Dallas Animal Services


Pet Laws

 

All pet owners in the City of Dallas must comply with the animal-related ordinances in Chapter 7 of the Dallas City Code. On June 27, 2018, Dallas City Council authorized the following amendments to the Chapter 7 Ordinance. Below is an overview of these changes.

Dangerous and Aggressive Dogs
  • It is now a criminal offense to allow an unsecured dog to make an unprovoked bite causing bodily injury to a person, domestic animal, or livestock.
Sec. 822.041. of the State Code defines a dangerous dog as a dog that:

(A)makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or

(B) commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.

Sec. 7-5.12.  of the City of Dallas Code defines an aggressive dog as:

In this article, AGGRESSIVE DOG means a dog that on at least one occasion, while not legally restrained, killed or injured a legally restrained domestic animal or livestock.

If after an investigation, the dog is determined to be dangerous or aggressive, the owner of the dog has 15 days to comply with the following:

(1) have an unsterilized dangerous/aggressive dog spayed or neutered;

(2) register the aggressive dog with the director and pay to the director an dangerous/aggressive dog registration fee of $50;

(3) restrain the dangerous/aggressive dog at all times on a leash in the immediate control of a person or in a secure enclosure;

(4) when taken outside the enclosure, must be securely muzzled;

(5) obtain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in an amount of at least $100,000;

(6) place and maintain on the dangerous/aggressive dog a collar or harness with a current dangerous/aggressive dog registration tag securely attached to it;

(7) have the dangerous/aggressive dog injected with a microchip implant and registered with a national registry for dogs;

(8) post a legible sign at each entrance to the enclosure in which the dangerous/aggressive dog is confined stating "BEWARE DANGEROUS/AGGRESSIVE DOG." The aforementioned sign must be purchased from Dallas Animal Services.

(b) The owner of the dangerous/aggressive dog shall renew the registration of the aggressive dog with the director  annually and pay an annual aggressive dog registration fee of $50.

(c) The owner of an dangerous/aggressive dog who does not comply with Subsection (a) shall deliver the dog to the director not later than the 30th day after learning that the animal is dangerous/aggressive.
The City will publish a Dangerous Dog registry and an Aggressive Dog registry on the Dallas Animal Services homepage which will include the following information: Section 7-5.4
      • Address
      • Description
      • Pictures
      • Microchip number
      • Owner's name
Animal Hold Times and Fees - Click here for Ordinance changes from June 27th 2018
  • In an effort to encourage owners of lost pets to quickly be reunited, there are no longer boarding and impoundment fees for animals redeemed before the end of their first full day at shelter.  What is a full day?  In short, if the animal came to the shelter yesterday, then today starting at 12:00 am is the first full day.
  • Hold times for animals with identification has been reduced from ten (10) days to five (5) days. This change is in line with data that shows the likelihood of reclaiming diminishes greatly after the 3rd day, and is also in line with other Texas cities.

  • Puppies and Kittens under six (6) months can immediately be placed.
Animal Safety
  • Dallas Animal Service Officers now have the ability to impound an animal displaying signs and symptoms of extreme health concerns.

 

In the summer of 2017, the City of Dallas instituted mandatory spay/neuter measures, but did include a few exceptions outlined in Sections 7-4.10 and 7-4.11 of the Dallas City Code. These sections were not changed in any way on June 27, 2018.