(a) Upon notification of an incident described in Section 7-5.12 of this article, the director shall investigate to determine if a dog is aggressive. The determination must be based upon an investigation that includes observation and testimony about the dog's actions at the date of the incident, including the owner's or keeper's control of the dog, and any other relevant evidence determined by the director. Observations and testimony can be provided by the animal services officer or by other witnesses who personally observed the dog's actions on the date of the incident. Animal service officers or other witnesses shall sign an affidavit attesting to the observed actions on the date of the incident or other evidence collected and detailed in a report by an animal services officer and agree to provide testimony regarding the dog's actions on the date of the incident if necessary.
(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the director shall have discretionary authority to refrain from determining a dog is an aggressive dog, even if the dog engaged in acts specified in Section 7-5.12.
(c) The director may seize and impound the dog at the owner's expense pending the investigation and determination of whether the dog is an aggressive dog. The director shall impound the dog, if the director cannot, with due diligence locate the owner of the dog that has been seized under this subsection. If the owner of the dog has not been located before the 15th day after seizure and impoundment, the dog will become the sole property of the city and is subject to disposition as the director deems appropriate.
(d) At the conclusion of the investigation required by this section, the director shall:
(1) determine that the dog is not aggressive and, if the dog is impounded, may waive any impoundment fees incurred and release the dog to its owner;
(2) determine that the dog is aggressive and order the owner to comply with the requirements for ownership of an aggressive dog set forth in Section 7-5.15 of this article and, if the dog is impounded, release the dog to its owner after compliance with all applicable requirements of Subsection (e) of this section.
(3) If a dog is determined to be an aggressive dog, the director shall notify the dog owner in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested:
(i) that the dog has been determined to be an aggressive dog;
(ii) what the owner must do to comply with requirements for ownership of an aggressive dog and to reclaim the dog, if impounded; and
(iii) that the owner has the right to appeal the determination of aggressiveness.
(e) An impounded dog determined by the director to be aggressive must remain impounded, or confined at a location approved by the director, and may not be released to the owner until the owner pays all fees incurred for impoundment of the dog and complies with all requirements for ownership of an aggressive dog set forth in this article.
(f) If the owner of an impounded dog has not complied with Subsection (e) within 15 days after a final determination is made that an impounded dog is aggressive, the dog will become the sole property of the city and is subject to disposition as the director deems appropriate. (Ord. 30901)