Amarillo Dog Bite Lawyer | Amarillo Dog Mauling Lawsuit | Amarillo Dog Attack Attorney

Potter County Dog Bite Accident Attorney

Dangerous Dog Facts:

  1. An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year;
  2. 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;
  3. An unknown number of other people who have been bitten do not sustain injuries deemed serious enough to require medical attention;
  4. Almost half of all persons bitten are children younger than 12 years old; and
  5. People more than 70 years old comprise 10% of those bitten and 20% of those killed.

According to Lubbock 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 Lubbock located at Texas Department of State Health Services, 6302 Iola Avenue, Lubbock, TX 79424 - (806) 744-3577 for all of your needs and questions.

When dangerous animals attack, contact an Amarillo Dog Bite Attorney to learn your rights.

Responsible Dog Ownership in Amarillo Definitely Can Reduce Amarillo 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 Amarillo, 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 Amarillo Area include:

Dog Training in and around Amarillo, Texas:
Willow Creek Kennels
5313 East Willow Creek Drive
Amarillo, TX 79108
(806) 383-6155
Animal Lodge LLC
3201 South Western Street
Amarillo, TX 79109
(806) 331-7387
Le Chateau Pet Resort Spa & Boutique
8150 West 77th Avenue
Amarillo, TX 79119
(806) 331-1100

PetSmart Amarillo
2800 South Soncy Road
Amarillo, TX 79124
(806) 351-1171

Dog Parks in Amarillo, Texas:
Overnite RV Park
900 S Lakeside Drive
Amarillo, TX 79118
(806) 373-1431
Amarillo KOA
1100 Folsom Road
Amarillo, TX 79108
(806) 335-1792

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 Amarillo 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.

An animal attack, mauling, or serious dog bite can be devastating, especially when a child is injured. Contact an Amarillo dog bite lawyer today to discuss your case.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 Amarillo 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 Amarillo dog bite injury lawyer to fight your claim successfully, and you deserve compensation for your injuries.

Amarillo 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:

  1. leash laws;
  2. dog trespass laws; or,
  3. no “free-run” laws.

Usually, these types of dog control laws and ordinances are only found in large Texas cities; however, Amarillo has an ordinance requiring that dogs be "restrained" at all times. Furthermore, Amarillo 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 Amarillo or Potter County, you should contact a local Amarillo 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 Amarillo residents from dogs that attack when not reasonably secured and allows Amarillo dog bite lawyers to sue the dog owners despite lack of previous history of aggression or any provocation from the injury victim. Call an Amarillo 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:

City of Amarillo Dangerous dog Laws

Sec. 8-2-1. - Definitions.

Sec. 8-2-2. - Reserved.

Sec. 8-2-3. - Records.

Sec. 8-2-4. - Fees.

Sec. 8-2-5. - Nuisance animals.

Sec. 8-2-6. - Inhumane treatment.

Sec. 8-2-7. - Striking animal with vehicle; setting traps; artificially coloring animals.

Sec. 8-2-8. - Vaccination.

Sec. 8-2-9. - Vaccination tag.

Sec. 8-2-10. - Dangerous animals.

Sec. 8-2-11. - Female dogs and cats in heat.

Sec. 8-2-12. - Humane society to operate at animal shelter.

Sec. 8-2-13. - Guard dogs.

Sec. 8-2-14. - Penalty for violation.

Secs. 8-2-15—8-2-30. - Reserved.

Sec. 8-2-1. - Definitions.permanent link to this piece of content

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Animal: Any live, nonhuman, vertebrate creature, be it domestic, wild, Livestock, reptile, or other.

At Large: Any Animal not restrained, including without limitation Domestic, Wild, and Livestock animals as defined herein and Estrays as defined in state law.

Animal Control officer: (a) An employee of the City of Amarillo Animal Control Department authorized to enforce all ordinances and state laws pertaining to the ownership, care, and management of animals by exercising lawful authority to issue citations, notices of violation, and seizing animals, and obtaining warrants or court orders pertaining to animals; (b) any Texas peace officer acting to enforce this chapter or state laws pertaining to animals.

Barnyard Fowl: Means and includes chickens, ducks, geese, peacocks, guineas, and turkeys.

