Skip to main content

Animal Law

A guide to resources available online and in the library on the law surrounding pets and service animals, wild animals, wild game, and livestock.

Research from Home

If you have a library account in good standing, you can check out an OverDrive e-book title or access our remote databases. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below is an e-book title that may help you with your research on animal law.

Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem [PDF]. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at library@sll.texas.gov.

Important:

The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

About This Guide

This guide provides resources both online and in print on the state law surrounding pets, such as rabies requirements and sterilization. Please check your city for additional provisions such as ordinances on leashes. This guide also addresses laws for strays, dangerous dogs, animal shelters, breeders, and service animals.

Texas Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas Health and Safety Code that govern laws on pets and other domestic animals (other than livestock and service animals). If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to view the "plain English" resources on this page or speak to an attorney.

Texas Agency Regulations

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

Puppy Lemon Law

Many Texans wonder whether if they purchase a dog from a breeder and the dog becomes sick, do they have a right to a refund? This is sometimes referred to as a "Puppy Lemon Law." While some states have laws specific to this transaction, Texas does not. Below are resources that discuss laws which may be relevant to this situation.

Dog and Cat Breeders

Persons who raise a certain number of dogs and cats for sale may be subject to laws and regulations for professional breeders. Check with your city to find out if your local area imposes additional regulations.

Service Animals

Who Can I Contact?

Ask a Librarian

If you need help with a reference question, you may ask a librarian...

  (844) 829-2843 (toll-free) or (512) 463-1722
  Visit us at 205 W. 14th St in Austin
  PO Box 12367, Austin TX, 78711-2367