Our priority for the Field Services section of Animal Services is to help protect the community from animal threats such as aggressive stray dogs and animals that have bitten a person. We also take a strong stance against cruelty to animals and irresponsible owners who choose not to vaccinate their animals against rabies or provide adequate shelter, food, and water for animals.
If you are having a problem in your neighborhood or witness any violations:
Dogs Attacking Other Animals - or acting aggressively toward humans
Animal Owner Arrested - Animal left alone in vehicle or at home
Animals in Immediate Danger - tangled, tethered, emaciated, or injured
Sick & Injured Stray Animals - obvious wounds on a stray animal
Dead Animals in Streets - causing a traffic hazard
Stray or Loose Animals - non-life threatening or injured
Sick & Injured Owned Animals - owner must take animals to the vet
Dead Animals in Streets - not causing a traffic hazard
Sightings of Wild Animals - at night or in their natural habitat
Animals in a Trap - must be released at night or on weekends
Disposal of Animal Carcass - vet clinics needing disposal
Animal services may respond to these calls during regular business hours.
All animals picked up at large are taken to Abilene Animal Shelter at 925 South 25th Street.
Upon receiving a call for stray dogs at a residence, business, or simply in the area, an officer will be dispatched. Officers take calls in manner of priority, meaning sick, injured, and aggressive animal calls will be made first. Upon arriving at the location every attempt to locate and catch the dogs will be made.
The shelter has live and humane traps available to the public to assist in the capture of stray cats. By simply phoning the shelter you can request the use one of these traps.
All animals that are picked up at large are taken to the Abilene Animal Shelter at 925 South 25th Street, Abilene, Texas, 79602.
Ordinance states it shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep or be in control of any animal which causes unreasonably loud or unnecessary noise that causes material distress, or discomfort to persons, or persons of ordinary sensibilities in the immediate vicinity. An animal control officer will notify animal owners that a complaint has been made about their dogs, in the event a proper address can be provided. A citation may be issued.
In the State of Texas all dog and cat bites must be investigated by the Local Rabies Control Authority. Animal Services has been given that authority inside the City Limits of Abilene. If a dog or cat bites a person and the bite has broken the skin that animal must be quarantined for 10 days.
The owner can quarantine the animal at a veterinarian clinic in which they already have an established relationship with or the owner must quarantine the animal at Animal Services and pay all fees pertaining to the impoundment, housing, monitoring, and any vaccination fee. These fees are due even if the owner of the animal does not reclaim the animal after the quarantine period is over.
Animal Services does not euthanize dogs or cats that bite that have an owner; the owner has every right to come and reclaim their animal after the quarantine period is over.
The quarantine period does not exclude the biting animal from having the rabies virus. The quarantine period is to monitor to see if there are any signs or symptoms exhibited from the biting animal that may indicate that the rabies virus was present in the saliva of the animal when it bit the human.
Loose livestock on major streets is an emergency.
Please call Animal Services Dispatch at (325) 698-0085, or call (325) 673-8331 after hours for emergencies.
All reports of cruelty and neglect will be investigated immediately. An animal control officer will survey the area and condition of the animal and all attempts to contact the owner will be exhausted. If contact cannot be made with the owner any immediate care needed will administered. The Animal Control Superintendent will make the ultimate decision to file through the court system. Animal cruelty can be charged if necessary. All questions of abandonment will be investigated and handled with every power available to the division.
Animal Services has trained State Certified Cruelty investigators. We take animal cruelty very seriously in our community and will hold all responsible parties accountable when evidence can prove cruelty has taken place. Animal Services is the primary contact for the community when an animal is being cruelly treated; we conduct a thorough investigation into the accusation by collecting evidence and statements. We then partner with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Abilene Police Department when a case is ready to move forward to the District Attorney for prosecution. All three entities are critical in completing and investigation as is the complaining party fully cooperating so justice can be fought for the animal that has no voice.
There two basic levels of cruelty:
Acute Cruelty – the active beating, torture, mutilation, and disfigurement or emaciation of an animal. This is an emergency situation for the animal and must be reported immediately. There are different requirements that must be met for Livestock and Non-livestock under the Penal code for this to be a criminal offense.
Passive Cruelty – The lack of nutrition, water, shelter, and medical treatment of an animal. These case take longer to prove and more information from the witnesses to show a pattern of neglect. These types of case need to be reported as soon as possible to potentially correct the problem with education, a citation, or ultimately with criminal prosecution.
