(a) Determination of by city. A city or other law enforcement official shall determine that an animal is a if the officer believes, based upon the officer’s professional judgment, that an animal:
(1) Has, without , inflicted on a human being on public or private property;
(2) Has killed a without while off the property; or
(3) Has been determined to be a , and after the has notice that the animal is , the animal aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans or .
(b) Exemption. Animals may not be declared dangerous if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a :
(1) Who was committing, at the time, a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the of the animal;
(2) Who was provoking, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal or who can be shown to have repeatedly, in the past, provoked, tormented, abused or assaulted the animal; or
(3) Who was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
(c) Notice of . Upon a determination by a city or other law enforcement official that an animal is dangerous pursuant to state law or subsection (a) above, the city shall provide a notice of (“notice”) to the of the animal by mailing or personally serving the of record, or by posting a copy of the notice at the place where the animal is kept, or by delivering it to a of suitable age residing on that property. Service upon any shall be effective as to all . The notice shall include the following:
(1) A description of the animal deemed to be dangerous;
(2) The factual and statutory basis for that determination;
(3) The name of the officer making the determination and his or her telephone number;
(4) A description of any or on a human being inflicted by the animal on public or private property without ;
(5) A statement as to whether or not the animal’s destruction is being sought by the city;
(6) An order that the to have a microchip implanted in the animal for identification, providing the city with the name of the microchip manufacturer and the serial identification number of the microchip implanted within 14 days of the receipt of the notice;
(7) An order that the animal be kept at all times either confined in a proper as defined in § 12.91 of this code or muzzled in a manner that will prevent the animal from biting any or animal but will not cause injury to the animal or interfere with its vision or respiration;
(8) An order that the to provide the city with written notice of death or any relocation of the animal from its current residence and provide any new full name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers and the relocation address at least ten days prior to any such relocation or new ownership;
(9) The criminal penalties for violations of this section of this code;
(10) A statement informing the of the right to appeal the officer’s determination, within 14 days of the date of the notice was served and that failure to serve a timely appeal in the manner set forth in subsection (e) below will terminate the right to a hearing under this section;
(11) A statement that even if an appeal request is made within 14 days of the notice, the must nonetheless immediately comply with the requirements of subsection (d) below, except the requirement to microchip the animal, until such time as the administrative law judge issues an opinion;
(12) A statement that in the event that the determination is upheld by the administrative law judge, the actual expenses of the hearing, up to a maximum of $1,000 will be the responsibility of the owner;
(13) A statement that if the administrative law judge affirms the declaration, the will have 14 days from receipt of that decision to comply with all other requirements of this section and M.S. §§ 347.51, 347.515 and 347.52, as they may be amended from time to time;
(14) A statement that all the city’s actual costs of the care, keeping and disposition of the animal are the responsibility of the claiming an interest in the animal, except to the extent that a court or administrative law judge finds that the seizure or impoundment was not substantially justified by law; and
(15) A form by which an may appeal the determination that the animal is dangerous.
(d) Requirements upon receipt of a notice of . After receipt of the notice, the must do the following:
(1) At all times keep the animal either confined in a proper as defined in § 12.91 of this code or muzzled in a manner that will prevent the animal from biting any or animal but that will not cause injury to the animal or interfere with its vision or respiration; and
(2) Provide the city with written notice of the death of the animal or any relocation of the animal from its current residence and provide any new full name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers and relocation address at least ten days prior to any such relocation and, if requested, execute an affidavit under oath setting forth the circumstances of the animal’s death or relocation.
(e) Appeal of the designation. Within 14 days after service of the notice of any may request an appeal of that determination by completing and serving upon the city a request for appeal of (or ) animal designation on the form provided along with the notice, including at a minimum the following information:
(1) The full name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers of the requesting an appeal;
(2) The full name and address of all of the animal’s ;
(3) The ownership interest of the requesting the appeal;
(4) The names of any witnesses to be called at the hearing;
(5) A list and copies of all exhibits to be presented at the hearing; and
(6) A summary statement as to why the animal should not be declared dangerous.
The request for an appeal shall be sent to the City Attorney’s office with payment of a $200 fee towards the cost of the hearing. Failure to timely submit a completed request for appeal or the required fee shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal and consent to the designation of the animal as dangerous or under state law and § 12.105 or this section of this code.
(f) Hearing procedure.
(1) Within 45 days after receipt of the request for appeal, the City Attorney’s office shall schedule the appeal hearing on the next available hearing date. The may request a later date, but must comply with all notice requirements until a decision is issued by an administrative law judge. An administrative law judge will preside over the hearing. Notice of the time, date and place of the hearing will be sent to the at least seven days in advance of the hearing, unless a shorter time period is agreed to by both parties.
(2) The hearing shall be held at a place to be determined by the City Attorney’s office during the city’s normal business hours.
