San Antonio, TX asked in Animal / Dog Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for Texas

Q: My two dogs escaped their gate and un-alived chickens/roosters but I need information about my situation

My 2 dogs escaped and went into my neighbor's house which I didn't know had chickens but they also had more than 4 chickens (which in the law of Laredo you aren't allowed to have more than 4 chickens in you house you would need to be yards away of houses like a type of farm and you would need a permit to have roosters which they also had) also we don't even know how they got in there was no opening for them to get in they also want us to pay 350$ for each chicken and rooster would you please help me and give me information about my situation and if you can would you please give me all the fees they can charge against me and how much would it be in total, Thank you

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Laredo city ordinance provides "It shall be unlawful for any person owning, keeping or having in his possession or control any dog to allow such dog to run at large upon the streets, sidewalks or public grounds of the city, or to allow any dog to run at large upon or about the residence, lot or lands of any person other than the owner of such dog."

Laredo city ordinance also provides: "It is unlawful for a person to keep any small animals or fowl, in any combination thereof, within fifty (50) feet of any residence, structure or building used for human habitation or any other lawful activity, other than the person's habitation or business premises."

It is likely that your failure to keep your dogs properly restrained is negligence per se and proximately caused the death of the two chickens.

But $350 seems to me to be a lot of money for a live chicken. Unless these were somehow special unusually valuable chickens, your neighbor's damages would likely be the fair market value of a live chicken. Depending upon the age and type of chicken, most live chickens have had a fair market value between $4-30 in recent years in Texas. So your neighbor would need pretty persuasive evidence to support a value of $350 each.

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