Full Ordinance Name:  Municipal Code, City of Buckley, Chapter 9.10 ANIMAL CONTROL

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Primary Citation:  BUCKELY, WA., MUNICIPAL CODE §§ 9.10.020, 9.10.260 - 9.10.300 (2008) Date Adopted:  2008 Jurisdiction Level:  Washington Last Checked (local ordinances are no longer checked and are kept only for archival and example purposes):  June, 2012

In Buckely, Washington, pit bulls are defined to be “dangerous dogs." Such dogs are considered to be a public nuisance and shall be humanely destroyed or removed from the city.

9.10.020 Definitions.

9.10.260 Possession of dangerous dog – Unlawful.

9.10.270 Procedure for abating dangerous dogs.

9.10.280 Enforcement – General.

9.10.290 Penalties – Violations.

9.10.300 Habitual violator.

9.10.310 Impoundment.

9.10.320 Impoundment register.

9.10.330 Redemption.


9.10.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the terms defined in this section shall have the defined meanings unless the context requires otherwise; words in the present tense include the future; the singular includes the plural; plural usage includes the singular; "shall" means mandatory, not directory; and the masculine gender includes the feminine.

(1) "Adult dog or cat" means any dog or cat over the age of six months.

(2) "Animal" means any member of the classes of reptile, bird, or mammal, except man.

(3) "Animal at large" means any animal off the property of its owner, unless restrained by leash, tether or other physical control device not to exceed eight feet in length and under the physical control of a responsible person, whether or not the owner of such animal, or which enters upon the property of another person without authorization of that person.

(4) "Animal control officer" means any police officer and any person or association appointed or authorized by the mayor to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(5) "Animal shelter" means a facility which is used to house or contain stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals, and which is owned, operated or maintained by a public body, an established humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection and humane treatment of animals.

(6) "City" means city of Buckley.

(7) "Dangerous dog" means:

(a) Any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack without provocation, to cause injury to, or to otherwise endanger the safety of humans or other domestic animals; or

(b) Any dog which attacks a human being or other domestic animal without provocation; or

(c) Any dog of the breed American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, or American Staffordshire terrier or any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, or American Staffordshire terrier, such as to be determined to be partially of the breed of American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, or American Staffordshire terrier by the city animal control officer as set forth in BMC 9.10.270.

(d) A dog in the possession of a law enforcement official for law enforcement purposes shall not be deemed a dangerous dog.

(8) "Disabled" means, for the purposes of this chapter, having a disease or disorder for which using a service animal is necessary to perform a normal life activity.

(9) "Domestic animal" or "pet" means any animal other than livestock that lives and breeds in a tame condition. This generally refers to dogs, cats, and some birds.

(10) "Euthanasia" means the putting to death of an animal in a humane manner.

(11) "Exotic animal" means any animal which is not commonly domesticated or which is not native to or usually found in the United States, including:

(a) All nonhuman primates;

(b) All wild cats of the family Felidae and their hybrid, except for the domestic cat, Felis catus;

(c) All species of bear;

(d) All wild carnivores of the family Canidae and their hybrid, except for the domestic dog, Canis familiaris;

(e) Venomous reptiles and amphibians;

(f) All reticulated pythons, Burmese pythons and snakes which may reach eight feet or more in length; and

(g) All members of the families Alligator (Alligator), Crocodile (Crocodylus) and Caiman (Crocodylus).

(12) "Facility" means any premises used to conduct an animal shelter or animal-related business such as breeding, boarding, sale or training of domestic, exotic and/or guard animals, but excluding animal hospitals or clinics where animals are kept only for treatment by licensed veterinarians.

(13) "Grooming parlor" means any establishment where animals are bathed, clipped, or combed for a valuable consideration for the purpose of enhancing their aesthetic value.

