Chapter 6.12
ANIMAL CONTROL

Sections:

6.12.010    Dogs at large prohibited.

6.12.020    Leash required for dogs off premises.

6.12.030    Safety of animals in motor vehicles.

6.12.040    Safety of animals in parked vehicles.

6.12.080    Animal defecation prohibited where.

6.12.090    Noisy animals.

6.12.100    Harassment, threat or injury by animals.

6.12.110    Dogs killing domesticated animals or other dogs.

6.12.120    Livestock or wild animals—At large prohibited.

6.12.130    Livestock or wild game—Threat or injury by animals prohibited.

6.12.132    Cinches, saddle girths, and bucking and flanking straps.

6.12.134    Electric prods.

6.12.136    Bloodless bullfights.

6.12.138    Animal control officers present at rodeos and similar events.

6.12.140    Vicious animals unrestrained.

6.12.150    Wild animals.

6.12.155    Use of steel-jawed, leg-hold traps.

6.12.160    Violation—Evidence.

6.12.010 Dogs at large prohibited.

(A)    It is unlawful for the owner or caretaker of any dog, licensed or not, to permit or allow such dog to be at large anywhere in the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County when there is reasonable cause to believe that the dog has caused or is likely to cause harm to persons or property, or other nuisances such as urinating, defecating, dumping garbage, digging or making noise on the property of others.

(B)    The owner or caretaker of any dog found in violation as described above may be contacted by an animal control officer or peace officer and issued a citation for the violation. If the owner or caretaker is not present, and there is no reasonable way to secure the dog to the owner’s or caretaker’s property to prevent subsequent violations, it may be impounded. If a dog is impounded from the property where the owner or caretaker is not present, a notice of such impound will be left with information about the nature of the impound, the name and address of the impounding agency, and an indication of the ultimate disposition of the dog if it is not reclaimed within a specified period of time. [Ord. 4503 § 3, 1998].

6.12.020 Leash required for dogs off premises.

It is unlawful for the owner of any dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, to permit or allow such dog to be away from the premises of its owner at any time if not under actual physical restraint or control, such as a leash, tether, or in the grasp of a person. [Ord. 4490 § 4, 1998; Ord. 3728 § 20, 1986; Ord. 2170, 1975; Ord. 1447, 1972; Ord. 1371, 1968; prior code § 8.05.401].

6.12.030 Safety of animals in motor vehicles.

No person shall transport or carry on any public highway or public roadway any dog or other animal in a motor vehicle unless the animal is safely enclosed within the vehicle, or if traveling in an unenclosed vehicle (including but not limited to convertibles, pick-up and flat-bed trucks) shall be confined by a container, cage or other device that will prevent the animal from falling from or jumping from the motor vehicle. [Ord. 3728 § 25, 1986; prior code § 8.05.406].

6.12.040 Safety of animals in parked vehicles.

No person shall leave any animal in any standing or parked vehicle in such a way as to endanger the animal’s health, safety or welfare. An animal control officer, State Humane Officer, or police or safety officer is hereby authorized to use reasonable force to remove the animal from the vehicle whenever it appears that the animal’s health, safety or welfare is or will be endangered. [Ord. 3728 § 26, 1986; prior code § 8.05.407].

6.12.080 Animal defecation prohibited where.

It is unlawful for the owner of any animal to allow or permit such animal to defecate on any public property or improved private property, other than that of the owner. It is the responsibility of the animal’s owner to properly dispose of any solid waste resulting from an act in violation of this section. [Ord. 4490 § 5, 1998; Ord. 2170, 1975; prior code § 8.05.420].

6.12.090 Noisy animals.

(A)    It is unlawful for any person to keep or harbor any dog, cat or other animal, whether licensed or not, which by habitual howling, yelping, barking or other noise unreasonably disturbs or annoys any person with ordinary sensitivities. When determining if there has been a violation of this section, the use and character of the property where the animal is located as well as the neighboring properties shall be taken into consideration.

(B)    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, commercial agricultural activities, operations or facilities shall be exempt from the provisions of this section to the extent provided by Section 3482.5 of the California Civil Code. [Ord. 3979 § 1, 1989; Ord. 2170, 1975; Ord. 540, 1957; prior code § 8.05.460].

6.12.100 Harassment, threat or injury by animals.

It is unlawful for the owner of any dog or animal to suffer or permit the same to annoy and harass, chase, threaten to inflict or inflict injury of any kind on any person. [Ord. 4490 § 6, 1998; Ord. 2170, 1975; prior code § 8.05.410].

