Chapter 6.04


6.04.010    Definitions.

Prior legislation: Ords. 231, 408 and 467.

6.04.010 Definitions.

A. As used in this title, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following words or phrases shall have the following meanings:

“Adoption” means the permanent transfer of ownership of an animal from the city of West Richland to an individual adult owner who has met adoption criteria established by the West Richland police department.

“Animal” includes but is not limited to dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and peacocks.

“Animal control person” means and includes the chief of police of the city of West Richland, and any police officer or agent or agency designated by 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 a 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 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 owner’s premises.

“Bite” includes any mouth to human or animal contact whether causing injury or not. “Bite” shall also include any action wherein the potential for saliva transfer may occur, to include scratch or scrape.

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

“City animal shelter” means an animal shelter designated by the city to receive and hold impounded animals.

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

“Competent person” means any person who, by reason of age and physical ability and/or training, is capable of maintaining control of a dog to the extent required by this title.

“Dangerous animal” means any animal that:

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

2. Has killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s property;

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

“Dangerous/potentially dangerous animal enclosure” means a structure generally permanent in construction consisting of four sides, enclosed roof and solid floor. The sides and roof must be constructed of a solid or wire material with openings no larger than two inches. Height shall be five or more feet. Sufficient transparency or visibility for the animal to view outside the enclosure and receive natural sunlight and fresh air is required. The intent is to prevent a condition which would be similar to solitary confinement. The enclosure shall be fitted with an appropriately sized gate for human access which is securable by lock, but which remains secure absent a lock. The gate, sides or roof shall not have such flex that the animal could escape or become injured. The size of the enclosure shall be sufficiently sized to allow the animal space for exercise, waste area and placement of shelter, water, food and space to lie down. For dogs up to 65 pounds, eight by 10 feet; 66 to 90 pounds, 10 by 10 feet; and greater than 90 pounds, as determined by the animal control officer. Other dangerous/potentially dangerous animal enclosures are subject to approval of the chief of police. For the purposes of this definition, a dwelling structure or storage building or garage does not meet the definition for an approved dangerous/potentially dangerous animal enclosure.

“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.

“Foster volunteer” means an approved individual or group who temporarily provides care to animals impounded by the West Richland animal control officer or police officer.

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

“Identacode” means a national identification number for dogs only.

“Injury” means any physical harm caused to a person or animal which does not amount to “severe injury.” Injury includes scrapes, minor cuts, abrasions, contusions, temporary disfigurement or slight loss of or impairment of function of a body part.

“Large domestic animals” means any emu, ostrich, swine, hogs, minks, horses, sheep, goats, llamas, ponies, oxen, or other hoofed animals.

“Owner” means any person, group of persons, firm, association or corporation owning, possessing, keeping, harboring or having control or custody of dog, cat or other animal.

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

“Potentially dangerous animal” means any animal that, when unprovoked:

1. Inflicts bites on a human or domestic animal, either on public or private property;

2. Chases or approaches a person upon the street, sidewalk or any public ground in a menacing or apparent attitude of attack;

3. Has a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.

“Pound master” refers to any person employed by, or under contract with, the city to care for and dispose of strays or other animals confined under city ordinance.

“Proper enclosure” means secured confinement indoors or in a 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 structure must have secure sides and a secure top, and shall also provide protection from the elements for the animal.

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

“Small domestic animals” means any dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, geese, pigeons, chickens, or other similar animals over the age of six months.

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

“Wild animals” means any:

1. Wild cat, including lion, tiger, cougar, mountain lion, lynx or bobcat;

2. Bear;

3. Wolf, coyote, fox or its hybrid, except for domestic dogs;

4. Venomous reptile or amphibian;

5. Reticulated python, Burmese python or any other snake which may reach 10 feet or more in length;

6. Alligator, crocodile or caiman;

7. Any other animal which is capable of killing or seriously injuring a human being.

B. All other words and phrases used in this title will have their commonly accepted meanings.

C. Whenever a type or breed of animal is described in this chapter, it includes any hybrid, cross breed or mixed breed of such animal to any degree that the type or breed can be identified by either the animal’s appearance, behavior or pedigree. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 2, 2005; Ord. 17-03 § 1, 2003; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].