Chapter 17.01


17.01.010    Purpose.

17.01.015    Definitions.

17.01.020    Liability for damages.

17.01.030    Responsibility for payment of costs and fees.

17.01.040    Animal shelter.

17.01.045    Disposal of animal carcasses.

17.01.050    Agreements and authority.

17.01.060    Severability.

17.01.070    Effective date.


Ord. 635    05/05/98


Ord. 679    11/23/99

Ord. 753    07/13/04

Ord. 775    06/21/05

17.01.010 Purpose.

It is the public policy of Clallam County to secure and maintain such levels of animal control within the unincorporated areas of Clallam County as will protect human health and safety, and to the greatest degree practicable to prevent injury to property. To this end, it is the purpose of this title to provide a means of controlling errant animal behavior so that it shall not become a public nuisance.

It is also the policy of Clallam County to prevent the inhumane treatment of animals. Therefore, it is also the purpose of this title to provide for the humane use, care, and treatment of animals to the end that cruelty to such animals will be reduced or eliminated.

17.01.015 Definitions.

In construing the provisions of this title, except where otherwise plainly declared or clearly apparent from the context, words used herein shall be given their common and ordinary meaning; in addition, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Abandon” means to desert, leave behind, or quit providing for an animal.

(2) “Abatement” means the termination of any violation by reasonable and lawful means determined by the Animal Control Officer in order that a person or persons presumed to be the owner shall comply with this chapter.

(3) “Abuse” means to mistreat or wrongfully use an animal.

(4) “Adult dog or cat” means any dog or cat over the age of six (6) months.

(5) “Agent of the owner of livestock” means any person who rents pasture to the owner of livestock, or any tenant of any person who rents pasture to the owner of livestock, or any person who is the caretaker of the pasture or livestock.

(6) “Ameliorate” means to make or become better; improve.

(7) “Animal” means any domestic animal as defined in subsection (19) of this section, any inherently dangerous animal kept by any person as defined in subsections (30) and (31) of this section, and all livestock as defined in subsection (36) of this section.

(8) “Animal Control Authority” means Clallam County, acting alone or in concert with other local governmental units for enforcement of the animal control laws of the County and State and the shelter and welfare of animals.

(9) “Animal Control Officer” means any individual employed, contracted or appointed by the Animal Control Authority for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of this title or any other law or ordinance relating to the licensing of animals, control of animals or seizure and impoundment of animals. “Animal Control Officer” includes any State or local law enforcement officer, Deputy Sheriff, or other employee whose duties in whole or in part include assignments which involve the enforcement of animal control laws. “Animal Control Officer” also includes those Humane Society employees authorized by the court, pursuant to RCW 16.52.011, to enforce animal control laws.

(10) “Animal shelter” means a facility which is used to house or contain stray, homeless, abandoned or unwanted animals and which is owned, operated or maintained by a public body, an established humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or other nonprofit organization or person devoted to the welfare, protection and humane treatment of animals.

(11) “Animal welfare agency” means a public or private agency, including an established humane society, organized primarily for the purpose of promoting animal welfare; accepting and/or housing unwanted, stray, or abandoned animals; promoting or conducting animal adoption; promoting or conducting spay/neuter; and/or other animal welfare activities. This definition does not include veterinary services.

(12) “Bite” means the act of the animal’s teeth seizing or penetrating human or animal skin or clothing.

(13) “Canine” means a Canis familiaris, bred in a great many varieties, and includes both male and female, and hereafter referred to as dog.

(14) “Commercial kennel or cattery” means:

(a) Any establishment, person, or business that takes in, for resale or boarding, another person’s dogs or cats.

(b) Any establishment, person, or business that produces for sale more than two (2) litters of cats or dogs per year.

(15) “Committed” means a notice of civil infraction was issued, and the infraction was not dismissed by the court, and the court entered a default judgment for the infraction or determined that the infraction was committed, regardless of the filing of any appeal by the violator, or the violator fails to respond to a notice of civil infraction.

