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(a) As used in this section, "dangerous dog" means and includes:
(1) Any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury to, or to otherwise endanger the safety of, human beings or domestic animals;
(2) Any dog which attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation; or
(3) Any dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting or any dog trained for dog fighting.
No dog shall be deemed dangerous if it bites, attacks or menaces a trespasser on the property of its owner or if it harms or menaces anyone who has tormented or abused it.
(b) No person owning, harboring or having the care or custody of a dangerous dog shall suffer or permit such dog to go unconfined on the premises of such person. A dangerous dog is "unconfined, " as the term is used in this section, if such dog is not securely confined indoors or confined in a securely enclosed and locked pen or in a dog run area upon the premises of such person. Such pen or dog run area must have sides that are six feet high or a secure top. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, or if a dog is a type which burrows, the sides must be imbedded into the ground not less than one foot. Such structure shall be clearly marked with the words "Dangerous Dog." Such pen or dog run area shall be not closer than six feet from any property line.
(c) No person owning, harboring or having the care or custody of a dangerous dog shall suffer or permit such dog to go beyond the premises of such person unless such dog is securely muzzled and restrained with a chain having a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and not exceeding three feet in length. Such dog shall be accompanied by an adult.
(d) No person shall own or harbor any dog for the purpose of fighting, or train, torment, badger, bait or use any dog for the purpose of causing or encouraging such dog to unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.
(e) No person shall possess with the intent to sell, offer for sale, breed, buy or attempt to buy within the City any dangerous dog.
(f) If the Chief of Police has probable cause to believe that a dangerous dog is being harbored or cared for in violation of any of the provisions of this section, he or she may make an investigation and, if a violation is present, he or she may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to order the seizure and impoundment of such dog by the County Animal Warden or his or her deputy pending trial or final disposition of the matter.
(g) If a dog has been determined to be dangerous by a court of competent jurisdiction, the Chief of Police or his or her designee within the Police Division shall, upon the advice of the County Animal Warden or his or her deputy, issue a special permit for the keeping and maintenance of a dangerous dog upon a finding by the Chief of Police, as a result of his or her investigation and the advice of the County Animal Warden, that the following conditions will be met in the keeping and maintenance of the dangerous dog:
(1) The dangerous dog is at all times kept or maintained in a safe manner and is at all times confined securely so that the keeping of such dog will not constitute a danger to human life, domestic animals or the property of others.
(2) Adequate safeguards are made to prevent unauthorized access to such dangerous dog by members of the public.
(3) The health and well being of the dangerous dog is not in any way endangered by its manner of keeping or confinement.
(4) The manner of keeping of the dangerous dog does not constitute a nuisance and will not disturb the tranquility of the surrounding neighborhood.
(5) The keeping of the dangerous dog will not create or cause offensive odors or constitute a danger to the public health.
(6) The quarters in which the dangerous dog is kept are adequately constructed so that they may be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
(7) The applicant for such special permit shall show his or her ability to respond in damages in a single limit amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for bodily injury to or death of any person or domestic animal, or for damage to property owned by any other person which may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of the dangerous dog. Proof of liability to respond in damages may be given by filing with the County Dog Warden a certificate of insurance from an insurance company authorized to do business in the State stating that the applicant is, at the time of his or her application, and will be during the period of such special permit, insured against liability to respond in damages. Such certificate of insurance shall provide that no cancellation of the insurance will be made unless ten days notice is first given to the Chief of Police.
(h) The Chief of Police, in investigating any applicant for a permit under this section or in the enforcement of this section, shall consult with the County Animal Warden or his or her deputy and, further, may consult with and seek the advice of the County Health Department, the Humane Society or any other individual, agency, organization or society which may be able to provide information and advice concerning the keeping of dangerous dogs.
(i) Annually, the Chief of Police shall renew such permit only upon inspection of the subject's premises and upon finding, after consultation with the County Animal Warden, that all the conditions set forth in subsection (g) hereof are being met at the time of renewal and have not been violated during the permit period which is expiring. If the Chief of Police determines during any such inspection that any of the conditions set forth in subsection (g) hereof are being violated or have been repeatedly violated in the expiring permit period, or if any such violation is not corrected within a period of time as he or she directs, which time shall not be less than fourteen days, he or she shall refuse to renew any such permit. If there have been repeated violations in the expiring permit period or if violations at the time of the renewal application continue, the Chief of Police shall petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the removal of the dangerous dog to the custody of the County Animal Warden for further disposition according to law.
(j) A special permit is required for the keeping of each dangerous dog. No person shall keep or harbor a dangerous dog without obtaining a special permit as provided in this section. A fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) shall be paid to the City and collected by the Chief of Police for each special permit issued. A fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) shall be paid to the City for each annual renewal of a special permit.
(k) No person shall violate any condition imposed by subsection (g) hereof in the issuance of a special permit for a dangerous dog.
(l) Whoever violates subsection (d) or (e) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Whoever violates subsection (b), (j) or (k) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree for a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree for each subsequent offense.
(Ord. 63-1987. Passed 9-14-87.)