Chapter 7.03
ANIMAL CONTROL

Sections:

7.03.010    Definition of terms.

7.03.015    Household pets.

7.03.020    Livestock animals.

7.03.030    Animals injuring property unlawful.

7.03.040    Stray animal a nuisance.

7.03.050    Dog control.

7.03.060    Impounding of animals.

7.03.070    Notice of impounding.

7.03.080    Redemption of impounded animal.

7.03.100    Disposition of unclaimed animals.

7.03.120    Destruction of animals.

7.03.130    Interference with officers – Failure to redeem – Frauds.

7.03.140    Warning tickets.

7.03.150    Violation tickets.

7.03.160    Confinement.

7.03.170    Crimes against animals.

7.03.175    Removal of animal – Notice.

7.03.180    Duties upon injury or death of animal.

7.03.190    Dog and cat licenses – Required.

7.03.191    License and permit fees.

7.03.195    License – No costs for adopted animals.

7.03.200    License – Receipts and tags.

7.03.210    License procedures – Receipts and tags.

7.03.220    License procedures – Affixing tags.

7.03.240    License tags not transferable.

7.03.250    Kennels – Licensing provision – Commercial kennels.

7.03.255    Kennel – Standards and inspection – Commercial kennels.

7.03.260    Kennel – Dog licensing and vaccination requirements.

7.03.270    Altering, counterfeiting or transfer of tags unlawful.

7.03.280    Unlicensed dogs and cats – Annual survey.

7.03.290    Animal bites – Impounding.

7.03.300    Health officer to quarantine.

7.03.310    Notice of quarantine.

7.03.320    Potentially dangerous or dangerous animal.

7.03.340    Animals disturbing the peace.

7.03.350    Responsibility of owner.

7.03.355    RCW sections adopted – Possession of potentially dangerous wild animals prohibited.

7.03.360    Violations – Penalties.

7.03.010 Definition of terms.

As used in this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise:

“Abandon” means the knowing or reckless desertion of an animal by its owner or the causing of the animal to be deserted by its owner, in any place, without making provisions for the animal’s adequate care. An animal left without adequate care for three or more days shall be prima facie evidence that the animal has been abandoned.

“Animal” includes but is not limited to dogs and cats.

“Animal control authority” refers to the joint power authority formed by interlocal agreement of the cities of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick, to implement and provide animal control and sheltering services within the respective cities.

“Animal control officer” or “chief animal control officer” refers to that person employed by or under contract to the city to enforce the provisions of this title.

At Heel. A dog shall be deemed to be “at heel” during such times as the dog is positioned and controlled in such a manner so as to remain within a distance of two feet from its owner or other competent person having charge of such dog.

“At large” means off the premises of the owner or upon the public streets, alleys, public grounds, school grounds or parks within the city. A dog shall not be deemed at large if:

1. It is attached to a leash or chain of sufficient strength to restrain the dog and not more than eight feet in length, when said leash or chain is held by a person competent to restrain and control the dog off the owner’s premises;

2. It is properly restrained within a motor vehicle or housed in a veterinary hospital;

3. It is accompanied by and at heel beside the owner or a competent responsible person;

4. The dog or dogs are left unattended on the owner’s premises, and it or they shall be so confined, tied or restrained as to be unable to range beyond the owner’s premises.

“Cat” means and includes female, spayed female, male and neutered male cats.

“Commercial kennel” means any lot, premises, building or structure where six or more dogs, cats, and/or household pets over the age of six months of age are kept.

“Competent person” means any person who, by reason of age and physical ability, and training, is capable of maintaining control of an animal to the extent required by this chapter.

“Dangerous animal” means any animal that:

A. Has inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation; or

B. Has killed a domestic or livestock animal without provocation; or

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

“Dog” means and includes female, spayed female, male and neutered male dogs.

“Domestic animal” means a tame animal in the house or home, or on the property, living with or used by people for companionship, work and/or a food source.

“Health officer” includes any person designated as such by the Benton-Franklin district health office, or any other person designated as such by the city council.

“Household pets” means any dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens (except for roosters), ducks, geese, pigeons, or other similar domestic animals over the age of six months.

“Livestock” includes, but is not limited to, horses, mules, ponies, cattle, sheep, pigs, hogs, goats, llamas, fowl, oxen or other hoofed animals kept or raised on a farm, ranch or other spread of land which are raised for home use, profit or hobby.

“Owner” means any person, firm, corporation, organization, or department possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in, or having control or custody of an animal for three consecutive days or more. An animal is deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for three consecutive days or more and knowingly permitted to remain on the premises occupied by that person. If the owner of the animal is a juvenile, a parent or other custodian of such juvenile shall, for the purposes of this chapter, be treated as the owner of the animal.

