Chapter 6.08


6.08.010    Purpose.

6.08.020    Definitions.

6.08.030    Applicability.

6.08.040    Administration and enforcement.

6.08.050    Dog control zones – Creation/deletion.

6.08.060    Dog control zones – Regulations.

6.08.065    Dog control zone Number 1.

6.08.070    Dog control zones – Identification of dogs.

6.08.080    Impoundment, redemption and destruction.

6.08.090    Control of rabid or potentially rabid dogs.

6.08.100    Violations and penalties.

6.08.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to adopt and enforce those dog control measures deemed desirable and necessary for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the residents, livestock and wildlife of Okanogan County. (Ord. 86-1 § 1, 1986).

6.08.020 Definitions.

In construing the provisions of this chapter all words not otherwise given a special definition shall be given their common and ordinary meaning. In addition, the following definitions apply:

A. “Allow” means to permit by neglecting to restrain or prevent.

B. “At large” means a dog not under control or otherwise in violation of this chapter.

C. “Board” means the Okanogan County board of county commissioners.

D. “Commercial kennel” means a facility where dogs are bred, reared, and/or boarded for hobby or profit.

E. “Dog” is any canine (Canis familiaris), regardless of sex.

F. “Dog, altered” means a dog which has been neutered or spayed.

G. “Dog, under control” means under voice, signal, or physical control so as to be restrained from approaching a bystander, from entering private property other than that of the owner, or from causing damage to property or to another animal (including livestock and wildlife).

H. “Livestock” means any animal kept or raised or used for pleasure, especially farm animals kept for use and profit.

I. “Officer or official” means any Okanogan County sheriff or deputy, duly authorized Washington State Department of Game agent, or any person authorized by county laws and this chapter to restrain, impound, sell or dispose of dogs, give notice or any other acts, duties, or functions prescribed by this chapter relating to regulations and control of dogs.

J. “Owner” means any person having ownership or exercising control, custody, or possession over dogs.

K. “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, or other legal entity.

L. “Premises” means all real property under private or public ownership, leased property and also the inside of a motor vehicle or bed of a truck.

M. “Trespassing” means when a dog enters upon the property of another person without the authorization of the lawful occupant/owner.

N. “Wildlife” means living things that are neither human nor domesticated, especially mammals, birds, and fishes.

O. “Working stock dog” means a dog used by the owner principally to assist in the herding and protection of livestock. (Ord. 86-1 § 2, 1986).

6.08.030 Applicability.

This chapter shall apply to those unincorporated areas of Okanogan County where a dog control zone is established under OCC 6.08.050; except OCC 6.08.080(J) shall apply to all of Okanogan County. (Ord. 86-1 § 3, 1986).

6.08.040 Administration and enforcement.

Administration and enforcement of this chapter shall be the responsibility of an official designated by the board. The designated official shall be responsible for administration and enforcement of this chapter and shall:

A. If deemed necessary, operate or cause to be operated and maintained an animal shelter;

B. If deemed necessary, select, train, hire, and retain a qualified animal control officer or officers who shall enforce the provisions of this chapter;

C. Make investigations of complaints pertaining to dog misconduct occurring in the unincorporated areas and provide for administration and enforcement of other tax charges or penalties as provided for in this chapter. (Ord. 86-1 § 4, 1986).

6.08.050 Dog control zones – Creation/deletion.

A. The board may, as the need arises and in accordance with the provisions of RCW 16.10.020, establish or delete dog control zones. The public may initiate the procedure for establishing or deleting a dog control zone by submitting a petition to the board. The petition shall contain the names, addresses, and signatures of:

1. No less than 30 registered voters residing within the proposed dog control zone; or

2. Landowners representing no less than 60 percent of the acreage within the dog control zone. A map shall be attached to each petition which clearly and accurately designates the boundaries of the dog control zone. Said boundaries shall be subject to approval by the board.

