Chapter 6.08
DOGS AND CATS

Sections:

6.08.010    Provisions and purpose.

6.08.015    Definitions.

6.08.020    Dog control zones – Posting.

6.08.030    Annual dog license required.

6.08.040    Licenses – Procedures and fees.

6.08.050    Licenses – Tags.

6.08.060    License – Copy.

6.08.070    License – Fees.

6.08.080    Public nuisances.

6.08.085    At large dogs.

6.08.090    Unlawful activities.

6.08.091    Potentially dangerous dogs – Declaration.

6.08.092    Dangerous dogs – Declaration.

6.08.093    Appeals.

6.08.094    Dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs – Regulations.

6.08.095    Dangerous dogs – Annual registration requirements.

6.08.096    Dangerous dogs – Violations, confiscation and destruction.

6.08.097    Repealed.

6.08.098    Control of rabid or potentially rabid animals.

6.08.100    Dogs injuring or killing domestic animals.

6.08.110    Dogs injuring or killing domestic animals – Damages.

6.08.113    Impound and redemption of animals.

6.08.117    Disposition of unclaimed animals.

6.08.120    Violation – Penalty.

6.08.130    Signs.

6.08.010 Provisions and purpose.

The provisions of this chapter are adopted pursuant to Chapter 16.10 RCW, as an alternative to Chapter 36.49 RCW, and as a complement to Chapters 16.04, 16.08 and 16.36 RCW. The purpose of this chapter is to provide regulations and specific controls within the unincorporated areas of San Juan County to control animal conduct and establish penalties for the violation thereof. Nothing in this chapter shall be intended nor construed to create any liability on the part of the County, its officers, employees, agents or contractors. This chapter has been enacted for the health, safety and welfare of the public as a whole. (Ord. 22-2008 § 2; Ord. 3-2003 § 1; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985)

6.08.015 Definitions.

In construing the provisions of this chapter, except where otherwise plainly declared or clearly apparent from the context, words used herein shall be given their common and ordinary meaning. In addition, the following definitions shall apply:

“Allow” means to permit, including by failing or neglecting to restrain or prevent.

“Animal control authority” means the San Juan County sheriff, acting alone or in concert with other local governmental units or with humane societies for enforcement of the animal control laws of the town, city, County, and state.

“Animal control officer” means 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 or ordinance relating to the licensure of animals, control of animals, or seizure and impoundment of animals, and includes any state or local law enforcement officer or other employee whose duties in whole or in part include assignments that involve the seizure and impoundment of any animal.

“At large” means off the premises of the owner and not under the immediate control of the owner, member of his/her immediate family or a person authorized by him, by means of voice control, whistle or hand signal, or a leash, cord or chain no longer than 15 feet.

“Dangerous dog” means any dog that, when unprovoked: (1) inflicts severe injury on a human being on public or private property; (2) kills a domestic animal while off the owner’s property; or (3) aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans after the owner has been notified that the dog has been previously found to be potentially dangerous by the animal control authority because of injury inflicted on a human.

“Declaration” means the initial determination made by the animal control officer that a dog is either dangerous or potentially dangerous.

“Dog” means all members of the dog family, including wolf breeds.

“Domestic animal” means any animal that is bred and kept for the use by humans, including livestock.

“Livestock” means animals normally kept for the production of food or fiber, including but not limited to sheep, goats, swine, cows, horses, fowl, llamas, alpacas and rabbits.

“Notice of disposition” means an order of the animal control authority that an animal will be euthanized in an expeditious and humane manner.

“Order” means the final determination made by the animal control officer, after a dog owner has had an opportunity to contest an initial declaration by the animal control officer, that a particular dog is either dangerous or potentially dangerous.

“Owner” means any person, or entity possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in, or having permanent or temporary control or custody of a domestic animal, including a dog.

“Person” means any person, firm, corporation or association.

“Potentially dangerous dog” means any dog that when unprovoked: (1) inflicts bites on a human or a domestic animal either on public or private property; or (2) chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds or private property not belonging to the dog owner in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or (3) has a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack, to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.

“Provoke” means to taunt, strike at, torment, abuse, or assault a dog without justification or excuse or to make an unauthorized entry onto the portions of the premises where a dog is kept that are not open to the public.

