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City of Ennis Department of Health Services
The City of Ennis Department of Health Services Animal Services Program is dedicated to being a great provider of animal care and control services in our community. Our professional staff responds to more than 2,500 calls for service and impounds nearly 1,000 animals each year. The Department is dedicated to managing our domestic and wild animal population in a manner that provides a safe and healthy environment for both animals and people. This division of the Health Department provides services to residents of the City of Ennis. View Some of the Specific Laws Relating to Animals in Texas.
The types of services the Department of Health Services Animal Services Program provides includes:
- Capture and relocate wild animals
- Provide animal traps to residents of Ennis upon request
- Investigate livestock issues which may include cattle, sheep, goats, domesticated fowl etc.
- Enforcement of State laws and City Ordinances relating to animals
- Provide public education and awareness
- Provide general citywide patrol for animal issues and enforcement
- Investigation of animal bites, scratches, aggressive animals or animal attacks, animal quarantine
- Impound stray animals and receive unwanted animals surrendered by residents of Ennis only (NOTE: residents will be required to complete an owner surrender form)
- Provide animal shelter for stray or unwanted animals through an agreement with the Ellis County SPCA
- Provide aid to sick or injured animals
- Remove deceased animals from public or private property
- Investigate nuisance animal complaints ie. barking dogs or other animal noises, unsanitary conditions caused by animals
- Animal cruelty investigations, ie. animal fights; fighting paraphernalia., safety and welfare of animals etc.
- After hours services in the event of an emergency situation.
Animal at Large
Dogs are prohibited from running at large per City ordinance. When a dog is located outside of a fence or enclosure it must be restrained via a leash or a proper tether. This does not apply to cats as they are permitted to run at large, however cats are prohibited from becoming a nuisance animal to other animals, people or property.
We provide a loaner humane live trap to resident of Ennis at no cost. These traps are primarily used for traping nuisance wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, opossums or even cats that have become a nuisnace animal. Residents of Ennis are also free to use their own live traps if preferred. Steel jaw traps may not be used to capture wildlife, cats, dogs etc. You may request a loaner live trap from the Department of Health Services Animal Services Program located at 500 Lake Bardwell Road, TX 75119. Citizens using a city owned live trap will be responsible for replacing the trap if lost, stolen or damaged while in your possession.
Texas State law requires that all animal bites or scratches be reported to the local rabies control authority. Bites or scratches that break the skin will require the animal involved to be quarantined at a licensed quarantine facility for 10 days from the date and time of the bite. In most case, animals are quarantined at the Ellis County SPCA. This quarantine process is used to observe the animal for any clinical signs of rabies. Please keep in mind that if an animal is quarantined it is not an implication that the animal has rabies, but the quarantine is required by law. Rabies can be fatal to humans and animals, making this our highest priority in order to protect public health and safety.
Animal Services will work with residents to help resolve most animal related concerns. Issues such as barking dogs, excessive animals, owner surrender of unwanted animals, unsanitary conditions caused by animals and stray or unwanted animals can be addressed by contacting the Department of Health Service by Phone at: 972-875-1234 M-F 8a.m. to 5p.m. or by Email. For service after hours you may contact the Police Department at 972-875-4462. For emergency issues such as an aggressive or injured animal, animal bite or scratch that has broken the skin you may dial 911.
Our Animal Services mission: Is to provide quality service to residents of the City of Ennis, while promoting safe neighborhoods, responsible pet ownership, pet adoptions and preserving native wildlife.
The Departments Animal Control Officers (ACO’s) are dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and educating owners about responsible pet ownership. The Department's ACO’s reinforce these ideals every day by providing daily care of the animals they capture, assisting citizens who come to see us as well as out in the community. We respond to daily calls regarding animal welfare and other animal related concerns. The Animal Services Program concentrates its efforts on reducing nuisances and dangers associated with stray animals, health related hazards of animals, and insuring proper care of pets. These efforts focus on educating the public, training of personnel, patrolling the City, and responding to issues of concerned citizens.
