(A)   All animals shall be kept and treated under sanitary and humane conditions, and it shall be unlawful for any owner to engage in one or more of the following acts:
      (1)   Failing to provide adequate feed, water, and shelter for an animal;
      (2)   Confining an animal in a storage room, shed, or other building without proper ventilation and access to natural light;
      (3)   Failing to keep an animal under sanitary and humane conditions that promote the animal's health and general welfare and which maintain a condition of good order and cleanliness that reduces the possibility of the transmission of disease;
      (4)   Failing or refusing to provide adequate medical attention for any sick, diseased, or injured animal;
      (5)   Poisoning or exposing a domestic animal to any known poisonous substance or mixing a poisonous substance with food so that it will likely be eaten by a domestic animal. This prohibition does not include attempts or acts of persons to lawfully rid their own property of mice or rats or other vermin, nor does it include other acts permitted by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission;
      (6)   Allowing a collar, rope, or chain to become embedded in or cause injury to an animal's neck, or allowing a choke or pinch collar to be used as a primary collar on an unsupervised animal;
      (7)   Allowing an animal to be chained or tethered such that the animal is not confined to the owner's property or such that the chain or tether can become entangled and prevent the animal from moving about freely, lying down comfortably, or having access to adequate food, water, and shelter; and
      (8)   Placing or confining an animal or allowing an animal to be placed or confined in a motor vehicle under such conditions or for such a period of time as to endanger the health or well-being of such animal due to temperature, lack of food or drink, or such other conditions as may reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death.
   (B)   Subject to the following divisions that contain limitations and clarifications of the general prohibition found in this subsection, the tethering of one or more dogs as a method of keeping the dog(s) on the owner's or owners' property is unlawful:
      (1)   The owner(s) may tether a dog or dogs for a reasonable period of time to allow for waste elimination;
      (2)   The owner(s) may tether a dog or dogs on a runner for a reasonable period of time to allow the dog(s) to exercise;
      (3)   The owner(s) may tether a dog or dogs during an emergency situation when such a situation is found by the animal control unit to have been caused by unique circumstances triggering an isolated occurrence as opposed to a repeat occurrence that provides evidence of a pattern of non-compliance with the city's anti-tethering regulations; and
      (4)   Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter and without exception, the tethering of a dog on a 24-hour a day basis is unlawful. For the sole and limited purpose of evaluating the validity of the assessment of a civil penalty pursuant to the provisions found in this chapter, the observation by an animal control officer of a tethered dog or dogs on the same property during the same approximate time of day (a variation in the time of day of no more than one hour shall be regarded as the same approximate time of day, e.g. observing a dog at 10:30 a.m. on one day and at 11:15 a.m. on the next day is considered to be the same approximate time of day) on consecutive calendar days shall be prima facie evidence that the observed dog(s) have been unlawfully tethered for 24 hours.
   (C)   Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the following activities:
      (1)   The humane transportation of horses, cattle, sheep, poultry, or other livestock in trailers or other vehicles designed, constructed, and adequate for the size and number of animals being transported;
      (2)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Animal Control Unit, law enforcement officers, employees of the Randolph County Health Department, or veterinarians from euthanizing dangerous, unwanted, injured, or diseased animals in a humane manner; and
      (3)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit slaughterhouses or medical facilities from the proper, humane, and lawful carrying out of their activities or duties.
   (D)   The Animal Control Unit shall have the authority to conduct inspections of pet shops, kennels, dealers, or breeders, to the extent not preempted by state law, in order to determine if there is any abuse of animals. It shall be unlawful for any owner or employee of any pet shop or kennel or any dealers or breeders to violate this section.
   (E)   A violation of this section is punishable as a misdemeanor.
(Ord. 02 ORD 1-15, passed 1-8-15; Am. Ord. 05 ORD 3-16, passed 3-10-16)