“Secure enclosure,” when applied to a dangerous dog, means, while on the owner’s property, a dangerous dog shall be securely 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, including by digging under the sides. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top, and shall also provide protection from the elements for the dog. A motor vehicle can be considered a temporary secure enclosure only when the driver is present, it is locked and the dog is muzzled and unable to exit the vehicle. Windows may be left open to the extent that the dog can receive fresh air but not to the extent that the dog can extend any part of its mouth outside of the window. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal.

“Severe injury” means any physical injury that results in broken bones or lacerations that are either disfiguring or require multiple sutures.

“Unconfined” means that the dog is not securely confined indoors or confined in a securely enclosed and locked pen, motor vehicle or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. (Ord. 12-2009 § 1; Ord. 22-2008 § 3; Ord. 19-2006 § 1; Ord. 3-2003 § 2)

6.08.020 Dog control zones – Posting.

All unincorporated portions of San Juan County are hereby established as dog control zones. (Ord. 3-2003 § 3; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.060)

6.08.030 Annual dog license required.

It is unlawful to own, keep or maintain any dog over the age of three months in a dog control zone without obtaining an annual County license and keeping the license tag conspicuously attached to the dog. A current out-of-County license shall be honored for 30 days. (Ord. 22-2008 § 4; Ord. 3-2003 § 4; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985)

6.08.040 Licenses – Procedures and fees.

The County auditor or his designee shall issue licenses under the procedures set forth in this chapter. The County auditor may enter into contracts with other profit and nonprofit organizations to issue licenses. (Ord. 3-2003 § 5; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.050)

6.08.050 Licenses – Tags.

License tags shall be metal or plastic tags of a standard size and color determined by the auditor, so as to equip each licensed dog with as conspicuous a tag as is practical, given the size of the dog being licensed. Each tag shall bear a number, the year and the legend “San Juan County Dog License,” and no tag shall be given the number assigned to another tag. License tags shall not be transferred from one dog to another. (Ord. 22-2008 § 5; Ord. 3-2003 § 6; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.051)

6.08.060 License – Copy.

A copy of the license containing the name, address and telephone number of the dog’s owner shall be available for inspection by members of the public. On change of ownership of a licensed dog, the new owner shall promptly report the transfer to the County auditor. (Ord. 3-2003 § 7; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.052)

6.08.070 License – Fees.

A. License fees shall be valid for one calendar year; however, a license purchased between November 15th and December 31st shall be valid from the date of purchase through the following calendar year.

B. License fees are as follows:

Neutered

$15.00 annually

Unneutered

$40.00 annually

Late fee of $10.00 shall be added to the license fee if the owner of the dog is a County resident and has not purchased the license by March 31st. New resident owners have 30 days to purchase the license. A replacement tag is available for a $2.00 fee.

C. License fees shall be transferred to the San Juan County dog license fund to be disbursed as follows:

1. One dollar of each license fee shall be paid to the person who sold the license, provided such person is authorized by the County auditor to issue licenses, including animal protection societies who issue dog licenses pursuant to agreement with the County auditor.

2. A livestock account for payment of compensation for injury to the owners of domestic animals killed or injured by dogs in accordance with provisions of SJCC 6.08.110 shall be maintained at $5,000 within the dog license account.

3. The balance of all fees collected shall be deposited to the dog license fund to be used by the County for the purpose of developing and supporting animal control and animal impounding facilities and to support the costs of enforcement. Available monies shall be distributed to the animal protection societies on San Juan, Lopez and Orcas Islands in proportion to the licensing review collected from each island during the previous year. (Ord. 6-2017 § 1; Ord. 19-2006 § 2; Ord. 3-2003 § 8; Ord. 14-1994; Ord. 66-1991 Exh. A; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.053)

6.08.080 Public nuisances.

A. It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any owner of a dog to:

1. Allow a dog to pursue or follow in a menacing manner, chase, bite, injure or kill any domestic animal; or

2. Allow a dog to pursue or follow in a menacing manner, chase, bite, or injure any person; or

3. Allow a dog to bite or cause injury to any deer if wild or kept as a domestic animal.

B. Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor and the court may impose any remedy at law or equity. (Ord. 22-2008 § 6; Ord. 19-2006 § 3; Ord. 3-2003 § 9; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.070)

6.08.085 At large dogs.

It is unlawful for the owner of any dog to allow the dog to be at large, as defined in this chapter, or to allow such animal to be on the property of another without the permission of the owner or tenant of such property; provided, that the requirement that a dog be under the immediate control of the owner shall not apply to dogs which are engaged in the lawful herding of livestock, lawful competition sanctioned by a nationally recognized body or local chapter thereof, or training for such herding or competitive activities, or while in the performance of duty as part of a law enforcement activity. (Ord. 22-2008 § 7; Ord. 19-2006 § 4)

