The City-County Health Unit Animal Shelter serves the residents of Kingsville and Kleberg County with information about city ordinances and state laws concerning animal control as well as information to keep your animals safe and healthy.
On these pages you will find information about animal control laws, animal control ordinances & state laws, animal control ordinances & county orders and placing emergency calls.
Animal Control City Ordinances
A list of city ordinances is available by clicking the Code of Ordinances link. All laws and ordinances pertaining to animals in the City of Kingsville are located in Article 3, Section 9 of the document.
Texas Health and Safety Codes: Animal Rules Regulations and Laws
The complete list of laws pertaining to health and safety codes regarding animals can be obtained by clicking the following link:
City of Kingsville Animal Laws
All dogs and cats must be confined to their owner’s property within a fence or closure at all times except when on a leash. A cat must remain within the boundaries of its owner’s property. When a dog is being walked or with its owner off its property, the dog must be on a leash and accompanied by the owner at all times. If the dog is without a leash or not accompanied by the owner, it is considered unrestrained and is in violation of the Kingsville City Ordinance. Animal Control Officers have the legal authority to enter unenclosed yards of private property to impound unrestrained animals.
Animal Trap Rental
Stray cats and opossums are nuisances and are often difficult to catch and require a trap. Citizens that need a trap to catch the cats or opossums may rent a trap for a deposit of $25.00 and $10.00 fee for a period of two weeks. The $25.00 deposit will be mailed in two weeks by Kleberg County Treasure after trap is returned to the animal control. When neighborhood pets are accidentally trapped their owners may still claim them. It is the trapper’s responsibility to trap ‘humanely,’ providing food, water and shelter. If you are interested in renting a trap please contact Animal Control at 361-592-3324.
License & Rabies Vaccinations
All dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age, received a booster 12 months after that and then be vaccinated every year by a licensed veterinarian. Animals must wear rabies tags on their collar at all times when outside. State, County, and City require rabies vaccinations once a year. Other vaccinations are highly recommended. Contact your veterinarian for more information.
Any animal that bites and scratches a human must be reported to the Animal Control Division. The citizen should seek medical assistant and report the incident immediately. State law requires that the animal be quarantined for a 10-day observation. This requirement is regardless of the animal’s vaccination status. After regular working hours or weekends, report an animal bite incident by contacting the Kingsville Police Department at 592-4311 or Kleberg County Sheriff’s Department at 595-8500.
Abandoned or Cruelly Animals
Animal control officers’ work in conjunction with the Kingsville Police Department and the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Department to investigate any complaint reported to our office on any cruelly treated animal. It is unlawful to abandon or cruelly treat an animal within the State of Texas.
A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
- Tortures or seriously overworks and animal
- Fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in his custody.
- Abandons unreasonably an animal in his custody
- Transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner
- Kills, injuries or administers poison to an animal, belonging to another without legal authority or the owner’s effective consent
- Causes one animal to fight with another
- Uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing
Barking dogs are very frustrating to the citizens. Once a complaint is placed to our office, we will notify the owner of the dog. However, it is important to note that as the complainant you will be expected to file a case against the owner if it goes beyond the initial notification. This situation cannot be handled as an anonymous call. The complainant must give their name, address, and telephone number in order for the department to send a notification. The City-County Health cannot be the complainant.
An owner is any person who owns, keeps, shelters, maintains, feeds, harbors or has temporary or permanent custody of a domestic or prohibited animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by the person who has control of those premises. An animal shall be deemed to be owned by a person who harbored it, fed it or sheltered it for three or more consecutive days.
Number of dogs and cats per residence
No residence within the Kingsville city limits shall house more than a combined total of 4 animals over the age of 4 months. If more than 4 animals are kept, those additional animals must be sterilized by a licensed veterinarian and a permit shall be acquired. All animals shall be vaccinated for rabies and shall be under proper veterinary care for all necessary vaccinations.
Dangerous Dog in the City of Kingsville is defined as:
(1) Makes an unprovoked attack on a person or other animal that causes bodily injury and occurs in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own.
(2) Commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
No person shall discharge, deposit or allow animal waste to accumulate on private or public property in the City of Kingsville.
In addition to providing care for animals, officers also serve the community by ensuring the safety of residents from dangerous or unhealthy animals. You may contact the Kingsville Police Department within the city limits or Kleberg County Sheriff’s Department for any emergency situation. The following situations are considered emergency calls after regular working hours:
- Animals suspected of rabies
- Stray injured animals
- Animal bite cases
- Traffic hazards
- Vicious Animals
Emergency calls may be directed to the following numbers:
Kingsville Police Department
Kleberg County Sheriff’s Department
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Please note that any wild animals that pose a danger to the community should always be referred to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Reports of livestock that is estray should be directed toward the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Department.