B. In determining whether a dog control zone should be established or deleted, the county shall call a public hearing, notice of which shall be published once a week for four successive weeks prior thereto in the legal paper of the county and a local newspaper of general circulation within the proposed zone. At such a hearing, proponents and opponents of the proposal may appear and present their views. The final decision of the board with respect to the establishment or deletion of such a zone and its boundaries shall not be made until the conclusion of the hearing. (Ord. 86-1 § 5, 1986).

6.08.060 Dog control zones – Regulations.

Those areas of Okanogan County established by ordinance as dog control zones shall be subject to the following rules and regulations for dog zones as provided in Chapter 16.10 RCW and all other provisions of this chapter.

A. It is unlawful for the owner of any dog to cause or permit or allow such dog or dogs to:

1. Be on any public place or on any public property or private property in the dog control zone unless such dog is under control. This prohibition shall not apply to:

a. Dogs when being used in a lawful manner in the pursuit of bear, cougar, and other game animals regulated by the Washington State Department of Game,

b. Working stock dogs while herding or protecting livestock or personal property,

c. An authorized police canine unit;

2. Enter upon private or public property and cause damage to real property or personal property;

3. Chase, run after or jump at vehicles, including bicycles, on the public streets, alleys, or other public ways;

4. Run at large;

5. Trespass upon private property;

6. Chase, bite, or harass human beings, livestock, wildlife, or other animals, except for domestic herding purposes and the protection of personal property.

B. It is unlawful for the owner of any dog to cause or permit or allow such dog or dogs to be on any public place or on any public property or the private property of another in the dog control zone unless such dog is vaccinated against rabies.

C. It is unlawful within any designated dog control zone of Okanogan County to have possession of or custody of or to harbor or to give refuge to any dog over six months of age without an identification tag stating the name and address of the owner and without having conspicuously displayed on a collar or harness of the dog the identification tag; except:

1. That a dog kept for show need not wear the identification tag while on the owner’s property, at a dog show, or while being transported to and from the show. The burden of proof that a dog is kept for show shall be upon the person so claiming; and

2. That a dog while under control of the owner need not have the identification tag displayed on a collar or harness; and

3. A dog identification tag is not required for any dog which is part of the inventory of a veterinary hospital or pet shop maintained for the purpose of sale or exchange of domestic pets, for any dog currently licensed in another jurisdiction and displaying a valid identification tag from the jurisdiction, or for guide dogs upon presentation of evidence which establishes that the dog is a trained guide dog for the blind.

D. It is unlawful to intentionally abandon a dog.

E. It is unlawful to intentionally poison any dog. (Ord. 86-1 § 6, 1986).

6.08.065 Dog control zone Number 1.

A. Purpose. The establishment of a dog control zone is hereby deemed necessary and desirable for the health, safety and general welfare of the public, livestock and wildlife within the specified unincorporated areas of Okanogan County identified in subsection C of this section.

B. Authority. This dog control zone is created in accordance with the provisions of RCW 16.10.020 and OCC 6.08.050. All provisions of the Okanogan County dog control ordinance shall apply within the dog control zone hereby created.

C. Boundaries. The boundaries of the dog control zone hereby established shall be the same as those for School District No. 350, minus all incorporated areas. The specific boundaries may be ascertained by viewing maps maintained by the Okanogan County assessor’s office. (Ord. 86-2 §§ 1.00 – 3.00, 1986).

6.08.070 Dog control zones – Identification of dogs.

A. Whenever the ownership of any dog changes, the new owner shall obtain a new identification tag for said dog.

B. Any dog impounded while running at large without an identification tag may be redeemed upon payment of the impounding fee as provided in OCC 6.08.080 and other charges that may be required within this chapter. (Ord. 86-1 § 7, 1986).

