Chapter 7.04
PET ANIMALS

Sections:

7.04.010    Purpose.

7.04.020    Definitions—Principles of liability.

7.04.030    Licensing.

7.04.040    Fees—Penalty.

7.04.050    Term.

7.04.060    Tags required.

7.04.070    Removal of tags.

7.04.080    Effect of change of ownership on license—Lost license.

7.04.090    Number of dogs allowed.

7.04.100    Impounding dogs—Procedure and authority.

7.04.110    Impounded dog boarding fee.

7.04.120    Redemption procedure.

7.04.130    Appeal procedure.

7.04.150    Injured and diseased pet animals—Destruction—Immunity from liability.

7.04.160    Nuisance.

7.04.170    Dogs at large prohibited.

7.04.180    Dogs prohibited in city parks—Exemptions.

7.04.190    Diseased animals.

7.04.200    Pet animals—Taking and/or concealing—Penalty.

7.04.210    Obstructing a law enforcement officer.

7.04.220    Violation—Penalties.

7.04.010 Purpose.

It is the policy of the city of Shelton to secure and maintain a level of animal control sufficient to protect human health and safety, and to the greatest degree practicable, prevent injury to property. To this end, it is the purpose of this chapter to provide a means of licensing dogs, and controlling errant animal behavior and to avoid public nuisance. Nothing in this chapter shall limit or regulate any dog or other animal used by law enforcement performing official duties. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.020 Definitions—Principles of liability.

A.    Principles of liability as defined in Chapter 9A.08 RCW apply to this chapter.

B.    The following definitions apply throughout this chapter:

1.    “Animal control officer” means any individual employed, contracted, or appointed by the city of Shelton to aid in the enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating the care and control of animals.

2.    “Chief of police” means the chief of police of the city of Shelton, Washington, police department.

3.    “Owner” means any person who has a right, claim, title, legal share, or right of possession to an animal or a person having lawful control, custody, or possession of an animal.

4.    “Pet animal” means a tamed or domesticated animal legally retained by a person and kept as a companion. “Pet animal” does not include livestock raised for commercial purposes. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.030 Licensing.

All dogs kept in the city of Shelton over six months of age shall be licensed and registered annually. Before a license is issued by the city, the owner must show proof that the animal has a valid rabies vaccination. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.040 Fees—Penalty.

Licenses shall be issued by the city of Shelton upon application and payment of an annual license fee to the city of Shelton. The annual license fee is due and payable on January 1st of each year. The license fee will not be reduced, regardless of the date on which the application is submitted, except in the case of a lost or transferred license. Dog license fees shall be set by resolution. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.050 Term.

Licenses shall expire on the thirty-first day of December of each year. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.060 Tags required.

It shall be the duty of the owner to see that the license tag is attached to a suitable collar and kept on the dog. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.070 Removal of tags.

It is unlawful for any person to remove the license tag from any dog, except where there is a lawful change of ownership or for the purpose of renewing the license tag. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.080 Effect of change of ownership on license—Lost license.

A.    It is unlawful for any owner to use any license tag for any dog other than the one for which it has been issued.

B.    In case of a transfer of ownership of a licensed dog, the new owner shall apply for a transfer and there will be a nominal transfer fee set by resolution.

C.    In case of a lost license, the owner shall apply for a replacement license and there will be a nominal replacement fee set by resolution. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.090 Number of dogs allowed.

No more than three dogs over the age of six months may be owned, maintained, kept or trained at any one residence, except in a licensed kennel which must be sited in accordance with all applicable Shelton Municipal Code zoning provisions. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.100 Impounding dogs—Procedure and authority.

The city will maintain a suitable pound for dogs and will ensure that all dogs kept in that facility are adequately fed and treated in a humane manner. The city may seize and impound any dog deemed a nuisance.

A.    A dog may be seized and impounded by the city upon written or oral complaint of any person who has actually witnessed the dog behaving in a manner which constitutes a nuisance as defined by this chapter.

B.    The impounding officer shall, upon the impound of any dog, make a complete registry, entering the breed, color and sex of such dog and whether licensed, and the time and place of impound. If licensed, the officer shall also enter the name and address of the owner and the license number from the license tag.

C.    The dog’s known or reputed owner will be notified of such impound, the procedure to redeem the dog, and the appeal process as soon as is practicable. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.110 Impounded dog boarding fee.

If any dog is held in impound for more than forty-eight hours, the owner will be charged a boarding fee for each additional day that the dog is in impound. Such fee will be set by resolution and will be assessed as of ten a.m. of each day, beginning on the third day after the dog’s impound. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.120 Redemption procedure.

A.    In-City Residents.

1.    Redemption. Residents of the city of Shelton whose dog has been impounded under this chapter may redeem it within three business days from the date of impound by paying to the city of Shelton the impound fee, applicable boarding fees and any unpaid dog licensing fee. Calculation of the redemption period shall begin on the first business day following the dog’s impound.

