Chapter 5.28
REGULATIONS CONCERNING INHERENTLY DANGEROUS AND WILD ANIMALS, ANIMAL BITING, AGGRESSIVE, DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOGS

Sections:

5.28.010    Animal Bites to be Reported

5.28.020    Rabies Control

5.28.030    Aggressive Dogs

5.28.035    Inherently Dangerous and Wild Animals

5.28.040    Potentially Dangerous Dog Defined

5.28.050    Dangerous Dog Defined and Severe Injury Incorporated by Reference

5.28.060    Dogs Not Declared Dangerous Defined

5.28.070    Quarantine Responsibility

5.28.075    Declaration of Potentially Dangerous or Dangerous Dog – Hearing – Appeal

5.28.080    Duties for Keeping of a Potentially Dangerous Dog or Dog Under Investigation as a Potentially Dangerous Dog or Dog Under Investigation as a Dangerous Dog

5.28.090    Duties upon Final Declaration of Dangerous Dog

5.28.095    Duties pending appeal of a Dangerous Dog Declaration

5.28.100    Violation and Penalty

5.28.010 Animal Bites to be Reported.

The owner of a dog or any person who is bitten by a dog, or the owner of a domestic animal bitten by a dog, or any doctor, veterinarian or hospital which has information that a person or domestic animal was bitten by a dog shall immediately report the event to the Lake Stevens Police Department. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.020 Rabies Control.

It is unlawful for any person knowing or suspecting that an animal has rabies to allow such animal to be taken anywhere off his or her premises without the written permission of the animal control authority except to deliver the animal to the animal shelter or to a licensed veterinarian. Every owner or other person suspecting or fearing that an animal is rabid shall immediately notify the Animal Control Authority or a Police Officer, who shall either remove the animal to the animal shelter or summarily destroy it after compliance with Section 5.24.050. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.030 Aggressive Dogs.

All acts of aggression by a dog that is a potential or probable threat to the safety and welfare of the community shall be investigated by a Law Enforcement Officer or Animal Control Authority. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.035 Inherently Dangerous and Wild Animals.

(a)    No person shall own any inherently dangerous animal or any wild animal (as defined in Section 5.08.010).

(b)    Possessing an inherently dangerous or wild animal is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.040 Potentially Dangerous Dog Defined.

A “potentially dangerous dog” means any dog that when unprovoked:

(a)    Inflicts a bite or bites on a human, pet, livestock or domestic animal (including poultry and water fowl) on either public or private property; or

(b)    Chases or approaches a person on either public or private grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or

(c)    Any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, or to cause injury or otherwise threaten the safety of humans, pets, or livestock on any public or private property. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.050 Dangerous Dog Defined and Severe Injury Incorporated by Reference.

RCW 16.08.070(2) and (3) are adopted and incorporated by reference.

RCW 16.08.070(2) “Dangerous dog” means any dog that (a) inflicts severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property, (b) kills a domestic animal without provocation while the dog is off the owner’s property, or (c) 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.

RCW 16.08.070(3) “Severe injury” means any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.060 Dogs Not Declared Dangerous Defined.

Dogs shall not be declared a dangerous dog if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who at the time was:

(a)    Committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog; or was

(b)    Tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog, or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog; or was

(c)    Committing or attempting to commit a crime. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.070 Quarantine Responsibility.

Every animal which bites a person must be securely quarantined at the direction of the animal control authority for a period of 10 days. At the discretion of the animal control authority, the quarantine may occur by:

(a)    Securing the dog on the owner’s premises with the approval of and under the supervision of the Animal Control Authority or Police Officer and not allowing said dog to run at large or to come in contact with any person or other animal. If at any time in the discretion of the Animal Control Authority, the owner is not securing and supervising the dog adequately for quarantine purposes, the Animal Control Authority may place or impound the dog pursuant to subsection (b) of this section; or

(b)    Placing the dog in a veterinary hospital, or impounding it to an approved shelter for a period of at least 10 days.

