Chapter 6.24
ENFORCEMENT

Sections:

6.24.010    Animal control authority – Promulgation of additional rules.

6.24.020    Animal control authority – Enforcement.

6.24.030    Right of entry – Warrant required – Exception.

6.24.040    Refusal to admit, interfering with enforcement officer – Misdemeanor.

6.24.050    Nuisance abatement – Authorized.

6.24.060    Violation – Abatement and removal authorized.

6.24.070    Abatement – Notice – Contents.

6.24.080    Abatement – Notice – Service – Required.

6.24.090    Abatement – Notice – Service – Method.

6.24.100    Abatement – Notice – Service – Proof.

6.24.110    Abatement – Determination governed by application of title provisions.

6.24.120    Impoundment procedure.

6.24.130    Impoundment – Redemption procedures.

6.24.135    Nuisances – Vicious animals.

6.24.140    Dangerous dogs – Registration, prohibitions, etc.

6.24.141    Potentially dangerous dogs – Insurance requirements.

6.24.145    Waiver of fees and penalties.

6.24.150    Appeal – Hearing examiner authority.

6.24.160    Appeal – Form.

6.24.170    Appeal – Scheduling – Notice.

6.24.180    Appeal – Hearing.

6.24.190    Appeal – Waiver.

6.24.200    Appeal – Stays all action except impoundment and abating cruelty.

6.24.220    Violation – Civil penalty.

6.24.222    Criminal penalties.

6.24.230    Violation – Right to legal, equitable relief.

6.24.240    Enforcement costs – Additional.

6.24.250    Enforcement costs – Personal obligations of animal owner.

6.24.010 Animal control authority – Promulgation of additional rules.

The director of the animal control authority is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations not in conflict with this chapter as they pertain to the conditions and operations of animal shelters, hobby kennels, kennels, pet shops, and grooming parlors. Such rules and regulations may be enacted only after a public hearing has been held for such purpose. Enforcement of these rules and regulations may be appealed to the hearing examiner. (Ord. 2061 § 12, 2011; Ord. 1279 § 11, 1987; Ord. 666 § 5.12, 1966).

6.24.020 Animal control authority – Enforcement.

The director of the animal control authority and his authorized animal control officers are authorized to take such lawful action as may be required to enforce the provisions of this title and the laws of the state as they pertain to animal cruelty, shelter, welfare and enforcement of control. (Ord. 666 § 6.1.1, 1966).

6.24.030 Right of entry – Warrant required – Exception.

Unless otherwise authorized by law, the director of the animal control authority or his authorized animal control officer and city law enforcement officers shall not enter a building designated for and used for private purposes unless a proper warrant has first been issued upon a showing that the officer has reasonable cause to believe an animal is being maintained in the building in violation of this title; provided, that the director of the animal control authority and his authorized animal control officers, and city law enforcement officers, while pursuing any animal observed by the officer to be in violation of this title, may enter upon any public or private property, except any building designated for and used for private purposes, for the purpose of abating the animal violation being pursued. (Ord. 1279 § 12, 1987; Ord. 666 §§ 6.1.2, 6.1.3, 1966).

6.24.040 Refusal to admit, interfering with enforcement officer – Misdemeanor.

No person shall deny, prevent, obstruct, or attempt to deny, prevent or obstruct an officer from pursuing any animal observed to be in violation of this title; further, no person shall fail or neglect after a proper warrant has been presented to promptly permit the director or his authorized animal control officer to enter private property to perform any duty imposed by this title. Any person violating this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 666 § 6.1.4, 1966).

6.24.050 Nuisance abatement – Authorized.

All violations of this title are determined to be detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare and are public nuisances. All conditions which are determined after review by the director of the animal control authority to be in violation of this title shall be abated. (Ord. 666 § 6.2, 1966).

6.24.060 Violation – Abatement and removal authorized.

A.    Whenever the director or authorized animal control officer has found an animal maintained in violation of this title, the director of the animal control authority shall commence proceedings to cause the abatement of each violation; provided, that the abatement and removal procedures of this section shall not apply to the vicious animal or dangerous dog removal procedures contained in this chapter.

