City of Sweeny | City Ordinances | Animal Control
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City Ordinances | Animal Control

Animal Control Ordinance

City Ordinance No. 103-87

(Passed 06-16-1987; Amended by City Ordinance No. 101-02, passed 06-18-2002)

 

DEFINITIONS

(A) For the purpose of this ordinance, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

  • ANIMAL. Any living creature, including, but not limited to dogs, caws, horses, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, insects, fowls and livestock, but does not include humans beings.

  • ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER or POUNDMASTER. Any person designated to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

  • COMMERCIAL STABLE. A facility where a fee is charged to house pasture or rent horses or other livestock.

  • LARGE LIVESTOCK. Horses or any member of the domesticated horse family, including but not limited to mules, donkeys and ponies; and all types of and varieties of cattle, bulls and all members of the cow family.

  • NUISANCE. Any object, place or condition which constitutes a possible or probable medium of transmission of disease to or between human beings or any other object, place or condition which may be specifically declared by law to be a nuisance.

  • OWNER. Any person, firm or corporation having title to any animal or a person, firm or corporation who has, harbors or keeps or who causes or permits to be harbored or kept, an animal in his or her care or who permits an animal to remain on or about his or her premises.

  • RUNNING AT LARGE.

    (a) Not completely confined by a building, wall, fence or other enclosure of sufficient strength, or construction to restrain the animal confined thereby, to the premises of the owner.

    (b)  Not completely restrained by a leash or chain sufficiently strong to prevent the animal from escaping and which restricts the animal to the owner’s premises in such a manner that it shall not have access to within 10 feet of any sidewalk or entry to the home or to any mail box at the home.

    (c)  Not completely restrained by a leash or within an automobile when away from the premises of the owner.

     

  • SANITARY. Any condition of good order and cleanliness which precludes the probability of disease transmission.

  • SMALL LIVESTOCK. All types of domesticated swine, sheep and goats.

  • WILD ANIMAL. Includes, but is not be limited to any poisonous or dangerous reptile or any other animal which is normally to be found in the wild state and is normally incapable of being domesticated, and including, but not limited to skunks, foxes, leopards, panthers, tigers, lions, lynx unless certified for medical, biological, herpetological or other scientific research or study.

(B) Unless otherwise indicated, the terms employed in this chapter are to be construed to mean the same thing as contained in the definition thereof in Webster’s Dictionary.

ENFORCEMENT; RESPONSIBILITY

The Chief of Police, with the consent of the City Council and Mayor, shall be and is hereby authorized to designate the person who shall be responsible to the Chief of Police of the city for the enforcement of this chapter and for the impounding of the animals and fowl, the adoption thereof or destruction thereof.

LARGE LIVESTOCK AND DOGS NOT TO RUN AT LARGE.  DOGS RUNNING AT LARGE PENALTY; PENALTY FOR DOG RUNNING AT LARGE
  1. It shall be unlawful for any owner of any large livestock to permit such livestock to run at large. Any large livestock which is found to be running at large within the corporate city limits of the City of Sweeny, Texas, shall be impounded by the Animal Control Officer or Pound Master, and shall not be released until the fees and charges herein established have been fully paid.

  2. It shall be unlawful for any person owning, keeping or having in his possession or control any dog to allow such dog to run at large upon the streets, sidewalks, or public grounds of the city, or to allow any dog to run at large upon or about the residence, lot, or lands of any person other than the owner, keeper, or person in possession and control of such dog.  Any dog on the streets, sidewalks, or public grounds of the city, or on the residence, lot or lands of any person other than the owner, keeper, or the person in possession of control of the dog shall be considered to be at large, in violation of this section except that a dog under the control of an owner, or another person by means of a chain, rope, cord, or leash of not more than ten (10') feet in length and of sufficient strength to control the action of the dog shall not be deemed running at large.

  3. Should any owner, keeper or person in possession or control of the dog permit any dog to run at large as that term is utilized herein, on the first occasion the person permitting a dog to run at large shall be given a warning ticket, a copy of which is to be kept by the Police Department as a record; on the second occasion the person permits a dog to run at large, the person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined in any sum of not less than $1 or more than $10. Should any person permit a dog to run at large on three or more occasions, the person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined in any sum of not less than $1 nor more than $200.

