City of Firebaugh, CA
Fresno County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Regulations concerning dogs were adopted by Ordinance #108, as amended, and vicious dogs were regulated by Ordinance #301. These ordinances are superseded by Ordinance #355.]
As used in this section:
a. 
DOG - shall mean and include any dog more than four months old, and shall be deemed to include female as well as male dogs, except when otherwise specially provided herein.
b. 
UNLICENSED DOG – shall mean a dog for which the license for the current year has not been paid, or to which the tag provided for in this section is not attached.
c. 
Any person keeping or harboring a dog for 10 consecutive days shall be deemed to be the owner thereof, within the meaning of this section.
a. 
License requirement and fees. The owner of custodian of any dog over the age of four months shall procure a city dog license and pay there for an annual license fee as established by resolution of the city council for each dog which is not spayed or neutered and an annual license fee as established by resolution of the city council for each dog which is spayed or neutered. The license fee shall be due and payable on January 1 or July 1 annually. The amount of such license shall be paid to the city clerk and upon payment thereof, the city clerk shall issue a metal tag with the number and year of the issuance thereof and the words "City of Firebaugh" plainly inscribed thereon, and shall enter in a register kept by him for that purpose the name and address of the owner of the dog licensed or the person to whom such license is issued, a description of such dog, the number of the tag, and the date of its issuance. Duplicate metal tags may be issued upon payment as established by resolution of the city council for each duplicate tag so issued. Any person failing to procure and pay for such license within 30 days of the date when it is due shall pay an additional fee as established by resolution of the city council as a penalty for such delinquency.
b. 
Proof of neutering or spaying. Before a city dog license may be issued for the lower annual license fee for a dog which has been spayed or neutered, the owner or custodian of such dog shall provide evidence that the dog has been spayed or neutered. Such evidence shall be a certificate signed by a doctor of veterinary medicine, on his letterhead stationery.
c. 
Attachment of tags. The dog license tag issued to any person upon the payment of the license fee herein provided shall be securely attached to a collar or harness on such dog; provided, however, that such tag need not be attached to any dog in the dwelling house of the owner or custodian or in an enclosed yard adjacent thereto. The poundmaster shall impound any dog not on the premises of the owner and not bearing a dog license tag from the city.
d. 
Prohibited acts.
1. 
No unauthorized person shall remove any current, valid license tag from any dog, except as provided in subsection 6-1.2c.
2. 
No person shall attach to or keep upon any dog any license tag provided for in this section except a tag issued for such dog under the provisions of this section.
3. 
No person shall attach to or keep upon any dog or make or have in his possession any counterfeit or imitation of any license tag provided for in this section.
4. 
No person shall harbor or keep any dog which is not licensed and tagged in accordance with the requirements of this section.
e. 
Dog license a debt. The amount of any license imposed by this section shall be deemed a debt to the city, and any person owning, having or keeping a dog in the city without having obtained a license to do so from the city shall be liable to an action in the name of the city in any court of competent jurisdiction for the amount of license imposed by and required by this section to be paid for the privilege of having and keeping such dog in the city.
[Ord. #355, S2]
a. 
Dogs at large. It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having charge of, care of, or control of any dog to permit or allow the same to run at large within the city upon any street, or other public place, or upon any private property without the consent of the owner thereof.
b. 
Leash requirement. It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having charge of, care of or control of any dog to permit or allow same to be within the city upon any street, or other public place, or upon any private property, without the consent of the owner thereof, unless the dog is upon and secured to a cord, chain or leash and the length of such cord, chain or leash is no more than eight feet in length, and the end thereof is secured to a person.
c. 
Restraint of females. It is unlawful for the owner of any female dog to cause to permit the same to stray or run at large off the premises of the owner or in any public place while in heat, and it shall be the duty of any officer to take up and impound such female dog whether licensed or unlicensed which is found running at large in violation of this section. The dog may be redeemed only after the expiration of a period of 10 days from the date of such impounding and then only upon the payment of a redemption fee of $10.