B.    Any animal constituting a public nuisance as provided in this chapter shall be abated and removed from the city by the owner or by the director of the animal control authority, or his authorized animal control officer, upon receipt of three notices and orders of violation by the owner in any one-year period. Where it is established by record pursuant to this chapter and no finding was entered showing that the owner will be able to provide reasonable restraints to protect the public from repetitions of violations, the director of the animal control authority shall notify and direct the owner of the animal to abate or remove the same from the city and county within 96 hours from the date of notice. If such animal is found to be within the confines of the city after 96 hours have elapsed from the date of notice, the same shall be abated and removed by the director of the animal control authority. Animals removed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be removed from the city or be subjected to euthanasia by the animal control authority.

C.    Any dog or other animal which bites, attacks, or attempts to bite one or more persons two or more times within a two-year period is declared to be a public nuisance and shall not be kept within the city 48 hours after receiving written notice from the director, or his authorized animal control officer. Such animal or animals found in violation of this section will be impounded and disposed of as an unredeemed animal, and the owner or keeper of such animal(s) has no right to redeem such dog or animal. (Ord. 1279 § 13, 1987; Ord. 666 § 6.9.1, 1966).

6.24.070 Abatement – Notice – Contents.

The director or authorized animal control officer shall issue a notice and order directed to the owner or the person presumed to be the owner of the animal maintained in violation of this title. The notice and order shall contain:

A.    The name and address if known of the owner or person presumed to be the owner of the animal in violation of this title;

B.    The license number, if available, and description of the animal in violation sufficient for identification;

C.    A statement that the director or authorized animal control officer has found the animal maintained illegally with a brief and concise description of the conditions found to render the animal in violation of this title;

D.    A statement of the action required to be taken as determined by the director of the animal control authority. The following conditions apply:

1.    If the director has determined the animal must be abated, the order shall require that the abatement shall be completed within a time certain from the date of the order as determined by the director to be reasonable;

2.    If the director of the animal control authority has determined to assess a civil penalty, the order shall require that the penalty shall be paid within 14 days from the date of the order;

E.    Statements advising that if any required abatement is not commenced within the time specified, the director of the animal control authority will proceed to cause abatement and charge the costs thereof against the owner;

F.    Statements advising that a person having a legal interest in the animal may appeal from the notice and order or any action of the director of the animal control authority to the hearing examiner; provided the appeal is made in writing as provided by this title and filed with the director of the animal control authority within 14 days from the date of service of such notice and order; and further advising that failure to appeal constitutes a waiver of all right to an administrative hearing and determination of the matter. (Ord. 2061 § 13, 2011; Ord. 666 § 6.9.2, 1966).

6.24.080 Abatement – Notice – Service – Required.

The notice and order shall be served on the owner or presumed owner of the animal in violation. (Ord. 666 § 6.9.3, 1966).

6.24.090 Abatement – Notice – Service – Method.

Service of the notice and order shall be made upon all persons entitled thereto either personally or by mailing a copy of such notice and order by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the person at his last known address. (Ord. 1279 § 14, 1987; Ord. 666 § 6.9.4, 1966).

6.24.100 Abatement – Notice – Service – Proof.

Proof of service of the notice and order shall be made at the time of service by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting service, declaring the time, date, and manner in which service was made. (Ord. 666 § 6.9.6, 1966).

6.24.110 Abatement – Determination governed by application of title provisions.

The standards of this title shall be followed by the director of the animal control authority in determining the existence of an animal control violation and in determining the abatement action required. (Ord. 666 § 6.9.6, 1966).

6.24.120 Impoundment procedure.

A.    Authority. The director of the animal control authority and his authorized representatives may apprehend any animals found doing any of the acts defined as a public nuisance and/or being subjected to cruel treatment as defined by law. After such animals are apprehended, the animal control authority shall ascertain whether they are licensed, or otherwise identifiable. If reasonably possible, the animal control authority shall return the animal to its owner together with a notice of violation of this chapter. If it is not possible to immediately return a currently licensed animal to its owner, the animal control authority shall notify the owner within a reasonable time by regular mail or telephone that the animal has been impounded and may be redeemed.

B.    Holding Period. Any currently licensed animal impounded pursuant to this chapter shall be held for the owner for at least 10 days from the time of impoundment; any other animal impounded pursuant to this chapter shall be held for its owner at least 72 hours from the time of impoundment.