6.12.110 Dogs killing domesticated animals or other dogs.

It is unlawful for the owner of any dog or other domesticated animal to suffer or permit the same to cause the death of another dog or other domesticated animal, except where the offending animal is acting in self-defense, or where the incident occurs on the property of the owner of the offending animal. The Director of Animal Control Services may impound any dog or domesticated animal found at large in violation of this section, and the Director of Animal Control Services may declare the dog or domesticated animal to be a vicious animal and proceed under the procedure set forth in SCCC 6.24.070. [Ord. 4490 § 7, 1998; Ord. 3060, 1981; prior code § 8.05.412].

6.12.120 Livestock or wild animals—At large prohibited.

No person owning or having care, custody or control of any ox, steer, bull, cow, horse, calf, sheep, goat or hog, or any animal commonly referred to as a “wild species” shall:

(A)    Permit such animal to be at large in the unincorporated areas of the County; or

(B)    Cause or permit any such animal to be pastured, herded, staked or tied in any street, lane, alley, park or other public place; or

(C)    Tie, stake or pasture, or permit the tying, staking or pasturing of any such animal upon any private property within the unincorporated areas of the County, without the consent of the owner or occupant of such property, or in such a way as to permit any such animal to trespass upon any street or public place, or upon any such private property; or

(D)    Permit any such animal to be or remain during the nighttime secured by a stake, or secured in any manner other than by enclosing such animal in a pen, corral or barn sufficient and adequate to restrain such animal. [Ord. 540, 1957; prior code § 8.05.470].

6.12.130 Livestock or wild game—Threat or injury by animals prohibited.

It is unlawful for the owner of any animal to suffer or permit the same, under any circumstances, to chase, threaten to inflict, or inflict injury of any kind on any wild game, as defined in Fish and Game Code Section 3950, or on any domestic livestock, including cows, sheep, horses and chickens. [Ord. 4490 § 8, 1998; Ord. 2170, 1975; prior code § 8.05.415].

6.12.132 Cinches, saddle girths, and bucking and flanking straps.

No sharp or cutting objects in cinch, saddle girth or flank straps shall be permitted. Only sheepskin-lined flanking straps shall be used on bucking stock and shall be of the quick-release type. Flank straps shall be placed on the animal so the sheepskin-covered portion is over both flanks and belly of the animal. Flanking straps shall be released immediately upon the completion of any event in which they are employed. Bucking or flanking straps shall not be overtightened, or otherwise used to torment, torture or practice any cruelty on any animal, as such terms are defined in Section 599(b) of the California Penal Code. [Ord. 3728 § 27, 1986; prior code § 8.05.416].

6.12.134 Electric prods.

The use of electric prods on livestock in rodeos and similar contests shall not be permitted to torture, torment or practice cruelty on any animal, as such terms are defined in Section 599(b) of the California Penal Code. [Ord. 3728 § 28, 1986; prior code § 8.05.417].

6.12.136 Bloodless bullfights.

Bloodless bullfights are prohibited. [Ord. 3728 § 29, 1986; prior code § 8.05.418].

6.12.138 Animal control officers present at rodeos and similar events.

Animal control officers shall be present at all rodeos and similar events to ensure that animals participating in or being utilized in those types of events are not tortured, tormented or treated with cruelty as such terms are defined in Section 599(b) of the California Penal Code or as defined by local ordinance. [Ord. 3728 § 30, 1986; prior code § 8.05.419].

6.12.140 Vicious animals unrestrained.

It is unlawful to permit any vicious animal to go unrestrained. Any vicious animal may be required by written order of the Director of Animal Control Services to be confined to its owner’s premises, and allowed at liberty only under the direct control of its owner while on a leash and properly muzzled to prevent harm or injury to the public. [Ord. 4490 § 9, 1998; Ord. 2170, 1975; prior code § 8.05.430].

6.12.150 Wild animals.

(A)    Prohibition. No person shall possess, keep or have care, custody or control of any animal belonging to a “wild species,” as defined in Section 2118 of the California Fish and Game Code, anywhere in the unincorporated area of the County.

(B)    Exemption. This section shall not apply to persons having a valid permit from the State Department of Fish and Game under Fish and Game Code Sections 2150 et seq., to possess an animal belonging to a “wild species” on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. However, this section shall apply to any such person whose preexisting valid permit expires and is not renewed, or is revoked. [Ord. 2427, 1977; prior code § 8.05.475].

6.12.155 Use of steel-jawed, leg-hold traps.

It is unlawful for any person to set, trigger, activate or otherwise use, or cause to be set, triggered, activated or used, any steel-jawed, leg-hold trap to be used for the capture of any animal, except as provided in California Health and Safety Code Section 1803. [Ord. 3728 § 32, 1986; prior code § 8.05.480].

6.12.160 Violation—Evidence.

Proof that an animal was found at large in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, together with proof that the defendant was the owner of such animal at the time, shall constitute prima facie evidence that the defendant allowed or permitted the animal to be at large or otherwise act in violation of the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 2170, 1975; Ord. 1747, 1972; prior code § 8.05.440].