Dangerous Animal: Any animal shall be deemed dangerous upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

(1) An unprovoked attack on a person, Domestic animal or Livestock, causing serious bodily injury, by an animal outside a secure enclosure in which the attacking animal is kept;

(2) An unprovoked act of aggression by an animal outside a secure enclosure which causes a person to reasonably believe the animal will attack and cause serious bodily injury to a human or to a Domestic Animal or Livestock:

(3) Certification by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine that an animal poses a danger to human life, animal life, or property based on a reasonable medical probability after observation.

Domestic Animal: Those Animals which are naturally tame and gentle or which, by long association with man, have become thoroughly domesticated and are now reduced to such a state of subjection to his will that they no longer possess the disposition or inclination to escape. This definition specifically includes household pets, such as dogs and cats and pigeon, rabbit, other bird or fowl not regulated or defined elsewhere, and miniature animals.

Kennel: Any place where five (5) or more Animals, not wild, livestock, or estray, over the age of four (4) months, are raised, trained, boarded, harbored or kept. A farm, ranch, horse lot private or commercial, private stable, veterinary clinic, animal hospital and an animal pound as defined in the Zoning Ordinance are specifically excluded from this definition.

Livestock: Any species or family of bovine, ox, cattle, swine, pig, horse, equine, tapir, elephant, deer, or antelope; other grass or plant-eating single or cloven-hooved mammals, (whether indigenous to this state or not): any species or family of emu, ostrich or any other animal (not listed in this ordinance as Domestic, Wild, or Barnyard Fowl) which may be raised for human consumption in the United States of America; and, any animal designated or defined by state law as an Estray when straying or at large.

Microchip: a passive electronic device that is injected into an animal by means of a hypodermic-type device. Each microchip must contain a unique and original number that is readable by an electronic scanning device for purposes of animal identification. The microchip shall be supplied with a tag that must be attached to the animal's collar to notify others of the presence of the microchip.

Miniature Animals: Those Animals, not wild or livestock, which when fully grown do not exceed eighteen (18) inches in height at shoulder level and weight no more than ninety (90) pounds are considered to be miniature.

Neutered: means any animal, male or female rendered incapable of breeding or being bred.

Owner: Any person who owns, keeps, harbors, controls (physically or by verbal or hand commands), feeds, shelters or aids any Animal; or any person who is the owner's agent left in charge of an Animal or any person who states that he will be responsible for an Animal.

Restrain: Any Animal shall be deemed to be restrained when it is:

(1) Confined on the Premises of the Owner within a fenced enclosure, capable of confining the Animal;

(2) Fastened or picketed by a lead, rope or chain so as to keep the Animal on the Premises;

(3) Under the control of a person by a leash;

(4) Within a vehicle being driven or parked;

(5) On the premises of the owner or keeper and is obedient to and under control of oral command.

Serious bodily injury means an injury characterized by severe bite wounds or severe ripping and tearing of muscle that would cause a reasonably prudent person or animal owner to seek treatment from a medical professional or veterinarian and would require hospitalization or clinic treatment without regard to whether the person actually sought medical treatment or veterinarian services.

Sterilized: See, Neutered.

Wild Animal: Those Animals of a wild nature or disposition so as to require to be reclaimed and made tame by art, industry or education, or else must be kept in confinement to be brought within the immediate control of the owner. Without limiting the general definition just stated, this term specifically includes poisonous reptiles, a wolf hybrid, or any non-Domestic animal whose normal body weight at maturity is typically fifteen (15) pounds or more.

(Code 1960, § 4-1; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5929, § 1, 10-15-91; Ord. No. 5990, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002; Ord. No. 6971, §§ 2, 3, 7-25-2006; Ord. No. 7017, § 1, 1-23-2007; Ord. No. 7020, § 1, 2-6-2007)

Cross reference— Definitions to apply throughout Code, § 1-2-1.

Sec. 8-2-2. - Reserved.permanent link to this piece of content

Editor's note—

Ord. No. 6859, § 1, adopted Oct. 18, 2005, repealed § 8-2-2, which pertained to interference with animal control department and derived from Code 1960, § 4-4; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, adopted Apr. 8, 1986; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, adopted Apr. 16, 2002.

