The people of Dallas and Plano love their four-legged furry friends. According to the City of Dallas, there are more than 600,000 dogs and cats in Dallas alone. But when you own a dog or cat, you have a big responsibility as a pet owner. You’re not only required to care for your pet and provide it with necessary veterinary care, but you’re also supposed to follow all applicable city codes and laws.
If you’re a pet owner in Dallas, here’s what you NEED to know:
- You are required to register all dogs and cats annually if you live in Dallas. When dogs and cats are registered, it keeps them healthy. Registering your pet requires proof of a current rabies vaccination certificate.
- Your dog has to be confined at all times. This means he or she has to be in a fenced yard, enclosed in a structure or pen, or on a hand-held leash if they are in your custody. Dogs cannot roam freely.
- A dog can only be tethered for up to three hours in a 24-hour period.
- You can keep your dog outside, but you have to have an area that’s at least 150-square feet if your dog is six months or older. You also need to provide your dog access to a building, shelter, or doghouse that protects them from the elements.
- You are not required to microchip your pet, but it is highly recommended.
When Dogs Roam Freely
As mentioned in #2 above, dogs are supposed to be confined at all times; they cannot roam freely in a neighborhood, at a park (unless it’s a designated dog park), or anywhere else on public property. If you have a dog and it’s out and about and not on a leash and it attacks or bites someone, you could be legally liable for any damages your dog caused. In other words, the person your dog injured could sue you in civil court.
“What if my dog attacks another animal?” you might ask. According to the City of Dallas, “The City does not have an ordinance pertaining to animal-on-animal attacks. If you know the owner of the dog, you may need to seek legal action in civil court. If the dog was unrestrained, that is a violation of city ordinance, and can be reported.”