Animal Bite Procedures

Texas Health & Safety Code requires that every animal involved in a human bite or scratch be examined by a licensed veterinarian and quarantined for a period of ten (10) days from the date of the bite or scratch.

Chapter 4-4 of the Alamo Heights City Ordinances states that any person owning or in charge of the animal that may have bitten, scratched, or clawed a person will be responsible for boarding the animal with a licensed veterinarian for the quarantine period of ten (10) days. At the discretion of the chief of police, any dog or cat subject to the requirements of this section may be confined for the required period of time by the owner or keeper of such dog or cat under the supervision and direction of the chief of police or a licensed veterinarian, provided that the permission hereby granted may be revoked by the chief of police, in which event the dog or cat shall be immediately transferred to a licensed veterinarian. If permitted to be confined by the owner, a licensed veterinarian shall be required to inspect such animal a minimum of two (2) times during the ten-day period, at the expense of the owner or keeper of the animal. The police may inspect the dog or cat at any time. If at any time the dog/cat is not confined by the owner or the person in charge the police will impound the animal for observation. If, at the expiration of ten (10) days, the health of the dog or cat is satisfactory, the dog or cat may be released upon the payment by the owner of all expenses incurred by such confinement and compliance with all provisions of this chapter.

Section 4-4 in the Alamo Heights City Code also requires that the animal be seen by a licensed veterinarian at the end of the ten (10) day quarantine period. If the involved animal is current on its rabies vaccination at the time the bite/scratch occurred the veterinarian may recommend a home quarantine on condition that the animal be examined at the beginning and end of the quarantine period.

In order to be in compliance with the Chapter 826 of the Texas Health & Safety Code and Chapter 4 of the Alamo Heights Code of Ordinances, please provide or cause to be provided by your veterinarian the following documents and/or verifications.

  • Proof of current rabies vaccination;
  • Confirmation of the post bite/scratch initial examination from a licensed veterinarian and recommendation for home quarantine from a licensed veterinarian.
  • Confirmation of post bite/scratch quarantine from a licensed veterinarian; or
  • Post quarantine examination report from a licensed veterinarian.

The requested documents shall be delivered to the Alamo Heights Police Department administrative office in person or faxed to the attention of Police Chief Rick Pruitt at 210.822.7111. Please take immediate steps to comply with post bite/scratch requirements. Failure to comply may result in the impoundment of the involved animal in the contract facility of the City of Alamo Heights.

All examinations, vaccinations and quarantine costs are the responsibility of the animal owner.

All questions concerning post bite/scratch procedure may be directed to Police Chief Rick Pruitt at 822.3321.