RABIES TRANSMISSION

It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog, cat or other domesticated animal to keep and maintain the animal within the corporate city limits, which is a carrier of rabies and is capable of transmitting rabies either to human beings or to other animals unless the dog, cat or other domesticated animal has a current effective rabies vaccination and a tag indicating that the dog, cat or other domesticated animal, aforesaid, has been vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The tag having the aforesaid indication shall have thereon the date of the vaccination, the name and address of the owner of the particular animal. Dogs or cats which are under six months of age are exempted from the provisions hereof until they attain the age of six months. It shall be the duty of the Pound Master or Animal Control Officer to impound any animal which is found running at large without a tag so indicating the vaccination and date thereof, and the name and address of the owner thereon being prominently displayed around the neck of the animal.

VACCINATION

Any licensed veterinarian who shall vaccinate a dog, cat or other domesticated animal for rabies for a resident of the City of Sweeny shall furnish the tag with the data indicated in §95.04, imprinted thereon, indicating the type of dog, cat or other domestic animal, the data of the vaccination and the name and address of the owner.

DESTRUCTION OF ILL OR INJURED ANIMALS

Whenever from any cause, any animal, fowl or common household pet within the corporate city limits shall be so ill, wounded, maimed or injured or malnourished as to render its recovery hopeless, it shall become the duty of the Pound Master or Animal Control Officer to kill or destroy or cause to be killed or destroyed the animal or fowl so injured, wounded, maimed or malnourished in a manner as in his or her sole judgment shall be the least painful and cause of carcass thereof to be set apart in a place provided for the matter.

CONFINEMENT UPON SUSPICION OF RABIES; METHOD OF HANDLING
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  1. Should any person be bitten by any animal and a complaint thereof be made, the person (owner) responsible for the animal shall be notified to keep the animal confined and under observation of a licensed veterinarian or the Pound Master for not less than 14 days after the person was bitten and to release the animal only on written permission of the City Pound Master or his or her designated representative.

  2. Upon failure of the owner responsible for the animal to comply with the notice, the Pound Master shall cause the animal to be confined and placed under observation for the length of time, in the City Pound at the expense of the owner or person responsible for the animal. The animal shall not be released until the owner or person responsible for the animal shall have paid the sum of $10 for the impoundment, plus $3 per day for each day the animal is impounded and confined for observation, together with the actual expenses incurred for treatment or veterinary fees, and should the owner fail to keep the animal under observation as provided herein, the owner shall be in violation hereof. Should the owner fail to pay the aforesaid fees and charges, the animal may be adopted out or destroyed. This provision shall apply to any animal which has scratched any human being when and if reported.

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  1. Methods of handling include:
  1. Humane destruction, with notification to, or under the supervision of the Pound Master;

  2. If not currently vaccinated, quarantine in a veterinary hospital for at least six months immediately following the date of exposure; or

  3. If currently vaccinated, immediate revaccination and quarantine for at least 30 days immediately following the date of exposure.

  1. No person shall fail or refuse to surrender any animal for supervised quarantine or humane destruction as required herein for rabies control, when demand therefore is made by the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or any member of the Police Department of the city.

  2. Any person having the control or possession of or responsibility for any quarantined animal shall immediately notify the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or Police Department of the city, if the animal escapes or becomes or appears to become sick or dies and, in case of death of the animal while under quarantine, shall immediately surrender the dead animal to the Pound Master or Animal Control Officer for diagnostic purposes.

ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZED IMPOUNDMENTS; QUARANTINE
  1. The Pound Master or any police officer may enforce the provisions of this chapter, may impound any animal which is found to be in violation of this chapter, and in addition thereto may impound any animal which appears infected with disease, is being detained in unsanitary conditions, or which creates a private nuisance by barking or howling, or the making of other noise for substantial periods of the night, or by turning over garbage bags, cans and the like, or is being kept in a cruel and inhumane manner.

  2. (blank)

  1. The Pound Master, members of the Police Department and the Animal Control Officer of the city shall have full right and authority to order the quarantine of any animal responsible for bite incidents, or which are suspected of having any zoonotic disease which is considered by them to be a hazard to the population of the city or other animals.

  2. Every animal that bites a human or attacks another animal in an unnatural manner, or which has rabies or any other zoonotic disease, shall be immediately confined by the owner, who shall promptly notify the Animal Control Officer or any member of the Police Department or the Pound Master of the place where the animal is confined and the reason thereof. The owner shall not permit the animal to come in contact with any other person or animal. The owner shall surrender possession of the animal to the Animal Control Officer, Pound Master or any member of the Police Department of the city, upon demand by any of them that the animal be surrendered or quarantine. The quarantine shall be at the animal shelter or preferable at a veterinary hospital, or at any other location which will provide adequate confinement approved by the Police Department of the city, the Pound Master or Animal Control Officer, the confinement in quarantine of the animal shall be for a period of time not less than 14 days and shall be under supervision of a veterinarian. A release from quarantine may be issued if no signs of rabies or other disease have been observed during the quarantine period.

