Chapter 6.04
DOGS, CATS AND OTHER PETS

Sections:

6.04.010    Purpose.

6.04.020    Enforcement.

6.04.030    Definitions.

6.04.040    Licensing and registration requirements.

6.04.050    Regulations relating to pet animals.

6.04.052    Cruelty to animals.

6.04.054    Confinement or restraint of a pet animal.

6.04.056    Venomous and constrictor reptiles.

6.04.058    Unlawful release of pet animal.

6.04.060    Impoundment and redemption.

6.04.070    Potentially dangerous dog or dangerous dog.

6.04.080    Penalties.

6.04.010 Purpose.

This chapter is enacted for the purpose of regulating the keeping of dogs, cats and other animals within the city of Tumwater.

(Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01-17-2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.020 Enforcement.

The animal services director, his/her designees, and other officers as defined in TMC 6.04.030(G) and (U), are hereby authorized and delegated the responsibility for enforcement of laws set forth in this code and in Chapters 16.08 and 16.52 RCW, including the issuance of misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor citations and notices of infraction.

(Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01-17-2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.030 Definitions.

A.    “Abandon” means:

1.    The act of leaving a pet animal without humane care in such a way that the health or safety of the animal is imperiled; or

2.    Failure to respond to notification of impoundment of an animal.

B.    “Animal” means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian.

C.    “Animal services” means the agency designated to enforce this chapter and operate a shelter facility designated or recognized by the cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater and Thurston County for the purpose of impounding, caring for, placing through adoption, returning to owners and euthanizing pet animals.

D.    “At large” means any pet animal that is not in the physical presence and control of an owner or keeper; provided, that the following animals shall be considered at large only under the following circumstances:

1.    When a dog, licensed or not, is found off the premises or outside the vehicle of the owner and not under control of a person by means of a leash, carrier or demonstrated voice command. “Demonstrated voice command” means the person purporting to exercise control of a dog can cause the dog to immediately heel by giving an appropriate voice command; or

2.    When a pet animal interferes with pedestrian or bicycle or vehicular movement or causes reasonable affront or alarm to a person or if injury or damage has been caused by the pet animal, or a trespass has occurred; or

3.    When a cat, licensed or not, is on property where the property owner or tenant objects to the presence of the cat and has humanely trapped or otherwise contained the cat.

E.    “Cattery” means an establishment kept for the purpose of breeding, owning, selling, or boarding of cats, and having current certification by a nationally recognized cattery registration group that formulates and applies their own standards for appropriate care, such as Cat Fanciers Association, the American Cat Fanciers Association, the International Cat Association, or the United Feline Organization.

F.    “Dangerous dog” means a dog that according to the records of animal services has committed serious offenses as more fully set forth in TMC 6.04.070.

G.    “Director” means the director of animal services, or his/her designee.

H.    “Domestic animal” means an animal other than a pet animal, which may or may not be used as a food source such as, but not limited to, a rabbit, chicken, goat, sheep, cow or horse.

I.    “Euthanasia” means the humane killing of an animal.

J.    “Exotic animal” means an animal such as, but not limited to, venomous or constrictor type reptiles or primates.

K.    “Feral” means a wild animal, or a domestic animal that is wild.

L.    “Harbors, keeps, possesses, or maintains a pet animal” means providing care, shelter, protection, refuge, food, or nourishment in such manner as to influence the behavior of the animal; or treating the animal as living at one’s premises or property.

M.    “Humane care” means care of an animal that includes providing necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space and medical attention in a way that the health and safety of the animal is not imperiled.

N.    “Impound” means to seize or take control of any animal pursuant to the terms of this chapter, whether by an animal services officer, a police officer, or other commissioned person, for purposes of impoundment and further administrative or judicial action. This term includes animals brought to the shelter by members of the general public.

O.    “Kennel” has the same meaning as defined in TMC Chapter 18.04.

P.    “Leash” means a cord, thong or chain by which a dog is controlled by the person accompanying it.

Q.    “License” means the dog, cat or other pet animal license issued for registration and identification.

R.    “Menacing” means when an animal engages in threatening behavior on public or private property which is not the property of the animal’s owner and which reasonably places a person in fear of immediate physical harm to him or herself or to an animal under the immediate control of such person. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, growling, snarling, baring of teeth, snapping, attempting to bite, pouncing, stalking, lunging, attacking or other behavior that restricts or controls a person’s movements.

S.    “Necessary food” means the provision at suitable intervals of wholesome foodstuff suitable for the animal’s age and species and sufficient to provide a reasonable level of nutrition for the animal.