(16) “Cruelty” means every act or failure to act which results in unnecessary physical pain or suffering to an animal.

(17) “Dangerous dog” means any dog that inflicts severe injury or death on a human being without provocation; or kills a domestic animal without provocation while the dog is off the owner’s property; or has been previously found to be potentially dangerous because of injury inflicted on a human, the owner having received notice of such and the dog again aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans.

(18) “Director” means the Sheriff of Clallam County or his/her designee.

(19) “Domestic animal” means those domestic animals such as any dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or other such animal normally kept as a pet.

(20) “Equestrian” means a person who is riding or leading any horse.

(21) “Euthanasia” means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that involves loss of consciousness and which is performed according to the current American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines.

(22) “Feline” means a Felis catus, bred in a great many varieties, and includes both male and female, and hereafter referred to as cat.

(23) “Feral” means any wild animal or any animal having escaped from domestication and becoming wild.

(24) “Harboring” means allowing any animal to remain, be lodged, fed, or sheltered on the property one owns, occupies or controls, for more than twenty-four (24) hours.

(25) “Harboring of an inherently dangerous mammal and/or inherently dangerous reptile” means to allow an inherently dangerous mammal or inherently dangerous reptile to remain, lodge, be fed, or to be given shelter or refuge within the person’s home, store, yard, enclosure, outbuilding, abandoned vehicle or building, place of business, or any other premises in which the person resides or over which the person has control.

(26) “Horse” means a domesticated equine, bred in a great many varieties, and includes other animals such as mules and jackasses.

(27) “Hours of darkness” means the hours from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, and any other time when persons or objects may not be clearly discernible at a distance of 200 feet.

(28) “Humane trapping” means capturing any animal without causing intentional injury or death to the animal, and providing reasonable protection and care for the animal until it is delivered to a shelter or turned over to the Animal Control Officer or owner.

(29) “Infraction” means an offense that is not a crime and is subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(30) “Inherently dangerous mammal” means any live member of the Canidae, Felidae, or Ursidae families, including hybrids thereof, which, due to their inherent nature, may be considered dangerous to humans, and which includes:

(a) Canidae, including any member of the dog (Canid) family not customarily domesticated by man, or any hybrids thereof, such as wolf hybrids, but not including domestic dogs (Canis familiaris).

(b) Felidae, including any member of the cat family not customarily domesticated by man, or any hybrids thereof, but not including domestic cats (Felis catus).

(c) Ursidae, including any member of the bear family, or any hybrids thereof.

(d) Bats, raccoons, skunks, or foxes.

(31) “Inherently dangerous reptile” means any live member of the class Reptilia which:

(a) Is venomous, including, but not necessarily limited to, all members of the following families: Helodermidae (beaded lizards – Gila monster, Mexican beaded lizard), Viperidae (vipers and adders), Crotalidae (pit vipers), Altractaspididae (mole vipers), Hydrophilidae (sea snakes), and Elapidae (cobras); or

(b) Is a “rear-fanged” snake of the family Colobridae (rear-fanged snakes) that are known to be dangerous to humans, including, but not necessarily limited to, all members of the following families: Dispholidus typus (boomslang snake), Thebtornis kirtlandii (twig snake), and Rhabdophis spp. (speckled belly keelback and red necked keelback); or

(c) Is a member of the order Crocodilia (crocodiles, alligators and caimans).

(32) “Lawful fence,” in addition to the description of lawful fence described in the Revised Code of Washington, shall mean any fence or physical barrier with the capability of safely holding/restraining the animal(s) being secured within.

(33) “Leash” means a chain, rope, leather strip, nylon strip, or other device no longer than twenty (20) feet that is in good condition and capable of holding/restraining the animal to which it is attached.

(34) “Leash control” means a dog is on a leash and under responsible human control.

