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Animal Services

Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty is a criminal offense. You can file a report with TCSO by calling 512-974-0845, Option 3.  

We investigate animal cruelty cases in violation of Penal Code: 42.09 and sub chapters. Penal Code 42.09 covers cruelty to livestock, attacks on assistance animals and cruelty to non-livestock animals. 

Investigations cover animal abusers, abusive animal breeders and animal hoarders who fail to take care of their pets. 

TCSO only investigates cases of animal cruelty. We do not investigate dangerous animals, animals at large, nuisance animals or animal bites. The City of Austin's Animal Protection is the agency responsible for handling those reports.

Animal Protection

Travis County has contracted the City of Austin's Animal Protection to address incidents such as dangerous animals, animals at large, nuisance animals or animal bites - all of which are county code violations.

Animal Bites

Call 9-1-1 if a person has been attacked, bitten or scratched by a domestic or wild animal and they need emergency care; if emergency care is not required, call 3-1-1 to speak with Animal Protection instead. 

All animal bites must be reported to Animal Protection. If medical attention has been received after a bite, download the Animal Bite Report Form and Bite Affidavit and email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Owners of dogs involved in bite cases must provide a current rabies vaccination certificate to Animal Protection. If the animal is not currently vaccinated or if the vaccination status is unknown, the animal must be placed in quarantine and observed by a veterinarian. Animals that are currently vaccinated and were restrained at the time the bite occurred may qualify for home observation.

Dangerous & Vicious Dogs

Call 9-1-1 if you are actively witnessing a dog attack.

If a dog is unrestrained or has left its owners property, has attacked/caused injury or is threatening and a person reasonably believes the dog will attack/cause injury, call 3-1-1 to file a report with Animal Protection.  Animal Protection is the agency responsible for investigating dangerous dogs.

If you suspect a dog is dangerous or if a dog kills or severely injures a pet or person, you can seek a "dangerous dog" or "vicious dog" designation, you must submit a signed BIte Affidavit to Animal Protection at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You can view a list of City of Austin and Travis County Registered Dangerous Dogs (updated July 2023) here.

Travis COunty Code

Restraint of Dogs

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