Chapter 7.12
CONTROL OF OTHER ANIMALS

Sections:

7.12.010    Animals at large – Defined.

7.12.020    Animals at large – Diseased.

7.12.030    Animals at large – Impoundment.

7.12.040    Redemption of impounded animals – Sales if not redeemed.

7.12.050    Impoundment – Fees.

7.12.060    Keeping animals in the city – General regulations – Penalty.

7.12.070    Regulation of wolves and wolf hybrids.

7.12.080    Regulation of bulls.

7.12.090    Regulation of pigeons.

7.12.100    Exotic and/or wild animal – Permit required.

7.12.110    Control of rabid or potentially rabid animals.

7.12.120    Trapping destructive animals.

7.12.130    Infractions – Penalty.

7.12.140    Misdemeanors – Penalty.

7.12.010 Animals at large – Defined.

An animal shall be deemed at large whenever found upon any highway or public place and not being lawfully driven or led in transit over the same; whenever found or staked or tethered within 50 feet of the dwelling, building, or structure of another, or without the consent of the owner or lessee thereof upon the property of another; or whenever kept, found, staked, or tethered in violation of any law, ordinance, or health regulation. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.020 Animals at large – Diseased.

No owner of a diseased animal shall permit it to run at large among other animals until it is determined by an accredited veterinarian that such disease is not communicable. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.030 Animals at large – Impoundment.

All animals found to be at large may be taken up and impounded. Animals may also be impounded for any of the reasons as provided in BMC 7.08.060. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.040 Redemption of impounded animals – Sales if not redeemed.

A. The owner or persons entitled to the possession of any animal impounded may redeem the same at any time before the sale thereof by paying the animal control authority the impounding fees and the charges and costs of feeding and sustenance of such animal up to the time of redemption or sale thereof.

B. If no person appears to redeem any impounded animal within 72 hours after the impounding thereof, it shall be the duty of the animal control authority to give notice that such animal has been impounded, stating therein the place of the pound, a full description of the animal and that unless redeemed such animal will be sold at public auction, naming the day and hour of such sale, which shall take place at the location where such animal is impounded. The sale shall be upon the condition that the owner or person entitled to the possession of such animal may redeem the same at any time within 10 days after the sale by paying to the purchaser the amount paid by him for such animal, together with the sum of $0.50 per day for keeping the same, from the day of the sale to the time of redemption.

C. The impound notice shall be given by whatever reasonable means possible. If the animal’s owner or keeper is unknown and cannot be located, the notice shall be posted at the Bellingham-Whatcom County humane society. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.050 Impoundment – Fees.

The animal control authority is authorized to charge and collect the following fees for services rendered under this chapter:

A. Impoundment Fee. For every animal other than a dog impounded pursuant to this chapter, there shall be paid to the animal control authority, by any person desiring to redeem such animal, the total of the following fees before the animal is released from impoundment:

1. Smaller Animals (Including Cats, Birds, Rabbits, Rodents, and Small Reptiles).

a. A fee of $25.00 for the first impoundment in any 12-month period;

b. A fee of $45.00 for the second impoundment in any 12-month period;

c. A fee of $65.00 for the third impoundment in any 12-month period;

d. A fee of $100.00 for the fourth or any subsequent impoundment in any 12-month period;

e. For any cat over three months of age that is unsterilized at the time of redemption, the fee shall be increased by an additional $20.00. For any cat over three months of age that is impounded without identification, the fee shall be increased by an additional $20.00.

2. Smaller Livestock (Including Goats and Sheep).

a. A fee of $60.00 for the first impoundment in any 12-month period;

b. A fee of $80.00 for the second impoundment in any 12-month period;

c. A fee of $100.00 for the third impoundment in any 12-month period;

d. A fee of $150.00 for the fourth or any subsequent impoundment in any 12-month period.

