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A. Harboring For Prohibited Purpose Or Intent:
1. No person shall own or harbor any animal for the purpose of animal fighting, or train, torment, badger, bait or use any animal for the purpose of causing or encouraging said animal to unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.
2. No person shall possess with intent to sell, or offer for sale, breed or buy, or attempt to buy, any vicious animal within the City. (1952 Code § 6-07-09)
B. Requirements For Registration: No vicious animal shall be licensed by the City for any licensing period commencing after January 1, 1988, unless the owner or keeper of such vicious animal shall meet the following requirements:
1. The owner shall present to the City Clerk or other licensing authority, proof that the owner or keeper has procured liability insurance in the amount of no less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00), covering any damage or injury which may be caused by such vicious animal during the twelve (12) month period for which licensing is sought, which policy shall contain a provision requiring the City to be named as additional insured for the sole purpose of the City Clerk or other licensing authority where such animal is licensed to be notified by the insurance company of any cancellation, termination or expiration of the liability insurance policy.
2. The owner shall, at his own expense, have the licensing number assigned to such vicious animal, or such other identification number as the City Clerk or other licensing authority shall determine, tattooed upon such vicious animal by a licensed veterinarian or person trained as a tattooist and authorized as such by any state, city or Police Department. The tattoo shall be placed either on the upper inner lip, inside ear or inside rear thigh of the vicious animal. The humane shelter may, in its discretion, designate the particular location of said tattoo. Said number shall be noted on the City licensing files for such vicious animal, if it is different from the license number of such vicious animal. For the purposes of this section, "tattoo" shall be defined as any permanent numbering of a vicious animal by means of indelible or permanent ink with the number designated by the licensing authority, or any other permanent, acceptable method of tattooing.
3. The owner shall display a "sign" in conformance with and as defined in section 5-1-1 of this chapter on his or her premises warning that there is a vicious animal on the premises. Said sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway.
4. The owner shall sign a statement attesting that:
a. The owner shall maintain and not voluntarily cancel the liability insurance required by this section during the twelve (12) month period for which licensing is sought, unless the owner shall cease to own or keep the vicious animal prior to expiration of such license.
b. The owner shall, on or prior to the effective date of such license for which application is being made, have an enclosure for the vicious animal on the property where the vicious animal will be kept or maintained.
c. The owner shall notify the licensing authority and the animal control officer within twenty four (24) hours if a vicious animal is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked another animal or has attacked a human being, or has died or has been sold or given away. If the vicious animal has been sold or given away, the owner shall also provide the licensing authority with the name, address and telephone number of the new owner of the vicious animal. (1952 Code § 6-07-07)
C. Confinement And Control:
1. All vicious animals shall be confined in an enclosure. It shall be unlawful for any owner to maintain a vicious animal upon any premises which does not have a locked enclosure.
2. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow any vicious animal to be outside of the dwelling of the owner or outside of the enclosure unless it is necessary for the owner to obtain veterinary care for the vicious animal or to sell or give away the vicious animal, or to comply with commands or directions of the animal control officer with respect to the vicious animal, or to comply with the provision of subsection B1 or B2 of this section. In such event, the vicious animal shall be securely muzzled and restrained with a chain having a minimum tensile strength of three hundred (300) pounds and not exceeding three feet (3') in length, and shall be under the direct control and supervision of the owner of the vicious animal. (1952 Code § 6-07-08)
D. Action For Damages; Destruction; Civil Penalty: If any vicious animal shall, when unprovoked, kill or wound, or assist in killing or wounding any sheep, lamb, cattle, horse, hog, swine, fowl or other domestic animal, belonging to or in the possession of any person, or shall, when unprovoked, attack, assault, bite or otherwise injure any human being or assist in attacking, assaulting, biting or otherwise injuring any human being while out of or within the enclosure of the owner or keeper of such vicious animal, or while otherwise on or off the property of the owner, whether or not such vicious animal was on a leash and securely muzzled or whether the vicious animal escaped without fault of the owner or keeper, the owner or keeper of such animal shall be liable to the person aggrieved as aforesaid, for all damage sustained, to be recovered in a civil action, with costs of suit. It is rebuttably presumed as a matter of law that the owning, keeping or harboring of a vicious animal in violation of this chapter is a nuisance. It shall not be necessary, in order to sustain any such action, to prove that the owner of such vicious animal knew that such vicious animal possessed the propensity to cause such damage or that the vicious animal had a vicious nature. Upon such attack or assault, the animal control officer in the City is hereby empowered to confiscate and destroy such vicious animal, if the conduct of such vicious animal or its owner constituted a violation of the provisions of this chapter, punishable by the confiscation and destruction of the animal. (1952 Code § 6-07-10)
1. An animal control officer is hereby empowered to make whatever inquiry is deemed necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section, and any such animal control officer is hereby empowered to seize and impound any vicious animal whose owner fails to comply with the provisions hereof.