“Person” includes any person, partnership, corporation, trust or association of persons.

“Potentially dangerous animal” means any animal that, without provocation, inflicts injury on a human or a domestic animal or livestock either on public or private property, other than that of the property owner; or chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, or any animal with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack without provocation, to cause injury, or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.

“Poundmaster” means the chief officer appointed by the animal control authority for the enforcement of animal control laws and regulations. The poundmaster may include or employ animal control officer(s) and/or a chief animal control officer.

“Proper enclosure” means, while on the owner’s property, a dangerous, or potentially dangerous animal shall be securely confined indoors or in an outside securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, resistant to tunneling, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides not less than five feet high and a secure top, and shall provide protection from the elements for the animal. The requirement for a secure top on the enclosure may be waived by the poundmaster upon showing that it is unnecessary.

This definition shall not apply to guard dogs or watch dogs utilized to secure premises enclosed by a fence or wall not less than five feet high and resistant to tunneling, located within an industrial or commercial zone.

“Severe injury” means any physical injury that results in death, broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring one or more sutures or cosmetic surgery.

“Show dog or cat” means any dog or cat that meets the requirements as set forth on a form provided by the Richland finance department as a certified/registered show dog or cat.

“Veterinary hospital” means a public establishment regularly maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of animals.

“Welfare check” means tending to the well-being of an animal.

Whenever a power is granted to, or a duty is imposed upon, the poundmaster or chief animal control officer or other public officer, the power may be exercised or the duty performed by an agent of the officer or by any person duly authorized unless this chapter expressly provides otherwise.

All other words or phrases used in this chapter will have their commonly accepted meanings. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99; Ord. 02-09; Ord. 02-10 § 1.01; Ord. 21-11 § 1.01].

7.03.015 Household pets.

Each dwelling unit and the accompanying lot or common area is limited to five household pets as defined in RMC 7.03.010. [Ord. 57-99; Ord. 21-11 § 1.01].

7.03.020 Livestock animals.

Livestock may not be kept or maintained in any residential district within the city of Richland, except in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23.14 RMC. [Ord. 57-99; Ord. 18-07; Ord. 02-09].

7.03.030 Animals injuring property unlawful.

It is unlawful for any owner to suffer or permit any dog, cat or other animal to trespass on private or public property so as to damage or destroy any property or thing of value, to kill, maim or disfigure another’s animal or livestock or to deposit fecal matter on any property not that of his owner, and the same is declared to be a nuisance and any such dog, cat or other animal may be seized and impounded. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 02-09].

7.03.040 Stray animal a nuisance.

Any stray dog, cat or animal running at large within the city is declared to be a nuisance, and any such stray dog, cat or animal may be seized and impounded. For the purpose of this section, “stray dog” or “stray animal” means and includes any dog, cat or animal appearing or remaining in a neighborhood or any public place without an apparent home. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.050 Dog control.

A. No dog, licensed or not, shall be permitted to roam or stray or be off its owner’s premises unless it is at all times under the control of a person. It is the owner’s responsibility to do all things reasonably necessary to ensure compliance with this section; that a dog is found away from its owner’s premises and not under the control of a responsible person shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.

B. It is unlawful for any owner to cause, permit or allow any dog owned, harbored, controlled or kept by him, in this city, to roam, run at large or stray away from the premises where the same is owned, harbored, controlled or kept, except that while away from said premises, such dog shall at all times be controlled by being at heel, or by means of a leash not exceeding eight feet in length, by the owner or some duly authorized and competent person; provided, however, that such leash or chain is not required for any dog when otherwise safely and securely confined or completely controlled while in or upon any vehicle. This section shall not apply to dogs which are in special areas which may be designated by the city as dog training areas or a designated off-leash dog area within a city park so long as the regulations of the city with respect to the use of such areas are complied with, and said dogs are under the custody and control of a competent trainer or designated responsible person.

C. No dog shall be permitted to commit the following offenses on any premises or property, private or public: bite or attempt to bite any person, destroy private property, scatter refuse, chase vehicles, or commit any nuisance defined in this chapter or any other ordinance or law. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 19-08].

7.03.060 Impounding of animals.

Any animal off the premises of the owner and not under the control of some person, or which is otherwise in violation of this chapter and subject to impound, shall be impounded. All animals impounded will be subject to receiving DHLP, Parvo, and Bordetella vaccinations. Reimbursement of vaccination cost will be at the expense of the owner. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 02-09].

