Austin Dog Bite Lawyer | Austin Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Austin Dog Attack Attorney
Travis County Dog Bite Accident Attorney
Dangerous Dog Facts:
- An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year;
- Approximately 334,000 people are admitted to US emergency rooms annually with dog bite-associated injuries, and another 466,000 are seen in other medical settings;
- An unknown number of other people who have been bitten do not sustain injuries deemed serious enough to require medical attention;
- Almost half of all persons bitten are children younger than 12 years old; and
- People more than 70 years old comprise 10% of those bitten and 20% of those killed.
According to Zoonosis Control Division of the Texas Department of Health, domesticated dogs comprise most the dog bites in any given year. Even more shocking, Texas was the leader in dog bite fatalities in 2007, with seven fatalities stemming from dog bites that year alone. There is a regional Zoonosis office in Austin located at Texas Department of State Health Services, Zoonosis Control, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756, (512) 458-7255 for all of your needs and questions.
Responsible Dog Ownership in Austin Definitely Can Reduce Austin Dog Bites
As so many things in life, dog bites can be reduced by what happens in the home. A dog is not always the one to blame in the instance of a dog attack or dog bite injury. Many owners use their dogs for illegal dog fights and these dogs are victimized every bit as much as the victims of their attacks, and they too are often severely injured or even killed in dog fighting rings as they fight for their lives. Negligent and abusive dog owners should be held liable for their actions. A decision to be a responsible dog is a personal decision and one that requires responsibility. There are many places in and around Austin, Texas to have your dog trained for obedience. Dog owners are also able to take their dog to an area designated for dogs to play. Dog parks are there so that the owner can take their dog to an area where they can run around and play in an fenced-in and safe place. Dog parks are a responsible place to take your pet to ensure that when they are running off their leash that they will not run away from you and/or cause harm to a person or another animal. Some Dog Training Facilities and Dog Park locations in the General Austin Area include:
Train My Dogs Learning Center
910 Mary Street W
Austin, TX 78704
Taurus Training and Doggy Play Day
715 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704
The Humaner Trainer
8618 McMeans Trail
Austin, TX 78737
Home Dog Training of Austin
Zoom Room Austin
7739 Northcross Drive
Austin, TX 78757
Red Bud Isle
3401 Red Bud Trail
Austin, TX 78703
Dogs should be trained and any sense of aggressive behavior exhibited by a dog should be immediately attended to by the pet owner in order to avoid a future incident. What it boils down to is that if you or a loved one have been bitten, attacked, maimed, or killed by a dog or other animal, you should be entitled to some degree of compensation from the animal’s owner or handler. Contact one of the experienced Austin dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Texas’s “One Bite” Rule & Dog Bite Claims Based on Negligence
Texas follows the arcane “one bite rule.” This means that a pet owner is liable when:
- the owner knew that the dog had bitten someone before or had a “dangerous propensity” for biting;
- the bite was caused by the negligence of the person handling the dog;
- the bite was caused by a violation of a leash law, prohibition against dogs trespassing or running at large, or a similar animal control law; or,
- the bite injury was caused intentionally by the owner or person handling the dog.
When it cannot be proved that the dog’s owner or handler knew of the dog’s propensity to bite, negligence can form the basis of a claim. An example of a negligence-based claim could occur when the owner of a dog whose breed is notorious for its violent propensities — such as a pit bull, Rottweiler, or German Shepherd — allows their dog to run loose in a children’s park or other public area without supervision. The dog’s owner will be held liable based on negligence if the dog bites a child in the park.
However, a person does not have to be the dog’s owner to be held liable for a bite victim’s injuries. A child bitten at a day care facility for dogs could, through the child’s parents, make a claim against the pet care center, even though the dog was owned by a third party who was absent at the time of the bite. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you should contact an Austin dog bite attorney to pursue your personal injury claims. Even if the dog has no prior history of aggression and has never bitten anyone before, Texas’s “one bite rule” may allow an Austin dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Austin Negligence Per Se Dog Bite Lawyer
When a statute or ordinance is violated and the violation leads to an injury, this is called negligence per se.