2. In the event that the owner of the animal refuses to surrender the animal to the animal control officer, the animal control officer may request a police officer to obtain a search warrant from a Magistrate of the District Court and to seize the animal upon execution of the warrant. (1952 Code § 6-07-07)
1. Subsections A through E of this section shall not apply to kennels licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to K-9 or other animals owned by any Police Department or any law enforcement officer which are used in the performance of law enforcement police work. (1952 Code § 6-07-11)
G. Determination Of Vicious Animal:
a. In the event that the animal control officer or law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that an animal is vicious, the Chief of Police or the Director of the humane shelter, or his designee, shall be empowered to convene a hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the animal in question should be declared vicious. The animal control officer or Chief of Police shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation and shall notify the owner of the animal that a hearing will be held, at which time he or she may have the opportunity to present evidence why the animal should not be declared vicious. The hearing shall be held promptly within no less than five (5) nor more than ten (10) days after service of notice upon the owner of the animal. The hearing shall be informal and shall be open to the public.
b. After the hearing, the owner of the animal shall be notified in writing of the determination. If a determination is made that the animal is vicious, the owner shall comply with the provisions of this chapter in accordance with a time schedule established by the Director of the humane shelter, but in no case more than thirty (30) days subsequent to the date of the determination. If the owner of the animal contests the determination, he or she may, within five (5) days of such determination, bring a petition in the Magistrate Court in the Fourth Judicial District of the State, in and for the County of Ada, wherein the animal is owned, praying that the court conduct its own hearing on whether or not the animal should be declared vicious. After service of notice upon the animal control officer, the court shall conduct a hearing de novo and make its own determination as to viciousness. Said hearing shall be conducted within fourteen (14) days of the service of the notice upon the animal control officer or law enforcement officer involved. The issue shall be decided upon the preponderance of the evidence. If the court rules the animal to be vicious, the court may establish a time schedule to ensure compliance with this chapter, but in no case more than thirty (30) days subsequent to the date of the court's determination.
c. The court may decide all issues for or against the owner of the animal regardless of the fact that said owner fails to appear at said hearing.
d. The determination of the Magistrate Court shall be final and conclusive upon all parties thereto. However, the animal control officer or any law enforcement officer shall have the right to declare an animal to be vicious for any subsequent actions of the animal. In the event that the animal control officer or law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the animal in question is vicious and may pose a threat of serious harm to human beings or other domestic animals, the animal control officer or law enforcement officer may seize and impound the animal pending the aforesaid hearings. The owner of the animal shall be liable to the City for the costs and expenses of impoundment of such animal.
a. If the owner of an animal impounded for an alleged violation of this section shall believe that there shall not have been a violation of such section hereof, such owner may petition the Magistrate Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State, in and for the County of Ada, praying that the impounded animal not be destroyed.
b. The impounded animal shall not be destroyed pending resolution of such owner's petition if the petition shall have been filed within five (5) days of impoundment of such animal and notice shall have been served within five (5) days of the impoundment of such animal upon the animal control officer or keeper of the impounded animal. The hearing shall be conducted within fourteen (14) days from serving of the notice. The decision of the Magistrate Court may be appealed to the District Court by any aggrieved party within forty two (42) days of the decision. The animal shall remain impounded pending the appeal. If the court finds that there shall not have been a violation of this section, such animal may be released to the custody of the owner upon payment to the humane shelter or animal control officer of the expense of keeping such animal. The schedule of such costs as provided for by subsection 5-1-17C of this chapter shall be paid in full or upon the signing of a promissory note to the City. If the owner of the animal violates any of the terms and conditions of subsection B4 of this section, said owner shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first such violation and two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for each subsequent violation. (1952 Code § 6-07-14)
H. Violations; Penalty:
1. Any vicious animal:
a. Which does not have a valid license in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; or
b. Whose owner does not secure the liability insurance coverage required in accordance with subsection B1 of this section; or
c. Which is not maintained on property with an enclosure; or
d. Which shall be outside of either the dwelling of the owner or an enclosure, except as provided in subsection C of this section; or
e. Which is not tattooed;
shall be confiscated by the animal control officer and destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner after the expiration of a five (5) day waiting period, exclusive of Sundays and holidays. In addition, the owner shall pay a two hundred fifty dollar ($250.00) fine.
2. If any vicious animal shall, when unprovoked, kill, wound, or worry or assist in killing or wounding any animal described in subsection D of this section, the owner of said animal shall pay a two hundred fifty dollar ($250.00) fine and the animal control officer is empowered to confiscate and, after the expiration of a five (5) day waiting period exclusive of Sundays and holidays, shall destroy said vicious animal. For each subsequent violation, the owner of said animal shall pay a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00).
3. If any vicious animal shall, when unprovoked, attack, assault, wound, bite or otherwise injure or kill a human being, the owner shall pay a three hundred dollar ($300.00) fine.
4. No fine and/or tattooing requirement shall be suspended by any court of competent jurisdiction. (1952 Code § 6-07-12)