Chapter 7.04


Article I. Dog Licensing

7.04.010    License – Required.

7.04.020    License – Fee.

7.04.030    License – Term.

7.04.040    License – Certificate of vaccination required.

7.04.050    Tag required.

7.04.060    Records required.

7.04.070    Running at large prohibited.

7.04.080    Impoundment – Requirement.

7.04.090    Impoundment – Recovery fees.

7.04.100    Poundmaster charges.

7.04.110    Disposal.

7.04.120    Rabid – Redemption prohibited.

7.04.130    County impoundment.

7.04.140    Violation – Penalty.

Article II. Keeping of Dogs and Other Animals

7.04.150    Definitions.

7.04.160    Noisy animals.

7.04.170    Dangerous dogs.

7.04.180    Running at large prohibited.

7.04.190    Leash and control.

7.04.200    Contract – Animal catcher.

7.04.210    Enforcement.

7.04.220    Right of entry.

7.04.230    Record.

7.04.240    Five-day notice.

7.04.250    Confinement.

7.04.260    Abandonment.

7.04.270    Impounding.

7.04.280    Diseased or dangerous dogs.

7.04.290    Nuisance animals.

7.04.300    Disturbing the peace.

7.04.310    Commercial dog kennels.

7.04.320    Animal quarters and commercial kennels.

7.04.330    Redemption of animals, unclaimed animals, disposal and cost of impounding.

7.04.340    Safety of person(s) enforcing this article.

7.04.350    Interference with officers.

7.04.360    Penalty.

For statutory provisions regarding the authority of cities to impose an annual dog license fee, see Government Code § 38792; see also Food and Agriculture Code §§ 30501 and 30502. For provisions regarding the authority of cities to seize and impound dogs found running at large, see Food and Agriculture Code § 31101.

Article I. Dog Licensing

7.04.010 License – Required.

It is unlawful for any person to own or have in his possession any dog in the incorporated limits of the city without first having obtained a license for the dog from the city clerk. (Ord. 267 § 2(a), 1961).

7.04.020 License – Fee.

The city clerk shall charge a fee for issuing of a license. The fee is fixed as follows: For each male dog, or neuter dog, or spayed female dog, the sum of $2.00 per year; for each female dog not spayed, the sum of $4.00 per year. (Ord. 267 § 2(b), 1961).

7.04.030 License – Term.

The license shall be issued for a term of one year from the first day of January to the thirty-first day of the succeeding December; provided, however, that the owner or possessor of any dog brought within the city limits, or born subsequent to the first day of January, shall pay only a proportionate part of the fee for the year. (Ord. 267 § 2(c), 1961).

7.04.040 License – Certificate of vaccination required.

Before issuing any license, the city clerk shall require from the owner or possessor of the dog a valid certificate of vaccination. If found correct, a license shall be issued. (Ord. 267 § 2(d), 1961).

7.04.050 Tag required.

The city clerk, upon issuing a license, shall also issue an official license tag. On the same day the tag is issued, it shall be securely fastened by the owner of the dog to a collar, which collar shall, on the day and at all times thereafter, be worn by the licensed dog. Such tag, once fastened to and worn by the dog as above provided, shall be prima facie evidence of the vaccination and licensing of the dog as required in this article and Chapter 7.08 HMC. (Ord. 267 § 2(e), 1961).

7.04.060 Records required.

The city clerk shall keep a permanent record of all licenses, receipts, and license tags as issued. The official license tag shall be a metal tag with the following words engraved upon it: Year of issue, “Dog Tax, Holtville, California,” and shall also have engraved upon it the number of the license as issued. (Ord. 267 § 2(f), 1961).

7.04.070 Running at large prohibited.

It is unlawful for the owner of any dog to suffer, permit, or allow the dog to run at large on any public street, road, alley, park, square, or place, or any vacant or unenclosed lots, or land within the incorporated limits of the city. All dogs shall be deemed running at large within the meaning of this article and Chapter 7.08 HMC unless led or restrained by a chain, strap, or cord attached to their collar, and actually held by a person or made fast to some stationary object. (Ord. 267 § 3, 1961).

7.04.080 Impoundment – Requirement.

Every stray dog, and every dog committing a nuisance, and every dog which is found not to have a license tag attached to its collar, according to the provisions of this article, shall be presumed not to be vaccinated and licensed, and shall be taken up and impounded, or confined, in a safe and comfortable place, properly provided with food and water. Every such dog shall be confined for a period of 72 hours from the date taken up unless sooner redeemed. (Ord. 267 § 4, 1961).

7.04.090 Impoundment – Recovery fees.

Any person having established ownership of any such dog impounded may have the dog released to him by the poundmaster upon paying the fees as charged by the poundmaster; and provided further, that the owner either presents a valid vaccination certificate license or has the dog vaccinated and licensed in accordance with the provisions of this article and Chapter 7.08 HMC. (Ord. 267 § 4, 1961).

