Chapter 6.02
ANIMAL CONTROL – GENERAL PROVISIONS Revised 2/20

Sections:

6.02.010    Definitions.

6.02.020    Authorized Agents May Perform Duties. Revised 2/20

6.02.025    Licenses Required.

6.02.030    Authority to Pursue.

6.02.040    Notice of Impounding Animal.

6.02.050    Hindering an Officer.

6.02.060    Interference With Impounding.

6.02.070    Redemption of Dogs.

6.02.075    Redemption of Livestock.

6.02.080    Redemption of Animals Other Than Dogs and Livestock.

6.02.082    Adoption Fees.

6.02.085    Mandatory Spay/Neuter for Impounded Dogs and Cats – Deposit – Refund – Exceptions.

6.02.088    Conditions of Release.

6.02.090    Injured or Diseased Animals.

6.02.100    Duties Upon Injury or Death to an Animal.

6.02.110    Improper Handling/Storage of Poisonous Substances.

6.02.140    Severability.

6.02.010 Definitions.

As used in this Title, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

"Adult" means any animal seven months of age or over.

"Adequate care" means providing the following to animals:

1.    Food or feed appropriate to the species for which it is intended. Both food and water must be in sufficient quantity, quality, and form appropriate to sustain the animals and should be in containers designed and situated to allow the animal easy access; and

2.    A shelter that keeps the animals in a healthful, sanitary, warm, dry, and safe condition, and allows the animal to turn around freely, sit, stand, and lie without restriction, and by application does not cause injury, disfigurement, or physical impairment to the animal.

3.    Adequate veterinary medical care.

"Altered" shall mean to permanently render incapable of reproduction (i.e., spayed or neutered).

"Animal" means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian including livestock and poultry as defined herein.

"Animal Control Authority" or "Animal Control Agency" means Pierce County Animal Control.

"Animal Shelter" means that animal control facility authorized by Pierce County.

"At large" means off the premises of the owner or keeper of the animal, and not under restraint by leash or chain or not otherwise controlled by a competent person.

"Auditor" means Pierce County Auditor.

"Cat" means and includes female, spayed female, male and neutered male cats.

"Competent adult" means a person 18 years of age or older who is able to sufficiently care for, control, and restrain his/her animal, and who has the capacity to exercise sound judgement regarding the rights and safety of others.

"County" means Pierce County.

"Court" means District Court or the Superior Court, which courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction hereunder.

"Dangerous Animal" means any animal that:

A.    inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being without provocation; or

B.    inflicts severe injury on or kills an animal without provocation; or

C.    has been previously found to be potentially dangerous, the owner having received notice of such and the animal again bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or other animals.

Provocation exception: an animal is a dangerous animal when it enters onto private property without the consent of the owner or occupant and inflicts a severe injury on or kills a human or animal regardless of provocation.

If two or more animals participate in an attack that results in a severe injury or death to a human being or animal, then all such animals may be deemed to be a dangerous animal.

"Dog" means and includes female, spayed female, male and neutered male dogs.

"Gross Misdemeanor" means a type of crime classification that, while not a felony, is ranked as a serious misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a gross misdemeanor is 364 days in jail and/or a $5,000.00 fine.

"Humane trap" means a live animal box enclosure trap designed to capture and hold an animal without injury.

"Impound" means to receive into the custody of the Animal Control Authority, or into the custody of the Auditor or designee.

"Juvenile" means any animal from weaning to seven months of age.

"Livestock" means all cattle, sheep, goats, or animals of the bovidae family; all horses, mules, other hoof animals, or animals of the equidae family; all pigs, swine, or animals of the suidae family; llamas; and ostriches, rhea, and emu.

"Misdemeanor" means a crime classification with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine, pursuant to PCC 1.12.010.

"Muzzle" means a muzzle made in a manner that will not cause injury to the animal or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal.

"Owner" means any person, firm, or corporation owning, having an interest in, or having control or custody or possession of any animal.

"Potentially Dangerous Animal" means any animal that, without provocation:

A.    bites a human or animal; or

B.    chases or approaches a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or

C.    any animal with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.

Provocation exception: an animal is a potentially dangerous animal when it enters onto private property without the consent of the owner or occupant and bites a human or animal or chases or approaches a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack regardless of provocation.

If two or more animals participate in an attack that results in a bite being inflicted upon a human or animal, then all such animals may be deemed to be a potentially dangerous animal.

"Poultry" means domestic fowl normally raised for eggs or meat, and includes chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese.

"Proper Enclosure" means, while on the owner's property, the animal shall be confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have a locking door with a padlock, secure sides, a concrete floor, and a secure top attached to the sides, and shall also provide protection from the elements for the animal. The structure must comply with all applicable provisions of local Building and Zoning Codes.

