Skip to code content (skip section selection)
The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
(a) "Altered" means an animal that has been spayed or neutered.
(b) "Abate" means to take action to remove a nuisance and may include confining, isolating or destroying an animal.
(c) "At large" means:
(1) Being on private property without the permission of the owner or person who has the right to possess or use the property.
(2) Being unrestrained by a leash on private property open to the public or on public property, unless a law or regulation expressly allows an animal to be unrestrained on the property. If a leash is not being held in the hand of a person capable of controlling the animal or a person is not actually controlling an animal attached to the leash, the animal is "at large."
(3) In a place or manner which presents a substantial risk of imminent interference with animal or public health, safety or welfare.
(d) "Attack" means an action by an animal which places a person in reasonable apprehension that the animal will cause the person immediate bodily harm.
(e) "Attack dog" has the same meaning as the term "attack dog" in Health and Safety Code section 121881.
(f) "Bite" means an action by an animal with its teeth or mouth that breaks the skin of a human or animal and does not require the presence of teeth marks.
(g) "Business day" means any day that County animal shelter facilities are open to the public.
(h) "Cat" means an animal of the genus and species Felis domesticus.
(i) "County animal shelter" means a facility the County operates to temporarily house animals that are relinquished by their owners, found at large, impounded or otherwise come into County custody.
(j) "Curb" means to restrain or control an animal so that it urinates or defecates only in the street gutters.
(k) "Custodian" means a person not the owner of an animal who has been entrusted by the owner or the owner's agent to care for and maintain an animal until it is returned to the owner.
(l) "Dangerous dog" means a dog that has attacked, bitten or in some other manner injured a person engaged in lawful activity: (1) two or more times in a 48-month period or (2) one or more times resulting in death or substantial injury.
(m) "Declared dangerous dog" means a dog: (1) that the Department has declared a dangerous dog after affording the dog's owner or custodian the right to a hearing, (2) that a dog's owner has stipulated is a dangerous dog or (3) that another jurisdiction has declared to be a dangerous or vicious dog.
(n) "Department" means the County Department of Animal Services, its agents or deputies.
(o) Director means the Director of the County Department of Animal Services and anyone the Director hires or appoints to administer or enforce this chapter.
(p) "Dispose of" means to make arrangements for an animal and includes euthanasia.
(q) "Dog" means an animal of the genus and species Canis familiaris or any other member of the Canis genus if a person owns, keeps or harbors the animal.
(r) "Dog license" means a certificate the County or other authorized agency issues indicating that a dog has been registered with animal control authorities.
(s) "Guard dog" has the same meaning as the term "guard dog" in Health and Safety Code section 121881 and includes a "sentry dog" defined in Health and Safety Code section 121880.
(t) "Guard dog operator" means the owner of an attack, guard or sentry dog, or other person, that operates or maintains a business to sell, rent, or train an attack, guard or sentry dog.
(u) "Guard dog premises" means a place where a guard dog operator keeps or maintains an attack, guard or sentry dog.
(v) "Health Officer" means the County Public Health Officer and any person hired or appointed by the Public Health Officer to implement or enforce the duties of the Public Health Officer.
(w) "Impound" or "impoundment" means an action by the Department to take possession of an animal.
(x) "Kennel" means a facility, whether or not operated for profit, that keeps or maintains seven or more dogs at least four months old. It includes a facility owned or operated by an animal welfare agency, but does not include an animal shelter operated or established by the Department or a veterinary hospital operated by a veterinarian licensed by the State. A kennel also includes a facility with the requisite seven dogs that also keeps or maintains other animals. As used in this definition a "facility" means any combination of adjacent buildings, structures, enclosures or lots under common ownership or operated as one unit, to keep or maintain dogs.
(y) "Kennel house" means a protected space or enclosure in a kennel in which an animal is assigned to sleep, rest or be segregated from other animals.
(z) "Kennel operator" means a person who owns, controls or operates a kennel or who participates in the control or operation of a kennel.
(aa) "Leash" means any rope, leather strap, chain or other material six feet or less in length, intended to be held in the hand of a person for the purpose of controlling an animal to which it is attached.
(bb) "License tag" means the official tag the County or other authorized agency issues to a dog owner or custodian signifying the dog has been registered with that agency.
(cc) "Neutered" means a male animal whose testicles have been surgically removed.
(dd) "Owner" means a person, other than a custodian, who owns, keeps or harbors an animal or a person who takes possession of an animal after claiming to be the owner.
(ee) "Potentially dangerous animal" means any of the following:
(1) An animal of a species or type likely to cause injury to a person.
(2) An animal, other than a declared dangerous dog, which has within the prior 48-month period attacked, bitten or otherwise caused injury to a person engaged in lawful activity.
(ff) "Primary enclosure" means a structure in a kennel, other than a kennel house, used to restrict an animal to a limited amount of space, such as a room, pen, run, fenced area, cage or compartment.
(gg) "Rabies certificate" means the certificate a licensed veterinarian, the County or other authorized agency issues verifying that an animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
(hh) "Stray" means an animal which is "at large."
(ii) "Spayed" means a female animal whose ovaries and uterus have been surgically removed.
(jj) "Substantial injury" means a substantial impairment of a person's physical condition which requires professional medical treatment, including loss of consciousness, concussion, bone fracture, protracted loss or impairment of function of a bodily member or organ, a muscle tear, a disfiguring laceration, a wound requiring multiple sutures or an injury that requires surgery to restore the person to the condition the person was in before the incident that resulted in the injury.
(kk) "Veterinarian" means a person currently licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the United States.
(ll) "Vicious dog" has the same meaning as the term "vicious dog" in Food and Agriculture Code section 31603.
(mm) "Wild animal" means any animal of the classes of animals listed in Fish and Game Code section 2116 et seq. and supplemented by 14 CCR sections 671 et seq., which are not normally domesticated or not allowed in the State of California.
(Amended by Ord. No. 7309 (N.S.), effective 7-2-87; amended by Ord. No. 7906 (N.S.), effective 6-20-91; repealed and added by Ord. No. 8211 (N.S.), effective 4-1-93; amended by Ord. No. 8353 (N.S.), effective 3-3-94; repealed and added by Ord. No. 8422 (N.S.), effective 8-11-94; repealed and readopted by Ord. No. 9098 (N.S.), effective 12-16-99; repealed and readopted by Ord. No. 9274 (N.S.), effective 12-15-00; repealed and readopted by Ord. No. 9420 (N.S.), effective 2-2-02; amended by Ord. No. 9528 (N.S.), effective 2-27-03; amended by Ord. No. 10036, effective 2-26-10)
Cross reference(s)--Definitions, § 12.101 et seq.