(a) If the ownership of an estray is not determined before the third day after the
date of the final advertisement under this chapter or if the estray is not redeemed
before the 18th day after the date of impoundment, the county has title to the estray
and the sheriff shall, except as provided by Subsection (e), cause the estray to be
sold at a sheriff's sale or public auction licensed by the United States Department
of Agriculture. Title to the estray is considered vested in the sheriff or the sheriff's designee
for purposes of passing good title, free and clear of all claims, to the purchaser
at the sale or for the purposes of Subsection (e).
(b) The sheriff shall receive the proceeds of the sale and shall allocate those proceeds
in the following order of priority:
(1) payment of the expenses of sale;
(2) payment of the impoundment fee and other charges due the sheriff; and
(3) if applicable, payment of any amount for maintenance and damages due the owners
of the private property from which the estray was impounded.
(c) The sheriff shall execute a report of sale of impounded livestock and file the
report in the estray records of the county clerk.
(d) If there are sale proceeds remaining from the sale of an impounded estray after
all expenses have been paid, the sheriff shall pay the balance to the owner, if known. If the owner is still unknown, the sheriff shall pay the balance to the county official
charged with collecting and disbursing county funds, who shall deposit any payment
received to the credit of the jury fund of the county for the uses made of that fund,
subject to claim by the original owner of the estray.
(e) If a sheriff determines that the sale of an estray under this section is unlikely
to generate sufficient proceeds to cover the expense of the sale, the sheriff may,
instead of selling the estray:
(1) donate the estray to a nonprofit organization; or
(2) retain the estray and use it for county purposes.
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