The following definitions shall apply to this chapter, unless otherwise stated:
- The charging of a person to within potential biting or striking distance while snapping or snarling or growling or displaying teeth in a threatening manner or exhibiting any behavior demonstrating a potential attack.
- Any living dumb creature, domestic or wild, as defined in this title as "dog," "domestic animal," "fowl," "horse," "livestock," or "predatory animal."
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER or OFFICER
- Any person designated by the state, county commissioners, or the Town, who is qualified to perform duties under the laws, regulations or ordinances of the state or Town pertaining to animals or animal control.
- ANIMAL SHELTER
- A facility recognized and designated by the governing body for the purpose of impounding or caring for animals held under the authority of this chapter.
- AT LARGE
- Physically off the property of its owner and not under immediate restraint of a competent person; not controlled by a leash, lead, rope, or reins; or not confined within a vehicle on a street or other enclosure.
- An animal must be confined to the property of the owner, keeper or harborer of said animal, provided that the animal may be taken off of that property when on a lead or leash no longer than 10 feet in length and under the control of a responsible person. Whether a person is responsible shall be determined by giving due consideration to the age of the person and the size and temperament of the animal. This provision shall not apply to animals confined in a vehicle, cage, pen, or similar enclosure or in the bed of a pick-up truck.
- Any domesticated canine breed excluding wolf, coyote, fox, other wild canine, or any hybrid thereof.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- An animal habituated to live in or about the homes of human beings.
- Untamed; wild; undomesticated.
- FOWL or POULTRY
- Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, grouse, or any other birds used for producing eggs or meat.
- Any pony, mule, donkey, ass, horse or any other solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal.
- LEASH orLEAD
- A thong, cord, rope, chain or similar device which holds an animal in restraint.
- Horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, hogs, poultry, llamas, alpacas, or other animal generally used for food or in the production of food or fiber.
- NOISY ANIMAL
- Any domestic animal that habitually, constantly or frequently disturbs the sleep, peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person, or a dog that excessively, continuously or untimely barks, whines or howls.
- The failure of an owner to exercise proper care and control of the owner's animals to prevent them from producing annoyance, discomfort or damage to persons or property. Without limiting the foregoing, excessive, continuous or untimely barking, molesting passers-by, chasing vehicles, attacking other domestic animals, trespassing upon school grounds or private property, noxious or offensive odors emanating from the animal's living quarters, or unsanitary living conditions shall be deemed a nuisance.
- OWN and OWNER
- Applies to any person or persons, firm, association, or corporation who shall own, possess, keep or harbor a domestic animal, fowl and/or livestock, including the person named on an animal registration record as owner, or who shall permit a domestic animal, livestock or fowl to be fed or remain habitually in or about the premises under their control. The parent or guardian of an owner shall be deemed the owner for purposes of this title when the owner is under the age of 18 years. For purposes of recovering stolen animals, a person named on the animal's most recent registration record will be considered the animal's owner.
- A group of three or more animals of the same species.
- PREDATORY ANIMAL
- Any animal that hunts, catches, or eats other animals as prey.
- The real property owned or occupied by the owner of the animal, and includes any vehicles in which the owner of the animal is residing.
- Next to its owner or another responsible person designated by the owner and not greater than 10 feet distance in any direction from its owner or another responsible person designated by the owner.
- An animal shall be deemed to be under restraint if on the premises of its owner; if accompanied by a responsible person and under that person's control; or by confining an animal within a fence or other enclosure which restricts it to a particular premises.
- VICIOUS ANIMAL
- Any animal which constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals; or an animal which, when unprovoked, bites or attacks or manifests a disposition to bite or attack any person or domestic animal. Proof of the fact that the animal has bitten or attacked any person or domestic animal at any place where the person has a legal right to be may be used as evidence that the animal is vicious. A certified animal trained and properly used as a guard, sentry, or police dog shall not be considered a vicious animal.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations and procedures for the registration, control, impoundment, and general care of animals within the Town.
Authority is granted cities and towns by WSS Section 15-1-103(a)(xiv) to regulate any animals within the Town and to provide for the operation of animal control and animal shelter services.
Animal Control Officer authority; responsibilities.
There is created within the Town the position of Animal Control Officer, who shall be an employee of the Town and under the supervision of the Mayor or Mayor's designee.
The Animal Control Officer shall be charged with the enforcement of this article and shall possess such authority and immunities as may be necessary thereto, including, but not limited to, the impoundment of animals, issuance of citations, and the service of summonses or other process issued by the municipal court.