7.04.100 Poundmaster charges.

The charges of the poundmaster are placed at the sum of $5.00 per day for each day such dog is impounded. (Ord. 349 § 1, 1976; Ord. 267 § 4, 1961).

7.04.110 Disposal.

Every dog which is not redeemed within 72 hours shall be destroyed by the poundmaster or his assistant, or otherwise disposed of so as to prevent the dog from running at large. (Ord. 267 § 4, 1961).

7.04.120 Rabid – Redemption prohibited.

Nothing contained in this article shall be construed as permitting the redemption of any dog having, or suspected of having, or found to be afflicted with rabies. (Ord. 267 § 4, 1961).

7.04.130 County impoundment.

Every animal picked up and impounded by the animal control officer of the county or by any officer working with him shall be impounded at the county pound and shall be subject to its regulations and requirements. (Ord. 267 § 4, 1961).

7.04.140 Violation – Penalty.

Each and every violation of HMC 7.04.010 through 7.04.130 is an infraction and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided by Government Code Section 36900. (Ord. 438 § 1, 1997).

Article II. Keeping of Dogs and Other Animals

7.04.150 Definitions.

For purposes of this article the terms contained in this section shall have the definitions given to them.

A. “Running at large,” “run at large,” or “at large” means permitting a dog to stroll, wander, rove, or ramble at will and without constraint or confinement. “Running at large” shall not include the foregoing conduct when the same occurs on property owned or leased by the person to whom a dog belongs.

B. “Owner” means any person, keeper, custodian or legal entity owning, harboring or keeping a dog, whether temporary or permanent.

C. “Dangerous dog” and “potentially dangerous dog” have the meanings given by Minnesota Statutes Section 347.50, subdivisions (2) and (3) respectively.

D. “Habitual barking” shall be defined as barking for repeated intervals of at least five minutes with less than one minute of interruption. Such barking must also be audible off of the owner’s or caretaker’s premises. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor a dog that habitually barks or cries.

E. “Person” shall mean any individual, firm, partnership or corporation.

F. “Animal warden” shall mean the city’s animal control officer.

G. “Commercial kennel” shall mean a place where more than three dogs of over six months of age are kept for purposes of breeding, sale or boarding.

H. “Citation” shall mean a notice or complaint issued by the animal warden to the owner of any animal apprising said owner of one or more violations of this article.

I. “Veterinary hospital” shall mean a place for the treatment, hospitalization, surgery, care and boarding of animals or birds, which place is owned and operated by a licensed veterinarian.

J. Under Restraint. A dog is “under restraint” if it is on the premises of the person harboring or keeping the dog; if it is at heel beside a person having custody of it or obedient to that person’s command; if it is within a private motor vehicle of a person owning, harboring or keeping the dog; or if it is controlled by a leash not exceeding six feet in length.

K. “Dog kennel” shall mean any place, building, tract of land, boat or vehicle wherein or whereupon dogs are kept, congregated, or confined; such dogs having been obtained from municipalities, dog pounds, dog auction, or by advertising for unwanted dogs, or dogs abandoned or stolen.

L. “Premises” shall mean any building, structure, shelter or land whereupon dogs are kept or confined.

M. “Poundmaster” shall mean the person or persons from time to time appointed by the city of Holtville to enforce this article.

N. “Public nuisance animal or animals” shall mean any domestic pet which:

1. If dog or dogs is/are repeatedly found at large;

2. Damages the property of anyone other than its owner;

3. Is/are vicious animal(s);

4. Causes fouling of the air by odor;

5. Causes unsanitary conditions of enclosures or surroundings;

6. By virtue of dog(s) maintained are offensive or dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare;

7. Excessively makes disturbing noises;

8. Molests passer(s)by or passing vehicles;

9. Attacks other domestic animals;

10. Has been designated by the animal warden to be a public nuisance animal or animals by virtue of being a menace to the public health, welfare and safety. (Ord. 446 § 1, 2005; Ord. 267 § 13, 1961).

7.04.160 Noisy animals.

Habitually barking dogs are hereby declared a public nuisance. No owner shall keep or harbor a habitually barking dog within the city of Holtville. (Ord. 446 § 2, 2005; Ord. 267 § 14, 1961).

7.04.170 Dangerous dogs.

“Dangerous dogs” and “potentially dangerous dogs” are defined and regulated by California Food and Agricultural Code Section 31683. (Ord. 446 § 3, 2005; Ord. 267 § 15, 1961).