(14) "Kennel" means either:

(a) Any premises used to conduct a commercial business involving the buying, selling, breeding for sale, letting for hire, boarding, or training of dogs;

(b) Any premises at which three or more dogs which are five months of age or older are kept for any purpose for a fee, including animal shelters, but excluding animal hospitals or clinics where animals are kept only for treatment by licensed veterinarians;

(c) Any premises where offspring puppies of adult dogs are sold to commercial outlets or are sold for research or experimental purposes;

(d) Any premises where offspring from two or more litters per 12-month period are sold or traded, exchanged or bartered for a valuable consideration or joint ownership purpose;

(e) Any premises used as the location for the training of dogs for obedience, hunting, protection, etc., if the address is different from the office address, or the premises are used as a combination office/training location.

(15) "Large animal" means any animal exceeding 100 pounds in weight except domestic dogs.

(16) "Lawful" in regard to herding, hunting, competition, or training means to be engaged in such activity on the property of another by permission, or on public land that is set aside and/or open for such use.

(17) "Leash" means a cord, thong, or chain not more than eight feet in length by which an animal is physically controlled by the person accompanying it.

(18) "License tag" or "tag" means a prenumbered identification license sold to an owner/custodian for a specific pet animal. Rabies identification or other identification may not be substituted or accepted in lieu of a license tag.

(19) "Livestock" means animals usually found on farms, including but not limited to horses, mules, bovine animals, sheep, goats, llamas, ostriches, and swine.

(20) "Miniature pot-bellied pig" means a type of swine commonly known as the North American, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Asian pot-bellied pig (sus scrofa vittatus) that is no more than 22 inches in height at the shoulder and no more than 150 pounds in weight.

(21) "Owner" means any person or legal entity having a possessory property right in an animal or who harbors, cares for, exercises control over, or knowingly permits any animal to remain on premises occupied by him.

(22) "Pack of dogs" means a group of three or more dogs running upon lands, either public or private, not that of their owner, when such dogs are not restrained or under control.

(23) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity.

(24) "Pet shop" means an establishment where animals bred elsewhere are offered for sale to the public.

(25) "Police dog" means a dog used by a law enforcement agency and specially trained for law enforcement work.

(26) "Poultry" means all domesticated fowl and all game birds which are legally held in captivity.

(27) "Provocation" means taunting, striking or screaming at a dog or unauthorized entry into the premises where a dog is kept.

(28) "Running at large" means to be off the property of its owner, unless restrained by leash, tether or other physical control device not to exceed eight feet in length and under the physical control of a responsible person, whether or not the owner of such animal, or which enters upon the property of another person without authorization of that person.

(29) "Small animal" means any animal other than a domestic animal weighing less than 100 pounds.

(30) "Service dog" means a dog which is in working harness and is trained or approved by an accredited school engaged in training dogs for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog which is trained or approved by an accredited school engaged in training dogs for the purpose of assisting hearing-impaired persons.

(31) "Sterilized" means the animal is surgically rendered incapable of reproduction by means of castration or an ovariohysterectomy.

(32) "Stray" means any animal captured, impounded, or in the custody of animal control, its employees or agents, or at an area authorized by animal control to care for and keep custody of animals without proper licensing and/or identification.

(33) "Veterinary hospital or clinic" means any establishment maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for the diagnosis, treatment, and care of diseased or injured animals. (Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.260 Possession of dangerous dog – Unlawful.

It is unlawful for any person to have in their possession, or to allow to be maintained upon premises within their possession or control, a dog found to be dangerous pursuant to the definition in BMC 9.10.020(7)(c), or by the city administrator as set forth in BMC 9.10.270(6).

(Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.270 Procedure for abating dangerous dogs.

(1) Investigation. The animal control officer shall have authority to investigate any dog reasonably believed by him to be a dangerous dog. The investigation may include the observations of the particular dog by animal control officers, and other witnesses who have personally observed the dog.

(2) Notice Regarding Dangerous Dog – Issuance. If, based on his investigation, the animal control officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the dog is dangerous, he shall cause to be sent to the person believed to have been in possession of the dog, or believed to have had the dog on premises within his control, a "notice regarding dangerous dog." The notice shall be sent to the last known address of such person within 10 days after the animal control officer has completed his investigation.