  3. Any animal quarantined other than at the animal shelter of the city shall be observed by the same veterinarian throughout the entire period of time of the quarantine in the manner set out above, and the owner shall immediately notify the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or Chief of Police as to the veterinarian supervising the quarantined animal.

  4. All costs incurred in quarantining any animal shall be born by the owner of the animal, and any quarantine order by the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or member of the Police Department of the city shall be promptly accomplished by the owner, and the quarantine by the owner shall be under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian in the manner stated herein.

  5. The violation of quarantine by any person shall be just cause for the seizure and impoundment of any animal so quarantined by the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or any member of the Police Department of the city. It is declared unlawful for any person to interrupt the observation period.

  6. All animal bites or scratches brought to the attention of the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or Police Department of the city shall be investigated by the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or Police Department of the city. Without permission of the Animal Control Officer or Pound Master, it shall be unlawful for any person to kill or remove from the corporate city limits any animal that has bitten or scratched a person or other animal, or that has been placed under quarantine, except when necessary to kill the animal to protect the life of any person.

  7. The Pound Master or Animal Control Officer shall direct the disposition of any animal suspected of being rabid or having any other zoonotic disease considered to be a hazard to any other animal or human being.

  8. The carcass of any dead animal which has been exposed to rabies or which is suspected of having rabies, shall, upon demand, be surrendered to the Pound Master, Animal Control Officer or Police Department of the city.

  9. Every animal that has been bitten by another animal shall be immediately confined by the owner, who shall promptly notify the Animal Control Officer, Pound Master or Police Department of the city, of the place where the animal is confined and the reasons thereof. The owner of the animal shall not permit the animal to come into contact with any person or animal, other than the proper authorities.

NUISANCE
  1. No owner or any animal shall keep an animal within the corporate city limits under conditions which create a nuisance, as that term is herein defined.

  2. The following shall be considered as public nuisances and to maintain the nuisance as defined below shall be unlawful:

  1. The keeping of any animal, which, by causing frequent or long continuous barking or other noise shall disturb any person of ordinary sensibilities in the vicinity;

  2. The keeping of any animal in violation of this chapter or in a manner as to endanger the public health;

  3. The keeping of any animal in a manner that animal wastes accumulate causing flies, foul and offensive odors;

  4. The keeping of an animal or animals in a manner that an animal is a hazard to human beings or other animals;

  5. The owner keeping an animal in a manner that the animal occupies the premises of another for periods of time in excess of two hours without the permission of the owner of the premises;

  6. Whenever the animals pens, stables or other enclosures in which the animal is kept or confined becomes offensive to a person or ordinary sensitivities by reason of the conditions of the pens, stables or enclosures; or

  7. The keeping of bees in a manner as to deny the lawful use of properties near the property where the bees are being kept or in a manner as to endanger personal health and welfare.

KEEPING CERTAIN ANIMALS AND FOWL
  1. It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog, cat or other domesticated animal capable of transmitting rabies to human beings or other animals, to keep, own, possess, harbor or allow to remain upon a premises under the owner’s control unless the dog, cat or other domesticated animal aforesaid has a current valid rabies tag prominently displayed about the neck of the animal, showing the date the animal was vaccinated and the name and address of the owner thereon. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer or Pound Master to impound any animal so found without the tag aforesaid.

  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep or maintain or to move into or within the corporate city limits any head of livestock, including but not limited to horses, mules, donkeys, jacks, cows, bulls, calves, hogs, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits and other domesticated wild animals or any fowl including, but not limited to chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, except in compliance with the following provisions of this section.

  1. No livestock or fowl shall be kept or maintained on any property within the city within 100 feet of any residence, commercial or apartment dwelling or building which is not owned by the person, firm or corporation so maintaining the livestock or fowl.

  2. Every area of property upon which any livestock or fowl is proposed to be kept or maintained shall have or obtain the following minimum area for each head:

  1. Livestock, except goats, sheep or rabbits: two acres of land not occupied by inhabitable buildings shall be required for the first the animal.

  2. For each additional animal: two acres of land not occupied by inhabitable buildings shall be required.

  1. Goats and/or sheep: 2,500 square feet of land not occupied by inhabitable buildings shall be required for each animal.

  2. Fowl, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, pheasant, peacock, pigeons, and similar type fowl: 100 square feet of land for each fowl not occupied by inhabitable buildings.

  3. Rabbits and members of the rodent family, parakeet, canary birds, quail, dove and other similar type fowl: may be exempted from the minimum requirements concerning square footage, but may not be kept in a manner as to establish a nuisance, public or private, and may not violate any applicable city nuisance or land use ordinances.

