The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) continues to work with local, state, federal, and
non-governmental partners to address the severe winter weather effects on Texas livestock and poultry.
“Our hearts go out to all who are affected by the winter storms,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC executive
director. “We are grateful for the support and resources our government and non-government partners are
Below please find animal specific resources that can help you recover from these winter storm events and
guide you through the recovery process.
In extreme winter weather, fences can be covered by snow or damaged and livestock can be displaced. If
you find stray livestock or down fences, contact your local sheriff’s department. For animals in need of
medical assistance (frostbite, distress, fatigue, lesions, etc.), contact a local veterinarian.
When the extreme winter weather conditions transition to recovery efforts, Texans may face the challenge
of animal disposal.
- Carcasses on private property, non-residential areas: Animal owners and operators are responsible for the proper disposal of their animals. To learn about common methods of non-diseased animal carcass disposal see the Disaster-Related Carcass Disposal Guide or visit the Texas Commission Environmental Quality’s website at tceq.texas.gov.
- Animal carcasses in public areas (including residential): Animal carcasses found in public areas or rights-of-way should be reported to the local county Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to be handled through the jurisdiction’s debris management plan. You can find your county’s EOC information at tdms.org/county
Agriculture Indemnity and Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has programs that provide assistance to rural communities,
farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by the recent winter storms. USDA staff in
the regional, state and county offices are prepared with a variety of flexible programs and other assistance
to residents and agricultural producers in impacted communities. To learn more, visit the USDA website or
contact your local USDA Service Center directly.
Animal Supplies and Donations
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) helps agricultural producers locate hay supplies. If you nee
hay or would like to donate hay, visit the Hay Hotline website or call 512-787-9966.
At this time, animal owners are advised to contact their local authorities (sheriff’s department, EOC, or call
2-1-1) to learn more about open animal shelters in their area. Companion animals are accepted at some
warming centers, visit tdem.texas.gov/warm/ or call 2-1-1 to learn more.
For the latest information on winter weather animal response and recovery efforts, visit