Negligence per se is frequently found in cases of dog bites, dog maulings, and dog attacks, often resulting from a violation of:
- leash laws;
- dog trespass laws; or,
- no “free-run” laws.
Usually, these types of dog control laws and ordinances are only found in large Texas cities; however, Austin has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Austin requires that all dogs over four months of age be licensed with the city officials. If you or a loved one has been bitten or mauled by a dog running loose in violation of the law of Austin or Travis County, you should contact a local Austin dog bite attorney immediately.
Lillian’s Law (H.B. 1355)
The so-called “Lillian Stiles Law,” sponsored by Senator Eliot Shapleigh and passed in 2007, increases the jail time for owners who fail to secure their dogs in a reasonable manner, resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another. Under the law, a dog owner will be charged with a third-degree felony if their dog causes serious bodily injury to a victim during an unprovoked attack. A third-degree felony is punishable by 2-10 years of prison time as well as a potential fine of up to $10,000. If the victim dies from an unprovoked dog attack, H.B. 1355 would impose a charge of second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Click here for more information on the passage of Lillian’s Law,
Texas still allows a dog to be chained up, which is not only bad policy, but also dangerous to children and others who are routinely attacked by dogs that have been chained. Lillian’s law helps protect Austin residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Austin dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call an Austin dog bite lawyer today.
Some of Texas' Laws on Dog Bites
Some of the laws are found in the Texas Health & Safety Code, Title 10, Chapter 822 Regulation of Animals:
- Subchapter A General Provisions; Dogs That Attack Persons or Are a Danger to Persons;
Subchapter D Dangerous Dogs;
- 822.041. Definitions;
- 822.042. Requirements for Owner of Dangerous Dog;
- 822.0421. Determination That Dog is Dangerous;
- 822.0422. Reporting of Incident in Certain Counties and Municipalities;
- 822.0423. Hearing;
- 822.043. Registration;
- 822.044. Attack by Dangerous Dog;
- 822.045. Violations;
- 822.046. Defense; and
- 822.047. Local Regulation of Dangerous Dogs
Click through to read dangerous dog laws for Travis County
52.006 DANGEROUS DOG. Under Section 822.047 of Chapter 822, Travis County hereby adopts the following rules regarding Dangerous Dogs:
A. Determination That a Dog is a Dangerous Dog. A dog may be determined to be a Dangerous
Dog under the following procedures:
1. Incident Report. Any person may report by sworn statement an incident described in Section 52.003.F ("Incident") to the ACA. Such statement shall include a description of all elements of the act required under Section 52.003.F, including whether the incident related to actions against a person or actions against livestock, a domestic animal or fowl. Reports of such Incident(s) received by Sheriff's officers or other law enforcement officials or county representatives shall be forwarded to the ACA.
2. Investigation. The ACA, through field officer representative(s) designated by Travis County, will investigate any Incident Report received under Section 52.006.A.1 by taking sworn statements concerning the Incident from witnesses and gathering any other pertinent information related to the Incident. 3. Notice. Written notice will be given to the person filing the Incident Report (when that person provides sufficient contact information), the Owner of the dog (when the Owner
is known and sufficient contact information is available), and other interested parties known to the ACA of the time and date of the hearing to review the Incident information.
4. Hearing. A hearing will be held before the Health Authority, or his/her designated representative (with such person always being a person separate from the officers investigating the Incident) to hear testimony from witnesses and review all information gathered related to the Incident.