6.08.090 Unlawful activities.

It is unlawful for any person:

A. To kill another’s dog except under circumstances provided for in this chapter or under state law;

B. To kill or attempt to kill a dog without exercising due care to avoid creating a risk of harm to persons, domestic animals, or property;

C. To kill a dog without reporting the same to the animal control authority within 24 hours;

D. To remove a license tag from another’s dog, alive or dead;

E. To counterfeit a dog license tag;

F. To use spring guns, poison, traps or any other unselective method to destroy a dog;

G. To wilfully abandon or leave unattended in circumstances which demonstrate an intent to permanently abandon a dog or cat in the County;

H. To make a false statement in securing a dog license, in reporting the destruction of a dog or in claiming damages under SJCC 6.08.110;

I. To leave an animal in a motor vehicle without providing adequate ventilation;

J. To refuse to quarantine or permit the quarantine of any animal when and as required by state law or this chapter;

K. To prevent, obstruct or hinder the impoundment of an animal or other enforcement duties of the animal control authority; or

L. To deprive any animal of necessary food, water or shelter.

Any person who shall violate this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 22-2008 § 8; Ord. 3-2003 § 10; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.080)

6.08.091 Potentially dangerous dogs – Declaration.

A. The animal control authority may determine that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog if there is probable cause that the dog has the characteristics of a potentially dangerous dog as defined in this chapter. The determination shall be initially made by a written declaration of the animal control officer. A final order may be issued after the owner has been given an opportunity to present evidence to contest the determination.

1. The initial declaration and final order must be based upon one or more of the following sources of information: (a) the written complaint of a citizen, provided under penalty of perjury, or (b) actions of the dog witnessed by any animal control officer or other law enforcement officer.

2. It is an affirmative defense to a finding that the dog is potentially dangerous that the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime against persons, or property where the dog is located. The owner must prove the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

B. Upon a declaration that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog, the regulations set out in SJCC 6.08.094 shall apply.

C. The declaration that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog shall include the following information:

1. A description of the dog;

2. The name and last known address of the owner of the dog;

3. The last known location of the dog if it is not in the custody of the owner;

4. The facts upon which the declaration of a potentially dangerous dog is based;

5. The legal basis for the proposed action;

6. A statement that the dog is subject to the licensing or registration requirements of this chapter;

7. Notice of the owner’s right to a hearing to contest the declaration, and the procedure to be followed;

8. The restrictions placed on the dog as a result of the declaration of potentially dangerous dog; and

9. The penalties for violation of the restrictions.

D. Prior to the animal control authority issuing its final order, the animal control authority shall notify the owner in writing that he or she is entitled to an opportunity to meet with the authority, at which meeting the owner may give, orally or in writing, any reasons or information as to why the dog should not be declared potentially dangerous. The notice shall state the date, time, and location of the meeting, which must occur prior to expiration of 15 calendar days following delivery of the notice. The owner may propose an alternative meeting date and time, but such meeting must occur within the 15-day time period set forth in this section and must be acceptable to, and approved by, the animal control officer. After such meeting, the authority must issue its final determination, in the form of a written order, within 15 calendar days. A final determination that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog may be made if it has been shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the dog has the characteristics of a potentially dangerous dog as defined in this chapter.

E. The order declaring a dog to be a potentially dangerous dog shall be in writing, and shall be effective upon delivery to the owner of the dog by one of the following methods:

1. Regular mail and certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner’s last known address, in which case delivery is presumed three days after deposit in the United States mail; or

2. Personal service. (Ord. 15-2013 § 1; Ord. 12-2009 § 2; Ord. 22-2008 § 9; Ord. 3-2003 § 11)

6.08.092 Dangerous dogs – Declaration.

A. The animal control authority may determine that a dog is a dangerous dog if there is probable cause that the dog has the characteristics of a dangerous dog as defined in this chapter. The determination shall be initially made by a written declaration of the animal control officer. A final order may be issued after the owner has been given an opportunity to present evidence to contest the determination.

1. The determination and final order must be based upon one or more of the following sources of information: (a) the written complaint of a citizen, provided under penalty of perjury, or (b) actions of the dog witnessed by any animal control officer or other law enforcement officer.