"Provoke" or "Provocation" means to intentionally torment, agitate, or harass an animal prior to the attack, chase, or menacing behavior. "Provoke" or "Provocation" does not include actions taken to defend oneself, other humans, animals, or property.

"Severe injury" means any physical injury which results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations.

"Unconfined" means not securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure upon the premises of the person owning, harboring or having the care of the animal.

"Vicious" means chasing or approaching a person or animal in a menacing or apparent attitude of attack or the known propensity to do any act which might endanger the safety of any person, animal, or property of another.

"Warning Sign" means a clearly visible and conspicuously displayed sign containing words and a symbol (to inform children or others incapable of reading) warning that there is a dangerous animal on the property.

(Ord. 2013-10s § 2 (part), 2013; Ord. 2011-43s § 1 (part), 2011; Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 2005-108 § 1 (part), 2005; Ord. 99-17 § 1 (part), 1999; Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 92-35 § 1 (part), 1992, Ord. 89-235 § 3, 1990; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.020 Authorized Agents May Perform Duties. Revised 2/20

Wherever a power is granted to or a duty imposed upon the Sheriff, the power may be exercised or the duty may be performed by a Deputy of the Sheriff or by an authorized agent of Pierce County, deputized by the Sheriff.

A.    The animal control authority shall be a division of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. The duly elected Sheriff of Pierce County shall be the director of the animal control authority.

B.    The animal control authority is authorized to enforce the provisions of the Pierce County Code and the laws of the State of Washington as they pertain to animals.

C.    All animal control officers must be special deputies commissioned by the Pierce County Sheriff.

(Ord. 2019-66s § 2 (part), 2019; Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.025 Licenses Required.

Licenses required are for regulation and control. This entire Title shall be deemed an exercise of the power of the State of Washington and of the County of Pierce to license for regulation and/or control and all its provisions shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of either or both such purposes. (Ord. 2005-108 § 1 (part), 2005)

6.02.030 Authority to Pursue.

Those employees or agents of the County charged with the duty of seizing animals running at large may pursue such animals onto County-owned property, vacant property, and unenclosed private property, and seize, remove, and impound the same. (Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.040 Notice of Impounding Animal.

Upon the impoundment of any animal under the provisions of this Title, the animal control agency shall immediately notify the owner, if the owner is known, of the impounding of such animal, and of the terms upon which said animal can be redeemed. The impounding authority shall retain said animal for 48 hours following actual notice to the owner. The notifying of any person over the age of 18 who resides at the owner's domicile shall constitute actual notice to the owner. If the owner of said animal so impounded is unknown, then said animal control agency shall make a reasonable effort to locate and notify the owner of said animal. (Ord. 99-17 § 1 (part); 1999; Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.050 Hindering an Officer.

It is unlawful for any person to interfere with, hinder, delay, or impede any officer who is enforcing the provisions of this Title as herein provided. A violation of this Section is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.060 Interference With Impounding.

It is unlawful for any person to willfully prevent or hinder the impounding of any animal, or to by force or otherwise remove any animal from the animal shelter without authority of the person in charge of the animal shelter, or without payment of all lawful charges against such animal, or to willfully resist or obstruct any officer in the performance of any official duty. A violation of this Section is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.070 Redemption of Dogs.

The owner of any dog impounded under this Title may redeem said dog within 48 hours from time of impounding by paying to the animal control agency the appropriate redemption fee and providing proof of such animal's current pet license at the time of redemption. The first time a dog is impounded within a one year period, the redemption fee is $25.00; for the second impound within a one year period the redemption fee is $50.00; for the third and subsequent impounds within a one year period the redemption fee is $75.00. If a dog is wearing a current pet license at the time of the first impound, no redemption fee will be collected. In addition to the redemption fee, the redeemer shall pay all charges associated with the care and keeping of such dog, including the first and last days the dog is retained by the impounding authority. This boarding charge will be collected for the first time impound whether the animal is wearing a pet license or not. If an impounded dog is not redeemed by the owner within 48 hours, then any person may redeem it within the next 48 hours by complying with the above provision. In case such dog is not redeemed within 96 hours, it may be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of within the discretion of the animal control agency. (Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 99-17 § 1 (part), 1999; Ord. 97-111 § 2, 1997; Ord. 88-138 § 1, 1988; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.075 Redemption of Livestock.

