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ARTICLE 2-1 GENERAL PROVISIONS*
Sec. 2-1-1 Penalties
(a) Any person violating the provisions of section 2-1-6 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon first conviction, be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), with each subsequent conviction being punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).

(b) Any person who violates or fails to comply with section 2-1-8, 2-2-3, 2-2-4, 2-4-10 or 2-4-11 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each violation.

(c) Any person who violates or fails to comply with any other provision of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each such violation.

(d) Each day of continued violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-29)

Sec. 2-1-2 Rabies control authority; animal control officers
(a) The city police department animal control division operates under the control and authority of the chief of police.

(b) The chief of police or his duly appointed representative shall be designated as the rabies control authority and animal control officer for the city and with his/her duly authorized animal control officers are, within the scope of this chapter, designated the local rabies control authority for the city pursuant to chapters 821, 822, 823, and 826 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated, and pursuant to an interlocal contract approved by the city and Ector County. For the purposes of this chapter, “animal control officers” shall include any and all nonsworn designated animal control officers.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-1)

State law reference–Appointment of rabies control authority by municipality, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 826.017.

Sec. 2-1-3 Public service fees
(a) When at the owner’s request a dog, cat, ferret or other animal is picked up by the animal control shelter, there will be no fee for this service.

(b) When an owner requests removal of dead livestock, a charge of twenty-five dollars will be assessed.

(c) Upon request, the owner of a dog or cat can have their dog or cat dipped or sprayed for the control of fleas and ticks providing they bring their animal to the animal control shelter. There will be a ten-dollar fee for this service.

(d) When, at the request of a veterinarian, or at the owner’s request, the animal has been involved in a bite case, where a laboratory test must be performed on the animal’s head, a head shipment will be prepared for a thirty-five-dollar fee, to cover expenses for a shipping container, insulation, ice packs and shipping costs. The fee shall be charged to the owner.

(e) All public service fees in this section and those listed throughout this chapter that apply to persons living in the city limits will also apply to Ector County residents.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-28)

Sec. 2-1-4 Advisory committee
Pursuant to section 823.005, chapter 823 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, an advisory committee is appointed to assist the animal control officer to comply with the requirements in chapter 823 of the Texas Health and Safety Code and to develop policy for the operation of the animal shelter. The committee shall consist of one (1) member of the commissioners’ court of Ector County, one (1) member of the city council to be appointed by the city council, one (1) member of an animal welfare organization, a veterinarian, the manager of the city animal shelter and three (3) other persons. The committee shall meet at least three (3) times a year. The police legal advisor shall serve in an ex officio capacity. The committee shall adopt its own rules and procedures. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; Ordinance 98-69, sec. 1, adopted 11/10/98; 1957 Code, sec. 4-30)

Sec. 2-1-5 Appeals
Any person that complains of an interpretation of this chapter or any order issued pursuant to this chapter may appeal to the animal control officer for the city within ten (10) days. After prior notice to the complainant, the animal control officer will conduct an informal hearing for the purpose of considering the complaint. The animal control officer will enter an order of denial or approval within ten (10) days and notify the complainant. If the complainant is denied or no action taken, the complainant may appeal to the advisory committee, who, after prior written notice for the hearing, will make a final decision within twenty-one (21) days. If the decision is one of denial or if no action is taken within such twenty-one-day period the complainant may seek prompt judicial relief within ten (10) days. Any ruling of the animal control officer or advisory committee shall be subject to the substantial evidence rule in court. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-31)

Sec. 2-1-6 Animals at large
(a) It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any animal, wild or domestic, to allow such animal to run at large or be at large upon any public or private property within the city.

(b) For the purpose of this section, “at large” shall mean not under control of the owner either by leash, chain, cord or other suitable material attached to a collar or harness, or not restrained securely within an enclosure.

(c) For the purpose of this chapter, “owner” shall include any person, firm or corporation owning, keeping, harboring or having control or custody of any such animal.

(d) For the purpose of this section, if an animal is found at large on property not belonging to or under the control of the owner or keeper of said animal, it shall be presumed that the owner allowed such animal to be at large.

