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(A) Animals suspected of being rabid shall be quarantined with a licensed veterinarian at the expense of the owner, or, at the discretion of the Animal Services Officer, the animal may be quarantined on the property of the owner. If it is determined by a veterinarian that a quarantined animal shows the clinical signs of the disease of rabies, the veterinarian shall humanely destroy the animal. If an animal dies or is destroyed while in quarantine, the veterinarian shall remove the head or brain of the animal at the owner’s expense and submit it to the Texas Department of Health for testing.
(B) Any animal that is required to but does not have current vaccination shall be vaccinated by the attending veterinarian at the conclusion of the quarantine period.
(C) The owner of the quarantined animal shall pay all fees incident to the quarantine prior to release of the animal from quarantine by the veterinarian, except that if a vaccinated and licensed animal bites or scratches a person who is trespassing, and the animal is properly confined and restrained on the premises of the owner, the trespassing person so bitten or scratched by the animal shall be liable, in advance, for all fees incident to the veterinary examination and quarantine, if the person so bitten or scratched demands quarantine. Otherwise, no quarantine is required unless ordered by an Animal Services Officer, in which case the animal shall be quarantined at the animal shelter at no expense to the owner.
(D) In the event the owner of a dog or cat suspected to have rabies is unknown, the dog or cat shall be considered a stray, and it shall be quarantined at the city shelter. Should a person subsequently appear to claim the dog or cat, that person shall be considered the owner and shall be liable for all fees incident to the quarantine. If all fees are not paid within three days following the quarantine period, the dog or cat may be sold or destroyed by the Shelter Manager.
(E) Any animal suspected of being infected with rabies may be destroyed immediately upon recommendation of a licensed veterinarian.
(F) Whenever any animal bites any other animal, all regulations and requirements herein described shall apply to both the inflictor of the bite and the animal bitten. Should any animal be bitten by an animal determined to have rabies, then the bitten animal shall be handled by one of the following methods:
(1) If the owner does not show proof of current vaccination, the animal shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 180 days immediately following the date of exposure, at the owner’s expense, at a veterinary hospital, the city shelter or a reputable boarding kennel, with the animal being examined and vaccinated against rabies 30 days before the end of the 180-day quarantine period by a licensed veterinarian, unless the owner of the animal gives written consent to destroy it; or
(2) If the owner shows proof of current vaccination, the type and length of quarantine shall be determined by a veterinarian in consultation with the veterinarian who has been attending the animal, but not to exceed six months, at the owner’s expense; or
(3) An Animal Services Officer may make the final decision to order that the animal be humanely destroyed.
(G) Should any owner refuse to comply with the provisions of this section, the municipal judge may issue an order to any Animal Services Officer or police officer directing that the animal be confined in the city animal shelter for a period of ten days for observation for rabies. The expense of the confinement shall be paid by the owner, except as set forth in division (C) of this section. The order may be issued by the municipal judge only on a finding of probable cause, based on the affidavit of a credible person, showing that the biting or scratching took place and that the dog or other animal in question was the dog or other animal responsible.
(H) Any dog or other animal kept, maintained, or harbored within the city, which has bitten, scratched, or otherwise attacked any person is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
(I) Any animal determined to have bitten or scratched someone must be taken, at the owner’s expense, except as set forth in division (C) of this section, to a veterinarian to be examined both at the time of the bite and at the end of the quarantine period. This applies to vaccinated as well as unvaccinated animals, as per the Texas Department of Health.
(Ord. 92-08, passed 4-23-92; Am. Ord. 2011-30, passed 9-13-11; Am. Ord. 2014-30, passed 11-18-14) Penalty, see § 10.99