[Ord. #355, S3A]
There is hereby created a Firebaugh city pound, which pound shall be constructed and located as the city council shall hereafter determine, and shall be used for the purpose of properly housing and impounding such animals as may hereafter be taken up under the terms and provisions of this chapter.
[Ord. #355, S4b]
There is hereby created the office of Firebaugh City Poundmaster, and said city poundmaster is hereby directed and authorized to enforce each and all of the provisions herein contained. The poundmaster shall receive as compensation for his services a sum hereafter to be arrived at and fixed by the city council.
[Ord. #355, S4c]
The poundmaster shall make a true and correct report to the city council on the second Tuesday of each month of the animals impounded by him during the previous month; of the number redeemed and sold and the amount received therefor, and the number destroyed.
[Ord. #355, S4d]
It is lawful for any officer to enter upon the premises of any person for the purpose of enforcing this chapter, and it is unlawful for any person to interfere with such officer in the performance of his duties hereunder.
[Ord. #355, S4]
Whenever the poundmaster is authorized to take up and impound any animal under the provisions of this chapter, he shall have the authority, in the exercise of a sound discretion, to shoot any such animal which attacks him while he is in the act of seizing it for impounding, and to shoot any dog at large which has no known owner or home and which cannot be safely caught.
a. 
Whenever the poundmaster takes up, collects or impounds any animal under the provisions of this chapter, the costs of collection and impoundment incurred by the city, shall be paid by the owner or the person controlling the animal and shall become a lien against the real property upon which the animal was kept and maintained until said lien is paid. The total amount of the collection and impoundment charges may be entered on the next fiscal year tax roll as a lien against the property upon which the animal was kept and maintained and shall be subject to the same penalties as are provided for other delinquent taxes, liens or assessments of the city, or an action may be brought in the name of the city to recover the costs of collection and impoundment.
b. 
The notice and hearing procedures of section 6-8 of Chapter 6 of the Municipal Code of the City of Firebaugh shall be followed.
[Ord. #88-5, S1]
[Ord. #355, S5 and New]
Any dog not properly licensed and wearing its tag as herein provided, which is found running at large off the premises of the owner and not in the presence of the owner or a member of his family, shall be taken into custody by the poundmaster of the city or his deputies and lodged in the city pound. If the owner of the dog is known by the poundmaster, notice of the impounding shall be given. If the owner is not known, a notice of the impounding shall be posted on the bulletin board at the city hall. This notice shall contain a description of the animal impounded, and shall state that the animal will be sold at public auction at a specified time and place, unless the animal is reclaimed before that time. The time for the sale shall be not less than five nor more than 10 days from the posting of the notice. Such dogs may be redeemed prior to the sale by the owner or possessor thereof, on the payment to the poundmaster of the sum as established by resolution of the city council.
[Ord. #355, S5 and New]
Any licensed dog found running at large contrary to subsection 6-3.1 or any other provision of this chapter off the premises of the owner and not in the presence of the owner or a member of his family, shall be taken up and impounded. Immediately after the impounding of any dog wearing a valid tag, the poundmaster shall give actual notice to the owner, if known; or mail notice of such impounding and the attendant consequences to the licensee at the address registered when application was made for the license. Such dogs may be redeemed by the owner or possessor within one day after the impounding on payment to the poundmaster of the sum as established by resolution of the city council.
[Ord. #355, S5]
Any impounded animals which are not redeemed as herein provided may be sold by the poundmaster for such price as he deems reasonable and proper. Any animal impounded and not redeemed or sold within the time and in the manner specified in this chapter, shall be destroyed by the poundmaster. Animals which are dangerous to keep impounded or unfit for further use by reason of age, disease or other infirmity shall be destroyed (after examination by the city health officer) as soon as is conveniently possible, and in case of such destruction, no notice to the owner shall be required. Animals destroyed according to the provisions of this section shall be buried in such place as the city council may designate from time to time.
