Chapter 7.01


7.01.010    Purpose.

7.01.020    Definitions.

7.01.030    Administration.

7.01.040    Authorized agents.

7.01.050    Animal shelter.

7.01.060    Enforcement.

7.01.070    Disclaimer of liability.

7.01.080    Exemption.

7.01.100    Severability.

7.01.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this Title to encourage, secure and enforce those animal control measures deemed desirable and necessary for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the residents and animals of Skagit County, to minimize the exposure of citizens to the harmful nuisance, physiological, and psychological effects of excessive noise, and to prevent injury to property and cruelty to animals. To this end, this Title regulates animal behavior and provides standards for the use, care, management, and treatment of animals. (Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.020 Definitions.

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

(1) Repealed by Ord. O20140001.

(2) “Animal Control Authority” means the Skagit County Sheriff or designee, acting alone or in concert with other local governmental units for enforcement of the animal control laws of Skagit County and the shelter and welfare of animals.

(3) “Animal Control Officer” means any individual employed, contracted with, or appointed by the Skagit County Sheriff or the Animal Control Authority for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of this Title 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 cover the seizure and impoundment of any animal.

(4) “Board” means the Board of Commissioners of Skagit County.

(5) Repealed by Ord. O20140001.

(6) “Livestock” means horses, mules, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, poultry, excluding fighting cocks, rabbits and similar farm animals kept for lawful use or profit.

(7) “Owner” means any person, firm, corporation, organization, or department possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in, right of possession to, or having control or custody of an animal.

(8) “Person” means any individual, partnership, firm, joint stock company, corporation, association, trust, estate or other legal entity.

(9) “Public disturbance” means sources of sound when they unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort and repose of property owners or possessors. (Ord. O20140001 § 2 (Att. 1)(part); Ord. O20120007 § 1 (Att. A) (part); Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.030 Administration.

(1) The Sheriff is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this Title as to:

(a) Selection, training, hiring and retention of qualified Animal Control Officers who shall enforce the provisions of this Title; and

(b) Investigation of complaints pertaining to animal misconduct occurring in the unincorporated areas of Skagit County; and

(c) Issuing a final determination that a dog is potentially dangerous or dangerous.

(2) The County may contract with another entity to serve as an Animal Control Authority to enforce all other provisions of this Title. Upon such designation, the Director of the Animal Control Authority and its personnel are authorized to take such lawful action as may be required to enforce the provisions of this Title as they pertain to animal cruelty, shelter, welfare and control. The scope of such designation shall be set forth in a separate resolution. Such designation is revocable at the will of the Board. (Ord. O20120007 § 1 (Att. A) (part): Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.040 Authorized agents.

The Sheriff may issue limited commissions to persons assigned to the Sheriff’s Office or to employees of an entity designated by the Board as the Animal Control Authority to perform the duties of an Animal Control Authority. The scope of such duties must be set forth in the limited commission. (Ord. O20120007 § 1 (Att. A) (part): Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.050 Animal shelter.

The Board may provide through contract for a facility to detain animals, the handling of animals that are injured or ill, contagious with infectious diseases, or in need of humane disposal. No animal, dead or alive, that is held at a County-funded shelter shall be used, sold, loaned, or given away for medical or research purposes. (Ord. O20120007 § 1 (Att. A) (part): Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.060 Enforcement.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to willfully prevent, hinder, or obstruct an Animal Control Officer from enforcing any provisions of this Title. It is also unlawful to remove any animal from the animal shelter without the authority of the Animal Control Authority or without the payment of all lawful charges against such animal. Any violation of this Subsection shall be a misdemeanor.

(2) Civil infractions under this Title shall be enforced pursuant to RCW Chapter 7.80 and the court rules. (Ord. O20120007 § 1 (Att. A) (part): Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.070 Disclaimer of liability.

Nothing in this Title is intended nor shall be construed as to create or form the basis for any liability on the part of the County or its officers, employees, or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of any person to comply with the provisions of this Title or by reason or in consequence of any omission on the part of the County, its officers, employees, or agents. (Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.080 Exemption.

Animals owned by a government agency and used to assist in law enforcement are exempt from the provisions of this Title. (Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))

7.01.100 Severability.

The provisions of this Title shall be cumulative and nonexclusive, and shall not affect any other claim, cause of action or remedy; nor, unless specifically provided, shall this Chapter be deemed to repeal, amend or modify any law, ordinance or regulation relating to noise, but shall be deemed additional to existing legislation and common law on noise. If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Title or the application thereof to any person or circumstance shall for any reason be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this Title. (Ord. O20060002 (part): Ord. R20020080 (part))