6.08.080 Impoundment, redemption and destruction.

A. Authorization. Dogs may be impounded in accordance with this section by any officer of official of Okanogan County.

B. Grounds. Dogs may be seized and impounded when in violation of any of the rules and regulations specified in this chapter and when necessary to produce evidence supporting a criminal charge against the dog’s owner and/or when the dog is sick or injured; provided, such dog is seized and impounded upon property to which an officer or official has lawful access.

C. Procedure. Dogs impounded shall be delivered to the shelter without unnecessary delay. The shelter shall keep a written record of all dogs received, noting the date, time, species, breed, sex, size, color and location of apprehension and whether or not the dog is identified with an identification tag.

D. Notice. If the dog has an identification tag or its owner is known, the shelter shall contact the owner within two working days by any reasonable method. Where the owner is not known, a notice containing identifying information as prescribed in this section shall be posted within 24 hours after apprehension at the shelter, main office, and post office or city hall nearest to the area where the dog was impounded.

E. Lien for Care. Dogs in the custody of the shelter will be held for the reasonable cost of their feeding, care, and advertisement, and the shelter shall have a lien on the owner as permitted by law.

F. Redemption. Dogs impounded may be redeemed by complying as follows:

1. Payment of redemption fee of $15.00. An additional charge shall be made for maintaining an impounded dog, which shall be $10.00 each day, or part thereof, while the dog is kept in the place of impoundment, including the day of removal, but not the day of impoundment.

2. No dog shall be released from the place of impoundment until the owner shall have paid all charges for impounding and maintaining the dog and, if necessary, until the dog has been vaccinated against rabies in accordance with this regulation.

G. Administrative Assessments.

1. A person charged with one or more violations of this chapter listed in OCC 6.08.060 shall have the option of paying a handling, processing, and administrative assessment therefor to a designated county agent, the Okanogan County animal control officer or his authorized agents, in lieu of further proceedings in court to defend such charge as described in OCC 6.08.100. If such person elects to appear in court, he shall be proceeded against as otherwise provided by law for the violations charged and shall be subject to the penalties provided for in OCC 6.08.100, if found guilty of such charges.

2. In the event a person elects to pay the prescribed handling, processing and administrative assessment as permitted in this subsection, such payment shall constitute an acknowledgment of guilt by such person for the purpose of constituting a prior violation under subsection H of this section and shall be deemed a complete satisfaction for such violation, and upon accepting the prescribed penalty assessment, the Okanogan County dog control officer or his authorized agents shall issue a receipt to the violator acknowledging payment thereof.

H. Administrative Fee Schedule.

1. In addition to the impoundment fee provided for in subsection F of this section, administrative assessments and the nature of the violation for which the assessment may be accepted and paid by the violator under the privileges of this section shall be as follows:

a. Failure to display tags, $10.00;

b. No rabies vaccination, $20.00;

c. Dog running at large, first offense, $20.00;

d. Dog running at large, second offense, $60.00;

e. Dog running at large, third offense, $100.00;

f. Dog running at large, fourth offense, $150.00;

g. Biting dog, $50.00;

h. Abandoning a dog, $50.00;

i. Poisoning a dog, $100.00.

2. All fees assessed pursuant to subsections F and H of this section may be collected by a designated county agent, the person in charge of the place of impoundment, or the Okanogan County dog control officer or his designated agents and shall be remitted as may be directed from time to time by the board.

3. No administrative assessments shall be established for violations charging a person with owning, keeping, possessing or harboring a vicious dog, or one found harassing any domestic animal having a commercial value or any classified wildlife. In such case, the alleged violator shall appear in court for misdemeanor prosecution under OCC 6.08.010.

I. Disposition. Any dog impounded shall be held for the owner until the end of the regular business day following completion of 72 hours from the date of mailing notice to the owner. Any dog not redeemed by its owner during this period may be sold for a small fee or humanely destroyed. Dogs suffering from disease or injury may be humanely destroyed. Sale of dogs for research purposes is prohibited.

