Animal Control Regulations
Any person owning, possessing or harboring, within the City or other area within the jurisdiction of the Animal Control department, any dog or 16 weeks of age or older, unless it has been vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the Big Spring Code of Ordinances and State Law. Dogs and cats must have a valid rabies vaccination tag on a collar or harness at all times.
No person shall own, possess or harbor any dog or 16 weeks of age or over without obtaining a license from the Animal Control Department for each animal. Animal license tags are not transferable from one animal to another and it shall be unlawful to alter a tag or issue one without a current rabies vaccination. A dog or cat required to be licensed that is found within the City or other applicable jurisdiction of the Animal Control department without a license tag shall be subject to impoundment by the Animal Control department
Running at Large
it is unlawful for the Custodian of any dog or cat to permit such dog or cat to run at large within the City. A dog or cat is considered at large if it is not within an enclosure adequate to contain the dog or cat upon or within property owned or leased by its Custodian or restrained by a leash or harness personally held by the Custodian of the dog or cat. Any and all animals at large are subject to impoundment. In addition to or in lieu of impounding an animal, the Animal Control Officer may issue to the known Custodian a citation which will constitute notice of violation.
The Animal Control department must microchip any dog or cat that has been impounded prior to releasing it in accordance with the Big Spring Code of Ordinances. An owner may voluntarily bring a dog or cat to the animal shelter to be microchipped upon paying the applicable fees.
It is unlawful for a Custodian of any dog or cat to restrain or anchor a dog or cat by means of a tether, chain, rope or cord, unless the tether or restraint is being personally held by a person. No dog or cat may be attached to any inanimate object.
Except for training/showing, transportation or sleeping purposes, each dog or cat must be provided with at least 100 square feet of space whether inside a residence or in an outside enclosure. The outside enclosure intended to confine a dog or cat shall be constructed of adequate material with all four sides enclosed and shall be of sufficient height to prevent the dog or cat from escaping. The dog or cat must have adequate shade and protection from the elements within the enclosure.
It is unlawful for any person, without the actual consent of the Custodian, to harbor, feed, keep in possession by confinement or otherwise have an animal which does not belong to them unless he has, within 48 hours, notified the Animal Control department. Upon receiving such notice, the Animal Control department may take the animal and deal with it as provided in Chapter 3, Article 7 of the Big Spring Code of Ordinances.
- It is unlawful for any Custodian of an animal to abandon that animal.
- Any Custodian of an unwanted animal, other than livestock or swine, may relinquish the animal to an Animal Control Officer or other authorized employee of the City and disposition will be in accordance with Chapter 3, Article 7 of the Big Spring Code of Ordinances. A person who places an animal in the drop off pens at the Animal Shelter relinquishes all rights to that animal.
- If the Animal Control department finds that an animal has been abandoned, the animal may be impounded. If the animal has been abandoned in a house or within a fenced area, the Animal Control department will make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or manager of the property. If the property owner isn't the animal's Custodian, the Animal Control department will secure permission to remove the animal. If the property owner is the Custodian of the animal and cannot be reached, the Animal Control department will secure an appropriate warrant to seize the animal.
- An animal seized pursuant to this section shall be impounded for a period of 120 hours. If the Custodian contacts the Animal Control department to reclaim the animal, an explanation for the animal's abandonment must be provided to the satisfaction of an Animal Control department supervisor before the animal is released to the Custodian and the release must also be in accordance with Chapter 3 Article 7 of the Big Spring Code of Ordinances. If the animal is unclaimed the disposition shall be as provided in Chapter 3 Article 7 of the Big Spring Code of Ordinances.
It is unlawful for any person to willfully poison, maim or disfigure any animal or cause any animal to be abused or cruelly treated as defined in Chapter 3 Section 1 of the Big Spring Code of Ordinances. Any person found in, on, or about the premises belonging to another and having in his possession, poison or any toxic substance capable of causing illness or death to any animal shall be presumed to have the intent to willfully poison an animal and it shall be prima facie evidence of the violation of this chapter.
Custodian Must Reside on Premises With Animals
Dogs and cats must reside on the property where the Custodian of the animal resides or operates a business to ensure that the animal is attended to on a regular basis. In the event a person violates this section, the Animal Control department may immediately issue a summons for such person to appear in municipal court 10 days to answer such charges. After such notice and hearing, the Animal Control department may seize and dispose of the animal. In the event the owner of the animal is unknown of after reasonable diligence the owner cannot be located, the Animal Control department may remove the animal and dispose of the animal.
Food, Water & Shelter
No custodian should fail to provide his/her animals, fowl or livestock with sufficient food and wholesome food and water, adequate shelter and protection from the weather, adequate space and humane care and treatment and reasonable veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering.