanizing them;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF BRECKENRIDGE, TEXAS THAT:

 

  1. Repeal. Ordinance No. 16-03, adopted on January 5, 2016, is, hereby, repealed.  All other ordinances of the City of Breckenridge, Texas, or portions thereof, in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby amended to the extent of such conflict.

 

  1. Enactment. The following provisions are enacted as the Animal and Fowl Ordinance of the

City of Breckenridge and shall replace Chapter 4 of the Breckenridge Code of Ordinances, effective immediately upon adoption by the City Commission and publication as required by the Texas Local Government Code.

 

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Chapter 4 – ANIMALS AND FOWL

 

Article I.  In General

 

Sec. 4-1.  Purpose and Intent.

 

The purposes of this Chapter are to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Breckenridge, Texas, and to ensure the humane treatment of animals by regulating the care and control of animals within the City.

 

Sec. 4-2.  Definitions.

 

As used in this Chapter, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this Section:

 

Animal.  Any living, vertebrate or invertebrate creature, domestic or wild, other than the human species.

 

Animal Control Officer.  An employee or agent of the City designated by the City Manager to administer and enforce the requirements contained within this Chapter.

 

At Large or Running At Large.  Any animal not completely confined by a building, wall or fence of sufficient strength or construction to restrain the animal, except when such animal is either on a leash, or held in the hands of the owner or keeper, or under direct supervision of the owner within the limits of the owner’s private property.

 

Cat.  A commonly domesticated member of the feline family.

 

Dangerous dog means a dog that:

 

  • 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

 

  • 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.

 

Dog.  A domestic mammal of the canine species, regardless of age or sex, including any animal that results from cross-breeding a canine with a wolf, fox, jackal, dingo, coyote or other wild animal of this family.

 

Dog License.  A legally granted privilege, upon compliance with the terms of this Chapter, to own, keep, harbor or have custody or control of a dog within the City.

 

Dog License Tag.  A metal tag authorized by the City for attachment to a dog collar which displays a serial number corresponding to the number of the dog license for such animal, and which shows the year the license was issued by the City or a designated veterinarian.

 

Domestic Animal.  Includes livestock; caged or penned fowl other than hawks, falcons, eagles, and vultures; normal household pets such as, but not limited to, dogs, cats, cockatiels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, fish; small, nonpoisonous reptiles or nonpoisonous snakes of a species which does not reach a length greater than six (6) feet.

 

Exotic Animal.  Any live monkey, alligator, crocodile, cayman, raccoon, skunk, fox, bear, sea mammal, poisonous snake, member of the feline species other than the domestic cat, member of the canine species other than the domestic dog or any other animal that would require a standard of care and control greater than that required for customary household pets sold by commercial pet shops or for domestic farm animals.

 

Fowl.  Chickens, ducks, turkeys, guineas or other domestic fowl.

 

High Risk Animals.  Animals which have a high probability of transmitting rabies, including but not limited to skunks, bats, foxes, and raccoons.

 

Impound.  To take an animal into the custody of the City; impoundment shall begin at the time any Animal Control Officer or Peace Officer takes control of an animal either by hand, rope, trap, projectile or confinement to a vehicle.

 

Lawful Restraint.  An animal is lawfully restrained under the following conditions:

 

  • It is securely caged or confined to its owner’s home or yard; or

 

  • It is accompanied by its owner or trainer at a bona fide dog show, field trial or exhibition; or

 

  • It is secured by a leash of at least three (3) and not more than ten (10) feet in length and of sufficient strength to control the animal while the animal is being walked, or

 

  • If the animal is a dangerous dog, it is restrained with a chain or leash having a minimum tensile strength of three hundred (300) pounds and is no more than three (3) feet in length and is muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals while the animal is being walked, or

 

  • It is a specially trained dog used by a blind or deaf individual to aid him/her within the City.

 

Licensed Veterinarian.  A person authorized to practice veterinary medicine that is currently licensed by the state board of veterinary medical examiners.

 

Livestock.  A horse, mule, donkey, hog, sheep, goat or a head of any species of cattle.

 

Low Risk Animals.  Animals which have a low probability of transmitting rabies, including but not limited to marsupials, rodents, hares and rabbits, and armadillos.

 

Owner.  Any person who owns, keeps, shelters, maintains, feeds, harbors or has temporary or permanent custody of a domestic or prohibited animal, or who knowingly permits a domestic or prohibited animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by that person over which that person has control.  An animal shall be deemed to be owned by a person who harbors it, feeds it or shelters it for five (5) consecutive days or more.

 

Person.  An individual, firm, corporation or association.

 

Pet.  Any animal kept for pleasure rather than utility.

 

Prohibited Animal.

 

  • Any animal that retains its wild nature or is not normally born and raised in captivity or considered to be domesticated, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

  • Venomous lizards; monitor lizards; boas; pythons; anacondas; marine snakes; rattlesnakes; pit vipers; true viperscoral snakes; cobras; mambas; boomslang snakes; mangrove snakes; twig snakes; crocodiles; and alligators;

 

  • Birds. Hawks; eagles; falcons; vultures; ostriches; rheas; cassowaries; and emus;

 

  • Mammals. Lions; tigers; bobcats; jaguars; leopards; cougars; wolves; dingos; coyotes; foxes; jackals; weasels; skunks; martins; ferrets; minks; badgers; raccoons; bears; bats; sloths; anteaters; armadillo; elephants; monkeys; chimpanzees; orangutans; gorillas; beavers; porcupines; antelope; deer; bison; and camels;

 

  • Amphibians. Poisonous frogs.

 

  • Does not include livestock, fowl, or normal household pets, including but not limited to dogs, cats, cockatiels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, fish or small, nonpoisonous reptiles, or nonpoisonous snakes of a species which does not reach a length greater than six (6) feet.

 

Quarantine.  To take into custody and place in confinement isolated from human beings and other animals in such a way as to preclude the possibility of disease transmission.  The quarantine period of a biting dog or cat in rabies quarantine is ten (10) days from the date of the bite, scratch or other exposure, or as recommended by the regional veterinarian from the State Department of Health or as established in State law.