C.    Injured or Diseased Animals. Any animal suffering from serious injury or disease may be humanely destroyed, or, in the discretion of the impounding authority, may be held for a longer period and redeemed by any person on payment of charges not exceeding those prescribed herein.

D.    Animals Not Redeemed. Any animal not redeemed shall be treated in one of the following ways:

1.    Made available for adoption at a fee set by the city’s animal shelter service.

a.    Any person may adopt an animal impounded pursuant to the provisions contained in this chapter when all billable costs, redemption fees, penalties and boarding costs incurred from such impoundment are paid.

b.    All dogs and cats over the age of six months adopted from the city’s designated animal control shelter shall be spayed or neutered prior to adoption. A spay/neuter deposit shall be charged for dogs and cats under the age of six months which are too young to be spayed/neutered prior to adoption. This deposit will be returned to the adopting person upon submission of proof that the sterilization was performed within six months from the date of adoption. Failure to spay/neuter such dog or cat is a violation of this chapter and a breach of the adoption contract and will result in the forfeiture of the adoption and return of the dog or cat to the animal control authority for the required spaying/neutering.

c.    The director shall have the authority to set administrative rules regarding the adoption of animals from city of Bothell shelters.

2.    Humanely destroyed by euthanasia.

E.    Sales of Animals. The animal control authority shall not sell any animals for the purposes of medical research to any research institute or any other purchasers.

F.    Mandatory Spaying or Neutering. Any unaltered dog or cat impounded more than once shall be spayed or neutered by the animal control authority prior to the release of the dog or cat. The cost of the spay or neuter shall be charged to the owner upon redemption but shall be deducted from the impound/redemption fees otherwise required under this chapter. (Ord. 2061 § 14, 2011; Ord. 1511 § 27, 1993; Ord. 1279 § 15, 1987; Ord. 666 § 6.5, 1966).

6.24.130 Impoundment – Redemption procedures.

Any animal impounded pursuant to the provisions of BMC 6.24.120 may be redeemed upon payment of the redemption fee as provided in this chapter. The redemption fee shall be established by resolution of the city. (Ord. 1511 § 28, 1993; Ord. 1279 § 16, 1987; Ord. 1168 § 5, 1985; Ord. 666 § 6.11, 1966).

6.24.135 Nuisances – Vicious animals.

A.    Vicious Animals. Any animal declared by the director to be vicious pursuant to the definition in this title may be kept, harbored or maintained in the city only upon compliance with those requirements prescribed by the director. In prescribing those requirements, the director must take into consideration the following factors:

1.    The breed of the animal and its characteristics;

2.    The physical size of the animal;

3.    The number of animals in the owner’s home;

4.    The zoning involved; size of the lot where the animal resides; the number and proximity of neighbors;

5.    The existing control factors, including but not limited to fencing, caging, runs and staking locations;

6.    The nature of the behavior giving rise to the director’s determination that the animal is vicious:

a.    Extent of injury(ies),

b.    Circumstances, e.g., time of day, on/off property, provocation instinct,

c.    Circumstances surrounding the result and complaint, e.g., neighborhood disputes, identification, credibility of complainants, and witnesses.

B.    Requirements. Requirements which may be prescribed include, but are not limited to, the following:

1.    Erection of additional or new fencing adequate to keep the animal within the confines of its property;

2.    Construction of a run within which the animal is to be kept. Dimensions of the run will be consistent with the size of the animal;

3.    Keeping the animal on a leash adequate to control the animal, the length and location to be determined by the director. When unattended the leash must be securely fastened to a secure object;

4.    Maintenance of the animal indoors at all times, except when personally controlled on a leash adequate to control the animal by the owner or a competent person at least 15 years of age;

5.    Removal of the animal from the city within 48 hours from receipt of such notice.

C.    Penalty. Failure to comply with any requirement prescribed by the director pursuant to this section constitutes a misdemeanor and the penalty contained in BMC 1.24.010 shall apply. Such animal shall not be kept in the city 48 hours after receiving written notice from the director. Such animal or animals found in violation of this section will be impounded and disposed of as an unredeemed animal, and the owner or keeper of such animal(s) has no right to redeem such animal or animals. (Ord. 1279 § 17, 1987).