7.04.180 Running at large prohibited.

No owner shall permit a dog to run at large within the city of Holtville and every owner of a dog shall cause the same to be:

A. Confined to the owner’s property by training, fencing, or leashing and females in heat shall be confined in an enclosure and so kept and confined therein during such entire period and until such dogs shall not attract other dogs on account thereof.

B. While in any public place such as a school, playground, or a park to be on a leash, chain or cord of not more than six feet in length and in the custody of a person of sufficient age to adequately control the dog at all times.

C. While in all other areas such as on a public street or in an automobile, to be in the custody of a person of sufficient age to adequately control the dog at all times, and to have kept said dog under control.

D. Any dog found running at large may be impounded by the city as provided in this article and may be destroyed if not timely redeemed as provided in HMC 7.04.330. (Ord. 446 § 4, 2005; Ord. 267 § 16, 1961).

7.04.190 Leash and control.

The restrictions imposed by HMC 7.04.180 shall not prohibit the appearance of any dog upon the streets or public property when such dog is on a leash and kept under the control of the accompanying person, or when the dog is not on a leash, but is under the immediate and complete control of the person charged with its care, either by voice control or other device. (Ord. 446 § 5, 2005; Ord. 267 § 17, 1961).

7.04.200 Contract – Animal catcher.

The city of Holtville is empowered to contract with an animal warden, animal pound keeper, an animal catcher and any other officers, including police officers and sheriff’s deputies, necessary to enforce the provisions, terms and conditions of this article. (Ord. 446 § 6, 2005; Ord. 267 § 18, 1961).

7.04.210 Enforcement.

The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the animal warden or other designated person pursuant to policies established by the city of Holtville. (Ord. 446 § 7, 2005; Ord. 267 § 19, 1961).

7.04.220 Right of entry.

The animal warden or any other officer shall have the right to enter upon any premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of discharging the duties imposed by this article where there is a reasonable belief that a violation of this article has been committed. (Ord. 446 § 8, 2005; Ord. 267 § 20, 1961).

7.04.230 Record.

It shall be the duty of the animal warden or any other officer to keep the following records, subject to inspection by the city staff or their designated agents as set forth in the following subsections:

A. Accurate and detailed records of the licensing, impoundment, and disposition of dog(s) coming into custody.

B. Accurate and detailed records of all reported bite cases and investigations for a period of three years.

C. Accurate records of all citations issued for violations of this article.

D. Accurate and detailed records of all money collected and expended in the operation of the functions of his/her office. (Ord. 446 § 9, 2005; Ord. 267 § 21, 1961).

7.04.240 Five-day notice.

Any dog impounded under the provisions of this article shall be kept in a pound for a period of at least five days after a notice of such impounding has been posted in the City Hall. If the owner of the dog is known, then the city shall make reasonable effort to notify the owner of the impoundment. All impounded dogs shall be fed and treated in a humane manner. (Ord. 446 § 10, 2005; Ord. 267 § 22, 1961).

7.04.250 Confinement.

Every fierce, dangerous or vicious dog that has a history of biting a human or any domestic animal shall be confined by the owner within a building or secure covered enclosure. Such dog(s) shall not be taken out of such building or secure covered enclosures unless muzzled and on a leash. (Ord. 446 § 11, 2005; Ord. 267 § 23, 1961).

7.04.260 Abandonment.

It shall be unlawful to abandon any dog within this city. (Ord. 446 § 12, 2005; Ord. 267 § 24, 1961).

7.04.270 Impounding.

A. The animal warden may seize or impound any dog or public nuisance animal or animals found astray on public property or claimed to be astray by the owner of the premises upon which such dog or public nuisance animal or animals may be found, provided the owner of the premises demands such seizure or impounding, and agrees in writing to indemnify and hold harmless the city from any claims for damages by the owner of said dog or public nuisance animal or animals.

B. Upon taking and impounding any dog or public nuisance animal or animals, the animal warden shall within one day thereafter post at the front door of the City Hall a notice of impoundment in the form established by the city board. If the owner of the dog or public nuisance animal or animals be known, a written notice of impoundment, in lieu of posted notice, shall be given the owner either by mail or personal service.

C. Disposition of such impounded animal shall thereafter be pursuant to the provisions of HMC 7.04.330. (Ord. 446 § 13, 2005; Ord. 267 § 25, 1961).

7.04.280 Diseased or dangerous dogs.

A. Any dog displaying symptoms of being rabid may be seized at any place or time and shall be confined in the city dog pound, or other appropriate place designated for purpose by the city council from time to time, at the expense of the owner, until found to be free from rabies.

B. If any dog appears to be diseased, vicious, dangerous, rabid, or has been exposed to rabies, and such dog cannot be taken up and impounded without serious risk, such dog may be killed if reasonably necessary for the safety of any person or persons.

