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Stray dogs are everywhere in Texas. From mid-sized college towns to large urban population centers, to rural Texas, stray dogs are a problem. Too many people either allow their dog to be off leash when they shouldn't or have fence problems and the dogs get loose, or they simply dump an unwanted dog off in the middle of nowhere.

Fortunately for many of these dogs, there are people in Texas with big hearts who come along to save the stray and prevent them from getting hit by cars or attacked by other animals.

So what happens when you take a dog in? When does that dog legally become yours to own? Surprisingly, the State of Texas doesn't say. Instead, the State of Texas has left it up to the cities and counties around the state. According to rescuedoghome.com, these rules vary from city to city. But it appears as though 3 days is the magic number for many cities.

Jack-Awesome-Adoptable-Dog
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But, that doesn't mean you can just pick up a dog from the street and take them home and wait a few days.

According to the site, in Texas dogs are considered property which means you must attempt to find the owner.

The legal expectation in Texas is to take reasonable steps to identify the dog’s owner. This could involve reporting the found dog to local animal control services or shelters. The aim is to ensure that the dog is either reunited with its owner or properly cared for until the owner is found.

If the owner isn't found, then the dog is considered abandoned. And for many places across Texas, that means after 3-5 days, the dog is considered yours.

Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash
Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash
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If you find a stray dog in Texas. The best thing to do is to contact the local animal shelter and report the dog as found. You can also post on social media about the dog. Then ask your local shelter how long until the dog is considered yours.

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