§ 90.072  DANGEROUS DOG DETERMINATION.
   (A)   Municipal Court.
      (1)   The Municipal Court ("the Court") may determine that a dog is a dangerous dog in compliance with Tex. Health and Safety Code, § 822.0422.  The Animal Control Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, or a city police officer may file a sworn complaint describing a dangerous dog incident with the Court.  The sworn complaint shall present probable cause that the dog described in the complaint committed an attack described in § 90.002.
      (2)   The Animal Control Officer shall furnish written notice to the owner of the dog, as identified in the complaint, to inform the owner that a dangerous dog report has been filed with the Court.  The notice to the owner shall require the owner to deliver the dog immediately to the Animal Control Officer upon receiving the notice, provided that the Animal Control Officer may, in his or her discretion, accept proof that the animal is impounded with a licensed veterinarian at a veterinarian establishment.  The notice to the owner shall have attached to it a copy of this chapter.  The notice to the owner shall also contain a statement that the owner will be notified by the Court of the date and time for the hearing.
      (3)   If the owner fails to deliver the dog as required, the Court shall order the Animal Control Officer to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure.  The Animal Control Officer shall seize the dog and shall provide for the impoundment of the dog in a secure and humane manner at the owner's expense until the Court orders the disposition of the dog.  The Court shall determine, after notice and hearing as provided in § 90.073, whether the dog is a dangerous dog.
   (B)   Animal Control Officer.
      (1)   The Animal Control Officer may determine that a dog is a dangerous dog after investigation of a dangerous dog incident.  The Animal Control Officer shall furnish written notice to the owner of the dog as identified in the complaint to inform the owner that a dangerous dog report has been received.  The owner will have five calendar days from the date the owner is notified to provide the Code Enforcement and/or Police Department information regarding the report.  The Animal Control Officer may consider additional information from other sources in the course of the investigation.
      (2)   If, after investigating a dangerous dog report, the Animal Control Officer finds that the animal is a dangerous dog, the Animal Control Officer shall immediately provide for the impoundment of the dog in a secure and humane manner; and provide notice to the owner of that fact.  The notice to the owner shall also contain a statement that the owner has a right to appeal to the Municipal Court and shall have attached to it a copy of this chapter.
      (3)   Notice to the owner shall be mailed certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner's last known mailing address, or delivered in person by the Animal Control Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, or a city police officer.  If the notice is mailed to the owner and the United States Postal Service returns the notice as "refused" or "unclaimed," the validity of the notice is not affected, and the notice is considered as delivered.  If the notice is given by mail, the date of notice is the date of delivery.  If the date of delivery is not known, then notice given by mail is deemed to be delivered three days after the date it is placed in a mail receptacle of the United States Postal Service.  Notice that is delivered in person is deemed received on the date of in-hand delivery or on the date that the notice is left firmly affixed on or near the front door of each building on the property at the owner's address.
      (4)   An owner, not later than ten calendar days after the date the owner is notified that an animal owned by him or her is a dangerous dog, may appeal the determination of the Animal Control Officer to the Municipal Court.  An owner may appeal the decision of the Municipal Court to a county court at law, in the same manner as an appeal of cases from the Municipal Court.
(Ord. 09-1013, passed 10-13-2009)