Recent multiple Aggressive Dog Incidences that occurred recently has rendered outdoor life within Emerald Valley, Emerald Park and adjoining community unsafe for a community of approximately 300 – 400 homes. To summarize, we had –
• Dog bites to multiple residents
• Attack by these aggressive dogs
• Chased by some of these dogs
As residents of Emerald Valley, we fall under the City and the State of Texas. Consequently, Irving City Ordinance and the State Statutes are applicable to us. The Statutes and Ordinances are very clear about –
• Injuries from animals including dogs
• Aggressive behavior of Dogs
• Leash regulations
• Barking and hauling noise by dogs and pets
After researching both these documents, I compiled a list of applicable laws (Statutes and Ordinances). All Pet behavior is governed by these rules and regulations. I have called these out separately citing relevant laws and classified this into three categories –
1. Aggressive Dog Complaint – What is required and Why
2. How were the incidences handled? What to ask the City?
3. Filing Community Petition and Future/Existing Owners – What we need to know
Please visit link to understand your rights as a residents and your responsibilities as owners on http://wp.me/p7XEWW-u0.
Aggressive Dog Complaint – What is required and Why?
Below are guidelines for the ‘Affected Residents’ to write the Dangerous Dog Complaint:
Evidence that animals are at large City Ordinance Sec 6-2: Pictures of Fence that are not adequately built and the animals are unrestrained within the yard.
- Location (public right-of-way): Did this occur at the owners premise or in public place with right of way?
- Unrestraint: Was the dog on leash? Or unrestrained?
- Owner: Was the dog accompanied by the owner
- Time is important (because of State of Texas Statute 821.077): Texas State Statute talks about a time of attack. Any attack after 10.00 PM – 6.00 AM are reviewed in the light of prevailing circumstances
- Unprovoked attack: The attack by these animals should occur unprovoked for the victim.
In addition, those affected can also provide a vivid description of the events before, during and after the attack. Their helplessness and emotion state (eg. shock)
How were the incidences handled by the City? What to ask (Your right)?
Below are the questions that those affected or those threatened (by future recurrence) to ask to the City. Was citation or violation issued for –
- Animals without leash
- Animals biting and or attacking residents
- Animals not vaccinated
- Was the owner aware that the dogs are aggressive? Please ask the intent of keeping the dogs, rather than a direct question on aggressive behavior of the dogs. In my personal knowledge, the owner had once admitted that he kept these aggressive dogs with the intent of protecting him, they are trained to attack.
- Are these dogs with permit? The owners have multiple dogs; does he have the permit for multiple dogs? Sec 6-9
Information for Community Petition and Future/Existing Owners
Below are selected Ordinances or State Statutes referring to anima/dog bites that everyone including the non-owners should know
- Noise/Barking: Pursuant to Sec 6-9, dogs making noise/barking etc. that disturbs the peace of surrounding neighborhood. Pursuant to Sec 6-9 (d) City ordinance, we request the dog permit be revoked for all those dogs whose owners are identified.
- Breeding: Were these dogs breeding? If so, was the owner having a permit to breed? (Pursuant to Sec 6-8).
- Biting: Severe bite wounds or severe ripping and tearing of muscle that would cause a reasonably prudent person to seek treatment from a medical professional and would require hospitalization without regard to whether the person actually sought medical treatment.
- Animals running at large ( 6-2.):
- It is unlawful for the owner or harborer of an animal to fail to prevent it from running at large within the city.
- It is unlawful for the owner or harborer of any animal to fail to provide any animal with an enclosure or system of restraint secure enough to prevent the animal from running at large.
- Evidence that an animal is at large establishes a presumption that its owner or harborer knowingly failed to prevent any animal from being at large.
- Evidence that an animal is at large establishes a presumption that its owner or harborer knowingly failed to provide it with an enclosure or system of restraint secure enough to prevent it from being at large.
- Destroy an animal which poses an imminent danger to a person or property or a real or apparent immediate necessity exists for destruction of the animal ( 6-1.1.F 1). 822.002 a (1) Seizure of a Dog Causing Death of or Serious Bodily Injury to A Person. On the sworn complaint of any person, including the county attorney, the city attorney, or a peace officer, that the dog has caused the death of or serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person; and
- Outcome of Complaint: 003 e. Hearing The court may order the dog destroyed if the court finds that the dog caused serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person.The court may order the dog destroyed if the court finds that the dog caused serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person. If that finding is not made, the court shall order the dog released to:
(1) its owner;
(2) the person from whom the dog was seized; or
(3) any other person authorized to take possession of the dog.
- Attack by Dog: 822.005 a (2) Attack by Dog – fails to secure the dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person that occurs at a location other than the owner’s real property or in or on the owner’s motor vehicle or boat and that causes serious bodily injury, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, or death to the other person.
- Attack by Dog -822.005 a (2) knows the dog is a dangerous dog by learning in a manner described by Section 822.042(g) that the person is the owner of a dangerous dog, and the dangerous dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person that occurs at a location other than a secure enclosure in which the dog is restrained in accordance with Subchapter D and that causes serious bodily injury, as defined by Section 822.001, or death to the other person.
- Serious Bodily Injury Requiring Medical Care: 002. Seizure of a Dog Causing Death of or Serious Bodily Injury to A Person:
(1) on the sworn complaint of any person, including the county attorney, the city attorney, or a peace officer, that the dog has caused the death of or serious bodily injury to a person by attacking, biting, or mauling the person; and
(2) on a showing of probable cause to believe that the dog caused the death of or serious bodily injury to the person as stated in the complaint.
Rules, both State of Texas and City of Irving City Ordinance. are clear on what are the owner’s responsibilities, as well as the expected behavior of pets owned by residents. Let us follow these rules and if those are overlooked, let us request the attention of the city to enforce these rules.