 

Sanitary.  Any condition of good order and cleanliness which discourages and limits disease transmission.

 

Stray Animal.  Any animal running at large which is not wearing a license tag or other means of ready identification or whose owner cannot be identified or located.

 

Unlawful restraint of a dog.  Restraint of a dog using a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object.

 

Unprovoked Attack by a Dog.  An incident in which a dog which attacked a human being or an animal was not hit, kicked, or struck by a human being with any object or part of a human being’s body, nor was any part of the dog’s body pulled, pinched, or squeezed by a human being, nor was the human being in the dog’s territory on the property of the dog’s owner at the time of the attack.

 

Vaccination Certificate.  The certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian on a form approved by the State Board of Health for presentation to the Animal Control Officer as a condition precedent to the granting of a dog license and showing on its face that, at the time of such presentation, the dog covered thereby has been vaccinated for rabies.

 

Sec. 4-3.  Public Nuisance

 

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animal on any property located within the corporate limits of the City when the keeping of such animal constitutes a public nuisance or is a menace to public health or safety.  A public nuisance shall include but is not limited to:

 

  • The keeping of any prohibited animal within the City.

 

  • The keeping of an excessive number of animals relative to the space in which the animals are kept.

 

  • The keeping of any dog that is found to have made an unprovoked attack, as that term is defined in this Chapter.

 

  • The keeping of any dog if there is a determination that the dog is a dangerous dog, as herein defined, and the owner of the dog is not in compliance with the requirements of this Chapter for keeping, registering, maintaining, or restraining such an animal.

 

  • Any dog that is not licensed as required by this Chapter.

 

  • Whatever is declared by the City Fire Chief or the City Police Chief to be dangerous to human life, health or welfare, or threatens to become detrimental to the public health or welfare.

 

Sec. 4-4.  Declaration of Public Nuisance.

 

Upon the filing of a written complaint by the Animal Control Officer or a written petition by the City Attorney for the determination that a public nuisance exists as provided in this Chapter, the Municipal Court shall serve notice to the owner(s) of the animal(s) to appear and answer the complaint or petition requesting determination of a nuisance; service of notice shall conform to the provisions used by the Justices of the Peace Court in a civil proceeding.  The Municipal Court, after notice has been served, shall set the matter for hearing and shall give the defendant(s) notice of the date and time of the hearing.  If, after conducting such hearing or trial, the Court finds that the animal(s) complained of constitute a public nuisance as defined by this Chapter, the Court may enter any of the following orders:

 

  • Order that such animal(s) be impounded;

 

  • Order that such animal(s) be kept within a sufficient enclosure;

 

  • Order that the number of animals kept in an area be reduced so as not to constitute a public nuisance;

 

  • Assess a fine against the owner thereof as provided in this Chapter;

 

  • Order that such animal(s) be removed permanently beyond the City limits or delivered to the Animal Control Officer and by him or her placed for adoption in a suitable home or, if the animal is not adoptable, euthanized in a humane manner; or

 

  • Any combination of the foregoing.

 

Sec. 4-5.  Disturbance of the Peace

 

Upon written complaint or petition to the Municipal Court, if the Court determines that any dog or other animal disturbs the peace and quiet of the occupant(s) of any adjacent premises by loud, unusual or prolonged barking or howling, the Court may order that animal be removed permanently beyond the City or delivered to the Animal Control Officer and by him or her placed for adoption in a suitable home or, if the animal is not adoptable, euthanized in a humane manner.  Failure or refusal of the owner of the animal to comply with such an order shall be deemed an offense under this Chapter.

 

Sec. 4-6.  Keeping of Exotic Animals.

 

It shall be unlawful for anyone to own, harbor, or permit at large any exotic animal without the written permission of the Animal Control Officer.  Such permission shall be given only if it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Animal Control Officer that the animal will not constitute a threat to public health or safety.

 

Sec. 4-7.  Caring for Animals.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for the owner or custodian of any animal to refuse or fail to provide such animal with sufficient wholesome and nutritious food, potable water, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or humane care and treatment, or to fail to provide proper shelter or unnecessarily expose any such animal to hot, cold or inclement weather.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully abandon any animal on any street, road, highway or public place, or on private property when not in the care of another person.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to attach or permit to be attached to any animal belonging to him, or his possession, any cow bell or noisy or disturbing implement or instrument.

 

Sec. 4-8.  Cruelty to Animals.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously strike, beat, abuse or intentionally run down with a vehicle any animal, or otherwise engage in any act to cause or inflict unnecessary pain, injury, suffering or death to such animal, except that reasonable force may be used to drive away vicious or trespassing animals.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally harass, terrorize, wound, harm, maim, cripple or kill, or cause to be harassed, terrorized, wounded, harmed, maimed, crippled or killed, any animal or fowl in the City with the exception of reptiles, rats or other rodents not protected by state law. This includes torturing, seriously overworking, abandoning, depriving of necessary food, water, care, or shelter, cruelly confining, or causing or permitting to fight or combat with another animal or a human being.

 

  • No person, except a licensed veterinarian for humanitarian purposes, shall administer poison to any animal, or knowingly leave any poisonous substance of any kind or ground glass in any place with the intent to injure any animal. The provisions of this Section are not applicable to licensed exterminators using poisons as part of a pest control program, or using commercial insecticides and rodent baits to control insects and wild rodents.

 

  • If an Animal Control Officer or Peace Officer has reason to believe that an animal has been or is being cruelly treated, the Officer may apply to the Municipal Court, to a Justice Court, or to a Magistrate in the County for a warrant to seize the animal. On showing of probable cause to believe that the animal has been or is being cruelly treated, the Court or Magistrate shall issue a warrant to seize the animal immediately and shall set a time within ten (10) calendar days of issuance of the warrant for a hearing in that Court to determine whether the animal has been cruelly treated.  The officer executing the warrant shall cause the animal to be impounded and shall give written notice to the owner of the animal of the time and place of the hearing.  The hearing and any appeal shall be conducted according to the requirements of Sections 821.023-821.025 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and any amendments thereto.

