Updates Affecting Animal Control Procedures – Part of the restructuring Aransas Pass Animal Control, included reviewing ordinances and operational procedures. The code related to animals within Aransas Pass has been updated.
Today, Wednesday 05/27/2015, those ordinances go into effect. The animal control officer has provided a brief overview of some of the changes. In addition, we’ve attached a copy of the ordinance in it’s entirety along with new forms associated with operational changes.
If you would like to speak with the Animal Control Officer, do so by calling 361-758-5224 or by email through the form below.
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New Ordinance Highlights
If you do not have a fenced in yard and contain an animal with a chain, the chain must not allow the animal to come within 10 feet of any street, alley, park or other public property. Additionally, the length of the chain must be 5 times the length of the animal or 10 feet, whichever is greater. Length of the animal is measured from nose to base of tail.
*** Also, keep the surroundings in mind. Animals capable of jumping over a fence while being chained could result in the animal being choked to death. Additionally, trees and other objects could result in the animal becoming entangled and injured.
Sec 4-42 (c)
“It shall be unlawful for any person to tie or stake any animal upon any open or unfenced lot or land within the city so as to enable such animal to get on, across or within ten (10) feet of any street, alley, park or other public property. The tether shall be no shorter than 5 times the length of the animal, from nose to base of tail, or 10 feet, whichever length is greater. Chains or ropes on the animal’s neck must be attached to a collar or harness. Chains or cables of extreme weight that distress the animal are prohibited. Any animal tied or staked contrary to this section may be impounded.”
Animals left outside during the day, must have a shelter (ie. doghouse) along with access to drinking water.
Sec. 4-42 (d)
“All outside animals shall have continuous access to adequate shelter and water. Shelter must include:
- Cover from direct sunlight, wind, and rain;
- A structure with three walls, a roof, flooring, and enough space for the animal occupying it to make a full rotation, sit, and stand;
- Separate structures per animal when the animals cannot peacefully cohabitate inside one shelter;
- Plenty of space, when cohabiting, for each animal occupying to simultaneously make a full rotation, sit, and stand.”
After 3 days of impoundment, an animal may be placed into a rescue, private adoption or euthanized. If the animal is sick or injured it may be euthanized.
Tagged or microchipped animals will be held for at least 10 business days before going into a rescue or adoption. If injured or sick, it will be the duty of the owner to take the animal to the veterinarian.
Sec. 4-43 (f) (g)
“Disposition of unclaimed animals. Any non-tagged or non-microchipped animal seized under a violation of subsection 4-42(a), not redeemed within three (3) days, may be sold, adopted or destroyed at the election of the animal control officer.
- The redemption period for a currently tagged or microchipped animal is extended from three (3) days to ten (10) days.
Impounded animals to be vaccinated. Any animal seized under a violation of subsection 4-42(a), if found to be unlicensed, shall require a rabies vaccination and if the animal is a dog or cat, it shall be microchipped.
- At the time the owner arrives to redeem the animal, the owner shall be issued a citation and instructed to provide the animal control officer proof of rabies vaccination within ten (10) business days from the date of redemption; “
- Once the proof of rabies vaccination has been received, the citation shall be dismissed.”
Owners are subject to a fine if an animal is left in a closed vehicle that is in extreme heat or cold. Additionally, the officer may reasonably break a vehicle window to rescue the animal.
Sec. 4-52 (b)(b-1)
“Animals in parked vehicles; removal if endangered. No person shall leave any animal in any standing or parked vehicle in such a way as to endanger the animal’s health, safety or welfare. Any animal control officer or police officer is authorized to use reasonable force, including the breaking of a side window, to remove an animal from a vehicle whenever it appears the animal’s health, safety, or welfare is or soon will be endangered. The endangered animal shall be impounded.
- A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves an animal in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the animal is:
- exposed to extreme heat or cold which places it’s health at risk; and
- not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older.
(b-2) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.”
Cats and dogs are both subject to the leash ordinance. Animal owners shall not allow their pet to run at large.
- As to cats shall be intended to mean off the premises of the owner, and not under the control of the owner or a member of the owner’s immediate family, either by leash, cord, chain or other competent command.
- As to dog shall be intended to mean any dog not contained within the fenced portion of the owner’s property or otherwise restrained by means of a cage, kennel, etc.; or not secured by a leash or lead; or not under the control of the owner who is immediately, physically, visually or obviously present and in competent command of the animal. Dogs must be on leash or lead when on public property. “
“Running at large prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person, owning, keeping or having in his possession or control any animal, to allow the animal to be at large or run at large, as those terms are defined herein, within the city.
***Allowing animals to run at large places them at risk of being struck by a vehicle, catching a disease, harming another animal or person, or being attacked by a wild or other domesticated animal.
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Feral Cats and Cats Running at Large
Feral cats and cats running at large remain a persistent problem for some Aransas Pass residents. Remember, when calling on Animal Control Services to address your cat complaint, the cat’s must be trapped or contained so they can be captured.
Some folks who encounter stray animals, take care of the animals by feeding them or taking them into their homes. When you care for or take custody of a stray, you assume responsibility for the animal. When one accepts responsibility, one becomes subject to the ordinances of the City and laws of the State.
A Custodian is defined as a person or agency which feeds, shelters, harbors, owns, has possession or control of, or has the responsibility to control an animal. (Texas Administrative Code Rule 169.22)
Custody includes responsibility for the health, safety, and welfare of an animal subject to the person’s care and control, regardless of ownership of the animal. (Texas Penal Code 42.092)
When you encounter strays, call us. We will take the strays off your hands and make every reasonable attempt to return them to their owner, get them into a rescue or find them a new pet-friendly family.
Understandably, there are times when our facility is full and cannot take in anymore animals. On those occasions, you may be permitted to care for the animal until we have room available. Who knows, you might just find the animal is right for you and opt to adopt it!
Abandonment is Cruelty
Accepting ownership and responsibility of an animal is really no different than the way parents accept responsibility for their children. In essence, our pets are our children.
Abandonment of an animal is defined as cruelty to non-livestock animals under the Texas Penal Code. The offense is a class A misdemeanor, and the offender may be jailed for up to 1 year and ordered to pay a fine up to $4,000.00.
Would you leave your child on the side of the road?
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Email the Animal Control Officer