2. It is an affirmative defense to a finding that a dog is dangerous that the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime against persons or property where the dog is located. The owner must prove the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

B. The declaration that a dog is dangerous shall include the following information:

1. A description of the dog;

2. The name and last known address of the owner of the dog;

3. The last known whereabouts of the dog if it is not in the custody of the owner;

4. The facts upon which the declaration of dangerous dog is based;

5. The legal basis for the proposed action;

6. A statement that the dog is subject to the licensing or registration requirements of this chapter;

7. Notice of the owner’s right to a hearing to contest the declaration, and the procedure to be followed;

8. The restrictions and registration requirements placed on the dog as a result of the declaration of a dangerous dog; and

9. The penalties for violation of the restrictions.

C. Prior to the animal control authority issuing its final order, the animal control authority shall notify the owner in writing that he or she is entitled to an opportunity to meet with the authority, at which meeting the owner may give, orally or in writing, any reasons or information as to why the dog should not be declared dangerous. The notice shall state the date, time, and location of the meeting, which must occur prior to expiration of 15 calendar days following delivery of the notice. The owner may propose an alternative meeting date and time, but such meeting must occur within the 15-day time period set forth in this section and must be acceptable to, and approved by, the animal control officer. After such meeting, the authority must issue its final determination, in the form of a written order, within 15 calendar days. A final determination that a dog is a dangerous dog may be made if it has been shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the dog has the characteristics of a dangerous dog as defined in this chapter.

D. Service. The order determining a dog is dangerous shall be in writing, and service shall be effective upon delivery to the owner of the dog by one of the following methods:

1. Regular mail and certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner’s last known address, in which case delivery is presumed three days after deposit in the United States mail; or

2. Personal service. (Ord. 15-2013 § 2; Ord. 12-2009 § 4; Ord. 22-2008 § 11; Ord. 3-2003 § 13. Formerly 6.08.093)

6.08.093 Appeals.

A. There is no administrative appeal of the decisions of the animal control officer.

B. Within 20 days following service of a final order of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog, or within 10 days following service of a notice of disposition to euthanize a dog, the owner may appeal the determination to the San Juan County district court by filing and serving a written notice of appeal.

The notice of appeal shall contain the following information:

1. The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the dog;

2. A statement of the owner’s issues on appeal, briefly describing the owner’s specific exceptions and objections to the authority’s order or notice of disposition and reasons why the decision should be reversed or modified. The relief requested, such as reversal of the order or notice of disposition;

3. The verification, by declaration under penalty of perjury, of at least one appellant as to the truth of the matters stated in the appeal;

4. The name, address and phone number of every witness who will appear on the dog owner’s behalf; and

5. A copy of the decision being appealed.

6. The animal control authority shall be served by delivery of the notice of appeal to the San Juan County auditor.

7. No fee will be charged for an appeal to district court.

C. Standard of Review. Appeals shall be considered de novo. The animal control authority has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the dog was potentially dangerous; or dangerous; or should be disposed of under applicable law. The appellant shall have the burden of proving any affirmative defenses by the preponderance of the evidence.

D. Procedure. The animal control officer and the appellant have the right to appear in person, and to offer evidence that is pertinent and material to the order being appealed. Only those issues specifically raised by the appellant in the written notice of appeal shall be considered. The rules of evidence do not apply at this hearing and the court is free to consider anything the court believes is credible and relevant. Both parties have the right to be represented by counsel and present witnesses and evidence and cross-examine witnesses who testify at the hearing. Both parties have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents, except that the timelines for action must be compressed so that the time elapsed between the date of the notice of appeal and the court’s decision shall not exceed 30 days.

E. Waiver. Failure of any appellant to file an appeal or to attend the scheduled appeal hearing shall constitute a waiver of his right to a hearing and the actions of the animal control authority will be upheld.

F. Witnesses may be excluded until their testimony is taken if requested by either party.

G. While the appeal is pending, the owner must comply with the conditions set out in the order of the animal control officer. If the dog has been impounded, the owner must pay the costs of the impound. Enforcement of a notice of disposition will be stayed during a pending appeal.

