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Primary Citation:  SHERWOOD, AR., CITY ORDINANCE No. 1776 (2008) Jurisdiction Level:  Arkansas Last Checked (local ordinances are no longer checked and are kept only for archival and example purposes):  June, 2018

In Sherwood, Arkansas, it is unlawful to keep, harbor, own or possess any pit bull dog, with the exception for those who are registered and reside in an area that is annexed into corporate city limits. However, if a pit bull is aggressive towards people or other dogs, the dog is not exempt from the ban. Registration requirements include: annual vaccinations, license, microchips, photo ID, insurance, proper confinement, 'Beware of Dog' signs, and mandatory disclosures.  Any dog found to be the subject of a violation shall be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment or may be euthanized. The owner may be fined up to $1,000 and  imprisoned for up to 30 days.


Section 1: Definitions:

For the purpose of this revised ordinance, the following words and phrases are defined to mean:

A.Pit Bull:

1.The Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog;

2.Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dog;

3.The American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog;

4.The American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog;

5.The American Bull Dog breed of dog;

6.A new registered breed created from foundation stock of any of the listed breeds having similar appearance     and characteristics;

7.Any dog, whether registered or mixed, which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of the breed of Pit Bull. 


B.Owner/Guardian:  Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation, who owns, possesses, keeps, exercises control over, maintains, harbors, transports, or sells a Pit Bull dog or other domestic animal of a vicious nature.

C.Secure Transport Enclosure: An enclosure used for transporting a Pit Bull dog or other domesticated animal of a vicious nature away from its home. The enclosure must include a top and bottom permanently attached to the sides except for a door. The enclosure must be made of such material and the door secured in such a manner that the animal couldn’t exit the enclosure of its own accord.

D.Secured Containment Enclosure: A securely fenced yard constructed of a material and at a height that will prevent escape: five foot chain link or six foot wood privacy fencing is preferred. Chicken or rabbit wire fencing is prohibited. Entry gates must be locked with keyed or combination locks.

E.Dog Kennel or Pen: A securely locked chain link enclosure with a minimum floor space of 80 square feet for each dog and a minimum height of six (6) feet. The enclosure must have a secure bottom or floor attached to the sides or the sides must be embedded in the ground a minimum of one (1) foot and a secure top attached to the sides. The top and bottom must be secured to the sides a minimum of every six (6) inches. Gates must be locked with keyed or combination locks. 

F.Prohibited Breed Permit:  A permit that allows the owner/guardian to possess within the corporate limits of the City of Sherwood a Pit Bull or other domesticated animal of a vicious nature as described in Section 2-C and Section 2-D. 

G.Relinquishment:  To give up all owner/guardianship rights to an animal.

H.Court Ordered Relinquishment: The Court removes the right and privilege of owner/guardianship over an animal.


 SECTION 2:  It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own, sell, transport (unless in a Secure Transport Enclosure), or in any way possess within the corporate limits of the City of Sherwood, Arkansas any of the following:

A.Any warm-blooded carnivorous or omnivorous wild or exotic animal (including but not limited to non-human primates, raccoons, skunks, foxes and wild or exotic cats; but excluding fowl, ferrets and small rodents of varieties used for laboratory purposes).

B.Any animal having poisonous bites.

C.Pit Bull dog. However, the owner/guardian of a Pit Bull dog kept as a companion animal that resides in an area that is annexed into the corporate city limits of the City of Sherwood is given a ninety-day (90) grace period to either remove the Pit Bull dog from the City or to register the dog with the City. The owner/guardian must keep the Pit Bull securely confined during the ninety-day (90) grace period. Failure to properly confine the animal is a violation of this ordinance. 

D.Any domesticated animal that without provocation exhibits fierce or vicious behavior and poses a real or perceived threat to human or animal safety. However, the owner/guardian of a domesticated animal that exhibits fierce or vicious behavior may be allowed to keep the animal if the animal is registered in compliance with Section 3 and confined in a Dog Kennel or Pen as defined in Section 1-E.

E.Any vicious animal:

1.A domestic animal that without provocation attacks a person engaged in a lawful activity;

2.A domestic animal while off the property of its owner/guardian that attacks another animal with such severity as to cause physical injury or death.

3.A Pit Bull Dog that is aggressive toward people or other animals: an aggressive Pit Bull does not qualify for registration as allowed in Section 2-C. In addition, a Pit Bull dog that has scars or has open wounds to the extent that in the opinion of two (2) licensed veterinarians, the dog received the scars or wounds because of dog fighting.


SECTION 3:  The keeping of pit bull dogs as provided in Section 2-C and domesticated animals as provided in Section 2-D. Owner/Guardian must comply with all rules, regulations and registration requirements, pay a Prohibited Breed registration fee, and purchase Prohibited Breed permit from the Department of Humane Animal Services: The permit must be renewed annually. Registration and Permit fees are determined by the Sherwood City Council and are subject to change. 