7.03.070 Notice of impounding.

Upon seizing and impounding of any dog, cat or other animal, the poundmaster shall give notice of such impounding in substantially the following manner:

A. If the animal is licensed and is wearing a license tag, or if the identity of the owner is known to or can readily be determined by the poundmaster, then, as soon as reasonably practicable after the animal is impounded, the poundmaster shall notify the owner by telephone or otherwise that the animal has been impounded and may be redeemed as provided in this chapter.

B. If the owner is known to the poundmaster, but cannot be notified under the provisions of subsection (A) of this section, or if the owner is so notified and does not appear to redeem his animal within 24 hours of the time of impounding, then the poundmaster may send, by certified and regular mail, a notice in substantially the following form:

NOTICE OF IMPOUNDING:

DATE: _____________

To Whom It May Concern:

I have this day seized and impounded in the City animal shelter at ___________________ Street, an animal described as follows:

Dog () Cat () Other ()

Sex___ Color ________ Breed ________

Approximate Birth Date ___________ Other Identification ___________

Name of Owner ____________________

Notice is hereby given that unless said animal is claimed and redeemed on or before _______ o’clock __M. on the ____ day of ___________, 20__, the same will be sold, adopted or destroyed as provided by ordinance.

Signed ________________ Poundmaster

C. If the owner cannot be readily identified, then the poundmaster shall post notice at the animal control agency in a conspicuous location. Notice shall state the description of the animal and location where the animal was found. [Ord. 32-98; amended during 2011 recodification].

7.03.080 Redemption of impounded animal.

A. Unless this chapter requires impounding for a longer period of time, any impounded animal may be redeemed by the owner, or authorized representative of the owner, by payment to the poundmaster of an impounding fee of $35.00 for the first offense, $50.00 for the second offense, and $100.00 for the third offense and any subsequent offense, and a boarding fee of $10.00 for each calendar day, whole or part, the animal has been confined. If the impounded animal has no valid license tag and one is required, they shall also obtain a license tag for the current year or duplicate tag in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. If unlicensed, proof of current rabies vaccination must be produced or the license shall be held until such proof is presented. If proof is not presented within 10 days, it shall be another separate violation of this chapter for each day over 10 days that proof is not presented.

B. Upon receiving payment of all fees due, the poundmaster shall execute a receipt in duplicate therefor, and a copy shall be delivered to the owner, upon which the owner shall acknowledge delivery of the animal. A copy shall be retained by the poundmaster.

C. If the animal has been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous, the owner must also obtain a permit in accordance with RMC 7.03.320 before such animal can be redeemed by the owner. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99; Ord. 10-07; Ord. 02-09].

7.03.100 Disposition of unclaimed animals.

If: (A) an unlicensed cat or cat whose owner cannot be identified by means of an identicode or other identification implant is not claimed and redeemed by its owner within 48 hours; or (B) an unlicensed/licensed dog or a licensed cat or other animal whose owner is identifiable by means of an identicode or other informational implant is not claimed and redeemed by its owner within 72 hours, the poundmaster, at his discretion, may place an animal up for adoption, sell the animal or humanely destroy the animal. For purposes of determining whether the 72 hours has expired, the following methods shall be used: (A) if the owner is notified by telephone, time begins when telephone contact was made with the owner by the poundmaster; (B) if the owner is mailed notice by certified and regular mail, time begins three days from the date of when the notice was mailed; and (C) if notice was posted because the owner of the animal could not be readily determined by the poundmaster, time begins when the poundmaster posted the notice at the animal control agency in a conspicuous location. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 10-07; Ord. 21-11 § 1.02].

7.03.120 Destruction of animals.

In the event of an emergency endangering the health or safety of any person, where seizure and impoundment is deemed inadvisable or impracticable, or for humane considerations, the poundmaster or other police officer at his discretion may summarily destroy the animal involved. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.130 Interference with officers – Failure to redeem – Frauds.

A. It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to break open, or attempt to break open, the city animal shelter, or to take or let out animals therefrom, or to take or attempt to take from any officer any animal seized by him in compliance with this chapter, or in any manner interfere with or hinder such an officer in the discharge of his duties under this chapter.

B. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly refuse to redeem an impounded animal or to obtain an animal from the poundmaster and return it to a former owner without first paying all impound fees.

C. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and prosecuted as provided in RMC 1.30.010 for criminal offenses. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 06-10 § 1.13; Ord. 21-11 § 1.03].

7.03.140 Warning tickets.

The animal control officers may issue a warning ticket for the first offense of letting an animal be at large. If a warning ticket is issued, the warning ticket shall be in duplicate. A copy shall be given to the animal’s owner, and a copy shall be returned to the animal control office. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99].

