|(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when
used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) Releasing agency--a public or private animal pound,
shelter, or humane organization. This term does not include an individual
who occasionally renders humane assistance or shelter in the individual's
home to a dog or cat.
(2) Animal--a dog or cat.
(3) Microchip--a transponder that is placed under an
animal's skin by an injector and can be read by a microchip scanner.
(4) Tattoo--a permanent etching formed by injecting
ink into the basal layer of the epidermis of an animal.
(b) Sterilization required. A new owner of an animal
released from a releasing agency must have the animal sterilized in
accordance with Chapter 828, Health and Safety Code.
(c) Identification markers. An animal sterilized under
this section must be identified by a microchip and/or a tattoo indicating
that it has been sterilized.
(1) A new owner of an animal with a microchip shall
be responsible for providing information to the data base registry
of the microchip manufacturer indicating that the animal has been
(2) A tattoo must:
(A) be placed on the inside of the animal's thigh near
the abdomen or on the caudal-ventral abdomen;
(B) be imprinted with ink that is manufactured in the
(C) meet the standards of the federal Food and Drug
Administration for tattooing;
(D) be of a contrasting color to the predominant color
of the skin in which it is tattooed; and
(E) consist of the universal symbol for male or female
overlain by a slash through the circle to indicate sterilization.