H. The court shall prepare a final written decision including findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court may affirm or reverse the animal control authority’s final order or notice of disposition in whole or in part, or remand the decision to the animal control authority for further consideration. A copy shall immediately be mailed or delivered to the owner at the address provided to the animal control authority. Upon receipt of the written decision, the owner may appeal to the superior court by filing written notice within 30 days. Such appeals shall be governed by the provisions of the Washington State Court Rules for Appeal of Decisions (RALJ). (Ord. 15-2013 § 3; Ord. 12-2009 § 5; Ord. 22-2008 § 12; Ord. 3-2003 § 14. Formerly 6.08.094)

6.08.094 Dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs – Regulations.

A. After an initial declaration or final order that a dog is a dangerous or a potentially dangerous dog, it is unlawful for an owner:

1. To fail to be in compliance with any restrictions placed on the dangerous or potentially dangerous dog by the animal control authority; or

2. To fail to have a current license for the dog or to not have attached to the dog the current license tag as required by SJCC 6.08.030; or

3. To fail to mark the dog with a microchip that identifies both the owner of the dog and the animal control officer as contact persons for identification; or

4. To fail to register a dangerous dog when required by law; or

5. To fail to keep a dangerous dog: (a) in a secure enclosure as defined in this chapter; and (b) post and maintain signs on the premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog on the property; and (c) conspicuously display a sign with a symbol that effectively informs children of the presence of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog; or

6. To fail to keep the dog on a substantial chain or leash and under the physical restraint of a responsible person of sufficient age and size to control the dog in all circumstances while outside of the secure enclosure; or

7. To fail to keep a dangerous dog muzzled when outside of the secure enclosure or as required in the definition of secure enclosure. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal; or

8. To leave a potentially dangerous dog in an unattended motor vehicle; or

9. To fail to notify the animal control authority of change of ownership or residence of the dog within 10 days of such change; or

10. To allow the dog to inflict a bite upon a human or a domestic animal, on public or private property; or

11. To allow the dog to chase or approach a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or

12. To allow the dog to attack or cause injury to or otherwise threaten the safety of any person or domestic animal; or

13. To fail to provide proof that the dog has been spayed or neutered to the animal control officer.

B. Violation of this section is a gross misdemeanor, punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021.

C. Nothing in this section shall preclude any criminal prosecution for violation of RCW 16.08.100 or other state laws. (Ord. 12-2009 § 3; Ord. 22-2008 § 10; Ord. 3-2003 § 12. Formerly 6.08.092)

6.08.095 Dangerous dogs – Annual registration requirements.

A. The owner of a dog that is subject to a final order determining the dog to be dangerous must register the dog pursuant to this section and RCW 16.08.080. Such annual registration is in addition to all other licensing requirements.

B. The animal control authority shall issue an original certificate of registration or renewal certificate of registration, as appropriate, for the registration of a dangerous dog, if the owner pays a $100.00 annual fee and presents to the animal control authority evidence of:

1. A secure enclosure to confine a dangerous dog and the posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog.

2. A surety bond issued by a surety insurer qualified under Chapter 48.28 RCW in a form acceptable to the animal control authority in the sum of at least $250,000, payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog; or a policy of liability insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, issued by an insurer qualified under RCW Title 48 in the amount of at least $250,000, insuring the owner for the personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog. (Ord. 12-2009 § 6; Ord. 22-2008 § 13; Ord. 3-2003 § 15)

6.08.096 Dangerous dogs – Violations, confiscation and destruction.

A. It is unlawful for an owner of a dangerous dog to:

1. Fail to have a current license for the dog that is attached to the dog as is required by SJCC 6.08.030; or

2. Possess a dog that is not currently registered as a dangerous dog when required by SJCC 6.08.095; or

3. Fail to secure and have in place the surety bond or liability insurance required under SJCC 6.08.095; or

4. Fail to have the dog identified by a microchip which has both the owner of the dog and the animal control officer identified as contacts; or

5. Fail to notify the animal control authority in writing of a change of ownership or residence of the dog within 10 days of such change; or

6. Fail to keep the dangerous dog in a secure enclosure while on private property or unattended; or

7. Fail to keep the dangerous dog muzzled and under the physical restraint of a responsible person of sufficient age and size to control the dog in all circumstances while outside of the secure enclosure; or

8. Violate any other condition imposed by the animal control authority or by local ordinance or state law.

B. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021 and the dog is subject to immediate impoundment, confiscation and disposition in the manner provided by law.

C. For any dog confiscated due to violations of subsection (A) of this section, the owner must pay the costs of confinement and control. The animal control authority must serve notice upon the dog owner in person as set out in SJCC 6.08.095 specifying the reason for the confiscation of the dangerous dog, the consequences of violation under this chapter, and that the owner is responsible for the payment of the costs of confinement and control.