Any dog, except one assisting a peace officer engaged in law enforcement duties, which demonstrates any of the following behavior is presumed vicious:
a. 
An attack which requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury or property damage when such person is conducting himself or herself peacefully and lawfully.
b. 
An attack which results in property damage or in an injury to a person when such a person is conducting himself or herself peacefully and lawfully.
c. 
An attack on another animal, livestock, or poultry which occurs on property other than that of the owner of the attacking dog.
d. 
Any behavior which constitutes a threat of bodily harm to a person when such a person is conducting himself or herself peacefully and lawfully.
[Ord. #87-9, S1]
[Ord. #87-9, S1]
Any incident reported to the Firebaugh Police Department concerning a vicious dog may be investigated by the chief of police, or his designee. If, based on the investigation, the chief of police concludes that there is probable cause to believe that the dog is vicious, he shall so certify in writing to the person owning or controlling the dog within 10 days following completion of the investigation. Thereafter a hearing shall be held pursuant to subsections 6-4.4, 6-4.5 and 6-4.6 below.
[Ord. #87-9, S1; Ord. #01-05, S2]
If the chief of police determines as a result of the investigation and certifies that there is probable cause to believe that a dog is vicious and an immediate risk to public safety, he may direct any animal control officer, police officer or other authorized employee of the city to enter the yard of any private residence or business in accordance with law in order to seize any such dog, whether running at large or not, and confine the dog at an appropriate animal shelter pending the decision of the city manager following the hearing provided for in subsections 6-4.4, 6-4.5 and 6-4.6 below. If, following the hearing, the city manager determines that the dog is vicious, the cost of the confinement shall be paid by the person owning or controlling such dog as provided in subsection 6-4.8. If the city manager's decision and order pursuant to subsection 6-4.6 permits release or conditional release of the dog, the dog shall not be released until such costs have been paid in full.
[Ord. #87-9, S1]
A hearing date shall be set by the city clerk not later than 10 days from the date of certification. The city manager shall mail or otherwise deliver to the owner or person controlling the dog and other interested persons, including, but not necessarily limited to, all properties within 300 feet of the address of the owner or person controlling the dog, at least five days prior to the date set for hearing, a notice in substantially the following form:
"NOTICE OF HEARING REGARDING VICIOUS DOG
To:
(name);
(address)
"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to the provisions of section 6-4 of Chapter 6 of the Firebaugh Municipal Code, the Chief of Police has certified that there is probable cause to believe a dog owned or controlled by you, a __________(breed) is vicious.
FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on _____ the _____ day of __________, 20_____, at the hour of _____ o'clock, in the offices of the City Manager, City Hall, 1571 Eleventh Street, Firebaugh, California, the report of the Chief of Police will be considered by the City Manager or an appointed hearing officer with such other oral and documentary evidence bearing upon the question of whether your dog is vicious. You may appear and may present evidence at the hearing. You may also be represented by an attorney. If you fail to appear without giving notice to the City Manager, the matter may proceed in your absence and such absence may be further considered a waiver of your right to present evidence and object to any decision made.
In the event your dog is found to be vicious, it will be ordered to be controlled, confined, destroyed, restricted, or otherwise abated as a public nuisance and any impoundment cost incurred shall be assessed against you.
A copy of this notice has been sent to property owners within 300 feet of your address.
DATED: ___________________
City Manager"
[Ord. #87-9, S1]
At the hearing, which may be continued from time to time, both oral and documentary evidence may be taken from any interested person and considered in determining whether the dog is vicious. Any owner who fails to appear after notice as provided herein was given, without obtaining a continuance from the city manager or appointed hearing officer, may be deemed to have waived any right to introduce evidence or object to an order made by the city manager. If the hearing is conducted by a hearing officer other than the city manager, the hearing officer shall submit a report to the city manager summarizing the evidence and making a recommendation as to disposition.
a. 
