Chapter 7.04


7.04.010    Administration and enforcement.

7.04.020    Purpose – Immunity.

7.04.030    Definitions.

7.04.040    Severability.

7.04.010 Administration and enforcement.

Administration and enforcement of the provisions of this title shall be the responsibility of the Bellingham-Whatcom County humane society under the direct supervision and control of the chief of the Bellingham police department. The Bellingham-Whatcom County humane society shall make periodic written reports of the work and services provided, as directed by the chief of police. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.04.020 Purpose – Immunity.

The purpose of this title is to provide regulations to control animal behavior and to delineate the responsibilities of animal owners and keepers within the city of Bellingham. Nothing in this title shall be intended or construed to create any liability on the part of the city, its officers, employees, or contractors. It is not the purpose or intent of this statute to create on the part of the city agents any special duties to or relationships with specific individuals. This title has been enacted for the welfare of the public as a whole. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.04.030 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

“Allow” means to permit by neglecting to restrain or prevent.

“Animal” shall have its customary common meaning and shall include dogs where applicable.

“Animal control authority” means the Bellingham-Whatcom County humane society.

“Animal control officer” means employees of the Bellingham-Whatcom County humane society who are authorized to enforce this title and the laws of the state of Washington as they relate to animal control and welfare.

“Animal shelter” means any facility operated by a humane society, or municipal agency, or its authorized contractors or agents for the purpose of impounding or caring for animals held under the authority of this chapter or state law.

“Barking dog” means any dog which by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, or barking unreasonably annoys or disturbs other persons in the vicinity.

“Dangerous dog” means any dog that according to the records of the city’s animal control officer:

A. Has inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property;

B. Has killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s property; or

C. Has been previously found to be potentially dangerous, the owner having received notice of such, and the dog again aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.

“Dog” means any member of one or more species of the genus canis.

“Exotic animal” means any animal that is not native or usually found in the United States.

“Fowl” includes all feathered birds.

“Guard or attack dog” means any dog, except those dogs owned or used by a governmental agency for law enforcement purposes, which has been trained and is used for purposes of protection of persons or property by exhibiting hostile or aggressive propensities, or which will attack on signal or command.

Harboring. Any occupant of any premises on which an animal remains or to which it customarily returns daily for food and care for a period of 10 days is presumed to be harboring or keeping the animal within the meaning of this chapter.

“Hybrid” means an animal whose parents or ancestors belong to a different species.

“Kennel” means an establishment wherein any person engages in the business of boarding, breeding, buying, letting for hire, training for a fee, or selling dogs or cats; or premises where more than four dogs and cats over six months of age are harbored.

“Leash” means a cord, strap, or chain of sufficient strength so that the animal is controlled by the person accompanying it.

“Owner” or “keeper” means any person, firm, association, or corporation owning, keeping, or harboring a dog, or their agents or persons acting with their permission. Any actions exercisable against an owner in this chapter shall also be exercisable against a keeper.

“Pet shop” is any establishment or premises maintained for the purchase, sale, or exchange of pets of any type.

“Potentially dangerous dog” means any dog that when unprovoked:

A. Inflicts bites on a human or a domestic animal either on public or private property; or

B. Chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or

C. Any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attach unprovoked, or to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.

“Premises” means all the real property under one ownership inside the inner line of a sidewalk or, if there is no sidewalk, inside of the curb, ditch, or shoulder marking the edge of the used public right-of-way. “Premises” also means the inside of a closed motor vehicle.

“Severe injury” means any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.

“Under control” means that the owner, by means of a leash, restrains the dog to the owner’s immediate proximity, preventing the dog from trespassing upon property or annoying or chasing other persons, animals, or vehicles of any sort.

“Wild animal” means any animal living in its natural state and native to the United States and not normally domesticated, raised, or bred by humans.

“Wolf” means any of various forms of a species (canis lupus). [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.04.040 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this title or any amendment thereto or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder or application to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].