1. If the owner has violated subsections (A)(1) through (5) of this section, the owner shall provide proof that the deficiencies have been corrected within 20 days of effective delivery of the notice. In the event the owner fails or refuses to pay costs of confinement and control and show proof of the correction of all violations within 20 days, the animal control authority shall issue a notice of disposition and may destroy the confiscated dangerous dog if no appeal is filed within 10 days after delivery of the notice to the owner.

2. If the owner has violated subsections (A)(6) through (8) of this section, the dog will be impounded for a period of 10 days and the owner shall pay all costs of confinement before the animal can be redeemed. If the costs have not been paid and the dog has not been redeemed by the owner within 20 days of the effective delivery of the notice to the owner, the animal control authority shall issue a notice of disposition and shall destroy the dog in an expeditious and humane manner if no appeal of the notice is filed within 20 days after effective delivery of the notice to the owner.

3. No dog shall be returned to its owner until all the requirements of this subsection have been met.

D. If a dog that has been declared dangerous under this chapter or a similar ordinance enacted by another local jurisdiction or state law attacks or bites a person or another domestic animal, the dog shall be immediately confiscated by the animal control authority and placed into quarantine for 10 days. The animal control officer shall issue a notice of disposition and shall thereafter destroy the dog in an expeditious and humane manner if no appeal of the notice is filed within 20 days after delivery of the notice to the owner. The animal control authority may destroy a dangerous dog prior to the resolution of an accompanying criminal case involving the defendant where the procedures of this chapter have been followed.

E. A dog that aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of any human, whether or not the dog has previously been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous, shall be immediately confiscated by the animal control authority, placed into quarantine for 10 days and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner after the time for filing an appeal of the notice of disposition has lapsed. The animal control authority may destroy a dangerous dog prior to the resolution of an accompanying criminal case involving the defendant where the procedures of this chapter have been followed.

F. The dog of an owner who is convicted of a Class C felony in violation of RCW 16.08.100(2) or (3) based upon that dog’s behavior shall be immediately confiscated by the animal control authority, placed into quarantine for 10 days and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.

G. An owner may appeal a notice of disposition of the animal control authority directing the disposition of an animal by filing a notice of appeal following the procedures set out in SJCC 6.08.093 with the San Juan County district court within 10 days after the date of delivery of the authority’s notice of disposition. A notice of disposition that is based upon the conviction of the animal’s owner under RCW 16.08.100(2) or (3) may not be appealed under this chapter.

H. The notice of disposition and other notices in this section shall be in writing and shall be effective upon delivery to the owner of the dog by one of the following methods:

1. By mailing a copy of the applicable notice or order by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the person at the person’s last known address; or

2. Personal service; or

3. By posting the notice of violation and order on the front door of the living unit of the owner or person with right to control the animal if the owner or person is not home.

I. Proof of service of the notice shall be made at the time of service by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting service, declaring the time, date and manner in which service was made. (Ord. 12-2009 § 7; Ord. 22-2008 § 14; Ord. 3-2003 § 16)

6.08.097 All dogs – Severe injury or death.

Repealed by Ord. 12-2009. (Ord. 3-2003 § 17)

6.08.098 Control of rabid or potentially rabid animals.

A. A domestic animal of a species which may transmit disease through its bite, which bites and breaks the skin of any person, shall be quarantined for a 10-day period to determine if the animal is infected with a disease. The place of quarantine shall be established by the animal control authority, and the animal control authority may, in its discretion, allow the owner of the animal to maintain the quarantine.

B. Quarantine Procedure.

1. Any animal that has bitten a human and broken the skin, regardless of provocation or previous inoculation for diseases, shall be confined for a period of not less than 10 days, in such a manner that it is segregated from any other animals and the possibility of coming into contact with other animals and humans, except for the caretaker, is minimized.

2. If the owner is unable or unwilling to confine the animal, or if the animal control authority determines from the prior history of the animal that confinement is not likely, the animal may be quarantined at an animal shelter or a veterinarian and/or boarding kennel of the owner’s choice; provided, that the costs to board the animal shall be borne by the owner.

3. Should the animal manifest any unusual behavior or develop symptoms of illness or die during the observation period, the owner or veterinarian shall immediately notify the animal control authority or the health department of that condition.

