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A. Facts Of Case: Upon sworn complaint of any person to a County Judge in the County of Dakota that any of the following facts exist:
1. That the animal has destroyed property or habitually trespassed in a damaging manner on property of persons other than the owner;
2. That the animal has attacked or bitten a person without provocation;
3. That the animal is vicious or shows vicious habits, or molests people or interferes with the driving of automobiles upon a public highway;
4. That the animal habitually barks, cries or whimpers is a public nuisance 1 ;
5. Or otherwise is being kept within the limits of the City in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
B. Owner To Appear, Judgment: Said Judge shall issue a summons directed to the owner or person having possession of said animal commanding him to appear before said Judge and to show cause why said animal should not be seized or killed or otherwise disposed of by the poundkeeper, or any police officer or animal warden. Such summons shall be returnable not more than forty eight (48) hours from the date thereof and shall be served at least twelve (12) hours before the time of appearance mentioned herein. Upon such hearing and finding of the facts true as complained of, the Judge may either order the animal killed, or may order the owner to remove it from the City, or may order it confined to a designated place, or may order its sale or other disposition as herein provided for impounded animals. In the event an animal has bitten a person, the Judge may order the animal impounded at the owner's expense for such period as may be reasonably necessary to determine whether the animal is rabid. In the event that said animal is rabid, it may summarily be destroyed.
C. Failure To Comply With Order: If the owner is ordered to remove the animal from the City or is ordered to keep the animal confined to a designated place and disobeys such order, he shall, upon the filing of a complaint alleging that said order was disobeyed, and after being found guilty of violating this provision, be liable to the punishment for violation of this chapter.
D. Applicability Of Section: The provisions of this section are in addition to and supplemental to other provisions of this chapter and shall apply throughout the City.
E. Costs: Costs of the proceedings specified by this section shall be assessed against the owner of the animal, if said animal is found to be kept in violation of any of the terms of this chapter. (Ord. 133, sec. 11, 1-2-1979; amd. 1980 Code)
F. Impoundment Of Inhumanely Treated Animals: All animals seized on behalf of the City under Minnesota Statutes sections 343.22 or 343.29 for cruel treatment to an animal must be held for redemption by the owner for at least ten (10) days unless a veterinarian authorizes immediate destruction of the animal. In the case of an animal raised for food or fiber products, the animal may not be seized or disposed of without prior examination by a licensed veterinarian pursuant to a warrant issued by a Judge.
1. Security: A person claiming an interest in an animal seized under Minnesota Statutes sections 343.22 or 343.29 may prevent disposition of the animal by posting security in an amount sufficient to provide for the animal's actual costs of care and keeping. The security must be posted within ten (10) days of the seizure inclusive of the date of the seizure.
2. Notice: The City must give notice of this subsection by delivering or mailing it to a person claiming an interest in the animal or by posting a copy of it at the place where the animal is taken into custody or by delivering it to a person residing on the property, and telephoning, if possible. The notice must include:
a. A description of the animal seized; the authority and purpose for the seizure; the time, place, and circumstances under which the animal was seized; and the location, address, telephone number, and contact person where the animal is kept;
b. A statement that a person claiming an interest in the animal may post security to prevent disposition of the animal and may request a hearing concerning the seizure or impoundment and that failure to do so within ten (10) days of the date of the notice will result in disposition of the animal;
c. A statement that all actual costs of the care, keeping, and disposal of the animal are the responsibility of the person claiming an interest in the animal, except to the extent that a Court or Hearing Officer finds that the seizure or impoundment was not substantially justified by law; and
d. A form that can be used by a person claiming an interest in the animal for requesting a hearing under this subsection.
Upon request of a person claiming an interest in the animal, if made within ten (10) days of the date of seizure, a hearing must be held within five (5) business days of the request, to determine the validity of the seizure and impoundment. In the case of a seizure pursuant to a warrant issued under Minnesota Statutes section 343.22, the hearing must be held by the Judge who issued the warrant. In the case of a seizure under Minnesota Statutes section 343.29, the City may either: 1) authorize a licensed veterinarian with no financial interest in the matter or professional association with either party, or 2) use the services of a Hearing Officer to conduct the hearing. A person claiming an interest in the animal who is aggrieved by a decision of the Hearing Officer may seek a court order governing the seizure or impoundment within five (5) days of notice of an order. (Ord. 559, sec. 5, 9-18-1995)
1. See also subsection 5-1-9D of this chapter.