 

Sec. 4-9.  Defense of Persons or Animals.

 

  • Nothing in this Chapter is intended to prohibit an Animal Control Officer, Peace Officer, or any other person from defending himself or another person from an animal that is attacking, or about to attack, himself or another, by using reasonable means up to and including the killing of the attacking animal.

 

  • A dog or coyote that is attacking, is about to attack, or has recently attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowl may be killed by:

 

  • any person witnessing the attack; or

 

  • the attacked animal’s owner or a person acting on behalf of the owner if the owner or person has knowledge of the attack.

 

Sec. 4-10.  Severely Injured Animals.

 

Any animal found on a public right-of-way or elsewhere that the Animal Control Officer determines is too severely injured to have a reasonable right of recovery may be humanely destroyed by Animal Control.  The costs for such humane destruction may be recovered from the owner of the animal or any person who is found to have violated Sec. 4-8 if such violation led to the condition of the animal.

 

Sec. 4-11.  Sanitation.

 

  • No owner or custodian of any animal shall cause or allow such animal to soil, defile or defecate on any public property or upon any street, sidewalk, public way, play area or common grounds owned jointly by the members of a homeowners or condominium association, or upon private property other than that of the owner, unless such owner or custodian immediately removes and disposes of all feces deposited by such animal by the following methods:

 

  • Collection of the feces by appropriate implement and placement in a paper bag, plastic bag or other container; and

 

  • Removal of such bag or container to the property of the animal owner or custodian and disposition thereafter in a manner as otherwise may be permitted by law.

 

  • No person owning, harboring or keeping an animal within the City shall permit any waste matter from the animal to collect and remain on the property of the owner or custodian, or on the property of others, so as to cause or create an unhealthy, unsanitary, dangerous or offensive living condition on the owner’s or custodian’s property, or to abutting property of others.

 

  • No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any animal shall cause unsanitary, dangerous or offensive conditions by virtue of the size or number of animals maintained at a single location or due to the inadequacy of the facilities.

 

Sec. 4-12.  Restraint and Confinement—Generally.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal, except a cat, to fail to keep such animal under lawful restraint, as defined in Sec. 4-2, or to permit such animal to run at large upon the streets and public ways of the city.

 

  • Any dog, while on a street, sidewalk, public way or in any park, public square, or other public space, or upon any private property without the consent of the owner of the property, shall be secured by a leash or chain of sufficient tensile strength to restrain the particular dog, or shall be at heel and securely muzzled.

 

  • Any dangerous dog must be restrained according to the provisions of this Chapter pertaining to such dogs.

 

  • Any dog being carried in the open bed of a pick-up truck must be securely restrained in such a way as to prevent the dog from exiting from or reaching outside of the bed of the pick-up.

 

 

No owner or custodian of any animal shall fail to exercise proper care and control of such animal to prevent the same from becoming a public nuisance.

 

(f) Every female dog in heat shall be confined in a building or other enclosure in such a manner that such female dog cannot come into contact with another animal except for planned breeding.

 

Sec. 4-13.  Unlawful Restraint of Dogs.

 

  • An owner or custodian of a dog shall not at any time leave the dog outside and unattended by use of an unlawful restraint as defined in Sec. 4-2 of this Chapter. It is a defense to prosecution for violation of this provision that the owner or custodian of the dog lives in a residence that does not have a fenced yard, is unable to walk the dog due to disability or age, and the dog is left unattended and restrained by a method described in Sec. 4-2 for not more than thirty (30) minutes for the purpose of relieving its bladder or bowels.

 

  • No dog shall be kept in an enclosure that is less than 100 square feet for each dog confined within the enclosure.

 

  • This Sec. 4-11 of this Chapter shall not apply to a business required to pay Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax to the City of Breckenridge as set out in Sec. 8-26 through Sec. 8-34 of the Code of Ordinances, or to any person lodging in such a hotel or motel at the time the person restrains the dog on the premises of the hotel or motel. However, such businesses and lodgers must remain in compliance with Subchapter D, Chapter 821 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which currently requires the following:

 

  • An owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that unreasonably limits the dog’s movement (as defined below) between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; within 500 feet of the premises of a school; or in the case of extreme weather conditions, including conditions in which the actual or effective outdoor temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit; a heat advisory has been issued by a local or state authority or jurisdiction; or a hurricane, tropical storm, or tornado warning has been issued for the jurisdiction by the National Weather Service. This does not apply to a dog restrained to a running line, pulley, or trolley system and that is not restrained to the running line, pulley, or trolley system by means of a pinch-type, prong-type, choke-type, or improperly fitted collar; a dog restrained in compliance with the requirements of a camping or recreational area as defined by a federal, state, or local authority or jurisdiction; a dog restrained for a reasonable period, not to exceed three hours in a 24-hour period, and no longer than is necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be restrained; a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in, or actively training for, an activity that is conducted pursuant to a valid license issued by this state if the activity for which the license is issued is associated with the use or presence of a dog; a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of shepherding or herding cattle or livestock; or a dog restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of cultivating agricultural products, if the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.

 

  • A restraint unreasonably limits a dog’s movement if the restraint: uses a collar that is pinch-type, prong-type, or choke-type or that is not properly fitted to the dog; is a length shorter than the greater of five times the length of the dog, as measured from the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of the dog’s tail; or 10 feet; is in an unsafe condition; or causes injury to the dog.

 

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly violates these regulations. A peace officer or animal control officer who has probable cause to believe that an owner is violating these regulations shall provide the owner with a written statement of that fact. The statement must be signed by the officer and plainly state the date on which and the time at which the statement is provided to the owner.  A person commits an offense if the person is provided a statement described by subsection (b) and fails to comply with these regulations within 24 hours of the time the owner is provided the statement. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.  A person commits an offense if the person violates these regulations and previously has been convicted of an offense under these provisions, in which case the offense shall be a Class B misdemeanor.  If a person fails to comply with this subchapter with respect to more than one dog, the person’s conduct with respect to each dog constitutes a separate offense. If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.

