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    An “estray”, or stray animal, is defined as any valuable animal, not wild, found wandering from its owner.

    To report loose livestock contact your local law enforcement agency through the 9-1-1 system.

    Each Sheriff’s office in Texas is responsible for providing a means to locate, capture or return livestock wandering loose or away from its owner (called an “estray”).  TCSO has three deputies (and three horses) who are assigned to the LEEP. Their job is to respond to calls of loose livestock, and either return the stock to its owner or impound the animals until they can be reclaimed by their owner.  The Sheriff’s Office LEEP does not respond to calls of loose domestic animals (cats or dogs for example) or wildlife.

    If an estray is found roaming on public land, a public right of way, or on private property -- without the consent of the property owner or person in control -- contact the Sheriff’s Office to report loose livestock.  A patrol deputy or one of the LEEP deputies will investigate the call, and first attempt to determine who the owner of the livestock is, and if they can recover the stock themselves.

    If the owner cannot be found, or the owner cannot recover their stock in a reasonable time, the LEEP deputies will impound the livestock. Likewise, if the livestock represents a hazard to the public or traffic, LEEP deputies will impound the animals if the owner cannot respond immediately or cannot be determined.

    If the LEEP deputies are called to the scene of loose or injured livestock, the livestock owner is responsible for any fees associated with their actions. Livestock that is impounded is held for the payment of fees, and ultimately sold at auction if not claimed.