The Texas Health and Safety Code defines a dangerous dog, what happens if a dangerous dog attacks, and the requirements to continue to own the dog in Chapter 822. While some people might believe that a dangerous dog is a certain breed of dog, that is not the case. The THSC defines a dangerous dog as a dog that:
— Attacks someone when unprovoked and causes bodily injury. The attack can occur outside of where the dog was kept and where it was reasonably certain that the dog wouldn’t get out; or
— Someone believes that the dog will attack and cause a person bodily injury in places outside where the dog was kept and where it was reasonably certain that the dog wouldn’t get out.
If a dog owner learns that his or her dog is a dangerous dog, there are many things that must be done within 30 days. Some of these requirements include:
— Register the dog with and pay a fee of $50 to the area’s local Animal Control Authority.
— The dog must be restrained at all times.
— Have $100,000 liability insurance or show financial responsibility of that amount in case of an attack that causes bodily injury.
— Show proof that the dog has a current rabies vaccine.
— Let the Animal Control Authority know if the dog is moved to a new address or is sold. This must be done within 14 days.
This is only a partial list of the requirements necessary to own a dog that has been declared dangerous.
If you or someone you love have been attacked and suffered a dog bite, you or your loved one may be able to seek compensation from the owner or the owner’s home insurance.
Source: Austin/Travis County Animal Services/Animal Protection Care and Control, “Dangerous Dog Information Sheet,” accessed Jan. 08, 2016