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In addition to any other provisions set forth in this chapter regarding the impoundment of animals, this section provides the general authority, requirements, fees and costs for impoundment.
A. Records Maintained: The Animal Shelter shall keep a record of all animals impounded. All impound records shall at minimum contain the following information:
1. A description of the animal;
2. The reason the animal was seized;
3. The place where the animal was located when seized for impoundment;
4. The date and time when the animal was either taken into custody by an Authorized Officer, or delivered to the Animal Shelter by an officer, organization, or private citizen; and
5. The name and badge number of the Authorized Officer that seized or received the animal for impoundment.
B. Authority To Impound; Policy:
1. Authority To Impound Animals At Large; Policy: An Authorized Officer, or individual citizen may seize any domestic animal at large within the City for impoundment. All animals seized must be immediately relinquished to a Humane Officer or delivered to the Animal Shelter for impoundment.
2. Authority To Impound Prohibited Animals: An Authorized Officer who has probable cause to believe that an animal is a prohibited animal as defined in this chapter may confiscate and impound the animal immediately.
3. Authority To Impound Animals Subject To Quarantine: An Authorized Officer who has a reasonable belief that an animal is exhibiting rabies symptoms or has bitten any person and the bite breaks the skin, may immediately confiscate and impound the animal for quarantine.
4. Authority To Impound Dangerous Or Potentially Dangerous Dogs: An Authorized Officer who has probable cause to believe that a dog has behaved in a manner consistent with the definition of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog and poses a threat of serious harm to humans, livestock, or domestic animals, may immediately confiscate and impound the animal pending a determination hearing or thereafter.
5. Authority To Impound Abused Animals: An Authorized Officer who has probable cause to believe there has been a violation of the animal cruelty provisions of this chapter may immediately confiscate and impound the animal involved pending a forfeiture hearing.
C. Notification To Owner:
1. Notice To Owner Of Impounded Animal At Large: Within twenty-four (24) hours upon the impoundment of an animal seized for being at large, the Animal Shelter shall make a reasonable and diligent effort to locate and notify the owner, if the animal has traceable identification (e.g., tag, microchip, etc.) This notification may be made by letter, telephone or other available means.
2. Notice To Owner Of Impounded Dangerous Or Potentially Dangerous, Prohibited, Forfeited, Or Quarantined Animal: The Animal Shelter shall provide written notice to the owner of any animal that is impounded for being dangerous or potentially dangerous, forfeited, or subject to quarantine. Such notice shall be provided within three (3) business days from the receipt of the animal.
3. Public Posting Of Notice: If an impounded animal's owner is unknown, a notice shall be publicly posted either on the Animal Shelter's website or at the Animal Shelter's facility in a location that is visible to the public.
D. Impound Costs And Fees:
1. Owner Liable: The owner shall be liable for the reasonable costs and fees for the care, keeping, and disposal of any animal that is impounded under the provisions of this chapter. Reasonable costs may include, but are not limited to, transportation, medical, board, and shelter costs. All costs and fees shall be paid in full upon the redemption or disposal of an impounded animal.
2. Fees For Non-Spayed Or Non-Neutered Dogs: The fee for impounding of a non-spayed or non-neutered dog shall be refunded by the Animal Shelter if the owner elects to have the dog spayed or neutered within forty-five (45) days of release from the shelter. Proof of spaying or neutering must be provided to the Animal Shelter to receive this refund.
3. Counting Of Days For Impound Costs And Fees Calculation: A fraction of a day shall be deemed a full day, and a portion of a day in excess of any multiple to twenty-four (24) hours, shall be deemed a day.
E. Redemption Of Impounded Animals; Time Frames:
1. Redemption Of Impounded Animal At Large: Any animal impounded for being at-large may be redeemed by the owner within a certain period upon payment to the Animal Shelter of any and all applicable fees and costs.
2. Time Frame For Redemption Of Impounded Animal At Large: From the date of the notice of impoundment, the owner of an at-large dog has five (5) business days, and the owner of any other at-large animal species has three (3) business days to redeem such animal. Failure to redeem an animal within these Time frames shall result in the animal being subject to disposal through adoption, sale, or euthanasia by the Animal Shelter in its sole discretion. An impounded cat with indicia that it has an owner that may redeem may be held longer than the three (3) day time frame in the discretion of the Animal Shelter.
3. Redemption Of Impounded Dangerous Or Potentially Dangerous Dogs, Or Animals Subject To Forfeiture Or Quarantine: If a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog, or an animal subject to forfeiture or quarantine is redeemable under the provision of this chapter, such animal shall not be released to its owner until all outstanding impoundment fees and costs are paid. Additionally, no dangerous or potentially dangerous dog may be redeemed until the owner fulfills all license, registration, and insurance requirements as set forth in this chapter.