5. Findings. Upon completion of the hearing, the Health Authority (or his designated representative) shall make a determination based upon a preponderance of the evidence as to whether or not the dog meets the requirements to be determined a "Dangerous Dog" and shall issue such determination either at the end of the hearing or within a reasonable time after the hearing. The determination shall be made in writing and shall include the finding that the dog is a
Dangerous Dog (with a description of the action which was the basis of the complaint specifying whether the action was against a person or another animal), shall order compliance with the requirements of these Rules regarding Dangerous Dogs (including a copy of those requirements), and shall advise the Owner of the possible results of failure to comply with those requirements.
6. Notification of Findings. If the determination is not made at the hearing, the Health Authority will notify the ACA, who will promptly notify the Owner and those requesting such notification at the hearing and providing necessary contact Information of the finding by telephone or email, with written notification to follow (as allowed by available contact information). Written notification will include the elements of the determination described in 5subsection 5 above and will also be provided as follow-up to any determination made at the hearing. If the dog is determined to be a Dangerous Dog, the Owner:
a. has 15 days in which to appeal the decision to a court of competent jurisdiction; and/or, if there is no appeal
b. has 30 days (measured from the date the Owner received notice under 52.006.A.5, or the date a final decision is reached under an appeal, whichever applies) to comply with the requirements of Section 52.006.B. and to provide proof of such
compliance to the ACA; or
c. if an appeal is filed, during that appeal, the Owner must either comply with the requirements of this Section 52.006 for a Dangerous Dog or post sufficient bond, as determined by the Court, or allow the ACA to continue to impound the dog and pay all fees and costs related to such impoundment on a weekly basis.
d.. shall deliver the dog to the ACA for disposition.
B. Requirements for Dangerous Dog Owners Retaining the Dog.
1. Requirements. The Owner of a Dangerous Dog must either deliver the dog to the ACA for disposition or, no later than the 30th day after learning that the person is the Owner of a Dangerous Dog (and on an annual basis for as long as the Owner retains possession of the Dangerous Dog) comply with the following and submit to the ACA proof of such compliance where required:
a. register the dog (and continue registration with current proof of the following) on an annual basis) with the ACA as follows:
(i) provide proof of compliance with the insurance requirements in
(ii) provide proof of current rabies vaccination;
(iii) provide proof satisfactory to the ACA of a Secure Enclosure in which the dog is and will be kept when not on a leash under the Owner's direct control (or direct control of a person designated or allowed by the Owner). Such proof may include pictures, statements, or other evidence, including an on-site visit by the ACA, as determined by the ACA. The Secure Enclosure shall be clearly marked as containing a Dangerous Dog;
(iv) pay an annual fee in the amount as set forth in Attachment A to these Rules.
(v) attach the registration tag provided by the ACA to the dog's collar; and
(vi) within 14 days of moving the dog, provide the ACA notice of the new address with the prior registration tag, pay a fee in the amount as set forth in Attachment A to these Rules, and place the new registration tag provided by the ACA on the dog's collar. These registration requirements are in addition to those registration requirements set forth in Section 52.004.
6b. immediately ensure that the dog is restrained at all times on a leash in the immediate control of a person or in a Secure Enclosure. Failure to restrain the dog as required will subject the dog to immediate seizure and impound by the ACA.
c. obtain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in the following amounts to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dog on any person, livestock, domestic animal or fowl, and provide proof of such to the ACA on an
(i) for acts against a person (52.003.F.1.) $100,000.00
(ii) for acts against livestock, a domestic animal or fowl (52.003.F.2) $ 10,000.00
d. comply with all other requirements of the ACA contained in the Notification of Findings in which a Dangerous Dog determination has been made or imposed by the ACA pursuant to these Rules. Any additional requirements will be
reasonably related to the proper enforcement of the applicable provisions of these Rules and provided to the Owner in writing by the ACA..
e. notify the ACA in writing if the dog dies or if ownership of the dog is transferred to another person within 7 days of such death or transfer of ownership. If ownership is transferred, the written notice shall contain the new Owner's name, address and telephone number. The original Owner must notify the new Owner of the Dangerous Dog status of the dog prior to transferring ownership. The new Owner then becomes responsible for meeting all applicable requirements of these Rules.
f. allow the ACA to identify the dog by microchip with the cost for such identification being born by the County if the procedure is performed at the City/County facility.
