§ 604.06  Hearing and Appeals Process and Declassification of Dog as Threat to Public Safety; Fee
   (a)   If an owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is convicted in Cleveland Municipal Court of any offense which qualifies the dog as a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat, the conviction shall evidence the fact that said dog is a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat. On such conviction, the owner, keeper or harborer shall be on notice that the dog is a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat and must comply with all restrictions specified in Sections 604.03 and 604.04.
   (b)   Regardless of whether the owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog has been convicted of any offense which qualifies the dog as a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat, the Animal Control Officer, Director of Public Health or Chief of Police may designate a dog as a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat. The owner, keeper, or harborer shall receive written notice that the dog has been designated a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat by one (1) of the aforementioned designating authorities. The written notice shall specify the appeal rights of the owner, keeper, or harborer of the designated dog.
      (1)   If a dog is designated a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat, the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog shall have the right to a hearing to appeal the designation.
      (2)   Appeals shall be heard by the Director of Public Safety or his or her designee. An owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog designated a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat has ten (10) days from the date listed on the written notice of such designation to inform the Director in writing that a hearing date is requested. The Director will schedule the hearing and notify the party requesting the hearing in writing of the time, date, and location of the hearing.
      (3)   The designating authority must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the designated dog is a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat.
      (4)   Following the hearing, if the Director finds the dog a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat dog, the owner, keeper, or harborer shall be on notice that the dog must be kept under the restrictions specified in this chapter. If the Director finds the dog is not a level-one (1) or level-two (2) threat dog, the Director shall grant the appeal.
      (5)   Any person subject to an adverse decision of the Director may appeal that decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals. The notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Board of Zoning Appeals within ten (10) days of the decision of the Director. The Board shall approve, modify or annul the finding from which the appeal is taken.
   (c)   The following conditions for declassification must be met:
      (1)   Level-one (1) threat dogs have been classified for two (2) years without further incident, level-two (2) threat dogs for five (5) years without incident; and
      (2)   There have been no violations of the specified regulations; and
      (3)   Any other condition ordered by the Animal Control Officer, Director of Public Health and/or Chief of Police at the time of classification have been met; and
      (4)   The owner, keeper or harborer provides the Animal Control Officer, Director of Public Health and/or Chief of Police with written certification of satisfactory completion of obedience training for the dog classified, with the owner, keeper or harborer; and
      (5)   The dog owner, keeper or harborer shall provide written verification that the classified dog has been spayed or neutered.
   (d)   When the owner, keeper or harborer of a dog meets all of the conditions in this division, the restrictions for dogs classified as a level-one (1) threat to public safety shall be removed; restrictions on dogs classified as a level-two (2) threat to public safety may be removed, with the exception of the secure enclosure and insurance requirement.
   (e)   A declassification fee in an amount to be set by Council will be assessed when the classification period begins.
(Ord. No. 1572-14. Passed 12-8-14, eff. 12-10-14)