§ 92.17  RABIES VACCINATION AND CONTROL.
   It shall be unlawful for an owner to fail to provide current inoculation against rabies (hydro- phobia) for his or her dog or cat over the age of four months as required by state law. Should it be deemed necessary by the County Health Director or Board of County Commissioners that other pets be vaccinated in order to prevent a threatened epidemic or to control an existing epidemic, it shall be unlawful for the owner to fail to provide current inoculation against rabies for that pet.
   (A)   Bite cases; duty of owner.
      (1)   Every animal which has bitten any human or domestic animal or which shows symptoms of rabies shall be confined immediately and shall be promptly reported to the Animal Control Division by its owners or person having the animal in charge, and thereupon shall be securely quarantined at the direction of the Animal Control Division for a period of ten days and shall not be released from the quarantine except by written permission from the Animal Control Division.
      (2)   The biting animal, and its records of vaccination and registration, shall be inspected by the Animal Control Officer, who will then observe the following policy:
         (a)   A properly vaccinated and registered dog or cat may be confined on the owner's premises, provided however, that an Animal Control Officer determines that the owner has an adequate means of confinement upon his or her own premises and the animal is subject to observation by the officer at any time during the ten-day period.
         (b)   A dog or cat not properly vaccinated or registered, belonging to the owner, shall immediately be confined in a veterinary hospital or the County Animal Shelter, in which case the expense shall be borne by the owner for the ten-days confinement. The dog or cat shall not be vaccinated during confinement.
         (c)   A biting stray dog or cat shall immediately be confined in the County Animal Shelter for a ten-day period.
   (B)   Surrender for quarantine required on demand.  Except as provided in division (A)(2)(b), it shall be unlawful for the owner to refuse an investigation by the Animal Control Division upon demand any animal which has bitten a human or has been in an encounter with a suspected rabid animal, for the purpose of supervised quarantine, the expense of which shall be borne by the owner. If rabies does not develop within ten days, the animal may be reclaimed upon payment of $10 per day for feeding and care, and upon compliance with other provisions of this chapter.
   (C)   Rabies diagnosed.  If an animal dies while under observation for rabies, then the head of the animal must be submitted to the Person County Health Department for shipment to the Lab Section, North Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Natural Resources, for diagnosis.
   (D)   Emergency quarantine and procedure.  When reports indicate a positive diagnosis of rabies, the County Director of Public Health may order an area-wide quarantine for a period as he or she deems necessary. Upon invoking of such emergency quarantine by the Health Director, no pet animal shall be taken into the streets or permitted to be in the streets during such period. During the quarantine, no animal may be taken or shipped from the county without written permission of the Animal Control Division, and each member of the Animal Control Division, Police and Sheriff's Department, is fully authorized during the emergency to impound or destroy (if it cannot be apprehended) any animal found running at large in the county. During the quarantine period, the Animal Control Division or the local health authorities shall be empowered to provide for a program of mass immunization by the establishment of temporary emergency rabies vaccination clinics strategically located throughout the county. No animal which has been impounded by reason of its being a stray unclaimed by its owner is allowed to be adopted from the animal shelter during the period of emergency rabies quarantine, except by special authorization of the public health officials and the department head of the Animal Control Division.
   (E)   Rabies inoculation required.
      (1)   It shall be unlawful for an owner to fail to provide current inoculation against rabies (hydrophobia) for any dog or cat four months of age or older. Should it be deemed necessary by the County Health Director, the Board of County Commissioners or the State Public Health Veterinarian that other pets be inoculated in order to prevent a threatened epidemic or to control an existing epidemic, it shall be unlawful for an owner to fail to provide current inoculation against rabies for that pet. This chapter strongly recommends inoculation for other animals if a vaccine is available for that species.
      (2)   A rabies inoculation shall be deemed current for a dog and cat if two inoculations have been given one year apart and booster doses of rabies vaccine administered every three years thereafter.
   (F)   Destruction of bitten animal.  A dog or cat bitten by a proven rabid animal or animal suspected of having rabies that is not available for laboratory diagnosis shall be destroyed immediately by its owner, the County Animal Control Officer or a peace officer, unless the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies in accordance with this chapter or the rules or regulations of the County Health Department more than three weeks prior to being bitten, and is given a booster dose of rabies vaccine within three days of the bite. It shall be unlawful for any owner or person who has been taking care of any unvaccinated animal, which is reasonably determined to have been exposed to rabies because of an encounter with a suspected rabid animal, to fail to surrender the unvaccinated animal to the Animal Control Division on demand for compliance with any protocol established by the County Health Director for handling of rabies exposure incidents.
   (G)   Extension of quarantine period.  In the event there are additional positive cases of rabies occurring during the period of quarantine, the period of quarantine may be extended at the discretion of the County Director of Public Health.
   (H)   Releasing, killing or removing any animal suspected of rabies prohibited.  It shall be unlawful for any person to kill or release any animal under observation for rabies, any animal suspected of having been exposed to rabies, or any animal biting a human, or to remove the animal from the county without written permission from the Animal Control Division and the County Director of Public Health.
   (I)   Carcass of animal.  The carcass of any dead animal suspected of dying with rabies shall be surrendered to the Animal Control Division. The head of the animal shall be submitted to the County Health Department for shipment to the Lab Section, North Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Natural Resources, for diagnosis.
   (J)   Failure or refusal to surrender animal unlawful.  It shall be unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to surrender any animal for quarantine or destruction as required herein when demand is made therefor by the Animal Control Division.
(Ord. passed 4-5-93; Am. Ord. passed 3-18-96; Am. Ord. passed 3-11-13; Am. Ord. passed 3-9-15) Penalty, see § 92.99