2. A person learns that the person is the Owner of a Dangerous Dog under Section
B.1. above when:
a. the Owner knows of an attack described under Section 52.003.F;
b. the Owner receives notice that a court has made such determination related to proceedings under Section 52.006.C; or
c. the Owner is informed by the ACA that the dog is a Dangerous Dog under Section 52.006.A.
3. The status of "Dangerous Dog" remains with the dog regardless of ownership, and the requirements of these Rules apply equally to the Owner in possession of the dog when the determination was made and any future Owner.
C. Failure to Comply.
a. Act Against a Person. Any person may make application by sworn statement to the appropriate court to determine that an Owner knowingly has possession of a Dangerous Dog under Section 52.003.F.1 and has failed to comply with Section
52.006.B. A person will be considered to "knowingly have possession of a DangerousDog " if that person "learns" that the person has a Dangerous Dog as described under 52.006(B)(2).
7b. Act Against An Animal. Any person may make application by sworn statement to the ACA to determine that an Owner knowingly has possession of a Dangerous Dog under Section 52.003.F.2 and has failed to comply with Section
52.006.B. A person will be considered to "knowingly have possession of a Dangerous Dog " if that person "learns" that the person has a Dangerous Dog as described under 52.006(B)(2).
a. Act Against a Person. On receipt of such application under 52.006.C.1.a, the court shall set a hearing date that is within 10 days of receiving the application, and give written notice of such hearing date to the Owner, the applicant and any other known interested parties. b. Act Against an Animal. On receipt of such application under 52.006.C.1.b, the ACA shall set a hearing date that is within 10 days of receiving the application, and give written notice of such hearing date to the Owner, the applicant and any other known interested parties.
a. Act Against a Person. If the court determines that the Owner has failed to comply with the requirements of these Rules regarding a Dangerous Dog where the act was against a person, the court shall order the ACA to seize the dog and shall issue a warrant authorizing the seizure. The Owner may appeal the decision of the court to the appropriate court. Nothing in this subsection prevents the ACA from seizing the dog at any time under this or any other applicable portion of these Rules.
b. Act Against an Animal. If the ACA determines that the Owner has failed to comply with the requirements of these Rules regarding a Dangerous Dog where the act was against an animal, the ACA shall seize the dog. The Owner may appeal the decision of the ACA to the appropriate court. Nothing in this subsection prevents the ACA from seizing the dog at any time under this or any other applicable portion of these Rules.
4. Impound. Upon such court order or decision by the ACA under Subsection 3 above, the ACA shall seize and impound the dog.
a. Appeal. No further action shall be taken regarding the dog (other than the ACA continuing to impound the dog) if the Owner files an appeal under 52.006.C.3. until a final decision is issued under such appeal. If the decision of the appeals court is that the dog is not a Dangerous Dog or that the Owner has not failed to comply, the dog shall be immediately released to the Owner. If the appeals court agrees that the dog is a Dangerous Dog and that the Owner has failed to comply with applicable requirements of these Rules , (or if no appeal is filed) subsections "b" and "c" below will apply, with the time periods being measured from the date of such decision of the appeals court rather than the date the dog is seized.
b. Release. The court shall order the dog released to the Owner if the Owner:
(i) before the 11th day after the dog was seized, shows proof of compliance with the applicable requirements; and 8(ii) pays any cost (including necessary medical costs, as determined by a licensed veterinarian), fee or fines assessed by Travis County related to the seizure, acceptance, and impoundment.
(i) If the Owner does not fulfill the requirements of Section 52.006.C.5.b (i) and (ii) within the 11 day time period, in the event that the attack or acts were directed toward a person, the court shall order the ACA to humanely destroy the dog.