T.    “Nuisance pet animal” means a pet animal that:

1.    Damages or destroys landscaping or property of another person, including destruction of wildlife that has been purposefully attracted to the person’s property; or

2.    Soils or defecates on public or private property other than the owner’s, unless such waste is immediately removed and properly disposed of by the owner of the animal; or

3.    Causes unsanitary, dangerous, or offensive conditions; or

4.    Is a female dog or cat in heat not confined within a structure to prevent access of male dogs or cats except for planned breeding; or

5.    Chases people, including but not limited to cyclists, or vehicles, or molests or interferes with persons or other animals on public or private property other than the owner’s property; or

6.    Habitually or continually disturbs the peace and quiet of any individual or neighborhood by barking, whining, howling or making any other noise; or

7.    Trespasses on private property and the property owner or tenant supplies a written complaint to animal services, and, in the case of a cat, physically contains the cat.

U.    “Officer” means any animal services officer, police officer, or other commissioned person designated by the city of Tumwater to issue citations, pick up, restrain, impound, place, or dispose of animals or give notice for any other acts, duties or functions prescribed by this chapter or other chapters relating to pet animals.

V.    “Owner” means any person who has a right, claim, title, legal share or right of possession to an animal or who harbors, keeps, possesses or maintains a pet animal, or who encourages a pet animal to remain about their property or premises for a period of fourteen consecutive days or more, or the person named on the license/registration record of any animal as the owner. The parent or guardian of an owner under eighteen years of age shall be deemed the owner for the purposes of this chapter.

W.    “Pet animal” means any animal sold or retained for the purpose of being kept for pleasure, companionship or utilitarian purposes and not kept as a food source.

X.    “Potentially dangerous dog” means a dog that according to the records of animal services has committed serious offenses as more fully set forth in TMC 6.04.070.

Y.    “Quarantine” means to maintain an animal within a structure so that it cannot approach or be approached by humans or other animals outside the owner’s immediate family.

Z.    “Restrained” means secured by a leash and under physical control of a person with the strength and judgment to handle the animal, or tethered to a stationary object which keeps the animal confined to the pet owner’s property or premises.

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

BB.    “Sterilized” means the animal is surgically rendered incapable of reproduction by means of castration or an ovariohysterectomy.

CC.    “Stray” means a domestic or pet animal at large.

DD.    “Substantial bodily harm” means substantial bodily harm as defined in RCW 9A.04.110, incorporated herein by reference.

(Ord. O2013-025, Amended, 01/07/2014; Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01/17/2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.040 Licensing and registration requirements.

A.    Failure to License a Dog or Cat. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to own, keep or have control of any dog or cat in the city of Tumwater unless the person has procured a license. Failure to license a dog or cat is a class 3 civil infraction. Provided, however, the infraction of anyone cited hereunder may be dismissed if, within fourteen days of the date of issuance, evidence of licensing of the subject animal is submitted to the court.

B.    Issuance of License Tag. Animal services or its agents is the licensing agency for all animals in Thurston County. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of a dog to keep a collar or harness on the animal with the license tag firmly attached if the animal is off the owner’s property. For cats only, a microchip may substitute if a collar is considered a hazard.

C.    Supplemental Identification. Tattooing or microchip implantation is acceptable auxiliary means of identification but does not replace the license.

D.    Lack of Authorized and Current Tag. A dog or cat without an authorized and current license tag may be impounded, except as otherwise set forth in this chapter.

E.    Annual License Fees. License fees shall be established by resolution of the city council.

F.    Date Due. All licenses granted under this chapter shall be valid for one year from date of issuance.

G.    Licenses Nontransferable. Licenses shall not be transferable from one pet animal to another.

H.    Tag Removal Unlawful. It is unlawful for any person to remove a tag from any dog or cat, or to obliterate any tattoo or microchip registered under this chapter without the permission of the owner or issuing authority other than in a medical emergency. A violation of this provision shall be a misdemeanor.

I.    Kennel or Cattery Permit. A permit for a kennel or cattery, as defined in TMC Title 18, may be granted for those zones where such use is not prohibited.

J.    Exotic Animals. Owners of constrictor type reptiles over eight feet in length, venomous reptiles, and primates, that are not otherwise prohibited, are required to comply with all state and federal laws for the keeping of such animals, and are also required to annually register such animals with animal services by completing a form provided by animal services. Failure to register such animals shall be a misdemeanor and shall subject the animal to immediate impoundment.

(Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01/17/2006; Ord. O99-020, Amended, 09/21/1999; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.050 Regulations relating to pet animals.

Any person who harbors, keeps, maintains or has temporary custody of a pet animal shall be responsible for the behavior of such animal whether the person knowingly permits the behavior or not. Such person’s animal shall be subject to impoundment for violations of the terms of this section. Such person shall violate the terms of this section if:

A.    Pet Animal at Large. Such person’s pet animal is at large as defined in TMC 6.04.030(D); provided, however, this section shall not prohibit the owner and pet animal from participating in an organized show or training, exercise or hunting session in locations designated and authorized for that purpose. A pet animal at large is a civil infraction as defined in TMC 6.04.080.

B.    Nuisance Pet Animal. Such person’s pet animal is a nuisance pet animal as defined in TMC 6.04.030(T). Nuisance pet animal is a civil infraction as defined in TMC 6.04.080.