 

Sec. 4-14.  Dogs—Selling, Grooming, Breeding or Boarding. 

 

  • No person shall conduct the commercial business of selling, grooming, breeding, showing, exhibiting or boarding of dogs within the City without a valid permit from the Animal Control Department. Permits may only be issued to individuals wishing to breed purebred dogs registered with the American Kennel Club or other such organization.  Animal Control shall determine the maximum number of dogs that may be on the premises of any such business at any one time.

 

  • Every person holding a permit hereunder shall maintain accurate records of all transactions involving animals, which records shall show the date, type of animal, animal registration number, and parties to such transaction. Such records shall be kept for a period of one year and must be available for inspection upon request by Animal Control.

 

  • Application for a permit under this Section shall be made to Animal Control at the City offices on forms furnished by Animal Control. The application will not be approved until certification has been received from appropriate City officials that the zoning, construction and facility comply with existing ordinances for establishments housing such businesses. If the permit application is approved by the supervisor of Animal Control, he shall issue the permit upon payment of the appropriate fee as established by the City Commission from time to time in the Animal Control Fee Schedule. Animal Control shall make any inspections necessary to assure compliance under this Chapter. Animals shall be kept under sanitary conditions so as not to endanger the public or animal health or create a nuisance and must be kept in compliance with all provisions of this Chapter.

 

  • All permits issued under this Section shall be valid for the following 12 months and shall be renewed annually thereafter by proper written application and payment of fee. No permit issued under this Section shall be renewed without the approval of the supervisor of Animal Control. No permit shall be transferable.

 

All businesses described in this Section must display the required permits in public view at such businesses.

 

  • Licensed veterinarians and veterinary clinics are exempt from this Section.

 

  • The supervisor of Animal Control may revoke any permit for failure to comply with regulations contained in this Chapter. Revocation may be appealed within ten days to an Administration Appeals Board comprised of the City Manager or his representative, the Police Chief or his representative, and the City Attorney or his representative.

 

  • No dogs may be sold or given away in public parking lots or along public streets.

 

Sec. 4-15.  Dogs—Spaying and Neutering. 

 

  • No person shall own, keep, or harbor any dog over the age of six (6) months within the City limits unless such dog is spayed or neutered.

 

  • Any dog placed for adoption by the City under this Chapter shall be spayed or neutered by the person adopting the dog within thirty (30) days of such adoption. The person adopting the dog must provide proof of spaying or neutering the animal within thirty (30) days after accepting the dog for adoption; if the person fails to provide such proof, the Animal Control Officer may take possession of the dog and dispose of the dog as permitted under this Chapter.

 

  • Any person delivering and signing over any puppies or kittens to Animal Control for adoption must provide proof within thirty (30) days that the mother of the animals has been spayed; if the person fails to provide such proof, the Animal Control Officer may file a complaint against the person in Municipal Court for noncompliance with this Section.

 

  • Any dog impounded by the City under Section 4-31 shall be spayed or neutered by the person redeeming the dog within thirty (30) days of such redemption. Animal Control shall not perform, or arrange for the performance of, the spaying or neutering of impounded dogs.  The person redeeming the dog must provide proof of spaying or neutering the animal within thirty (30) days after regaining possession of the dog.  If the person fails to provide such proof, the Animal Control Officer may file a complaint against the person in Municipal Court for noncompliance with this Section.

 

  • Exceptions. An owner of a dog is not required to spay or neuter such dog if:

 

  • A licensed veterinarian certifies that the dog should not be spayed or neutered for health reasons or is permanently non-fertile;

 

  • The dog is being held for sale by a retail pet store or for adoption by Animal Control or a recognized animal welfare organization;

 

  • The dog is a competition dog; or

 

  • The dog is purebred dog registered with the American Kennel Club or other recognized organization.

 

Sec. 4-16.  Violations, Enforcement and Penalties. 

 

  • It shall be a violation of this Chapter to:

 

  • Fail to comply with any provision of this Chapter;

 

  • Fail to comply with any lawful order, decision, finding or determination under this Chapter, unless such order is lawfully stayed or reversed; or

 

  • Fail to pay any fines, civil penalties or costs imposed under the provisions of this Chapter within the time established by the Municipal Court, unless payment thereof is lawfully stayed.

 

  • The Municipal Court of the City shall enforce the provisions of this Chapter upon the filing of a written complaint or petition with the Court.

 

  • Any person who violates any provision of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00). Each day such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.

 

Secs. 4-17—4-19.  Reserved.

 

Article II.  Licensing and Vaccination Requirements

 

Sec. 4-20.  Licensing of All Dogs.

 

  • License Required. No person shall own, keep or harbor any dog over the age of four (4) months within the City unless such dog is licensed as provided in this Chapter.  All dog licenses must be renewed annually.

 

  • Application for such license shall be made by the owner on a form to be provided by the City Secretary within ten (10) days after acquiring any dog over four (4) months of age or within ten (10) days after it reaches four (4) months of age, provided that any owner moving to the City for the purpose of establishing residence or becoming a resident as a result of any annexation, shall have until ten (10) days after moving or annexation to obtain such a license.

 

  • Proof of Rabies Vaccination Required. All owners applying for a license must show to the satisfaction of the licensing authority that the animal for which the license is being obtained has been vaccinated against rabies with a vaccine approved by and administered by a licensed veterinarian within the last year.

 

  • Proof of Sterilization Required. All owners applying for a license must show to the satisfaction of the licensing authority that the animal for which the license is being obtained has been spayed or neutered, unless the owner presents evidence exempting him or her from this requirement.

Payment of License Fee.  A license fee shall be paid at the time of making application.  The license fee for a dog shall be as established from time to time by the City Commission in the Animal Control Fee Schedule.