C. When any dog has bitten any person, wherein the skin has been punctured or the service of a doctor is required, a report of the incident shall be made to the city by the owner or custodian of the biting animal, or the person bitten or his/her parent or guardian within 24 hours of the bite. (Ord. 446 § 14, 2005; Ord. 267 § 26, 1961).

7.04.290 Nuisance animals.

No person shall keep, own, harbor or otherwise possess within the city a dog which is a public nuisance animal as defined in this article. (Ord. 446 § 15, 2005; Ord. 267 § 27, 1961).

7.04.300 Disturbing the peace.

It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, or have in his/her possession or harbor a dog which, by frequent and habitual howling, yelping, barking or otherwise, shall cause serious annoyance or disturbance to persons or the neighborhood; provided, however, that the provisions of this article shall not apply to duly authorized hospitals or clinics established and operating for the treatment of dogs. No warrant shall be issued except after written notice has been mailed or delivered to the occupant of the premises where such dog is kept or harbored advising that a complaint has been made about the dog and calling attention to the provisions of this article. (Ord. 446 § 16, 2005; Ord. 267 § 28, 1961).

7.04.310 Commercial dog kennels.

A. No person shall operate a commercial dog kennel in this city without first obtaining a permit. Applications for such permit shall be made to City Hall and shall be accompanied by the permit fee.

B. Commercial kennels shall be kept in a clean and healthful condition at all times and shall be open for inspection by duly authorized city authorities at any reasonable time. A commercial kennel permit may be revoked by the city by reason of the violation of this article or any health or nuisance order, laws or regulations.

C. No person shall own, harbor, or keep upon his premises more than three dogs over the age of six months unless in a commercial kennel duly licensed under this section. (Ord. 446 § 16, 2005; Ord. 267 § 29, 1961).

7.04.320 Animal quarters and commercial kennels.

A. Animal housing facilities and commercial dog kennel facilities shall be structurally sound and maintained in good repair. Indoor housing facilities should be adequately ventilated and have ample light and heat, either natural or artificial.

B. Dogs kept outside shall be provided with access to shelter to protect them from the sun, rain and snow, together with adequate bedding when the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

C. If dogs are confined by chains, such chains shall be so attached that they cannot become entangled with the chains of other dogs or other objects. Chains will be of a size commonly used for the size of dogs involved and shall be attached to the dog by means of a well-fitted collar. Such chains shall be at least three times the length of the dog as measured from the tip if its nose to the base of its tail.

D. Enclosure shall be of sufficient size to allow each dog to turn around fully and stand, sit, and lie in a comfortable, normal position. The floors of the enclosure shall be constructed so as to prevent injury to the dog’s legs and feet.

E. The temperature for indoor housing facilities shall not be allowed to fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for dogs not accustomed to lower temperatures.

F. Disposal facilities shall be provided to minimize vermin, infestation, odors and disease hazards.

G. Adequate storage and refrigeration shall be provided to protect food supplies against contamination and deterioration. (Ord. 446 § 17, 2005; Ord. 267 § 30, 1961).

7.04.330 Redemption of animals, unclaimed animals, disposal and cost of impounding.

The city, upon the impounding of any dog or public nuisance animal or animals, may condition redemption of said dog or public nuisance animal or animals from impounding upon payment of the required impounding fee as duly set by the city board from time to time, plus the cost of boarding for each day said dog or public nuisance animal or animals has or have been confined in said pound. Payment to said impound facility for rabies vaccination, if needed, shall also be paid. If at the end of five days after said impounding, the dog or public nuisance animal or animals has not been redeemed, it may be sold at private sale, or the keeper of the pound may dispose of the dog or public nuisance animal or animals in a humane manner or pursuant to the terms of California Food and Agricultural Code Section 31683. (Ord. 446 § 18, 2005; Ord. 267 § 31, 1961).

7.04.340 Safety of person(s) enforcing this article.

The animal catcher or any other duly designated officer or agent of the city is hereby empowered and authorized to kill any dog found in violation of this article if said dog cannot be safely taken up and impounded. (Ord. 446 § 19, 2005; Ord. 267 § 32, 1961).

7.04.350 Interference with officers.

It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to break open the pound or attempt to do so, or to take or let out any dogs therefrom, or to take or attempt to take from any officer or agent, any dog taken up by him in compliance with this article or in any manner to interfere with or hinder such officer or agent in the discharge of his duties under this article. (Ord. 446 § 20, 2005; Ord. 267 § 33, 1961).

7.04.360 Penalty.

Upon the first violation of this article, the dog owner or keeper will be given a written warning notice by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested. Further violation(s) of this article shall be punishable under Chapter 1.12 HMC. (Ord. 446 § 21, 2005; Ord. 267 § 34, 1961).