Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) After an investigation, the Police Chief or his or her designee is authorized to make a determination whether a dog is problematic based on the factors listed in § 90.51 of this chapter and shall notify the owner of the dog in writing by certified mail or hand delivery with signature of that status.
(B) Following attempted notice to the owner if the Police Chief or his or her designee has probable cause to believe that a dog is a problematic or dangerous dog and may pose a threat to public safety, the Police Department may, by owner consent or warrant, impound the dog pending disposition of the case or until the dog owner has fulfilled the requirements hereof. The owner of the dog will be liable for the costs of impounding and keeping the dog.
(C) The owner may request a hearing before a review committee by sending a written notice to the City Clerk within ten days after the date of notice from the city of the determination of a problematic dog. Upon receipt of a request for hearing, the review committee shall schedule a hearing concerning the determination of a problematic or dangerous dog to be held within 30 days after receipt by the city of the request for hearing. The determination regarding a problematic or dangerous dog shall be stayed pending the results of the hearing.
(D) If the owner timely requests a hearing before the review committee pursuant to § 90.52(C), such hearing shall follow the following procedures:
(1) A hearing officer appointed by the review committee shall impartially preside over the hearing.
(2) Each case before the hearing officer shall be presented by the Police Chief or his or her designee who will have the burden of presenting evidence that the dog is a problematic or dangerous dog and should be classified as such. If the evidence indicates that the dog is problematic or dangerous, the burden is on the owner to present evidence that the dog is not problematic or dangerous. At the hearing, the Chief of Police or his or her designee may call witnesses, cross examine witnesses, present evidence, and examine evidence.
(3) All testimony shall be under oath and shall be recorded. The hearing officer shall hear testimony from the animal control officer, the owner of the dog, and any witnesses for either side. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but fundamental due process shall be observed and shall govern the proceedings.
(4) At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue findings of fact, based on evidence of record and conclusions of law, and shall issue an order classifying a dog as problematic or dangerous, or an order stating that there's insufficient cause to declare the dog as problematic or dangerous. A decision by the review committee overturning the determination shall not affect the city's right to later declare a dog to be a problematic or dangerous dog, or to determine that the dog poses a threat to public safety, for the dog's subsequent behavior.
(5) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a hearing officer from taking a case under advisement or continuing a hearing in the interest of justice.
(6) If any dog previously determined to be a problematic or dangerous dog has not exhibited any of the behaviors specified in § 90.51 of this chapter within 12 months since the date of the problematic or dangerous dog determination, then that dog is eligible for a review of the determination with the potential for lifting the requirements of this section. Annual reviews shall be completed by the Police Chief upon application of the owner, which application shall be made to the City Clerk. The Police Chief may rescind the problematic dog designation. may rescind or amend specific requirements set forth in the designation, or may take no action.
(E) (1) If an owner applies for an annual review to the Police Chief and the owner is aggrieved by the Police Chief’s decision, the owner may make application to the review committee to have the problematic or dangerous dog designation or any requirements contained therein rescinded or amended. The owner shall make such application by providing a written request for hearing to the City Clerk. The application must be submitted within 15 days from the date of the Police Chief’s decision to continue the problematic dog determination must set forth the full name of the applicant and the subject dog, and must contain a certification that no further violations of this chapter have occurred in the 12-month period immediately preceding such application. Within 20 days of receipt of the application, the City Clerk shall set the matter for hearing before the review committee, which hearing shall occur no later than 45 days after the date the application was filed with the City Clerk.
(2) In rendering its decision, the review committee may consider, among other items, the severity of the incident that resulted in the designation, the need to protect the public from further incidents, the likelihood of future incidents based on the history of the owner and/or the subject dog. For dangerous dogs, the review committee shall require the owner to provide proof of successful completion of a behavioral modification program administered by a certified dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, veterinary behaviorist or equivalent training from a nationally recognized certifying body before rendering a decision.
(3) At the conclusion of the hearing, the review committee may rescind the problematic or dangerous dog designation, may rescind or amend specific requirements set forth in the designation, or may take no action. The original problematic dog determination shall remain in effect pending the results of the hearing. In the event the review committee declines to rescind or amend the problematic or dangerous dog designation or any requirements contained therein, the owner may not request another hearing before the review committee for another 12 months from the date of the review committee's decision, unless the review committee in rendering its decision shall specifically provide for a subsequent review within a shorter period of time.
(Ord. 2239, passed 11-4-2014; Ord. 2280, passed 1-4-2017; Ord. 2426, passed 3-20-2023)