C. In all cases where any animal which has bitten a person or caused an abrasion or puncture of the skin, is slain by any person or dies by any other means, and a period of 10 days has not elapsed since the day of the bite, it shall be the duty of any person slaying such animal or the owner to notify the San Juan County sheriff prior to disposal of the carcass. (Ord. 22-2008 § 15; Ord. 3-2003 § 18)

6.08.100 Dogs injuring or domestic animals.

A. Pursuant to RCW 16.08.020, it is lawful for the owner or caretaker of any domestic animal to kill any dog such person sees chasing, biting, injuring or killing such person’s domestic animal; provided, that the dog is killed on property owned, leased or under the control of the owner or caretaker of the victim animal.

B. It is the duty of the owner of any dog seen chasing, biting or injuring any domestic animal, upon being notified of that fact by the owner or caretaker of such domestic animal, to thereafter keep such dog on a leash or confined upon the premises of the dog’s owner.

C. After notification to an owner, as provided in subsection (B) of this section, the owner of any such domestic animal that has been chased, bitten or injured may kill such dog found at large while such dog is on any real property owned by or under the control of the owner or caretaker of the victim animal. (Ord. 22-2008 § 16; Ord. 19-2006 § 5; Ord. 3-2003 § 21; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.040)

6.08.110 Dogs injuring or killing domestic animals – Damages.

A. The owner of a dog is liable to the owner of any animal killed or injured by such dog for the amount of damages sustained and costs of collection, to be recovered in a civil action (RCW 16.08.010); provided, that in case the owner of such dog or dogs is unknown or the damages cannot be collected, the person suffering damages may present a claim for such damages to the judge of the district court within 30 days after any such animal or animals are killed or injured and make an affidavit, under oath, stating:

1. The number of animals killed or injured;

2. The information needed to determine the damages allowed under the current damage schedule including a statement of actual expenses incurred as a result of the injury or death;

3. A description of the dog or dogs;

4. The name of the owner of the dog or dogs, if known; or

5. If the owner of such dog or dogs is unknown, the fact that the claimant does not know the identity or address of the owner; and

6. The circumstances under which the animals were killed or injured.

B. The claim, affidavit and verification shall be reviewed by the judge of the district court to ensure that the claimant has fully complied with the procedures set forth in this section. The owner of the dog shall have the ability to submit a response to the claimant. If the court finds that the claimant has presented sufficient credible facts to establish a claim for damages, the court shall issue and file with the County auditor an order certifying the amount of damages sustained. The damages allowed shall be based upon the current damage schedule. The damages awarded shall not exceed the damages provided by the current damage schedule.

C. Upon filing with the County auditor the certificate of the district court judge fixing the damages as above provided, the auditor shall pay to the claimant out of the livestock account for the amount of damages certified by the district court judge; provided, that the claims shall be paid pursuant to this section only to the extent that there are sufficient funds in the livestock account. Claims certified under this section at a time when there are not sufficient funds shall be held by the auditor until the livestock account is sufficient to compensate claimants whose claims shall be paid in the order received.

D. The County council desires to provide compensation to persons whose animal is damaged or killed by dogs at the price of the actual expenses incurred but not more than the amount specified in the following schedule:

Dog Control Law
Damage Schedule 

Animal

 

Value

Sheep

 

 

 

Ram

$500.00

 

Ewe

$1,000.00

 

Lamb

$250.00

 

Ewe, dairy

$600.00

Goat

 

 

 

Buck

$400.00

 

Doe

$350.00

 

Kid

$150.00

 

Doe, dairy

$300.00

Bovine

 

 

 

Bull

$1,000.00

 

Beef cow

$1,000.00

 

Calf

$300.00

 

Cow, dairy

$1,000.00

Swine

 

 

 

Boar

$1,000.00

 

Sow

$750.00

 

Piglet

$100.00

Poultry/
Fowl

 

 

 

Chicken

$15.00

 

Duck

$20.00

 

Goose

$35.00

 

Turkey

$25.00

 

Peacock

$70.00

 

Juvenile/Immature

one half of value

Rabbit

 

 

 

Buck

$25.00

 

Doe

$20.00

 

Kid

$10.00

Horse

 

 

 

Stud

$1,000.00

 

Gelding

$1,000.00

 

Mare

$1,000.00

 

Colt

$700.00

Alpaca

 

 

 

Stud

$1,000.00

 

Gelding

$1,000.00

 

Mare

$1,000.00

 