(ii) If the Owner does not fulfill the requirements of Section 52.006.C.5.b (i) and (ii) within the 11 day time period, in the event the attack or acts were directed toward livestock, a domestic animal or fowl, the court may make its own determination as to the action to be taken or submit the matter to the ACA for consideration by hearing as set forth in subsection 52.006 D.2. below. The Owner shall pay all costs related to the seizure, acceptance, impoundment and/or destruction of the dog (including necessary medical costs,as determined by a licensed veterinarian).
(iii) If the Owner of the dog is not found by the 15th day after the dog was seized, and the dog is a Dangerous Dog, the court shall order the dog humanely destroyed.
D. Attack by a Dangerous Dog.
Subject to the following, Section 822.044 of Chapter 822 shall apply to any attack by a Dangerous Dog after such determination has been made:
1. After a dog has been determined to be a Dangerous Dog, notification of an attack by a Dangerous Dog on any person, livestock, or domestic animal or fowl shall be given to the ACA within 24 hours of the attack or as soon as such attack is known by any person to have occurred.
2. Attack on an Animal. The offense classifications of the statute (as set forth in Section 52.006.E. herein) shall only apply to attacks against a person. If the attack is against livestock, domestic animals or fowl, the attack shall be registered with the ACA. After one such registered attack (an attack made after the dog has been determined to be a Dangerous Dog), the dog shall be surrendered to the ACA. The ACA shall schedule a hearing to be held pursuant to 52.006.C with prior notice of such hearing to the Owner. Unless good cause shall be shown at the hearing as to why the dog should not be destroyed, the ACA shall to humanely destroy the dog. If the ACA finds reason not to destroy the dog, and a second attack occurs, then the ACA must humanely destroy the dog.
1. Attack by a Dangerous Dog Against a Person.
a. A person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a Dangerous Dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person outside the dog's enclosure and causes bodily injury to the other person.
b. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, unless the attack causes Serious Bodily Injury or death, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
9c. If a person is found guilty of an offense under this section, the court may order the dangerous dog destroyed by a person authorized under the AC Laws to perform such a procedure.
d. In addition to criminal prosecution, a person who commits an offense under this section is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000. An attorney having jurisdiction in the county where the offense occurred may file suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to collect the penalty. Penalties collected under this subsection shall be retained by the county.
2. Any person who keeps a Dangerous Dog which was classified as such because of an attack or act upon a person and does not comply with all requirements of these Rules commits an offense which is a Class C misdemeanor, unless it is shown at trial that the defendant has previously been convicted of an offense under this Subsection 52.006, in which case the offense is a Class B misdemeanor. Defenses to prosecution under this Section 52.006 are as set forth in Section 822.046 of Chapter 822. This Section 52.006.E applies only to a dog determined to be a Dangerous Dog as a result of an attack or acts against a person, and does not apply where the attack or acts were against livestock, a domestic animal or fowl.
52.007 DOGS CAUSING DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY TO A PERSON.
A. Travis County adopts the provisions of 822.001 - 822.005 regarding dogs causing death of or
serious bodily injury to a person.
52.008 DOGS AND COYOTES THAT ARE A DANGER TO ANIMALS.
A. Travis County adopts the provisions of 822.012 - 822.013 regarding dogs and coyotes that are a danger
Click the following link to read Dog Bite ordinances for the City of Austin:
ARTICLE 1. GENERAL RESTRICTIONS.
§ 3-4-1 UNRESTRAINED DOG PROHIBITED.
(A) Except as provided in Section 3-4-4 (Public Areas Where Restraint of a Dog is Not Required), an owner or handler of a dog shall keep the dog under restraint.
(B) A person holding a dog on a leash or lead shall keep the dog under control at all times.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-2(A) and (B); Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-2 RESTRAINT REQUIREMENTS FOR DOGS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.
(A) Except as provided in Subsection (B), a person may not restrain a dog with a chain or tether unless the person is holding the chain or tether.