4. Time Frame For Redemptions Of Impounded Dangerous Or Potentially Dangerous Dog, Or An Animal Subject To Forfeiture Or Quarantine: If a dog that is impounded for being dangerous or potentially dangerous, or an animal is impounded for being subject to forfeiture or quarantine is redeemable, the time frames to redeem such animal shall be subject to other provisions of this chapter, the Idaho Code relating to animal care and control, or as provided by the order of a court, or authorized hearing officer. Any animal that can be redeemed by its owner but has not been within the proscribed time frames, is subject to disposal through adoption, sale, or euthanasia by the Animal Shelter in its sole discretion.
F. Disposal Of Unredeemed Animals; Notice Of Sale: Any animal not redeemed within the proscribed time frames for redemption may be disposed of through adoption, sale, or euthanasia by the Animal Shelter in its sole discretion.
G. Destruction Of Suffering, Diseased, Or Severely Injured Animals: Irrespective of any other provision of this section, if in the written determination of a licensed veterinarian, an impounded animal is experiencing extreme pain or suffering, or is severely injured or diseased, and therefore not likely to recover, it may be immediately euthanized.
H. Determination Hearings:
1. Abused Animal Forfeiture Hearing: In the event that an Authorized Officer has probable cause to believe that an animal has been subjected to abuse in violation to the animal cruelty provisions set forth in this chapter, such officer may petition for a forfeiture hearing for the animal involved. Either the Chief of Police, Director of the Animal Shelter, or their respective designees, are empowered to convene a forfeiture hearing.
2. Dangerous Or Potentially Dangerous Dog Determination Hearing: In the event that an Authorized Officer has probable cause to believe that a dog is dangerous or potentially dangerous, either the Chief of Police, Director of the Animal Shelter, or their respective designees, are empowered to convene a hearing to determine whether the dog in question is dangerous or potentially dangerous pursuant to the provisions set forth in this chapter.
3. Investigation; Hearing Notice: The Animal Shelter Director, Chief of Police, or designee shall conduct, or cause an investigation to be conducted, and shall notify the animal's owner in writing of the following information:
a. The date, time and location of the hearing to be held regarding the animal;
b. That the animal's owner will have an opportunity at that hearing to present evidence and testimony regarding whether the dog should not be declared dangerous or potentially dangerous, or alternatively, should not be forfeited for cruelty;
c. That the hearing shall be held promptly, no sooner than five (5) business days and no longer than ten (10) business days after service of hearing notice upon the animal owner; and
d. That the hearing shall be informal and open to the public.
a. Limited Subject Matter; Burden Of Proof: The hearing shall be limited to the question of determination of the dog as dangerous or potentially dangerous, or the forfeiture of an animal. At the hearing, the City shall have the burden of establishing probable cause that the animal behaved in a dangerous or potentially dangerous manner or that the animal involved was subjected abuse in violation to the animal cruelty provisions of this section.
b. Criminal Conviction: A finding of guilt in the underlying criminal case will create a permissive inference that probable cause exists for the determination or forfeiture proceeding.
c. Hearing Decision: The animal's owner shall be notified of the determination in writing within five (5) business days of the hearing. If probable cause is found at the hearing to support the determination or forfeiture petition, the owner shall timely comply with all the requirements resulting from the decision in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. A dog determined to be dangerous, additionally may be ordered to be euthanized or otherwise forfeited for disposal at the Director of the Animal Shelter's discretion.
d. Return Of Animal If Probable Cause Not Found At Hearing: If, after the hearing, it is determined that no probable cause exists, the animal shall be returned to its owner, and the owner shall not be responsible for any costs of the seizure, care, or treatment, unless the person later pleads guilty to or is found guilty of an underlying charge in violation of this chapter.
5. Waiver Of Hearing:
a. An owner may waive the right to a hearing by accepting in writing the determination of the dog being classified as a dangerous or potentially dangerous, and thereafter complying with all restrictions placed on the animal pursuant to this chapter.
b. An owner may waive the right to a hearing by voluntarily forfeiting in writing the animal subjected to abuse to the City for disposal as the Animal Shelter solely deems appropriate.
I. Appeal Of Hearing Decision:
1. Request For Appeal Of The Hearing Decision: If the animal's owner wishes to contest the hearing determination, he or she must within five (5) business days of such determination, request in writing to the Clerk's Office that an appeal hearing be scheduled. Failure of timely filing of an appeal shall result in an automatic denial of such request.
2. Information Required: A written request for an appeal of a determination or forfeiture hearing decision must include all of the following information: (1) the name of the animal owner; (2) whether the owner will be represented by legal counsel at the appeal hearing; (3) the reasons for which the appeal is request with specificity; (4) the remedy requested; (5) whether the owner is requesting a stay of the disposal of the animal based on the determination or forfeiture decision; and (6) the owners availability for an appeal hearing with the next seven (7) to fifteen (15) business days. All appeals which request a stay of the disposal of the animal by the Animal Shelter pending the outcome of the appeal hearing must accompany a surety bond as set forth in this chapter.