(3) At the hearing, the parties shall abide by the procedure recommended by the Office of Administrative Hearings. Information about this procedure may be requested from the City’s Attorney’s office or from the Office of Administrative Hearings or their respective websites. The order of proof shall follow the burden of proof with the initial burden upon the city to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the animal is or dangerous pursuant to § 12.105 or this section of this code or state law.
(4) At the conclusion of the hearing, the administrative law judge shall make written findings of fact and reach a written conclusion as to whether the animal is a or pursuant to § 12.105 or this section of this code or state law. Separate findings shall be made as to whether or not the factors set forth in subsection (k) below were established with a corresponding conclusion as to whether or not the animal should be euthanized by the city . The decision of the administrative law judge is final without any further right of administrative appeal. An aggrieved party may obtain review thereof by petitioning the Minnesota Court of Appeals for a writ of certiorari not more than 30 days after service of the administrative law judge’s written decision.
(5) In the event that the or determination is upheld by the administrative law judge, the city shall, within 45 days of the decision, mail an invoice to the animal’s for the full actual costs of the hearing above and beyond the $200 fee required in § 12.105 or this section, including reimbursement for staff time spent preparing for and attending the hearing, up to a maximum of $1,000. In the event that the or determination is not upheld by the administrative law judge, the $200 fee shall not be returned to the . However, no other costs will be paid by the .
(g) Dangerous animals requirements. Upon a determination after a hearing that the animal is dangerous under this section of this code or state law, or upon the expiration of the 14-day appeal period where no serves upon the city a timely and completed request for appeal of the designation, or upon the relocation of an animal to this city from another location where the animal was previously declared dangerous under either state law or a local law substantially similar to this section of this code, it shall be the joint responsibility of each of the kept or harbored within the city to strictly comply with the following requirements:
(1) Keep the animal in a proper as defined in § 12.91 of this code and state law or, if the animal is outside the proper , the animal must be muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash not longer than six feet and under the physical restraint of a responsible . The muzzle must be made in a manner that will prevent the animal from biting any or animal but that will not cause injury to the animal or interfere with its vision or respiration. The premises where the animal is kept must prominently post the uniform symbol, to inform children that there is a on the property, which has been approved by the State Commissioner of Public Safety and provided by the city at the time of initial registration upon payment by the of a fee to cover both the costs of the symbol and the costs of issuance;
(2) Register the animal as a with the city in accordance with state law, paying the fees set forth in § 14.03 and providing such proof of compliance with the requirements of this section as required by the , along with a surety bond issued by a surety company authorized to conduct business in the state in a form acceptable to the issuing authority in the sum of at least $300,000 payable to any injured by the , or a policy of liability insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to conduct business in the state in the amount of at least $300,000, insuring the for any personal injuries inflicted by the and renew the registration of the animal annually until the animal is deceased. If the animal is removed from the city, it must be registered as a in its new location;
(3) Cause the animal to be implanted with a microchip for identification and provide the city with proof thereof including, the name of the microchip manufacturer and the serial identification number of the microchip implanted within 14 days of the date the animal was determined to be dangerous, or within ten days of the animal’s relocation into the city. Failure to do so, requires the city to seize the animal and have a microchip implanted at the expense;
(4) Maintain affixed to the animal’s collar at all times a standardized, easily identifiable tag identifying the animal as dangerous and containing the uniform symbol, as approved by the state’s Commissioner of Public Safety;
(5) Cause the animal to be sterilized at the expense and provide the city with proof thereof, including the name, address and telephone number of the who performed the procedure, within 30 days of the date the animal was determined to be dangerous or upon failure to do so, allow the city to seize the animal and have it sterilized at the expense;
(6) Provide the city with written notice of the death of the animal within 30 days thereof and if requested execute an affidavit under oath setting forth the circumstances of the animal’s death and disposition;
(7) Provide the city with written notice of any intended relocation of the animal from its current residence on record and provide any new full name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers and the relocation address at least ten days prior to any such relocation or new ownership;
(8) Accompany the sale or transfer of the animal to another with a written statement signed and notarized by the transferee listing his or her full name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers and acknowledging that the city has identified the animal as dangerous and provide a copy thereof to the city and also to the county;
(9) Provide the of real property where the will reside with a written disclosure that the city has identified the animal as dangerous prior to entering into a lease agreement and at the time of any lease renewal; and
(10) A for dangerous dogs shall not exceed 2,000 square feet and shall securely confine dogs indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure suitable to prevent the dog from escaping and providing protection from the elements. A proper does not include a porch, patio or any part of a house, garage or other structure that would allow the dog to exit of its own volition, or any house or structure in which windows or doors are open or in which a door or window screen is not a sufficient obstacle that prevents the dog from exiting.
