Chapter 6.32


6.32.010    Teasing or harassing of animals prohibited.

6.32.020    Vicious animal defined.

6.32.030    Scope of provisions.

6.32.040    Confinement required.

6.32.050    Nuisance declared.

6.32.060    Report investigation.

6.32.070    Service of abatement order--Appeal.

6.32.080    Content of abatement order.

6.32.090    Hearing on abatement.

6.32.100    Failure to comply with order--Prohibited.

6.32.110    Failure to comply with order--Actions by city.

6.32.120    Seizure and impoundment of animals.

6.32.130    Compliance with procedures.

6.32.140    Hearing procedures.

6.32.150    Change in owner residence--Requirements.

6.32.010 Teasing or harassing of animals prohibited.

A.    No person, except a peace officer in the performance of his duty, shall incite an animal to vicious acts.

B.    No person shall tease any animal.

C.    No parent shall allow or knowingly permit a minor child to incite any animal to vicious acts or to tease any animal. (Ord. 459 §902, 1970)

6.32.020 Vicious animal defined.

A.    “Vicious animal” means an animal, except a dog assisting a peace officer engaged in law enforcement duties, which demonstrates any or all of the following behaviors:

1.    An attack, without provocation which requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury and/or property damage in a place where such person is conducting himself peaceably and lawfully;

2.    An attack, without provocation, on another animal or livestock which occurs off the property of the owner of the attacking animal;

3.    An attack, without provocation, that results in an injury to a person in a place where such person is conducting himself peaceably and lawfully;

4.    Any behavior, without provocation, that constitutes a physical threat of bodily harm to a person in a place where such person is conducting himself peaceably and lawfully.

B.    “Vicious animal” also means an animal which has been found to be a vicious animal pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.030 Scope of provisions.

A person is peaceably and lawfully upon the private property of an owner of the animal when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by laws of the state or county, or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.040 Confinement required.

It is unlawful for the owner and/or possessor of a vicious animal to maintain the animal within the city unless it is penned, muzzled or otherwise confined so that is cannot bite, attack or cause injury to any person or other animal. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.050 Nuisance declared.

A vicious animal in violation of this chapter constitutes a public nuisance. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.060 Report investigation.

Whenever the animal control director has reasonable cause to believe a vicious animal is being maintained within the city, the animal control director shall conduct an investigation. (Ord. 682 §7 (part), 1988)

6.32.070 Service of abatement order--Appeal.

A.    If, upon investigation, the animal control director finds that the animal is vicious as defined in this chapter, the animal owner and/or possessor shall be personally served or served by mail with an abatement order summarizing the results of the investigation.

B.    If the owner and/or possessor cannot be ascertained and located, an abatement order shall be served by posting the abatement order on the property where the animal was found.

C.    The abatement order may impose conditions and restrictions for maintenance of the animal pursuant to Section 6.32.080 of this chapter. The abatement order shall state that the owner and/or possessor of the animal has five days from the date of service thereof to comply with the order or to file a request for a hearing before the city council.

D.    If the owner and/or possessor fails to file a timely appeal, the abatement order of the animal control director shall become final.

E.    Filing of a timely appeal shall stay the abatement order until a determination is made by the city council pursuant to Section 6.32.090 of this chapter. (Ord. 682 §7 (part), 1988)

6.32.080 Content of abatement order.

The abatement order may impose restrictions and conditions for maintaining a vicious animal to protect the public safety and the safety of other animals. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

A.    Written proof (a true copy) of a public liability insurance policy in the single-incident amount of fifty thousand dollars for bodily injury or death of any person(s) or for damage to property which may result from the ownership or maintenance of such animal. The insurance policy shall provide that no cancellation of the policy be made unless ten days’ written notice is first given to the county department of animal control;

B.    Requirements as to size, construction and design of an enclosure for the animal;

C.    Requirements as to the location of the animal’s residence;

D.    Requirements as to the type and method of restrains and/or muzzling of the animal;

E.    Photographing of the animal for purposes of identification. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.090 Hearing on abatement.

A.    If the owner files a timely appeal pursuant to Section 6.32.070 of this chapter, a hearing shall be conducted before the city council who shall decide whether to sustain, modify or overrule the abatement order.

B.    The owner and/or possessor shall be served in person or by mail with the decision of the city council. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.100 Failure to comply with order--Prohibited.

It is unlawful for an owner and/or possessor to fail to comply with an abatement order issued pursuant to Section 6.32.060 of this chapter unless a timely appeal is filed and pending in accordance with Section 6.32.070 of this chapter. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.110 Failure to comply with order--Actions by city.

In the event that an owner and/or possessor fails to comply with an abatement order, the animal control director may take one or more of the following actions:

A.    Cite the owner and/or possessor of the animal for violation of this chapter. Each day that a violation occurs is a separate offense;

B.    Refer the matter to the district attorney or the city attorney for prosecution of the alleged violation or for abatement of the public nuisance;

C.    Impound the animal in accordance with the procedures specified in this chapter. The owner and/or possessor may redeem an impounded animal prior to its final disposition by the animal control director in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; provided, that the owner and/or possessor agrees to comply and is able to comply with the abatement order and has paid all applicable fees and charges. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.120 Seizure and impoundment of animals.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6.32.100 of this chapter, the animal control director may immediately seize and impound a vicious animal for any of the following reasons:

A.    The animal is at large or is otherwise in violation of this chapter;

B.    Whenever the owner and/or possessor consents to immediate impoundment of the animal;

C.    The animal control director reasonably believes that immediate impoundment is necessary for preservation of the public’s health or safety, the safety of other animals, or the animal involved. Relevant factors in making this determination include whether the animal has attacked and caused serious bodily injury to a person or animal, whether the owner and/or possessor has suffered or permitted the animal to run at large and whether the animal owner and/or possessor is immediately willing and able to confine the animal as required in Section 6.32.040 of this chapter. (Ord. 682 §7(part) 1988)

6.32.130 Compliance with procedures.

Whenever an animal is immediately impounded without serving a preseizure notice on the owner or keeper, the animal control director shall comply with the procedures for immediate impoundment specified in this chapter. (Ord. 682 §7(part), 1988)

6.32.140 Hearing procedures.

A.    If a hearing is requested by the owner or keeper on the question of whether their animal was lawfully seized, it shall be conducted by the city council and shall be scheduled no later than fourteen days after the date the appeal is filed.

B.    The decision of he city council shall be based on the weight of the evidence and shall be final.

C.    The owner and/or possessor shall be given notice of the decision in person or by mail. The city council shall determine whether the impoundment and/or destruction is authorized under this chapter. If the impoundment is found to be unlawful, the animal shall be released forthwith to the owner, and the costs of impoundment shall be borne by the city. If the animal is determined to be a vicious animal, it may either be handled by bringing action against the owner of such animal pursuant to Civil Code Section 3342.5, or released with conditions or humanely destroyed. (Ord. 682 §7 (part), 1988)

6.32.150 Change in owner residence--Requirements.

The owner and/or possessor of a vicious animal which has been the subject of an abatement order shall notify the animal control director within ten days of making a change in the residence or ownership of the animal and provide the new residence address and, when applicable, the name of the new owner. The owner or possessor is also required to provide a copy of the abatement order to the new owner on or before the transfer of ownership of the animal. (Ord. 682 §7 (part), 1988)