Common Questions

Who do I call about a dead animal in my neighborhood?

The City of Waco Animal Control Unit does not pick up dead animals. You may contact the City Solid Waste Department at (254) 299-2612.

Can I vaccinate my animal for rabies myself?

No. By state law, animals must be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian.

How often do I have to get my dog vaccinated for rabies?

City ordinance states that dogs, cats and domestic ferrets must be vaccinated by four months of age, again at one year, and then once every three years after that.

Does the Animal Control catch community cats?

An Animal Control Officer will pick up a community cat only if it is contained in a trap or cage.

Does the 7 in 1 shot cover rabies?

No. The 7 in one shots covers distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, Carona, Parainfluenza, Addonvirus for dogs. For cats, shots cover Feline leukemia, Feline distemper and respiratory viruses.

Why must my animal be quarantined if it has had its rabies shot?

Because rabies is 100 percent fatal. There are too many human factors that can cause the vaccine not to work. State law mandates that all dogs/cats/domestic ferrets must be quarantined for a minimum of ten days or 240 hours from the time of the incident.

If the City of Waco has a leash law, why can cats run loose?

City of Waco currently does not have a leash law on cats. However, all loose cats must be wearing a rabies tag displayed on either a collar or harness- or a left ear-tip or ear-notch for the cat not to be picked up.

Note: The Animal Welfare Board has recognized (via the animal ordinances Sec 5-92) ear-tipped cats as having owners/caretakers and they are not required to wear collars, etc., (the ear-tip takes the place of a collar and signifies rabies vaccination).

Do I have to get my dog/cat spayed/neutered?

All animals have to be spay/neutered beginning in 2014 with the exception of breeders and older animals. More information here.

Is it against the law to leave your animal in a parked car unattended?

Yes. In the City of Waco, leaving an animal in a parked car, unattended, is against the law. More on our ordinance here.

Does the City of Waco have a limit on the number of animals a person can own?

No. However, all pets must be spayed/neutered, microchipped and current on rabies..

Is livestock allowed inside the City of Waco?

Livestock is allowed inside the city of Waco if...

  1. For each livestock, the pen or enclosure must be 600 square feet or more in area.
  2. The pen must be located at least 200 feet from the nearest neighbor in a straight line at the closest point. Must be in a pen, coop, or hutch (four sides, top and bottom) at all times, and the pen, coop or hutch must be 50 feet from the nearest neighbor in a straight line at the closest points.


Request for Variance to Chapter 5 - Animals of the Waco Code of Ordinances

What can I do about wildlife in my yard/house?

If the wildlife is outside, you may purchase a trap at a hardware store or feed store and the Animal Control Unit will service it for you. If an animal is inside the house and you are able to see it, you may contact the Animal Care Unit at (254) 750-1765.

If you feel you have animals in the walls, basement, underneath the house, or in the attic, contact a wildlife management or removal company.

What do I do if my animal is impounded?

Contact the Waco Animal Services (750-7090) to let them know if you want to pick up your animal or not. If so, pay all fees and fines and the animal will be released to you.

What do I do if I received a citation in the mail?

Most often, citations are mailed once an animal is reclaimed from the Humane Society of Central Texas. An explanation of why the citation was issued is sent along with a pink copy of the citation. The back of the pink copy contains instructions on how to contact municipal court to pay the fine or to set a court date.

Can I catch diseases from my animal?

Yes. Animals carry many different diseases that can be passed on to humans, including but not limited to, worms, mange and rabies.

Can my animal be tethered/chained?

Beginning in 2022, chains have become prohibited by Texas State Law to use as a form of tethering a dog. Any dog outside unattended (for any amount of time) may be tethered by a tether that is at least 10ft long (or 5x the length of the dog from nose to tail) and attached to a collar or harness that is properly fitted. Any dog that is tethered must, at all times, have access to adequate shelter, shade, and water.

What counts as a dog house?

The City of Waco states that a dog house must be at least three solid sides, and have a roof and a floor that is not the ground. Plastic shipping containers and pet kennels do not count as a dog house.

Does the City of Waco lend out animal traps?

City of Waco only lends out traps for dogs. Smaller traps for wildlife or cats must be purchased independently.