(h) Confiscation of dangerous animals. Failure to strictly comply with any of these requirements will result in the summary seizure and impoundment of the animal by the city . In addition, if the animal’s is convicted of violating this section of this code or state laws regulating dangerous animals, the criminal court as a part of its sentence may order that the animal be confiscated and euthanized in a proper and humane manner and that the pay the costs incurred in confiscating, confining and destroying the animal. Where an is convicted of violating this section of this code or state laws regulating dangerous animals and is thereafter charged with a subsequent such violation relating to the same animal, the animal must be summarily seized and impounded by the . Upon conviction of that subsequent offense, the court may order as part of its sentence that the animal be euthanized in a proper and humane manner and that the pay the cost of confiscating, confining and destroying the animal. Any who harbors, hides or conceals or aids and abets the harboring, hiding or concealment of an animal determined to be dangerous under this section of this code or state laws regulating dangerous animals shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(i) Reclaiming seized animal. A confiscated not subject to destruction under this section may be reclaimed by an upon payment of impoundment and boarding fees and presenting proof of compliance with all of the requirements of this section of this code or state laws regulating dangerous animals. A confiscated animal not reclaimed under this section within seven days may be euthanized in a proper and humane manner with the being responsible for the costs of confiscation, boarding and destruction.
(j) Security. A claiming an interest in a seized animal may prevent disposition or destruction of the animal pending the outcome of any appeal by posting security in an amount sufficient to provide for the animal’s actual cost of care and keeping. The security must be posted within seven days of the seizure, including the date of seizure.
(k) Destruction of animal in certain circumstances. Where the city seeks to destroy an animal, it must provide the with specific notice, in writing, of its intent to destroy the animal and provide the with a full and fair opportunity for a hearing on this issue using the procedure set forth at subsection (f) above. Prior to destroying the animal, specific findings must be made, as follows:
(1) The attack resulted in or to a human victim on public or private property without ; and either:
(2) The attack was particularly vicious as demonstrated by its inflicting multiple bites on a human victim or bites on multiple human victims in the same attack on public or private property without ; or
(3) The animal bit a human victim on public or private property without in an attack where more than one animal participated in the attack.
Based upon these findings, the animal may be euthanized in a proper and humane manner by the city with the being responsible for the costs of confiscation, boarding and destruction.
(l) Assessment of the city’s costs. In accordance with § 12.15, subd. 2 of the City Charter, unpaid costs of confiscation, confinement and destruction of an animal, as well as the costs of a hearing pursuant to this section may be assessed against the property where the animal was kept, harbored, possessed or owned. Prior to any assessment for these costs, the city shall seek voluntary payment of these costs by notifying the of the property in writing of the costs due and owing. On or before October 1 of each year, the unpaid costs and the late fees, including an administrative charge of $50 due upon the mailing of the notice of proposed assessment, together with interest thereon at the maximum lawful rate permitted under state law against said lot or parcel of land, together with a description of the premises and the name of the , shall be certified to the County Auditor and shall be collected in the same manner as taxes and/or special assessments against the premises. The charge shall be a perpetual lien on the premises until paid. Prior to the certification to the County Auditor, the shall be given written notice of the proposed assessment and be provided an opportunity to be heard before the City Council.
(m) Animal ownership prohibited. No , or any other member of that household, may any animal in the city where the has:
(2) Been convicted of a violation of M.S. § 609.205(4), as it may be amended from time to time;
(3) Been convicted of a gross misdemeanor violation of M.S. § 609.226, subd. 1, as it may be amended from time to time;
(4) Been convicted of a violation of M.S. § 609.226, subd. 2, as it may be amended from time to time; or
(5) Had an animal ordered euthanized under M.S. § 347.56, as it may be amended from time to time, or this section of city code and been convicted of one or more violations of M.S. §§ 347.51, 347.515, 347.52 or 609.226, subd. 2, as they may be amended from time to time, or city code §§ 12.106(c) or 12.107(g).
(n) Animal ownership prohibition review. Beginning three years after being disqualified from animal ownership under M.S. § 347.52(1), as it may be amended from time to time, or subsection (m) above and annually thereafter, the may request that the review the prohibition. The may consider such facts as the seriousness of the violation or violations that led to the prohibition, any criminal convictions or other factors the deems relevant. The prohibition may be rescinded entirely or with limitations or conditions. Failure to comply with stated conditions or limitations or if the is convicted of an offense listed in subsection (m) above or any animal violation involving unprovoked bites or animal attacks, the may permanently prohibit the from owning an animal.
(o) Review of designation. Beginning six months after an animal is declared dangerous hereunder, an may request annually that the city review the designation by serving upon it with a written request for review that includes the full name, address and telephone numbers of the requestor, a list of the names and addresses of all of the animal, the requestor’s ownership interest, and a summary of the basis for the claimed change in the animal’s behavior. The request for review shall be accompanied by all documents in support of the contention that the animal’s aggressive behavior has been modified. Within 14 days of the receipt of the request, the shall make a determination in writing as to whether or not to rescind the designation. Should the designation be rescinded, the animal shall nonetheless continue to be considered and subject to the requirements of § 12.105 of this code.
(Ord. 2010-28, passed 11-1-2010; Ord. 2012-3, passed 2-6-2012; Ord. 2019-46, passed 12-2-2019)