Sec. 8-2-3. - Records.permanent link to this piece of content

It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Department to keep, or cause to be kept, accurate and detailed records of the following:

(1) Impounding and disposition. Impoundment and disposition of all Animals coming into its custody. Such records shall be kept for a period of at least three (3) years and shall give the description of all Animals impounded, date of impounding, date of sale or other disposition, the amount realized for such Animal and the name and address of the purchaser.

(2) Bite cases. All bite cases reported to it and its investigation of same.

(3) Monies received. All monies received under the provisions of this chapter. Such records shall be open to inspection at reasonable times by persons responsible for similar records of the City, and shall be audited by the City Auditor annually in the same manner as other City records are audited.

(Code 1960, § 4-5; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86)

Sec. 8-2-4. - Fees.permanent link to this piece of content

(a) Impoundment fees. Any Animal impounded under the provisions of this chapter may be reclaimed by the owner or person taking custody of such Animal upon complying with section 8-2-54 of this chapter and payment of the following fees based upon Owner impoundment records within a two-year period:

(1) Impoundment of any Animal [except (2) and (3) below]:

a. First impoundment .....$50.00 intact;
$20.00 spayed/neutered.

(This fee only shall be refunded upon satisfactory proof that the violating animal is spayed/neutered and im planted with microchip within thirty (30) days after being reclaimed. Refund has no affect on any citation issued for violation.)

b. Second impoundment .....$80.00 intact;

c. Third impoundment and thereafter .....$120.00 intact;

(2) Impoundment of livestock: Double the fees listed in (1), per head.

(3) Daily care fees (excluding first day of impoundment): $5.00 per day.

(b) Humane society adoption fees. For adoption of any Animal pursuant to section 8-2-55(a)(3) the society shall pay to the City the monthly fees required by contract with the City for this service.

(c) Other fees:

(1) Rabies or erysipelas
vaccination fee, pursuant
to section 8-2-8 (veterinarian receipt) .....$15.00

(2) Registration of Dangerous Animal .....100.00

(3) Bite Animal, impoundment
and observation, 10 days .....$200.00 intact;
$100.00 spayed/neutered

(4) Dead Animal pickups, veterinary clinics:

a. Per first two (2) bags .....5.00

b. Each additional bag .....2.50

(5) Pathological examination .....50.00

(6) Euthanasia:

a. Cats .....10.00

b. Dogs .....10.00

11-25 lbs .....15.00

26-50 lbs .....20.00

51 lbs and up .....25.00

(7) Small animal trap, deposit
(refundable upon timely return) .....$30.00

(d) Computation of boarding day: For fee charge computation purposes, each boarding day shall begin at 12:01 p.m. The daily fee rate shall be applicable when an Animal is kept for any portion of a day.

(Code 1960, §§ 4-30—4-32; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5675, § 1, 4-14-87; Ord. No. 5794, § 1, 3-21-89; Ord. No. 5990, § 2, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 6142, § 1, 3-30-95; Ord. No. 6406, § 1, 3-23-99; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002; Ord. No. 6971, § 4, 7-25-2006; Ord. No. 7124, § 3, 9-23-2008; Ord. No. 7295, § 4, 9-20-2011)

Sec. 8-2-5. - Nuisance animals.permanent link to this piece of content

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to own or maintain an Animal in such a manner as to constitute a public nuisance. The following acts shall constitute a public nuisance:

(1) Failure to restrain an Animal, except and unless the Animal is under control and obedience to oral command while in the course of: A. duties or training as a working or service animal; training for obedience trials; field trials, agility, dog shows, tracking work, or search and rescue work or training; or, B. performing in an organized exhibition or training event that is held in a public venue or business; or, C. in a designated "leash-free" area of a park.

Cross reference— Penalty exception, § 1-1-5(d).

(2) Damage to property caused by an Animal.

(3) Maintaining a Domestic Animal or Livestock in an unsanitary environment which shall include but not be limited to the failure to remove urine and feces daily from the confinement area to minimize the breeding of flies and rodents (Ord. No. 5929, § 2, 10-15-91);

(4) Permitting an Animal to bark, whine, howl, crow, cackle or make any other noise which causes annoyance or interference with the reasonable use and enjoyment of a Premises;

Cross reference— Penalty exception, § 1-1-5(d).

