The purpose of this Ordinance is to provide rules, regulations and penalties regarding the care and maintenance of domestic animals as well as to protect the public in general from personal injury or property damage by domestic animals.
Section 1. Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Abandoned animal means any domesticated animal which shall have been placed upon public property or within a public building unattended or uncared for or upon or within the private property of another without the express permission of the owner, custodian or tenant of the private property, and which is unattended or uncared for.
Adult dog and adult cat means any dog or cat that is three months of age or older for the purposes of rabies vaccinations/tags.
Animal means every living vertebrate creature, both domestic and wild, except a human.
Animal control officer means any person who is authorized to implement and enforce county animal care and control ordinances and as defined in state statues.
Authorized veterinarian or clinic means any person licensed or permitted to practice veterinary medicine under the laws of the state, and such person shall have had no previous incidents where money collected from the sale of rabies or license tags has been used or handled inappropriately or illegally.
County means the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.
Direct control means immediate and continuous physical control of an animal (excluding herding dogs; dogs in the process of hunting; police dogs; dogs participating in a registered field trial, obedience trial, and confirmation show and/or match) at all times such as by means of a fence, leash, cord or chain of sufficient strength to restrain the animal.
Dog running at large means any dog not under immediate control, not on a leash, not at heel, not beside a competent person, not in a vehicle driven or parked, or not confined within the property limits of his owner.Hunting dogs are under the control of the owner when hunting with the landowner's permission.
Domestic animal means a dog, cat, or any other animal such as a rabbit, guinea pig, lizard, iguana, hamster, ferret, mouse, snake, spider, bird, or gerbil, which may normally be held, sold, or maintained as a pet.
Feral cat means any cat that has no apparent owner or identification and is wild, untamed, unsocialized, unmanageable and unable to be approached or handled.
Guide dog means a properly trained dog certified by a licensed training facility that has an expertise in training dogs for physically impaired persons and that is actually being used by a person to assist in that physical impairment.
Harborer and caregiver means any person who performs acts of providing care, shelter, protection, restraint, refuge, food or nourishment in such a manner as to control an animal's activities.
Humane society means an incorporated organization that has a nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service for which the central purpose is to provide for the protection of animals. A humane society accepts members from the public at large, and the controlling board is elected by the general membership. A humane society operates from a business facility on commercially zoned property and has advertised and set hours for public access.
Humane trap means any device used for capturing an animal without inflicting injury, pain or suffering and which provides adequate ventilation for the trapped animal. Snares, leg traps or similar devices are considered inhumane and shall not be used.
Impoundment means the act of taking physical possession and control of an animal by an animal control officer or other officer empowered to act by law and transporting it to an animal control facility or humane society.
Livestock includes horses, cows, goats, pigs or any other four-legged animal, excluding dogs and cats, used for pleasure or profit.Fowl are expressly included within this definition.
Owner means any person who owns, harbors, keeps, feeds, maintains, has lawful possession of, or knowingly causes or knowingly permits an animal to be harbored or kept or has an animal in his care or who permits an animal to remain on or about his premises; provided, however, this shall not include a person hired or acting as custodian of the animal for its owner, and shall not include colony caretakers of registered colonies of feral cats.
Police officer means any law enforcement officer empowered to make arrests or cause to be issued summonses in unincorporated areas of the county.
Running at large means any dog or cat that leave or strays from the land owned, rented or leased by the owner or possessor of the dog or cat.
Vicious animal and dangerous animal means any animal that attacks, bites or injures human beings, pets, companion animals or livestock or which, because of temperament, conditioning, or training, has a known propensity to attack, bite or injure human beings, pets, companion animals or livestock.
No dog may be declared dangerous if a threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog or was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have teased, tormented, abused or assaulted the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
The definition shall not be construed to include dogs that are part of a governmental organization or a trained guard dog in performance of its duties.
Section 2. Duty and responsibility of animal owners.
Every owner of every animal excluding livestock kept in the county shall see that such animal:
(1) Is kept in a clean and sanitary and healthy manner and is not confined so as to be forced to stand, sit or lie in its own excrement. The person responsible for the animal shall regularly and as often as necessary maintain all animal areas or areas of animal contact to prevent odor or health and sanitation problems;
(2) Shall have proper and adequate food that is nutritionally appropriate for the species in adequate amounts to maintain good health, fresh potable drinking water, shelter and ventilation, including quarters that are protected from excessive heat and cold and are of sufficient size to permit the animal to exercise and move about freely;
(3) Shall not be tethered by use of a choke collar nor by any rope, chain or cord directly attached to the animal's neck, nor by a leash less than 12 feet in length or of such unreasonable weight as to prevent the animal from moving about freely;
(4) Is protected against abuse, cruelty, neglect, torment, overload, overwork, or any other mistreatment;
(5) Shall provide reasonably necessary medical care, in addition to the required rabies vaccination, which shall include distemper, parvo virus inoculations; if diseased or exhibiting symptoms of disease, receives proper medical care and is segregated from other animals so as to prevent transmittal of the disease; and
(6) Is maintained in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and all regulations respecting animal care and control as are adopted by the county and in effect from time to time.
