By Amy Snider, Animal Control Officer
Texas City does have a feral cat overpopulation due to excessive breeding. Since there is not a leash law on cats, cats are legally allowed to roam stray. What can be done? Trapped cats by citizens can legally be picked up by animal control as a public nuisance. Cats confined in traps or carriers are transported to the shelter by the officer and held for their stray hold. Just in case it’s your neighbor’s cat, they have the opportunity to claim their property. Please, do not allow your cat to be a public nuisance, and help control our population by sterilizing your personal pets. Research local spay/neuter and release programs, and become a positive influence on these animals. They are too just following their native instincts and trying to survive. If our community worked together, we could make a difference.
Texas City has an ordinance that states one residence may own up to four dogs. More than that….you’re over the limit. Multi-Dwelling residences may own two dogs per unit. Cats do not count as long as they are sterile. Neutered and spayed cats do not affect your head count. Violation of this ordinance can result in fines, and possible seizure of animals by our Animal Control Department.
Dogs bark to communicate with other dogs and with people. Unfortunately, barking can sometimes develop into a compulsive behavior. If neighbors can hear excessive barking, they may file a noise complaint against the violator, declaring him a public nuisance. Since the Animal Control Officer is not witnessing the dog bark in an excessive manner to personally be annoyed, we are not legally allowed to issue notice of violations in our behalf. Any notice of violations issued for this complaint must be in behalf of the witness, which means they have to prove the owner guilty in court. Animal Control has found that educating the dog owner is the most efficient method. Most barking dogs suffer from behavioral problems, which are easily corrected with proper training and exercise.
Texas wildlife is protected by state and federal laws. Animal Control cannot legally remove wildlife from its natural environment unless it is injured, sick, or trapped by a citizen. Animal Control Officers pick up a large amount of trapped wildlife in city limits. All healthy wildlife is released back into the wild. By contacting an animal control officer, you can receive direction and tips on living with our wildlife community. Wildlife is actually good for our city. It keeps the natural circle of life in harmony. Remember…. they were here first. And every animal has a purpose.
Any deceased animals in the city are picked up by Animal Control and properly disposed of. This is not just to keep our city maintained; it also is to keep our environment healthy and to prevent disease transfer. Animal Control does not pick up owned animals, though. That is the responsibility of the owner.
This is just covering the “main” descriptions of my career, and what Animal Control can assist our Texas City citizens with. We also assist with livestock, investigate cruelties on livestock, are involved in public relations, represent the department in court appearances, obtain civil warrants for our cases, perform large volume seizures, deal with exotic animals, file reports, maintain our daily stat logs, assist other agencies during natural disasters and city-wide emergencies, as well as much more. There is not a possible way for me to personally list everything that our job entails, for it can change any moment, depending on the day. But, briefly, this is what the Texas City Animal Control Unit is all about.
Please take care of your pets and love them unconditionally. Remember that they depend on you… There is a reason why they say a dog is man’s best friend.
Special thanks to every good pet owner, volunteers, our community, and the Texas City Police Department for all of the wonderful support.
About the author: Amy Snider has been an Animal Control Officer with the Texas City Police Department for almost ten years. She is a State Certified Animal Cruelty Investigator, a member with the Texas Animal Control Association, and holds numerous other certifications in her profile. Amy Snider is our Lead Animal Control Officer, and solely responsible for training new hires.
If you are in need of an Animal Control Officer to assist you in a matter, feel free to contact the Texas City Police Department at: 409-643-5720
Other Important Resources:
Lost Pets / Found Pets / City Registration
Galveston County Animal Resource Services
3412 Loop 197 North, Texas City, TX 77590, 409-948-2485
Animal Alliance , 1014 Bayou Rd,
La Marque, TX 77568, (409) 933-1600