[CC 1999 §4-46; Ord. No. 07-73 §1, 11-13-2007; Ord. No. 10-48 §1, 11-8-2010]
It is unlawful and a violation of this Code for a person to own, possess or harbor a dangerous dog, except as may be allowed in this Article. The following is a non-exclusive enumeration of factors indicating that a dog is dangerous if it:
Has inflicted a severe or fatal injury on a human being on public or private property. "Severe injury" means any physical injury, resulting directly from a dog's bite, which results in broken bones, or lacerations requiring stitches, or in-patient hospitalization. The victim receiving severe injuries, as defined above, must provide the Animal Control Officer a signed physician's statement documenting injury or sign an authorization for release of such statement.
Has killed or seriously injured a domestic animal, livestock or poultry without provocation.
Is owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting or any dog trained for dog fighting.
Has bitten a human being, without provocation, on public or private property other than the property of the owner.
While on the owner's property has bitten, without provocation, a human being other than the owner or a member of the owner's family who normally resides at the place where the dog is kept.
When unprovoked, chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or private property other than that property of the owner in a menacing fashion or apparent attitudes of attack, regardless of whether or not a person is injured by said dog.
Has a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury, or to otherwise threaten the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
Has, in the absence of a bite, displayed characteristics such as habitually snapping, charging, growling or otherwise manifests a disposition to bite, attack or injure any person or domestic animal or pet, if afforded the opportunity, or if it causes any person to have a reasonable fear of immediate serious physical injury.
A summons for violation of Subsection (A) may be issued by the Animal Control Officer or other authorized City employee. During the pendency of the charge the dog shall be confined as required by Section 210.300(J) after issuance of a notice to confine the dog. The notice may be issued at the time of issuance of the summons or any time prior to trial. Upon conviction, a penalty may be assessed pursuant to Code Section 100.220 and the judge may enter an order consistent with Code Section 210.320.
Without regard to whether or not a summons for violation of Subsection (A) has been issued, the Animal Control Officer or such other person as is authorized by the City Administrator may institute an administrative hearing procedure by issuing written notice to the owner or possessor of the dog that a hearing will be held to determine if the dog is a dangerous dog.
The notice and order are to be delivered in person or may be delivered by first class mail or posted on the property of the owner or possessor of the dog in a conspicuous location.
The notice shall state that a hearing will be held to determine if the dog should be declared a dangerous dog and the notice shall include a copy of the requirements to be followed by an owner or possessor of a dangerous dog as set forth in Section 210.310 and shall state that the dog is to be confined pursuant to Subsection (J) during the pendency of the hearing.
The notice shall state a date and time for hearing.
The notice shall set a hearing date at least five (5) working days from the date of delivery of the notice. If the delivery is by first class mail or posting, the delivery shall be presumed to have occurred on the third (3rd) day after mailing or posting.
The hearing officer may continue the hearing for good cause shown.
The Municipal Court Judge may be appointed as the hearing officer.
Pending the outcome of such a hearing, the dog must be confined in such a manner so as not to be a threat to any person. The confinement may be on the owner's premises or with a licensed veterinarian. Failure to confine the dog as required by this Section is a violation and is punishable under this Code. Upon failure to confine the dog as required, an emergency order of confinement may be sought from the hearing officer or Municipal Court Judge and upon a determination that the dog is not being confined and that the dog presents a threat to any person, an order may be issued authorizing the dog to be taken into custody by the City.
The hearing officer shall determine whether to declare the animal a dangerous dog based upon evidence and testimony presented in any hearing involving such animal.
In determining whether to declare the animal a dangerous dog, the hearing officer shall consider all evidence presented by the animal's owner, witnesses to any events described in Subsection (A) of this Section, Animal Control personnel, Police or any other person possessing information pertinent to such determination. If a dog is declared dangerous, the hearing officer shall enter an appropriate order that may include, but is not limited to, the conditions and requirements in Code Section 210.310 and Subsections (N) and (O) of this Section.
The hearing officer shall issue written findings within five (5) days after the hearing. The owner or possessor of the animal found to be dangerous shall be required to maintain the animal as herein provided in this Section.
Exemptions To Dangerous Dog Classification.
With the exception of Subsection (A)(1), no dog may be declared dangerous if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who at the time was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have teased, tormented, abused or assaulted the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
With the exception of Subsection (A)(1) an Animal Control Officer may, because of extenuating circumstances, determine from the investigation of an incident that an animal is not dangerous. However, the owner or keeper, being responsible for said dog, may be warned of the animal's tendencies and to take appropriate action to prevent subsequent incidences. This, however, does not exempt the owner or keeper from being cited for other animal control ordinance violations.
