Chapter 6.08
LICENSING

Sections:

6.08.005    Dog identification.

6.08.010    Dog licensing requirements—Term of license.

6.08.011    Microchip of dogs and cats.

6.08.015    Display of tags—License nontransferable.

6.08.020    Vaccination—Requirements.

6.08.024    Certificate of antirabies vaccination.

6.08.040    Licensing authority—Remittance of fees.

6.08.050    Fees—Licenses, duplicates and transfers.

6.08.070    Fees—Late payment penalty.

6.08.074    Waiver or reduction of license fees.

6.08.076    Dog licensing compliance programs—Vendor fees.

6.08.080    Dogs with licenses from other jurisdictions.

6.08.005 Dog identification.

Each dog shall have an identification tag, tattoo or microchip, and such identification must be securely fastened to and/or displayed upon the dog at all times, except while the dog is confined to the owner’s premises or while displayed in an exhibition. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998].

6.08.010 Dog licensing requirements—Term of license.

(A)    Dogs shall be licensed within 30 days of reaching the age of four months, or within 30 days of acquisition by the owner, whichever occurs later.

(B)    Licenses shall be valid for 12 months from the date of issuance and shall be issued upon payment of the fee set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.

(C)    Licenses issued under prior existing County ordinances shall remain valid until expiration.

(D)    No license shall be issued unless proof of antirabies vaccination is presented and is valid for the license period.

(E)    A license may be sold for less than the full 12-month license period if the antirabies vaccination expires prior to the full license period. Fees for partial-term licenses will be prorated on a monthly basis, with a minimum fee of $5.00 to cover administrative costs. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 3675 § 2, 1985; Ord. 2259, 1976; Ord. 2170, 1975; Ord. 1220, 1966; Ord. 540, 1957; prior code § 8.05.300].

6.08.011 Microchip of dogs and cats.

(A)    All dogs and cats over the age of four months must be implanted with an identifying microchip. Nothing in this section supersedes, eliminates, or alters the licensing requirements of this chapter.

(B)    Exemptions. The microchip requirements shall not apply to any of the following:

(1)    A dog or cat with a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily injury, if implanted with the microchip identification, due to the health conditions of the animal. The owner must obtain written confirmation of that fact from a California licensed veterinarian. If the dog or cat is able to be safely implanted with an identifying microchip at a later date, the date must be stated in the written confirmation.

(2)    A dog or cat that is kenneled or trained in the County of Santa Cruz, but is owned by an individual that does not reside in the County of Santa Cruz. The owner must keep and maintain the animal in accordance with the applicable laws and ordinances of the jurisdiction in which the owner of the animal permanently resides, including but not limited to the applicable licensing and rabies vaccination requirements of that jurisdiction.

(3)    A dog that is tattooed and registered with the National Dog Registry located at 9018 E. Wilson Rd., Independence, MO 64053.

(C)    Transfer, Sale of Dogs and Cats.

(1)    An owner who offers any dog, over the age of four months, for sale, trade, or adoption must provide the microchip identification number and the valid dog license number with the offer of sale, trade or adoption. The license and microchip numbers must appear on a document transferring the dog to the new owner.

(2)    An owner who offers any cat, over the age of four months, for sale, trade, or adoption must provide the microchip identification number with the offer of sale, trade or adoption. The microchip numbers must appear on a document transferring the cat to the new owner.

(D)    When an impounded dog or cat is without microchip identification, in addition to satisfying applicable requirements for the release of the animal, including but not limited to payment of impound fees pursuant to this chapter, the owner shall also do one of the following:

(1)    Have the dog or cat implanted with a County Animal Shelter microchip by a California licensed veterinarian technician or veterinarian or designated personnel at the expense of the owner; or

(2)    Have the dog or cat implanted with a County Animal Shelter approved microchip by a California licensed veterinarian. The owner may arrange for another California licensed veterinarian to perform the implant, and shall pay to the department the cost to deliver the dog or cat to the chosen veterinarian. The veterinarian shall complete and return to the County Animal Shelter within 10 days a statement confirming that the microchip has been implanted, and shall release the dog or cat to the owner only after the procedure is complete.

(E)    Fees for Microchip Identification Device. The fee for identifying microchip device shall be included in the cost of adoption when adopting a dog or cat from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

(F)    Allocation of Fees and Fines Collected. All costs, fees and fines collected under this section shall be paid to the County of Santa Cruz Animal Shelter for the purpose of defraying the cost of the implementation and enforcement program. [Ord. 5179 § 1, 2014].

6.08.015 Display of tags—License nontransferable.

(A)    License tags shall be securely displayed upon dogs at all times, except when the dog is confined to the owner’s premises or displayed in an exhibition.

(B)    A license is not transferable to another dog and shall be void upon transfer of a licensed dog to another owner; provided, however, that a new license may be purchased for the license replacement fee as set by County resolution. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 3675 § 3, 1985; prior code § 8.05.305].

6.08.020 Vaccination—Requirements.

Every owner of any dog, other than a dog hybrid, over the age of three months or older, within the limits of Santa Cruz County shall, at intervals specified by the California State Department of Public Health, procure the vaccination of the dog by a licensed veterinarian with an approved canine antirabies vaccine and administered according to the vaccine label, unless a licensed veterinarian determines, on an annual basis, that a rabies vaccination would endanger the dog’s life due to disease or other considerations that the veterinarian can verify and document. Every owner of a dog hybrid over the age of three months within the County is required to provide proof of annual rabies vaccination with an inactivated canine rabies product.

