Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Attack by an animal. It shall be unlawful for any person's animal to inflict or attempt to inflict bodily injury to any person or other animal whether or not the owner is present. This section shall not apply to an attack by a dog under the control of an on-duty law enforcement officer or to an attack upon an uninvited intruder who has entered the owner’s home with criminal intent.
(B) Destruction of dangerous animal. The Animal Control Officer shall have the authority to order the destruction of dangerous animals in accordance with the terms established by this chapter.
(C) Definitions. For the purpose of this division, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
(1) DANGEROUS ANIMAL. An animal which has:
(a) Caused bodily injury or disfigurement to any person on public or private property;
(b) Engaged in any attack on any person under circumstances which would indicate danger to personal safety;
(c) Exhibited unusually aggressive behavior, such as an attack on another animal;
(d) Bitten one or more persons on two or more occasions; or
(e) Been found to be potentially dangerous and/or the owner has personal knowledge of the same, the animal aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.
(2) POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS ANIMAL. An animal which has:
(a) Bitten a human or a domestic animal on public or private property;
(b) When unprovoked, chased or approached a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public property in an apparent attitude of attack; or
(c) Has engaged in unprovoked attacks causing injury or otherwise threatening the safety of humans or domestic animals.
(3) PROPER ENCLOSURE. Securely confined indoors or in a securely locked pen or structure suitable to prevent the animal from escaping and to provide protection for the animal from the elements. A proper enclosure does not include a porch, patio, or any part of a house, garage, or other structure that would allow the animal to exit of its own volition, or any house or structure in which windows are open or in which door or window screens are the only barriers which prevent the animal from exiting. The enclosure shall not allow the egress of the animal in any manner without human assistance. A pen or kennel shall meet the following minimum specifications:
(a) Have a minimum overall floor size of 32 square feet.
(b) Sidewalls shall have a minimum height of five feet and be constructed of 11-gauge or heavier wire. Openings in the wire shall not exceed two inches, support posts shall be 1¼-inch or larger steel pipe buried in the ground 18 inches or more. When a concrete floor is not provided, the sidewalls shall be buried a minimum of 18 inches in the ground.
(c) A cover over the entire pen or kennel shall be provided. The cover shall be constructed of the same gauge wire or heavier as the sidewalls and shall also have no openings in the wire greater than two inches.
(d) An entrance/exit gate shall be provided and be constructed of the same material as the sidewalls and shall also have no openings in the wire greater than two inches. The gate shall be equipped with a device capable of being locked and shall be locked at all times when the animal is in the pen or kennel.
(4) UNPROVOKED. The condition in which the animal is not purposely excited, stimulated, agitated or disturbed.
(D) Designation as potentially dangerous animal. The Animal Control Officer shall designate any animal as a potentially dangerous animal upon receiving evidence that the potentially dangerous animal has, when unprovoked, then bitten, attacked, or threatened the safety of a person or a domestic animal as stated in division (C)(2). When an animal is declared potentially dangerous, the Animal Control Officer shall cause one owner of the potentially dangerous animal to be notified in writing that the animal is potentially dangerous.
(E) Evidence justifying designation. The Animal Control Officer shall have the authority to designate any animal as a dangerous animal upon receiving evidence of the following:
(1) That the animal has, when unprovoked, bitten, attacked, or threatened the safety of a person or domestic animal as stated in division (C)(1).
(2) That the animal has been declared potentially dangerous and the animal has then bitten, attacked, or threatened the safety of a person or domestic animal as stated in division (C)(1).
(F) Authority to order destruction. The Animal Control Officer, upon finding that an animal is dangerous hereunder, is authorized to order, as part of the disposition of the case, that the animal be destroyed based on a written order containing one or more of the following findings of fact:
(1) The animal is dangerous as demonstrated by a vicious attack, an unprovoked attack, an attack without warning or multiple attacks; or
(2) The owner of the animal has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to control the animal in order to prevent injury to persons or other animals.
(G) Procedure. The Animal Control Officer, after having determined that an animal is dangerous, may proceed in the following manner: The Animal Control Officer shall cause one owner of the animal to be notified in writing or in person that the animal is dangerous and may order the animal seized or make orders as deemed proper. This owner shall be notified as to dates, times, places and parties bitten, and shall be given 14 days to appeal this order by requesting a hearing before the City Council for a review of this determination.
(1) If no appeal is filed, the Animal Control Officer shall obtain an order or warrant authorizing the seizure and the destruction of the animal from a court of competent jurisdiction, unless the animal is already in custody or the owner consents to the seizure and destruction of the animal.
(2) If an owner requests a hearing for determination as to the dangerous nature of the animal, the hearing shall be held before the City Council, which shall set a date for hearing not more than three weeks after demand for the hearing. The records of the Animal Control or City Clerk’s office shall be admissible for consideration by the Animal Control Officer without further foundation. After considering all evidence pertaining to the temperament of the animal, the City Council shall make an order as it deems proper. The City Council may order that the Animal Control Officer take the animal into custody for destruction, if the animal is not currently in custody. If the animal is ordered into custody for destruction, the owner shall immediately make the animal available to the Animal Control Officer. If the owner does not immediately make the animal available, the Animal Control Officer shall obtain an order or warrant authorizing the seizure and the destruction of the animal from a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) No person shall harbor an animal after it has been found by to be dangerous and ordered into custody for destruction.
(H) Stopping an attack. If any police officer or Animal Control Officer is witness to an attack by an animal upon a person or another animal, the officer may take whatever means the officer deems appropriate to bring the attack to an end and prevent further injury to the victim.
(I) Notification of new address. The owner of an animal which has been identified as dangerous or potentially dangerous shall notify the Animal Control Officer in writing if the animal is to be relocated from its current address or given or sold to another person. The notification shall be given in writing at least 14 days prior to the relocation or transfer of ownership. The notification shall include the current owner's name and address, the relocation address, and the name of the new owner, if any.
Penalty, see § 91.99