  1. It is declared to be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to sell, offer for sale, barter or give away as toys, premiums or novelties, baby chickens, ducklings or other fowl under three weeks of age or rabbits under two months old unless the manner or method of display is approved by the Pound Master or Animal Control Officer. It is further declared to be unlawful for any owner to permit any known vicious animal owned, controlled or managed by him or her to run at large.

WILD ANIMALS PROHIBITED

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to keep, maintain or harbor any wild animal within the corporate city limits.

IMPOUNDING PROCEDURE; FEES
  1. Any person, firm or corporation, their agents, servants and employees, may confine any animal which is in violation of this chapter in a humane manner until the person, firm or corporation, its agents, servants or employees can notify the Police Department of the city to come and impound the animal. When so notified, it shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer or Pound Master to impound the animal, as herein provided.

  1. The Pound Master or Animal Control Officer shall use reasonable effort to contact the owner of the animal which has been impounded and has its rabies tag attached around the animal’s neck, and same is currently valid. Final responsibility for locating the animal is that of the animal owner.

  2. The owner may resume possession of any impounded animal upon payment of all impoundment fees, handling fees and veterinarian bills, if any, incurred by the Animal Control Officer for the welfare of the animal, and upon compliance with the vaccination provisions of this chapter.

  3. Disposition of animals impounded upon the grounds that the animal has been treated cruelly or inhumanely shall be the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction.

  4. Animals shall be impounded at the City Pound if possible and convenient, and if not possible or if inconvenient, at a place as may be determined by the Pound Master and the Chief of Police of the city.

  5. Any animal being held under quarantine or observation for rabies shall be kept under observation and control until the animal has been released from quarantine and all fees and costs have been paid.

  6. Any animal, except vicious or wild animals, not reclaimed by the owner may be humanely euthanized after being impounded for 72 hours, except that any animal wearing a current vaccination tag with the date of the vaccination thereon and the name of the owner thereon, shall be impounded for at least six days.

  7. Any impounded vicious or wild animal unless there is reason to believe that it has an owner may be immediately disposed of as may be deemed appropriate by the Pound Master or any member of the Police Department.

  8. Any nursing baby animal impounded without the mother, or where the mother cannot or refuses to provide nutritious milk, may be immediately euthanized to prevent further suffering.

  9. Any impounded dog or cat not wearing a tag showing a currently valid vaccination for rabies, the date thereof and the name and address of the owner my be given up for adoption after 72 hours, except those under quarantine. Any dog or cat wearing a current valid tag for rabies vaccination, with the date thereon, together with the name and address of the owner thereon, may be given up for adoption on the seventh day of confinement. If the rightful owner appears for his or her dog within 30 days following the adoption, the owner may redeem the animal by paying the adoptee all documented expenses incurred for the animal.

  10. An owner who no longer wishes responsibility for an animal or believes the animal to be in an ill or injured condition, may sign a written waiver supplied by the Animal Control Officer or Pound Master allowing the animal to be immediately euthanized in an humane manner, provided however that no warm-blooded animal that has bitten or scratched a human being shall be euthanized before the expiration of the 14-day quarantine period.

  11. Any impounded animal that appears to be suffering from extreme injury or illness may be euthanized or given to a non-profit humane organization for the purpose of veterinary medical care, as determined by the Pound Master.

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  1. The impounding fees for dogs shall be the sum of $10, plus $3 per day for each day of impoundment. The sums shall be paid to the City Treasurer and shall be placed in the General Fund of the city.

  2. The impounding fee for cats shall be the same as that for dogs.

  3. The impounding fee for small livestock (domesticated swine, sheep and goats) shall be $15, plus $5 per day for each day of impoundment.

  4. The impounding fee for large livestock shall be the sum of $20, plus the sum of $7 per day for each day of impoundment.

  5. Other small animals shall have an impoundment fee of $10, plus a daily impoundment charge of $3.

  6. Any person adopting any animal under the provisions of this chapter shall pay all impounding fees, plus $10.

ADOPTION PROCEDURE

Any individual may adopt a dog or cat from the city animal shelter or any other animal which does not have rabies or other zoonotic disease and is not under quarantine upon the following conditions:

  1. The animal has been classified as adoptable by the Pound Master;

  2. The prospective person seeking to adopt the animal has proper and adequate facilities to care for the animal;

  3. The prospective person seeking to adopt the animal prior to the animal being released for adoption causes all necessary vaccinations to be obtained;