3. Larger Livestock (Including Horses and Cattle) and Other Large Animals.

a. A fee of $75.00 for the first impoundment in any 12-month period;

b. A fee of $100.00 for the second impoundment in any 12-month period;

c. A fee of $125.00 for the third impoundment in any 12-month period;

d. A fee of $200.00 for the fourth or any subsequent impoundment in any 12-month period.

B. In addition to the impoundment fee, the animal control authority may require payment of a reasonable amount per day per animal for costs of boarding. This amount shall be set in accordance with the boarding fee schedule provided in the contract between the city of Bellingham and the animal control authority, and shall be paid prior to release of the animal.

C. Costs of advertising and sale of the animal may also be assessed and required to be paid prior to release of the animal.

D. Any necessary additional expenses incurred by the animal control authority to care for the animal may also be assessed. These may include but are not limited to necessary veterinary care and special transportation expenses. [Ord. 2002-07-056 § 3; Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.060 Keeping animals in the city – General regulations – Penalty.

A. Any person being the owner or entitled to the possession of any animal of the species of horse, mule, ass, cattle, sheep, goat, domesticated fowl and exotic animals (except domesticated fowl maintained in a residence), including but not limited to, duck, chicken, goose, turkey or peafowl or swine of any kind, shall be permitted to keep the same within the limits of the city except as the same is now or may be hereafter forbidden by ordinance, by securely confining the same in a stable or other building; or an enclosure surrounded by a secure, well-built fence of sufficient height and strength to confine such animal therein; or the same may be securely staked out in a vacant lot in such manner that it cannot get upon any street, alley, or other public place within the city; provided, that the same is so confined or staked out as to effectively prevent it getting within 50 feet of any dwelling or other building in which persons work or are accustomed to be, or near enough to the property of another to do any damage thereto or commit any nuisance thereupon; and provided further, that any such animal shall be considered as running at large when it breaks away from its fastenings or is herded or permitted to feed upon any of the streets, alleys or other public places of the city.

B. Hives or colonies of bees shall be kept in a manner in which they are inaccessible to the general public and so that bee movements to and from the hive do not interfere with the ordinary movements of persons on adjacent properties or the public right-of-way. Hives shall be located at least 50 feet from the nearest property line. All colonies must be registered with the Director of the Department of Agriculture of the state of Washington as provided in RCW 15.60.030. The terms “hive,” “colony,” “colonies of bees” and “bees” as used in this section shall have the meanings set forth in RCW 15.60.005.

C. All stables and other buildings and all enclosures and premises upon which any such animals are kept and confined shall be kept in a clean, healthful, and sanitary condition by the person owning, possessing, or using any such premises for said purposes; and no persons owning, possessing, or using any such premises shall permit any nuisance to be formed or to accumulate thereon.

D. It is the duty of the animal control authority to inspect all premises whereon any such animals are confined or kept, and to enforce the regulation of this chapter. If any such premises are not kept in the manner provided in this chapter, such officer or officers shall at once notify the persons owning, possession, or using the premises for such purpose to place the same in a safe, secure, clean, healthful, and sanitary condition, and such person shall forthwith comply with such order.

E. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of an infraction and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not to exceed $250.00. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.070 Regulation of wolves and wolf hybrids.

Wolves and wolf hybrids shall be subject to the same restrictions, rules, regulations, and penalties that govern dangerous dogs pursuant to BMC 7.08.170. In addition, hybrids shall be kept segregated from domestic dogs and cats. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.080 Regulation of bulls.

A. It is unlawful for any owner to keep any bull within the city limits unless the same is securely confined in an enclosure.

B. It is unlawful for any owner to serve a bull in any place open to the public gaze.

C. Any owner violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $250.00. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.090 Regulation of pigeons.

A. It is unlawful for any owner to keep or maintain pigeons within the city limits unless the same are housed and confined in such a manner as to prevent their escape at any time from confinement.

