In Pine Bluffs, Arkansas, it is unlawful to keep any pit bull dog, with exceptions for pit bulls owned by local, state or federal agencies, used by law enforcement, or as a service animal by a handicapped or disabled person. Pit bulls must be registered, be vaccinated for rabies, be sterilized, and the owner must be at least 21 years old and keep liability insurance of $100,000. The dog must be properly confined with warning signs, and a leash and muzzle must be used.
Sec. 5-26 . - Definitions.
Sec. 5-27 . - Vicious or dangerous dogs.
Sec. 5-41 . - Nuisance animals.
Sec. 5-42 . - Declaration of vicious dog.
Sec. 5-43 . - Dangerous dog declaration/pit bull dogs restricted.
The following words, terms and phrases and their derivatives shall have the following meanings, except where their context clearly indicates a different meaning:
AKC or UKC Registered Show Dog means an American Staffordshire Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier for which the owner thereof has documentation showing the dog to be a registered AKC or UKC American Staffordshire Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier show/performance dog. The documentation to prove the animal is a show/performance dog must include: (a) an AKC or UKC registration; (b) AKC or UKC three (3) generation pedigree; (3) proof the dog is being used as show dog once the dog reaches the age of six (6) months; and (4) the first five (5) numbers of the AKC or UKC registration tattooed on the abdomen of the upper side of the left rear leg.
Abandon means any person in possession of an animal who knowingly refuses to provide care for the animal as defined by this chapter.
Animal means any living creature, domestic or exotic, including fish, fowl and reptiles.
Animal control officer means an employee or agent of the city, designated by the mayor to administer and enforce the licensing, inspection and enforcement requirements contained within this chapter.
At large means not in an adequate enclosure or fence and not on a leash or otherwise under the immediate control of a person physically capable of restraining the animal.
Breeder means any person, partnership, or corporation which maintains an unaltered (unsterilized) dog or cat and breeds such animal for any consideration of profit, fee or compensation.
Cats when used herein shall include animals of all ages, both female and male, which are members of the feline or cat family.
Cruelty means any act of omission whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death of an animal is caused or permitted, including failure to provide proper drink, air, space, shelter or protection from the elements, a sanitary and safe living environment, veterinary care or nutritious food in siphoned quantity. In the case of activities where physical pain is necessarily caused, such as medical and scientific research, food processing, customary and normal veterinary and agricultural husbandry practices, pest elimination, and animal training and hunting, "cruelty" shall mean a failure to employ the most humane method reasonably available.
Dangerous animal means any dog or other animal which: (1) without provocation, attacks or bites a person engaged in lawful activity; (2) or, while off the property of its owner and without provocation, attacks or bites another domestic animal; (3) exhibits a propensity, tendency or disposition to attack, cause injury or threaten the safety of persons or other animals without provocation; (4) without provocation, chases, confronts or approaches a person on a street, sidewalk, other public property or another person's private property in a menacing fashion such as would put an average person in fear of attack; or, (5) acts in a manner that causes of should cause its owner to know that it is potentially vicious. Animal control may make this determination upon investigation and reasonable belief formed therefrom.
Dogs when used herein shall include animals of all ages, both female and male, which are members of the canine or dog family.
Domestic animal includes dogs, cats, domesticated sheep, horses, cattle, goats, swine, fowl, ducks, geese, turkeys, confined domestic hares and rabbits, pheasants, and other birds and animals raised and/or maintained in confinement.
Enclosure means a fence or structure forming or causing an enclosure suitable to adequately confine any animal. In reference to animals in heat, a fence or structure which adequately restricts access to a female dog or cat in heat. A fence or structure is inadequate if it fails to confine or fails to restrict access to an animal in heat. Any animal deemed vicious (pending outcome of appeal) or dangerous must meet enclosure requirements as outlined in section 5-43.
Exotic animal means any live monkey, alligator, crocodile, cayman, raccoon, skunk, fox, bear, sea mammal, poisonous snake, member of the feline species other than domestic cat (felis domesticus), member of the canine species other than domestic dog (canis familiaris) or any other animal that would require a standard of care and control greater than that required for ordinary household pets sold by commercial pet shops or domestic farm animals.