(35) “Leash control area” means an area designated by the County Commissioners in which all dogs off the owners’ property must be leash controlled.

(36) “Livestock” means horses, mules, jackasses, cattle, sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, swine, poultry and rabbits, or other domestic animals kept or raised for use or pleasure.

(37) “Microchip” means a commercially sold and nationally recognized and registered with Clallam County, small, magnetic device commonly inserted under the skin of an animal and which contains a magnetic or electronic animal identification number.

(38) “Neglect” means the act of leaving an animal without food, water, or care in a situation where the conditions present an immediate, direct, and serious threat to the life, safety, or health of the animal.

(39) “Notice of violation” means a verbal warning, or a written warning, or a civil notice of infraction.

(40) “Notification” means the service of a notice on the animal’s owner, any resident of the owner’s residence, or the mailing of the notice by certified and regular mail.

(41) “Owner” means any person, firm, corporation, organization, or department possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in, or having control or custody of an animal. “Owner” also means any person, firm, corporation, organization or department having interest in or having control or custody of property.

(42) “Potentially dangerous dog” means any dog, when unprovoked, inflicts a bite(s) on a human or domestic animal, either on public or private property; or chases or approaches a person upon the street, sidewalk, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury, or to otherwise threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.

(43) “Poultry” means chickens, turkeys, ratites, and other domesticated fowl.

(44) “Premises” means any house, dwelling unit, or building and the curtelage surrounding it.

(45) “Private kennel or cattery” means any establishment, person, or business having more than ten (10) adult dogs, ten (10) adult cats, or a combination thereof, and producing no more than one litter of dogs or cats per year.

(46) “Proper enclosure of a dangerous dog” means while on the owner’s property a dangerous dog shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides, a secure top, and an escape-proof floor and shall provide protection from the elements for the dog.

(47) “Public roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic.

(48) “Quarantine” means the placing and restraining of any animal by agents in charge thereof, within a certain described and designated enclosure or area within the County, as may be directed by the Animal Control Officer.

(49) “Rabies titer” means an antibody titer test substituted for rabies vaccination when a veterinarian has determined the animal experienced an allergic reaction to previous rabies vaccination, or that the vaccination would be inappropriate because of existing disease or potential for disease. The blood for this test shall be collected by a licensed veterinarian and processed by an accredited veterinary laboratory. The antibody titer level shall be adequate to indicate protection of the animal against rabies infection. This rabies titer test shall be valid for three (3) years from the day the blood was drawn.

(50) “Rabies vaccination certificate” means a rabies vaccination certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. The certificate shall be signed by the veterinarian and shall indicate the expiration date of the vaccination, the type of vaccine used and an identifying description of the animal vaccinated.

(51) “Ratite” means ostrich, emu, rhea, or other flightless bird.

(52) “RCW” means Revised Code of Washington.

(53) “Responsive to voice control” means immediately responsive to the owner by voice or other signal.

(54) “Right-of-way” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

(55) “Running at large” means to be off the premises of the owner and not under the control of the owner or competent person authorized by the owner.

(56) “Running in packs” means a group of two (2) or more dogs running upon either public or private property not that of its owner in a state in which either its control or ownership is in doubt or cannot readily be ascertained, and when such dogs are not restrained or controlled.

(57) “Severe injury” means any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery; or multiple bites to a human.

(58) “Shelter officer” means any individual employed by a shelter for the purpose of controlling and providing care for impounded and surrendered animals or destroying animals by euthanasia.

(59) “Under control” means the animal is under and immediately responsive to competent voice and/or signal control and/or leash control so as to be thereby restrained from approaching any other person, other animal, or entering upon the property of another and from causing or being the cause of physical injury or property damage; provided, that dogs under proper supervision used to lawfully hunt predatory animals or game birds; or dogs under proper supervision engaged in agricultural activities, or dogs used by law enforcement agencies; or any animal when otherwise safely and securely confined or completely controlled within or upon any vehicle are considered under control.