C.    Pet Animal on Public Property. It is a civil infraction as defined in TMC 6.04.080 when such person’s pet animal is on public property such as a public park, beach or school ground and:

1.    Is not on a leash held by a person who is able to maintain physical control; or

2.    Proper safeguards have not been taken to protect the public and property from injury or damage from said animal; or

3.    The presence of the animal on such property is in violation of additional specific restrictions which have been posted. Such restrictions shall not apply to guide dogs for the visually impaired or service animals for the physically handicapped where being off leash is necessary to the service, or to dogs on fenced areas of public property specifically designated by the city of Tumwater as not requiring a leash.

D.    Injury to a Person or Animal. Such person’s pet animal, domestic animal, or exotic animal causes injury to a person or animal (see also potentially dangerous dog or dangerous dog, TMC 6.04.070(F), the provisions of which may also apply). Injury to a person or animal is a misdemeanor as set forth in TMC 6.04.080(D).

E.    Failure to Possess Removal Equipment or to Remove Fecal Material. Such person (1) fails to possess in a public park the equipment or material necessary to remove animal fecal material when accompanying a pet animal, or (2) fails to remove animal fecal material when accompanying a pet animal off the owner’s property. Failure to possess removal equipment or to remove fecal material is a civil infraction as defined in TMC 6.04.080.

F.    Failure to Sterilize an Adopted Pet Animal. Such person, when adopting a pet animal from the animal services shelter, fails to have the pet sterilized within the time period specified in the written agreement, unless specifically recommended by a veterinarian in writing, or in cases of verifiable placement within a governmental law enforcement agency. Failure to sterilize an adopted pet animal is a civil infraction as defined in TMC 6.04.080.

G.    Failure to Provide Humane Care. Such person fails to provide a pet animal, domestic animal, or exotic animal with humane care as defined in TMC 6.04.030(M). Failure to provide humane care is a misdemeanor as set forth in TMC 6.04.080.

H.    Failure to Meet Terms of Quarantine. Such person fails to accept or to meet the terms of the quarantine notice served pursuant to Thurston County health department regulation after an animal has bitten a human. Failure to meet terms of quarantine is a misdemeanor as set forth in TMC 6.04.080.

I.    Menacing Animal. Such person harbors, keeps or maintains any animal that engages in menacing behavior as defined in TMC 6.04.030(R). Violation of this subsection is a civil infraction as defined in TMC 6.04.080.

(Ord. O2014-017, Amended, 10/21/2014; Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01/17/2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.052 Cruelty to animals.

The provisions of this section shall apply to the various forms of cruelty to animals as set forth herein:

A.    Animal Cruelty.

1.    A person is guilty of animal cruelty if the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal.

2.    An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty if the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon the animal.

3.    An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty if the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence:

a.    Fails to provide the animal with necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure; or

b.    Abandons the animal.

4.    If an owner commits the crime of animal cruelty by using or trapping to use domestic dogs or cats as bait, prey, or targets for the purpose of training dogs or other animals to track, fight, or hunt, officers shall seize and hold the animals being trained. The seized animals shall be disposed of by the court pursuant to provisions of subsection E of this section.

5.    Nothing in this section may prohibit the following:

a.    The use of dogs in the management of “livestock,” as defined by Chapter 16.57 RCW, incorporated herein by reference, or as identified in TMC Chapter 6.08, by the owner of the livestock or the owner’s employees or agents or other persons in lawful custody of livestock;

b.    The use of dogs in hunting as permitted by law; or

c.    The training of animals or the use of equipment in the training of animals for any purpose not prohibited by law.

6.    Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor. It shall be an affirmative defense, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant’s failure was due to economic distress beyond the defendant’s control.

B.    Poisoning Animals.

1.    Except as provided in subsection (2) and (3) of this section, a person is guilty of the crime of poisoning animals if the person intentionally or knowingly poisons an animal, under circumstances which do not constitute animal cruelty.

2.    Subsection (B)(1) of this section shall not apply to euthanizing by poison an animal in a lawful and humane manner by the animal’s owner, or by a duly authorized servant or agent of the owner, or by a person acting pursuant to instructions from a duly constituted public authority.

3.    Subsection (B)(1) of this section shall not apply to the reasonable use of rodent or pest poison, insecticides, fungicides, or slug bait for their intended purposes. As used in this section, the term “rodent” includes but is not limited to Columbia ground squirrels, other ground squirrels, rats, mice, gophers, rabbits, and any other rodent designated as injurious to the agricultural interests of the state as provided in Chapter 17.15 RCW, incorporated herein by reference. The term “pest” as used in this section includes any pest as defined in RCW 17.21.020, incorporated herein by reference.

4.    A person violating this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

C.    Unlawful Use of a Hook. A person is guilty of unlawful use of a hook if the person utilizes, or attempts to utilize, a hook with intent to pierce the flesh or mouth of a bird or mammal. Unlawful use of a hook is a gross misdemeanor.

