Field Animal Control
Field Animal Control will respond to calls for service within the jurisdictions of Bayou Vista, Hitchcock, Kemah, La Marque, Tiki Island and the unincorporated areas of Galveston County. Services provided:
- Dispatch calls for service to certified animal control officers
- Calls for service are responded to based upon the level of the priority
- Investigate animal bites on humans and other animals and assure the proper quarantine of these animals
- Investigate civil animal cruelty (improper shelter, no food, no water, etc.)
- Assist in court ordered seizures
- File civil complaints in the courts of jurisdiction
- Investigate, document and brief animal services manager on potential dangerous dog declarations
The City of Texas City maintains its own animal control dispatch. It can be reached at (409) 643-5720.
A person who knows of an animal bite that caused an abrasion, scratch, puncture, tear, or piercing of the skin that causes bleeding or scratch to an individual shall report the incident or animal to the local rabies control authority, in which the animal is located, or in which the exposure occurs. Animals required to be confined shall be quarantined at the Galveston County Animal Resource Center, a veterinary clinic or a state approved quarantine facility. The quarantine period shall be at least ten (10) days or 240 hours from time of bite. If the Health Authority or designee determines that a quarantined animal does not show the clinical signs of rabies, the Health Authority or designee shall release the animal to its owner when the quarantine period ends if the owner has a valid rabies vaccination certificate or the animal is vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's expense. County registration is also required to be completed at time of release.
Please promptly report animal bites to the ARC by calling (409) 948-2485.
Every owner shall exercise proper care and control of his or her animal by keeping the animal restrained and not allowing the animal to become a stray. Every stray animal is a public nuisance. Field animal control receives and responds to animal public nuisances that involve dogs and cats. Local municipalities and/or the county’s sheriff office handle livestock that are public nuisances. Field animal control personnel respond to some but not all wildlife nuisances and may request assistance from other governmental agencies and/or a certified wildlife rehabilitation. An animal that is a public nuisance is defined as:
- Any animal that turns over garbage containers or scatters garbage or which otherwise damages private or public property
- Any dog, livestock or fowl at large or free-roaming off of private property owned or controlled by the owner of said dog, livestock or fowl
- Any animal which barks, whines, howls or makes other sounds or noises in an excessive, continuous or untimely fashion
- Any building, room, cage, kennel, yard, run or any other place or facility where animals are kept or harbored which is not maintained in a clean and sanitary condition so as to prevent obnoxious odors, the attraction, breeding or potential breeding of flies, the attraction, harboring or breeding of rodents or potential breeding of rodents or the creation of any other public health nuisances
If you would like to report a public nuisance involving an animal, please call (409) 948-2485.
If an Injured Animal is a Stray
Call (409) 948-2485 to make a report to field animal control. Injured animals impounded by the field animal control officer will be assessed by management and the staff veterinary technician. The ARC does not have a veterinarian on staff and is unable to provide medical care.
If the Injured Animal Has an Owner
Animal owners are responsible for taking the animal to a veterinarian. Galveston County Animal Services cannot provide veterinary care for owned animals.
The owner of each domestic dog or cat shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies by four months of age as required in Chapter 169 of the Texas Administrative Code Rule 169.29. The animal must receive a booster within the twelve-month interval following initial vaccination. Every domestic dog or cat must be re-vaccinated against rabies at a minimum of at least once every three years with a rabies vaccine licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The vaccine must be administered by a state licensed vet and according to label recommendations. Official rabies vaccination certificates shall be issued by the vaccinating veterinarian.
ARC animal control officers enforce the animal services policy. Regulations you should be aware of:
- Restraint, Impoundment and Disposition of Dogs and Cats (Health District Policy: Section 7)
- Anti-tethering Law (Health District Policy: Section 7, Subsection F)
- Reporting of Rabies Suspects (Health District Policy: Section 8)
- Number of Dogs and Cats Limited (Health District Policy: Section 9)
- Cruelty to Animals and Dog Fighting (Health District Policy: Section 10)
- Dangerous Dogs (Health District Policy: Section 12)
- Releasing or Abandonment of Animals (Health District: Section 18)
Animal cruelty is a serious crime and can be prosecuted. In many cases animal cruelty investigations require law enforcement assistance. Someone may commit animal cruelty if they:
- Torture an animal;
- Fail unreasonably to provide necessary food, care, or shelter
- Abandon unreasonably an animal in the person's custody
- Transport or confine an animal in a cruel manner
- Kill, seriously injure, or administer poison to an animal
- Cause one animal to fight with another
Animal Control Officers Provide
- The initial investigation into the claims of animal cruelty
- Assess the health and welfare of the animal
- Inform the owner of the suspected cruelty
- Advise the owner of proper care and management of animals
- Provide for the necessary enforcement when applicable
If an animal must be seized as part of cruelty investigation, the animal control officer assists law enforcement in the removal of animals during a law enforcement directed seizure, assists in the transportation of the animals to a licensed veterinarian for an evaluation of the animal’s health and welfare, and upon request, house and provide care for all animals obtained during a seizure.