Animal Control Division
The Bonham Animal Control, a section of the Bonham Police Department, works to safeguard our citizens with issues related to domestic animals, wildlife, and livestock. Our services include rabies prevention, animal bite investigation, education on responsible pet ownership, animal adoption, and picking up strays and unwanted animals.
Animal Control Officers
Jimmy L. Gilbert
Bonham Animal Control
301 E. 5th St.
Bonham, TX 75418
Animal Shelter: (903) 640-8245
Animal Control Hours:
7 Days a Week: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - Saturday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Service Area: City of Bonham
City Animal Tags
City Ordinance, Chapter 2 Section 2.02.005, requires that all dogs within the City Limits of Bonham be licensed on an annual basis at which time the dog owner must provide proof of current Rabies Vaccination at the time of licensing. (Note: Proof of Current Vaccination is the paper certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. Metal rabies tags are not sufficient proof of vaccination.)
While not required by City Ordinance it is highly recommended that cat owners have their cat(s) tagged. The City Animal Tag will assist in identifying a lost or stray cat so the cat can be returned to its owner.
City Animal Tags must be renewed each year from the time of initial issuance.
The licensing fee for Dog/Cat, as follows:
- $5.00 - Spayed / Neutered Dog or Cat
- $10.00 - Unspayed / Non-Neutered Dog or Cat
Lost, Stray, and Found Animals
Report Lost Animals
To report a lost animal, call the Bonham Animal Control at 903-583-2141 or 903-640-8245 at which time the Dispatcher will obtain your contact information as well as information on the lost animal, and provide that information to the Animal Control Officer. The Animal Control Officer will check the Animal Shelter to see if the animal is there and if not, the Animal Control Officer will attempt to locate the animal as he is making his rounds through the City.
Report Found and/or Stray Animals
To report a found or stray animal call the Bonham Animal Control at 903-583-2141 or 903-640-8245 at which time the Dispatcher will obtain your contact information as well as information on the found or stray animal. The Animal Control Officer will then come by your residence to pick-up the reported animal. If the reported stray animal is running loose in your neighborhood advise the Dispatcher of the last known direction of travel for the animal in order to assist the Animal Control Officer in locating the animal.Back to Topics
Reclaim Lost Animals from the Shelter
Reclaim a Lost/Stray Pet
In order to reclaim a lost/stray dog or cat, the pet owner must do the following:
- Have proof of current rabies vaccination for the animal, issued by a licensed veterinarian. Metal rabies tags are not sufficient proof of vaccination -- you must have the written paper certificate that is issued by the veterinarian.
- If the animal is not current on rabies vaccination, you must go to the veterinarian of your choice and pre-pay for a rabies vaccination. You must then submit proof that you have prepaid for a rabies vaccination for that animal. Then you must present proof of the actual vaccination within 24 hours of the animal's release from the Shelter, or citations will be issued.
- If the dog resides within the City Limits proof of current registration must be provided, otherwise the owner will be required to register the animal and pay the applicable registration fee.
- All applicable fees are due prior to the release of the animal. We do not accept credit cards -- you must have cash or a check made payable to the City of Bonham (no third-party checks accepted).
Adopt A Pet
Adoption is one of the most compassionate and loving things you can do for an animal. All of our adoption animals at one point in time were in the Lost and Found area of our Shelter, thus not having a real home. In some instances the animal is surrendered by the owner who is not able to care for the animal any longer. By providing a loving, caring, "forever" home, your pet will provide you unconditional love for the rest of its life.
They come in all sizes, shapes, and ages so you're sure to find "the perfect one". You will need to contact the Animal Control Officer at 903-583-2141 or 903-640-8245 in order to ascertain availability of adoptable animals and to work out the adoption arrangements.
- $20.00 for any Dog/Puppy/Cat/Kitten
The fee does not includes:
- Rabies Vaccination Veterinary Fee
- City Animal Tag Registration Fee
- View the Animals Available for Adoption at the Bonham Animal Shelter
Humane Animal Trap
The Bonham Animal Control offers residents a chance to capture small animals that may be causing problems in their neighborhood by using humane live traps.
To request a live trap you will need to contact the Animal Control Officer at 903-640-8245. There are only a limited number of live traps available, which may required that you be placed on a waiting list for the next available live trap to be placed at your residence.
- Check the trap on a daily basis -- Leaving an animal in a trap for an extended period without notifying the Animal Control Officer constitutes Animal Cruelty under the laws of the State of Texas, and is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.