(e) For the purpose of this section, homing pigeons shall not be at large and shall not be in violation of this section if they bear a seamless leg band issued by a recognized association of pigeon fanciers, are housed in a clean, secure, sanitary loft, are released temporarily for exercise or performance only, and do not alight upon buildings of others, and provided further that such seamless banded homing pigeons shipped or transported to the city on a temporary basis may be released within the corporate limits of the city for the purposes of engaging in a pigeon race.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-2)

State law references–Animals running at large on highways, V.T.C.A., Agriculture Code, sec. 143.101 et seq.; estrays, V.T.C.A., Agriculture Code, ch. 142; restraint, impoundment and disposition of dogs and cats, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 826.033.

Sec. 2-1-7 Tying or staking animal near street, park or other public property
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 eight (8) feet of any street, alley, park or other public property. Any such animal tied or staked as described above may be impounded as provided in article 2-4 of this chapter. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-3)

Sec. 2-1-8 Rabies confinement
(a) A person who knows of an animal bite or scratch to an individual that the person could reasonably foresee as capable of transmitting rabies, or who knows of an animal that the person suspects is rabid, shall report the incident or animal to the city police animal control division. The city police animal control division shall investigate the report as set forth in the Texas Health and Safety Code section 826.041.

(b) The animal control officer shall quarantine any animal that he/she has probable cause to believe may have exposed a person to rabies.

(c) An owner shall submit for quarantine an animal that:

(1) Is reported to be rabid or to have exposed an individual to rabies.

(2) The owner knows or suspects is rabid or to have exposed an individual to rabies.

(3) The owner/keeper or person in charge of the animal shall submit the animal to the animal control officer. Stated in the Texas Health and Safety [Code] section 826.042.

(d) Such animal shall be held under observation at the city police department animal control division for a period not less than the required period as provided by the Texas Health and Safety Code. In lieu of confinement at the animal control division such animal may be held for such observation period at a private veterinary clinic, at the owner’s expense. The pet owner may also select for home quarantine providing they meet home quarantine standards as set by the Texas Department of Health section 169.27.

(e) For any animal which is surrendered to the animal control officer or any police officer and is confined at the shelter for the observation period, there shall be a charge of six dollars ($6.00) for each day, or any fraction thereof, for such confinement. If such animal is not surrendered to the animal control officer and the animal control officer is required to impound such animal, an impounding fee as prescribed in section 2-4-3 shall be charged in addition to the six dollars ($6.00) per day boarding fee.

(f) Owner or custodian shall take possession of the animal before the fourth day following the final day of the quarantine period.

(g) For purposes of this section, animals shall include any live or dead mammal, domesticated or wild.

(h) If the animal control officer has probable cause to believe that an animal is rabid, this section shall supersede and control over any other sections in this chapter that are in conflict.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-15; Ordinance 2008-37, sec. 10, adopted 9/9/08)

State law reference–Reports of rabies, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 826.041; quarantine of animals, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 826.042; quarantine and impoundment facilities generally, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 826.051 et seq.

Sec. 2-1-9 Keeping hogs
Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain any hog or pig, of any type, within the city. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-16)

Sec. 2-1-10 Possession or keeping of wild animals or poisonous snakes
(a) It shall be unlawful to harbor, have, keep, or possess any wild animal or poisonous snake within the city limits except in a zoo approved by the city council, or a school or college for educational purposes, or by virtue of a temporary exhibition permit issued by the animal control officer.

(b) A temporary exhibition permit shall be issued subject to the payment of a twenty-five-dollar fee for administration costs, and the agreement of the owner to comply with reasonable safety requirements established by the animal control officer, which requirements shall be made a part of the permit. The permit shall set forth the period of time for which it is in effect.

(c) It shall also be unlawful to stand or park any vehicle containing wild animals or poisonous snakes any place in the city for a period of time longer than is necessary to make a lawful loading or unloading; provided that the standing of such vehicles made necessary by mechanical trouble, traffic conditions, or accident or in obedience to the direction of a police officer or traffic signal shall not be considered a violation of this section.

(d) The term “wild animal” for purposes of this section shall mean all wolves, coyotes, panthers, lions, bobcats and hybrids and any other animal typically found in a zoo except for the following:

(1) Dogs;

(2) Cats;

(3) Livestock as defined in section 2-1-11 and as regulated by sections 2-1-11 and 2-1-12 herein.

