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It's the Law! Laws for You and Your Pet in Austin, Texas
The following State of Texas, Travis County, and City of Austin laws and ordinances apply to you and your new pet. You can face criminal or civil penalties or the loss of your pet for noncompliance!
- Owners of dogs and cats must have them vaccinated against rabies once they reach three months of age, then again in one year. After that, your pet must be vaccinated every one to three years depending on the type of vaccination used.
- An owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended by use of a chain or tether unless the person is holding the chain or tether.
- If you keep your dog primarily in an outdoor enclosure, the enclosure must be a minimum of 150 square feet for each dog six months or older.
- A "Dangerous Dog" is a dog that has been declared "Dangerous" by a Hearing Officer as a result of an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury.
- A court may order your dog destroyed if it causes serious bodily injury to a person.
- If you own dog that is declared a "Dangerous Dog" you are required by law to
Cruelty to Animals
-The cruel treatment of animals is illegal under Texas law.
- The following actions are considered "cruel" under the law:
- It is illegal to fight a dog with another dog or to participate in any of the following activities associated with dog fighting:
Unrestrained Dogs Prohibited
-Your dog must be restrained at all times in public except in approved off-leash dog parks (a list is provided here: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/leash- areas).
Safety of Animals in Motor Vehicles
-You may not leave your dog or cat in a motor vehicle in which the animal is endangered by high or low temperature or inadequate ventilation.
-You may not transport your animal in a motor vehicle unless:
Canine Defecation Guidelines
-You must promptly remove and dispose of feces left by your dog on public or private property.
Surrendering Your Dog or Cat
- Austin's new status as a "No Kill" city does not mean that Austin Animal Center no longer euthanizes dogs and cats.
- Dogs and cats picked up as strays may be euthanized in 72 hours (3 days).
- If you surrender your pet to the shelter:
Courtesy of the Austin Bar Association Animal Welfare Committee