If, after the hearing, or the report of the hearing officer, the city manager upholds the findings of the chief of police that the dog is vicious, he or she shall so specify in writing together with the reasons therefor. Any dog found to be vicious is hereby deemed to be a public nuisance and shall be, pursuant to the order of the city manager, humanely destroyed, removed from the city, or be otherwise abated by appropriate order of the city manager, including, but not limited to, those conditions specified in paragraph b of this subsection 6-4.6. The decision of the city manager shall be made promptly and in no event later than 10 days after the conclusion of the hearing. A copy of the decision shall be sent by certified mail or personally served upon the person owning or controlling the dog. The decision of the city manager may be appealed by such person by filing a notice of appeal with the city clerk within 10 days of the date of such decision after receipt of the decision.
b. 
Without limiting the city manager's authority under paragraph a., the city manager may order a dog determined to be vicious to be released to the owner or other person responsible for controlling the dog subject to such conditions as the city manager deems necessary to abate the vicious dog, including but not limited to any or all of the following:
1. 
Leash and muzzle. No person shall permit a vicious dog to go outside its kennel or pen unless such dog is securely leashed with a leash no longer than four feet in length. No person shall permit a vicious dog to be kept on a chain, rope or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless a person is in physical control of the leash. A vicious dog may not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, buildings, etc. A vicious dog on a leash outside its kennel or pen must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals.
2. 
Confinement. A vicious dog shall be kept securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen, kennel or other structure, except when leashed and muzzled as above provided. Such pen, kennel or structure shall comply with all zoning and building codes of the city and shall have secure sides, a secure top attached to the sides, and a secure floor or bottom attached to the sides or the sides embedded in the ground no less than two feet.
3. 
Confinement indoors. No vicious 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 vicious dog 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 house or structure.
4. 
Signs. The owner, keeper or harborer of a vicious dog shall at all times display in a prominent place on the premises where the dog is regularly kept a sign, easily readable by the public entering onto the premises, using the words "Beware of Dog." In addition, a similar sign shall be displayed on the kennel, pen or other structure used to confine the dog.
5. 
Insurance. The owner, keeper or harborer of a vicious dog shall provide, within 10 days after demand by the city manager or his designee, proof to the city manager of public liability insurance with a single incident coverage in the amount of at least $50,000 for bodily injury or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any person or persons which may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of the vicious dog. Such insurance policy shall provide that it shall not be canceled unless 30 days' prior notice is given to the city manager.
6. 
Identification photographs. The owner, keeper or harborer of a vicious dog shall, within 10 days after the date of the city manager's decision, provide to the chief of police or his designee two color photographs of the dog, clearly showing the color and approximate size of the dog.
7. 
Reporting. The owner, keeper or harborer of a vicious dog shall, within 10 days after the following incidents, report the following information in writing to the chief of police or his designee:
(a) 
Death or removal from the city of the dog;
(b) 
The new address of the dog owner, keeper or harborer, if such owner, keeper or harborer moves within the city limits;
(c) 
Sale, barter or transfer of the dog to a new owner within the city and the address of the new owner, unless such person resides permanently in the same household and on the same premises as the prior owner of the dog.
If the city manager orders such conditional release, no person shall keep, possess, maintain or harbor within the city limits the dog covered by the order, except in full compliance with all conditions stated in the order.
[Ord. #87-9, S1; Ord. #01-05, S3]
[Ord. #87-9, S1]
The city council shall hold a hearing on the appeal at its regularly scheduled meeting first occurring after the filing of the notice of appeal. The city council shall consider only the evidence received by the city manager, and may affirm, reverse or modify the order of the city manager. No new evidence shall be received. The decision of the city council shall be final.
