Animal Laws

Need to report animal cruelty –> Report it to the DA’s office here!
If an animal or someone is in immediate danger, please contact 911.
Curious of animal laws in Harris County? Harris County Animal Regulations
ROADSIDE Selling of Live Animals (puppies, kittens, etc.) in unincorporated Harris County = ILLEGAL
  • The sale of live animals is illegal if it occurs on a public highway or road, in the right-of-way of a public highway or road, or in a parking lot (in incorporated Harris County)
  • To report Roadside Vendors selling live animals Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, call 281.999.3191 (closed 12pm-1pm, and Saturday & Sunday)
  • To report Roadside Vendors selling live animals when the above office is closed, call the Harris County Sheriffs Office non-emergency line, 713.221.6000 or the city police if you are in city limits

Animal abuse can be deliberate or from lack of knowledge or resources for caring for an animal. Neglect is not giving an animal the right food, water, shelter or vet care. Cruelty includes: torturing, seriously overworking, failure to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter, abandoning, transporting/confining an animal in a cruel manner, killing or intentionally injuring an animal, causing one animal to fight another or using a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing. Both cruelty & neglect are NOT okay. Animals cannot speak up for themselves so it’s up to us as humans to report animal abuse that is seen or suspected.


  • State Dogfighting Laws (via
  • To Report Dogfighting, if in progress call 911! Otherwise contact 1.877.TIP.HSUS or Crime Stoppers 713.222.TIPS :: Rewards Leading to the arrest & conviction of a dogfighter can be up to $5,000

LEASH YOUR DOGS Houston has a leash law and dogs cannot “run at large.” All dogs must be properly restrained, meaning they must be leashed or enclosed behind a gate or fence. Don’t let your dogs run loose in the street! If you do, bad things can happen like your dog bites someone; it gets hit by a car; it fights with other dogs and gets hurts or; Animal Control picks it up. If that happens, you only have a certain amount of time to retrieve it and you will have to pay a fine; if you’re too late, your pet will be put to sleep!(information borrowed from Barrio Dogs Community Handbook)

NO MORE CHAINS! In Texas, it’s illegal to chain your dog on a short chain, chain it overnight or chain it during extreme hot or cold weather. Chaining dogs is not only inhumane; it makes them more aggressive and likely to bite.  If you see a dog that is chained in violation of state law or to report animal cruelty or neglect, call the Harris County Sheriffs Office (or your city police department). Do NOT call 911. You can also call the Houston Humane Society 713.443.6421 ext. 391 (information borrowed from Barrio Dogs Community Handbook)