Chapter 6.12
CONTROL OF ANIMALS OTHER THAN DOGS

Sections:

6.12.010    Animals other than dogs at large – Defined.

6.12.020    Animals at large – Diseased.

6.12.030    Animals at large – Impoundment.

6.12.040    Redemption of impounded animals – Sales if not redeemed.

6.12.050    Impoundment – Fees.

6.12.060    Keeping animals in the city – General regulations – Penalty.

6.12.065    Keeping of hens.

6.12.070    Regulation of wolves and wolf hybrids.

6.12.080    Regulation of bulls.

6.12.090    Reserved.

6.12.100    Exotic hybrid and/or wild animal permit required.

6.12.110    Control of rabid or potentially rabid animals.

6.12.120    Trapping destructive animals.

6.12.130    Infractions – Penalty.

6.12.140    Misdemeanors – Penalty.

6.12.010 Animals other than dogs at large – Defined.

An animal, other than a dog, shall be deemed at large whenever found upon any highway or public place and not being lawfully driven or led in transit over the same; whenever found or staked or tethered within 50 feet of the dwelling, building, or structure of another, or without the consent of the owner or lessee thereof upon the property of another; or whenever kept, found, staked, or tethered in violation of any law, ordinance, or health regulation. (Ord. 2742 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.020 Animals at large – Diseased.

No owner of a diseased animal, including a dog, shall permit it to run at large among other animals until it is determined by an accredited veterinarian that such disease is not communicable. (Ord. 2742 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.030 Animals at large – Impoundment.

All animals found to be at large may be taken up and impounded. Animals may also be impounded for any of the reasons as provided in BMC 6.08.060. (Ord. 2742 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.040 Redemption of impounded animals – Sales if not redeemed.

A. The owner or persons entitled to the possession of any animal impounded may redeem the same at any time before the sale thereof by paying the animal control authority the impounding fees and the charges and costs of boarding such animal as adopted by the resolution of the city council.

B. If no person appears to redeem any impounded animal within five days after the impounding thereof, it shall be the duty of the animal control authority to give notice that such animal has been impounded, stating therein the place of the shelter, a full description of the animal and that unless redeemed such animal will be adopted or sold at public auction naming the day and hour of such sale and where such sale shall take place.

C. The impound notice shall be given by whatever reasonable means possible. If the animal’s owner or keeper is unknown and cannot be located, the notice shall be posted at the animal control agency. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.050 Impoundment – Fees.

The animal control authority is authorized to charge and collect impoundment fees in accordance with a fee schedule adopted by resolution of the city council. The animal control authority is also authorized to collect actual costs associated with advertising as required under this chapter and expenses related to veterinary care and special transportation. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.060 Keeping animals in the city – General regulations – Penalty.

A. Any person being the owner or entitled to the possession of any animal of the species of horse, mule, ass, cattle, sheep, goat, domesticated fowl and exotic animals (except domesticated fowl maintained in a residence), including but not limited to duck, chicken, goose, turkey or peafowl or swine of any kind, shall be permitted to keep the same within the limits of the city except as the same is now or may be hereafter forbidden by ordinance by securely confining the same in a stable or other building; or an enclosure surrounded by a secure, well-built fence of sufficient height and strength to confine such animal therein; or the same may be securely staked out in a vacant lot in such manner that it cannot get upon any street, alley, or other public place within the city; provided, that the same is so confined or staked out as to effectively prevent it getting within 50 feet of any dwelling or other building in which persons work or are accustomed to be, or near enough to the property of another to do any damage thereto or commit any nuisance thereupon; and provided further, that any such animal shall be considered as running at large when it breaks away from its fastenings or is herded or permitted to feed upon any of the streets, alleys or other public places of the city. Such confinement or staking must provide adequate food, water and shelter so that animal will not suffer abuse or neglect.

