Unless the context demonstrates a different application, for the purposes of these Regulations the following words have the following meaning:
Animal: Non-human, warm-blooded and cold-blooded living creatures.
Animal Control Officer: The person or persons employed by HCPH VPH to enforce these Regulations.
Animal Shelter: A facility that keeps or legally impounds stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals and complies with the standards and requirements of animal shelters prescribed in chapters 823 and 826 of the Texas Health & Safety Code.
Attack: Acts by an animal that cause a person bodily injury.
Bite: Any abrasion, scratch, puncture, tear or piercing of the skin that causes bleeding and is caused by or suspected of being caused by an animal.
Cat: Any live domestic cat (Felis catus)
Commissioners Court: The Commissioners Court of Harris County, Texas;
County: Harris County, Texas;
(1) An animal that satisfies the following criteria:
a. has been vaccinated for rabies with and according to the label recommendations of a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved vaccine
b. has been vaccinated for rabies within the last 12 months or has received 2 rabies vaccinations with the latter of the 2 rabies vaccinations having been administered using a vaccine with a 3-year duration of immunity
c. at least 30 days have elapsed since the initial vaccination
d. the time elapsed since the most recent vaccination has not exceeded the label recommendations of the vaccine
(2) If a previously vaccinated animal is overdue for a booster, once revaccinated, the animal will be considered currently vaccinated
Currently Vaccinated-ST: An animal that is “currently vaccinated” as the term is defined in 25 T.A.C.
§169.22, i.e., an animal that is vaccinated and satisfying the following criteria: (A) The animal must have been vaccinated against rabies according to the label recommendations of a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved vaccine; (B) At least 30 days have elapsed since the initial vaccination; and (C) The time elapsed since the most recent vaccination has not exceeded the label recommendations of the vaccine.
Custodian: A person or agency which feeds, shelters, harbors, has possession or control, or has the responsibility to control an animal, including, but not limited to, the owner of the animal.
Dangerous Dog: A dog that
(1) makes an unprovoked attack on a person 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; or
(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.
Designated Caretaker: Harris County Veterinary Public Health, a division of Harris County Public Health, shall be the designated caretaker of animals in the custody of or housed in a facility of Harris County Veterinary Public Health.
Dog: Any live domestic dog (Canis familiaris) including hybrids.
Enclosure: A cage, crate, pen, corral, case, aquarium, building, or other place used solely for the primary housing of an animal or for the transportation of an animal.
Exposed to rabies: Any dog or cat or other animal (whether it has been licensed or vaccinated for rabies or not) which has been bitten, has fought with or has consorted with an animal known or suspected to have rabies or showing objective symptoms of rabies.
HCPH VPH: The Veterinary Public Health Division of the Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services department, its employees and agents.
Humanely euthanize: To cause the death of an animal by a method which rapidly produces unconsciousness and death without visible evidence of pain or distress or utilizes anesthesia produced by an agent which causes painless loss of consciousness and death following such loss of consciousness.
Impound: The apprehending, catching, trapping, netting, tranquilizing, confining or, if necessary, the destruction of any animal by an animal control officer.
Impounding facility: Any premises approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services and designated by Harris County for the purpose of impounding or caring for all animals found in violation of these Regulations including, but not limited to, the animal shelter operated by HCPH VPH.
License: A document issued by HCPH VPH, Annually, Triennially, or for the Lifetime of the dog or cat, in compliance with Section 5
of these Regulations.
License tag: A numbered tag worn on the collar of a dog or cat which identifies that a license was issued for the animal by HCPH VPH.
Licensed: In regard to a dog or cat means licensed by HCPH VPH as required by Section 5
of these Regulations.
Local Health Department: The agents and officers (including the Local Health Authority and Local Rabies Authority) of the Harris County Public Health as the duly appointed agency to enforce these Regulations.
Non-transferable: Cannot be transferred from one owner to another, from one animal to another, nor from one location to another.
Owner: Any person that harbors, shelters, keeps, controls, manages, possesses or has part interest in any dog or cat. It is a rebuttable presumption that the occupant of any premises on which a dog or cat remains for a period of seven (7) days or to which it customarily returns daily for a period of seven
(7) days is harboring, sheltering or keeping the aforementioned dog or cat, within this definition. If a minor owns a dog or cat or other animal subject to the provisions of these Regulations, his or her parent, or guardian is deemed the custodian of such dog or cat or other animal.
Person: Includes an individual, corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity.
Restraint: The control of a dog or cat under the following circumstances:
(1) When it is controlled by a line or leash not more than six (6) feet in length, if the line or leash is held by a human being who is capable of controlling or governing the dog or cat in question; or
(2) When it is within a fully enclosed vehicle; or
(3) When it is on the premises of the custodian and the animal does not have access to a sidewalk or street.
Secure Enclosure: A fenced area or a structure that is locked; is capable of preventing the entry of the general public; is capable of preventing the escape or release of the animal confined therein; and is marked as containing a dangerous dog or a dangerous or restricted animal as required by these Regulations.
State: The State of Texas.
Stray: Any animal not under restraint as defined by these Regulations. The display of a vaccination tag or license tag does not change the fact that the dog or cat is a stray for the purposes of these Regulations.
Unincorporated Harris County: That portion of Harris County that is not within the incorporated boundaries of a municipality, town, or village.
Unprovoked: With respect to an attack by a dog means that the dog was not hit, kicked, or struck by a person with any object or part of a person's body nor was any part of the dog's body pulled, pinched, or squeezed by a person.
Vaccinated: Properly injected by a licensed veterinarian with a rabies vaccine licensed for use in that species by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Vaccination Certificate: A document bearing the signature or signature stamp and license number of a licensed veterinarian and the following information: the rabies tag number; the name, size, color, sex, species, age and breed of a dog or cat; the name, phone number and address of the owner; the date of the rabies vaccination and the expiration date, serial number, producer and vaccine used.