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Title 10
Chapter 10.03
Section 10.03.033
 

Title 10 Regulation of Activities

Division I. Penal Code

Chapter 10.03 Offenses Involving Animals

Section 10.03.033 Potentially Dangerous Dog Declaration
  1. When the director or his or her designee has sufficient articulable information to determine that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog as defined in SCC 5.04.020(19), the director or his or her designee shall declare the dog potentially dangerous and shall notify the owner or keeper of the dog in writing of such determination, either in person or by regular mail. Any notice or determination mailed pursuant to this section shall be deemed received by the party to whom it is addressed on the third day after it is placed in the mail, as set forth by declaration of the sender. The notice shall contain the following information:
    1. That the person receiving the notice is identified as the owner or keeper of a potentially dangerous dog as defined in SCC 5.04.020 (20);
    1. The breed, color, sex, and license number (if known) of the dog;
    1. The facts upon which the declaration of potentially dangerous dog is based;
    1. That if there are future similar incidents with the dog, the dog could be declared a dangerous dog pursuant to SMC 10.03.020 and required to be registered as provided in SMC 10.03.020;
    1. That the owner or keeper must comply with restrictions set forth in the notice as a condition of continued ownership or keeping of the dog and that restrictions may include, but are not limited to, those that may be imposed on the owner or keeper of a potentially dangerous dog pursuant to SCC 5.04.032 (7);
    1. That the notice renders a final determination that the dog is a potentially dangerous dog, unless the owner or keeper of the dog requests an administrative review meeting in writing on a form provided with the notice within fifteen days of the receipt of the notice. For purposes of this section, if the notice is mailed, it shall be deemed received on the third day after the notice is placed in the mail.
    1. The administrative review meeting shall be informal, open to public view, and at the option of the director or designee, held telephonically and the administrative meeting officer shall be someone who did not participate in making the potentially dangerous dog determination.
    1. Following an administrative review meeting, the director or designee may affirm or reverse the original determination that the dog is potentially dangerous. If the determination is affirmed, the director may impose the same reasonable conditions as may be imposed on the owner or keeper of a potentially dangerous dog pursuant to SMC 10.03.033 C.
    1. That pursuant to this section, a failure by the dog owner or keeper to request and attend an administrative review meeting with the animal control director or designee shall constitute a failure to exhaust all administrative remedies, and that such failure to exhaust all administrative remedies shall preclude any appeal of the administrative determination to the City hearing examiner.
  1. The notice of a potentially dangerous dog declaration constitutes a final determination that the dog constitutes a potentially dangerous dog, unless the owner or keeper requests an appeal hearing before the City hearing examiner within fifteen (15) days of service of the notice.
  1. In the event the owner or keeper requests an appeal hearing before the hearing examiner, the appeal hearing shall be held within thirty days of the request.
    1. The City Hearing Examiner’s Office will notify the owner or keeper of the date, time and place of the hearing, as well as the right to present evidence as to why the dog should not be found potentially dangerous.
    1. The hearing examiner may affirm, reverse or modify the potentially dangerous dog declaration issued by the director. If the recommendation is to affirm the declaration, the hearing examiner shall recommend requirements listed below be imposed upon the owner or keeper as a condition of continued ownership or keeping of the dog. If the hearing examiner’s decision is to modify the declaration, the examiner may determine that the dog be deemed potentially dangerous and that reasonable conditions be imposed on the owner or keeper as a condition of continued ownership or keeping of the dog. Reasonable conditions may include but are not limited to the following measures:
      1. Erection of new or additional fencing to keep the dog within the confines of the owner's or keeper's premises.
      1. Construction of a run consistent with the size of the dog within which the dog must be kept.
      1. Keeping the dog on a leash adequate to control the dog or securely fastened to a secure object when left unattended.
      1. Keeping the dog indoors at all times, except when on a leash adequate to control the dog and under the actual physical control of the owner or keeper or a competent person at least fifteen years of age.
      1. Keeping the dog muzzled in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration, but will prevent it from biting any person or animal when outside a proper enclosure.
      1. Spaying/neutering of the dog.
      1. Microchip implanting of the dog for identification purposes.

The hearing examiner may alternatively recommend that the director be given the authority to establish the reasonable conditions from the measures listed above, or from revisions or additions to such measures that the director deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.

  1. The City hearing examiner notifies, in writing, the owner or keeper of his decision within twenty (20) days of the hearing. The owner or keeper of the dog may appeal the City hearing examiner’s decision on the potentially dangerous dog appeal within fifteen (15) days to the Spokane County superior court.
  1. Conditions imposed on a potentially dangerous dog under this section may be reviewed and modified at the discretion of the Director. Any modification of conditions must be supported by written findings and conclusions issued by the Director, which will become final and effective fifteen days (15) after notice to the owner or keeper of the dog unless appealed. The notice and appeal of any modification of conditions shall be only of the changed conditions and shall follow the notice and appeal procedures contained in the section.
  1. Dogs deemed potentially dangerous by other jurisdictions in the state of Washington shall be subject to the same regulations as if they have been deemed potentially dangerous in Spokane County and the owner or keeper shall present the dog to SCRAPS within thirty (30) days of their arrival in Spokane County in order to allow the Director to evaluate the dog on an individual basis and determine which restrictions authorized under this section to impose. Any owner or keeper of a dog deemed potentially dangerous by a jurisdiction outside of the state of Washington who is relocating to Spokane County shall present the dog to SCRAPS within thirty (30) days of their arrival in Spokane County in order to allow the Director to evaluate the dog on an individual basis and determine which restrictions authorized under this section to impose.
  1. An owner or keeper of a potentially dangerous dog who violates any of the conditions imposed under this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor as set forth in SCC 5.04.071(b) and (j).

 

Date Passed: Monday, August 27, 2018

Effective Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018

ORD C35673 Section 2