6.24.140 Dangerous dogs – Registration, prohibitions, etc.

A.    Licensing. All owners of dangerous dogs in the city of Bothell must also obtain a city of Bothell dangerous dog certificate of registration. The applicant shall apply for such certificate upon forms supplied by the city clerk and pay an annual fee as established by resolution of the city council, which shall not be prorated for any part of a year. The city of Bothell dangerous dog certificate of registration shall be issued upon completing the requirements of this section.

B.    In order to receive a certificate of registration for dangerous dog, an owner of such animal must present to the animal control authority sufficient evidence of:

1.    A proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog 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; and

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 vicious or dangerous dog, or a policy of liability insurance, such as homeowners 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 vicious or dangerous dog. A proper enclosure of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog is required.

3.    While on the owner’s property, a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top and any other devices determined necessary for security by the animal control authority and shall also provide protection from the elements for the dog.

C.    It is unlawful for an owner of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside the property enclosure unless restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person. A dangerous dog outside a proper enclosure shall also be muzzled and the muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog nor interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal. The owner of a dangerous dog must post the premises with a visible warning sign as indicated above in subsection (B)(1) of this section.

D.    Any dog shall be immediately confiscated by the animal control authority if:

1.    The dog is not validly registered by the city;

2.    The owner does not secure and maintain liability insurance coverage or surety bonds as required above;

3.    The dog is not maintained in the proper enclosure; or

4.    The dog is outside of the dwelling of the owner or outside of the proper enclosure and not under physical restraint and/or muzzled as indicated above.

Any dangerous dog confiscated under this section will be disposed of as an unredeemed animal and the owner shall have no right to redeem such dog. Any owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog in violation of this section shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable in accordance with BMC 1.24.010; provided, however, that if a dangerous dog of an owner with a prior conviction under this chapter attacks or bites a person or another domestic animal, the owner shall be guilty of a Class C felony pursuant to RCW 16.08.100(2), the dog shall be immediately confiscated by the animal control authority, placed in quarantine for the proper length of time and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. In addition, the owner of any dog that aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death to any human, whether the dog has previously been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous, shall be guilty of a Class C felony pursuant to RCW 16.08.100 and the dog shall be confiscated, placed in quarantine and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.

E.    It is unlawful for an owner to have a dangerous dog in the city without a certificate of registration from the city.

F.    The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs used by law enforcement officials for police work. (Ord. 2061 § 15, 2011; Ord. 2040 § 4, 2010; Ord. 1511 § 29, 1993; Ord. 1306 § 18, 1988; Ord. 1291 § 1, 1988; Ord. 1279 § 19, 1987).

6.24.141 Potentially dangerous dogs – Insurance requirements.

In order to license and maintain a potentially dangerous dog within the city limits, an owner of such animal must present to the animal control authority sufficient evidence of 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 $50,000, payable to any person injured by the potentially dangerous dog, or a policy of liability insurance, such as homeowners insurance, issued by an insurer qualified under RCW Title 48 in the amount of at least $50,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the potentially dangerous dog. (Ord. 2040 § 5, 2010).

6.24.145 Waiver of fees and penalties.

A.    The director has the authority to waive licensing fees, late licensing penalty fees, and redemption and sheltering fees, in whole or in part, when to do so would further the goals of the animal control section and be in the public interest.

B.    In determining whether a waiver should apply, the director must take into consideration the following elements:

1.    The reason the animal was impounded;

2.    The reason or basis for the violation, the nature of the violation, the duration of the violation, and the likelihood the violation will not recur;

3.    The total amount of the fees charged as compared with the gravity of the violations;

4.    The effect on the owner, the animal’s welfare and the animal control section if the fee(s) or penalties are not waived and no payment is received. (Ord. 1279 § 20, 1987).

6.24.150 Appeal – Hearing examiner authority.

The hearing examiner is designated to hear appeals by parties aggrieved by actions of the director of the animal control authority pursuant to this title. The examiner may adopt reasonable rules or regulations for conducting his/her business. Copies of all rules and regulations adopted by the examiner shall be delivered to the director of the animal control authority who shall make them freely accessible to the public. All decisions and findings of the examiner shall be rendered to the appellant in writing with a copy to the director of the animal control authority. (Ord. 2061 § 16, 2011; Ord. 666 § 6.10.1, 1966).