Section 3. Penalties.
(a) Any person violating Section 4, 6, 8 or 9 of this chapter shall commit a class B infraction and may be fined up to $1,000.00 per occurrence.
(b) Any person violating Section 7, 10, 12 or 14 of this chapter shall commit a class C infraction and may be fined up to $500.00 per occurrence.
(c) In the event that an animal is impounded by animal control pursuant to this chapter, and in addition to any other penalty set out in subsections (a) and (b) above or court costs, the owner shall reimburse the county for the cost associated with providing shelter for each impounded animal at an animal control facility or the humane society. The cost for providing shelter shall be $25.00 per day or the amount approved annually by the county board of commissioners. The money shall be deposited in the county board of commissioners animal control fund.
(d) A violation of a section of this chapter shall be cited by adding the appropriate section or subsection to the citation.
Section 4. Cruelty, abuse, neglect and abandonment of animals.
(a) Cruelty shall mean and include every act whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable pain, suffering or death is caused, permitted or allowed to continue where there is reasonable remedy or relief.
Acts of cruelty shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Whoever willfully or maliciously kills, abuses, maims, or disfigures any animal or willfully or maliciously administers poison to any animal or exposes any poisonous substance with the intent that the poisonous substance shall be taken and swallowed by such animal shall be deemed in violation of this section.
(2) Whoever overloads, overdrives, tortures, torments, or deprives an animal of its necessary sustenance or shelter; beats, mutilates, or kills any animal or causes such to be done; or carries in or upon a vehicle or otherwise any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner shall be deemed in violation of this section.
(3) Whoever confines any animal and fails to supply it with sufficient quantities of wholesome food and water, whoever keeps any animal in any enclosure without wholesome exercise and change of air or whoever abandons any animal to die shall be deemed in violation of this section.
(4) No person shall:
a. Own, possess, keep or train any animal with the intent that such animal shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting.
b. Build, make, maintain, or keep a pit on premises owned by him or occupied by him or allow a pit to be built, made, maintained or kept on such premises for the purposes of an exhibition of animal fighting.
c. In any manner encourage, instigate, promote or assist in an exhibition of animal fighting or intentional combat.
d. Charge admission; be an assistant, umpire or participant; or be present as a spectator to any exhibition of animal fighting or combat.
(b) Any animal control officer or other officer empowered to act by law may impound any animal found to be cruelly treated.
(c) It shall be the duty of the owner to maintain in a clean and sanitary condition and free from extreme and unreasonable objectionable odor all structures, pens, yards, and areas adjacent thereto wherein any animal is kept.
(d) Nothing in the section shall be deemed to prohibit the humane slaughter of livestock or poultry in conformance with all applicable rules and regulations of the state board of health and the United States Food and Drug Administration.
(e) Nothing in this section shall prohibit hunting or fishing, as permitted by the law of the state and the rules and regulations of the state department of natural resources.
(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of commercially sold poisons for the control of rats, mice, groundhogs, moles or other similar rodents as long as the person using the poisons uses reasonable care to ensure that neither domestic animals nor livestock are exposed to the poisons.
Section 5. Animal bites and quarantine.
Every case of a human bitten by a domestic or wild mammal shall be reported promptly to the local health officer or his designee having jurisdiction. It is the duty of the person bitten or the person's parent or guardian to make the report in conformance with title 410 IAC 1-2.3-52, as amended. Law enforcement K-9 dogs are exempted from this section.
Section 6. Vicious Animals.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to cause, permit, accompany or be responsible for the presence of any vicious dog, cat or other animal on the streets or public places of the county or allow the animal to run on the premises of another at any time, unless the owner, while seeking medical attention for the animal in addition to the other requirements of this chapter, causes such dog, cat or other animal to be securely muzzled to effectively prevent it from biting any person or other animal. Upon impounding a vicious animal for any reason, the animal control officer may, for reasons of public safety, retain the animal at the impoundment facility until disposition by the appropriate court.
(b) This section shall not apply to law enforcement dogs
Section 7. Restraint of animals.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any owner or possessor of any dog or cat to allow such dog or cat to run at large, whether wearing a collar and tag or not, within the incorporated or unincorporated areas of the county. Any and all such dogs found running at large, whether wearing a collar and tag or not, shall be immediately impounded by officers of the animal control unit or any police officer. The officers may pursue the animal onto private property to effect capture of such animal.
(b) The owner or possessor of the animal can be issued a summons into court for that county ordinance violation. An animal may be exempt from this chapter when the surgical procedures may be detrimental to the animal's health, with a licensed veterinarian confirming this in writing and notice is given to the county animal shelter within ten days.
(c) It shall be the duty of every owner or custodian of any animal to exercise reasonable care and take all necessary steps and precautions to protect other people, property, and animals from injuries or damage which might result from the animal's behavior. If the owner or custodian of any animal is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be jointly responsible for the minor's violation of this chapter.