(A)    A request for an exemption from the requirements of this section shall be submitted on an approved form developed by the California State Department of Public Health and shall include a signed statement by the veterinarian explaining the inadvisability of the vaccination and a signed statement by the dog owner affirming that the owner understands the consequences and accepts all liability associated with owning a dog that has not received the canine antirabies vaccine. The request shall be submitted to the Santa Cruz County Health Officer, who may issue an exemption from the canine antirabies vaccine.

(B)    The Santa Cruz County Health Officer shall report exemptions issued pursuant to this section to the California State Department of Public Health.

(C)    A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of this section shall be considered unvaccinated.

(D)    A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of this section shall, at the discretion of the Santa Cruz County Health Officer or the Officer’s designee, be confined to the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer, and when off the premises, shall be on a leash the length of which shall not exceed six feet and shall be under the direct physical control of an adult. A dog that is exempt from the provisions of this section shall not have contact with a dog or cat that is not currently vaccinated against rabies. [Ord. 5177 § 1, 2014; Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 3675 § 4, 1985; Ord. 2259, 1976; Ord. 2170, 1975; Ord. 1220, 1966; prior code § 8.05.310].

6.08.024 Certificate of antirabies vaccination.

Any veterinarian who vaccinates or causes or directs to be vaccinated in the County of Santa Cruz any dog with the antirabies vaccine shall:

(A)    Use a certificate approved by the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter to certify that such animal has been vaccinated; and

(B)    Send a copy of the completed certificate to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter within 30 days from the date the dog is vaccinated; and

(C)    If the dog is vaccinated for rabies by a veterinarian located outside the County of Santa Cruz, the owner/guardian or person with a right to control the dog must submit a copy of the vaccination certificate to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter within 30 days from the date that a dog is vaccinated or brought into the County, whichever date is later in time. [Ord. 5097 § 1, 2011].

6.08.040 Licensing authority—Remittance of fees.

The Board of Supervisors shall designate the independent contractor or public agency to serve as the Pet Licensing Authority for the County. License fees and related fees shall be collected and remitted to the County for licenses sold to pet owners residing in the unincorporated parts of the County. [Ord. 4673 § 3, 2002; Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 3675 § 6, 1985; Ord. 2170, 1975; Ord. 1220, 1966; prior code § 8.05.330].

6.08.050 Fees—Licenses, duplicates and transfers.

(A)    Fees for licenses, duplicate tags and transfer of ownership shall be as established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.

(B)    The full amount of such fees will be payable for any portion of the year. The license collector shall keep a record of the name and address of the owner, and the number and date of issuance of the certificate and tag. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 2551, 1978; Ord. 1220, 1966; prior code § 8.05.340].

6.08.070 Fees—Late payment penalty.

(A)    A penalty fee, as set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, shall be charged for late renewal of a license. “Late renewal” is defined as the first day of the month past the due date.

(B)    A penalty fee, as set by County resolution, shall be charged to any owner who fails to apply for an initial Santa Cruz County license within the times specified in this chapter.

(C)    Any penalty shall be in addition to the applicable license fee and payable at the time of issuance. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 3675 § 8, 1985; Ord. 2170, 1975; Ord. 2022, 1974; Ord. 1220, 1966; prior code § 8.05.346].

6.08.074 Waiver or reduction of license fees.

(A)    Fees shall be waived for licenses issued for any dog documented as having been appropriately trained and actually being used as a service dog such as a guide dog, hearing dog, assistance dog, seizure alert dog or social/therapy dog. A service dog license shall be valid for the life of the dog, or so long as the dog remains the property of the person issued the license.

(B)    License fees for dogs owned by persons aged 65 or older shall be reduced by the amount equal to the license fee for a sexually unreproductive dog for one dog per household.

(C)    A fee may be waived by the Director of Animal Control Services if he or she determines that payment of such fee would create an extreme financial hardship for the animal owner or the adopting party. Fee waivers granted pursuant to this section shall be limited to no more than a combined total of $200.00 during any fiscal year. The Director shall submit an annual report to the County Administrative Office providing the basis upon which each fee waiver was granted. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 4216 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3675 § 10, 1985; prior code § 8.05.360].

6.08.076 Dog licensing compliance programs—Vendor fees.

(A)    The Licensing Authority may establish a program to promote dog licensing compliance by training and authorizing outside sales persons and vendors to sell licenses to the public at specified places or areas throughout the County.

(B)    The Licensing Authority may also deduct a fee, as set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, from each license fee collected by the Authority, to cover commissions paid to outside sales persons. The commission shall only be deducted from licenses actually sold by outside sales persons.

(C)    The Licensing Authority may deduct a fee, as set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, from each license fee collected by the Authority, to cover fees paid to license vendors. The vendor fee shall only be deducted from licenses actually sold by vendors. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 3675 § 11, 1985; prior code § 8.05.380].

6.08.080 Dogs with licenses from other jurisdictions.

A dog displaying a current license from jurisdictions outside Santa Cruz County, but within the State, shall not require licensing under this chapter until expiration of the current license; provided, that the dog remains in the possession of the owner to whom the license was duly issued and the appropriate transfer fee, as set by County resolution, is paid by the dog owner. [Ord. 4490 § 2, 1998; Ord. 3675 § 9, 1985; Ord. 2551, 1978; Ord. 2022, 1974; Ord. 1220, 1966; prior code § 8.05.350].