(60) “Vehicle” means every device, including bicycles, capable of being moved upon a public or private roadway and in, upon, or by which any person may be transported.

(61) “Working dog” means any dog which is trained to be used for the control, protection or herding of livestock for farming purposes and which is so engaged and behaving according to its training.

(62) “Zoonotic” means a disease communicable under natural conditions from animals to humans.

17.01.020 Liability for damages.

The owner of any animal in violation of this title shall be liable to the owner of any animal killed or injured, any property damaged, or to any person or that person’s estate, injured by such animal for the amount of damages sustained and costs of collection, or any other recovery provided by State law; except that this section is not intended to place liability on the owner of any animal if the injury or damages were sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the animal, or was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the animal, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

17.01.030 Responsibility for payment of costs and fees.

It is the responsibility of the owner of every animal treated, impounded, and/or destroyed under this title to pay the costs of treatment, transportation, housing, impoundment, euthanasia and fees for such animal. Abandonment of the animal does not relieve the owner of such responsibility.

It is unlawful for the owner of animals treated, impounded, and/or adopted pursuant to the provisions of this title to fail to or refuse to pay the impound fees, transportation, boarding, veterinary care, licensing, adoption, euthanasia costs, fines, restitution or other required fees or costs as set forth in this title. A violation shall be a misdemeanor.

Any provider, other than Clallam County, of services under this title, including but not limited to transportation, medical veterinary services, boarding, or euthanasia, shall seek payment directly from the owner of the animal and shall not seek or be entitled to payment from Clallam County; except that the provider may seek payment from Clallam County when the animal is referred to the provider by the County and the owner is unknown. In cases where the animal is referred to the provider by the County and the animal is not wearing a license tag, scanning for microchip is unsuccessful, and no owner is known, medical care may be limited by the County to providing humane euthanasia of the animal.

17.01.040 Animal shelter.

(1) There may be at least one animal shelter within the County for detaining animals surrendered to or apprehended by the Animal Control Officer.

(2) If so designated, the animal shelter shall have facilities for housing animals that are injured or ill, or possibly contagious with infectious disease; facilities for housing dogs and cats under quarantine; and facilities for the humane destruction of animals by euthanasia.

(3) If so designated, the Animal Control Authority may operate said County shelter(s), or contract with a public, private, or nonprofit organization for shelter services.

(4) Shelter officers employed by the animal shelter shall have the authority to collect license fees and impound fees and costs as set forth in Chapter 5.100 CCC.

(5) No animal at any shelter shall be used, sold, loaned or given away for medical or research purposes whether the animal is dead or alive.

17.01.045 Disposal of animal carcasses.

It shall be unlawful to dispose of or dump dead animals, animal carcasses, or animal parts on public property or private property, other than one’s own, without the permission of the owner. It shall be unlawful for a commercial establishment charging for the disposal of animals to dispose of animals by dumping or burying without proper permits. Violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor.

17.01.050 Agreements and authority.

The Board of Clallam County Commissioners may enter into agreements with any veterinarian, governmental agency, city, corporation, animal care and control agency (as defined in RCW 16.41.011), or individual it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this title.

Animal Control Officers enforcing this title shall comply with the same constitutional and statutory restrictions concerning the execution of police powers imposed on law enforcement officers who enforce other criminal laws of the State of Washington.

Animal Control Officers carrying out the provisions of this title have the enforcement powers listed in RCW 16.52.015(3) now or as hereinafter amended. If the County seeks to enter into an agreement with any animal care and control agency, such agreement shall be subject to the provisions and limitations contained in RCW 16.52.025 now or as hereinafter amended.

17.01.060 Severability.

If any portion of this title is held invalid, it is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners that such part shall be deemed severable and the invalidity thereof shall not affect the remaining parts of this title.

17.01.070 Effective date.

This title shall take effect ten (10) days after adoption.