 

  • Denial of License. The supervisor of the Animal Control Department may refuse to license a dog, or may revoke a license issued to any person who has been convicted in any duly authorized Court of jurisdiction in the State, or who resides with any person so convicted, of any of the following:

 

  • Cruelty to animals as defined in Section 42.09 or Section 42.902 of the Texas Penal Code; or

 

  • Four or more separate and distinct violations of an animal control ordinance of a municipality in the state within any 12-month period.

 

Any person denied such a license or whose license is revoked may appeal the denial or revocation to a committee made up of the Chief of Police or his appointed representative, the City Manager or his appointed representative, and the City Attorney or his appointed representative. This committee shall uphold or overturn the Animal Control Supervisor’s denial or revocation.  If the denial or revocation is upheld, the dog must be relinquished immediately to the Animal Control Officer.

 

  • Exemption from License fee. License fees shall not be required for seeing eye dogs, government police dogs or dogs belonging to a nonresident of the City and kept within the boundaries of the City for not longer than twenty-one (21) days, provided that all dogs of nonresidents shall at the time of entry into the City be properly vaccinated against rabies, and, while kept within the City, meet all other requirements of this Chapter.  Any owner claiming any of these exemptions has the burden of proving to the satisfaction of Animal Control that the dog in question is entitled to such exemption.

 

  • Any owner of a dog over the age of four (4) months who fails to obtain a license within the time period specified in this Chapter shall be subject to a fine not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).

 

Sec. 4-21.  License Tags; Identification.

 

  • Upon payment and acceptance of the license fee, Animal Control shall issue a durable license tag, stamped with the year of issuance and an identification number for the animal for which the license has been obtained. Any license issued for the keeping of a dog shall be effective on the date of issuance and shall be valid for a period of one (1) year from that date.  Every dog for which the owner is required to obtain a license must wear a valid license tag (or collar) at all times when the animal is off the premises of its owner.

 

  • No person may use a license for any animal other than the animal for which the license was issued. It shall also be unlawful for any person to remove from the neck of any dog the license tag issued pursuant to this Section or the collar to which such tag is attached or to alter such tag in any manner.

 

 

Sec. 4-22.  Rabies Vaccination.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, harbor or have custody or control of a dog over four (4) months of age unless such animal has been immunized against rabies by injection of anti-rabies vaccine by a licensed veterinarian or by a veterinarian validly licensed in another jurisdiction. Immunization shall be repeated so that continuing vaccinations are no more than one (1) year apart.

 

  • Every owner of a dog immunized against rabies shall procure a rabies vaccination certificate from the veterinarian administering the vaccine.

 

Sec. 4-23.  Animals that Exhibit Rabies Symptoms; Bite, Scratch; Quarantine.

 

  • Any animal that has rabies or symptoms which could reasonably indicate rabies, or that bites, scratches or otherwise creates a condition which may expose or transmit the rabies virus to any human being or other animal shall be impounded immediately as provided in this Section, and shall be held in quarantine in the City a minimum period of ten (10) days from the date of bite, scratch, exposure or transmittal, or longer, as the Animal Control Officer may deem necessary. Such quarantine will be subject to the following conditions:

 

  • If an Animal Control Officer is able to notify the owner of the animal, the owner may exercise the option to quarantine the animal within twenty-four (24) hours of notification at any licensed veterinarian’s clinic in the City which has facilities for isolation cages.

 

  • A stray animal may be euthanized and its head examined for rabies by a State Department of Health laboratory at any time during the impoundment or quarantine period when deemed necessary by the Animal Control Officer.

 

  • Any quarantined animal showing clinical signs of rabies shall be euthanized immediately and its head submitted to the nearest State Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

 

  • Animals bitten by a high risk animal or by a known or suspected rabid animal shall be quarantined or euthanized in accordance with state law.

 

  • An animal placed in quarantine anywhere in the City shall not be released without the quarantine keeper providing notification of the animal’s release to the Animal Control Officer.

 

  • If the biting animal, whether owned or stray, is a high risk animal, excluding dogs and cats, which bit, scratched or created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to a human being or another animal, it shall be euthanized and its head submitted to the State Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

 

  • If the biting animal is a low risk animal that was not cage-raised, which bit, scratched or created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to a human being, the animal shall be euthanized and its head submitted to the State Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

 

 

  • The Animal Control Officer may require an animal which has inflicted multiple bite wounds, punctures, or lacerations to the face, head or neck of a human being to be euthanized and its head submitted to the State Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

 

  • Any animal required to be quarantined under this Section which, in the determination of the Animal Control Officer, cannot be or is not being maintained in a secure quarantine shall be euthanized and its head submitted to the State Department of Health laboratory for rabies diagnosis.

 

  • The owner of any animal that is reported to have rabies or symptoms thereof, or to have been exposed to rabies, or to have bitten, scratched or otherwise created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to any human being or animal, or that the owner knows or suspects to be rabid, or to have bitten, scratched or otherwise created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to any human being or animal, shall submit such animal for quarantine to the Animal Control Officer or any Peace Officer. If the animal dies prior to its quarantine, the owner shall submit the animal to the Animal Control Officer for rabies diagnosis.

 

  • Any person who has knowledge of any animal that exhibits symptoms of, or has been exposed to, rabies or of any animal which has bitten, scratched or otherwise created a condition which may have exposed or transmitted the rabies virus to any human being or animal shall immediately report the incident to the Animal Control Officer. The report shall include the name and address of the victim and the owner of the animal, if known, and any other information the person has relating to the incident or animal.

 

  • Every veterinarian or other person who is called to examine or professionally attend any animal with rabies or any other reportable communicable disease shall within twenty-four (24) hours thereafter, report the following in writing to the Animal Control Officer:

 

  • Species and description of animal;

 

  • Location of such animal;

 

  • Name and address of the owner thereof;

 

  • Type and character of the disease.

 

  • Every veterinarian practicing within the City shall keep detailed records of rabies vaccinations and, upon request of the Animal Control Officer, shall provide a listing of rabies vaccinations to the Animal Control Officer. The listing shall include the owner’s name and address, animal species, gender, date of vaccination and whether the animal has been altered.

 

  • The Animal Control Officer shall investigate and record all cases of rabies and suspected rabies.

