Chapter 6.20


6.20.010    Purpose.

6.20.015    License required.

6.20.020    Definitions.

6.20.025    Obtaining a license.

6.20.030    License.

6.20.040    Revocation.

6.20.045    Notice of noncompliance – Revocation – Final action.

6.20.050    Appeals of a denial, renewal, or revocation of a license.

6.20.060    Violations.

6.20.010 Purpose.

The city adopts these regulations associated with the collection of animals through its use of its police powers to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of its community members and visitors that are both human and/or pets. The purpose of this chapter is to:

(1) Ensure that standards exist that protect individuals and their pets whether those consist of a larger number of pets than customary, or are specific types of pets that may pose challenges to neighbors and/or emergency responders;

(2) Allow for a means of alerting emergency responders to the existence of an animal collection that may warrant additional ways of responding and/or providing services;

(3) Ensure the health and welfare of the pets owned by individuals to whom this chapter would apply; and

(4) Ensure a means addressing neighborhood continuity and addressing potential impacts to neighbors from the activities associated with the collection of animals. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.015 License required.

It is unlawful for any owner to collect nonfarm animals, defined below, without having been issued and maintaining a city issued animal collector’s license appropriate for the nature of their collection.

(1) Each of the following collections, or types of animals, requires a separate license for that collection under this chapter:

(a) When the owner possesses 11 or more combined canines, felines, birds on their property;

(b) When the owner possesses a formerly wild or a hybrid canine or feline where the hybrid canine or feline had at least one wild animal as a grandsire, which the owner knew of, or had reason to know of from the previous immediate owner;

(c) When the owner possesses three or more reptiles that are larger than 20 inches in length or four pounds in weight, whichever is smaller, that are not venomous; or

(d) When the owner possesses any animal or reptile that is venomous.

(2) No license would be required for the following fully licensed and permitted operations:

(a) By an owner of traditional farm animals that have been utilizing the property where such uses have occurred within three of the five years prior to the enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter, or on property of the owner being utilized by traditional farm animals at the enactment of the ordinance codified in this chapter;

(b) By an owner or operator of a veterinary clinic, office, and/or hospital associated with a state licensed veterinarian that provides ancillary services such as the boarding, grooming, and foster care of their clients’ pets;

(c) By an owner of a female animal that produces a litter of animals; provided, that said newborns are no longer possessed by the owner 180 days following the birth of said litter.

(3) Any collector shall ensure that they have an annual animal collector’s license which shall be in addition to any other license, zoning requirement, permit, etc., also required by the city, state, and/or federal government of the owner. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.020 Definitions.

Words used within this chapter shall be given the usual and accustomed meaning in interpreting this chapter, unless there is given a specific definition below. Accustomed meaning would be what a reasonable, ordinary person would understand the word in question to mean.

(1) “Farm animals” means full-sized stock to include horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and swine. Farm animals do not include miniature/toy/pygmy breeds of horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and swine.

(2) Owner. An owner is a person, family, household, partnership, entity, organization, association, corporation (for profit, nonprofit, or otherwise) possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in, or having control or custody of an animal.

(3) Possesses. In this order, possesses means the possession, ownership, management, maintenance, providing for, provisioning of, supervision, harbor, keep, custody, and/or control of animals associated with this licensing requirement. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.025 Obtaining a license.

(1) An owner must apply for an animal collector’s license in a manner developed by the city police department to implement this chapter utilizing a form developed and revised as needed by said department to effectuate this chapter. At a minimum, the owner must provide:

(a) Name of owner;

(b) Mailing address of owner;

(c) Physical address of owner;

(d) Veterinarian associated with providing services within the past 18 months to the animals in the owner’s collection;

(e) List of all of the owner’s animals associated with the collection to include at least the following for each animal:

(i) Name, sex, age, spay/neuter status;

(ii) Breed;

(iii) Brief description of the animal that could be reasonably used to identify each individual animal within the collection which could include microchip number;

(iv) License number of each animal within the collection;

(v) Proof of rabies vaccination for canines and felines;

(f) Location on the property of the owner of the collection;

(g) Insurance provider;

(h) Fee as noted below.

(2) It is the obligation of the owner to provide a complete application. An incomplete application would warrant the owner being notified by the city of the need for additional information and that the application would be suspended from processing until the additional information is received. If the owner fails to complete the application within 45 days from the date of being informed that the application is incomplete, the application will be denied and the fee provided retained by the city. The city will review a completed application and make a decision on the request for a license within 30 days upon determination of completion.

(3) The city will undertake an inspection of the owner’s property, to determine the following, and said inspection shall be repeated upon the renewal of any subsequent license:

(a) Adequate space per animal which may include both building and outdoor space as follows:

(i) Two hundred fifty square feet per canine;

(ii) One hundred fifty square feet per feline;

(iii) Fifty square feet per reptile;

(iv) Fenced outdoor spaces may be counted and included in the determination. Unfenced outdoor space shall be counted at a ratio of 10 square feet unfenced area being equal to one square foot of available space. Garages, carports, and/or sheds shall not be included in the calculation of space;

(b) Adequate provision for sanitary needs of the animals collected;

(c) Unfrozen, potable water for the animals collected;

(d) Space available provides adequate shelter for the animals of the collection;

(e) Proof of licensure of the animals of the collection with the city;

(f) Copies of applicable immunization records for each of the animals in the collection;

(g) As part of the inspection proceedings, the city may at its discretion request the assistance of applicable experts and/or agency representatives whose input and advice may be considered by the city in determining whether or not a license should be issued and/or renewed. If the owner objects to the city’s utilization of an identified expert and/or agency representative, the city shall declare the application as incomplete until such time as the owner agrees to the city’s identified expert and/or agency representative, or the owner provides the services of an expert and/or agency representative having the same, or better, credentials as that of the city’s proposed expert and/or agency representative.