D.    Removal of Animals for Feeding, Examination, Notice and Euthanasia.

1.    If an officer has probable cause to believe that an owner of a domestic animal has violated this section and no responsible person can be found to assume the animal’s care, the officer may authorize, with a warrant, the removal of the animal to a suitable place for feeding and care, or may place the animal under the custody of animal services or other animal care and control agency. In determining what is a suitable place, the officer shall consider the animal’s needs, including its size and behavioral characteristics. An officer may remove an animal under this section without a warrant only if the animal is in an immediate life-threatening condition.

2.    If an officer has probable cause to believe a violation of this chapter has occurred, the officer may authorize an examination of a domestic animal allegedly neglected or abused in violation of this section by a veterinarian to determine whether the level of neglect or abuse in violation of this section is sufficient to require removal of the animal.

3.    Any owner whose domestic animal is removed pursuant to this section shall be given written notice of the circumstances of the removal and notice of legal remedies available to the owner. The notice shall be given by posting at the place of seizure, by delivery to a person residing at the place of seizure, or by registered mail if the owner is known. In making the decision to remove an animal pursuant to this chapter, the officer shall make a good faith effort to contact the animal’s owner before removal.

4.    The agency having custody of the animal may euthanize the animal or may find a responsible person to adopt the animal not less than fifteen business days after the animal is taken into custody. The custodial agency may euthanize severely injured, diseased, or suffering animals at any time. An owner may prevent the animal’s destruction or adoption by: (a) petitioning the court with jurisdiction for the immediate return subject to court imposed conditions, or (b) posting a bond or security in the amount sufficient to provide for the animal’s care for a minimum of thirty days from the seizure date. If the custodial agency still has custody of the animal when the bond or security expires, the animal shall become the agency’s property unless the court orders an alternative disposition. If a court order prevents the agency from assuming ownership and the agency continues to care for the animal, the court shall order the owner to renew a bond or security for the agency’s continuing costs for the animal’s care.

5.    If no criminal case is filed within fourteen business days of the animal’s removal, the owner may petition the court with jurisdiction for the animal’s return. The petition shall be filed with the court, with copies served to the law enforcement or animal services agency responsible for removing the animals and to the prosecuting authority. If the court grants the petition, the agency which seized the animal must deliver the animal to the owner at no cost to the owner. If a criminal action is filed after the petition is filed but before the animal is returned, the petition shall be joined with the criminal matter.

6.    In a motion or petition for the animal’s return before a trial, the burden is on the owner to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the animal will not suffer future neglect or abuse and is not in need of being restored to health.

7.    Any authorized person treating or attempting to restore an animal to health under this chapter shall not be civilly or criminally liable for such action.

E.    Sentences, Forfeitures of Animals, Liability for Costs, Education and Counseling.

1.    In the case of multiple misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions, the sentences shall be consecutive.

2.    In addition to the penalties imposed by the court, the court shall order the forfeiture of all animals held by law enforcement or animal services under the provisions of this section if any one of the defendant’s animals dies as a result of violation of this chapter or if the defendant has a prior conviction under this chapter. In other cases the court may enter an order requiring the owner to forfeit the animal if the court deems the animal’s treatment to have been severe and likely to reoccur. If the forfeiture is ordered, the owner shall be prohibited from owning or caring for any similar animal for a period of two years.

3.    In addition to the fines and court costs, the defendant, only if convicted or by agreement, shall be liable for all reasonable costs incurred pursuant to this chapter by law enforcement, animal services agencies, or authorized private or public entities involved with the care of animals. Reasonable costs include expenses of the investigation, and the animal’s care, euthanasia or adoption.

4.    As a condition of the sentence imposed under this chapter, the court may also order the defendant to participate in an available animal cruelty prevention or education program or obtain available psychological counseling to treat mental health problems contributing to the commission of the violation. The defendant shall bear the costs of the program or treatment.

F.    Limitations and Exclusions from This Section.

1.    No part of this chapter shall be deemed to interfere with any of the laws of this state known as “game laws,” nor deemed to interfere with the right to destroy any venomous reptile or any animal known as dangerous to life, limb, or property, or to interfere with the right to kill animals to be used for food or with any properly conducted scientific experiments or investigations, which experiments or investigations shall be performed only under the authority of the faculty of some regularly incorporated college or university of the state of Washington or a research facility registered with the United States Department of Agriculture and regulated by 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.

2.    Nothing in this chapter applies to accepted husbandry practices used in the commercial raising or slaughtering of livestock or poultry, or products thereof or the use of animals in the normal and usual course of rodeo events or to the customary use or exhibiting of animals at events such as fairs, as defined in RCW 15.76.120, incorporated herein by reference.

(Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01/17/2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.054 Confinement or restraint of a pet animal.

A pet animal shall not be trapped in any manner that subjects the animal to injury inherent in the mechanism of the trap. A humane box trap may be set on a complainant’s property for the purpose of trapping nuisance pet animals. Animals which are caught in such a trap must be returned to their owners or taken to animal services. Injurious confinement or restraint of a pet animal is a misdemeanor.

(Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.056 Venomous and constrictor reptiles.

A humane and secure facility shall be provided for constrictor type reptiles over eight feet in length and all venomous reptiles. Escape of any venomous reptile or constrictor type reptile over eight feet in length must be reported immediately to animal services. Failure to comply constitutes a misdemeanor.

(Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.058 Unlawful release of pet animal.

No person other than the owner or an officer acting in an official capacity to enforce this chapter shall release a pet animal from any enclosed area within which the animal is properly restrained or from any restraining device such as a leash or chain by which the animal is properly restrained. Unlawful release of a pet animal is a misdemeanor.

(Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.060 Impoundment and redemption.

A.    Impoundment. An officer may impound any pet animal in violation of this chapter, as more specifically set forth herein. “Impound” is defined in TMC 6.04.030(N).

B.    Notification of Owner. Upon any pet animal being impounded, animal services shall, as soon as feasible, notify the owner or keeper, if the owner or keeper is known, of the impoundment of the pet animal, and the terms required for the pet animal’s return to the owner or keeper. Notification will be by telephone, if possible, and next by written notice if the owner or keeper’s telephone number is unknown. If the owner or keeper cannot be identified, the notification of impoundment will be posted on a recorded outgoing telephone message (see subsection H of this section), and shall include a description of the pet animal, the reason for impoundment, the general location where the animal was found, and the date the impound occurred. Notice shall advise the owner or keeper that the pet animal will be placed for adoption or euthanized by animal services unless reclaimed within the time limits provided in this section.

C.    Reclaim of Pet Animal – Fees. The owner or keeper may reclaim any pet animal impounded under this chapter within a forty-eight-hour hold period from the time of impoundment, excluding Sundays and holidays, by demonstrating that all of the following conditions have been met:

1.    Paying a claim fee pursuant to a posted schedule of fees duly adopted by the joint animal services commission;

2.    Paying all fines and penalties;

3.    Paying all medical costs incurred during the animal’s impoundment;

4.    Demonstrating that all conditions for the release of the pet animal have been met;

5.    Obtaining a license, if the animal was not previously licensed.

The director or designee has discretion to enter into a time payment arrangement for the fees, fines, penalties and costs described above.

D.    Failure by Owner to Reclaim Pet Animal. If the owner or keeper of the pet animal can be identified and fails to reclaim the pet or sign a release of ownership of the pet animal within the forty-eight-hour holding period, the pet animal will be considered forfeited to animal services. However, the owner or keeper will remain responsible for payment of the impound and any medical fees. If the failure to reclaim the pet animal is due to the owner’s incarceration or incapacity, notification of incarceration or incapacity to animal services will serve to extend the forty-eight-hour hold period by an additional forty-eight hours. The pet animal may be reclaimed during that additional forty-eight-hour hold period by any person who has obtained the written or verbal permission of the owner to reclaim the animal, or by any person who is a legally appointed agent for the owner or keeper. Verbal permission must be provided by the owner to the director or his/her designee.

E.    Availability of Pet Animal for Adoption. If the pet animal is not reclaimed by the owner or keeper within forty-eight hours of impoundment, subject to subsection C of this section, it may be made available for adoption during the next forty-eight hours, excluding Sundays and holidays, unless in the opinion of the animal services director or director’s designee, the animal is unsuitable for adoption, in which case it may be euthanized.

F.    Late Reclaim of Pet Animal. If a pet is adopted after the forty-eight-hour holding period, and an owner or keeper appears to reclaim the animal after that time, return of the animal to the owner or keeper shall be at the discretion of the adopter.

G.    Opportunity for Hearing. Prior to reclaiming an impounded animal, an owner who wishes to contest the impoundment of his/her animal and/or the assessment of fees pursuant to impoundment may request a hearing as follows:

1.    The owner must appear in person at the animal services shelter, and request the form for contesting impoundment and fees. If the owner is unable to personally appear due to his or her incarceration or incapacity, he or she may provide written or verbal permission to another person to act in his/her place. Verbal permission must be provided to the director or his/her designee.

2.    The owner or his or her designee must complete the form, and sign it under penalty of perjury.

3.    The owner or his or her designee must give the completed form to staff at the animal services shelter. The animal services director or his/her designee will review the form and records on file for the impoundment, will meet with the owner or his or her designee, and will decide based on all the above whether to impose the fees for impoundment and other services as set forth in this section; to adjust the fees based on the completed form; or to not assess fees based on the completed form. The decision will be discretionary with the director or his/her designee, and is nonappealable.

H.    Owner Unknown. If the owner or keeper of a pet animal is not known, a notice providing appropriate information as described in subsection B of this section shall be recorded onto a telephone message device maintained by animal services. This notice shall continue to be recorded for a period of ninety-six hours from the date of impoundment, or less if said pet animal is reclaimed or adopted after the forty-eight-hour holding period required by subsection C of this section.