Identifying Animal Cruelty
Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
Open wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
Extreme thinness or emaciation – banes may be visible
Fur invested with fleas, ticks, or other parasites
Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
Pets are tied up outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals.
Animal Services will conduct welfare of animal check on the following:
Animals tangled in a tether or caught in fence
Animal locked in a car when outside temperature is over 85 Degrees Fahrenheit and the windows are rolled, engine of vehicle is off. Witness needs to give type of vehicle and license plate info as well as the row in which the vehicle is parked.
Suspected abandoned animals; ideally be called in by a landlord or family members of the previous tenants.
Animals that were observed dumped on the side of the road (Witness need to give type of vehicle and license plate info)
We need your help with these cases; without your willingness to write a statement of what you saw and who you saw do it, Animal Services may be unable to prevent this from happening to another animal.
All dead animals inside the city will be removed at the expense of the owner. Charges of $100.00 will be assessed for the removal of deceased livestock, payable before pickup.
What is a Dangerous Dog
The term Dangerous Dog is one that has been assigned to an animal that has been deemed dangerous under local and State codes. Health and Safety Code Chapter 822 deals with dogs that attack persons or are a danger to a person. Chapter 6 Animal and Fowl Ordinance for the City of Abilene has adopted Chapter 822 in its entirety and added serious bodily injury to a domestic animal to the Dangerous Dog qualifications.
The dog must be outside of its enclosure and stray
Commits unprovoked acts that cause bodily injury to a person or serious bodily injury to a domestic animal
Commits acts that make a person reasonably believe the dog could attack and cause bodily injury
If you see a Dangerous Dog
Any person can write a statement for Animal Services to initiate an investigation. The suspect animal or animals may be impounded at the shelter during this time. The statement must contain the following:
Where the dog lives
When the dog did the acts
Who the victims were
How the incident took place
Any other circumstances that would assist the investigation
If the dog is impounded, Animal Services will meet by committee to discuss the investigation case 10 business days after the initial report. A decision will be made and the owner of the suspect dog will be notified. Any decision is appealable to the City of Abilene Municipal Court within fifteen (15) days of Animal Services decision.
If your dog is deemed Dangerous
You will have to do the following to reclaim your animal and for the remainder of the life of the animal:
Build a secure enclosure
Secure Liability Insurance for damages by the dog of $100,000.00
Register the dog annually with Animal Services
Muzzle the animal and under control of a person over 18yrs old when out of enclosure
Other regulations as seen fit by Animal Services and the City of Abilene
Animal Services is primarily concerned with High Risk Rabies carriers inside the City Limits of Abilene; we provide a trapping program for those animals. Abilene is home to several other wildlife animals such and snakes, birds, and furbearing mammals. Our goal is to live side by side with these wildlife animals in our community.
Animal Control will make every attempt to control the wildlife population within the city limits, using methods available to us such as live traps. Sick and/or injured animals are a high priority and will be handled as quickly as possible. Livestock is permitted in various areas of the city keeping in accordance with zoning ordinances.
How to Avoid Wildlife Problems:
Avoid feeding wild animals, including birds. Birdseed attracts rats and other rodents, a known food source for predators like coyotes.
Feed your pet indoors at all times. Dog and cat food left outdoors attracts a variety of wild animals, from skunks to coyotes. Feeding your pet outdoors may also make them vulnerable to wildlife attacks.
Secure your trash and trash cans. Don’t place trash outside overnight or the day before pickup. Keep your garbage in your garage or in a secure trash can until the morning of pickup.
Pick up any fruits or vegetables at ground level; various wild animals enjoy these types of food
Keep your pets inside and under your control at all times. An animal allowed to roam off-leash, even in your front yard, presents an easy meal for a predator.
Spay or neuter your pet. Coyotes are attracted by the scent of female dogs in heat, just as unsterilized male dogs may be lured by female coyote scents.
Clean your property to remove overgrowth and underbrush. This helps eliminate nesting or denning sites for wildlife.
Add lighting to your backyard. Wild animals tend to avoid well-lit areas at night.
Avoid using mothballs and ammonia as a deterrent. In many cases, the scents are so close to animal urine that they attract animals. Also avoid using coyote urine to deter other animals.