The owner of livestock impounded under this Title may redeem said livestock within 48 hours from time of impounding by paying to the impounding authority a redemption fee of $35.00 per animal for small livestock (i.e., goats, sheep, swine, ostriches, rhea, emu, etc.) and a redemption fee of $75.00 per animal for larger livestock (i.e., cattle, horses, mules, llamas, etc.). In addition, the cost of a private livestock hauler, if one is used, is to be paid at the time of redemption. In addition to the redemption fee, the redeemer shall pay all charges associated with the caring and keeping of such animal, including the first and last days that the animal is cared for by the impounding authority. The livestock may be cared for by a private boarding facility, in which case that facility's boarding fees and all associated costs shall be paid at the time of redemption. (Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 99-17 § 1 (part), 1999)

6.02.080 Redemption of Animals Other Than Dogs and Livestock.

The owner of any animal other than a dog or livestock impounded under the provisions of this Title may redeem it within 48 hours from the time of impounding by paying to the animal control agency the appropriate redemption fee and providing proof of such animal's current pet license (if applicable) at the time of redemption. In addition to the redemption fee, the redeemer shall pay all charges for the care and keeping of such animal, equal to the current total daily rate, including the first and last days, that the animal is retained by the impounding authority. If such animal is not redeemed by the owner within 48 hours, it may be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of at the discretion of the animal control agency; provided, however, that any animal so impounded less than two months of age, at the discretion of the animal control agency, may be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of at any time after impounding. (Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 99-17 § 1 (part), 1999; Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 88-138 § 2, 1988; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.082 Adoption Fees.

Pierce County Animal Control is authorized to set and facilitate the collection of adoption fees as necessary for animals in the possession of animal control. Fees shall pay for the adoption process including assessment site visits, veterinary services, farrier services, other necessary services, and processing costs as appropriate. Fees may be collected directly by the County or by a contract vendor. (Ord. 2011-43s § 1 (part), 2011)

6.02.085 Mandatory Spay/Neuter for Impounded Dogs and Cats – Deposit – Refund – Exceptions.

A.    Mandatory Spay/Neuter. Any unaltered dog or cat that is impounded more than once in any 12-month period may not be redeemed by any person until the animal is spayed or neutered. The alteration shall be accomplished by the shelter or by transport of the animal by animal control personnel to any duly licensed veterinarian in Pierce County. In all cases, the veterinarian fees shall be paid at the time of redemption by the animal's owner.

B.    Exceptions. The alteration shall not be required upon a showing of proof of alteration from a licensed veterinarian. The alteration shall not be required if the owner or other person redeeming the animal provides a written statement from a licensed veterinarian stating that the spay or neuter procedure would be harmful to the animal.

(Ord. 2008-37 § 1, 2008; Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 2005-108 § 1 (part), 2005; Ord. 92-35 § 1 (part), 1992)

6.02.088 Conditions of Release.

The animal control agency is authorized to refuse to release to its owner any animal which has been impounded more than once in a 12-month period unless satisfied that the owner has taken steps that the violation will not occur again. The agency may impose reasonable conditions which must be satisfied by the owner before release of the animal, including conditions assuring that the animal will be confined. Any violation of the conditions of release is unlawful and shall constitute a Class 3 Civil Infraction pursuant to Chapter 1.16 PCC. (Ord. 99-17 § 1 (part), 1999)

6.02.090 Injured or Diseased Animals.

Any animal suffering from serious injury or disease may be humanely destroyed by the animal control agency; provided, that the animal control agency shall immediately notify the owner, if the owner is known, and if the owner is unknown, make a reasonable effort to locate and notify the owner. (Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.100 Duties Upon Injury or Death to an Animal.

The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to a domestic animal or livestock, shall immediately stop the vehicle at or as near to the scene of the accident as possible, and return thereto, and shall give to the owner or other competent person having custody of the animal, the name and address of the operator of the vehicle and the registration number of the vehicle involved in the accident. If the owner or other competent person is not the person at the scene of the accident, the operator shall take reasonable steps to locate the owner or custodian of said animal and shall supply the information herein above required. If the animal is injured to the extent that it requires immediate medical attention and there is no owner or custodian present to look after it, the operator of said vehicle shall immediately report the situation to the appropriate law enforcement agency. A violation of this Section is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2011-43s § 1 (part), 2011; Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.110 Improper Handling/Storage of Poisonous Substances.

No person shall place or expose or cause to be placed or exposed in any yard or lot of vacant or enclosed land, or on any exposed place or public place, or on any street, alley, or highway, or other place where the same may be taken internally by a child, person, or by any animal, any poisonous substance which, if taken internally may cause death or serious sickness. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the killing by poison of any animal in a lawful and humane manner by its owner or by a duly authorized agent of such owner or by a person acting pursuant to instructions from a duly constituted public authority. A violation of this Section is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 2013-10s § 2 (part), 2013; Ord. 2008-14 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 95-151S § 2 (part), 1996; Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)

6.02.140 Severability.

If any provision of this Title or its application to any person or circumstances are held to be invalid, the remainder of this Title or the application of the provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 87-40S § 1 (part), 1987)