A.Pit Bull and vicious animal registration requirements:

1.Rabies Vaccination:  The Owner/Guardian must have a licensed veterinarian vaccinate the dog against rabies annually.

2.City Pet License:  The Owner/Guardian must purchase an annual city pet license. The pet license must be attached to the dog’s collar or harness and the dog must wear the collar or harness at all times. Pet license and Prohibited Breed Permit expire the same day the rabies vaccination expires.

3.Microchip:  The dog must be microchipped by a licensed veterinarian.

4.Photo:  The owner/guardian must bring their dog to the Animal Shelter at the time of registration. The Owner/Guardian and dog will be photographed together and the photo kept in the registration file.

5.Sterilized:  The Owner/Guardian must provide documentary proof from a licensed veterinarian that their dog has been spayed or neutered. This requirement shall not apply to a Pit Bull dog who is a registered American Kennel Club (AKC) or United Kennel Club (UKC) show dog with points or with documentation of training for show purposes. The Owner/Guardian is required to purchase an annual Show/Breeders Permit for a fee established by the Sherwood City Council and with the restriction that the Pit Bull dog shall be allowed to produce no more than one litter per calendar year.

6.Financial Responsibility:  The Owner/Guardian must provide proof of liability insurance, or other financial responsibility in the form of a bond, in the amount of $100,000.00 per occurrence in the event that their dog causes injury or damage. The policy or bond shall contain a provision requiring the insurance company or surety to provide written notice to the Department of Humane Animal Services not less than fifteen (15) days prior to any cancellation, termination, or expiration of the policy or bond. Proof of insurance is required to renew the annual Prohibited Breed Permit.

B.Confinement and Restraint:  All structures, enclosures, and pens erected to house a dog must comply with the City of Sherwood zoning and building regulations and be maintained in compliance with ordinance 804-7 (condition of pens and premises). The area must provide a safe and humane environment for the dog. The dog must, at all times, have access to clean fresh water in a spill proof container, a minimum of sixteen (16) square feet of shade from the hot sun, and an insulated dog house large enough for the dog to stand-up, lie down and turn around. Enclosed structures must be lighted, temperature controlled (temperature maintained between 50* and 85* degrees), and well ventilated.

All registered animals shall be securely confined:


•In a secured containment enclosure

•In a dog kennel or pen   

1.Confinement Indoors: No 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. No animal may be kept in a house or structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacles preventing the dog from exiting the structure. 

2.Secured Containment Enclosure:  See Section 1-D

3.Dog Kennel or Pen: See Section 1-E

4.Muzzle:  Domestic animals covered by this ordinance must be muzzled when outside their confinement area. The Owner/Guardian must obtain a properly fitted humane wire or plastic basket muzzle that allows the animal to open its mouth several inches to pant and does not restrict respiration. A Pit Bull dog that is awarded an AKC Good Citizens Certificate will not be subject to this muzzle requirement: include a copy of the AKC Good Citizens Certificate with your dogs other registration documents.

5.Leash:  No person shall permit a domesticated animal that is covered by this ordinance to go outside its containment area unless such animal is muzzled and securely leashed with a leash no longer than four (4) feet in length and held by an adult who has the ability to control the dog. No person shall permit any breed of dog to be tied or chained to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, buildings, etc. The owner/guardian who ties or chains their dog to inanimate objects is in violation of this ordinance. 


Section 4: Prohibited Breed Rules and Regulations 


A.Permit is non-transferable: A Prohibited Breed permit is only valid for the person who purchased the permit and for the dog that it registers.

B.Maximum Number: No more than two (2) animals may be housed at one address.

C.Signs: Owner/Guardians of registered dogs shall display in a prominent place on their premises and on all gates entering a dog’s confinement area a sign easily readable by the public using the words "Beware of Dog".  

D.Reporting Requirements: Owner/Guardians of registered dogs must within ten (10) days of the incident, report the following information in writing to the Department of Humane Animal Services as required hereinafter:

1. The removal from the City or death of a registered dog.

2. The birth of offspring of an AKC OR UKC registered breeding dog.

3.Updated registration information when the original owner/guardian moves to a new address within the City of Sherwood.

E.Sale or Transfer of Ownership/Guardianship Prohibited: No owner/guardian shall sell, barter or in any other way dispose of an animal registered with the City to any person within the City unless the recipient person resides permanently in the same household and on the same premises as the original owner/guardian of such animal; provided that the original owner/guardian of a pit bull may sell or otherwise dispose of a registered dog or the offspring of a registered breeding dog to persons who do not reside within the City.

F.Animals Born of Registered Breeding Dogs:  All offspring born of registered breeding dogs must be removed from the City within eight (8) weeks of the birth of such animal(s). Failure to remove all puppies within eight weeks is a violation of this ordinance resulting in revocation of the Show/Breeders Permit and sterilization of the breeding dog in compliance with Section 3-A-5.