Impoundment means the taking into custody of an animal by any police officer, animal control officer, or any authorized representative thereof.
Kennel, cattery, or pet shop means any premises wherein any person, firm, or corporation engages in the business of boarding, breeding, buying, letting for hire, raising, training for a fee, or selling dogs, cats, birds, rodents, reptiles, fowl, fish, or other small animals for profit, whether operated separately or in conjunction with another business enterprise.
Muzzle when required by this chapter, means a muzzle shall be of appropriate material with sufficient strength to restrain the animal from biting and no such muzzle employed shall be made from any material or maintained on the animal in any manner so as to cut or injure the animal.
Owner means any person having temporary or permanent custody of, sheltering or having charge of, harboring, exercising control over, or having property rights to, any animal covered by this ordinance. An animal shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for three (3) consecutive days or more.
Pit bull breed includes
(1) American Pit Bull Terrier;
(2) Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (unless exempted as a registered show dog);
(3) American Bull Dog;
(4) Any dog whose sire or dam is a dog of a breed which is defined as a restricted breed of dog in this definition;
(5) Any dog whose owner registers, defines, admits or otherwise identifies the dog as being of a restricted breed;
(6) Any dog conforming or substantially conforming to the breed of American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or American Bull Dog, as defined by the United Kennel Club or American Kennel Club; or
(7) Any dog which is of the breed commonly referred to as "pit bull" and commonly recognized and identifiable as such.
Severe or serious injury means any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations which require or that will require multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.
Stray means any dog or cat which does not have affixed to it a collar with a rabies tag or a current City of Pine Bluff license tag.
Under restraint means an animal is secured by a leash lead under control of a person physically capable of restraining the animal and obedient to that person's commands, or, securely enclosed within the real property limits of the owner's premises.
Vaccination means when used herein means an injection of any vaccine for rabies approved by the state veterinarian, and administered by a licensed veterinarian or agent of the health officer.
Vicious animal means any dog or animal that constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals by virtue of one (1) or more attacks within a twelve (12) month period of such severity as to cause physical injury or property damage. However, the fact that an animal has bitten or attempted to bite some person when that person was teasing the animal or otherwise provoking it shall not constitute the animal a vicious animal.
Vicious dog shall mean any dog which: (1) causes death or serious injury to a person engaged in lawful activity; (2) on two (2) or more occasions within a twelve (12) month period, attacks or bites without provocation and with such severity as to cause physical injury or property damage to a person engaged in lawful activity; (3) while off the property of its owner and without provocation, kills or seriously injures another domesticated animal; or (4) is trained for dog fighting or is owned or kept for the purpose of dog fighting.
(Ord. No. 5831, § 1, 9-20-99; Ord. No. 6174, § 1, 5-1-06; Ord. No. 6176, §§ 1(a), 1(b), 5-16-06)
Section 5 of Ord. No. 6176 provided for an amended effective date to Ord. No. 6174 of 12:01 a.m. June 16, 2006.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep within the city limits any vicious dog. See provisions of section 5-42, declaration of vicious dog.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep within the city limits any dangerous dog, except in compliance with the provisions of section 5-43 of this Code.
(c) A pit bull breed dog, other than an AKC or UKC registered show dog, is restricted within the city limits of Pine Bluff, and must be registered pursuant to the provisions of section 5-43 of this Code, unless the animal is owned and maintained by a local, state or federal agency and used for law enforcement purposes, or is used as a service animal by a handicapped or disabled person; provided, however, that an AKC or UKC registered show dog, registered dog, law enforcement dog, or service dog, found and declared to be a "vicious dog" pursuant to section 5-42 shall be prohibited from remaining in the city pursuant to section 5-27(a). It shall be unlawful for any person to keep within the city limits of Pine Bluff any pit bull dog as defined in section 5-26, except in compliance with the provisions of section5-43 of this Code.
(Ord. No. 5831, § 2, 9-20-99; Ord. No. 6019, § 1, 6-17-02; Ord. No. 6174, § 2, 5-1-06; Ord. No. 6176, § 2, 5-16-06)
Section 5 of Ord. No. 6176 provided for an amended effective date to Ord. No. 6174 of 12:01 a.m. June 16, 2006.