(5) Herding of Animals along or upon any Public Right-of-way, except by any officer, agent or employee of the federal, State or local government or agency thereof, if such herding is done in the performance of his official duties;

(6) The maintenance of a Kennel in violation of Chapter 4-10.

(b) It shall be a nuisance and unlawful for any person to keep swine within the limits of the City, except for the keeping of swine under direct supervision by and upon the premises of public and private schools, fairs, or livestock shows and with the exception of Miniature pigs, in which case no more than two (2) Miniature pigs (no litters) may be kept as pets in any one (1) household. Miniature pigs shall be spayed or neutered on or before the age of three (3) months. No adult male Miniature pig may be kept under this provision unless his tusks have been surgically removed.

(c) All Domestic Animals authorized to be kept shall be confined to the Premises of the Owner or custodian of such Domestic Animal, and it shall be unlawful for any person to allow such Domestic Animal to run or fly at large, or go upon the Premises of another person, or to allow any shelter or cage for any animal to be located in violation of applicable Building Setback Lines, as set forth in the Zoning Ordinance. No Domestic Animal, other than a dog or cat, shall be kept within a Front Yard in a one-family or two-family Dwelling District as these terms are defined in the Zoning Ordinance.

(d) It shall be a nuisance and unlawful for the Owner or custodian of any Animal which has been killed or died, and which is not intended as food for human consumption, to permit or suffer any such dead Animal to remain upon any Premises.

(e) It shall be a nuisance and unlawful to keep any Livestock within the city limits unless such Animal is kept in a horse lot lot (private or commercial), or other use as authorized in the Zoning Ordinance. For purposes of this subsection, the term "livestock" shall include horses, donkeys, mules, goats, sheep and other Animals of the ox kind or bovine species.

(f) It shall be unlawful to keep Barnyard Fowl within the city limits, except: at a location zoned for Industrial, Agricultural, or Heavy Commercial use; or, up to four (4) Barnyard Fowl per quarter-acre may be kept at a location otherwise zoned provided that the location is not less than one-quarter acre in size.

(Code 1960, § 4-2; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5990, § 3, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002; Ord. No. 6971, § 5, 7-25-2006; Ord. No. 7017, § 2, 1-23-2007; Ord. No. 7020, § 2, 2-6-2007)

Sec. 8-2-6. - Inhumane treatment.permanent link to this piece of content

It is unlawful and a violation of this article to cruelly treat an animal, as defined in Texas Penal Code § 42.09. Upon discovering or being notified by any person that an Animal is or may be cruelly treated as prescribed by Texas Penal Code § 42.09, or successor statute, an Animal Control Officer shall investigate such charges. If probable cause is found for an allegation of cruelty to an animal, then the Animal Control Officer may issue a citation for violation of this ordinance, or refer the matter to the county attorney for prosecution in county court, or seize the animal pursuant to Texas Health and Safety Code chapter 821, or a combination of these. The Animal Control Officer shall follow Texas Health and Safety Code chapter 821 or successor statute, as it relates to hearings, seizure and disposition of such allegedly cruelly treated Animal. The remedies for inhumane or cruel treatment of animals under this ordinance. Texas Penal Code § 42.09, or Texas Health and Safety Code chapter 821, are cumulative and the use of one does not preclude use of another in a given case.

(Code 1960, § 4-3; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 6406, § 1, 3-23-99; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002)

Sec. 8-2-7. - Striking animal with vehicle; setting traps; artificially coloring animals.permanent link to this piece of content

(a) Any person who, as the operator of a motor vehicle, strikes a Domestic Animal or Livestock shall immediately report such injury or death to the Animal's Owner. If the Owner is unavailable, then such report shall be made to either the animal control department, Amarillo police, or county sheriff. It is an offense to fail to immediately make the report required of this subsection. In a prosecution of an offense under this section, it is presumed that the registered owner of the motor vehicle that is the subject of the prosecution is the person who was driving the vehicle at the time and place the offense occurred.

(b) No person shall expose an open trap or metal jaw trap that shall be liable to injure any Domestic Animal or person.

