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(A) If the poundmaster determines that probable cause exists to believe that (1) an animal poses a threat to the safety of persons or property or (2) an animal is being maintained in violation of a previously issued order of a hearing officer, the poundmaster may seize the animal and have the animal transported to and housed in an animal pound. If the poundmaster does seize and impound an animal, the poundmaster shall promptly either (1) give the notice set forth in subsection 5-5(B) to an owner or keeper of the animal, or (2) if an owner or keeper of the animal is not readily known or available, attempt to determine the name and address of an owner or keeper of the animal and either personally serve such notice upon or send such notice to an owner or keeper of the animal by United States mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested.
(B) Upon impoundment of an animal, a notice in the following form shall be served or sent in accordance with subsection 5-5(A):
Notice of Right to Preliminary Hearing
Please take notice that on (insert the date) a (describe the animal - for example - "a dog of approximately 18 inches in height at the front shoulders with black and brown fur") was impounded by the City of Oxnard as posing a public nuisance. A public nuisance hearing will be scheduled in accordance with the Oxnard City Code to determine if the animal is a public nuisance and, if so, how such public nuisance is to be abated. A notice of the location, time and date of such public nuisance hearing will be sent to you at a later date. If, prior to the public nuisance hearing, you wish to retrieve the above described animal, you may request a preliminary hearing to determine if the animal should be impounded until such time as a final order is issued by the hearing officer after conducting the public nuisance hearing.
If you wish a preliminary hearing, please complete, sign and return this Notice of Right to Preliminary Hearing to the Oxnard police chief at (insert the address of the police department), and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled within 48 hours (excluding holidays and weekends) from the time of receipt of your request by the police chief.
Dated: ___________ __________________________________
Request for Preliminary Hearing
I request a preliminary hearing in accordance with division 1 of article I of chapter 5 of the Oxnard City Code as to the continued impoundment of the animal described above. Please notify me by telephone at __________________ and deliver all notices to the following address:
Printed name of owner/keeper: ___________________________________________
Signature of owner/keeper: ______________________________________________
(C) Upon receipt of a request for a preliminary hearing, the hearing officer shall immediately cause the requesting party to be notified by telephone (if a telephone number is supplied by the requesting party) of the location, time and date of the preliminary hearing and have delivered to the requesting party's address (if such requesting party's address is within the city of Oxnard) a notice of the location, time and date of the preliminary hearing.
(D) At the location, time and date set forth in the notice, the hearing officer shall conduct a preliminary hearing to determine whether probable cause exists to believe that (1) the animal would pose a threat to the safety of persons or property if returned to the owner or keeper during the pendency of the public nuisance hearing, or (2) the animal was being maintained in violation of a previously issued order of a hearing officer.
(F) In making such determination, the hearing officer shall consider all evidence and testimony offered at the preliminary hearing, including any proposals made by the owner or keeper (1) to secure the animal in a manner so as to foreclose opportunities for injuring or threatening a person or property or (2) to assure the animal will be maintained in accordance with any previously issued order of a hearing officer.
(G) Within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends) of the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written order as to whether the impoundment shall continue or if the animal may be returned to the owner or keeper.
(H) If the order is for the return of the animal, the order may contain specific conditions upon which the animal shall be returned to the owner or keeper, including the payment of animal pound fees.
(I) If the hearing officer determines the animal should be impounded, the hearing officer shall permit the animal to be confined at the owner's or keeper's expense in a kennel or veterinary hospital approved by the hearing officer.
(J) A violation of an order or a condition in an order of the hearing officer after a preliminary hearing shall be grounds for immediate impoundment of the animal.
(`64 Code, Sec. 5-2.3) (Ord. No. 2239, 2375, 2388, 2639)