7.03.150 Violation tickets.

A. The animal control officer may issue a warning ticket or a violation ticket to an animal’s owner for such owner’s first violation of the terms of this chapter. If, however, after receiving the violation or warning ticket, the animal’s owner continues to violate this chapter, the officer shall on all subsequent offenses issue a violation ticket.

B. A copy of the violation ticket shall be given to the animal’s owner. The remaining copies shall be returned to the office of the animal control authority. The office staff will make the necessary arrangements to have one copy delivered to the Benton County district court.

C. The warning tickets and violation tickets shall either be given directly to the animal’s owner or custodian, or to a person of suitable age and discretion, a resident of the household of the owner or custodian. However, if, after making one attempt, the animal control officer is unable to give the ticket to the animal’s owner or custodian or person of suitable age and discretion, who is a resident of the household of the owner or custodian, the ticket may be served by mailing it by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, to the animal’s owner or custodian at the address appearing on the license form. Service of tickets shall be deemed completed three days after mailing by certified mail, return receipt requested. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99].

7.03.160 Confinement.

A. Every female dog or cat in heat shall be kept confined to the owner’s property or in a veterinary hospital or boarding kennel so that such female dog or cat cannot come in contact with other animals except for intentional breeding purposes.

B. Dogs or cats kept outdoors for more than six hours at one time must be provided with a moisture proof and windproof shelter of a size which allows the animal to turn around freely and to easily sit, stand and lie in a normal position and to keep the animal clean, dry and comfortable. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.170 Crimes against animals.

A. Any person who takes, captures, leads away, confines or hides a domestic animal of another with the intent to permanently deprive its owner of his/her animal, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. It is a defense to this section if the animal is immediately returned to its owner or taken to the poundmaster.

B. Any person who alters or removes any collar, tag, license, tattoo or other identifying device from a domestic animal of another with the intent to permanently deprive or defraud its owner from his/her animal, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

C. Any person who willfully molests, provokes or mistreats any animal or willfully opens any door or gate or unleashes any animal for the purpose of allowing it to leave its owner’s property or to be at large shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

D. It is unlawful for any person to abandon any domestic animal by dropping off or leaving such animal on the street, road or highway, or in any other public place, or on the private property of the owner or another including unauthorized abandonment at an animal shelter, and violators shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

E. This section does not apply to the killing of any animal by a police officer, animal control officer, a licensed veterinarian, the owner of such an animal or a person authorized by him to destroy such animal; provided, however, that the death of such an animal is accomplished in a humane manner and for lawful purpose. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 02-09; Ord. 21-11 § 1.04].

7.03.175 Removal of animal – Notice.

If a law enforcement officer or animal control officer has probable cause to believe that an owner of a domestic animal has violated RMC 7.03.170 and no responsible person can be found to assume the animal’s care, the officer may authorize, with a warrant, the removal of the animal to a suitable place for feeding and care, or may place the animal under the custody of the poundmaster (RCW 16.52.085). In all cases, the officer shall make a good faith effort to notify the owner prior to the animal’s removal. If contact cannot be made, notice shall be given by posting the place of the seizure, by delivering to a person residing at the place of seizure, or by registered mail if the owner is known. [Ord. 02-09; Ord. 21-11 § 1.05].

7.03.180 Duties upon injury or death of animal.

It shall be the duty of every person operating or driving a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in an injury or death to a dog, cat or other animal to report the same immediately to the police division by telephone, and to report the same in writing within 24 hours after the occurrence of such accident to the police division, giving the relevant information concerning the accident, the report to be made on forms provided by the police division. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.190 Dog and cat licenses – Required.

Except as provided in RMC 7.03.260, no person may keep, harbor or permit to be kept any dog or cat over seven months of age unless it is licensed.

A. Licenses will be issued by the city or one of its designees. Licenses are valid for one year from the date the license is purchased.

B. Any dog or cat reaching seven months of age must be licensed.

C. No license is required of nonresidents staying temporarily within the city for not more than 30 days. Licenses must be obtained within 30 days of the owner’s establishing residence within the city.

D. No license is required for service dogs registered as qualified animals for the disabled or qualified search and rescue dogs.

E. Residents 65 years of age or older may purchase an indigency license where the applicant is the head of a household, files an affidavit of indigency with the finance manager, and owns only one dog or cat.

F. The city encourages residents to spay/neuter their dogs and cats. An owner who initially purchases an unaltered animal license may receive a $25.00 rebate during the same licensing year by providing proof that their animal has been spayed or neutered.

