Lubbock CODE OF ORDINANCES - Chapter 4 - Animals
ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL
Section 4-1. Definitions.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases
and words and their derivations shall have the following meanings:
Animal means any living creature except human beings
classified as a member of the Kingdom Animalia and including, but
not limited to, mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.
Animal control facility means an establishment operated
by the City of Lubbock for the temporary confinement, safekeeping
and control of animals which come into the custody of the City of
Animal establishment means any facility or business that
has custody or control of animals within the City of Lubbock
including, but not limited to, pet shops, pet grooming facilities,
animal auction facilities or kennels, but not including veterinary
or medical facilities, research facilities licensed by government
agencies or facilities operated by government agencies unless such
facilities or government agencies sell, groom or board animals for
Animal dealer means any person, partnership or
corporation engaging in the business of buying, selling or trading
animals for profit to others. This definition does not
include individual sales of animals by private owners to other
Assistance animal means any animal trained to assist a
At large means an animal (other than a house cat) that
is out of the fenced premises of the person owning, or having
charge, custody or control of the animal and not under the
immediate control of a person by means of a cage, leash, rope or
other means of immediate effective physical control or
restraint. The term shall not include animals being trained
or exhibited while under the immediate physical or vocal control
of a person.
Auction means any place or facility where animals are
regularly bought, sold or traded. This definition does not
apply to individual sales of animals by private owners.
City enforcement agent means the City of Lubbock Animal
Control Supervisor, his authorized representatives, or a law
enforcement officer. The animal control supervisor shall be
responsible for the enforcement of this chapter and any
regulations promulgated hereunder, unless otherwise provided by
Dangerous animal means any individual animal which,
because of its physical nature or vicious propensity, is capable
of inflicting serious physical harm or death to human beings and
would constitute a danger to human life or property; or any animal
which has behaved in such a manner that the owner thereof knows or
reasonably should know that the animal is possessed of tendencies
to attack or to injure human beings or other animals; or any
animal certified by a doctor of veterinary medicine, after
observation thereof, as posing a danger to human beings, animals
or property upon the basis of reasonable medical probability; or
any animal that commits an unprovoked attack on a human being; or
any animal that exhibits a repeated propensity to commit unprovoked
attacks on other domestic animals.
Department means the City of Lubbock Health Dept.
Domestic animal means any animal whose physiology has
been determined or manipulated through selective breeding and
which does not occur naturally in the wild and which may be
vaccinated against rabies with an approved rabies vaccine and
which has an established rabies guarantee observation period.
Guard dog means a dog trained and used in law
enforcement, security or protective functions, responsive to
control by its owner or handler and used only for authorized
Inhumane treatment of animals means any treatment of an
animal prohibited by Section 42.11 of the Texas Penal Code,
chapter 821 of the Health and Safety Code, or by any other
provision of law, including federal, state and local laws,
ordinances or rules.
Kennels, commercial, for purposed of this chapter only,
means any establishment where a person, partnership or corporation
keeps dogs or cats for the purpose of breeding, buying, selling,
trading, showing, training or boarding such animals for profit.
Owner means any person, partnership, corporation,
association or legal entity that harbors, shelters, keeps,
controls, manages, possesses or has whole or part interest in any
animal. The occupant, owner or head of household of any
premises where an animal remains for seventy-two (72) hours or
more shall be rebuttably presumed to be the owner of such animal.
Public nuisance means the conduct of any owner in
allowing an animal to:
- Engage in conduct which establishes such animal is a
- Damage, soil, defile or defacate on private property other
than the owner's or on public property unless such waste is
immediately removed and properly disposed of by the owner of
- Be "at large" (excluding house cats);
- Cause a disturbance by excessive barking or noise making
near the private residence of another;
- Produce odors or unclean conditions sufficient to annoy
persons living in the vicinity; or
- Chase vehicles, or molest, attack or interfere with other
animals or persons on public property;
Restraint means to control an animal by physical means
so that it remains on the premises of the owner, or, when off the
owner's premises, by means of a cage, leash, rope or confinement
within an enclosed vehicle.
Sterilized means an animal rendered incapable of
Vaccination means inoculation of an animal with a rabies
vaccine that is licensed by the United States Department of
Agriculture for use in that species and which is administered by a
veterinarian for the purpose of immunizing the animal against
Veterinary hospital means any establishment maintained
and operated by a licensed veterinarian for surgery, diagnosis and
treatment of diseases and injuries of animals.
Wild animal means any animal not normally considered
domesticated which, because of its size, vicious nature or other
natural characteristic would constitute a danger to human life,
property or domestic animals, including, but not limited to, the
- Reptiles: venomous reptiles, crocodiles or
- Birds: eagles, owls and any spcies illegal to own
under federal or state law;
- Mammals: ocelots, lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards,
cougars, wolves, dingoes, coyotes, jackals, weasels,
martins, minks, badgers, raccoons, pandas, bears, kangaroos,
opossums, sloths, anteaters, armadillos, monkeys,
chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, porcupines, antelope,
deer, bison, and camels.
Section 4-2. Penalties.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be
deemed guilty of a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not
exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) as set by a judge or
Section 4-3. Enforcement.
The city enforcement agent shall be responsible for enforcement
of this chapter, except as may be herein provided.
Enforcement may be by the filing of a criminal complaint in
municipal court or by civil proceedings to enjoin nuisances or in
any other manner authorized by law.
Section 4-4. Animal care generally.
Animals shall be cared for, treated and transported in a humane
manner and not in violation of Section 42.11 of the Texas Penal
Code, Title 10 of the Health and Safety Code, or any other
provision of law, including federal, state and local laws,
ordinances and rules.