  4. The prospective person seeking to adopt pays the adoption fee of $10, plus all impoundment fees due; provided, however, animal’s less than six months of age shall not be vaccinated for rabies unless the vaccination is recommended by a licensed veterinarian until the animal attains the age of six months; and

  5. The Pound Master may refuse to allow any person to adopt an animal whenever he or she has good reason to believe:

  1. The person would not be able to obtain the proper certificate of vaccination under the provisions of this chapter;

  2. The person does not or would not have proper facilities that are adequate for the animal sought to be adopted in relation to the care of the particular animal;

  3. The person is seeking the animal for the purposes of resale or for purposes other than ownership thereof;

  4. The person would not be a responsible owner, but would likely care for the animal in an irresponsible manner; or

  5. The particular animal would constitute a hazard to humans or other animals.

SANITARY CONDITIONS REQUIRED
  1. The owner or person in possession of any animal or animals shall keep yards, pens and enclosures in which animals are confined in a manner so as not 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, in any manner, to endanger the public health or safety or create a public nuisance.

  2. All persons keeping the animals shall comply with the following sanitary regulations.

  1. Manure and droppings shall be removed from pens, stables, yards, cages and other enclosures at least twice weekly and handled or disposed of in a manner as to keep the premises free of any nuisance.

  2. Mound storage of droppings or manure between the removals shall be permitted only under conditions as to protect against the breeding of flies and to prevent migration of flies (maggots) into surrounding soil.

  3. The feeding of vegetables, meat scraps or garbage shall be done only in impervious containers on an impervious platform.

  4. Watering troughs or tanks shall be provided which shall be equipped with adequate facilities for drainage of the overflow so as to prevent the flies from breeding, mosquitoes from breeding or other insects from breeding.

  5. No putrescible material shall be allowed to accumulate on the premises and all material used to feed which is unconsumed shall be removed and disposed of by burial or other sanitary means.

  6. The distances and square footage required by other provisions of this chapter shall be maintained.

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Animal Control Ordinance (Amended)

City Ordinance No. 101-02

(Passed 06-18-2002)

Section One (1):

From and after the date of this ordinance, Ordinance No. 103-87, the Animal Control Ordinance of the City of Sweeny, Texas, shall be and is hereby amended, as set forth in this ordinance.

Section Two (2):

Definition of Terms

When used herein, the term "Running at Large", unless otherwise indicated shall mean

  1. not completely confined by a building, wall, fence or other enclosure of sufficient strength, or construction to restrain the animal confined thereby, to the premises of the owner, or

  2. not completely restrained by a leash or chain sufficiently strong to prevent the animal from escaping and which restricts the animal to the owner's premises in such a manner that it shall not have access to within ten (10) feet of any sidewalk or entry to the home or to any mail box at the home,

  3. not completely restrained by a leash or within an automobile when away from the premises of the owner.

Section Three (3):

From the date of this ordinance, Section Three of Ordinance No. 103-87 is further amended as follows:

"Section Three (3):  Large Livestock and Dogs Not to Run at Large.

From and after the passage of this ordinance, it shall be unlawful for any owner of any large livestock to permit such livestock to run at large.  Any large livestock which is found to be running at large within the corporate limits of the City of Sweeny, Texas, shall be impounded by the Animal Control Officer or Pound Master, and shall not be released until the fees and charges herein established have been fully paid.

It shall be unlawful for any person owning, keeping, or having in his possession or control any dog to allow such dog to run at large as that term is defined in this ordinance within the corporate limits of the City of Sweeny, Texas.

Should any owner, keeper or person in possession or control of the dog permit any such dog to run at large as that term is utilized herein, on the first occasion such person permitting a dog to run at large shall be given a warning ticket, a copy of which is to be kept by the Police Department as a record; on the second occasion such person permits a dog to run at large, such person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof by a Court of competent jurisdiction shall be fined in any sum of not less that $1.00 or more that $100.00.  Should any person permit a dog to run at large on three (3) of more occasions, such person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof by a Court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined in any sum of not less that $1.00 nor more than $200.00."

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Animal Control Ordinance (Amended)

City Ordinance No. 100-10

(Passed 10-20-2009)

Section One (1):

Section 95.03(C) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Sweeny, Texas, entitled "ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE", is hereby amended and shall after the effective date of this ordinance read as follows:

"SECTION 95.03

(C) Should any owner, keeper of person in possession or control of the dog permit any dog to run a large as that term is utilized herein, on the first occasion the person permitting a dog to run at large shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined in any sum of not less that $1.00 nor more than $100.00.  Should any person permit a dog to run at large on two or more occasions, the person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined in any sum of not less than $1.00 nor more than $200.00."

 

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