Chapter 6.28


6.28.010    Animals at large.

6.28.020    Setting at large prohibited.

6.28.030    Notice of impounding – Procedures.

6.28.040    Redemption of impounded animals.

6.28.050    Unclaimed animals – Disposition.

6.28.060    Identacode dogs – Disposition.

6.28.070    Destruction of animals.

6.28.080    Horses prohibited.

6.28.090    Interference with officers – Failure to redeem – Fraud.

6.28.100    Duties upon injury or death of an animal.

6.28.110    Penalty.

Prior legislation: Ords. 231, 408 and 467.

6.28.010 Animals at large.

It is unlawful for the owner of any animal to allow, suffer or permit an animal to be at large within the city. Any animal at large within the city is a nuisance. Any animal which is at large within the city, off the premises of the animal’s owner and not under control of some person, or which is otherwise in violation of this title and is subject to impound, may be impounded by the animal control person. Except as provided in WRMC 6.24.010, no licensed animal shall be impounded if it is on the owner’s property and is not at large. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 12, 2005; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].

6.28.020 Setting at large prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person, except the owner or his duly authorized agent, to willfully open any door or gate on any private premises or unleash any animal for the purpose of enticing or enabling any animal to leave such private premises. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].

6.28.030 Notice of impounding – Procedures.

Upon seizing and impounding any animal, the animal control person shall give notice of such impounding in substantially the following manner:

A. If the animal is licensed and wearing a license tag, or if the identity of the owner is known to the animal control person, or responding officer, then, as soon as reasonably practicable after the animal is impounded, the animal control person or responding officer shall notify the owner by telephone or by leaving a notice at the owner’s residence or otherwise that the animal has been impounded and may be redeemed as provided in this title.

B. Proper notice is deemed to have been given if in person or by phone contact is made to the owner of the animal, written notice posted on the owner’s residence at the primary entrance or written notice by first class mail has been delivered to the owner. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].

6.28.040 Redemption of impounded animals.

Any impounded animal may be redeemed by the owner or authorized representative of the owner during regular animal control officer business hours, by completion of the following requirements:

A. Payment to the city of an impounding fee, daily boarding/care fees and veterinary costs. With the exception of the veterinary care which will be billed at actual costs, all fee(s) will be established by the city council. Boarding fees shall be assessed for each calendar day or portion of a calendar day after the initial impound.

B. Obtain proper animal license which shall require proper verification of rabies vaccination.

C. If the animal is declared dangerous or potentially dangerous the owner must comply with WRMC 6.24.030.

If the animal has no valid license tag and one is required, the owner shall obtain a license tag for the current year, or a duplicate tag in accordance with the provisions of this title before the animal will be released. The license tag is required to be worn by the dog when off the owner’s property. If the animal has been declared wild, potentially dangerous or dangerous, the owner shall obtain a permit in accordance with WRMC 6.24.030 before the animal will be released. If the animal is unlicensed, proof of a current rabies vaccination must be produced. Upon receiving all fees due, the city shall execute a receipt in duplicate. The original shall be delivered to the person redeeming the animal and a copy, upon which such person shall acknowledge delivery of the animal, shall be retained by the city. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 13, 2005; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].

6.28.050 Unclaimed animals – Disposition.

If an impounded animal is not claimed and redeemed within 72 hours, then, at the discretion of the animal control officer, such animal may be adopted out or humanely destroyed. The following options may be exercised in determining a disposition of an animal not deemed to be dangerous or potentially dangerous:

A. The animal control officer, or designee, may elect to house impounded animals with qualified “foster volunteers” for reasonable periods of time. This option should be used to improve the likelihood of finding a permanent home for the animal or locate the actual owner.

B. Animals unclaimed after a period of 72 hours may be adopted by qualified adult applicants. Fees for adoption will be set by city council and reviewed on a periodic basis.

C. The chief of police may waive fees and charges associated with the impound, housing, care and/or adoption of an animal if in the chief’s opinion this decision is in the best interests of the animal and city of West Richland. Specific criteria for the waiver of fees will be established in policy and approved by the mayor/city administrator. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 14, 2005; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].

6.28.060 Identacode dogs – Disposition.

If an impounded dog bearing an identacode number is not claimed or redeemed within 72 hours then the animal will be processed in accordance with WRMC 6.28.050. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 15, 2005; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].

6.28.070 Destruction of animals.

A. Any animal which is not redeemed by the owner and not adopted out by the animal control officer or pound master may be humanely destroyed and properly disposed of by the animal control officer or pound master. The destruction of all animals shall be done in a humane manner.

B. In the event of an emergency endangering the health or safety of any person where seizure and impoundment of the animal are deemed inadvisable or impractical, or for humane considerations, the animal control officer or responding police officer at his/her discretion may summarily destroy the animal involved. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 16, 2005; Ord. 6-87 § 1, 1987].

6.28.080 Horses prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to ride or lead, or cause to be ridden or led, a horse, mule, pony or similar riding animal on any planting strip or developed public park within the city limits. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 38-95 § 1, 1995; Ord. 36-95 § 2, 1995].

6.28.090 Interference with officers – Failure to redeem – Fraud.

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 pound master and return it to a former owner without first paying all impound fees. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 17, 2005].

6.28.100 Duties upon injury or death of an 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 an animal to report the same immediately to the police division by telephone or in person within 24 hours of such accident, giving the relevant information concerning the accident. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 18, 2005].

6.28.110 Penalty.

A. Any violation of WRMC 6.28.090 shall be a gross misdemeanor which upon conviction shall be punishable by a fine not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 365 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

B. With the exception of WRMC 6.28.090, the violation of any other provision of this chapter shall be a civil infraction. Unless matters in aggravation warrant a greater civil penalty, each violation shall be subject to a minimum penalty in the amount listed plus any court costs assessed by the Benton County district court.

1. First violation within one year: $75.00.

2. Second or more violations within one year: $150.00.

C. 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. [Ord. 45-13 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 22-05 § 19, 2005].