(3) Confinement of Dog. If the animal control officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that a dog is dangerous and a risk to public safety, the animal control officer may effect entry into the yard of any private residence or business with the consent of the rightful occupant in order to seize any such dog, whether running at large or not, and confine said dog at an appropriate animal shelter pending the decision of the police chief following the hearing provided for in subsection (5) of this section. If the animal control officer is unable to gain consent by the rightful occupant, then the animal control officer may enter pursuant to warrant, to seize any such dog unless a public safety emergency justifies warrantless entry.

(4) Notice – Form. The declaration shall state at least:

(a) The description of the animal;

(b) The name and address of the owner, if known;

(c) The location of the animal if not in custody of the owner;

(d) The facts upon which the declaration of potentially dangerous dog is based;

(e) The restrictions placed on the animal;

(f) Date and location of dangerous dog hearing; and

(g) The ability and process for appealing the declaration to the appointed hearing officer.

(5) Hearing – Procedure. 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 dangerous. Any owner who fails to appear after notice as provided herein was given, without obtaining a continuance from the city administrator or an appointed hearing officer, may be deemed to have waived any right to introduce evidence or object to an order made by the city administrator. If the hearing is conducted by a hearing officer other than the city administrator, the hearing officer shall submit a report to the city administrator summarizing the evidence and making a recommendation as to disposition.

(6) Hearing – Findings – Public Nuisance. If, based upon the hearing, and the report of the hearing officer, if any, the city administrator upholds the findings of the animal control officer that the dog is dangerous, he or she shall so specify in writing, together with the reasons therefor. Any dog found to be dangerous is deemed a public nuisance and shall be, pursuant to the order of the city administrator, humanely destroyed, or removed from the city by appropriate order of the city administrator. The decision of the city administrator shall be made within 10 days after the conclusion of the hearing and shall be final. A copy of the decision shall be sent by certified mail or personally served upon the person in possession of or controlling the dog.

(7) Cost of Impoundment. If the city administrator finds the dog is dangerous, costs of impoundment incurred by the city shall be paid by the owner or the person controlling the dog. If the city administrator finds the dog is not dangerous, then the dog shall be released to the owner, and the cost of impound and kenneling shall be paid by the city. (Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.280 Enforcement – General.

(1) Any designated animal control officer is authorized to take such lawful action, including but not limited to the issuance of criminal citations and notices of civil violation, as may be required to enforce the provisions of this title and the laws of the state of Washington as they pertain to animal cruelty, shelter, welfare, and control subject to the provisions of Chapter 1.12 BMC.

(2) Any employee of the city of Buckley or a designee, while pursuing any animal observed by such employee to be in violation of this chapter, may enter upon any public or private property, except any private residence, for the purpose of abating the animal violation being pursued. Entry into a building designated for and used for private purposes may be accomplished upon the issuance of a proper search or arrest warrant by a court of competent jurisdiction showing that the officer has reasonable cause to believe an animal is being maintained in the building in violation of this title.

(3) No person shall deny, prevent, or obstruct the city employee, an animal control officer, or other employee appointed or contracted by the city of Buckley from enforcing any provisions of this title.

(4) Whenever a city of Buckley employee or its designee has reasonable grounds to believe that an animal or facility is violating or being maintained in violation of this title, he shall be authorized to issue to the violator a notice of infraction or an abatement notice subject to Chapter 1.12 BMC.

(Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.290 Penalties – Violations.

(1) Any of the following violations of this title shall be a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction in accordance with Chapter 1.04 BMC and the laws of the state of Washington:

(a) BMC 9.10.230 (exotic animals);

(b) BMC 9.10.250 (cruelty);

(c) BMC 9.10.260 (dangerous dogs).

(2) Any violation of any other provision of this title shall be an infraction punishable in accordance with Chapter 1.12 BMC and the laws of the state of Washington. (Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.300 Habitual violator.