G.Irrefutable Presumptions: There shall be an irrefutable presumption that an animal registered with the City as required by this ordinance is in fact an animal subject to the requirements of this Ordinance.

H.Dispute over Pit Bull Designation: An owner/guardian who claims their dog is not a Pit Bull must, within five (5) business days, provide statements from two (2) Veterinarians:

1.The Veterinarian must state that in their professional opinion, the dog in question is not a Pit Bull type or a mix of any of the Pit Bull types as described in Ordinance 781 revised. Animal Services cannot except a veterinarian’s statement that is vague.

2.Submit two (2) clear photographs showing the dogs approximate size and characteristics signed by the two Veterinarians.

I.Pit Bull Registration is only permitted during the ninety- day grace period following an annexation, and only applies to the residents located within the annexed area.

Section 5: Unregistered Pit Bulls and other vicious animals found within the corporate limits of the City of Sherwood. 

A.Animals that growl, charge, bite or attempt to bite or display extreme fear of people pose a threat to the publics safety. Prohibited animals found running at large within the corporate limits of the City of Sherwood, whether owned or stray, that pose a threat to the publics safety are subject to humane euthanasia after two business days: (see Section 5-C-1). Stray Pit Bulls displaying acceptable temperaments, actions and behaviors during their stay at the Animal Shelter are available for adoption to a legitimate rescue or to a qualified person. However, often it is impossible to find a qualified home for a Pit Bull and most Pit Bulls must be humanely euthanized.

B.Residents who are unaware of the Prohibited breed ban and house an animal within the corporate limits of the City of Sherwood are advised of the ordinance. If the resident has a secure location to confine their pet, a written warning is issued giving them a fifteen (15) day grace period to allow time to relocate the animal outside of the city limits. Residents may submit a written request to the Director of Animal Services for an extension of time should they decide to move out of the City of Sherwood: approval will be determined on a case by case bases.

C.Owned domestic animals covered by this ordinance found running at large:

1.Ordinance 804-8 contains the procedures governing animals wearing identification tags. 

2.Owner/guardian must reclaim and immediately relocate the animal to a licensed boarding facility or to an approved home in an unrestricted location or relinquish their pet during the two (2) day holding period. A Pit Bull or other vicious animal that goes unclaimed is considered abandoned by the owner/guardian. Failure to reclaim or relinquish the animal is a violation of this ordinance. 

3.The owner/guardian is required to provide verifiable information containing the name, address, daytime phone number and a copy of the state issued identification card for the person receiving the animal. The new owner/guardian must live in an area that allows Pit Bulls and assumes all legal and financial responsible for the safe keeping of said animal.

4.Owner/guardian must pay a relinquishment fee or a euthanasia fee at the time of relinquishment. Animal Service personnel determine adoptability based on the actions, behaviors, and physical condition of the animal at the time of relinquishment. Animals that are aggressive to people or other animals are not suitable for adoption and must be humanely euthanized. 

Section 6 Failure to Comply:  It shall be unlawful for the owner/guardian of a Pit Bull dog or other animal of a vicious nature whether registered or unregistered to fail to comply with the requirements and conditions set forth in this ordinance. An owner/guardian failing to comply is subject to prosecution and the animal is subject to immediate seizure and impoundment. 


Section 7 Enforcement: It is unlawful to interfere with the Director or her/his designees while they are enforcing this ordinance.


Section 8 Authority of the Director: The Director of Animal Services or her/his designee shall promulgate rules when necessary to clarify definitions, establish procedures, and enact regulations to implement and carry out the provisions of this ordinance.  


Section 9 Violations and Penalties:  Any person violating or permitting the violation of any provision of this ordinance shall upon conviction in a Court of competent jurisdiction be fined a sum not less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) and not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00). In addition to the fine imposed, the defendant shall pay restitution to the Department of Humane Animal Services for all expenses, including but not limited to: shelter, food, handling, veterinary fees and testimony necessitated by the enforcement of this ordinance. Each animal kept in violation of this ordinance and each day that violation of this ordinance continues shall be deemed a separate offense. Upon conviction for violations of this ordinance, the dog must be removed from the city within twenty-four hours or relinquished to the Department of Humane Animal Service. 

In addition to the foregoing penalties, the Court may order any one or all of the following additional penalties:

A.The defendant sentenced to imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days. 

B.The revocation of a Prohibited Breed or Show/Breeders Permit. 

C.The relinquishment of the animal to the custody of Animal Services.

D.The euthanasia of a vicious animal.


Should the defendant refuse to remove a dog from the City the court judge shall find the defendant in contempt and order the immediate confiscation, impoundment, and relinquishment of the animal.  

Section 9 Severability:  If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction such decision shall not affect the validity of the  remaining portions of this ordinance.

Section 10 All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

Section 11 Emergency clause: To ensure the continued safety for our citizens and to ensure the humane treatment of the animals covered by this ordinance, an emergency is therefore declared to exist and this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage.

ADOPTED: April 28, 2008.   


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