I.    Sick and Injured. All seriously sick or injured pet animals, licensed or not, may be impounded when not in the owner’s or keeper’s possession and may be given emergency medical treatment or euthanized. Costs for any medical treatment provided in this manner will be the responsibility of the owner or keeper of the pet animal, if known, or, if unknown, of animal services. The animal services director or designee shall immediately notify the owner or keeper, if the owner or keeper is known, and if the owner or keeper is unknown, make all reasonable efforts to locate and notify the owner or keeper.

J.    Abandoned Pet Animals. Officers have authority to impound any pet animal that:

1.    Is found abandoned within any building, establishment, or within or on any premises, whether public or private; or

2.    Comes into the custody of animal services due to police or other government action against the pet animal’s owner.

Upon such impoundment, animal services shall treat such pet animal in the same manner as other impoundments provided for in this chapter. Litters of puppies and kittens under three months of age brought to or left at the animal shelter may be made available for adoption, placed in foster care or euthanized immediately at the discretion of the director or the director’s designee.

K.    Euthanasia. If any pet animal is not reclaimed or adopted at the end of the holding period, it may be euthanized. An animal determined by the director or director’s designee to be feral is subject to being euthanized at any time after its impoundment and will not be subject to the ninety-six-hour holding period.

(Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01/17/2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.070 Potentially dangerous dog or dangerous dog.

A.    Classification. The animal services director or designee shall have authority to classify potentially dangerous dogs and dangerous dogs. The authority to classify an animal as potentially dangerous or dangerous is in addition to any civil or criminal penalty as set forth herein. The animal services director may find and declare an animal potentially dangerous or dangerous if there is reasonable cause to believe that the animal’s action falls within the descriptions which follow. The finding must be based upon the written complaint of a person who has pertinent information and who is willing to testify that the dog has acted in a manner which may cause it to be classified as a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog; and one of the following:

1.    Reports on file with animal services show previous aggressive behavior by the dog; or

2.    Actions of the dog have been witnessed by any animal services officer or law enforcement officer; or

3.    Other substantial evidence.

B.    Actions Resulting in Designation. The following actions may result in the designation as a potentially dangerous dog or dangerous dog:

1.    A dog shall be declared potentially dangerous if, unprovoked, it:

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

b.    Chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or behaves in a menacing manner or assumes an apparent attitude of attack; or

c.    Has a known propensity to attack unprovoked, or to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or pet or domestic animals.

2.    A dog shall be declared dangerous when, according to the records of animal services, the dog has:

a.    Inflicted severe injury or substantial bodily harm on a human being without provocation on public or private property; or

b.    Killed a pet or domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s or keeper’s property; or

c.    Aggressively bitten, attacked or endangered the safety of humans or pet or domestic animals after previously having been found to be potentially dangerous, and the owner or keeper has received written warning.

3.    A dog shall not be declared potentially dangerous or dangerous if:

a.    The threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog; or

b.    The person was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the dog; or

c.    The person was committing or attempting to commit a crime; or

d.    Another pet animal or domestic animal has entered the property of the owner of the dog without invitation; or

e.    The dog, when on a leash, is responding to attack by another pet or domestic animal whether on or off the owner’s premises.

C.    Declaration as Potentially Dangerous or Dangerous Dog.

1.    Notice of Declaration. The declaration of a dog as potentially dangerous or dangerous shall be in writing and shall be served on the owner or keeper in one of the following methods, with a copy to the complaining citizen:

a.    Certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner or keeper’s last known address; or

b.    Personally; or

c.    If the owner or keeper cannot be located by one of the first two methods, by publication in a newspaper of general circulation as designated in TMC 1.08.010.

2.    Contents of Declaration. The declaration shall state at least:

a.    The description of the dog;

b.    The name and address of the owner or keeper of the dog;

c.    The whereabouts of the dog if it is not in the custody of the owner or keeper;

d.    The facts upon which the declaration of potentially dangerous or dangerous is based;

e.    The availability of a review of the declaration in case the person objects to the declaration, provided a written request for a review is made within ten days of mailing the declaration or the date of publication;

f.    The availability of an appeal of the declaration to the animal services hearing examiner, if a written request for such an appeal is filed with the director within ten days after receipt of the written findings pursuant to the review of the declaration;

g.    The restrictions placed on the dog as a result of the declaration of potentially dangerous or dangerous;

h.    The penalties for violation of the restrictions, including the possibility of destruction of the dog, costs of confinement and control of the dog, and imprisonment or fining of the owner or keeper.

3.    Objection to Declaration. If the owner or keeper of the dog or the complaining citizen wishes to object to the declaration of a dog as potentially dangerous or dangerous, they may, within ten days of receipt of the declaration, or within ten days of publication of the declaration pursuant to subsection (C)(1)(c) of this section, request a review of the declaration with the animal services director. The review will be scheduled by the director or designee within a reasonable time after receipt of the request for review. Pending the review, the owner or keeper of such dog shall comply with any restrictions specified in the declaration.