(B) The prohibition of Subsection (A) does not apply to a temporary restraint:
(1) during a lawful animal event, veterinary treatment, grooming, training, or law enforcement activity; or
(2) that is required to protect the safety or welfare of a person or the dog, if the dog's owner or handler remains with the dog throughout the period of restraint.
(C) A person restraining a dog with a chain or tether shall attach the chain or tether to a properly fitting collar or harness worn by the dog. A person may not wrap a chain or tether directly around a dog's neck. A person may not restrain a dog with a chain or tether that weighs more than 1/18 of the dog's body weight. A chain or tether used to restrain a dog must, by design and placement, be unlikely to become entangled.
(D) A person may not restrain a dog in a manner that does not allow the dog to have access to necessary shelter and water.
(E) A person may not restrain a dog in a manner that allows the dog to move outside the person's property.
(F) A person may not keep six or more dogs, other than puppies less than six months old, unless the dogs are kept in an enclosure that meets the requirements prescribed by Section 3-2-13 (Enclosure for Dogs).
Source: 1992 Code Sections 3-1-2 and 3-3-8; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 20070607-011.
§ 3-4-3 IMPOUNDMENT OF AN UNRESTRAINED DOG.
A city employee may enter property to impound an unrestrained dog. Except as authorized by subpoena or court order, a city employee may not enter a private residence to impound a dog without first obtaining permission from an adult resident.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-2(C); Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-4 PUBLIC AREAS WHERE RESTRAINT OF A DOG IS NOT REQUIRED.
An owner or handler may allow a dog to be without restraint as otherwise required by this title in the following places:
(1) Auditorium Shores from South First Street west to Bouldin Creek;
(2) the portion of Zilker Park bounded by Stratford Drive, Barton Springs Road, and Park River Road;
(3) the right-of-way of Far West Boulevard between Great Northern Boulevard and Shoal Creek Boulevard;
(4) the portion of Robert Mueller Municipal Airport land bounded by Old Manor Road, Manor Road, the airport fence, and Lovell Drive;
(5) Red Bud Isle east of Red Bud Trail;
(6) the portion of Onion Creek District Park south of Chunn Road;
(7) the portion of Northeast District Park bounded by Lake Long Road, Crystal Brook Drive, and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad right-of-way;
(8) the portion of Walnut Creek District Park bounded by Cedar Bend Drive, Walnut Creek, and the park fence on the west and east sides;
(9) the portion of Lake Austin Metropolitan Park bounded by Park Drive, the park fence on west side, Turkey Creek, and top ridge of bluff line that overlooks Lake Austin;
(10) Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail from 24th Street to 29th Street; and
(11) in an area designated by the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-3; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-5 DOG OR CAT IN HEAT.
(A) An owner or handler may not allow a dog that is in heat to be on the street or in a public place, unless the person is in direct physical control of the dog.
(B) An owner or handler may not allow a cat that is in heat to be outside of a secure building or enclosure unless the owner or handler is in direct physical control of the cat.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-4; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-6 DEFECATION BY A DOG OR CAT.
An owner or handler shall promptly remove and sanitarily dispose of feces left on public or private property by a dog or cat being handled by the person, other than property owned by the owner or handler of the dog or cat.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-7; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-7 VICIOUS DOG.
(A) An owner or handler shall take reasonable measures to protect the public from accidental contact with a dog that, by nature or by training, is dangerous to people or other animals.
(B) An owner or handler may not keep or permit a dog to be in the city if the dog has:
(1) on at least three separate occasions bitten or scratched a person in the city;
(2) on at least one occasion bitten or scratched a person to an extent that the attending physician has presented an affidavit to the health authority stating that the person’s life may have been endangered by the dog; or
(3) on at least one occasion:
(a) killed another dog, cat, or other domestic pet, fowl, or livestock; or
(b) seriously injured another animal to an extent that an attending veterinarian has presented an affidavit to the health authority stating that the injured animal's life was seriously endangered or taken by the dog, or that the dog caused a significant permanent impairment of the injured animal’s basic bodily functions or mobility; provided, however, that when the incident occurred, the injured animal was not in violation of a provision of this title relating to the confinement or physical control of animals in the City.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-1, and 3-3-5; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
ARTICLE 2. RESERVED.
