Chapter 6.35
DANGEROUS DOGS

Sections:

6.35.010    Repealed.

6.35.020    Dangerous dogs – Notice to owners – Right of appeal – Certificate of registration required – Surety bond – Liability insurance – Restrictions.

6.35.030    Dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs – Requirements for restraint.

6.35.035    Registration of potentially dangerous dogs.

6.35.040    Dangerous dogs – Confiscation – Conditions – Duties of animal control authority – Penalties.

6.35.010 Dangerous dogs and related definitions.

Repealed by Ord. 6424. (Ord. 6244 § 1, 2009; Ord. 5996 § 1, 2006; Ord. 5829 § 1, 2004.)

6.35.020 Dangerous dogs – Notice to owners – Right of appeal – Certificate of registration required – Surety bond – Liability insurance – Restrictions.

A. In addition to the enforcement authority with which the animal control authority has been vested pursuant to state law, the animal control authority shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter; provided, that in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter to seek to declare a dog within the city to be dangerous, the animal control authority shall employ the notification and appeal procedures as defined in this section, including serving notice upon the dog owner in person or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested.

B. The notice must state: the basis for the proposed action; the reasons the authority considers the animal dangerous; a statement that the dog is subject to registration and controls required by this chapter, including a recitation of the controls in subsections F and G of this section; and an explanation of the owner’s rights and of the proper procedure for appealing a decision finding the dog dangerous.

C. Prior to the authority issuing its final determination, the authority shall notify the owner in writing that he or she is entitled to an opportunity to meet with the authority, at which meeting the owner may give, orally or in writing, any reasons or information as to why the dog should not be declared dangerous, including the owner’s compliance with the AKC’s CGC program, or comparable course or program provisions as provided herein, if applicable. The owner may also request a reasonable delay before the final determination is made if the owner has already enrolled in the AKC’s CGC program, or comparable course or program, if applicable. The notice shall state the date, time, and location of the meeting, which must occur prior to expiration of 10 calendar days following delivery of the notice. The owner may propose an alternative meeting date and time, but such meeting must occur within the 10-day time period set forth in this section. After such meeting, the authority must issue its final determination, in the form of a written order, within 10 calendar days. In the event the authority declares a dog to be dangerous, the order shall include a recital of the authority for the action, a brief, concise statement of the facts that support the determination, and the signature of the person who made the determination. The order shall be sent by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered in person to the owner at the owner’s last address known to the authority.

D. The owner may appeal the authority’s final determination that the dog is dangerous to the city’s hearing examiner, which appeal shall be in accordance with the provisions herein and pursuant to the procedures of the city code. Any such appeal by the owner shall be perfected by filing a written notice of such appeal with the city clerk within 15 days of the date the owner received the final determination if the order was delivered in person, or within 20 days of the date the order was mailed to the owner, by filing a written notice of appeal with the city clerk. While the appeal is pending, the authority may order that the dog be confined or controlled in compliance with ACC 6.35.030 and/or RCW 16.08.090. If the dog is determined to be dangerous, the owner must pay all costs of confinement and control.

E. It is unlawful for an owner to have a dangerous dog in the city without a certificate of registration issued pursuant to this section. This section and ACC 6.35.030 and 6.35.040 shall not apply to police dogs as defined in ACC 6.02.135 and/or RCW 4.24.410.

F. The animal control authority shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner of a dog deemed to be a dangerous dog if the owner presents to the animal control unit sufficient evidence of:

1. A proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog, as such enclosure is defined and described in ACC 6.01.010(A)(27), and the posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog;

2. A surety bond issued by a surety insurer qualified under Chapter 48.28 RCW in a form acceptable to the animal control authority in the sum of at least $250,000, payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog, or such surety bond that otherwise meets the requirements of RCW 16.08.080; or

3. A policy of liability insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, issued by an insurer qualified under RCW Title 48 in the amount of at least $250,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog, or such liability insurance that otherwise meets the requirements of RCW 16.08.080.

G. Any dog which is declared to be a “dangerous dog” pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 16.08 RCW shall also be required to be microchipped by a veterinarian of the owner’s choice, at the owner’s expense. This shall be in addition to the other requirements of this chapter and in addition to the applicable requirements for licensing as defined within this title, and this procedure must be accomplished within 30 days after the owner’s receipt of the dangerous dog declaration issued pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 16.08 RCW.