 

  • The body of any animal that has died of rabies or that dies or is destroyed while in quarantine shall not be disposed of except as directed by the Animal Control Officer.
  • The owner of any animal quarantined under this Section shall pay all reasonable costs of the quarantine and disposition of the animal, including charges for shipment of animal tissue, if required, to the State Department of Health laboratory for testing.

 

  • An animal which has been quarantined may be released by the Animal Control Officer under the following conditions:

 

  • At the end of the observation period upon proof of vaccination or receipt of vaccination prior to release from quarantine;

 

  • When all applicable fees have been paid;

 

  • If the animal is not being held for legal proceeding; and

 

  • If appropriate City license registration has been obtained.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for the owner of an animal that has rabies or symptoms which could reasonably indicate rabies, or that bites, scratches, or otherwise creates a condition which may expose or transmit the rabies virus to any human being or other animal to fail or refuse to comply with any provisions of this Chapter.

 

Sec. 4-24.  Rabies Outbreak. 

 

If there is a danger to public health and safety due to an outbreak of rabies, the Mayor shall declare an emergency and issue a proclamation, which shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the City.  The proclamation shall require all dogs and other animals to be closely confined upon the owners’ premises between stated dates and provide that any owner or harborer of animals that fails to comply shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and the animals will be impounded and destroyed.

 

Secs. 4-25—4-29.  Reserved.

 

Article III.  Impoundment

 

Sec. 4-30.  Impoundment.

 

In addition to any other remedies provided in this Chapter, an Animal Control Officer or a Peace Officer may seize, impound and humanely confine to an animal shelter or hospital any of the following animals:

 

  • Any dog without a valid license tag;

 

  • Any animal at large;

 

  • Any animal constituting a public nuisance or considered a danger to the public;

 

  • Any unattended animal that is ill, injured or otherwise in need of care;
  • Any animal that is reasonably believed to have been abused or neglected;

 

  • Any animal that is reasonably suspected of having rabies;

 

  • Any animal that is believed to be potentially dangerous or dangerous to the point where an Animal Control Officer or the City Manager determines that there is a threat to public health and safety;

 

  • Any animal that a Court of competent jurisdiction has ordered impounded or destroyed;

 

  • Any animal that is considered unattended or abandoned, as in situations where the owner is deceased, has been arrested, or has been evicted from his regular place of residence.

 

Sec. 4-31.  Notice to Owner and Redemption.

 

  • Upon impoundment of an animal, the Animal Control Officer shall immediately notify the owner by telephone, in person, or by attaching a written notice to the door of the residence of the owner of the animal. The notice shall describe the animal and the time and place of taking, and will also include the location of the shelter or hospital where the animal is confined, the hours during which the animal can be reclaimed, and the fees to be charged to the owner. The notice shall also include language indicating that the failure of the owner to claim the animal within five (5) days of the date of impoundment may result in the disposition of the animal.

 

  • If the owner of the animal impounded is not readily apparent, the Animal Control Officer shall make a reasonable effort to determine the identity of the owner of the animal and, if the owner is found, to provide notice to the owner under Subsection (a), above. However, final responsibility for the location of an impounded animal is that of the owner.

 

  • An owner reclaiming an impounded animal shall pay impoundment fees as established by the City Commission from time to time in the Animal Control Fee Schedule.

 

  • The owner shall pay all fees and costs imposed and assessed under this Section to the Municipal Court at the time of redeeming the animal. Upon receipt of such fees, the Municipal Court shall issue an official receipt for the amount paid.  Such fees shall be delivered to the City Secretary and credited to the general fund of the City.  The Animal Control Officer and those designated by the governing body shall provide, at the cost of the City, sanitary and comfortable quarters and necessary sustenance for such animals and fowl so impounded.

 

  • The daily rate charged for any subsequent impoundment occurring within twelve (12) months shall be double that which was charged for each day of confinement during the first impoundment.

 

  • Any animal not reclaimed by its owner within five (5) days of impoundment shall become the property of the City and shall be placed for adoption in a suitable home or euthanized in a humane manner. The day of impoundment shall be considered the first day of this 5-day period.

 

Sec. 4-32.  Voluntary Relinquishment of Animal.

 

If the owner of an animal signs over that animal to the custody of Animal Control, that animal shall immediately become the property of the City and shall immediately be placed for adoption in a suitable home or euthanized in a humane manner.

 

Sec. 4-33.  Property Owners May Impound.

 

Any person finding an animal at large upon his property may remove the same to any animal shelter that will take possession of the animal.  If no such shelters available, the property owner may hold the animal in his own possession, and, as soon as possible, notify the Animal Control Officer.  The property owner shall provide a description of the animal and the name of the owner if known.  The Animal Control Officer or a Peace Officer shall take possession of the animal.

 

Secs. 4-34—4-39.  Reserved.

 

Article IV.  Dangerous Dogs

 

Sec. 4-40.  Dangerous Dogs Prohibited Unless Registered. 

 

  • It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor any dangerous dog, as defined in Sec. 42, within the City limits, unless that person has registered the dog with the City according to the following procedures and has met all of the requirements for registration. Registration is in addition to licensing of the dog.  All persons keeping or harboring a dangerous dog within the City shall register such dog within ten (10) days of learning that the dog is a dangerous dog or within ten (10) days of the dangerous dog entering the City.

 

  • The owner or custodian will register the dog with Animal Control and provide the following:

 

  • The name, address and telephone number of persons keeping or harboring a dangerous dog.

 

  • A registration fee, as established by the City Commission from time and time in the Animal Control Fee Schedule, for each dangerous dog being kept.

 

  • Proof that each dangerous dog that is four months of age or over has been vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian and supply the name, address and phone number of veterinarian.

 

  • Proof that each dangerous dog has had a microchip implanted in the dog by a licensed veterinarian for the purpose of identifying the animal and its owner.

 

  • Proof that each dangerous dog has been spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian.