ARTICLE 3. GUARD DOGS.
Division 1. General Provisions.
§ 3-4-41 DEFINITIONS.
In this article:
(1) COMMERCIAL PROPERTY means:
(a) land or a building zoned or used for a commercial or business use, including a temporary site; or
(b) a vehicle used for a commercial or business purpose.
(2) GUARD DOG means a dog used to protect commercial property.
(3) HOUSING means a location where a guard dog is kept when the dog is not used to protect commercial property.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-60; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-42 EXCEPTION.
This article does not apply to a guard dog used to protect its owner’s private residence, unless the residence is located on commercial property.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-62; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-43 OTHER REGULATION.
An owner or handler of a guard dog shall comply with the requirements of this title.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 3-3-61 and 3-3-80; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-44 HEALTH AUTHORITY.
(A) The health authority shall prescribe rules to protect the public from accidental contact with a guard dog that is transported or used in a vehicle.
(B) The health authority may inspect and examine a guard dog and commercial property using a guard dog as necessary to determine compliance with this article.
(C) The health authority shall prescribe procedures to:
(1) apply for a guard dog permit;
(2) inspect property using or housing a guard dog; and
(3) issue a guard dog identification tag.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 3-3-61 and 3-3-75; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-45 SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR USE OF A GUARD DOG.
(A) A person that keeps a guard dog must comply with the safety requirements prescribed by this section.
(B) A guard dog must be kept in housing completely surrounded by an anti-escape fence or in an anti-escape building.
(C) The gate or entrance to an area where a guard dog is housed, used, or trained must be locked unless a person is in direct control of the guard dog.
(D) The area outside a building patrolled by a guard dog must be enclosed with anti-escape devices, and either:
(1) a fence not less than six-feet tall constructed out of chain link or an equally secure fencing material, including wood; or
(2) a wall.
(E) Exterior glass must be installed in a building patrolled by a guard dog that is strong enough to prevent the guard dog from breaking through the glass, and any additional protective measures required by the health authority must be taken.
(F) A person using a guard dog to protect a building or outside area must post signs approved by the health authority at intervals of no greater than 200 feet apart along the perimeter of the property, at each corner of the property, and at each entrance to the building or outside area.
(G) A person transporting or using a guard dog in a vehicle shall comply with the rules prescribed by the health authority.
(H) The health authority may require a person to implement additional safeguards to protect the public from accidental contact with a guard dog.
(I) The health authority may require a sight barrier to break a guard dog's line-of-sight.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-61; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-46 HANDLER REQUIRED.
A handler shall be physically present if a guard dog is used on a temporary site or commercial property that does not comply with this article.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-61; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
Division 2. Guard Dog Permit.
§ 3-4-61 PERMIT REQUIRED.
(A) Before a person may use or house a guard dog, the person must obtain a permit for the property.
(B) The permittee shall display a permit issued under this article at the approved commercial property.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-75, and 3-3-79; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-62 PERMIT APPLICATION.
(A) An application for a permit under this article must include:
(1) the business name, address, and telephone number of the commercial property where a guard dog is to be used;
(2) the name, address, and telephone number of a handler who will be available for contact 24-hours a day;
(3) the number of dogs to be used and a general description of their use;
(4) the location where a guard dog is to be housed; and
(5) any other information required by the health authority.
(B) A permittee shall immediately notify the health authority of a change to the information required by Subsection (A).
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-76; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-63 INSPECTION.
On receipt of an initial or a renewal application, the health authority shall inspect the property where a guard dog is to be used or housed.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-77; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-64 PERMIT FEE AND ISSUANCE.
