Dog and cat breeders in Texas are required to be licensed. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is the regulatory body responsible for licensure and enforcement of Texas breeders.
Responsibilities of Licensed Breeders in Texas
Licensed breeders have a number of responsibilities and standards of care to which they must adhere. Failure to comply with the Licensed Breeders Administrative Rules can lead to administrative sanctions and penalties and/or license suspension or revocation.
Under the Dog or Cat Breeders Program, the responsibilities of licensed breeders include, but are not limited to:
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Advertising:
- A licensed breeder may not engage in false, misleading, or deceptive advertising.
- Each advertisement must conspicuously include the facility license number in a font clearly distinguishable from the background.
- For purposes of this section, a website and any offer to sell is considered advertising. 16 Tex. Admin. Code §91.71.
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Display of Breeders License: A licensed breeder shall prominently display a copy of the department issued breeders license at their facility, in an area readily accessible to the public. 16 Tex. Admin. Code §91.72.
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Onsite Availability of Law and Rules: A licensed breeder must maintain a copy of the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 802 and rules adopted by the TDLR regulating licensed breeders. 16 Tex. Admin. Code §91.73.
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Mandatory Contract Provisions: A licensed breeder must include in each contract for the sale of an animal the license number and the statement:
- "Dog and cat breeders are regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711, 1-800-803-9202, 512-463-6599, www.tdlr.texas.gov" or a similar statement adopted by commission rule that includes the department's name, mailing address, telephone numbers, and Internet website addres" 16 Tex. Admin. Code §91.74.
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Change in License Information: Licensed breeders must notify the TDLR in writing of changes of address, name, management, or ownership within 10 days. 16 Tex. Admin. Code §91.75.
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Annual Inventory: Licensed breeders must submit an accounting of all animals held at the facility at any time during the preceding calendar year by February 1 of each year. 16 Tex. Admin. Code 91.76(a).
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Animal Records Content, Availability, and Retention Period: "A licensed breeder shall maintain, at the licensed facility where the animal is kept, a separate record for each animal in the breeder's facility documenting the animal's care." 16 Tex. Admin. Code §91.77. Records required by this section must be maintained for at least 2 years, among other requirements.
- Responsibilities of Licensee-Inspections: Upon request of an inspector, a licensed breeder must assist the inspector in performing the inspection. 16 Tex. Admin. Code §91.78.
Pre-license inspections are required for certain dog and/or cat breeder establishments who do not hold a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Class A animal dealer's license. The inspection is to ensure your facility is in compliance with state laws prior to obtaining your license. To help you pass inspection, the TDLR provides this Pre-License Inspection Checklist.
Defending Against Allegations
If you are a licensed dog or cat breeder in Texas, and the TDLR notifies you of a filed complaint or pending investigation, then your license may be in jeopardy. It's important to take allegations of violations or misconduct seriously from the start and to act quickly to mount a defense against the allegations. You do not want to face the licensing board alone. You need an experienced professional license defense attorney by your side, to advocate for your rights and protect your license.
BERTOLINO LLP has been defending Texas licensed professionals for years, and we use a creative, results-driven approach to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
We proudly represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients, we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing licensure issues or disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.