 

  • Two color photographs, at least three inches by five inches, of each dog, with one photograph showing the frontal view and the other showing a side view of each dog.
  • Proof of a current liability insurance policy in the amount of at least $250,000.00 for personal injury or death and $50,000.00 for property damage to cover injury or damage caused by a dangerous dog, which policy shall name the city as a co-insured.

 

  • For purposes of this Section, a person learns that the person is the owner of a dangerous dog when:

 

  • the owner knows that the dog has committed an attack to qualify the dog as a dangerous dog, as defined in Sec. 4-2; or

 

  • the owner is informed by Animal Control that the dog is a dangerous dog pursuant to Sec. 4-42, below.

 

Sec. 4-41.  Failure to Register Dangerous Dog.

 

  • The owner of a dangerous dog who does not comply with Sec. 4-40 shall deliver the dog to Animal Control not later than the 10th day after the owner learns that the dog is a dangerous dog.

 

  • If, on application of any person, a Justice Court, County Court, or Municipal Court finds, after notice and hearing as provided in Sec. 4-43, that the owner of a dangerous dog has failed to comply with Sec. 4-40 or Sec. 4-41(a), the Court shall order Animal Control to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. Animal Control shall seize the dog or order its seizure and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in secure and humane conditions.  The owner of the dog shall be responsible for paying the impoundment fees established in the Animal Control Fee Schedule.

 

  • The Court shall order Animal Control to humanely destroy the dog if the owner has not complied with Sec. 4-40 before the 11th day after the date on which the dog is seized or delivered to Animal Control under this Sec. 4-41, except that, notwithstanding any other law or local regulation, the Court may not order the destruction of a dog during the pendency of an appeal under Sec. 4-44.

 

  • 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 under Sec. 4-41(b).

 

Sec. 4-42.  Determination that a Dog is Dangerous.

 

  • If a person reports an incident qualifying the dog as a dangerous dog under Sec. 4-2, Animal

Control may investigate the incident.  If, after receiving the sworn statements of any witnesses, Animal Control determines the dog is a dangerous dog, Animal Control shall notify the owner in writing of the determination.

 

  • Not later than the 15th day after the date the owner is notified that a dog owned by the owner is a dangerous dog, the owner may appeal the determination of Animal Control to the Justice, County, or Municipal Court of competent jurisdiction.

 

  • To file an appeal under Sec. 4-42(b), the owner must:

 

  • file a notice of appeal of Animal Control’s dangerous dog determination with the Court;

 

  • attach a copy of the determination from Animal Control; and

 

  • serve a copy of the notice of appeal on Animal Control by mailing the notice through the United States Postal Service.

 

  • The owner may appeal the decision of the Justice or Municipal Court in the manner described by Sec. 4-44, below.

 

Sec. 4-43.  Hearing.

 

  • The Court, on receiving an application under Sec. 4-41(b), shall set a time for a hearing to determine whether the owner has complied with Sec. 4-40 or Sec. 4-41(a). The hearing must be held not later than the 10th day after the date on which the dog is seized or delivered.

 

  • The Court shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to:

 

  • the owner of the dog or the person from whom the dog was seized; and

 

  • the person who made the complaint.

 

  • Any interested party, including the County or City Attorney, is entitled to present evidence at the hearing.

 

  • The Court shall determine the estimated costs to house and care for the impounded dog during the appeal process and shall set the amount of bond for an appeal adequate to cover those estimated costs.

 

  • An owner or person filing the action may appeal the decision of the Municipal or Justice Court in the manner described by Sec. 4-44.

 

Sec. 4-44.  Appeal.

 

  • A party to an appeal under Sec. 4-42(d) or a hearing under Sec. 4-43 may appeal the decision to the County Court of Stephens County and is entitled to a jury trial upon request.

 

  • As a condition of perfecting an appeal, not later than the 10th calendar day after the date the decision is issued, the appellant must file a notice of appeal and, if applicable, an appeal bond in the amount determined by the Court from which the appeal is taken.

 

  • Notwithstanding Section 30.00014, Government Code, or any other law, a person filing an appeal from a Municipal Court under Sec. 4-44(a) is not required to file a motion for a new trial to perfect an appeal.

 

  • A decision of the County Court of Stephens County under this Section may be appealed in the same manner as an appeal for any other case in a County Court.

 

  • Pursuant to Section 822.0424(e) of the Health and Safety Code, notwithstanding any other law, the County Court of Stephens County has jurisdiction to hear an appeal filed under this Section.

 

Sec. 4-45.  Attack by Dangerous Dog.

 

  • 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.

 

  • If a person is found guilty of an offense under this Section, the Court may order the dangerous dog destroyed by Animal Control.

 

Sec. 4-46. Leash and Muzzle Requirements for Dangerous Dogs.

 

  • It shall be unlawful for an owner to permit a dangerous dog to go outdoors or outside its kennel or place of enclosure unless such dog is securely leashed with a leash or chain having a minimum tensile strength of three hundred (300) pounds and no longer than three (3) feet in length and unless such dog is muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals.

 

  • An owner shall be in physical control of a leashed dangerous dog at all times, and it shall be unlawful for a person to leash a dog on a chain, rope or other type of leash outside of its kennel or place of enclosure to an inanimate object such as a tree, post, building, car or truck.

 

Sec. 4-47. Outdoor Confinement of Dangerous Dogs.

 

  • All dangerous dogs shall be securely confined either indoors, pursuant to Sec. 4-44, or in a securely enclosed and locked kennel, pen or structure outdoors, except when leashed and muzzled as provided for in Sec. 4-42. Such kennel, pen or structure outdoors must have secure sides, a secure top attached to the sides and either a secure bottom or floor attached to the sides, or the sides must be embedded no less than 12 inches wide and will extend into the soil at least to a depth of 24 inches.

 

  • At no place within the kennel, pen, or structure shall a dangerous dog be able to put his mouth outside of the enclosure.

 

  • All kennels, pens, or structures used to confine dangerous dogs must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals are within the enclosures.

 

  • All kennels, pens, or structures erected to confine dangerous dogs must comply with all zoning and construction regulations of the City.