(c)    Such dog may not be transported outside of the city limits without the written permission of the Lake Stevens Police Department. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.075 Declaration of Potentially Dangerous or Dangerous Dog – Hearing – Appeal.

(a)    The Police Department or the Animal Control Authority shall have authority to declare, classify and restrict potentially dangerous/dangerous dogs. The department may find and declare an animal potentially dangerous/dangerous if an Animal Control Officer has probable cause to believe that the animal falls within the definitions set forth in Section 5.28.040 or 5.28.050. The finding/declaration must be based upon:

(1)    The written complaint of a citizen who is willing to testify that the animal has acted in a manner which causes it to fall within the definition of Section 5.28.040 or 5.28.050; or

(2)    Dog bite reports filed with the Police Department; or

(3)    Actions of the dog witnessed by any Animal Control Officer or Law Enforcement Officer; or

(4)    Other substantial evidence.

(b)    The declaration of potentially dangerous or dangerous dog shall be in writing and shall be served on the owner in one of the following methods:

(1)    Certified mail to the owner’s last known address; or

(2)    Personally; or

(3)    If the owner cannot be located by one of the first two methods, by publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

(c)    The declaration shall state at least:

(1)    The description of the animal;

(2)    The name and address of the owner, if known;

(3)    The location of the animal if not in custody of the owner;

(4)    The facts and RCW or LSMC section upon which the declaration of potentially dangerous or dangerous dog is based;

(5)    The restrictions placed on the animal by RCW 16.08.080 or LSMC; and

(6)    The ability and process for appealing the declaration to the Chief of Police and to Marysville municipal court.

(7)    The service of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog declaration shall, unless timely appealed, be a final determination that the dog is a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog.

(d)    A notice of appeal, substantially in the form prescribed, shall be filed with the Lake Stevens Chief of Police (or Chief’s designee) not more than five business days after service of the potentially dangerous or dangerous dog declaration. Failure to timely file a notice of appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal the determination of the declaration of potentially dangerous or dangerous dog.

(e)    The decision of the Chief of Police may be appealed de novo to the the Marysville municipal court by filing an additional notice of appeal with the Lake Stevens Police Department within five business days of mailing or delivery of the Chief of Police’s decision.

(f)    An appeal pursuant to this chapter shall be written and shall address the following requirements:

(1)    The names and addresses of all persons who will be participating in the appeal, along with their legal interest in the dog involved in the proceeding.

(2)    A brief statement of the specific action protested, together with any material facts related to this protest.

(3)    A brief statement of the outcome sought and the reason why the protested action should be reversed, modified, or otherwise set aside.

(4)    The appeal should be signed by the interested persons and include the following penalty of perjury statement by at least one of these persons:

I,_______________________, certify and declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Washington the foregoing is true and correct.

(g)    Upon receipt of a timely filed notice of appeal, a hearing shall be scheduled not more than 30 days from the date of the filing of the notice of appeal. Written notice of the date of the hearing shall be sent to the appellants at least 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing date. The failure of the appellant to appear at the hearing shall result in a denial of the appeal and upholding of the declaration of potentially dangerous or dangerous dog.

(h)    Nothing prevents the appellant(s) and the Administrative Appeal Official (Chief of Police) from reaching an amicable decision before or at the time of hearing.

(i)    If the dog is determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous the owner must pay all costs and fees of confinement, impound and control. In addition, if the owner or keeper does not file a timely written request for hearing, the restrictions imposed in connection with the declaration shall remain in effect for the life of the animal, unless sooner lifted by the animal control action or a court of competent jurisdiction.

(j)    Hearing Before Chief of Police.

(1)    Declaration Probable Cause. Dogs shall be declared potentially dangerous or dangerous upon proof that the dog is as defined in Section 5.28.040 and/or 5.28.050 – established by the probable cause standard required for the declaration of the Animal Control Officer.

(2)    Presentation of Evidence. At the appeal hearing, the Chief shall take evidence relevant to the potentially dangerous dog declaration or dangerous dog declaration. Testimony will be taken under oath pursuant to the rules of evidence. Parties are responsible for subpoenaing any witnesses they deem necessary to testify.

