|Published February 4, 2015|
Animal Control Ordinance Discussion
Points of Clarification
1. The City and County have entered into an agreement to consolidate their Animal Control and Code Enforcement service functions under City leadership. This is an administrative action, and makes them part of our Joint Service Activities; just like the Library, Department of Leisure Services, Airport, Airport Construction, Grand Theater, Grand Conference Center, and Humane Society Animal Shelter. Each Joint Service has a separate budget that is jointly approved every year by the City and County.
2. The City and County have separate Ordinances; including Animal Control, Nuisance, Buildings, etc. There has been no consolidation of Ordinances. In order to achieve greater efficiency, lower costs and reduce confusion, the consolidation of service functions focuses on common standards contained in both the City and County Ordinances. Where the standards are different, they are handled as the respective Ordinances require.
3. “At Large” means that an animal is off of the owner’s property and not under restraint. The exceptions are:
a. Domestic cats
b. A dog while actually working livestock
c. A dog locating or retrieving wild game in season for a licensed hunter
d. A dog assisting law enforcement officers
e. A dog being trained for any of the specifically enumerated pursuits in b, c or d above
f. An animal that is within the confines of the real property that the owner had permission to use
g. An animal that is within a motor vehicle (excluding an unleashed animal in an open bed of a truck)
4. A County dog tag permits dogs to run “at large” in unincorporated areas (Sec. 10-78 and 10-79). Tags must be permanently affixed to the dog’s collar. If a dog is not running “at large” in unincorporated area, there is no requirement in the County Ordinance to either obtain a tag or for the dog to wear a collar.
a. Owner keeps dogs on his property – No requirement for a tag or collar
b. Owner uses his dogs for hunting – No requirement for tag or collar. However, if dog gets lost, the dog is considered running “at large”
c. Owner is teaching his dog to retrieve on a friend’s property – No requirement for a tag or collar. But, if dog gets lost, the dog is considered running “at large”
d. Owner leaves dog in his pickup cab or car, with windows slightly cracked for ventilation, while shopping in town – No requirement to tag or collar.
e. Owner leaves his dog unleashed in back of pickup while shopping in town – Dog is considered running “at large” and a tag and collar are required.
f. Dog wanders off his owner’s property to go visit other dogs – Dog is considered running “at large” and a tag and collar are required.
5. The County Ordinance requires license fees to vary in order to curtail irresponsibility by pet owners. Therefore separate fees are charged for spayed and neutered animals and for unsprayed and unneutered animals. Fees are set by the Commission by ordinance.