H. In addition to regular dog licensing fees, the owner of a dangerous dog shall pay to the city a dangerous dog registration fee in the amount of $500.00 per year for the dangerous dog registration, and shall comply with the city’s dangerous dog registration procedures, including providing the city with a photograph of the dangerous dog, each year. Such photograph(s) shall show the dog’s coloring and body shape. (Ord. 6424 § 4, 2012; Ord. 6244 § 2, 2009; Ord. 5996 § 1, 2006; Ord. 5829 § 1, 2004.)

6.35.030 Dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs – Requirements for restraint.

A. It is unlawful for an owner of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside the proper enclosure, as defined and described in ACC 6.01.010(A)(27), unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person. 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 person or animal.

B. It is unlawful for an owner of a potentially dangerous dog to permit the dog to be allowed or permitted to run free and unrestrained or off leash or not otherwise under physical restraint of a responsible person, unless within a fenced yard or similar restraint reasonably designed to prevent the dog from running free and unrestrained. It is provided, however, that the top of such fence shall be six feet in height as measured from the ground level, unless there is a secured top – full enclosure – to the fenced-in area; and it is further provided, that such fence or enclosure area shall comply with all applicable city codes.

C. It is unlawful for an owner of a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog to permit the dog to be walked outside the proper enclosure by anyone under the age of 16 years.

D. The owners of dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs are responsible for taking all reasonable measures to assure that the dogs do not escape the above restraints, the failure of which responsibility shall constitute a violation of this chapter, punishable pursuant to ACC 6.35.040. The failure of the owner of a dangerous dog to comply with the requirements for dangerous dog registration shall also constitute a violation of this chapter, punishable pursuant to ACC 6.35.040. (Ord. 6424 § 4, 2012; Ord. 6304 § 1, 2010; Ord. 6244 § 3, 2009; Ord. 5996 § 1, 2006; Ord. 5829 § 1, 2004.)

6.35.035 Registration of potentially dangerous dogs.

In addition to the dog licensing requirements as set forth in Chapter 6.04 ACC, the owners of potentially dangerous dogs, as defined herein, shall file with the city clerk a notice of potentially dangerous dog according to the form available from the city clerk. There shall be no fee charged for such potentially dangerous dog registration, other than as follows: the owner of a potentially dangerous dog that was previously found to be a potentially dangerous dog because: (A) while unprovoked, it attacked, bit, endangered or injured a human or a domestic animal; or (B) it has chased or approached a person upon a street, sidewalk, or public grounds in a menacing fashion, shall pay to the city a fee in the amount of $100.00 per year for the registration of the potentially dangerous dog. Failure to comply with this provision shall constitute a violation of this chapter, punishable as a misdemeanor in accordance with ACC 9.02.040. (Ord. 6424 § 4, 2012; Ord. 6244 § 4, 2009; Ord. 5996 § 1, 2006.)

6.35.040 Dangerous dogs – Confiscation – Conditions – Duties of animal control authority – Penalties.

Any dangerous dog shall be subject to immediate confiscation by the animal control authority if: (A) the dog is not validly registered under ACC 6.35.020 or, if brought into the city after having been declared dangerous in any other jurisdiction, has not been validly registered within 10 days of its first arrival within the city; (B) the owner does not secure the liability insurance coverage required under said ACC 6.35.020; (C) the dog is not maintained in the proper enclosure as defined and described in ACC 6.01.010(A)(27); or (D) the dog is outside of the dwelling of the owner, or outside of the proper enclosure and not under physical restraint of a responsible person. The owner must pay the costs of confinement and control. The animal control authority must serve notice upon the dog owner in person or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, specifying the reason for the confiscation of the dangerous dog, that the owner is responsible for payment of the costs of confinement and control, and that the dog will be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner if the deficiencies for which the dog was confiscated are not corrected within 20 days. The animal control authority shall destroy the confiscated dangerous dog in an expeditious and humane manner if any deficiencies required by this section are not corrected within 20 days of notification. In addition, other than where violations are prosecuted as a felony pursuant to RCW 16.08.100, any owner who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable in accordance with ACC 9.02.030. (Ord. 6424 § 4, 2012; Ord. 6244 § 5, 2009; Ord. 5996 § 1, 2006; Ord. 5829 § 1, 2004.)