Texas Health and Safety Code - HEALTH & SAFETY § 822.006. Defenses

(a) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is a veterinarian, a veterinary clinic employee, a peace officer, a person employed by a recognized animal shelter, or a person employed by this state or a political subdivision of this state to deal with stray animals and has temporary ownership, custody, or control of the dog in connection with that position.

(b) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or a law enforcement agency and trains or uses dogs for law enforcement or corrections purposes and is training or using the dog in connection with the person's official capacity.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is a dog trainer or an employee of a guard dog company under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, and has temporary ownership, custody, or control of the dog in connection with that position.

(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person is a person with a disability and uses the dog to provide assistance, the dog is trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability, and the person is using the dog to provide assistance in connection with the person's disability.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that the person attacked by the dog was at the time of the attack engaged in conduct prohibited by Chapters 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29, and 30, Penal Code.

(f) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person and the dog are participating in an organized search and rescue effort at the request of law enforcement.

(g) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person and the dog are participating in an organized dog show or event sponsored by a nationally recognized or state-recognized kennel club.

(h) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person and the dog are engaged in:

(1) a lawful hunting activity;  or

(2) a farming or ranching activity, including herding livestock, typically performed by a working dog on a farm or ranch.

(i) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 822.005(a) that, at the time of the conduct charged, the person's dog was on a leash and the person:

(1) was in immediate control of the dog;  or

(2) if the person was not in control of the dog, the person was making immediate and reasonable attempts to regain control of the dog.


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