G. A late application penalty of $10.00 shall be imposed on each dog or cat if application for such licenses is made after 30 days from the date of renewal, and either:

1. More than 30 days from the date of acquisition of the dog or cat over seven months of age; or

2. More than 30 days after the dog or cat has attained the age of seven months; or

3. More than 30 days after the applicant has established residence in the city.

H. Before a license is issued for any dog or cat, the owner must prove, by a certificate of vaccination signed by a licensed veterinarian that the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies at the time of licensing. However, the animal control officer may issue a temporary 10-day license contingent upon the owner securing a veterinarian’s certificate of vaccination required under this chapter prior to the expiration of the temporary license and further providing that all license fees, including late fees, have been paid. If a certificate is not presented within 10 days, it shall be another separate violation of this chapter for each day over 10 days that proof is not presented.

I. A certificate is necessary to prove that a dog or cat has been spayed/neutered.

J. Newly acquired dogs and cats over the age of seven months must be vaccinated and licensed within 30 days of acquisition. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99; Ord. 10-02; Ord. 05-05; Ord. 08-06].

7.03.191 License and permit fees.

The following fees are applicable as provided in this chapter:

A.

Dog and Cat License

 

1.

Unaltered dog or cat

$45.00

 

2.

Altered dog or cat

$10.00

 

3.

Show dog or cat

$10.00

 

4.

Indigency license for dog or cat

$1.00

B.

Commercial Kennel License

$50.00

C.

Dangerous, or Potentially Dangerous Animal Permit

$250.00

D.

Replacement Tags

$5.00

[Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99; Ord. 02-09].

7.03.195 License – No costs for adopted animals.

The poundmaster is authorized to issue a no-cost animal license for an impounded, stray animal upon its adoption under the approved process. All other license requirements shall apply. Such license shall be valid for one year from the date the license was purchased. [Ord. 10-02; Ord. 05-05].

7.03.200 License – Receipts and tags.

A. License information shall include space for the following information: sex, color, breed, other identifying marks (if any), approximate age, date and serial number of vaccination, name and address of owner, date of issuance, and amount of license fee, and the current license tag number.

B. License tags shall indicate the expiration date of such license. The shape of the tags shall vary from year to year, and they shall be of a suitable size. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99].

7.03.210 License procedures – Receipts and tags.

Upon the payment of the license fee and fulfillment of the licensing requirements, the original of the receipt, together with a license tag as provided for in this chapter, shall be delivered to the applicant. License information shall be retained by the city and a copy delivered to the poundmaster. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99].

7.03.220 License procedures – Affixing tags.

The owner shall cause a valid license tag to be permanently affixed to the collar of the animal so that such license tag is in such a position that it may be easily seen by the animal control officer. The owner shall cause the tag to be worn by such animal at all times. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.240 License tags not transferable.

License tags shall not be transferable. No refund shall be made of any dog or cat license fee for any reason. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.250 Kennels – Licensing provision – Commercial kennels.

No person, firm or corporation shall maintain a commercial kennel within the city without having a current business license and valid commercial kennel license therefor posted in plain view on the premises. The city license officer shall issue an annual business license and commercial kennel license upon the payment of an annual fee as established by the city council in Chapter 5.04 RMC and upon receipt of an annual certificate of inspection from the development services manager or designee. No license shall be issued for a commercial kennel located in violation of any zoning regulations governing the location of commercial kennels, or operated in violation of any other law. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 18-07].

7.03.255 Kennel – Standards and inspection – Commercial kennels.

A. Construction and Maintenance. All facilities shall be so constructed and maintained as to provide comfort and safety for animals. All areas of the premises shall be maintained in a clean and orderly condition, free of objectionable odors. All facilities shall comply with applicable state and municipal laws, ordinances and regulations.

B. Ventilation. Adequate heating and cooling shall be provided for the comfort of the animals, and the facility shall have sufficient ventilation in all areas. Kennels and animal shelters must provide for a minimum of three air changes per hour.

C. Lighting. Proper lighting shall be provided in all rooms utilized for the care and confinement of animals. Outside lighting shall be adequate to identify the building and to assist the animal caregivers and clients.

D. Water. Potable water shall be provided.

E. Basic Sanitation. Any equipment, instruments or facilities used in the confinement and treatment of animals shall be clean and sanitary at all times to protect against the spread of diseases, parasites and infection.

F. Waste Disposal. Covered waste containers, impermeable by water, shall be used for the removal and disposal of animal and food wastes, bedding, animal tissues, debris, and other waste. Disposal facilities shall be so operated as to minimize insect or other vermin infestation, and to prevent odor and disease hazards or other nuisance conditions.

