Local Area Dog Laws

Laws relating to animals can not only vary between states, but also from county to county. LOVE-A-BULL has compiled what we believe to be the most comprehensive, important and helpful information on dog laws as they relate to Austin and the surrounding areas. Please visit the link sites referenced in the table for more in depth detail about each topic. Specific questions about dog laws should be directed to your local animal control office, if you cannot find the answers on the sites provided in the table.

Questions Travis County Williamson County Hays County Bastrop County Caldwell County (Lockhart) Burnet County
What are the vaccination requirements? (3 year rabies or 1 year rabies?) Vaccinate all dogs against rabies at 4 months of age, and then re- vaccinate each year, or receive a 3 year vaccine. (8) Rabies must be current. (1) Animal must wear proof of vaccine when not on owner’s property. (2) Vaccinate all dogs 4 months or older and vaccine kept up to date. (7) Rabies must be current. Good for 3 years (4) pg.3 Any dog 3 months or older must have a rabies vaccine and keep it up to date. (10) Vaccination is required for all animals 4 months of age or older. Vaccinations are to be kept current on an annual schedule. (12)
Licensing/ Registration requirements for dogs or does rabies constitute licensing? Registration not required. Rabies is considered proof for the purposes of registering your dog with the county. (1) All animals over 3 months should be licensed. Must wear a collar at all times with both the licensing tag and rabies vaccine tag. (7) Animal must be registered in City of Bastrop. Dogs must wear a collar containing proof of registration and rabies (5) All dogs over 4 months must be licensed by the City of Lockhart. Licensing requires proof of up to date rabies vaccination. (10) Not required. Strongly recommended that an identification tag be placed on or with the rabies vaccination tag. (12)
What are the Tethering laws? Prohibited in Austin, TX. (9) Austin, TX. (9)
Dogs must be contained on personal property either by fencing or by a chain. (1)
May be tethered on personal property by chain or leash, but not within 10 ft. of any public right-of- way. (7) Chaining or tethering of dogs is prohibited unless the owner remains in visual proximity of the animal at all times. (5) A dog may be tethered on personal property for no longer than 24 hours. However, specifications on exactly what is permitted in regards to tethering such as time of day, type of material for tethering, inclement weather, etc. can be found on the referenced website. (11) Owner may not control a dog with a chain or tether attached to a tree, stake or other stationary object for 8 or more hours w/in a 24 hour period, unless the chain or tether is at least 10’ in length with swivels at both ends attached to a pulley or trolley-mounted cable no more than 7’ above ground level and trolley- mounted cable is at least 25’ in length (12)
Who do I contact if I suspect abuse, neglect or abandonment? http://www.austi ntexas.gov/depart ment/animal- cruelty-unit Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, (512) 943- 1389 ACO: M-F (512) 805-2655; Weekends: San Marcos Police Department at (512) 753-2108 Animal Services Office at (512) 332-8600, or simply call 911 if the animal is in immediate danger. Animal Control: (512) 376- 3336; mgweatherford@lockhart-tx.org Animal Control Officer at (512) 756-6404
What are the leash laws? A leash of a length that will
allow for direct control of the dog by the handler in control of the dog (8) (9)
Williamson County and all its cities require dogs to be under their owner’s control at all times. This means they must be on a leash or confined to their owner’s property. (2) An animal shall be restrained and accompanied by a responsible person who is able to control it with a leash. (7) Dog must be kept leashed at all times while not confined to person’s property. (5) Dog’s must be either on a leash or held in the hands of the owner or keeper, or under audible control of the owner within the limits of the owner’s private property. (11) If not on owner property, owner must maintain a reasonable amount of control over dog at all times. (12)

(3) http://www.wilco.org/Portals/0/Departments/Sheriff/Animal_Control.pdf
(5) http://www.cityofbastrop.org/default.aspx?name=police.animal_services
(7) http://www.co.hays.tx.us/Data/Sites/1/media/pdf/departments/sheriff/animal-control-ordinance-05212015.pdf
(8) https://www.tcsheriff.org/images/docs/about/tcleash.pdf
(9) http://austintexas.gov/department/animal-protection-ordinances
(10) http://www.lockhart-tx.org/web98/citydepartments/animalservicesb.asp
(11) https://www.municode.com/library/tx/lockhart/codes/code_of_ordinances
(12) http://www.burnetcountytexas.org/users/0005/Ordinances/Animal%20Control.PDF