(c) No person shall dye, color or otherwise artificially color any rabbit, baby chick, duckling or Domestic Animal, or offer for sale any such dyed, colored or otherwise artificially colored Domestic Animal.

(Code 1960, § 4-6; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002)

Sec. 8-2-8. - Vaccination.permanent link to this piece of content

No person shall own, keep or harbor a dog, cat, or Miniature pig (over the age of (3) months), within the City limits unless the dog or cat shall have been vaccinated with antirabies vaccine and the Miniature pig shall have been vaccinated for erysipelas, by a licensed veterinarian. Miniature pigs shall be so vaccinated, at one-year intervals, from the initial date of first vaccination. As a minimum, dogs and cats shall be so vaccinated at the ages and intervals specified by regulations, as amended, of the Texas Department of Health or its successor agency.

(Code 1960, § 4-7; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5990, § 4, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 6406, § 1, 3-23-99; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002; Ord. No. 6667, § 1, 8-11-2003)

Cross reference— Penalty exception, § 1-1-5(d).

Sec. 8-2-9. - Vaccination tag.permanent link to this piece of content

Upon complying with the vaccination provisions of this chapter, there shall be issued to the Owner a numbered metallic tag stamped with the number and expiration year. Dogs and cats shall at all times wear the rabies vaccination tag issued to that animal. The Owner or person in possession of a Miniature pig may not keep such Animal within the City of Amarillo without being able to provide proof of vaccination required by this chapter.

(Code 1960, § 4-8; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5990, § 5, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002; Ord. No. 6667, § 2, 8-11-2003)

Cross reference— Penalty exception, § 1-1-5(d).

Sec. 8-2-10. - Dangerous animals.permanent link to this piece of content

(a) As a public safety requirement. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor any Dangerous Animal within the corporate limits of the City of Amarillo without complying with all requirements of the Texas Health and Safety Code, § 822.042, as amended, whether the Dangerous Animal be a dog or of another species. In addition, the owner must comply with each of the following local requirements, at the owner's expense, before the animal is released from the animal control facility:

(1) Obtain liability insurance coverage or showing financial responsibility in an amount of at least two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) to cover damages resulting from an attack by the Dangerous Animal causing bodily injury to a person or for damages to any person's property resulting from the keeping of such Dangerous Animal. A certificate of insurance or other evidence of meeting the above requirements shall be filed with the Animal Control Department. The policy must require the company to give advance notice to the City of cancellation or non-renewal of the policy;

(2) Register with the City of Amarillo by providing the name and address of the owner; the breed, age, sex, color and any other identifying marks of the animal; the location where the animal is to be kept if it is not at the address of the owner; and two (2) color photographs that clearly identify the Dangerous Animal;

(3) Have the animal sterilized;

(4) Construct a cage, pen or enclosure for the Dangerous Animal that has secure sides; a secure top attached to the sides; and a secure bottom which is either attached to the sides or else the sides of the structure must be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet. The pen or enclosure must be completely encircled by a fence constructed in such a manner as to prevent a person or child from being able to reach the animal's pen or enclosure;

(5) Not allow the animal to go outside of its cage, pen or enclosure unless the animal is under physical restraint. No person shall permit a Dangerous Animal to be kept outside of its cage, pen or enclosure on a chain, rope or other type of leash unless a person is in physical control of the chain, rope or leash and the person is of competent strength to control the animal at all times. Dangerous Animals shall not be leashed to inanimate objects, such as trees, posts, buildings, etc. All Dangerous Animals outside their cage, pen or enclosure must be securely fitted with a muzzle that will not cause injury to the animal nor interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent the animal from biting other animals or human beings;

(6) Post signs giving notice of a Dangerous Animal on the premises in which such animal is confined. Such signs shall be conspicuously posted at both the front and rear property entrances and shall bear letters not less than two (2) inches high, stating "DANGEROUS ANIMAL ON PREMISES." Such signs shall also display a symbol, that is understandable by small children, that warns of the presence of a Dangerous Animal;

(7) Attach a fluorescent orange tag provided by the Animal Control Department to the animal's collar that is worn at all times so that the animal can be easily identified;

(8) Implant a microchip into the animal which is compatible with scanning equipment used by the Animal Control Department, and register it for life with the City's Animal Control Department and a recognized national animal registry;

(9) Pay the appropriate Dangerous Animal permit fee annually, not later than five (5) business days prior to the annual expiration renewal date; and,

(10) Pay the impoundment and daily care fees accrued during the investigation and any appeal of the Dangerous Animal determination process; and,

(11) Present proof of current vaccination or pay the fee for vaccination.