If an Animal Control Officer observes a vehicle parked within the city in which domestic animals are confined with no visible means of ventilation or the health or safety of the animal is threatened, the officer shall immediately attempt to locate the vehicle owner or person responsible to provide for ventilation or to remove the animal from the vehicle. If unable to locate the vehicle owner or the person responsible within a reasonable time, the officer will be empowered to use whatever means reasonably necessary to enter the vehicle to provide ventilation or to remove the animal from the vehicle to preclude serious harm to the animal.
Editor's Note: So in original.
Animal Control Officers are authorized to enter upon any premises, excluding a dwelling unit, within the Town for the purpose of apprehending and impounding animals which the officer is authorized to impound or for any other purpose authorized in this title.
Violations and penalties.
No person shall obtain an animal from within the confines of the animal shelter, from an animal control vehicle, or from the custody and control of any Animal Control Officer without the permission of the authority in charge. It is a violation of law for any person to tamper with any lock, gate, door or fence on the animal control vehicle or located at the animal shelter or for any person to climb or attempt to climb any fence located at the animal shelter.
Any person who interferes with, hinders or resists an Animal Control Officer in the performance of such officer's lawful duties is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be fined up to $750 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
Animal control officers are authorized to:
Place or authorize the use of humane and safe traps in order to capture unrestrained animals on public or private property within the Town at the request of the property owner or occupant;
Utilize chemicals to capture public nuisance, aggressive or vicious animals;
Capture unrestrained animals whether at large singly or in packs;
Euthanize certain diseased or injured animals, or wild animals when caught, including feral cats, provided that the Animal Control Officer so acting is a state-certified animal euthanasia technician.
Sheriff deputies may shoot a vicious animal when necessary to avoid immediate physical threat or injury to human beings or other animals.
No person shall trap animals, except rodents, within the Town without the express consent of an Animal Control Officer. The disposal of any trapped animal that is found to be in a trap not belonging to the Town of Pinedale shall be the responsibility of the person setting the trap.
Unlicensed animals, unrestrained animals, animals running at large, animals that pose a threat to public safety or welfare, or any animal that has been treated in a cruel or inhumane manner may be taken up and impounded by an Animal Control Officer.
The owner of any animal so impounded may reclaim such animal upon payment of the permit or license fee, if unpaid, and of all costs and charges incurred by the Town for impoundment and maintenance of the animal. However, an Animal Control Officer may deny or refuse return of an animal to its owner where there is concern for the health, safety and welfare of the animal or the public.
An administrative appeal of the Animal Control Officer's decision to deny or refuse return of an animal may be made to the municipal court of the Town of Pinedale.
Redemption; payment of costs. The owner or agent of an owner of any animal impounded under these rules shall have the privilege of claiming such animal within five days after it is impounded, upon complying with the following requirements:
Show proof of licensure, and if no license, then obtain a license.
Show proof of vaccination against rabies, where applicable, and if none, then obtain the proper vaccination within two weeks of release and furnish such proof to the Animal Control Officer or other official.
Pay the appropriate fee to the Town of Pinedale as set by resolution.
Pay the Town of Pinedale the appropriate fee per animal for board for each day or portion thereof. The first day of impoundment is included in the impoundment fee per resolution.
Pay the actual cost of any veterinary services rendered.
The owner reclaiming an impounded animal may also be cited for any violation of this chapter, and/or any permits issued may be revoked.
Return to owner without impounding. If an animal is found running at large and its owner can be identified and located, such animal need not be impounded but may, instead, be taken to the owner. In such a case, the Animal Control Officer may cite the owner for any violations of this chapter.
Notification of owner. Upon impounding any animal pursuant to this section the Animal Control Officer shall make reasonable efforts to ascertain the ownership and notify the owner of each animal so impounded.
Disposition of animals.
Impounded animals shall be kept for at least five days unless reclaimed by their owners. All animals left unclaimed after five days become the property of the Town.
Any person who adopts an animal after the five-day waiting period shall secure a license for any dog so adopted. A licensed veterinarian shall vaccinate any dog or cat for rabies within 14 days of adoption if not current on its rabies vaccination.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs brought into the Town for the purpose of participating in any dog show; nor to dogs trained to assist handicapped persons for the purpose of aiding them in going from place to place. Any other dog which is the property of a nonresident of the Town may be issued a permit for the purposes of identification, but no permit is required unless and until the dog has been found in violation of any other provisions of this chapter.
No person shall have in his or her possession, care, custody or control any impounded animal that has not been properly released by an Animal Control Officer or other authorized agent or official.
The Animal Control Officer is authorized to advertise and place for adoption all dogs, cats or other animals, which have been impounded for a period of not less than five days. Any person wishing to adopt an animal shall pay an adoption fee set by resolution of the Town Council.
Any person who violates any provisions of this chapter for which violation no specific penalty is provided is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as provided in Chapter 1, Article IV, General Penalty of this Code. If any violation is continuing, each day's violation shall be deemed a separate violation.