 

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

 

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

 

Sec. 4-48.  Indoor Confinement of Dangerous Dogs.

 

It shall be unlawful for any owner to keep or harbor a dangerous dog on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or building that would allow the dog to exit such structure on its own volition.  It shall be unlawful for any owner to keep a dangerous dog in a house or building when the windows are open or when screened windows or screened doors are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure and running at large.

 

Sec. 4-49.  Signs Required for Dangerous Dogs. 

 

Any person keeping or harboring a dangerous dog within the City shall, within ten (10) days of the dog entering the City or exhibiting any behavior described in the definition in Sec. 4-2 or immediately upon determination by the City that the dog is a dangerous dog, display in a prominent place on the premises a sign easily readable from the public street stating, “BEWARE OF DOG.”  A similar sign shall be posted on the kennel, pen or structure where a dangerous dog is kept.

 

Sec. 4-50.  Reporting Requirements for Dangerous Dogs. 

 

Any person keeping or harboring a dangerous dog within the City shall, within ten (10) days of an occurrence of any of the following events, make a written report to the Animal Control Officer.

 

  • The death or removal from the City of any dangerous dog in a person’s care.

 

  • The move and specific addresses involved when a person keeping or harboring a dangerous dog moves from one location within the City to another location.

 

  • Any attacks the dangerous dog makes on people.

 

Sec. 4-51.  Sale or Transfer of Ownership of a Dangerous Dog. 

 

It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, barter or in any other way dispose of a dangerous dog to any other person within the City, unless the recipient resides permanently in the same household and on the same premises as the owner of such dog.

 

Sec. 4-52. Exceptions.

 

  • It is a defense to prosecution under this Article 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.

 

  • It is a defense to prosecution under this Article 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.

 

  • It is a defense to prosecution under this Article that the person is a dog trainer or an employee of a guard dog company under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code.

 

Secs. 4-53—4-59. Reserved.

 

Article V.  Livestock and Fowl

 

Sec. 4-60.  Livestock—Enclosure and Proximity to Residences.

 

Every head of livestock shall be kept in a stable, shed, pen or other enclosure; and every such stable, shed, pen or other enclosure, wherever located within the City for the keeping of such animals, shall be a distance of at least sixty (60) feet from every building or structure used for sleeping, dining and living, except such buildings belonging to the owner(s) of the livestock.

 

Sec. 4-61.  Livestock—Area Requirements. 

 

It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain livestock within the City unless the following requirements are met:

 

  • Horses or Cows. There shall be a minimum space of twenty-four hundred (2,400) square feet for each horse, cow, or mule kept within the City.  A shed used for protection against the elements may be located on this plot.  Every additional horse, cow, or mule that is kept on the same lot must be given an additional twenty-four hundred (2,400) square feet.

 

  • Goats, Pigs, and Sheep. Any goat, pig or sheep kept in the City limits shall be allowed seven hundred fifty (750) square feet for stable and lot.  Every additional goat, pig, or sheep that is kept on the same lot must be given an additional seven hundred fifty (750) square feet.

 

Sec. 4-62.  Livestock—Manure Disposal; Mosquito Control.

 

  • Manure Disposal. All stables, pens, lots, sheds or other enclosures where any livestock, whether a cow, horse, sheep, goat or mule, are kept within the City shall be cleaned of droppings at least once every three (3) days and such manure and droppings shall be removed by the owner immediately to a designated disposal area.

 

  • Mosquito Control. All containers used for the watering of livestock within the City limits shall be emptied at least once every three (3) days and refilled with fresh water in order to control the breeding of mosquitoes.

 

Sec. 4-63.  Livestock—Lime Required.

 

At intervals of once each week, hydrated lime shall be distributed over the entire surface of livestock enclosures at the rate of six (6) pounds per seven hundred fifty (750) square feet that has been cleaned.

When lots or stable cleanings are stored, one pound hydrated lime per cubic foot shall be applied to prevent fly breeding.

 

Sec. 4-64.  Livestock—Staking.

 

It shall be unlawful for any person to stake any livestock for any purpose within the City.

 

Sec. 4-65.  Fowl—Enclosures.

 

It shall be the duty of every person raising or harboring fowl, whether owned by such person or under the control of any such person, to keep the same in a suitable enclosure, so constructed as to prevent any such fowl from running at large.

 

Sec. 4-66.  Fowl—Sanitary Conditions of Enclosure for Fowl. 

 

It shall be the duty of every person raising or harboring fowl, to keep the enclosure described above in a sanitary condition so that the same shall not at any time become foul or offensive to adjacent neighbors or to the public.

 

Sec. 4-67.  Abattoirs, Packing Houses and Stockyards.

 

It shall be unlawful under this Chapter for any person, other than a person engaged in the business of operating an abattoir, packing house or stockyard, to slaughter or kill livestock or any other animal within the City limits of the City of Breckenridge unless another provision within the Code of Ordinances specifically permits such action.  This Section shall not apply to the slaughter of an animal for religious purposes.  The provisions of this Chapter shall not be construed to prohibit any person engaged in operating an abattoir, packing house or stockyard from keeping livestock for a reasonable length of time awaiting their use in connection with the operations of such abattoir, packing house or stockyard, but such persons shall comply with the provisions of this Chapter in regard to sanitation and manure disposal.

 

*************************

 

 

  • Severability. The provisions of this Ordinance are declared to be severable.  If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, sentences, clauses, and phrases of this ordinance, but they shall remain in effect notwithstanding the validity of any part.

 

  1. Open Meetings. It is hereby officially found and determined that the meeting at which this ordinance is passed was open to the public as required and that public notice of the time, place, and purpose of said meeting was given as required by the Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Local Government Code.

 

  1. Effective Date. This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its adoption by the City Commission and after publication as required by the Texas Local Government Code.

 

 

The above and foregoing ordinance was duly proposed, read in full and adopted on the 6th day of December, 2016, at a regular meeting of the City Commission.

 

 

 

_______________________________

Jimmy McKay, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

 

__________________________________________

Heather Robertson-Caraway, City Secretary                                         S E A L

 

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