4.    Review of Declaration.

a.    If the director finds that there is insufficient evidence to support the declaration, it shall be rescinded, and the restrictions imposed thereby annulled.

b.    If the director finds sufficient evidence to support the declaration, the director may impose the same or different restrictions.

c.    The decision of the director to rescind the declaration or to affirm the declaration as potentially dangerous or dangerous, and any resulting restrictions, shall be stated in a document containing written findings sent to the owner or keeper of the dog via regular mail, certified mail or delivered in person to the owner. A copy of such document shall be provided to the complaining citizen in the same manner.

5.    Appeal of Declaration. After the animal services director’s review of the declaration, the owner or keeper of a dog declared to be potentially dangerous or dangerous or the complaining citizen may appeal the declaration to the animal services hearing examiner pursuant to the rules and procedures established by the hearing examiner. A written request for such an appeal shall be filed with the director within ten days of receipt of the written findings as specified in subsection (C)(4)(c) of this section.

a.    In addition to any other requirements, the written appeal shall contain the following:

i.    A brief statement as to how the appellant is significantly affected by or interested in the decision of the director;

ii.    A brief statement of the appellant’s issues on appeal, noting specific exceptions and objections to the declaration;

iii.    The relief requested, such as reversal of the declaration;

iv.    Signature, address, and phone number of the appellant, and name and address of appellant’s designated representative, if any.

b.    Except as provided in this chapter, the appeal shall proceed in accordance with the provisions established by the animal services hearing examiner for appeals.

c.    Notice of the appeal hearing shall be mailed to the appellant’s address as listed on the written appeal.

d.    At the hearing, the scope of evidence and the scope of review shall be de novo.

e.    The burden shall be on the animal control authority to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the animal is a dangerous animal or potentially dangerous animal as defined in this chapter.

f.    The hearing examiner shall render a decision on the appeal within thirty calendar days following the conclusion of all testimony and hearings and closing of the record unless a longer period of time is agreed to by the parties. The hearing examiner may affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the animal services director.

g.    The decision of the hearing examiner shall be considered final. Appeals of decisions by the hearing examiner shall be appealable to Thurston County superior court.

D.    Control and confinement of potentially dangerous or dangerous dogs includes:

1.    Potentially Dangerous Dogs.

a.    Must be securely leashed and under the control of a person physically able to restrain and control the animal when away from the premises of the owner or keeper; or

b.    While on the property of the owner or keeper must be securely restrained and controlled by means of a physical device or structure such as a tether, trolley system, or other physical control device or any structure made of materials strong enough to adequately and humanely confine the dog in a manner which prevents it from escaping the property; and

c.    Must be kept in conformance with other restrictions which may be set forth in the notice classifying the dog as potentially dangerous.

2.    Dangerous Dogs.

a.    Must be securely muzzled and leashed and under the control of a person physically able to control the dog if the dog is away from the property of the owner or keeper; or

b.    While on the property of the owner or keeper, the dog must be securely confined inside a locked building, kennel, pen, or other structure having secure sides, bottom, and top, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping; and

c.    Must be kept in conformance with other restrictions which may be set forth in the declaration classifying the dog as dangerous.

d.    The owner or keeper of a dog designated as dangerous will be required to obtain a certificate of registration as a dangerous dog pursuant to the provisions of subsection E of this section.

E.    Certificate of Registration as Dangerous Dog. The animal services director shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner or keeper of a dangerous dog if the owner or keeper presents sufficient evidence of:

1.    A proper enclosure to confine the dog, which meets the requirements of subsection D of this section, and the posting of the property with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property; and

2.    A surety bond issued by a surety insurer qualified under Chapter 48.28 RCW, in a form acceptable to the animal services director in the sum of at least $250,000, payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog, or a policy of liability insurance issued by an insurer qualified under RCW Title 48 in the amount of at least $250,000, insuring the owner or keeper for any injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog; and

3.    Such other identifying information as may be required by the animal services director; and

4.    Certification that the owner or keeper is aware of and understands the nature of the dog and the provisions of the law which apply to it; and

5.    Payment of an annual registration fee for a dangerous dog as designated in the city fee resolution adopted by the city council, which shall be in addition to the annual license fee.