In addition to any other legal remedies available under the provisions of this chapter, the animal control officer for the city may personally notify and direct in writing the owner or custodian of any animal which is the subject of three or more criminal and/or civil citations in any 12-month period to abate and remove such animal from the city within 96 hours from the date of such notice, or such directive may provide in the alternative abatement and transfer of ownership and possession of the animal to another person not living at the same place of residence. The notice to abate shall state that such animal shall be abated and removed by the designated animal control officer by impoundment, subject to all impoundment and redemption procedures; provided, however, such animal may not be returned or restored to the same residence or property from which it was impounded or at which it resided.

(Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.310 Impoundment.

The city of Buckley and its designee may apprehend any animal found doing or involved in any of the acts defined as being prohibited, a public nuisance and/or being subjected to cruel treatment as defined by law. After such animals are apprehended, the animal control officer shall determine whether they are licensed or otherwise identifiable, and, if reasonably possible, return the animal to the owner, together with a notice of violation of the code. If it is not reasonably possible to immediately return the animal to its owner, the animal control officer shall notify the owner of the animal within a reasonable time by telephone, mail, direct personal contact, or posting at the residence of the owner that the animal has been impounded and may be redeemed at the designated animal holding facility.

Any unlicensed animal impounded pursuant to this title shall be held for at least 72 hours commencing with apprehension. For licensed animals, the holding period shall be at least 120 hours commencing upon notification to the owner of such impoundment. If reasonable attempts have been made by the animal control officer to notify said owner but without success, the licensed animal shall be held for at least 120 hours from the time of apprehension. All impound periods shall continue to run during those hours when the designated impound facility is not open for business. Any animal not redeemed by its owner during the prescribed period may be humanely destroyed or placed for adoption to a new owner. Should the original owner wish to redeem an animal that has been held, he shall first be required to pay all redemption costs as outlined in BMC 9.10.330.

Should the original owner wish to redeem an unlicensed dog or cat that has been held, in addition to paying the required redemption costs as outlined in this chapter, he shall be required to purchase the appropriate license at the time of redemption. If required rabies or spay/neuter information is lacking, the licensing fee shall be accepted and the application processed in accordance with BMC 9.10.060.

Should the animal be suffering from serious injury or disease that would endanger the other sheltered animals or cause the animal to endure unnecessary pain and suffering if left untreated for at least 24 hours as determined by a licensed veterinarian, or continues to act in a feral manner after a reasonable observation period, the animal control department or its employees or agents may destroy the animal prior to the expiration of the required holding period. Such cases shall be documented on the animal custody report.

No live animals shall be used, sold, or donated for experimental purposes. The owner of any animal impounded pursuant to the provisions of this title may recover said animal pursuant to the provisions of BMC 9.10.330; provided, that redemption may be denied due to an owner who has cruelly treated such animal as defined in BMC 9.10.250.

Animals delivered for impoundment by a police officer who recovered such animal from the possession of a person in the custody of the police officer shall be held for the period prescribed in this section. An impoundment receipt shall be given to the police officer who shall deliver such receipt to the person in custody from whom the animal was taken. The impoundment receipt shall recite redemption requirements and shall serve as the notice to the owner required in this chapter.

The above return and notification requirements shall not apply to any animal that is deemed abandoned under the provisions of Chapter 16.54 RCW. For purposes of this section, such animal shall be deemed to be without owner.

(Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.320 Impoundment register.

The impounding authority shall maintain a register of all animals impounded pursuant to this chapter, and such register shall show the identification tag number, if any, species and the breed of the animal, a description of the animal by coloring and marking, the time and date of the animal's impoundment, the name of the officer impounding the animal, the area in which such animal was picked up, the method and time of notifying the owner, if known, of redemption procedures, and the disposition of the animal and the date and time thereof. (Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

9.10.330 Redemption.

Any animal impounded pursuant to the provisions of this title may be redeemed upon payment of the redemption fee as herein provided and upon evidence that the violation has been corrected. The correction of a violation includes, but is not limited to, the licensing of any unlicensed animal required by this title to be so licensed. The redemption fee shall be established by resolution of the city council.

(Ord. 20-08 § 7, 2008).

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