J. Destruction. Any officer or official may destroy a dog while it is attacking, chasing or causing, or threatening to cause, injury to any human being, domestic animal having commercial value, domestic pet, classified wildlife species, domestic fowls, or if such destruction is necessary to retain a rabid or potentially rabid dog pursuant to OCC 6.08.100; provided:

1. Such dog cannot be safely impounded through reasonable efforts, pursuant to OCC 6.08.080, without risk of injury to such officer of official, or other person;

2. Such officer or official has lawful access to property upon which the destruction takes place, unless exigent circumstances exist;

3. Such destruction, involving the use of firearms or other deadly weapons, shall not pose a risk of harm to persons or to the public at large;

4. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of any federal or state law enforcement, fish and wildlife, or game official or officer in carrying out their official duties.

K. Lawful Access to Public and Private Lands for Impoundment and/or Destruction. Any officer or official shall not enter a building designated for and used for private purposes, or shall not enter upon private lands unless a proper warrant has first been issued upon a showing that the officer or official has reasonable cause to believe a dog is being maintained in the building, or on lands, in violation of this chapter; provided, that:

1. The officer or official, while pursuing any dog in violation of this chapter which reasonably could not be located after issuance of a proper warrant, may enter upon any public or private property, without a proper warrant, where such dog poses an immediate threat of bodily harm to any human being, domestic animal having commercial value, domestic pet, classified wildlife species, or domestic fowls, or where such dog is a rabid or potentially rabid dog pursuant to OCC 6.08.090;

2. The officer or official may enter upon private lands for the purposes of enforcing this chapter if such lands are designated open range lands under state laws;

3. The officer or official may enter upon private lands, or may enter private buildings with the consent of the landowner or tenant occupying such lands or buildings, for the purposes of enforcing this chapter. (Ord. 86-1 § 8, 1986).

6.08.090 Control of rabid or potentially rabid dogs.

A. It is unlawful for the owner of any dog, when notified that such dog has bitten any person or has so injured any person as to cause abrasion or puncture of the skin, to sell, kill, set free or give away such dog, or to permit or allow such animal to be taken beyond the county borders. It shall be the duty of the owner of the dog to immediately notify in person, or by telephone, the sheriff or health department of the bite. Upon receipt of official notice, the owner of the dog shall place and keep the dog in confinement for a period of observation of at least 10 days or at the owner’s expense deliver the dog to a licensed veterinary hospital for an observation period; provided, that when the owner of the dog assumes the responsibility for the dog for the 10-day observation period, he shall keep the dog securely chained and confined to the premises of the owner and segregated from any other animals. The owner shall also take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of persons from the dog during the observation period.

B. Should the dog during the observation period manifest any unusual behavior or develop symptoms of illness or die, the owner or veterinarian shall immediately notify the sheriff or the health department of that condition.

C. Any sheriff’s deputy or designated official may have such dog placed in a duly licensed veterinary hospital at the owner’s expense when the owner is unable to provide suitable quarters in which to confine the dog for the observation period or refuses to confine the dog in the manner set forth in this section, or the dog manifests any questionable behavior or symptoms which may be attributable to rabies. The costs of maintaining such dog in the veterinary hospital shall be borne by the owner thereof, except where the owner of such dog cannot be ascertained, the county shall then pay for such observation and care.

D. The sheriff, his designee or the designated county official shall notify the county health officer immediately of all dog bite reports received where rabies is suspected.

E. In all cases where any dog which has bitten a person or caused an abrasion or puncture of the skin or is suspected of biting another animal is killed and a period of 10 days has not elapsed since the day on which such dog bit any person, it shall be the duty of the owner or county sheriff to deliver intact the corpse or the head of such dog to the county health officer. (Ord. 86-1 § 9, 1986).

6.08.100 Violations and penalties.

Violations of any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punishable by fine not to exceed $500.00 and/or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 90 days. (Ord. 86-1 § 10, 1986).