6.24.160 Appeal – Form.

Any person entitled to service under BMC 6.24.070 may appeal from any notice and order or any action of the director of the animal control authority under this title by filing at the office of the director of the animal control authority within 14 days from the date of service of such order, or within 48 hours of a notice issued under BMC 6.24.050:

A.    A heading in the words: “Before the Hearing Examiner of the City of Bothell;”

B.    A caption reading: “Appeal of _________________________,” giving the names of all appellants participating in the appeal;

C.    A brief statement setting forth the legal interest of each of the appellants in the animal involved in the notice and order;

D.    A brief statement in concise language of the specific order or action protested, together with any material facts claimed to support the contentions of the appellant;

E.    A brief statement in concise language of the relief sought, and the reasons why it is claimed the protested order or action should be reversed, modified or otherwise set aside;

F.    The signature of all parties named as appellants, and their official mailing addresses; and

G.    The verification (by declaration under penalty of perjury) of a least one appellant as to the truth of the matters contained in the appeal. (Ord. 2061 § 17, 2011; Ord. 1279 § 21, 1987; Ord. 666 § 6.10.2, 1966).

6.24.170 Appeal – Scheduling – Notice.

The hearing examiner shall set a time and place, not more than 30 days from such notice of appeal, for hearing thereon. Written notice of the time and place of hearing shall be given at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing to each appellant. (Ord. 2061 § 18, 2011; Ord. 666 § 6.10.3, 1966).

6.24.180 Appeal – Hearing.

At the hearing, the appellant shall be entitled to appear in person and be represented by counsel and offer such evidence pertinent and material to the action of the director. Only those matters or issues specifically raised by the appellant in the written notice of appeal shall be considered. (Ord. 666 § 6.10.4, 1966).

6.24.190 Appeal – Waiver.

Failure of any person to file an appeal in accordance with BMC 6.24.160 constitutes a waiver of his right to an administrative hearing. (Ord. 666 § 6.10.5, 1966).

6.24.200 Appeal – Stays all action except impoundment and abating cruelty.

Enforcement of any notice and order of the director of the animal control authority issued under this title shall be stayed during the pendency of an appeal except impoundment of an animal which is vicious or dangerous or cruelly treated. (Ord. 666 § 6.10.6, 1966).

6.24.220 Violation – Civil penalty.

In addition to or as an alternative to any other penalty provided in this title or by law, any person whose animal is maintained in violation of this title shall incur a civil penalty plus billable costs of the animal control authority. The penalty for the first notice of violation shall be $10.00, $25.00 for the second violation in any one year, and $50.00 for each successive violation in any one-year period. The penalties provided in this section for second, third and successive violations in any one-year period shall be minimum mandatory penalties which shall not be suspended or deferred. (Ord. 919 § 5, 1979; Ord. 666 § 6.4, 1966).

6.24.222 Criminal penalties.

Unless otherwise provided, any person who violates the provisions of this chapter, and the violation does not constitute a felony offense under the provisions of Chapter 16.08 RCW, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and the penalties contained in BMC 1.24.010 shall apply. (Ord. 1279 § 22, 1987).

6.24.230 Violation – Right to legal, equitable relief.

Notwithstanding the existence or use of any other remedy, the director of the animal control authority may seek legal or equitable relief to enjoin any acts or practices and abate any conditions which constitute a violation of this title or other regulations adopted in this title. (Ord. 666 § 6.6, 1966).

6.24.240 Enforcement costs – Additional.

In addition to costs and disbursements provided for by statute, the prevailing party in a collection action under this title may, in the court’s discretion, be allowed interest and a reasonable attorney’s fee. The animal control authority contractually assuming the responsibility under this title shall seek such costs, interest, and reasonable attorney’s fees. (Ord. 666 § 6.14, 1966).

6.24.250 Enforcement costs – Personal obligations of animal owner.

The civil penalty and the cost of abatement are personal obligations of the animal owner. The animal control authority contractually assuming the responsibility under the provisions of this title may collect through the Bothell city attorney the civil penalty and the abatement work costs by use of all appropriate legal remedies. (Ord. 2061 § 19, 2011; Ord. 666 § 6.13, 1966).