Animal Ordinance, as approved by Wichita Falls City Council on November 5, 2019
Animal Services is responsible for enforcing the City's Animal Ordinances within the City limits of Wichita Falls. Patrolling neighborhoods and responding to calls from concerned citizens as well as animals dropped off at the Animal Services Center. Animal Services manages an average of 350 animals every month.
In order to give us more tools and time to better serve our pet guests and community, Animal Services will observe a delayed opening of 1 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month for all-staff training.
Animal Services Center
Located at 1207 Hatton Road, the Animal Services Center opened its doors in January 2011. This state-of-the-art facility has 36 dog runs, 18 cat cages, a cat isolation room, an exotic animal room, a livestock pen, and State licensed dog and cat quarantine areas. This allows for a variety of animals to be housed while their owners are being sought.
Animals brought to the Animal Services Center by Animal Control Officers or citizens are immediately photographed and posted on the Center's 24Pet Connect page. This allows citizens with missing animals to check online to see if their animal was brought to Animal Services. This website is updated continuously as animals come in and leave the shelter.
Animal Control Officers (ACOs) patrol the streets of Wichita Falls five days a week. They also respond to calls from concerned citizens regarding loose animals, neglect and abuse complaints, and dead animals, as well as perform inspections for permitted businesses and animals such as groomers, pet stores, livestock, fowl, breeders, and performing animal shows.
All animals brought to the Animal Services Center are photographed and listed on the Center's 24Pet Connect page. During normal business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday, the ACO hotline, 940-761-7824, is answered by a dispatcher.
After 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday, and on weekends and holidays, ACOs respond to emergency calls only. To reach the on-call ACO after hours, follow the Animal Control Hotline instructions: 940-761-7824.
EMERGENCY CALLS- We will respond to
Injured Animal – Life-threatening injury- unowned animals running at large (regardless of species). Please note that owned animals on the owners' property are the owner's responsibility. Owners shall seek care from a licensed veterinarian if their animals have a life-threatening injury. Examples of Life-threatening:
- Not breathing, or shortness of breath/unable to move any distance
- Bleeding out.
Note: I advise citizens not to interact with any cats/dogs/skunks/animal that is outside.
Bite/Scratch that breaks the skin only.
Aggressive Animals Examples of Aggressive:
- Lunging and snapping at citizens
- chasing with the intent to cause harm or actively going after a citizen trying to bite them.
- Looks mean
- Pitbull- scary-looking dogs
- Pack of dogs running around together, barking at people
Wildlife in the home
Note: Venomous snakes only that are inside the home.
- The garage is not considered inside of the home.
- The porch is not considered inside the home.
- The shed is not considered inside of the home.
- Only the livable area of the home. We will not go into attics, under the house, or crawl spaces. The animal must be accessible to the officer.
NON-EMERGENCY CALLS- We will NOT respond to after hours
- Loose Pit-bulls (They are treated like any other dog).
- Barking dogs
- Loose cats
- Cats hissing at someone (if you leave the cat alone, it will not bother you)
- Any loose wildlife- sick or injured, we do not respond (except rabies carriers that are out during daylight hours acting in abnormal behavior. I.e., circling, neurological.) Top five rabies carriers: Skunk, Raccoons, Foxes, Bats, Coyotes
- Any loose animal (except livestock)
- Non-venomous Snakes (outside/on the porch/under the house-not inside of the living area of the home) Note: Non-venomous Snakes inside the home we will not go out on- A pest control company will remove them.
- Deceased Animals
Deceased Animals Continued:
- Dead animals on the streets and is not a traffic hazard.
- Small deceased animals do not pose a traffic hazard.
- Dead’s on side streets
- Dead animals in streets late/early hour or during a time of light or no traffic.
9. Birds- regardless of what their injury is. There is a bird rescue you may try and contact if needed. Baby birds falling out of a nest is not an emergency.
10. Owned/Unowned sick or injured animals (not life-threatening).
Examples of non-life-threatening injuries/sickness:
- A dog/cat that is throwing up
- Limping animal
- Looks tired/lethargic, lying down and breathing normally (resting, asleep).
- Foaming at the mouth
- Missing hair
- Needs food, water, shelter, or vet care
The on-call ACO screens all incoming calls to determine which calls fit into the definition of an emergency. Calls that are not considered an emergency will be responded to as able or during the next business day.
Animal Services Advisory Committee
The Animal Shelter Advisory Committee acts in an advisory capacity and assists the City in complying with the terms of Chapter 823 & 826 of the TEXAS HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE; and in establishing procedures applicable to the City’s animal control program. The committee is composed of five (5) members as follows: one city official, designated as the Local Rabies Control Authority of Wichita Falls (LRCA), one veterinarian; one person whose duties include the daily operation of an animal shelter; one animal welfare organization representative; and one citizen representing the general public. The Committee meets at least three times a year. All terms expire on December 31.
Policy for Open Meeting Animal Shelter Advisory Committee (ASAC) public comments may be found by clicking the ASAC link in the left sidebar.