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RULE §169.26Facilities for the Quarantining or Impounding of Animals

(a) Generally.

  (1) Structural strength. Housing facilities shall be structurally sound and shall be maintained in good repair in order to protect the animals from injury, to contain them, and to prevent transmission of diseases.

  (2) Water and electric power. Reliable and adequate electric power, if required to comply with other provisions of this subchapter, and adequate fresh, clean water shall be available.

  (3) Storage. Supplies of food and bedding shall be stored in facilities which adequately protect such supplies against infestation or contamination by vermin. Refrigeration shall be provided for supplies of perishable food. Non-perishable foods, such as dry food, do not require refrigeration. Open bags of non-perishable dry food should be sealed or stored in sealed cans, and unopened bags should be stacked on pallets or shelves with at least 12 inches of clearance between the floor and the first level to enable effective inspection and cleaning practices.

  (4) Waste disposal. Provision shall be made for the removal and disposal of animal and food wastes, bedding, dead animals, and debris. Disposal facilities shall be so provided and operated as to minimize vermin infestations, odors, and disease hazards. A suitable method shall be provided to rapidly and safely remove water and other liquid waste from housing facilities. Housing facilities should be designed to have animal excreta removed through sanitary sewers, septic systems, or garbage. All closed drainage systems should be equipped with traps, vents, and acceptable drain covers to exclude rodents and prevent any backup of sewer gas and odors into the facility.

  (5) Washrooms and sinks. Facilities for personal hygiene, such as washrooms, basins, or sinks, shall be provided for employees.

  (6) Management. The manager of a facility should be either an individual who has satisfactorily completed an appropriate training course or a veterinarian.

  (7) Records. Records shall be kept on each animal processed through the housing facility. At a minimum, the records shall document the animal's description, impoundment date, disposition date, and method of disposition. Records shall be available for inspection by the department.

  (8) Heating. Adequate shelter shall be provided to protect animals from any form of cold or inclement weather and direct effects of wind, rain, or snow. Auxiliary heat or clean, dry bedding material shall be provided any time the ambient temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) when animals are present. If supplemental bedding material is used during cold weather, quantities should be adequate to prevent hypothermia as temperatures drop.

  (9) Cooling and Ventilation. Adequate shelter shall be provided to protect animals from any form of overheating and direct rays of the sun. Facilities shall be provided with fresh air either by means of windows, doors, vents, fans, or air conditioning and shall be ventilated so as to minimize drafts, odors, and moisture condensation. Auxiliary ventilation, such as fans or air conditioning, shall be provided in indoor facilities when the ambient temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.5 degrees Celsius) or higher when animals are present.

  (10) Lighting. Housing facilities shall have ample light of sufficient intensity to permit routine inspection and cleaning. Primary enclosures shall be situated to protect the animals from excessive illumination.

  (11) Construction. Housing facilities must be constructed in such a manner that they will protect the animal and not create a health risk or public nuisance. The building surfaces shall be constructed and maintained so that they are impervious to moisture and may be readily sanitized. Floors shall be made of durable, nonabsorbent material.

  (12) Primary enclosures. Primary enclosures should be designed based upon enclosure guidelines prepared by The Association of Shelter Veterinarians and set forth in the latest edition of the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. Primary enclosures shall:

    (A) be structurally sound and maintained in good repair;

    (B) provide convenient access to clean food and water;

    (C) enable the animal to remain dry and clean;

    (D) be constructed and maintained so that the surfaces are impervious to moisture and may be readily sanitized;

    (E) be constructed so as to protect the animal's feet and legs from injury; and

    (F) provide sufficient space to allow each animal to make normal postural adjustments without touching the top of the enclosure, including turning freely, standing easily, sitting, stretching, moving its head, lying in a comfortable position with limbs extended, and moving and assuming a comfortable posture for feeding, drinking, urinating, and defecating.

(b) Feeding.

  (1) All food shall be free from contamination, wholesome, palatable, and of sufficient quality and nutritive value to meet the normal daily requirements for the condition, size, and age of the animal.

  (2) Dogs and cats shall be fed at least once a day or more often as appropriate for the age and condition of the animal, except as directed by a veterinarian.

  (3) Domestic ferrets shall have continuous access to food.

  (4) All other animals shall be fed appropriately as described on the packaging of a commercial, species-specific food, except as directed by a veterinarian.

  (5) Food receptacles shall be accessible to all animals and shall be located so as to minimize contamination by excreta. Food receptacles shall be durable and kept clean and sanitary. Disposable food receptacles may be used but must be discarded after each feeding or, for domestic ferrets, after 24 hours of use. Self feeders may be used for feeding dry foods to animals acclimated to their use.

(c) Watering. If fresh, clean water is not accessible to all animals at all times, it shall be offered to them at least twice daily for periods of not less than one hour, except as directed by a veterinarian. Drinking bottles may be used for animals acclimated to their use. Domestic ferrets shall have fresh, clean water accessible at all times, provided in drinking bottles of appropriate size to maintain a fresh supply. Water receptacles shall be kept clean and sanitary.

(d) Sanitation.

  (1) Cleaning of primary enclosures. Excreta shall be removed from primary enclosures as often as necessary to prevent contamination of the inhabitants, but not less than daily.

  (2) Sanitation of primary enclosures. Cages, rooms, and pens shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.

  (3) Building and premises. Building and premises shall be kept clean.

(e) Pest Control. A regular program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, and other pests shall be established and maintained. The facility shall be free of visible signs of rodents and keep other vermin infestations to a minimum at all times. Each pesticide must be used in accordance with its manufacturer's label instructions.

(f) Outdoor facilities are acceptable under this section provided those facilities meet all the requirements of this section.

(g) This section applies to all animal shelters located in counties with a population of 75,000 or greater as required by the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 823, and to all quarantine or impoundment facilities regardless of county population.

Source Note: The provisions of this §169.26 adopted to be effective April 1, 1980, 5 TexReg 812; amended to be effective February 22, 1993, 18 TexReg 845; amended to be effective February 21, 1996, 21 TexReg 963; amended to be effective August 21, 1996, 21 TexReg 7660; amended to be effective July 12, 1998, 23 TexReg 7224; amended to be effective February 18, 2003, 28 TexReg 1389; amended to be effective July 21, 2004, 29 TexReg 6936; amended to be effective December 20, 2007, 32 TexReg 9341; amended to be effective March 31, 2013, 38 TexReg 1994

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