G. Animal Housing Areas. Any facility confining animals shall have individual cages, pens, exercise areas or stalls to confine said animals in a comfortable, sanitary and safe manner.

H. Runs and Exercise Area. All runs and exercise pens shall be of adequate size to allow comfort and exercise. Runs and exercise pens shall provide and allow effective separation in such a manner as to protect against escape or injury. Floors of runs shall be of impervious material.

The facility shall use refrigeration and employ a procedure for the prompt, sanitary and aesthetic disposal of dead animals which complies with all applicable state, county and municipal laws, ordinances and regulations. [Ord. 18-07].

7.03.260 Kennel – Dog licensing and vaccination requirements.

A. Any dog kept in a licensed kennel need not be individually licensed; provided, that at all times when not securely confined in the kennel the dog is kept on a suitable leash.

B. A kennel licensee shall cause all dogs over six months of age kept in that kennel to be vaccinated against rabies. Any dog for which evidence of such vaccination cannot be produced shall be impounded. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.270 Altering, counterfeiting or transfer of tags unlawful.

It is unlawful to counterfeit or alter any license, license receipt or license tag provided for in this chapter, or to take from any animal a license tag legally placed upon that animal with the intent to place it upon another animal, or to place upon an animal a license tag not validly issued for such animal. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.280 Unlicensed dogs and cats – Annual survey.

A. Each year, the city may undertake a survey of all residents in the city to locate and address themselves to every owner of unlicensed dogs and cats.

B. Every legal means will be used to bring recalcitrant owners into compliance. The canvassers will be given the authority to sell licenses and collect a penalty as determined from time to time by the city council. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 02-09].

7.03.290 Animal bites – Impounding.

A. Every animal bite shall be reported to the health officer who shall investigate the case and may order the offending animal to be impounded at any time during the 10 days following the date of the bite. If the animal is impounded and after 10 days following the date of the bite no rabies is present or suspected, the animal may be released to the owner upon payment of any impounding, boarding and license fees, and compliance with the licensing and rabies vaccination provisions of this chapter. If rabies is present or suspected by the health officer, the animal shall be destroyed and the head preserved for laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis.

B. If the health officer orders an animal impounded at any time during the 10 days following the date of a bite, the owner of the animal may request the impounding to be at a licensed veterinarian’s establishment at his own expense. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.300 Health officer to quarantine.

It shall be the duty of the health officer to cause to be quarantined any animal within the city, which he has grounds to suspect of being infected with the disease of rabies. Whenever any human being has been bitten by a cat or dog and there is reason to suspect that the animal is rabid, at the discretion of the health officer, the animal involved may be restricted for 10 days for observation in such manner as to prevent contact with other animals or humans except for its caretaker. [Ord. 32-98; amended during 2011 recodification].

7.03.310 Notice of quarantine.

A. Any quarantine of an animal shall be initiated by delivering to the owner or keeper of any such animal a written notice of such quarantine which shall prescribe the duration of the same; provided, that the period of said quarantine shall not exceed 10 days unless it shall be determined that the existence of such disease is present. The delivery of the notice of quarantine to an adult residing upon the premises where such animal is kept shall be considered as delivery of the notice to the owner or keeper. Any such animal so quarantined shall be impounded; provided, that, in the discretion of the health officer, said animal may be quarantined upon the premises of the owner or any other person during such time as the provisions of the quarantine are strictly kept.

B. During the period of any quarantine made under the provisions of this chapter, the owner or keeper of any animal so quarantined shall not allow said animal to come in contact with any other animal or person or permit such animal to run at large on any street or public place in the city or upon the premises where quarantined unless said premises be enclosed by a secure fence, nor shall such owner or keeper remove or cause such animal to be removed from said premises without the consent of the health officer. These restrictions shall continue until said animal shall have been released from quarantine. Any animal found running at large as defined in RMC 7.03.010, or which has been removed from the premises upon which quarantined, shall be impounded and unless claimed and redeemed by its owner within two days after the expiration of quarantine period may be destroyed by the proper authorities.

C. Whenever any outbreak of rabies occurs, or when rabies has been diagnosed or a rabid dog or animal has been present in the city, it is unlawful for any owner, keeper or handler of an animal to keep or harbor the same within the city limits after the last publication of the notice provided for in subsection (E) of this section, and during the period in said notice prescribed, unless such dog or animal is securely confined at all times by leash or kept in a tight enclosure from which such animal cannot escape. Any animal found running at large in the city during said period shall be impounded and, unless claimed and redeemed by its owner within two days after such impounding, may be destroyed by the proper authorities. Any health or police officer may destroy any animal found running at large within the limits of the city during said period when, after reasonable effort, he shall be unable to impound said animal or after reasonable investigation shall be unable to locate the owner or keeper thereof.