F.    Violations Following Declaration of Potentially Dangerous or Dangerous Dog Penalties.

1.    Any potentially dangerous or dangerous dog that is in violation of the restrictions contained in this section, or of restrictions imposed as part of the declaration of potentially dangerous or dangerous dog, may be seized and impounded at the expense of the dog owner or keeper. The owner or keeper must pay the costs of confinement and control. The director or his/her designee must serve notice upon the dog owner or keeper in person or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, specifying the reason for the impoundment of the dangerous dog, that the owner or keeper is responsible for payment of the costs of impoundment, and that the dog will be euthanized if the deficiencies for which the dog was impounded are not corrected within twenty days, and specifying the appeal procedure for a decision to destroy the animal. The animal control authority shall destroy the impounded dangerous dog in an expeditious and humane manner if any deficiencies required by this subsection are not corrected within twenty days of notification. The appeal procedure for a decision to euthanize the animal is as follows:

a.    The owner or keeper of a dog that will be euthanized according the provisions of this section may appeal that decision to the animal services hearing examiner. The owner or keeper must submit a written request for an appeal to the director within ten days of receipt of the notice referenced in this subsection.

b.    The owner or keeper shall be notified of the time and place for the appeal. Failure to appear at the specified time will result in an order by the animal services hearing examiner affirming the director’s decision.

c.    The animal services hearing examiner may affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the director. The decision of the hearing examiner shall be sent to the owner or keeper by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested.

2.    Violation of the provisions of this section relating to keeping, securing or confining of potentially dangerous dogs shall constitute a misdemeanor, unless state law provides for a higher penalty. In addition, the potentially dangerous dog may be impounded by animal services, at the discretion of the director of animal services, or his or her designee.

3.    Violation of the provisions of this section relating to keeping, securing or confining of dangerous dogs shall constitute a gross misdemeanor, unless state law provides for a higher penalty. In addition, the dangerous dog may be impounded by animal services, at the discretion of the director of animal services, or his or her designee.

G.    Other Dangerous Pet Animals. The animal services director or designee shall have authority to classify other pet animals as potentially dangerous or dangerous under the same criteria as used in this section for dogs. Such designation will be based on specific actions by the animal such as those noted in subsection B of this section. The animal services director or designee shall have authority to require the owner or keeper of such pet animal to take certain actions to control or confine the pet animal. Once a pet animal has been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous, any violations of the provisions of this section will be handled in the same manner as violations under subsection F of this section.

(Ord. O2014-017, Amended, 10/21/2014; Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01/17/2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)

6.04.080 Penalties.

A.    Violation of the following sections of this chapter shall constitute a class 3 civil infraction. A second infraction for certain offenses within an eighteen-month period will constitute a class 2 civil infraction. A third infraction for certain offenses within an eighteen-month period will constitute a class 1 civil infraction. “Within an eighteen-month period” means the violation date for a prior offense occurred within eighteen months of the date of the subsequent violation.

1.    TMC 6.04.040(A), failure to license; provided, that the infraction shall be dismissed if, within fourteen days of the date of issuance of the infraction, the person cited shows evidence of licensing of the subject animal to the Tumwater court clerk. The court clerk, at the direction of the Tumwater municipal court, may assess court administrative costs of up to $25.00 at the time of the dismissal;

2.    TMC 6.04.050(A), pet animal at large (first violation; second violation is a class 2 civil infraction; third violation is a class 1 civil infraction);

3.    TMC 6.04.050(B), nuisance pet animal (first violation; second violation is a class 2 civil infraction; third violation is a class 1 civil infraction);

4.    TMC 6.04.050(I), menacing animal (first violation; second violation is a class 2 civil infraction; third violation is a class 1 civil infraction).

B.    Violation of the following sections of this chapter shall constitute a class 4 civil infraction:

1.    TMC 6.04.050(C), pet animal on public property;

2.    TMC 6.04.050(E), failure to possess removal equipment; failure to remove fecal material;

3.    TMC 6.04.050(F), failure to sterilize an adopted pet animal.

C.    Four or more violations of the offense listed in subsection A of this section within an eighteen-month period shall constitute a misdemeanor. Civil infractions shall be heard and determined according to Chapter 7.80 RCW, as amended, and any applicable court rules.

D.    Violations of the following sections of this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor and will subject the animal to impoundment:

1.    TMC 6.04.040(H), tag removal; unlawful;

2.    TMC 6.04.040(J), exotic animals;

3.    TMC 6.04.050(D), injury to a person or animal;

4.    TMC 6.04.050(G), failure to provide humane care;

5.    TMC 6.04.050(H), failure to meet terms of quarantine;

6.    TMC 6.04.052, cruelty to animals;

7.    TMC 6.04.054, confinement or restraint of a pet animal;

8.    TMC 6.04.056, venomous and constrictor reptiles;

9.    TMC 6.04.058, unlawful release of a pet animal;

10.    TMC 6.04.070(F)(2), violation of keeping, securing or confining a potentially dangerous dog.

E.    Violations of the following sections of this chapter shall constitute a gross misdemeanor and will subject the animal to impoundment:

1.    TMC 6.04.070(F)(3), violation of keeping, securing or confining a dangerous dog;

2.    TMC 6.04.052(B), poisoning animals;

3.    TMC 6.04.052(C), unlawful use of a hook.

F.    The penalties set forth in this section shall not prevent additional, concurrent remedies or designations, including but not limited to, those set forth in TMC 6.04.070.

(Ord. O2006-003, Amended, 01/17/2006; Ord. O95-044, Added, 05/07/1996)