Chapter 6.14EXOTIC ANIMALS

Sections:

6.14.010
Purpose and Intent.
6.14.020
Definitions.
6.14.030
Possession Unlawful.
6.14.040
Chapter Limitations.
6.14.050
Violation - Penalty.
6.14.060
Euthanasia in Exigent Circumstances.
6.14.010Purpose and Intent.

It is the intent of the City of Lakewood to preserve the public peace and safety by prohibiting the possession or maintenance of exotic animals other than in the case of certain limited exceptions. (Ord. 105 § 1 (part), 1996.)

6.14.020Definitions.

A. “Animal control authority” means a person or entity authorized by statute or contract to enforce the animal control laws of the City.

B. “Animal control officer” means

1. any individual employed, contracted with, or appointed by the animal control authority for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of this chapter or any other law relating to the licensure, control, or seizure and impoundment of animals,

2. any state or local law enforcement officer, or

3. any other official whose duties in whole or in part include the seizure and impoundment of any animal.

C. “Director” means director, executive or chief administrative officer of the animal control authority.

D. “Exotic animal” means any of the following:

1. Venomous species of snakes capable of inflicting serious physical harm or death to human beings;

2. Non-human primates and prosimians;

3. Bears;

4. Non-domesticated species of felines, including but not limited to cougars, bobcats and lynx;

5. Non-domesticated species of canines and their hybrids, including wolf and coyote hybrids;

6. The order crocodilia, including alligators, crocodiles, caiman, and gavials;

7. Any other non-domesticated animal that, either by behavior observed by an animal control officer or by complaints from a neighbor or other person in the vicinity of where the exotic animal has been kept, has demonstrated a dangerous propensity or conduct that poses a threat to the public welfare.

E. “Non-domesticated species” means species of animals that are not commonly considered tame and not generally accustomed to living among humans and being raised by humans as pets or as livestock. (Ord. 105 § 1 (part), 1996.)

6.14.030Possession Unlawful.

It is unlawful for any person to possess or maintain an exotic animal within City of Lakewood, except as provided in section 6.14.040 of this chapter. (Ord. 105 § 1 (part), 1996.)

6.14.040Chapter Limitations.

A. The purpose of this chapter is to prohibit the private ownership of exotic animals as pets. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any facility possessing or maintaining exotic animals as defined in this chapter which is owned, operated or maintained by any city, county, state or the federal government, including but not limited to public zoos, nor shall it apply to museums, laboratories and research facilities maintained by scientific or educational institutions, nor to private or commercial activities such as circuses, fairs, or zoological parks which are otherwise regulated by law, nor to any recognized program engaged in the training of exotic animals as defined in this chapter for use as service animals by disabled citizens.

B. Breeding, or allowing the reproduction of, exotic animals as defined in this chapter is prohibited, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any governmental facility possessing or maintaining exotic animals nor shall it apply to private or commercial activities as set forth in paragraph A above. (Ord. 105 § 1 (part), 1996.)

6.14.050Violation - Penalty.

Any person possessing or maintaining an exotic animal in City of Lakewood in violation of this chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars and/or by incarceration in jail not to exceed ninety days. (Ord. 105 § 1 (part), 1996.)

6.14.060Euthanasia in Exigent Circumstances.

A. An exotic animal possessed or maintained in violation of this chapter may be subject to impoundment and euthanasia by the animal control authority if any of the following exigent circumstances is deemed to exist by the director of the animal control authority or designee:

1. The exotic animal presents an imminent likelihood of serious physical harm to the public and there is no other reasonably available means of abatement. For the purposes hereof, if an exotic animal wanders or runs loose in the City, it shall be presumed that the exotic animal presents an imminent likelihood of serious physical harm to the public and there is no other reasonably available means of abatement; or

2. There is no reasonable basis to believe that the violation can be or in good faith will be corrected and after reasonable search or inquiry by the animal control authority no facility as authorized by local, state or federal law is available to house the exotic animal; or

3. The exotic animal suffers from a communicable disease injurious to other animals or human beings; provided, that this section shall not apply if the animal is under treatment by a licensed veterinarian and may reasonably be expected to recover without infecting other animals or human beings.

B. After an exotic animal has been impounded, as provided above, the director of the animal control authority or designee shall provide notice to the person who had possessed or maintained the exotic animal of the exigent circumstances deemed to exist that warranted the impoundment and euthanasia of the exotic animal. The person who had possessed or maintained the exotic animal or another person with an ownership interest in the exotic animal may appeal the determination to the City Manager, provided that the appeal must be filed with the City Manager within 15 days of the notice of impoundment referred to hereinabove. (Ord. 105 § 1 (part), 1996.)