(3)    Burden of Proof and Standard of Review.

(i)    At the appeal hearing before the Chief of Police the Animal Control Authority shall have the burden of proving that the dog is potentially dangerous or dangerous by a preponderance of the evidence.

(ii)    At the hearing the burden shall be upon the owner of the dog to prove one or more of the affirmative defenses set forth in Section 5.28.060 by preponderance of the evidence.

(iii)    The affirmative defenses set forth in Section 5.28.060 shall not apply in actions to declare the dog to be potentially dangerous.

(4)    Hearing (Chief of Police). The owner of the animal may present evidence in defense of the animal. The Chief of Police shall weigh the evidence presented by both the Animal Control Authority and the owner (if applicable). At the conclusion of the hearing the Chief shall issue a written order and may make the following determinations:

(i)    The dog in question is declared to be a dangerous dog by a preponderance of the evidence;

(ii)    The dog in question is declared to be a potentially dangerous dog by a preponderance of the evidence;

(iii)    The dog in question is declared to be neither dangerous nor potentially dangerous.

(5)    Notice of Appeal to Marysville Municipal Court.

(i)    If the declaration is sustained or reversed by the Chief of Police, the appealing animal owner or the Animal Control Authority shall be notified of the right to appeal to Marysville municipal court.

(ii)    If the declaration is reversed and an appeal is not timely filed by the Animal Control Authority, any restrictions on the animal previously imposed shall be annulled.

(k)    Appeal De Novo Hearing Before Marysville Municipal Court.

(1)    Declaration Probable Cause. Dogs shall be declared potentially dangerous or dangerous upon proof that the dog is as defined in Section 5.28.040 and/or 5.28.050 – established by the probable cause standard required for the declaration of the Animal Control Officer.

(2)    Presentation of Evidence. At the appeal hearing, the court shall take evidence relevant to the potentially dangerous dog declaration or dangerous dog declaration. Testimony will be taken under oath pursuant to the rules of evidence. Parties are responsible for subpoenaing any witnesses they deem necessary to testify.

(3)    Burden of Proof and Standard of Review.

(i)    At the appeal hearing before the court the Animal Control Authority shall have the burden of proving that the dog is potentially dangerous or dangerous by a preponderance of the evidence.

(ii)    At the hearing the burden shall be upon the owner of the dog to prove one or more of the affirmative defenses set forth in Section 5.28.060 by preponderance of the evidence.

(iii)    The affirmative defenses set forth in Section 5.28.060 shall not apply in actions to declare the dog to be potentially dangerous.

(4)    De Novo Hearing Before Court. The owner of the animal may present evidence in defense of the animal. The court shall weigh the evidence presented by both the Animal Control Authority and the owner (if applicable). At the conclusion of the hearing the court shall issue a written order and may make the following determinations:

(i)    The dog in question is declared to be a dangerous dog by a preponderance of the evidence;

(ii)    The dog in question is declared to be a potentially dangerous dog by a preponderance of the evidence;

(iii)    The dog in question is declared to be neither dangerous nor potentially dangerous.

(5)    Decision of the Court. The decision of the Marysville municipal court shall be a final administrative decision appealable to the Snohomish County superior court within 30 days of the final written order.

(6)    Notice of Administrative Appeal to Snohomish County Superior Court.

(i)    If the declaration is sustained or reversed by the court, the appealing animal owner or the Animal Control Authority shall be notified of the right to appeal to Snohomish County superior court.

(ii)    If the declaration is reversed and an appeal is not timely filed by the Animal Control Authority, any restrictions on the animal previously imposed shall be annulled.

(7)    Notice of the appeal and any other pleadings required shall be served and filed as proscribed by court rule and law.

(8)    The costs of transcribing and preparing all records ordered certified by the court or desired by the appellant shall be borne by the appellant. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.080 Duties for Keeping of a Potentially Dangerous Dog or Dog Under Investigation as a Potentially Dangerous Dog or Dog Under Investigation as a Dangerous Dog.

