Health & Code Enforcement

Animal Care Services


Animal Care Hours of Operation
Day Time Phone
Monday - Friday 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM (956) 681-1919
 Saturday / Sundays  Standby Officer for
(956) 681-1919

Emergencies: 9-1-1

Cows, Goats, Horses & Sheep

Section 14-4 It shall be unlawful for any person to feed, breed, stable, pasture or keep any cow, goat, horse, sheep, or any other animal of like species in or on any lot, pen, building, parcel of land, stable, or other enclosure in the city nearer than 200 feet to any building occupied by any person during any part of the day or night. A minimum of 400 square feet of area shall be required for each such animal.

Poultry or Fowl

Section 14-5 (c) It shall be unlawful to keep any poultry or fowl in the city which by loud, frequent or habitual crowing or any other noise annoyance from such animal shall disturb the peace and quiet of any person of ordinary sensitivities . Complaints on a violation of this type shall be filed in the municipal court.


All animals suspected of having contracted rabies shall be reported to this department. If the animal was involved in a scratch or bite, the report shall contain the name and address of the victim or animal. The animal will then be confined for a period of not less than ten days from the date of such attack. Any animal dying of or killed while suffering from rabies or suspected of suffering from rabies, shall be held for such disposition of the body, and under such conditions, as the health director may prescribe.

Loose Dogs

It is unlawful for any dogs to “run at large” within the city limits of McAllen. Any dog which is not on it’s owner’s property and not on a leash will be picked up and impounded. Dogs “running at large” are taken to the humane society. For information, please call 686-1141.

Barking Dogs

Loud, frequent, habitual barking or howling dogs that cause annoyance and disturb the peace and quiet of a person are unlawful. Those persons who believe there has been a violation must file a complaint at municipal court.

Vicious Animals

Animals can be declared to be vicious if they meet the following criteria:

  • Any animal with a known propensity to attack without provocation or to threaten the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
  • Any animal which, without provocation has attacked or injured a human being or domestic animal.
  • Any animal owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of fighting or any animal trained for fighting.
  • Any animal which, without provocation, chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public or private property in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack.
  • Any animal which has behaved in such manner that the owner there of knows or should be reasonably know that the animal is possessed of tendencies to attack or to bite human beings or other animals.

Hogs, swine, pigs

Section 14-2 It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any hogs, swine, or pigs within the city limits at any time.

Notwithstanding the preceding sentence the keeping or maintaining of domesticated miniature pigs commonly referred to as miniature Vietnamese, Chinese or oriental-pot bellied pigs (sus serafa bittotus) is allowed subject to the following conditions:

  • Such pigs shall not exceed a maximum height of twenty inches at the shoulder or weigh more than a hundred pounds.
  • No more than one such pig may be kept on any one parcel or tract of land and only in residentially or agriculturally zoned districts. A pigpen utilized to house such pig shall not be less than fifteen feet from the resident side yard property line of any single family residential lot nor shall it be less than fifteen feet from any residence or building adjacent to such lot not owned by the owner of the pig. A minimum of a hundred square feet or area shall be required for outdoor use by the pot bellied pig.
  • No such pig shall be allowed to run at large and at anytime when not constrained to the yard of the owner, such pig shall be on a leash not to exceed six foot in length.
  • The premises where any such pigs are kept shall be kept clean and free of all offensive odors, flies, rodents, or other pests. Droppings shall be placed in the suitable container and disposed of on a regular basis.
  • No such pigs may be bred within the city limits. In the event a pig becomes pregnant, such pig must be taken outside of the city limits in order to rear the piglets. All of such pigs must be spayed or neutered as applicable.
  • All of such pigs must have their tusks surgically removed.
  • All of such pigs must be vaccinated against communicable diseases, within the species.
  • All such pigs must be licensed by the local health authority on the payment of an annual license fee to be set by the Board of Commissioners by minute order from time to time. In order to obtain a license for any such pig, the owner of the pig must present the following:
    1. Proof that the pig is neutered and that the tusks have been removed;
    2. The address and property description where the pig will be kept; and,
    3. Immunization records as required.
    It should be unlawful for any owner of any such pig to violate the provisions of this ordinance or not provide for any requirement as set out herein. Any violation shall be subject to a fine in Municipal Court not to exceed the maximum fine as set out under Ordinance 1-14.
  • Any pig that is running at large or is found to be in violation of this ordinance or any other ordinance of the City of McAllen may be seized by animal control officer and impounded at the Humane Society animal shelter. Any animal control officer so seizing such pig shall use reasonable efforts to notify the owner that such pig has been seized and turned to animal control shelter along with notification of the specific violations of this ordinance. The animal control shelter may dispose of the pig in accordance with the procedures therefore as established from time to time by the Humane Society Animal Shelter.

If you have any questions or complaints on this subject,
you can reference the FAQ’s section of this site or call (956) 681-1919.