2.    Notice. If the impounded dog has a license tag or other identification reflecting ownership, the city will make a reasonable effort to notify the apparent owner.

3.    Adoption. If the dog is not redeemed by the owner within three business days, any other person may adopt the dog by paying the fee set by resolution; provided, that the dog’s owner has not petitioned the chief of police for the dog’s release. The adoption fee shall include a spay or neuter of the dog to be arranged by and paid for by the city of Shelton before the adoption is considered final.

4.    Disposition or Destruction. Within the discretion of the city, if the dog is not redeemed four business days from the date of impound, and no petition has been made, the dog may be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of.

B.    Out-of-City Residents.

1.    Redemption. Nonresidents of the city of Shelton whose dog has been impounded under this chapter may redeem it within three business days from the date of impound by paying to the city of Shelton the impound fee and applicable boarding fees. Calculation of the redemption period shall begin on the first business day following the dog’s impound.

2.    Notice. If the impounded dog has a license tag or other identification reflecting ownership, the city will make a reasonable effort to notify the apparent owner.

3.    Adoption. If the dog is not redeemed by the owner within three business days, any other person may adopt the dog by paying a fee set by resolution; provided, that the dog’s owner has not petitioned the chief of police for the dog’s release. The adoption fee shall include a spay or neuter of the dog to be arranged by and paid for by the city of Shelton before the adoption is considered final.

4.    Disposition or Destruction. Within the discretion of the city, if the dog is not redeemed or adopted four business days from the date of impound, and no petition has been made, the dog may be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.130 Appeal procedure.

Within three business days of the date of impound, an owner may seek administrative review to prevent the animal’s destruction or adoption by providing a written petition to the chief of police. The chief of police may impose conditions in order to return the animal or deny the request and allow the animal to be adopted, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of. The chief of police will respond to any such petition within ten business days of receiving such request. The city shall not allow adoption, disposal, or destruction of the animal once a request has been made until such time as the chief of police has answered the petition and instructed the animal control officer in what manner the officer is to proceed. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.150 Injured and diseased pet animals—Destruction—Immunity from liability.

A.    Any pet animal that has been seriously injured and would otherwise continue to suffer may be destroyed by an animal control officer. Likewise, any pet animal that is obviously diseased and is a likely threat to the health and safety of humans and/or other animals may be impounded and destroyed by an animal control officer. Such actions shall be undertaken with reasonable prudence and, whenever possible, in consultation with a licensed veterinarian and the owner of the pet animal.

B.    Animal control officers and licensed veterinarians shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for actions taken under this chapter if reasonable prudence is exercised in carrying out the provisions of this section. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.160 Nuisance.

It is unlawful for any owner or custodian of a dog to allow the dog to become a nuisance within the city of Shelton. For the purposes of this chapter, “nuisance” is defined as follows:

A.    Any dog not licensed as provided for by this chapter;

B.    Any dog running at large in violation of the provisions of this chapter;

C.     Any dog which by frequent or habitual howling, yelping or barking disturbs the peace and quiet of persons in the neighborhood;

D.     Any dog which causes damage to any property other than that of its owner. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.170 Dogs at large prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to allow any dog owned, or kept by him/her in the city of Shelton, to stray beyond the owner or custodian’s premises. Any time a dog is outside of the owner or custodian’s premises, the dog shall be controlled by a leash or chain not exceeding eight feet in length that is joined to the owner or a duly authorized and competent person; provided, however, that such restraint is not required for any dog when safely and securely confined or controlled in or upon a vehicle. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.180 Dogs prohibited in city parks—Exemptions.

No owner or custodian of a dog shall allow the dog to enter any city of Shelton park, whether the dog is on a leash or unleashed. Medically necessary and law enforcement dogs are exempt from this provision. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.190 Diseased animals.

Any owner or custodian of a diseased animal, who allows the animal to roam beyond the owner or custodian’s property, or who sells or gifts such animal knowing it to be diseased without first apprising the purchaser or person taking the animal of the existence of such disease, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.200 Pet animals—Taking and/or concealing—Penalty.

Any person who, with intent to deprive or defraud the owner thereof, takes, leads away, confines, secretes or converts any pet animal, or conceals the identity of any pet animal or the identity of such animal’s owner by obscuring or removing from the animal any collar, tag, license, tattoo or other means of identification shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.210 Obstructing a law enforcement officer.

RCW 9A.76.020, Obstructing a law enforcement officer, as now enacted or hereafter amended is adopted herein by reference. Obstructing a law enforcement officer is a gross misdemeanor. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)

7.04.220 Violation—Penalties.

Unless otherwise set forth in this chapter, a violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a civil infraction. The first notice of violation shall be one hundred dollars and two hundred fifty dollars for each successive violation in any calendar year. (Ord. 1601-0903 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1589-0403 § 1 (part), 2003)