[Ord. #87-9, S1; Ord. #01-05, S4]
If the city manager finds the dog is vicious, the costs of impoundment incurred by the city, including any abatement period, shall be a personal obligation of and shall be paid by the owner or the person controlling the dog. Also, without limiting such personal obligation, upon notice to the owner of record of such real property shown on the last equalized assessment roll or supplemental roll (whichever is more current) pursuant to Government Code section 38773.1 or other applicable law, such costs shall become a lien against the real property upon which the dog was kept and maintained until the lien is paid. If the order includes the release or conditional release of a dog found to be vicious to the owner or person controlling it, the dog shall not be released until such costs have been paid in full. If such costs have not been paid within 30 days after the date of mailing or delivery of the order, the city manager may dispose of the dog in any manner provided by law, or return the dog and pursue alternative collection procedures. Provided notice has been given as required by this subsection, the total amount of the impoundment charges may be entered on the next fiscal year tax roll as a lien against the property upon which the dog was maintained and shall be subject to the same penalties as are provided for other delinquent taxes, liens or assessments of the city, or action may be brought in the name of the city to recover the costs of impoundment.
[Ord. #87-9, S1]
The first violation of any order issued pursuant to subsection 6-4.6 shall constitute an infraction, the second and any further violations within 24 months of the order shall be misdemeanors.
[Ord. #355, S7]
It shall be unlawful for any person owning, having an interest in, harboring, or having the care, charge, custody, or possession of a dog to allow or permit such dog to go on the public streets in any manner, or to go free and run at large in or upon any place in the city, unless such dog has been vaccinated with canine rabies vaccine - one injection or approved method - within a period of 12 months. This vaccination shall be performed by a licensed veterinarian approved by the board of health. The persons vaccinating the dog shall issue certificates of vaccination on blanks furnished by the city.
Every person owning, having custody or control of any dog vaccinated as herein provided, shall present such certificate of vaccination to the poundmaster who shall issue an official vaccination tag which shall be securely fastened to a collar to be worn at all times by such vaccinated dog. It shall be unlawful to attach an official vaccination tag to any dog unless the dog has been duly vaccinated as herein provided.
[Ord. #355, S7]
The poundmaster and his deputies, and also any person employed for that purpose by the city council, are hereby authorized and empowered to capture any dog not vaccinated and tagged as required by this ordinance which is found going free or running at large in or upon any place within the city. Such officer or person shall be authorized and empowered to destroy such dog, if necessary in his sound discretion.
a. 
Officers or persons capturing a dog under the provisions of subsection 6-5.3 may separately confine in some safe place such dog captured by them, and shall report the capture to the health officer, or his representative, and it shall be the duty of the health officer, when called upon, to examine or have examined such dog, and to ascertain whether or not such dog is affected with rabies.
b. 
Whenever the owner or persons having the custody or possession of an animal shall observe or learn that such animal shows symptoms of rabies, or acts in a manner which would lead to a reasonable suspicion that it may have rabies, he shall immediately notify the health officer, or his representative, to make an inspection or examination of such animal until it shall be established to the satisfaction of said official that such animal has or has not rabies.
c. 
If it shall appear to the health officer or his representative upon examination or otherwise, of a dog or other animal, that such dog or other animal has rabies, he shall forthwith destroy such dog or other animal.
d. 
If, after examination of a dog, the health officer or his representative shall determine that said dog does not have rabies, such dog may be redeemed upon the payment of a redemption fee as set by resolution of the city council. No dog shall be released unless it has been vaccinated, as provided in this section, at the expense of the owner or custodian.
[Ord. #355, S7]
Whenever any animal shall be bitten by another animal having rabies, the owner or custodian of the animal so bitten, shall upon being informed thereof, either destroy such animal or quarantine it, and keep it confined or tied up for a period of six months, and the health officer or his representative shall have the power, in his discretion, to destroy or quarantine the animal so bitten, in case the owner or person having custody or possession thereof shall fail to do so immediately or in case the owner or custodian thereof is not readily accessible.
