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Rabies is an acute viral disease that attacks the nervous system, resulting in paralysis and almost certain death once the symptoms appear. The rabies virus is present in the saliva of the rabid animal. The most common way the disease is spread is by a bite from an infected animal. Though rare, rabies also can be spread if the infected animal's saliva comes in contact with fresh scratches, open wounds or mucous membranes such as the lining of the eyelid.
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When calling the City of Bridge City Animal Control about a stray animal, please give a detailed description of the animal (breed, color, size, collar, tags, etc.). If you know where the stray animal belongs, let us know the address, so we can make contact with the owner. Please provide your name, phone number and / or address in case the Animal Control Officer needs to get more information from you about your complaint. Your information will be kept confidential.
Animal Control takes all dogs to the Bridge City Animal Shelter on Sewer Plant Road. Wildlife picked up by Animal Control Officers is relocated and released in accordance with state and local laws.
Immediately call and/or go to the Bridge City Animal Shelter (our phone number is 409-735-8898) to see if your pet has been brought in. If your pet is not there, file a lost report with the Animal Control Officer. You will need to come back to the shelter every 2 to 3 days to see if your pet has been brought in. Check with your neighbors to see if they have seen your dog. You may also want to check the lost and found section of the local newspapers and place an ad there yourself.
Contact the City of Bridge City Municipal Court at 409-735-2236 to determine the amount of the fine. Remember that you have ten days from the date the summons was given to you to respond to the Municipal Court.
Local Ordinance requires that the owner or custodian (excluding animal shelters) of each domestic dog shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies before four months of age and within each subsequent 12-month interval (annually) thereafter. The vaccination must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. Failure to vaccinate your dog against rabies can result in a fine and/or summons to Municipal Court. Remember that vaccinating your pets is your family's first line of defense against rabies. Your pets are more likely to have contact with a wild animal than you.
If your dog or cat has been in contact with one of the following high-risk animals: skunk, raccoon, bat, fox or coyote, contact your Animal Control Officer immediately for guidance. If the wildlife animal is dead or can be caught then it may be shipped for testing. You are also advised to consult with your veterinarian. Your pet may need vet care for injuries, and may need to be given a booster rabies vaccination if he is currently vaccinated, or a series of vaccinations if he is not currently vaccinated.
Your dog must be confined at all times, even on your property, by a sufficient fence and/or humanely chained in such a manner that he cannot leave your property. Failure to properly confine your dog can result in a fine and/or summons to Municipal Court.
Currently, there is no leash law for cats.
If wildlife is frequenting your property, then you need to identify what is attracting them. Pet food left out during the evening hours and open garbage containers are usually the problem. If a trap is needed, contact City of Bridge City Animal Control 409-735-8898.