Animal keeping within the city limits of Blaine shall be dictated by the following:

1. Requirements Defined.

a. The keeping of livestock shall not exceed stocking rates of one animal unit per acre without a USDA-approved farm management plan.

b. Animal keeping shall be restricted in areas characterized by urban density.

i. If the area adjacent to and within 300 feet of the proposed property proposing to keep livestock is more than 50 percent urban in nature (three or more units per acre average, or characterized by commercial/retail businesses) then keeping livestock, including fowl, will not be permitted.

ii. Livestock will not be allowed in existing and proposed subdivisions which have an average lot size of one acre or less. Pre-existing livestock, prior to date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this section, are allowed to remain as long as they do not constitute a nuisance.

iii. Livestock “confinement” facilities shall be limited to minor, incidental noncommercial activities within all areas which currently exhibit an “urbanizing” character (see subsection (A)(1)(b)(i) of this section). Commercial raising of livestock is allowed only in areas with predominantly large contiguous acreages where not less than five acres are controlled/owned by the livestock producers. Stocking rates and farm management practices shall be in compliance with a current USDA/Conservation District-approved farm management plan.

c. Confinement. Animal confinement structures must have setbacks from adjacent neighboring dwellings of at least 150 feet.

B. Hives or colonies of bees shall be kept in a manner in which they are inaccessible to the general public and so that bee movements to and from the hive do not interfere with the ordinary movements of persons on adjacent properties or the public right-of-way. Hives shall be located at least 50 feet from the nearest property line. All colonies must be registered with the Director of the Department of Agriculture of the State of Washington as provided in RCW 15.60.030. The terms “hive,” “colony,” “colonies of bees” and “bees” as used in this section shall have the meanings set forth in RCW 15.60.005.

C. All stables and other buildings and all enclosures and premises upon which any such animals are kept and confined shall be kept in a clean, healthful, and sanitary condition by the person owning, possessing, or using any such premises for said purposes, and no persons owning, possessing, or using any such premises shall permit any nuisance to be formed or to accumulate thereon.

D. It is the duty of the animal control authority to inspect all premises whereon any such animals are confined or kept, and to enforce the regulation of this chapter. If any such premises are not kept in a manner as required by this chapter, such officer or officers shall at once notify the persons owning, possessing, or using the premises for such purpose to place the same in a safe, secure, clean, healthful, and sanitary condition, and such person shall immediately comply with such order.

E. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of an infraction and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not to exceed $250.00. (Ord. 2742 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2357 § 1, 1998; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.065 Keeping of hens.

A. Notwithstanding the regulations in BMC 6.12.060, keeping of hens shall be permitted on properties used for single-family and duplex residential purposes only in the RL, SF-1, SF-2 and RM zoning districts under the following conditions:

1. A maximum of six hens shall be permitted for each piece of land with contiguous property ownership regardless of lot area;

2. Keeping of roosters shall be prohibited;

3. Keeping of livestock and chickens is a permitted use in the PR zone;

4. Hens shall be contained within a fully enclosed fence, pen or coop at all times.

a. Such enclosure shall be less than 120 square feet in area.

b. If the height of the hen enclosure is six feet or less, it shall have a minimum setback of four feet from any side yard property line and zero feet from the rear yard. If such enclosure is over six feet in height, it shall meet the setbacks for an accessory structure as defined in BMC 17.104.010;

5. Hen enclosures shall be kept in a good working condition, shall not cause odor or noise nuisances, and shall not be deemed unsightly from any public right-of-way, as determined by the administrator.

B. Violations.

1. The owner of any property in violation of subsection (A) of this section, as determined by the administrator, shall be subject to the infraction penalties defined in BMC 6.12.130.

2. Within seven days of the notice of violation the property owner shall correct the cause of violation. If the violation has not been corrected in this time, the city, with cause, may seek legal entry to the property to remove the hens. The property owner will be responsible for any costs incurred by the city to ensure the nuisance is removed. (Ord. 2742 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009)

6.12.070 Regulation of wolves and wolf hybrids.

Wolves and wolf hybrids shall not be kept or maintained within the city. Owners of wolves and wolf hybrids who were kept or maintained in the city as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title shall be exempted from this title; provided, that wolves and wolf hybrids who were kept or maintained in the city on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title shall be subject to the same restrictions, rules, regulations, and penalties that govern dangerous dogs pursuant to BMC 6.08.170. In addition, such wolves and wolf hybrids shall be kept segregated from domestic dogs and cats. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.080 Regulation of bulls.