D. Any animal that has been bitten by a rabid animal must be destroyed. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal (dog or cat only) should be vaccinated and placed in strict isolation for six months or longer. If the animal has been previously vaccinated with an approved vaccine within the time limit approved for such vaccine, revaccination and restraint for 90 days should be carried out.

E. Upon any outbreak of rabies, or when rabies has been diagnosed within the city limits, or a rabid dog or animal has been found present, and when, in the judgment of the health officer, there is imminent danger of the spread of the disease, such officer shall publish a notice to that effect in the official newspaper of the city for three consecutive days, and for six weeks after the last publication of said notice the provisions of RMC 7.03.120 shall be applicable; provided, that the health officer shall have authority, when in his judgment an extension of said six weeks’ time is necessary to carry into effect the purpose of this chapter, to extend the said six-week period for an additional six weeks or such lesser time as he shall deem necessary by notice given in the manner provided for in this section and to further thereafter and in the same manner continue said six-week or lesser period until, in his judgment, the said strict quarantine herein provided for shall be unnecessary. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.320 Potentially dangerous or dangerous animal.

A. Declaration. The poundmaster has the authority to declare an animal potentially dangerous or dangerous and require such animal to have a permit in accordance with this section. The poundmaster may declare an animal potentially dangerous or dangerous if he has probable cause to believe that the animal falls within the definitions set forth in RMC 7.03.010. Such declaration shall be in writing and served by the poundmaster on the owner either personally or by certified mail. However, if the owner cannot be readily determined, service of declaration shall be waived.

B. Impoundment. No person shall have, keep or maintain a potentially dangerous or dangerous animal without first obtaining a permit from the poundmaster. Any animal meeting this definition and found at large without a permit will be immediately impounded at the expense of the owner. If the owner of such animal can be readily determined, the poundmaster shall notify the owner personally or by certified or regular mail of the impoundment. If, however, the owner of such animal cannot be readily determined, notification shall be by posting at the animal control agency as provided in RMC 7.03.100.

C. Appeal. If the owner of an animal subject to this section wishes to object to the determination of the poundmaster, the owner may, within 10 business days of receipt of the declaration, appeal that declaration by submitting a written request to the city clerk’s office. Within 10 business days of the receipt of the request for appeal, the city will file said appeal, at the city’s expense, with the clerk of the court for a hearing before the Benton County district court.

1. If the court does not find a preponderance of evidence to support the declaration, the declaration shall be rescinded and the restrictions imposed thereby annulled. No court costs shall be assessed against the city of Richland or the animal control authority or officer.

2. If the court finds a preponderance of evidence to support the declaration, it shall impose court costs on the appellant, restitution if applicable, and may impose additional restrictions on the animal.

D. Redemption or Destruction of Animal. An animal impounded under this section shall be returned to its owner if the owner complies with RMC 7.03.080 and subsection (F) of this section by the date and time given on the notice as provided in RMC 7.03.060. If the owner of the impounded animal under this section does not comply with RMC 7.03.080 and subsection (F) of this section by the date and time given on the notice as provided in RMC 7.03.060, such animal shall be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner; provided, however, that no animal declared dangerous or potentially dangerous by the poundmaster shall be destroyed prior to expiration of the 10-day appeal filing period provided in subsection (C) of this section. Unless required as evidence or to determine if the animal is rabid, animals shall be destroyed as provided in this section during the pendency of an appeal unless the owner prepays all impound and boarding fees, unless ordered otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction.

E. Agreement to Relocate Animal. As an exception to the redemption requirements provided under subsection (C) of this section, upon execution of a declaration of removal by the owner, or authorized representative of the owner of the animal and payment of applicable fees including impound fees, an animal declared dangerous or potentially dangerous may be released by the poundmaster into the custody of the owner, or authorized representative of the owner for the immediate and permanent removal of the animal from Richland. The declaration of the poundmaster shall remain in full force and effect.