To report violations, for specific information about related concerns or violations, or information on how to acquire an information brochure, M-F 8a.m. - 5p.m. please call (972) 875-1234 or Email.
For after hour animal violatons contact the Ennis Police Department at 972-875-4462.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I call if my animal is missing or was impounded? You may contact the City of Ennis Department of Health Services by dialing 972-875-1234 between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday thru Friday or visit us in person. We are located at 500 Lake Bardwell Dr. Ennis, TX 75119. You may also contact the Ellis County SPCA by dialing 972-935-0756. The Ellis County SPCA is located at 2570 FM 878 Waxahachie, TX 75165 and their hours of operation are Tuesday thru Sunday 11am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4pm. Please be ready to give a detailed description of your animal that includes the color, sex, size or any other distinguishing features.
What is the cost to reclaim my animal from the Ellis County SPCA? Please contact the Ellis County SPCA by dialing 972-935-0756 for more information regarding animal redemption fees.
Can my dog run at large? No, it is unlawful to allow your dog to run at large. All dogs must be leashed and kept under control when not properly contained by a fence. It is also unsafe for the dog as it could get hit by a car, become lost or stolen, or get in a fight with another dog. Violators may receive a notice, written warning or citation.
Can my cat run at large? There are no leash laws regarding cats in Ennis. They are allowed to roam, but be aware they may face dangers if allowed to run free. A cat may come in contact with indigenous wildlife such as a coyote, get hit by a car, be poisoned either intentionally or unintentionally, become trapped in a live trap, or be exposed to harmful diseases such as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency, or rabies. Cats can also come in contact with known carriers of rabies, such as a skunk and may be exposed to rabies by a bite, scratch or even nose to nose contact. The life expectancy of an indoor cat is three times that of an outdoor cat.
Report an Animal Disease: What to Report? List of Zoonotic Diseases
1. Being bitten or scratch by an animal
2. Animals confirmed or suspected of having rabies
3. Outbreaks where many animals become ill around the same time and location
4. Animals and humans sick with the same sympotoms in the same general area
5. Animal diseases that are unusual or are not native to the area
6. Any disease in this list: Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) notifiable conditions
Should my dog be registered with the city? No. Dogs in the City of Ennis are not required to be registered with the city; however, dogs and cats are required to be vaccinated annually for rabies by the time they are 3 months of age by a licensed veterinarian. This is required by Texas State Law and City Ordinance. The vaccination may be good for one or three years and you must present a current rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian if requested by an Animal Control Officer. Note: A rabies tag is not valid proof that your dog or cat has been vaccinated for rabies.
Is there a limit on the number of dogs I can have? Yes. In the City of Ennis by City Ordnance you may have up to 4 dogs. If you wish to have more than 4 dogs you must apply with the Department for a multiple dog ownership permit. There may not be any violations pertaining to noise, cleanliness, animals at large, operating a business, etc. There is an annual permit fee of $10.00 for this permit. There is no multiple ownership permit for cats, however each cat must be vaccinted for rabies annually and may not become a nuisnace animal to other people.
Are chickens allowed within the city limits Ennis? You may have chickens in an enclosure; however, if your property is zoned for residential use then they are not allowed within at least 100 feet from any inhabited dwelling and the enclosed area must be kept under sanitary conditions. Chickens are also not allowed to run at large, become a nuisnace or create a noise disturbance.
Are horses allowed within the city limits of Ennis? You may have enclosed lovestock; however, if your property is zoned for residential use they are not allowed within at least 250 feet from any inhabited dwelling and the area where the livestock are kept must be maintained in a sanitary condition. All livestock are prohibited from running at large, becoming a nuisnance or create a noise disturbance.
What is livestock? Animals such as horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys, emu, ostrich and mules are all examples of livestock.