(4) The owner shall pay the applicable fee for the type of animal collector’s license to the city of Forks at the time they submit an application for said license. The fee, both initial and annual renewal, for the licenses shall be as follows:

(a) Canines/Felines.

(i) Eleven to 20 animals, $100.00 per year;

(ii) Twenty-one to 40, $500.00 per year;

(iii) Forty-one or more, $1,000 per year;

(b) Hybrids.

(i) One to three hybrid animals, $100.00 per year;

(ii) Four to nine, $500.00 per year;

(iii) Ten or more, $1,500 per year;

(c) Reptile – Nonvenomous.

(i) Less than 10, $100.00 per year;

(ii) Ten or more, $500.00 per year;

(d) Venomous, $1,500 per year.

(5) Upon the completion of the inspection, and review of the files, the city shall notify by mail adjacent property owners of the issuance of the license. The city may also deny the issuance of a license, or the renewal of an existing license; if the license is denied, the owner may initiate an appeal of that decision by city staff as noted elsewhere within this chapter. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.030 License.

(1) Term of License. All licenses issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid until December 31st of the year for which they are issued, and all renewals thereafter shall be for a period of one calendar year commencing January 1st of the year for which the license is issued and terminating on December 31st of the same year.

(2) Nontransferable. No license issued to an owner may be transferred, sold, given, or provided to another subsequent owner of the collection and/or property associated with the collection for which the license was issued. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.040 Revocation.

The city, through the designee of the mayor, may revoke the license of any owner required to obtain a collector’s license who is in default of the payment of the license fee. In addition, the city, through the designee of the mayor, may revoke the license of any owner who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter. Such a revocation may only occur after notice of the revocation is sent by certified mail by the city clerk/treasurer to the owner in writing that on or after a date specified therein the owner’s license will be revoked. Said notice shall also specify the reasons for the revocation. On or after the date mentioned within the notice, any owner who continues to engage in business shall be deemed to be operating without a license and shall be subject to any or all penalties provided for in this chapter. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.045 Notice of noncompliance – Revocation – Final action.

A pending application for renewal under this chapter shall be deemed in compliance with this chapter unless the person is notified by the city clerk/treasurer in writing that said application may not be granted because of noncompliance with provisions of this chapter. In the event such notice is given, the applicant shall have 60 days from the date of such notice to comply with any section violated hereunder prior to final action upon such application for renewal unless an extension for compliance is granted by the city council. At the conclusion of the 60 days, the city may require an inspection to determine if the applicant addressed the identified noncompliant issues. This section shall not apply to issues associated with the payment of fees for renewal as covered elsewhere within this chapter. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.050 Appeals of a denial, renewal, or revocation of a license.

(1) Any owner denied a license, denied the renewal of an existing license, or had their license revoked for failure to pay the licensing fee and/or violating this chapter may appeal to the city council the action taken by the city staff within 21 days from the time the city mailed to the owner the notice of the denial or revocation of the license. Any person receiving notice of the issuance of a license, as noted elsewhere in this chapter, may initiate an appeal of the issuance of that license within 21 days from the date of the notice.

(2) The person seeking an appeal shall state the reason for the appeal in writing and provide said writing and an appeal fee of $50.00 to the clerk/treasurer within the specified appeal period.

(3) The clerk/treasurer shall, as soon as practical, fix a time and place for the hearing of such an appeal, within 30 days from receipt by the clerk/treasurer for such an appeal. Notice of the time and location of the appeal shall be either mailed, via certified mail, to the person requesting the appeal or hand delivered to said person.

(4) The person making the appeal shall be permitted during the hearing to introduce evidence on their behalf. The city may, before the appeal is to be heard, by subpoena, require the attendance at such hearing of any person and may require such person to produce any pertinent books and records. Any person served with such a subpoena shall appear at the time and place therein stated and produce the books and records required, if any, and shall testify truthfully under oath administered by the mayor, or person in charge of the hearing on appeal, as to any matter required of such person pertinent to the appeal and it shall be unlawful for such person to fail or refuse to do so.

(5) Within 20 days following the close of the hearing, the city council shall make a decision upon specific findings and notify the appellant thereof by mail. Action taken by the city council on the appeal shall be final unless within 30 days thereof an appeal has been filed with the Clallam County superior court by writ of certiorari.

(6) If the person filing the appeal is successful making their plea, the appeal fee shall be returned to the appellant within 15 days of the final decision. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)

6.20.060 Violations.

Violations of this chapter shall be as follows:

(1) Any other violation of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty, which shall be separate from any associated court costs and expenses, which shall not exceed $300.00 per each individual violation. Any person who continues to maintain a collection without obtaining the required license provided for by this chapter, and is found to have violated the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of a separate violation of this chapter for each day during which the person is so engaged collecting animals in violation of this chapter.

(2) Violation of this chapter may result in seizure of animals. A person subject to this chapter and found to have violated this chapter shall have their license revoked. The city may, at its sole discretion, seize said animals and transfer ownership and/or dispose of the animals in a manner that is humane, reasonable, expeditious, and efficient. (Ord. 612 § 1, 2014)