(a)    It shall be unlawful for the owner of a potentially dangerous dog or a dog under investigation as a potentially dangerous dog or under investigation as a dangerous dog:

(1)    To allow the dog to remain on the premises of the owner unrestrained by a secure leash, locked pen or structure, or other restraint or not under the control of the owner; or

(2)    To suffer or permit the dog to leave the premises of the owner unless the dog is securely restrained by a substantial leash or other restraint under the control of a responsible person.

(b)    Any dog which is declared to be a “potentially dangerous dog” shall be required to be microchipped by a veterinarian of the owner’s choice, at the owner’s expense. This must be accomplished within 15 days after receipt of the potentially dangerous dog declaration issued by the Animal Control Authority.

(c)    The owner of a potentially dangerous dog or dog under investigation as a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog shall immediately notify the Police Department or Animal Control Agency when the dog:

(1)    Is loose or unconfined off the premises of the owner;

(2)    Has bitten or injured a human being or another animal;

(3)    Is sold, given away, moved to another address, or dies. If such dog is sold, given away, or moved to another location, the owner shall provide the new address and telephone number of the dog’s residence and the name of the new owner if applicable. All requirements of this chapter must be met prior to moving the dog. If the dog dies, the owner shall supply to the animal control agency within 30 days of death a veterinarian certificate of death or other proof that the dog has died.

(4)    Having been declared potentially dangerous, or is under investigation as a potentially dangerous dog, by an animal control agency in another jurisdiction and the dog now resides in the City of Lake Stevens.

(d)    Failure to comply is prohibited and may, in addition to other enforcement, result in the dog being immediately impounded. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.090 Duties upon Final Declaration of Dangerous Dog.

Dogs declared to be a dangerous dog shall be immediately:

(a)    Removed by the Animal Control Authority or Police Officer and impounded and held until it is destroyed in a humane manner; or

(b)    Be permanently removed from the limits of the City under the conditions agreed upon by the Lake Stevens Police Department. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.095 Duties pending appeal of a Dangerous Dog Declaration.

(a)    Dogs pending the appeal of a dangerous dog declaration shall within 15 days:

(1)    Be removed by the Animal Control Authority or Police Officer and impounded and held until it is destroyed in a humane manner; or

(2)    Be permanently removed from the limits of the City under the conditions agreed upon by the Lake Stevens Police Department.

(3)    At the discretion of the Animal Control Authority, the dog may remain at the owner’s residence while pending appeal of a dangerous dog declaration under the following conditions:

(i)    Securely confine the dog on the owner’s property. “Confined” shall mean: secured indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure suitable to prevent the entry of persons other than the owner and designed to prevent the animal from escaping; or, in a securely fenced yard with a locked gate.

(ii)    The dog shall not be outside the proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal.

(iii)    Post signs for the duration the dog is on the premises to warn the public that there is a dangerous dog on the property. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog.

(iv)    Allow the investigating officer to enter the area of confinement to determine compliance.

(v)    The owner shall post bond issued by a surety insurer qualified under Chapter 48.28 RCW in a form acceptable to the Animal Control Authority; in the sum of at least $250,000 payable to any person injured by the dog; or obtain a policy of liability insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, issued by an insurer qualified under RCW Title 48 in the amount of at least $250,000 insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dog.

(vi)    Once the investigation is closed and a dangerous dog determination has been upheld, the dog must immediately be:

a.    Relocated under the conditions set by the Lake Stevens Police Department; or

b.    Removed by the Animal Control Authority and impounded and held until it is destroyed in a humane manner.

(b)    Failure to comply is prohibited and may, in addition to other enforcement, result in the dog being immediately impounded. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013)

5.28.100 Violation and Penalty.

Unless otherwise provided by Chapter 16.08 RCW, 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, or both such fine and imprisonment; or

(b)    Subject to enforcement pursuant to Title 17 of the Lake Stevens Municipal Code. (Ord. 892, Sec. 1, 2013; Ord. 717, 2005)