After the health authority inspects and approves the property where a guard dog is to be used or housed and the applicant pays the permit fee established by ordinance for each approved property, the health authority shall issue a permit for the property.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-77; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-65 PERMIT TERM AND RENEWAL.
(A) The health authority may issue a permit under this article for a one-year term.
(B) A person may apply for a renewal permit and pay the renewal fee established by ordinance not later than the 30th day after the expiration of a permit.
(C) A renewal application must include the information required by Section 3-4-62 (Permit Application).
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-78; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-66 PERMIT TRANSFER.
(A) Except as provided in Subsection (B), a person may transfer a permit authorizing the use of a guard dog at one location to a new location operated by the same person or business.
(B) A person may not transfer a permit under this section unless:
(1) the person notifies the health authority at least five business days before the date of the requested transfer;
(2) the health authority inspects and approves the new location; and
(3) the person submits to the health authority the information required under Section 3-4-62 (Permit Application) for the new location.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 3-3-75 and 3-3-79; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 3-4-67 GUARD DOG IDENTIFICATION TAG.
(A) The health authority shall issue a guard dog identification tag for each dog authorized under a permit.
(B) A person shall affix a guard dog identification tag to the collar of a guard dog.
Source: 1992 Code Section 3-3-77, and 3-3-79; Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11
Family Bystander Mental Anguish Claims
Texas recognizes the right of bystanders to recover damages for mental anguish caused by witnessing an accident, with the following limitations: the bystander must be a parent or child of the victim and the victim must have been killed or severely injured in the animal attack or mauling. Therefore, if you have witnessed a close family member mauled or bitten by a dog, you may want to pursue legal action on behalf of the injury victim as well as your own claims for witnessing such a horrific event. Contact an Austin dog bite lawyer today to discuss bystander and mental anguish claims.
Negligence Based on Failure to Stop an Attack
A Texas dog owner owes a duty to attempt to stop his dog from attacking a person after the attack has begun. This is a civil duty, meaning that the Austin dog bite victim can sue for monetary damages if the dog owner does not attempt to stop the attack.
If you or a loved one have been bitten or mauled by a dangerous dog in Austin or Travis County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Austin dog bite injury lawyers listed on this page.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog?
- Make every attempt to keep the animal in sight, find its owner, and obtain the owner’s contact information, preferably verified by their photo ID.
- Immediately wash the wound out with soap and warm water.
- Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shots.
- Seek the help of a physician or visit a local hospital.
- Report the bite to the Austin Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below).
- Seek the help of an Austin dog bite attorney, if necessary, and maintain copies of all medical records and other relevant evidence.
For more information on dog bites and their victims, visit DogsBite.org
Dog Bite Reporting:
If you would like to report an Austin area or Travis County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Austin Planning and Development Services Department office at:
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Austin SPCA. The Austin SPCA may be reached at:
If you would like to report an instance of animal cruelty to the Austin click here, and follow the recommended procedures.
Contact one of the experienced Austin dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Austin and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Central Texas, including Anderson Mill, Austin, Barton Creek, Bear Creek, Bee Cave, Bluff Springs, Briarcliff, Brushy Creek, Buda, Cedar Park, Cele, Coupland, Creedmoor, Driftwood, Dripping Springs, Elgin, Georgetown, Hays, Hutto, Jollyville, Jonah, Jonestown, Lago Vista, Leander, Liberty Hill, Lost Creek, Lund, Manchaca, Manor, Marshall Ford, McNeil, New Sweden, Onion Creek, Pflugerville, Point Venture, Rollingwood, Round Rock, San Leanna, Serenada, Shady Hollow, Sun City, Sunset Valley, Taylor, The Hills, Thorndale, Thrall, Volente, Waterloo, Webberville, Weir, Wells Branch, West Lake Hills, Williamson, Windemere, Wyldwood and other communities in Hays County, Travis County, and Williamson County.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Travis County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.