- Do not set the trap on the day before or the day of a holiday, and do not lend the trap to any other person or remove it from your property. Responsibility for the trap is solely yours during this agreement, and you will be held responsible for any expenses incurred by the Bonham Animal Control to repair or replace the trap if is is damaged, lost, or stolen.
- Call us at 903-640-8245 as soon as possible. Tell the Dispatcher your name, address, phone number, and what is caught in the trap.
Use cheap, smelly, canned food. The worse it smells to us, the better it smells to animals. Be sure to slide the bait into the trap so that it will not interfere with the operation of the foot pedal. This usually means setting the bait behind the pedal.
Some suggested baits for wild animals include:
Squirrels: Peanut Butter on bread, nuts, field corn, popcorn, or crackers
Skunks: Peanut Butter on bread, peanuts, an egg, or piece of raw chicken
Foxes and Coyotes: Raw, spoiled meat or chicken, smelly canned dog food
Armadillos: Raw potato or carrot, other root vegetable. It is also possible to "guide" an Armadillo into the trap by creating a funnel with boards. The Armadillo will wander into the area and, because they do not back-up or turn around, be guided into the trap. Some people have even captured Armadillos with this method without using any bait.
Where to Set the Trap
- Set the trap on a fairly level spot. Try to keep it out of sight so it doesn't get stolen.
- In the summer heat, set the trap in a shady spot so captured animals won't get overheated.
- Make sure the trap is not set where the animal will be exposed to fire ants.
- Please don't put it under the building, Animal Control Officer will not go under any building.
- Try to leave it in the same place for each pickup, so the officer may find it quickly.
Animal Cruelty and Neglect
Our pets and other animals rely on us to take care of them and provide them with needed veterinary services, food, water, and shelter. However, this kind of care is not always offered.
Generally, animal cruelty can be divided into two categories: neglect and intentional cruelty.
Neglect is the failure to provide an animal with the most basic of requirements of food, water, shelter, and veterinary care, and is often the result of ignorance on the part of the pet owner. Intentional cruelty occurs when an individual purposely inflicts physical harm or injury on an animal.
Animal owners and caretakers, under local and state law, must provide nutritious and wholesome food and water; dry shelter with adequate ventilation and protection from direct sunlight; and proper veterinary care from a licensed professional as needed.
Causing an animal to fight another, intentionally harming or abandoning an animal is illegal.
Spot Animal Cruelty
You may be a witness to Cruelty if you see an animal that:
- is repeatedly left alone without food and water
- is kept outside without shelter
- is abandoned
- has wounds on its body
- has severe hair loss
- is extremely thin
- is physically abused
- is provoked into fighting another animal
If you witness animal neglect or cruelty, report it to the Bonham Animal Control at 903-640-8245. Animal fighting should be immediately reported to the Bonham Police Department at 903-583-2141.Back to Topics
Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 826 "Rabies" Section 826.021, requires that dogs and cats receive the rabies vaccination by four (4) months old and then on an annual basis thereafter.
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid.
Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death. Early symptoms of rabies in humans are nonspecific, consisting of fever, headache, and general malaise. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.
The number of rabies-related human deaths in the United States has declined from more then 100 annually at the turn of the century to one or two per year in the 1990's. Modern day prophylaxis has proven nearly 100 percent successful. In the United States, human fatalities associated with rabies occur in people who fail to seek medical assistance, usually because they were unaware of their exposure.
There is no treatment for rabies after symptoms of the disease appear.
- Be a responsible pet owner:
- Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets. This requirement is important not only to keep your pets from getting rabies, but also to provide a barrier of protection to you if your animal is bitten by a rabid wild animal.
- Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately.
- Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood. They may be unvaccinated and could be infected by the disease.
- Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
- Avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals:
- Enjoy wild animals (raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc.) from afar. Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
- Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for assistance.
- Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. "Love your own, leave other animals alone" is a good principle for children to learn.
- Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets. Find out more about potential rabies exposure from bats.
- When traveling abroad, avoid direct contact with wild animals and be especially careful around dogs in developing countries. Rabies is common in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America where dogs are the major reservoir of rabies. Tens of thousands of people die of rabies each year in these countries. Before traveling abroad, consult with a health care provider, travel clinic, or your health department about the risk of exposure to rabies, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and how you should handle an exposure, should it arise.
Exposure to Bats
In general, if you find an injured, sick, or dead bat, do not touch it. If you need assistance, contact the Bonham Animal Control.
Bat bites are not always visible, so situations in which a bat is physically present and there is a possibility of an unapparent exposure, the bat should be captured and submitted to a rabies laboratory for testing.