(e) The term “poisonous snakes” shall include, but is not limited to, all species of rattlesnakes.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-17)

State law reference–Dangerous wild animals, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 822.101 et seq.

Sec. 2-1-11 Keeping livestock or poultry
(a) It shall be unlawful, except as provided in section 2-1-13, for any person to keep, possess or maintain any livestock or poultry within the city limits.

(b) For purposes of this section, “livestock” shall include any mule, cow, sheep, goat or other similar animal commonly classified as livestock.

(c) For purposes of this section, “poultry” shall include any chicken, duck, turkey, goose, guinea fowl, peafowl, pigeon, or other similar fowl normally classified as poultry.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-24)

Sec. 2-1-12 Keeping small domesticated animals
(a) For purposes of this section, “small domesticated animals” shall include any guinea pig, hamster, rabbit or other animal of similar size, but it should not include dogs or cats that are regulated by other provisions in this chapter.

(b) Small domesticated animals are permitted provided the total number of same kept per premises does not exceed four (4), excluding newborn offspring before they are weaned. For purposes of this subsection, “premises” shall mean the entire lot or acreage owned or occupied as a unit by the person or persons keeping such animals.

(c) In connection with all of the above-described exceptions, the premises and facilities used for the keeping of animals authorized to be kept under any of the provisions of this section must be kept in such a manner as to prevent the emission of odor or noise offensive to persons of ordinary sensibilities in the neighborhood. Also, any premises and facilities used for the keeping of animals authorized to be kept under any provision of this section must be approved for such purpose by the Ector County health department.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-25)

Sec. 2-1-13 Exceptions to section 2-1-11
(a) The provisions of section 2-1-11 and 2-1-12 shall not apply to the following situations:

(1) Zoos, stock shows, fairs and circuses;

(2) Abattoirs, packinghouse or stockyards if permitted under the zoning ordinance;

(3) Colleges and public school projects, when conducted upon school property and under faculty supervision;

(4) Facilities owned and used by a licensed veterinarian in connection with his/her practice of veterinary medicine;

(5) Business establishments which sell animals commercially;

(6) Horses which are kept upon a lot or tract of land at least twenty thousand square feet in size provided such livestock are enclosed within a fence adequate to retain such animals, which fence is not less than fifty (50) feet from any building owned by someone other than the animal owner and commonly inhabited for sleeping or eating purposes (one horse per half acre).

(7) Ducks that are located on property owned by a governmental entity.

(8) Homing pigeons as provided in section 2-1-6(e).

(b) In connection with all of the above-described exceptions, the premises and facilities used for the keeping of animals and fowl authorized to be kept under any of the provisions of this section must be kept in such a manner as to prevent the emission of odor or noise offensive to persons of ordinary sensibilities in the neighborhood. Also, any premises and facilities used for the keeping of animals authorized to be kept under any provision of this section must be approved for such purpose by the Ector County health department.

(Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-26; Ordinance adopting Code)

Sec. 2-1-14 Stray livestock and fowl
All sections in this chapter, including sections relating to animals, sale of impounded animals and redemption of impounded animals, shall be amended and superseded by the estray law contained in V.T.C.A. Agriculture Code, section 142.001 et seq. which provides state law requirements for livestock, stray livestock, stray exotic livestock and stray exotic fowl. The city police department animal control division and the sheriff, or the sheriff’s designee, shall provide all services required by interlocal contract. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-32)

State law references–Estrays, V.T.C.A., Agriculture Code, ch. 142

Sec. 2-1-15 Return, sale or disposition of cruelly treated animal
All sections relating to the return, sale or disposition of an animal, if the animal has been cruelly treated, shall be subject to V.T.C.S., Health and Safety Code, section 821.023 et seq. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-33)

State law reference–Disposition of cruelly treated animals, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 821.021 et seq.

Sec. 2-1-16 Area rabies quarantine
All sections in this chapter, including sections relating to the restraint and/or transportation of carnivorous animals, or those animals at high risk of contracting the rabies virus, into and out of the quarantine area, shall be subject to V.T.C.S. Health and Safety Code, section 826.045 et seq. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-34)

State law reference–Area rabies quarantine, V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 826.045.


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Last updated: 11/1/2010 2:28:05 PM