Colt

$700.00

Llama

 

 

 

Stud

$1,000.00

 

Gelding

$1,000.00

 

Mare

$1,000.00

 

Colt

$400.00

Dog

 

 

 

Any breed

$500.00

Cat

 

 

 

Any breed

$250.00

(Ord. 6-2017 § 2; Ord. 22-2008 § 17; Ord. 19-2006 § 6; Ord. 3-2003 § 22; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985)

6.08.113 Impound and redemption of animals.

A. In addition to the provisions of state law and the San Juan County Code pertaining to potentially dangerous dogs and dangerous dogs, any dog or other animal may be impounded and taken into the care and custody of the animal control authority in the following situations:

1. When a dog is off the premises of its owner and not under the immediate control of its owner or other authorized person;

2. When an animal, required by law to be licensed, does not carry a current license tag;

3. When an animal is brought to the animal shelter or appropriate agency by a private citizen who has found the animal;

4. When the animal has been deemed abandoned pursuant to RCW 16.54.010;

5. When a dog has been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous pursuant to this chapter and/or state law, and the dog is at large, or otherwise is in violation of the restrictions placed upon it;

6. When any animal has been subjected to cruel treatment as defined by RCW 16.52.205 or 16.52.207 or by this chapter, and removal is necessary for the immediate safety and well-being of the animal;

7. When the animal’s owner is incapable or unable to continue to care for it;

8. When an animal has bitten a person, breaking or puncturing the skin, and the owner is unable, incapable or unwilling to provide the 10-day quarantine requirements. If such an animal is found at large, the owner will be deemed unable to provide quarantine and said animal may be impounded.

B. Except as provided in subsection (C) of this section, any impounded animal may be redeemed by its owner upon identification of the owner and payment of licensing fees and payment of the reasonable costs of impoundment and care to the person, agency or business holding the dog.

C. An animal impounded upon reasonable suspicion of having chased, bitten or killed a person or domestic animal may not be redeemed by the owner until after the animal control authority has been notified and given 48 hours to determine whether to declare the dog a potentially dangerous dog as provided in SJCC 6.08.091 or to provide other notices that the dog was seen chasing, biting or killing a person or domestic animal. (Ord. 22-2008 § 18; Ord. 19-2006 § 7; Ord. 3-2003 § 19)

6.08.117 Disposition of unclaimed animals.

Any animal which has been impounded and not redeemed by its owner after seven days’ notice, except any animal impounded upon reasonable suspicion of having chased, bitten or killed domestic animals or any person and which the animal control authority has pending a declaration that such dog is a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog, may, in the discretion of the animal control authority, be humanely destroyed, or sold, or placed for adoption with a new owner, unless the impounded animal is suffering from serious injury, illness or disease that would endanger the other sheltered pets or cause the animal to endure unnecessary pain and suffering if left untreated, or if any impounded animal is feral or wild and thereby human care and confinement is not possible or poses a threat to caretakers, the animal may be humanely destroyed before the expiration of the required holding period. (Ord. 19-2006 § 8; Ord. 3-2003 § 20)

6.08.120 Violation – Penalty.

A. Unless otherwise indicated, every violation of this chapter is a civil infraction. Where an offense is a civil infraction and criminal offense, the sheriff or prosecuting attorney has discretion to determine the appropriate penalty to charge.

B. Any person found to have committed an infraction shall be assessed the following monetary penalty:

1. First offense: $100.00;

2. Second offense: $200.00;

3. Third or subsequent offense: $500.00.

C. Restitution for a criminal offense may include reimbursement of funds paid from the livestock account on account of the actions of the offending dog.

D. For every civil and criminal offense found to have been committed under this chapter, the court shall require restitution for the actual expense paid out of the livestock reimbursement fund for injuries caused by the offending dog.

E. For every civil and criminal penalty, the courts shall order that $100.00 of such penalty shall be directed to be paid by the court clerk to the livestock reimbursement fund. (Ord. 6-2017 § 3; Ord. 19-2006 § 9; Ord. 3-2003 § 23; Ord. 14-1994; Res. 163-1985. Formerly 6.08.090, 6.08.100)

6.08.130 Signs.

The San Juan County public works department shall install and maintain appropriate signs with the following notice:

All dogs at large are subject to impound. Dogs seen chasing or injuring livestock may be shot by property owner. Chapter 6.08 SJCC.

(Ord. 19-2006 § 10)