F. Permit Required. No person shall have, keep, or maintain any potentially dangerous or dangerous animal without first obtaining an annual permit from the poundmaster. The fee for such a permit shall be in addition to the regular annual license fee. A permit will only be granted if the applicant has provided and maintains:

1. A proper enclosure to properly and safely confine the animal as determined by the poundmaster;

2. A conspicuously posted sign on the premises which clearly warns the public and children that there is a potentially dangerous or dangerous animal on the property;

3. Two hundred fifty thousand dollars surety bond issued by a surety insurer qualified under Chapter 48.28 RCW in a form acceptable to the poundmaster payable to any person injured by the potentially dangerous or dangerous animal; or liability insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, issued by an insurer qualified under RCW Title 48 in the amount of at least $250,000 with maximum deductible coverage not to exceed $2,500 in a form requiring notice to the city of cancellation or nonrenewal of such policy not less than 30 days prior to its date of cancellation or expiration, insuring the owner for any personal injuries or property damage inflicted by the animal. The city shall be an additional named insured on the policy;

4. Control and Confinement. A potentially dangerous animal must be securely leashed and under the control of a person physically able to control the animal when away from the property of the owner or keeper; or, while on the property of the owner, must be securely restrained by physical device or proper enclosure as defined in RMC 7.03.010 made of materials strong enough to adequately and humanely confine the animal in a manner which prevents it from escaping the property and kept in conformance with requirements in subsection (F) of this section.

G. Dangerous animals and potentially dangerous animals must be muzzled and restrained by substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person when away from the property of the owner or keeper; or while on the property of the owner, the animal must be securely confined inside a locked building, kennel, pen, or other structure having secure sides, bottom, and top, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping and kept in conformance with requirements in subsection (F) of this section.

H. A dangerous dog may be confiscated when violation of its license terms has occurred. In that event, notice must be served on the owner either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The owner has a 20-day period in which to correct the deficiencies with respect to the dog, including paying any shelter fees and fines, and is subject to punishment for a gross misdemeanor.

I. Violations and Regulation. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. No person who, being the owner of any potentially dangerous or dangerous animal, shall keep, harbor or maintain the same on or off his premises in a manner endangering or likely to endanger the safety of persons, property or other animals nor shall he allow the same to run at large within the city. It shall be a defense to any charge under this section involving an alleged potentially dangerous or dangerous animal that the person endangered was committing, was about to commit or had just committed a trespass or crime and that the animal’s reaction was a natural result thereof. The animal control agency may petition the Benton County district court to determine whether an animal should be destroyed. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99; Ord. 22-04; Ord. 16-05; Ord. 08-06; Ord. 18-07; Ord. 02-09; amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 21-11 § 1.06; Ord. 01-14 § 1.01].

7.03.340 Animals disturbing the peace.

It is unlawful for any person owning or harboring an animal to allow or permit such animal to cause prolonged or continuous noise by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking or otherwise noisy conduct, which shall unreasonably interfere, annoy, injure or endanger safety, health, comfort or repose of others. An animal is harbored in violation of this section if, without provocation, it makes noise which can be heard continuously within an enclosed structure off its owner’s property for more than five minutes and which annoys, injures or endangers the safety, health, comfort or repose of others. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 21-11 § 1.07].

7.03.350 Responsibility of owner.

Notwithstanding the matters contained in this chapter, the owner or owners of any animal shall not be relieved from responsibility for any damage committed by such animal, as provided by the law and sections of this chapter. [Ord. 32-98].

7.03.355 RCW sections adopted – Possession of potentially dangerous wild animals prohibited.

The following sections of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) pertaining to prohibiting possession of potentially dangerous wild animals, including bobcats (Lynx rufus, member of the Class mammalian, Order carnivore, Family felide, or any hybrid or cross-mix thereof) as now or hereafter amended are hereby adopted by reference as part of this chapter in all respects as though such chapter were set forth in full: RCW 16.30.005, 16.30.010, 16.30.020, 16.30.030, 16.30.040, 16.30.050, 16.30.060, 16.30.070, and 16.30.900. [Ord. 02-09].

7.03.360 Violations – Penalties.

A. Any person violating any provision of this chapter, except RMC 7.03.130, 7.03.170 and 7.03.320, is guilty of an infraction. Unless matters in aggravation warrant a greater civil penalty, each violation shall be subject to a civil penalty as set forth below, plus all costs and assessments for the following respective violations:

1. First violation – up to $100.00;

2. Second violation – up to $200.00;

3. Third violation – up to $300.00;

4. Fourth violation and all violations thereafter – up to $400.00.

B. Each person is guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of the provisions of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted by any such person and shall be punished accordingly.

C. Court costs shall be assessed in addition to any other fine, penalty, cost or statutory assessment imposed.

D. The city, at its election, may divert any infraction identified in subsection (A) of this section to be heard before the Richland code enforcement board pursuant to Chapter 10.02 RMC. Assessments of monetary penalties for violations of this chapter shall be assessed by the code enforcement board in accordance with subsection (A)(1) through (4) of this section. [Ord. 32-98; Ord. 57-99; Ord. 10-07; Ord. 06-10 § 1.13; Ord. 21-11 § 1.08].