A. It is unlawful for any owner to keep any bull within the city limits unless the same is securely confined in an enclosure, such as a well-maintained fence sufficiently strong to securely confine bull(s).

B. Any owner violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500.00 and/or imprisonment for up to one year. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2357 § 1, 1998; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.090 Reserved.

(Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.100 Exotic hybrid and/or wild animal permit required.

A. A permit from the animal control authority shall be required for any person, firm, corporation or business to own or maintain any wild or exotic animal.

B. A permit to own and maintain any wild or exotic animal will be issued only if it can be demonstrated that public safety is not at risk and proper animal enclosures exist to ensure the public’s safety. Facilities and enclosures for wild and/or exotic animals are subject to inspection at any time. Failure to submit to such inspections shall be sufficient grounds for permit revocation.

C. Any person having said permit revoked for violations of this chapter shall immediately remove said animals from the city.

D. Exempt from the permit requirement of this section are:

1. Circuses and zoos staying within the city for a limited time of no more than 30 days; provided, that proper safeguards are taken to protect the public and the animal control authority is notified of their arrival, all locations used to keep the animals, and duration of stay.

2. State registered wildlife rehabilitation centers, sanctioned by the Washington State Wildlife Department.

E. The annual permit fee as established by a resolution of the city council to keep or maintain any wild or exotic animal shall be paid to the animal control authority.

F. No person shall be permitted to own, harbor, or maintain any lion, tiger, bear, gorilla, lynx, cougar, jaguar or venomous snake, coyote, or any other species native to Washington except as licensed under state law.

G. No person shall have, keep or maintain any exotic or wild animal unless specially permitted. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.110 Control of rabid or potentially rabid animals.

The procedure for the control of rabid or potentially rabid animals provided for in BMC 6.08.100 shall apply to all animals regulated under this title. In addition, the animal control authority shall have the authority to enforce any animal quarantine as directed by the Whatcom County health department. Exotic or wild animals involved in a biting incident shall be destroyed immediately and tested for rabies. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.120 Trapping destructive animals.

Upon the written complaint of any party that any cat or other animal is trespassing upon the premises or property of the complaining party, and thereon doing substantial damage to property, trees, shrubs, lawns or gardens, and upon the animal control officer finding probable cause exists that the complainant’s property is being so substantially damaged, the animal control officer may humanely trap such cat or animal, and impound such cat or animal, or dispose of it in accordance with this chapter, or in accordance with RCW 77.16.230 if a game animal. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.130 Infractions – Penalty.

A violation of any of the following provisions shall constitute an infraction and shall subject the violator to a fine not to exceed $250.00:

A. Any violation of the provisions of BMC 6.12.060, the general regulations governing keeping animals in the city.

B. It is unlawful for any person to cause, permit, or allow any domestic animal or livestock of any kind to be at large. (Ord. 2742 § 2 (Exh. A), 2009; Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)

6.12.140 Misdemeanors – Penalty.

Any violation of the following provisions shall constitute a gross misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or imprisonment for a period not to exceed one year.

A. It is unlawful for any person to prevent, obstruct, or hinder the impoundment of any animal or any other enforcement duties of police officers or animal control officers pursuant to this chapter.

B. It is unlawful for a person to own, keep or maintain any wild, hybrid or exotic animal without a valid permit from the animal control authority.

C. It is unlawful for an owner or keeper to refuse to quarantine or permit the quarantine of any animal when and as required by state law and this chapter.

D. It is unlawful for an owner of an exotic or wild animal to allow such animal to be at large.

E. It is unlawful for any person to take or drive any animal from any enclosed lot or tract of land or from any stable or other building, or from outside the limits of the city with the intent that such animal be impounded.

F. Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful for an owner of any wolf or wolf hybrid to keep or maintain such animal in the city, or for the owner or keeper of any exempted wolf or wolf hybrid to fail to comply with the provisions of this title. (Ord. 2505, 2001; Ord. 2313 § 2, 1997)