Owners of nuisance animals shall be subject to a fine in addition to other lawful orders of the Pine Bluff Municipal Court. Any animal impounded as being a public nuisance may not be redeemed except under such circumstances as are authorized by the court.
Nuisance animals are any animals which infringe upon the rights of another animal or a person, or:
(1) Molest passersby or passing vehicles;
(2) Attack other animals;
(3) Trespass on school grounds;
(4) Are repeatedly at large;
(5) Damage private or public property;
(6) Bark, whine, or howl in an excessive, continuous, or untimely fashion.
(7) Causes fouling of the air by odor and thereby creates unreasonable annoyance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where animal is kept or harbored.
(Ord. No. 5831, § 16, 9-20-99)
If the animal control office has cause to believe that a dog is vicious within the meaning of "vicious animal" or "vicious dog," the division of animal control may declare a dog vicious and impound it if it poses a serious threat to the public health or safety.
(1) Notice to owner of declaration of vicious dog. In instances where the dog is declared vicious, it shall be surrendered to the animal control officer and impounded. If possession of the dog is obtained other than through surrender by the owner, the animal control office shall, within forty-eight (48) hours, notify the owner of the dog in writing, hand-delivered, where feasible, or, if not, posted at the owner's or custodian's last known address, that the dog or animal has been determined to be vicious and has been impounded by animal control. The owner shall have five (5) business days from delivery of the notice within which to lodge a written notice of appeal with the animal control office contesting the determination of "viciousness." If the owner does not lodge an appeal of the determination by the end of the regular business hours on the fifth (5th) day, the manager of animal control may apply to the Pine Bluff Municipal Court for an order to have the dog euthanized.
(2) Court appearance. If the owner of the dog contests the determination of animal control that the dog is vicious, the animal control officer shall issue a citation to the owner to appear in Pine Bluff Municipal Court for maintenance of a vicious animal or dog. The dog shall remain at animal control pending trial and the owner shall be responsible for boarding fees.
(3) Judicial determination. If the court determines that the dog is vicious and that maintenance of the vicious dog is a danger to the public safety, the court may order in addition to any penalty provided in section 5-58 of this chapter, and in addition to any boarding fees owed, one (1) of these alternatives:
a. That the dog be euthanized.
b. That the dog be removed from the city limits forthwith.
c. That if mitigating circumstances exist, such as extreme provocation of the dog, that the dog be declared dangerous and the owner comply with the sections on dangerous dogs.
(4) Exemptions. This section shall not apply to dogs properly kept and maintained by a police department or law enforcement agency.
(5) Violations and penalties. Any person violating or permitting the violation of this section shall, upon conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction, be subject to the provisions of section 5-58. In addition to the fine imposed, the court may order the dog removed from the city or euthanized, or declare the dog dangerous, if mitigating circumstances are present. In that event, failure to follow the provisions of section 5-43 regarding dangerous dogs may result in the permit of a vicious dog which has been downgraded to a dangerous dog being revoked and the dog ordered removed from the city or euthanized.
(6) Change of status. The owner or custodian of a vicious dog or a dangerous dog shall notify the division of animal control immediately that the dog is unconfined and on the loose, or has attacked a human being or domestic animal.
(Ord. No. 5831, § 17, 9-20-99; Ord. No. 6019, § 2, 6-17-02)
(a) Dangerous dog declaration: If the department of animal control has cause to believe a dog is dangerous, the department may find and declare such a dog a dangerous dog and the animal shall be immediately released and surrendered by the owner or custodian thereof to the animal control department until a permit for the animal is obtained. The owner shall have five (5) days from delivery of notice that the dog is deemed dangerous and that a permit is required to keep the dog in the city to obtain the permit. The owner of the animal must contact the animal control department and comply with the provisions of this chapter by removing the dog from the city limits, or taking prescribed measures listed hereafter to obtain a permit for the dog to remain in the city, or have the dog euthanized. Should the owner of the dog not contact the animal control department to obtain the required permit within the five (5) day period, or agree to permanently remove the animal from the city, then the dog shall be deemed abandoned and may be humanely destroyed by the animal control department. No permit shall be issued for a dangerous dog until all requirements listed herein shall have been met. In addition to all other fees authorized to be assessed, the animal control department may assess, and the owner or custodian of the dog must pay, the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for issuance of the permit allowing possession of a dangerous dog in the city. The permit shall be for a one (1) year period and may be renewed for additional one-year periods upon payment of the twenty-five dollar ($25.00) fee and compliance with other requirements of this section.
