In Great Falls, Montana, it is unlawful for any person, persons, or family to keep, harbor or maintain in or on the same premises a total of more than 2 dogs over 6 months of age or 2 cats over 6 months of age without first obtaining a multiple animal permit. A person found violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $500.00. Other penalties may also apply.
6.8.070 - Number of dogs/cats.
6.8.080 - Multiple-animal permit/multiple animal hobby breeder permit.
6.8.310 - Violation—other penalties.
A. It is unlawful for any person, persons, or family to keep, harbor or maintain in or on the same premises a total of more two (2) dogs over six (6) months of age and two (2) cats over six (6) months of age without first obtaining a multiple animal permit as provided in Section 6.8.080
(Ord. 2933, 2007; Ord. 2534 §2(Exh. B(part)), 1989).
B. Owners of rental properties can establish policies that may place further restrictions on the number of animals allowed on their properties.
C. A person found guilty of a violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) and may also be subject to the other penalties specified in 6.8.310
A Multiple Animal Permit is required for any person, family, or household owning or harboring any more than the number of dogs and cats permitted by Section 6.08.070 for more than thirty (30) days. A Multiple Animal Hobby Breeder Permit is required for any person, family, or household owning or harboring any more than the number of dogs and cats permitted by Section 6.08.070 who intends to breed their animals. The holder of a regular Multiple Animal Permit or a person holding no Multiple Animal Permit must apply for a Multiple Animal Hobby Breeder Permit within ten (10) days of the birth of a litter. Application for these permits shall be made with the Animal Control Agency. The intended facilities are subject to inspection by an Animal Control Officer. The permit shall be issued upon the following conditions:
A. All dogs must be registered;
B. Cats must be registered or micro-chipped;
C. There must be adequate shelter and secure enclosure for animals on the premises;
D. The owner uses suitable means of disposing of animal feces so that it does not become a nuisance or a health hazard;
E. That in the investigating officer's opinion, the animals receive proper care, food, water, shelter and humane treatment;
F. Cat breeders are allowed to have a maximum of four (4) litters per year. Other than any animals intended to be kept as pets by the breeder, kittens must be sold or given away within four (4) months of birth. Dog breeders are allowed to have maximum of two (2) litters per year, and other than any animals intended to be kept as pets by the breeder, puppies must be removed within four (4) months.
G. For a Hobby Breeder Permit, the puppies and kittens can only be sold, given as a gift or other transfer or conveyance from the location listed on the Hobby Breeder Permit.
H. The Hobby Breeder Permit shall list the maximum number of animals over the age of six (6) months allowed on the premises and if the holder of the permit exceeds that number, it shall be grounds for revocation of all permits for that location.
I. The Animal Control Agency shall approve or deny the application based on the information submitted by the applicant and on the recommendation of the investigating officer. The Animal Control Agency may issue a conditional permit, but must state the permit conditions on the document and ensure that the applicant is advised of the conditions;
J. After receiving notification of the Animal Control Agency's approval, the applicant must pay the Animal Control Agency an application fee which shall be established by resolution of the City Commission;
K. All premises for which a multiple animal permit is issued may be subject to annual inspections by the Animal Control Officer. The inspections may also be instigated if a complaint is filed. The Animal Control Agency, on determining that such premises are not being maintained and/or the conditions of the permit are not met, may recommend a revocation or denial of the permit if it is deemed necessary. The permittee shall be given a thirty-day written notice of the Animal Control Agency's recommendation/revocation/denial;
L. A permit authorized by the Animal Control Agency must contain the following information:
1. Name and address of the person to whom the permit is granted;
2. The number of dogs and cats for which the permit is granted; and
3. Any special conditions required by the Animal Control Agency.
4. A Hobby Breeder Permit must state whether it is for dogs or cats or both
M. If the holder of a Multiple-Animal permit or a Multiple Animal Hobby Breeder permit moves, he or she must provide written notice of their new address if it is within the city limits of Great Falls within thirty (30) days of moving. The Animal Control Agency will then conduct an inspection and take appropriate action under this section based on any changes at the permit holder's new residence.
N. The applicant may appeal the denial or revocation of a permit by filing a written request for reconsideration with the Neighborhood Council Coordinator. The written appeal must state the applicant's name and address and should clearly outline the applicant's rebuttal to the reason(s) stated for denial and should include any additional information which may be pertinent to the applicants request for a permit. The appeal shall be heard by the Neighborhood Council for the district which includes the location of the requested permit. The Neighborhood Council shall set the matter for hearing at either the Council's next regularly scheduled meeting or a special session set at the Council's discretion. The Neighborhood Council Coordinator shall provide written notice to the person filing the appeal as well as the Animal Control Agency of the date and time of the hearing. After hearing testimony and reviewing the written appeal, the Council shall either affirm or reverse the permit decision.
O. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the Neighborhood Council, they may file an appeal to the Clerk of Municipal Court within thirty (30) days of the date on the written denial provided by the Neighborhood Council. The written appeal must state the applicant's name and address and should clearly outline the applicant's rebuttal to the reason(s) stated for denial and should include any additional information which may be pertinent to the applicants request for a permit. The Court shall set the matter for hearing and either affirm or reverse the permit decision.
(Ord. 2933, 2007)
. . .
In addition to any penalties specified in this Chapter, the Court in its discretion may Order any of the following conditions;
A. The Court may order relinquishment of an animal(s) deemed to be a public safety risk and/or a repetitive nuisance that has not been abated or an animal that is a victim of cruelty, neglect or abandonment to the Animal Shelter for disposition.
B. Upon finding of violation under sections pertaining to animal fighting, a dangerous animal jeopardizing public safety, and animal cruelty or neglect (including provoking, poisoning, abandonment of an animal), the court may order no animal ownership for a determinate period.
C. Violations of this chapter may result in immediate impoundment of the animal(s).
D. Violation of any provision of this chapter may result in revocation of any license(s) or permit(s).
E. The Court may in its discretion order any animals on the premises be spayed or neutered.
(Ord. 2933, 2007)