In the event the owner or keeper fails or refuses to timely comply with these requirements in accordance with state law, then the Animal Control officers shall humanely destroy the Dangerous Animal.

(b) Complaint. When a person reports a dangerous animal to the animal control authorities, the authorities shall investigate the report and notify the owner of the report. The animal control authority shall obtain a sworn written statement from at least one witness, describing at a minimum: the animal, the facts of the complaint, identity of any other known witnesses, and other information necessary or helpful to the investigation.

(c) Investigation. The Animal Control Authority or designee animal control officer shall conclude the investigation no longer than ten (10) days after receipt of the report or sworn statement, which ever occurs later. Upon completion of investigation the animal control authorities shall either:

(1) Close the case if it is determined that the report or complaint is unsubstantiated; or

(2) Declare the animal to be a Dangerous Animal.

(d) Seizure pending disposition. Upon sworn application of the animal control authorities or a peace officer stating probable cause that the animal is dangerous and there is some reason to believe that the animal may endanger other persons or animals before the investigation and any hearings or appeals can be completed, then a municipal court judge may issue a warrant authorizing the animal control authorities or peace officer to: (i) retain the animal if it has been captured at large or, (ii) enter a building, dwelling, other structure or enclosure to seize the animal and detain same, until disposition of the investigation and any hearing and appeal.

(e) Notice. The Animal Control Authority or designee shall promptly notify the owner or keeper of the animal of his or her determination on the dangerousness of the animal, by a written notice mailed to or posted on the front door of the last known address of the owner or keeper or other means reasonably calculated to give actual notice of the determination to the owner.

(f) Appeal.

(1) The owner or keeper may appeal the Dangerous Animal determination by filing a written notice of appeal to Municipal Court within fifteen (15) days after the determination, for a trial de novo. The consequences of the determination shall be suspended pending the Municipal Court Judge's final decision, but the Animal Control Authority shall retain the custody and care of the animal until all appeals are exhausted. An owner may appeal a decision of the municipal court to the county court at law, in accordance with Chapter 30 of the Texas Government Code, as amended. Following a final judicial determination that the animal is dangerous, each day the owner fails to comply with Sec. 8-2-10(a), shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter.

(2) The Municipal Court Judge may compel the attendance of complainant, any known witnesses, the animal owner against whom the complaint was filed, and the Director of Animal Control Authority or his representative who investigated. The City shall be represented by the City Attorney or an assistant in all appeals of a Dangerous Animal determination.

(Code 1960, § 4-9(a); Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5794, § 2, 3-21-89; Ord. No. 5929, § 1, 10-15-91; Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002; Ord. No. 6971, § 6, 7-25-2006)

Sec. 8-2-11. - Female dogs and cats in heat.permanent link to this piece of content

It shall be unlawful for any Owner of any female dog or cat in heat to fail to keep such Animal confined in a Building or in a veterinary hospital or boarding kennel, in such a manner that another dog or cat cannot come into contact with it except for controlled breeding purposes.

(Code 1960, § 4-9(b); Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 6406, § 1, 3-23-99)

Cross reference— Penalty exception, § 1-1-5(d).

Sec. 8-2-12. - Humane society to operate at animal shelter.permanent link to this piece of content

The Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society is authorized to operate an animal adoption program in conjunction with the animal control department's animal shelter in accordance with State law.

(Code 1960, § 4-10; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5929, § 3, 10-15-91)

Sec. 8-2-13. - Guard dogs.permanent link to this piece of content

(a) The term "guard dog" shall mean any dog trained or used to protect persons, Premises or property by attacking or threatening to attack any person found within the area patrolled by the dog and that is either securely enclosed within the area at all times or under the continuous control of a trained handler. It shall be unlawful for any person to place or maintain guard dogs in any area for the protection of person or property unless the following provisions are met:

(1) The dogs shall be confined to an enclosed area adequate to ensure they will not escape.