Immediately call your local animal control agency to have a trained officer sent to capture the bat. If you are unable to reach anyone for assistance, recommendations for bat capture are as follows:
- Remove any children or pets from the room
- Wear leather gloves
- Avoid direct contact between the bat and bare skin
- Confine the bat to one room by closing the windows and doors
- Turn on the lights if the room is dark
- Wait for the bat to land
- Cover the bat with a coffee can or similar container
- Slide a piece of cardboard under the can that has the bat trapped
- Tape the cardboard directly to the can
If any possible contact between the bat and a person or domestic animal has occurred:
Do not release the bat;
Contact your local animal control agency or law enforcement agency to arrange for immediate submission of the bat for rabies testing. If you are certain no contact between the bat and a person or domestic animal has occurred:
Take the container outside immediately; and release the bat, preferably at night and away from populated areas.
What to do After a Possible Exposure
If you are exposed to a potentially rabid animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, and seek medical attention immediately. A health care practitioner will care for the wound and will assess the risk for rabies exposure. The following information will help your health care practitioner assess your risk:
- The geographic location of the incident
- The type of animal that was involved
- How the exposure occurred (provoked or unprovoked)
- The vaccination status of animal
- Whether the animal can be safely captured and tested for rabies
After your health care practitioner is contacted, you must contact the Bonham Animal Control to begin an investigation and check the biting animal for symptoms of rabies. Steps taken by the health care practitioner will depend on the circumstances of the bite.
Your health care practitioner should consult state or local health departments, veterinarians, or animal control officers to make an informed assessment of the incident and to request assistance.
If you have been bitten by an animal seek medical attention immediately, then contact the Bonham Animal Control to report the bite incident.Back to Topics
Bonham Animal Control encourages responsible pet ownership through continued education and outreach efforts. If a dog has been deemed dangerous in the City of Bonham, the owner must comply with specific requirements to ensure that people feel safe where they live, work, and play. Dangerous dog determinations are governed by both Texas Law and Local Ordinances.
Dangerous dog determinations are governed by the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 822, and Bonham City Code Chapter 2 "Animal Control".
A dangerous or vicious dog is defined by Chapter 2, Section 2.02.001, as:
- A dog that makes an unprovoked attack on a person that causes bodily injury and the attack occurs in the place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own; or
- A dog that commits unprovoked acts in a place other than an enclosure in which the dog was being kept and that was reasonably certain to prevent the dog from leaving the enclosure on its own and those acts caused a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person.
Requirements for Ownership of a Dangerous Dog
In addition to complying with the requirements of Subchapter D, Chapter 822 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, as amended, a person shall, not later than the 30th day after learning that he/she is the owner of a dangerous dog:
- Register the dangerous dog with the local animal control agency and pay a $50 dangerous dog registration fee;
- Restrain the dangerous dog at all times on a leash, in the immediate control of a person, or in a secure enclosure;
- Obtain liability insurance coverage or show financial responsibility in an amount of at least $100,000 to cover damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog causing bodily injury to a person and provide proof of the required liability insurance coverage or financial responsibility to the animal control agency;
- Place and maintain on the dangerous dog a collar or harness with a current dangerous dog registration tag securely attached to it;
- Shall notify the animal control agency in which the dangerous dog was registered of any attacks the dangerous dog makes on people;
- Renew registration of the dangerous dog with the animal control agency annually and pay an annual dangerous dog registration fee of $50; and
- Comply with any other regulations regarding dangerous dog ownership as set forth in State and Local Laws.
A person bitten or scratched by an animal should report the incident by calling the Bonham Animal Control at 903-640-8245. The Bonham Animal Control will investigate the incident and quarantine the animal if the attack caused broken skin.
If the dog caused bodily injury a person may request a dangerous dog hearing, for further information contact the Bonham Animal Control at 903-640-8245, ask for Jimmy Gilbert or Freddie Wright.Back to Topics
Tethering and Confinement
All animals must be confined at all times. This means that any animal must be tethered as prescribed by Sec. 821.077 and Sec. 821.078, Health and Safety Code, or in a fenced yard, or in an enclosed pen or structure, or by a handheld leash if in the control and custody of the owner or keeper.
The confining structure must be constructed with materials that will not allow the dog to escape, but still provide access to its dog house, a building or shelter.
