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Animal Ordinance

Randall County’s Animal Ordinance
Randall Animal Ordinance No. 98-26

SECTION I - AUTHORITY

(A) This ordinance is adopted pursuant to the Rabies Control of 1980 as codified in Chapter 826 of the Texas Health and Safety Code (Vernon 1992 and Vernon Supp. 1998). Randall County Resolution 80-1 is repealed. The effective date of this ordinance is October 1, 1998.
(B) This ordinance applies to all of the unincorporated area of Randall County. The ordinance is not effective within the boundaries of an incorporated municipality, town or village.

SECTION II – GENERAL DEFINITIONS

(A) Custodian: A person or agency which feeds, shelters, harbors, has possession or control of, or has the responsibility to control a dog, including, but not limited to, the dog’s owner.
(B) Dog: Any live dog (Canis familiar) including hybrids.
(C) Humanely kill: To cause the death of an animal by a method which rapidly produces unconsciousness and death without visible evidence of pain or distress or by a method which utilizes anesthesia produced by an agent which causes painless loss of consciousness and death following such loss of consciousness.
(D) Impound: To apprehend, catch, trap, net or tranquilize an animal.
(E) Owner: Any person who harbors, shelters, keeps, controls, manages, possesses or has part interest in any dog, It is a rebuttal presumption that the occupant of any premises on which a dog remains for a period of seven (7) days or to which it customarily returns daily for a period of seven (7) days is harboring, sheltering or keeping the dog. If a minor owns a dog, his or her parent or guardian is deemed the custodian of the dog.

SECTION III – LOCAL RABIES CONTROL AUTHORITY

(A) The Randall County Commissioners’ Court will designate that entity which will act as the Local Rabies Control Authority (LRCA) by means of a separate order that is not a part of this ordinance.
(B) The Randall County Commissioners’ Court has the authority to change the entity that will act as the LRCA.
(C) The LRCA shall enforce this ordinance as well as the Rabies Control Act of 1981 in Randall County, Texas.
(D) All references to the LRCA include the agents and employees of the LRCA.

SECTION IV – RESTRAINT, IMPOUNDMENT AND DISPOSITION OF DOGS

(A) All dogs must be kept under restraint.
(B) Any dog that is kept by its custodian on a tract of land that is five acres or larger is considered to be under restraint when the dog is on the particular tract of land where it is kept.
(C) All dogs are considered to be under restraint when the dog is under the control of a person by means of a leash or verbal command; or on the premises of its custodian and is prevented from leaving the premises by means of a lead. Rope or chain or by means of a fenced enclosure; or within a fully enclosed vehicle.
(D) A person commits a Class C misdemeanor offense if he or she fails to restrain a dog over which he or she is the owner or custodian.
(E) The LRCA is empowered to seize and impound any of the following:
-Dogs that not under restraint
-Any animal that has bitten or scratched a person; and
-Any animal that has been exposed to rabies.
(F) The LRCA is authorized to enter any unfenced parcel of land in order to seize an animal listed in subsection (E) above.
(G) The LRCA is authorized to issue a citation to the owner of a dog when the LRCA believes the dog owner has violated this ordinance or has violated any portion of the Rabies Control Act of 1981. Upon issuance of a citation, the LRCA shall file a criminal complaint.
(H) Upon impounding a dog found with identifying tags, LRCA shall attempt to notify the owner or custodian may regain possession of the dog.
(I) The owner or custodian of an impound dog regain possession of the dog, by paying the fees specified in the “interlocal agreement for animal shelter” between Randall County and the City of Amarillo.