(b) Pit bull breed dogs.
(1) Registration. The owner of a pit bull breed dog who desires to continue to keep the dog within the city limits will have sixty (60) days subsequent to the effective date of this article to register the animal with the Pine Bluff Animal Control Department in order that the animal be allowed to remain in the city, pursuant to the following criteria:
a. The animal must have a valid city license;
b. The owner provides proof of rabies and other vaccinations;
c. The owner and handler must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
d. The owner shall, at his own expense, have the animal spaded or neutered, and shall present to the Pine Bluff Animal Control Department documentary proof from a licensed veterinarian that this sterilization has been performed. An owner of a restricted dog may be exempted from the spade or neuter requirement if the owner produces documentation from a licensed veterinarian stating that a spade or neuter would place the dog's life at risk or if the owner produces documentation showing that the dog is a registered show/performance dog as defined in section 5-26
e. The owner of the dog shall bring the animal to the Pine Bluff Animal Control Shelter where the dog will be assigned a registration number which must be tattooed on the abdomen of the animal, near the upper inside of the right rear leg, by a licensed veterinarian. The animal control department shall create and maintain a registration system containing the numbers and names of the animals and the names and addresses of the owners. The owner shall be responsible for notifying the animal control department of any change in his address, within ten (10) days of the change (regardless whether the new address is outside the city limits), and the owner shall also be responsible for notifying the department when the dog dies.
f. A pit bull breed dog shall be subject to the prescribed measures as defined in section 5-43 as conditions for keeping a dangerous dog.
g. No person shall sell, transfer, give, trade, barter or otherwise dispose of a pit bull breed dog registered with the animal control department to another person within the city, unless the person is a member of the same household and the same premises as the registered owner of the animal. An owner may sell or otherwise dispose of a registered pit bull breed dog to a person who is not a resident of the city and who will not maintain the animal within the city limits. In such cases the owner shall report the transaction to the animal control department within the time frame set forth in paragraph e. above.
h. There shall be a presumption that any dog registered within the city as a pit bull breed or any of the breed restricted by the City Code is a dog subject to the requirements of this section.
(c) Conditions for keeping or maintaining a dangerous dog.
(1) Confinement. All dangerous dogs shall be securely confined:
a. Indoors; or
b. In an enclosed and locked pen or physical structure upon the premises of the owner. The pen must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the ground beneath the gate shall be secured by imbedded posts and the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than one (1) foot, unless such pen has a concrete bottom, in which case the sides need only be embedded two (2) inches deep into the concrete. All such pens or structures must be adequately lighted and kept in a clean and sanitary condition. Any stationary pen or enclosure shall be required to be of a size at least two (2) square feet per pound of animal so confined. This structure must be species-appropriate. Square feet per pound should be judged by the type of animal at average full grown weight.
(2) Leash and muzzle. The owner of a dangerous dog shall not suffer or permit the dog to go unconfined unless the dog is securely muzzled and restrained by a chain or leash, and under the physical restraint of a person capable of restraining said dog. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration, but shall prevent it from biting any human or animal.
(3) Signs. The owner of a dangerous animal shall display in a prominent place on his or her premises a clearly visible warning sign indicating that there is a dangerous animal on the premises. A similar sign is required to be posted on each side of the pen, enclosure or kennel of the animal.
(4) Insurance. Owners of dangerous animals must provide proof to the city clerk of public liability insurance in the amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by his or her dangerous animal.
(Ord. No. 5831, § 18, 9-20-99; Ord. No. 6019, § 3, 6-17-02; Ord. No. 6174, § 3, 5-1-06; Ord. No. 6176, § 3, 5-16-06; Ord. No. 6196, 10-16-06)