B. It is not unlawful for any member of a recognized national pigeon association which supplies pigeons to the United States Armed Forces in times of emergency to keep, house, and allow to fly for exercise within the corporate limits of the city racing, carrier, or homing pigeons which are suitable and of the type used as messengers in time of war and in civil defense and which are banded with numbered leg bands showing the same to be registered with such associations; provided, that such pigeons are not kept so as to constitute a nuisance or create a hazard to public health.

C. Any owner violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $250.00. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.100 Exotic and/or wild animal – Permit required.

A. A permit from the animal control authority shall be required for any person, firm, corporation or business to own or maintain any wild or exotic animal.

B. A permit to own and maintain any wild or exotic animal will be issued only if it can be demonstrated that public safety is not at risk and proper animal enclosures exist to ensure the public’s safety. Facilities and enclosures for wild and/or exotic animals are subject to inspection at any time upon providing notice at least 24 hours in advance of inspection. Failure to submit to such inspections shall be sufficient grounds for permit revocation.

C. Any person having said permit revoked for violations of this chapter shall immediately remove said animals from the city.

D. Exempt from the permit requirement of this section are:

1. Circuses and zoos staying within the city for a limited time of no more than 30 days; provided, that proper safeguards are taken to protect the public and the animal control authority is notified of their arrival, all locations used to keep the animals, and duration of stay.

2. State registered wildlife rehabilitation centers, sanctioned by the Washington State Wildlife Department.

E. The annual permit fee to own or maintain any wild or exotic animal shall be $20.00 for each approved location, regardless of the number(s) of said wild animals.

F. No person shall be permitted to own, harbor, or maintain any lion, tiger, bear, gorilla, lynx, cougar, jaguar or venomous snake, coyote, or any other native species to Washington except as licensed under state law.

G. No person shall have, keep or maintain any exotic or wild animal unless specially permitted. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.110 Control of rabid or potentially rabid animals.

The procedure for the control of rabid or potentially rabid animals provided for in BMC 7.08.100 shall apply to all animals regulated under this title. In addition, the animal control authority shall have the authority to enforce any animal quarantine as directed by the Whatcom County health department. Nondomestic or wild animals involved in a biting incident shall be destroyed immediately and tested for rabies. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.120 Trapping destructive animals.

Upon the written complaint of any party that any cat or other animal other than man is trespassing upon the premises or property of the complaining party, and thereon doing substantial damage to property, trees, shrubs, lawns, or gardens, and upon the animal control officer finding probable cause exists that the complainant’s property is being so substantially damaged, the animal control officer may humanely trap such cat or animal, and impound such cat or animal, or dispose of it in accordance with this chapter, or in accordance with RCW 77.16.230 if a game animal. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.130 Infractions – Penalty.

A violation of any of the following provisions shall constitute an infraction and shall subject the violator to a fine not to exceed $250.00:

A. Any violation of the provisions of BMC 7.12.060, the general regulations governing keeping animals in the city.

B. It is unlawful for any person to cause, permit, or allow any domestic animal or livestock of any kind to be at large.

C. It is unlawful for any person to take or drive any animal from any enclosed lot or tract of ground or from any stable or other building, or from outside the limits of the city with the intent that such animal be impounded.

D. It is unlawful to harbor or keep a rooster, peafowl, or turkey, which by frequent, habitual, or loud noise unreasonably annoys or disturbs another resident in the immediate neighborhood. [Ord. 2011-11-063 § 1; Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].

7.12.140 Misdemeanors – Penalty.

Any violation of the following provisions shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days:

A. It is unlawful for any person to prevent, obstruct, or hinder the impoundment of any animal or any other enforcement duties of police officers or animal control officers pursuant to this chapter.

B. It is unlawful for a person to own, keep or maintain any wild, hybrid, or exotic animal without a valid permit from the animal control authority.

C. It is unlawful for an owner or keeper to refuse to quarantine or permit the quarantine of any animal when and as required by state law and this chapter. [Ord. 10468 § 2, 1993].