Dogs owned by governmental or law enforcement agencies when being used in the services of those agencies are exempt.
Actions To Be Taken For Public Safety Or For Dangerous Dogs Causing Severe Or Fatal Injuries.
A dog responsible for an unprovoked severe or fatal attack shall be humanely destroyed.
A dog responsible for a provoked severe or fatal attack should be maintained as a dangerous dog unless the hearing officer determines that it is necessary for the public safety and welfare for the dog to be euthanized and in that event the hearing officer shall so order and the Animal Control Officer shall execute the order.
The order of the hearing officer shall be considered the same as an order of a Municipal Judge for purpose of enforcement of the order, except no penalty provided for in Section 100.220 of the City Code shall be imposed by the hearing officer. If the hearing officer is also a Municipal Judge, any charge being prosecuted for dangerous dog may be consolidated with the administrative hearing. The Municipal Judge may enter a judgment and sentence in the capacity of Municipal Judge pursuant to Section 100.220 and may enter an appropriate administrative order in the capacity of a hearing officer.
[CC 1999 §4-47; Ord. No. 07-73 §2, 11-13-2007]
The following actions shall be required of owners or keepers of dogs that have been declared dangerous dogs:
Any dangerous dog which bites or scratches a human, domestic animal, livestock or poultry or any dog whose behavior immediately prior to or during an incident resulting in a human, domestic animal, livestock or poultry being bitten or scratched, which is determined to be dangerous, shall be impounded for a ten (10) day rabies quarantine at the municipal animal shelter or a veterinarian clinic.
The owner or keeper shall notify the Police Department immediately if a dangerous dog is loose, unconfined or missing, has attacked another animal or has attacked a human being.
The owner or keeper shall notify the Police Department within twenty four (24) hours if a dangerous dog has died or has been sold or given away. If the dog has been sold or given away, the owner or keeper shall provide the Police Department with the name, address and telephone number of the new owner, and the new owner, if the dog is kept within the City limits of Republic, must comply with the requirements of this Article.
While on the owner's or keeper's property, a dangerous dog must be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure must have minimum dimensions of five (5) feet by ten (10) feet and must have secure sides and a secure top. If it has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than twelve (12) inches. The enclosure must also provide protection from the elements for the dog. The enclosure, when occupied by a dangerous dog, shall not be occupied by any other animal. If the dangerous dog is a female with a litter of puppies under three (3) months of age, the puppies may occupy the same enclosure as the mother.
No dangerous dog may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure.
The owner or keeper shall display a sign on his/her premises that there is a dangerous dog on the property. This sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway or thoroughfare from which the property is entered. In addition, a similar sign is required to be posted on the kennel or pen or fenced yard of such animal.
A dangerous dog may be off the owner's or keeper's premises if it is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash not exceeding six (6) feet in length and under the control of a responsible person. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but must prevent it from biting any person or animal.
All owners or keepers of dangerous dogs must within ten (10) days of such declaration provide the Animal Control Officer two (2) color photographs, one (1) showing the left profile, the other showing the right profile of the animal clearly showing the color and approximate size of the animal.
Any dangerous dog shall wear at all times a bright fluorescent yellow collar with required tags attached so the dog can be identified as a dangerous dog.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of a dangerous dog within the City of Republic to fail to comply with requirements and conditions set forth in this Article. Anyone found to be in violation of this Article may be, in addition to other penalties provided by ordinance, subject to immediate seizure and impoundment of the person's dog for a minimum of ten (10) days or the time necessary for the owner or keeper to show compliance with this Article, whichever is shorter.
[CC 1999 §4-22; Ord. No. 07-73 §3, 11-13-2007]
If upon conviction under the terms of this Article the Municipal Court Judge determines that it is necessary for the public safety and welfare that the dog concerned be euthanized, the judge shall so order and the Animal Control Officer shall execute the order of the court. If the judge determines that the dog should not be euthanized, then the judge may enter an order consistent with Section 210.310.
In addition to those fines and costs that may be imposed upon a conviction by the Municipal Court Judge or in addition to the order that may be entered by the hearing officer under this Article, an order may be entered as a part of the judgment and sentence or administrative order requiring the payment of any and all costs incurred by the City including, but not limited to, the confinement of the dog during the pendency of the proceedings.