The dog house, building or shelter must provide protection from the elements, allow adequate room for movement and must be structurally sound.Back to Topics
Dead Animal Pick-Up Requests
If a pet owner has a dog, cat, or small animal to die, the pet owner can contact the Bonham Animal Control at 903-640-8245 to have the animal picked up and disposed of. The Animal Control Officer will not pick-up a deceased animal that has crawled under the house and/or is inside of a house. It will be the responsibility of the home owner to have the deceased animal accessible from the open yard.
If livestock should die on a person's property, it will be the responsibility of the animal owner to have the deceased animal picked up and disposed of properly.Back to Topics
Maximum Number of Pets Per Household
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or cause to be kept over four (4) dogs and/or cats per household on, at, or within the City Limits with the only exception being a female dog or cat, which has given birth. Under such circumstances the animal owner will have 120 days from the animal's date of birth to reduce the required number of animals to the required number of four (4).
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or cause to be kept over two (2) ferrets per household within the City Limits.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or cause to be kept over two (2) rabbits per household within the City Limits.
The keeping of any livestock or fowl, including but not limited to hogs, pigs, swine, horses, mules, jacks, jennets, ponies, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, hens, roosters, turkeys, or similar farm-type animals, is hereby declared to be a nuisance within the corporate limits of the city and is hereby prohibited unless the following requirements are met:
- There shall be a minimum enclosed or fenced space of one-half acre (21,780 square feet) for each of the above-listed or similar livestock animal except fowl kept within the city limits. Such one-half acre per animal shall be in addition to the area on which a residence or business structure is located. Barns or sheds used for the protection of the livestock against the elements may be located within the required area of the one-half acre per animal. The lot boundary (fence) within which horses, mules, jacks, jennets, ponies, hogs, pigs, swine, cows, goats, sheep or other animals or livestock of like kind are kept under provisions of this division may not be located nearer than one hundred (100) feet from the nearest occupied residence, whether or not such residence is presently constructed or occupied or whether or not such residence is constructed or occupied after the passage of this division.
- There shall be a minimum enclosed or fenced space of twelve (12) square feet for each chicken, hen, rooster, turkey, or similar type fowl kept within the city limits. Such twelve-square-foot space per fowl shall be in addition to the area on which a residence or business structure is located. Chicken houses, coops, or other enclosures for the protection of the fowl against the elements may be located within the required twelve square feet per animal. The fowl lot boundary (fence) within which fowl are maintained under provisions of this division may not be located nearer than one hundred (100) feet from the nearest occupied residence, whether or not such residence is presently constructed or occupied or whether or not such residence is constructed or occupied after the passage of this division.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association of persons to maintain, own or control any premises within the city limits where more than four cattle of the bovine species are kept in one enclosure unless such person, firm, corporation or association of persons has a permit issued by the City Council.Back to Topics
Animal Control Fee Schedule
|Fee Description||Fee Amount||Fee Unit||Additional Information|
|Dog/Cat Registration Fee (Spay/Neuter)||$5.00||Per Animal|
|Dog/Cat Registration Fee (Non-Spay/Non-Neuter)||$10.00||Per Animal|
|Care/Housing Fee||$5.00||Per Day||Pertains to Impounded Animals|
|Dangerous Dog Registration Fee||$100.00||---||Not to exceed $100.00/animal and not to exceed $500.00 for each person registering animals|
|Dangerous Wild Animal Registration Fee||$100.00||---||Not to exceed $100.00/animal and not to exceed $500.00 for each person registering animals|
|Non-Resident Animal Surrender Fee||$10.00||Per Animal||Pertains to Non-Bonham Residents living outside of the corporate City Limits|
|Owner-Requested Euthanasia Fee||$20.00||Per Animal|
|Rabies Quarantine Fee||$15.00||Per Day||The City of Bonham quarantines animals at the Bonham Animal Shelter for animals from within the Bonham city limits only.|
|Adoption Fee-Dog||$20.00||Per Animal||Does not include rabies vaccination fee and/or the City Animal Tag Registration Fee.|
|Adoption Fee-Cat||$20.00||Per Animal||Does not include rabies vaccination fee and/or the City Animal Tag Registration Fee.|
Volunteers and Donations
The Animal Shelter welcomes volunteers who would like to assist in the day-to-day care of the animals. Please contact the Bonham Animal Control if you would like to volunteer.
The Animal Shelter also accepts donations of gently used or new collars, leashes, toys, chew toys, treats, pet food, pet bowls, animal shampoo, dog dip, bleach, laundry soap, brushes, combs, flea shampoo and spray, spray bottles, towels, and blankets.Back to Topics
City Animal Ordinances
Click on the desired link to review the appropriate law:Back to Topics