3. Stay Of Animal Disposition: Upon request in the owner's written request for appeal and posting of the required surety bond, the disposal of the animal by the Animal Shelter shall be stayed pending the appeal decision. Failure to post the required surety bond for the care of the animal pending the appeal outcome shall result in a denial of the stay of the disposition of the animal by the Animal Shelter.
4. Hearing Scheduled; Notice: The Clerk's Office shall schedule an appeal hearing to be presided over by a third-party hearing officer. Notice of the hearing date, time, and other instructions shall be provided to the animal owner in writing by the Clerk's Office.
5. Hearing Officer; Authority; Bond: The Hearing Officer shall have and exercise the power to regulate the proceedings and to do all acts and to take all measures necessary or proper for the efficient performance of the Hearing Officer's duties under this article. The Hearing Officer shall have all powers of the City for the hearing of these matters, may issue subpoenas in the name of the City, may rule upon the admissibility of evidence, may put witnesses under oath and may examine them and may call the parties to the action and examine them upon oath. No Hearing Officer has the jurisdiction to invalidate any federal or State statute, ordinance, rule or regulation, or court order.
6. Burden Of Proof: The Hearing Officer shall hear the matter de novo to make a determination pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The issue shall be decided upon the preponderance of the evidence.
7. Decision Of Default For Failure To Appear: If an animal owner fails to appear at the review hearing, the Hearing Officer shall enter a proposed decision of default. The proposed decision of default may be rescinded if, within seven (7) business days of the date of mailing, the animal owner submits a written explanation for not appearing, which the Hearing Officer finds substantial and reasonable.
8. Decision: The Hearing Officer shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law as appropriate and issue a written decision. The Hearing Officer shall file the report with the Clerk's Office, along with the recording of the proceedings, transcripts, if any, minutes, evidence, and original exhibits offered or received at the hearing. The Hearing Officer shall cause an audio or video recording to be made of the hearing. The Hearing Officer shall transmit a copy of the decision to all persons entitled to notice within fifteen (15) business days of the hearing, and shall become effective three (3) business days after the date the decision is mailed or hand delivered to the applicant or licensee. Failure of the Hearing Officer to issue a report within fifteen (15) business days shall not invalidate the decision. If the hearing officer finds probable cause to support the determination or forfeiture of the animal, the decision shall establish a time schedule, if applicable, to ensure compliance with this chapter, which no case shall be more than thirty (30) days from the date of the Hearing Officer's determination.
J. Hearing And Case Delays Prohibited; Not To Be Used As Evidence In Criminal Case:
1. Delays Prohibited: No determination or forfeiture hearing or appeal thereof as provided in this chapter shall be used as a basis for a continuance or delay in the criminal case, nor shall proceedings in the criminal case, other than dismissal, be used as a basis to delay or continue the forfeiture proceeding.
2. Not Evidence In Criminal Case: To protect the right of any criminal defendant to avoid self-incrimination, while seeking an expedient determination of the animal involved, all evidence and testimony provided in a determination or forfeiture hearing or an appeal thereof shall not be admissible in the criminal case.
K. Security Deposit Or Bond Pending Appeal:
1. Security Deposit Or Bond For Animal Care Costs: Upon request to stay the disposition of an animal pending an appeal on the determination or forfeiture hearing decision, the owner shall post a security deposit or bond with the Clerk's Office. The amount of the security deposit or bond shall be in an amount determined by the City Clerk to be sufficient to repay all reasonable costs incurred, and anticipated to be incurred, for the care of the animal for at least thirty (30) days including the day of seizure and impoundment. The Animal Shelter may draw from that security deposit or bond reasonable costs in keeping and caring for the animal from the date of the impoundment to the date of final disposition of the animal. At the end of the time for which expenses are covered by the security deposit or bond, if the animal's owner desires to prevent disposition of the animal, the owner shall post a new security deposit or bond with the Clerk's Office, which must be received before the expiration date of the previous security deposit or bond.
2. Failure To Post Or Renew A Security Deposit Or Bond: At the end of the time for which expenses are covered by the security deposit or bond, or if no security deposit or bond has been posted in accordance with this section, the Animal Shelter may dispose of the animal as set forth in this chapter. The animal's owner shall be liable for all unpaid reasonable fees and costs of the care, keeping, or disposal of the animal. Posting of the security deposit or bond shall not prevent Animal Shelter from disposing of the impounded animal before the expiration of the period covered by the security deposit or bond if the hearing officer or a court of law orders the forfeiture of the animal or the owner relinquishes the animal.
3. Remittance Of Security Deposit Or Bond Overage: Upon disposition of the animal, any remaining funds deposited with the City Clerk which have not, and will not be expended in the care, keeping, or disposal of the animal shall be remitted to the owner of the animal. (Ord. 20-21, 5-11-2021)