In addition, a person commits an offense if:
- A person other than a licensed veterinarian docks an
animal's tail or crops an animal's ears;
- A person sells, delivers, trades or barters a dog, cat or
rabbit less than six (6) weeks old;
- A person dyes or colors chicks, ducks or rabbits;
- A person sells, delivers, trades or barters chickens or
ducks less than three (3) weeks old in lots of less than
twenty-five (25) animals;
- A person abandons or dumps any animal;
- A person who is in control of a motor vehicle which
strikes a domestic animal fails to report the accident to
the city animal control facility as soon as possible;
- A person treats an animal in an inhumane or cruel manner
as defined by Section 42.11, Penal Code and Chapter 821,
Health & Safety Code;
- A person causes an animal to fight another animal or
person (this chapter shall not be interpreted to restrict
rodeos, 4H Clubs or FFA Club activities and operations);
- A person fails to provide his animal with adequate
wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from
inclement weather and veterinary care when needed to prevent
- A person, firm or corporation shall raise or kill a dog or
cat for the skin or fur;
- A person, firm or corporation shall mutilate any animal,
whether such animal is dead or alive (medical or veterinary
medical research, medical or veterinary medical autopsies,
and biology class use of animals shall not be considered
- A person shall engage or allow another to engage in any
sexual act with an animal;
- A person allows a stray animal to remain on their property
without notifying the city animal control facility of such
fact within twenty-four (24) hours; and
- A person transporting an animal fails to effectively
restrain such animal so as to prevent the animal from
leaving or being accidently thrown from the vehicle during
normal operation of the vehicle or fails to restrain the
animal so as to prevent infliction of bodily harm to
- A person who owns or is in control of an animal permits
such animal to be at large within the City of Lubbock.
Section 4-5. Leaving animal unattended in vehicle.
A person having charge or custody of an animal shall not place
or confine such animal or allow such animal to be placed or
confined in a motor vehicle or trailer under such conditins or for
such a period of time as may endanger the health of the animal due
to heat, lack of food or water, or such other circumstnces as may
cause injury or death of the animal. City enforcement agents
finding an animal being held in violation of this provision may
obtain a search warrant from a justice of the peace pursuant to
Section 821.022 of the Health and Safety Code and may impound such
animal pending a hearing.
Section 4-6. Right of entry; search warrants.
The city enforcement agent and city police officers are hereby
authorized to enter upon any unfenced lot, tract or parcel of land
for the purpose of capturing and impounding any animal running at
large thereon, which authorization is granted due to the emergency
created by the potential rabies hazard or danger of injury to
persons and other animals and in recognition of the likelihood
such animal will otherwise escape capture. Further, in the
event the city enforcement agent has reason to believe an animal
has been or is being cruelly treated or has rabies, he may obtain
a search warrant from a justice of the peace and impound such
animal even if it is enclosed on private property.
Section 4-7. Interference with impounding officers.
shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with or attempt to
prevent the city enforcement agent or any city police officer from
capturing or impounding any animal running at large, whether on
public or private property.
Section 4-8. Impoundment;
(a) It is the duty of the enforcement agent to capture and
impound such animals as are running at large or which are
required to be impounded pursuant to other laws or ordinances
and to accept any animal delivered to the animal control
facility pursuant to the requirements of this chapter. In
addition, it is the duty of the enforcement agent to capture and
impound house cats as well as other animals in response to
citizen complaints or to control feral populations.
city enforcement agent or his deputies upon receiving an animal
for impoundment shall make a complete registry, including the
species, breed, color and sex of such animal, whether it is
licensed, and the time and place of taking custody. If the
animal has been licensed, he shall enter the name and address of
the veterinary clinic, year and the number of the license
tag. Licensed animals shall be kept separate from
(c) If, by license tag, the owner of an
impounded animal can be identified, the city enforcement agent
shall, as soon as possible, notify the owner by telephone or
(d) Impounded, unlicensed animals shall be kept for not
less than three (3) days, unless earlier reclaimed by the owner
under acceptable conditions; and impounded licensed animals
shall be kept for not less than ten (10) days, unless earlier
reclaimed by the owner under acceptable conditions.
However, no impoundment period is required for an animal
voluntarily delivered to the animal control facility by its
(e) The animal control supervisor may dispose of
impounded animals after the expiration of any required
impoundment period by auction, humanely destroying the animal or
offering it to a local animal humane group for adoption.
Any impounded licensed or unlicensed animal which appears to be
suffering from serious injury or disease and which is in great
pain and suffering and probably will not recover or which
appears to have an infectious disease which is a danger to
humans or to other animals in the opinion of the animal control
supervisor, may be destroyed immediately by the animal control
agent. In the event such an animal is licensed, the city
enforcement agent shall attempt to notify the owner by telephone
before taking action.
(g) It shall be unlawful for a person to
fail or refuse to deliver an unlicensed or unvaccinated animal
to a city enforcement agent or police officer upon demand for
Section 4-9. Sale or destruction of impounded animals.
(a) The city enforcement agent may sell impounded animals at
a public auction for cash after any required impoundment period
has passed without such animal being reclaimed by its
owner. Notice of such public auction shall be given at
least one week before such sale by publishing such a notice in a
daily newspaper published in the City of Lubbock. In
addition, animals being held pursuant to an order of a county
judge in accordance with chapter 821 of the Health and Safety
Code shall be disposed of in accordance with such chapter.
Any animal impounded under the provisions of this chapter which
is not sold at public auction may be humanely destroyed or
offered to a local animal humane group for adoption by the city
(c) The city enforcement agent shall keep a
record giving a description of all animals sold at auction,
including the date of impounding, the date of sale, the amount
received for the animal and the name and address of the
(Ord. No. 9485, 1, 11-14-91)