(2) They shall be under the absolute control of a handler at all times when not securely enclosed.

(3) The owner or other persons in control of a Premises upon which a guard dog is maintained shall post a warning sign at each entrance to the area under guard with lettering clearly visible from a distance of fifty (50) feet, and shall additionally, in the case of the nonresidential or multifamily land uses, contain a telephone number where some person responsible for controlling such guard dog can be reached twenty-four (24) hours a day.

(4) Prior to the placing of guard dogs on any nonresidential or multifamily property, the persons responsible for the placing shall inform the Animal Control Department in writing of their intention to post such dogs, the number of dogs to be posted, the location where dogs will be posted, and the approximate length of time the dogs will be guarding the area.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "nonresidential or multifamily use" shall mean the placing of guard dogs on any nonresidential or multifamily property, whether the dogs are owned by the property owner, tenant or other person with right of possession or control of the property, or whether the dogs are owned by another.

(Code 1960, § 4-11; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86)

Sec. 8-2-14. - Penalty for violation.permanent link to this piece of content

It is an offense to violate any provision or requirement of this chapter by failing, refusing, or neglecting to perform or comply with any restriction, obligation, or duty imposed by this chapter, punishable upon conviction pursuant to section 1-1-5 of this Code of Ordinances. This municipal criminal penalty is cumulative with and not exclusive of any civil action or penal charge available under state law or other remedies provided by law or equity.

(Ord. No. 6591, § 1, 4-16-2002)

Secs. 8-2-15—8-2-30. - Reserved.permanent link to this piece of content

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, trade, lease, rent, giveaway or otherwise market a live animal, fowl, reptile, pr fish to the general public without utilizing a Fixed Business Location, unless the person obtains a Transient Rental Business license in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 14-6, Article II, of this Code of Ordinances, as amended.

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 Amarillo 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 Amarillo 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 Amarillo or Potter County, TX, please contact one of the experienced Amarillo dog bite injury lawyers listed on this page.

What Should You Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog?

  1. 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.
  2. Immediately wash the wound out with soap and warm water.
  3. Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shots.
  4. Seek the help of a physician or visit a local hospital.
  5. Report the bite to the Amarillo Planning and Development Services Department (contact information below). 
  6. Seek the help of an Amarillo 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

Dog Bite Reporting:

If you would like to report an Amarillo area or Potter County dog bite or ask other questions pertaining to veterinary public health, do not hesitate to contact the Amarillo Planning and Development Services Department office at:

The Animal Control Shelter
3501 South Osage
Amarillo, TX 79103
(806) 378-9032

General inquiries:

For general information regarding Environmental Health programs and activities, please visit the Amarillo Planning and Development Services Department website.

If you would like to report a dog bite, in Amarillo, Potter County, or any of the surrounding communities listed below, please visit
  Amarillo Animal Services website for reporting rabies.

If you live within Amarillo city limits call:(806) 378-9032

Animal Training:

A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Amarillo SPCA.  The Amarillo SPCA may be reached at:

11901 South Coulter Street
Amarillo, TX 79119
(806) 622-0555

If you would like to report an instance of animal cruelty to the Amarillo  click here, and follow the recommended procedures.

Contact an Amarillo Dog Bite Lawyer if you have been attacked or bitten by a dog.

Contact one of the experienced Amarillo dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.

Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Amarillo and Surrounding Cities

Serving clients throughout the Texas Panhandle (Northern Texas), including Adrian, Ady, Amarillo, Bishop Hills, Bodemn, Borger, Bushland, Canadian River Breaks, Canyon, Channing, Chunky, Clarendon, Claude, Cliffside, Dalhart, Dumas, Folsom, Fritch, Gentry, Gluck, Hartley, Hereford, Juilliard, Lake Tanglewood, Masterson, North Randall, Palisades, Pampa, Panhandle, Pleasant Valley, Pullman, Skellytown, Timbercreek Canyon, Washburn, White Deer, Yarnall and other communities in Potter County and Randall County.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Potter County dog bite lawyers listed on this page.