[Ord. #355, S7]
No person shall bring an unvaccinated dog into, or permit or encourage an unvaccinated dog to come into the city from another city or town or other place in or outside of the County of Fresno in which rabies exist or has existed within six months previously; nor shall any person take an unvaccinated dog or permit or encourage an unvaccinated dog to go from the city, at a time when rabies exists therein or has existed therein within six months previously, to any other city or town or other place in or outside of the County of Fresno in which rabies does not exist or has not been known to be present within six months.
[Ord. #355, S8]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction and upon conviction thereof shall be liable to the penalty established in Chapter 1, section 1-5.
As used in this section:
a. 
LOT OR PARCEL OF LAND – shall mean any area of land in the city under one ownership as shown on the last assessor's roll of Fresno County and the records of the City of Firebaugh, whichever is the most recent, or any area of land under legal control of any person.
b. 
IMPROVED LOT – shall mean any lot or parcel of land on which is located a dwelling house, occupied or unoccupied.
[Ord. #70, S1]
a. 
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to suffer or permit any chicks, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, pigeons, doves, squabs, or similar fowls, or any hare or hares, or rabbit or rabbits owned or controlled by such person to run at large or to go upon the premises of any other person in the city, or to keep or maintain the same within 20 feet of the property line of any adjacent improved lot or parcel of land within 50 feet of any dwelling other than that occupied by such person.
b. 
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep, pasture, feed or maintain in the city any horse, mule, pony, burro, cow, sheep, goats, calves or donkey within 50 feet of the property line of any adjoining improved lot or parcel of land or within 100 feet of any dwelling other than that occupied by such person.
c. 
It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person keeping, pasturing, feeding or maintaining any of the animals mentioned in the foregoing subsections to fail, refuse or neglect to keep and maintain on the premises at least one effective fly killer or fly-tray in good working order for every 15 or fractional part thereof in number of such animals.
d. 
In addition to keeping and maintaining any of the animals mentioned in this subsection in the city, it is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person to keep any of the foregoing under any conditions in the area from N and 10th Streets to Q and 10th Streets, from 10th Street to 12th Street, and from 12th and N Streets to 12th and Q Streets.
[Ord. #70, S2]
[Ord. #70, S3]
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain in the city any hive of bees within 100 feet of any dwelling other than that occupied by such person.
[Ord. #70, S4]
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep, pasture, or maintain in the city any hogs, pigs, swine, roosters, monkeys, ganders, pea fowls, guinea hens or male goats.
a. 
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep or permit to be kept upon any premises owned, controlled, or occupied by such person in the city, any chicken coop, rabbit hutch, corral, yard, kennel, stable, cow shed, horse shed, horse picket line, cellar, vault, drainpool, sewer or sink in a foul, offensive, noxious, or filthy condition.
b. 
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and it shall be unlawful for any person keeping any fowl or animal in the city to fail or neglect to cause the manure therefrom to be completely removed from the premises at least once in every 24 hours, unless such manure is kept in a sound container of metal, brick, stone, concrete, or of wood on planks not less than one inch in thickness. The container shall at all times be kept covered and inaccessible to flies.
c. 
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep or permit to be kept in the city, manure, in any container for a longer period than seven days, or to fail to clean and disinfect such container when ordered to do so by any health officer.
[Ord. #70, S8]
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to permit the carcass of any animal to remain upon property owned, controlled or occupied by such person in the city for a period of more than 24 hours, or to bury the carcass of any animal upon property owned, controlled or occupied by him in the city, or to permit any animal or vegetable matter, filth, night soil, slops, swill, sudes, stagnant water or other offensive matter to collect or to be deposited upon any property owned, controlled, or occupied by him.
[Ord. #70, S12]
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep or permit upon any parcel of land in the city, any animal or animals, including fowl, or fowls, which by any sound or cry shall disturb the peace and comfort of any neighborhood, or interfere with any person in the reasonable and comfortable enjoyment of life or property.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 6-8, Keeping of Registered Pit Bulls, containing portions of Ordinance No. 87-10, was repealed in its entirety by Ordinance No. 01-05. For regulations regarding vicious dogs, see Section 6-4 of this chapter