Animal Ordinances

Following are commonly referenced city ordinances related to pet ownership.  To view more city ordinances related to animals, please see the Online Code of Ordinances Chapter 14 - AnimalsChapter 34 - Environment and Chapter 118 - Zoning.

For assistance with any of the ordinances listed below or other animal related issues, please contact the Animal Services Division at 817-427-6570.  

Barking/Nuisance Noise

Excessive noise complaints will be addressed during normal business hours only. Any person who shall harbor or keep on their premises, or in or about their premises under their control, any animal which by loud or unusual vocalization shall cause the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or the occupant of adjacent premises to be disturbed, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and a separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which such violation occurs.  After receiving a complaint on a specific address, an Animal Services Officer will provide the complainant with a witness statement, informational sheet, and time-log to document the dates and times of the offending occurrences. These documents will be presented to the Municipal court for citation consideration. The owner of the offending animal will receive a notice of violation for excessive noise. The notice will inform them that their animal is creating an excessive noise disturbance to their fellow neighbors. If the violation continues to occur after 7 days from date of notice or multiple complaints are received, the citizens will be asked to fill out or turn in their completed, notarized  statement to the Animal Services Division.  The complainant will also need to provide audio and/or video proof of the excessive noise as evidence to present to the Municipal Court.

Animal Restraint

The city requires that any person owning or harboring an animal, to keep that animal restrained at all times in order to ensure it does not run at-large.  Harboring means the act of keeping and caring for an animal or of providing a premise to which the animal returns for food, shelter, or care for a period of ten days or longer.  Owner means any person who; owns, has lawful custody or control of an animal.

Running at large. An animal shall be considered running at large:

  1. Off premises. Any animal which is not restrained by means of a leash, chain, or other physical apparatus of sufficient strength and length to control the actions of such animal while off premises.
  2. On premises: 
    1. Any animal not confined to premises of owner by a substantial fence of sufficient strength and height to prevent the animal from escaping therefrom, or secured on the premises by a chain or leash sufficient in strength to prevent the animal from escaping from premises and so arranged that the animal will remain upon the premises when the leash is stretched to full length.
    2. An animal intruding upon the property of another person other than the owner's shall be termed "at large."
    3. Any animal within a vehicle in a manner that would not prevent that animal's escape or contact with other persons or animals.
    4. No animal may be restrained by a chain or tether unless the person is holding the chain or tether.

The city does allow dogs to exercise and run off leash at Tipps Canine Hollow Dog Park.  For more information, hours of operation, and park rules, please visit Tipps Canine Hollow Dog Park.  

Rabies Vaccinations

Texas State Law and city ordinance requires the owner of a dog or cat to have their animals vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian by the age of 4 months and receive boosters annually or every three years; depending on the re-vaccination schedule between you and your veterinarian. If your pet is involved in a human related bite and it was running at-large and not currently rabies vaccinated at the time of the bite, your dog or cat will have to be quarantined at a local veterinary clinic.

Pet License

All dogs and cats must be licensed with the NRH Animal Adoption & Rescue Center by 4 months of age. Pet owners will need to submit a current rabies vaccination certificate when applying for their pet registration. Rabies tags are not sufficient proof for rabies vaccination status. Only the rabies vaccination certificate will provide the date the vaccine was administered and the date of expiration for the rabies vaccine. Pet licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of issuance or until the expiration of the rabies vaccine, whichever date is sooner, and must be renewed annually or after re-vaccination from expiration of the previous rabies vaccination.

Lilian's Law 

Lillian's Law is a state law that punishes dog owners who fail to reasonably secure their dogs, resulting in an unprovoked attack on a person and causing serious injury or death. The dog owner can be charged with a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison. The charge becomes a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison when the injury results in death. The law was named for Lillian Stiles, an East Texas woman killed in her front yard by a pack of dogs.

Tying a Pet Outside

No animal may be restrained by a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or other device that is not in the immediate physical control of the owner at the time of restraint.

Keeping of Livestock Animals

Livestock animals to include horses, goats, chickens, turkeys, etc., are restricted to properties zoned either Agriculture or R-1-S and must be at least one acre in lot size.

Pet Limit

The city has a pet limit of 3 dogs in an all dog household, 4 cats in an all cat household or a combination of 3 dogs/2 cats or 3 cats/2 dogs.

Pooper Scooper Law

Animal owners shall be responsible for the removal of all pet waste deposited by his/her animal on public walks, recreation areas, or private property.