Chapter 5.24


5.24.010    Notice of Impounding

5.24.020    Claiming Impounded Animals

5.24.030    Right of Entry and Inspection

5.24.040    Summary Disposal of Certain Animals

5.24.050    Impounding Sick or Injured Animals

5.24.055    Hindrance to Impounding

5.24.060    Right of Appeal

5.24.070    Violation and Penalty

5.24.010 Notice of Impounding.

When any licensed animal is impounded the animal control authority impounding such animal shall attempt to give notice to the owner if known the same day by telephone or by leaving written notice at the address contained in the license application. The notice shall inform the owner of the impounding of such animal, the reason therefor and the time period during which the animal can be claimed prior to disposition by the animal shelter. It shall, however, be the entire responsibility of the owner to ascertain that his or her animal has been impounded and to take such measures as he or she deems fit for redeeming such animal. Neither the City nor any officer or agent of the City shall be responsible for failing to notify an animal owner under this chapter.

5.24.020 Claiming Impounded Animals.

The owner of any animal impounded to a shelter may reclaim such animal upon payment of the license fee, if applicable, and all costs and charges incurred by the impound facility for the keeping and maintenance of the animal. The owner of an animal held at the City facilities, but not impounded to a shelter, may be subject to an impound fee payable to the City of Lake Stevens as set by resolution by the City Council whether or not the owner claims and retakes possession of the animal.

5.24.030 Right of Entry and Inspection.

A.    With consent of the owner or occupant of any premises, an officer may enter and inspect said premises to determine compliance with the provisions of this title.

B.    An animal control authority may use reasonable force to forcibly enter the private property or vehicle of another in the absence of the owner or occupant when, in the officer’s judgment, an animal on such premises needs emergency assistance to prevent an animal’s death or serious injury.

C.    An animal control authority may enter the private property of another to enforce this Chapter with a search warrant or when otherwise authorized by law.

D.    An animal control authority is authorized to remove and impound any animal left in a motor vehicle at any location when the officer reasonably believes the animal is confined in conditions which endanger its health or safety. The officer shall leave written notice of the removal and impound in a secure and conspicuous location on or inside the vehicle. Such notice shall include; the officer’s name, a contact phone number, the location of the animal, and the process for claiming the animal.

E.    An officer in hot pursuit may enter the private property of another, with or without a warrant, to take possession of any animal observed at large.

F.    An animal control authority may enter the private property of another and remove an animal that is creating a public nuisance.

5.24.040 Summary Disposal of Certain Animals.

It is lawful for any police officer or any member of the animal control authority to kill any dangerous or vicious dog or other animal found at large which cannot, in their judgment, be safely taken up and impounded.

5.24.050 Impounding Sick or Injured Animals.

Whenever animals that are impounded in a sick or injured condition are treated by a licensed veterinarian, the owner of such animal, if any, shall be liable for all costs associated with such treatment. When in the judgement of a licensed veterinarian or the animal control authority, an animal should be destroyed for humane reasons, such animal may not be redeemed. The owner of the animal to be destroyed shall be liable for all costs associated with the treatment and destruction of the animal. The City or its agents shall not be held liable for the destruction of the animal. Before such animal is destroyed, the animal control authority shall take reasonable steps to serve the owner, if known, with a notice of destruction, informing him or her that his or her animal is going to be destroyed.

5.24.055 Hindrance to Impounding.

No person shall willfully:

A.    Prevent or hinder the impounding of any animal found in violation of this chapter;

B.    Remove the animal from a designated shelter without paying all lawful charges against the animal within thirty (30) days; or

C.    Resist or obstruct the animal control authority or its officers in the performance of its duties.

5.24.060 Right of Appeal.

The owner of an animal or property owner may appeal to the Police Chief the impound costs and/or damages caused as the result of actions authorized in this chapter within 30 days of the event. The Police Chief will determine, based upon the evidence whether the actions by the city’s agents were reasonable.

5.24.070 Violation and Penalty.

Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter, or violation of any provision of this chapter is a a misdemeanor subject to a jail term of not more than 90 days, a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(Ord. 717, 2005)