Animal Protection serves the community by defending threatened animals from abuse or neglect, working closely with law enforcement to contain or help aggressive animals, assisting other agencies with wildlife such as coyotes or bats and ensuring that City ordinances related to animal welfare are followed.

Austin Animal Protection Officers


Dangerous & Vicious Dogs

Animal Protection handles dangerous and vicious dogs in Travis County. Call 9-1-1 if a dog seems dangerous and is threatening. View the Dangerous and Vicious Dogs page to find up-to-date dangerous dogs lists.

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 instead. Travis County citizens of the unincorporated areas should call 512-974-2000 for all animal protection and control issues.

All animal bites must be reported to Animal Protection. If medical attention has been received after a bite, download an Animal Bite Report and fax it to (512) 978-0617.

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 will be placed in quarantine and observed by a veterinarian.

Animals that are currently vaccinated and that were restrained at the time the bite occurred qualify for home observation.


Animal Cruelty

In the event of suspected animal cruelty call 3-1-1 (or 9-1-1 if the animal is in immediate danger) to report the suspected cruelty. Animal cruelty investigations are handled by Austin Police Department. 

Animal Cruelty & Neglect in Austin Infographic


Interaction with wildlife has become more common as Austin and Travis County expands, so please follow these guidelines. You can also check out this guide for Wildlife You May Encounter Walking Your Dog.


Animal Protection enforces City of Austin ordinances, including tethering and sales of animals.

Fencing and Dog House Program

To assist citizens and dogs using a tether as a primary means of restraint, Animal Protection has a fencing assistance program. We will accept fencing donations and offer them to citizens who need to correct their tethering violations.

Need help with fencing or a doghouse? Forms can be completed online:

For questions, contact the Resource Officer at (512) 978-0519 for more information.


View Animal Protection's 6 minute video on Anti-tethering.

<iframe title="Animal Protection: Austin Anti-Tethering" width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>