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A. Prohibited: No person who owns, keeps or exercises control over any animal shall allow the animal to do the following:
1. To attack or threaten to attack or bite any person or domestic animal not on the premises of the owner or keeper.
2. To attack or threaten to attack or bite any person or domestic animal upon the premises of the residence of the owner or keeper or upon the premises of any business establishment. It is an affirmative defense to this subsection A2 that:
a. The attack, threat of attack or bite by the animal was necessary to prevent or apprehend a person engaged in a criminal act upon the property; a "criminal act" is any act that could be prosecuted as a violation of any City, County, State or Federal criminal statute; or
b. The attack, threat of attack or bite by the animal was in response to the animal being provoked or assaulted; or
c. The attack, threat of attack or bite by the animal occurred in an area where the animal was being properly contained in an enclosure which may include, but is not limited to, a fenced area, a kennel or inside the home.
B. Exception: The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law enforcement officer who uses an animal while engaged in law enforcement activities.
C. Duty To Impound; Destruction Of Vicious Animal: It shall be the duty of the animal control officer to impound an animal whose owner or keeper has been cited with a violation of this section if the animal presents a clear and present danger to the public health or safety. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the animal control officer from taking whatever action is reasonably necessary to protect the officer's person or members of the public from injury or damage, or injury to any other animals in the community, including immediate destruction of any vicious animal without notice to the owner or keeper.
D. Impoundment; Disposition:
1. If a complaint has been filed in the Municipal Court of the City against the owner or keeper of an impounded animal for a charge under this section, the animal shall not be released except on the order of the Municipal Judge, who may direct the owner or keeper to pay all impounding fees. Any animal which remains unclaimed for five (5) days after its release as authorized by the Municipal Judge may be disposed of at the discretion of the operator of the animal shelter.
2. If reasonable efforts have been made to notify the owner or keeper of any proceeding regarding the disposition of their animal and the owner or keeper of the animal fails to appear for any proceeding regarding the disposition of the animal, then the court is empowered to proceed without the owner or keeper. Some examples of reasonable efforts to notify the owner or keeper of a pending court proceeding are:
a. Personal service on the owner or keeper, or
b. Notice delivered by regular mail to the last known address of the owner or keeper of the animal, or
c. Posting notice at the last known residence of the owner or keeper of the animal.
d. Any notice given to the owner or keeper by the court.
e. A promise to appear by the owner or keeper.
3. If the owner or keeper fails to appear after efforts to notify the owner or keeper have been made, then the Municipal Judge is empowered to hold ex parte hearings to determine the disposition of the animal.
4. If the court finds that reasonable grounds exist to believe that an animal may constitute a danger to any person or persons or to any other animals in the community, the court may order it destroyed or held pending trial. If the court finds that the animal is not a danger, the court may order it released.
5. Surrender of an animal by the owner or keeper to the animal control officer does not relieve the owner or keeper from prosecution or liability for the fees and fines imposed by this section. (Ord. 96-131; Ord. 01-42; Ord. 03-31)