(d) It shall be the duty of every owner or custodian of any dog to ensure that the dog is kept under restraint and that reasonable care and precautions are taken to prevent the dog from leaving the real property limits of its owner, possessor, or custodian, and ensure that it is:
(1) Securely and humanely enclosed within a house, building, fence, pen or other enclosure out of which it cannot climb, dig, jump, or otherwise escape on its own volition; and that such enclosure is securely locked at any time the animal is left unattended.
(2) Securely and humanely restrained by chain, cable or trolley, or other tether of sufficient strength to prevent escape.
(3) On a leash and under the control of a competent person; or off a leash and obedient to that person's command and that person is present with the animal any time it is not restrained as provided for in subsection (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this section while on the owner's property.
(e) The following additional precautions shall be taken by the owners, possessors, or custodians of vicious or dangerous animals:
(1) In addition to the requirements in subsection (d)(1) of this section, the owner of a dangerous or vicious dog who maintains the dog out-of-doors shall fence a portion of the property with a second perimeter or area fence. Within this perimeter or area fence, the vicious or dangerous animal must be humanely confined inside a pen or kennel of adequate size. The pen or kennel may not share common fencing with the area or perimeter fence. The kennel or pen must have secure sides and a secure top attached to all sides. The sides must either be buried two feet into the ground, sunken into a concrete pad, or securely attached to a wire bottom. The gate to the kennel shall be of the inward-opening type and shall be kept locked except when tending to the animal's needs such as cleaning the kennel or providing food and water.
(2) Whenever the dog is outside of its enclosure as provided for in this subsection, but on the owner's property, it must be attended by the owner and restrained by a secure collar and leash of sufficient strength to prevent escape. The leash shall be no longer than ten (10) feet, and the animal must be kept at least fifteen (15) feet within the perimeter boundaries of the property unless the perimeter boundary is securely fenced.
(3) No vicious or dangerous dog shall be chained, tethered, or otherwise tied to any inanimate object such as a tree, post or building, outside of its own enclosure as provided for in this subsection.
(f) The owner or custodian of any guard dog or watchdog must confine such dog within a perimeter fence and meet the following conditions:
(1) The fence shall be sufficient to prevent the dog's escape, with all points of ingress and egress securely locked at all times.
(2) A beware of dog sign shall be conspicuously displayed on each exterior side of the enclosure for each 50 feet of enclosure, with a minimum of two, as well as a sign on each ingress or egress point to the enclosure. Signs shall be a minimum of ten inches high and 14 inches long.
(g)The chaining of dogs is discouraged, but if it is done, the following is required:
(1) The dog must be able to reach fresh food and water 24 hours a day.
(2) The chain must be at least 12 feet in length.
(3) The chain must be not of a weight heavy enough to cause physical damage to the dog's neck or body.
(4) The chain must be attached in a manner so that it cannot wrap around vertical items such as a barrel, pole or tree. It must be able to move freely in all directions.
(5) The dog must have shelter from the weather, yet free from becoming entangled with the chain. The dog must have access to the shelter 24 hours a day.
(6) The shelter or doghouse must be kept clean and sanitary and in good repair so the dog does not injure itself on nails, wood pieces, metal pieces, etc. A shelter from weather must be provided during all seasons of the year.
Section 8. Public Nuisance animal.
(a) A public nuisance animal shall mean and include any animal that:
(1) Is repeatedly found at large.
(2) Damages the property of anyone other than the owner.
(3) Is vicious.
(4) Attacks without provocation.
(5) Excessively makes disturbing noises, including but not limited to continued and repeated howling, barking, whining, or other utterances causing unreasonable disturbance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is kept.
(6) Creates unsanitary conditions or offensive and objectionable odors in enclosures or surroundings and thereby creates unreasonable disturbance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is kept.
(7) Is not being kept in conformity with county zoning resolutions.
(b) Any such public nuisance animal may be impounded and the owner or possessor charged for a violation of this chapter.
Section 9. Interfering with animal control officer.
It shall be unlawful to interfere with any animal control officer or other officer empowered to act by law, to take or attempt to take any animal from the county vehicle used to transport the animal, or to take or attempt to take any animal from the animal control shelter or impounding area.
Section 10. Confinement of female dogs and cats in heat.
The owner or keeper of any female dog or cat in heat kept in the county shall confine the animal within a secure enclosure and in such a manner as to prevent it from becoming a nuisance and in such a manner so as to prevent conception except during planned breeding.
Section 11. Injured animals; action required.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person injuring any animal by any means to fail to notify immediately the owner of the animal or the appropriate police department if in an incorporated municipality or the sheriff's office if in an unincorporated area.
(b) Notification shall include the location and description of the animal and the condition of the animal if known.
Section 12. Animal Waste.
The owner of every animal shall be responsible for the removal of any feces deposited by his animal on public property, public walks, public parks, beaches, recreation areas or private property of others. Owners of service dogs may be exempted from this section.
Section 13. Lost or stray animals.
A person finding a stray animal is to notify the humane society within 48 hours. At the discretion of the humane society, the animal may be kept by the finder and a found pet report left with the department, to enable the finder an opportunity to return the animal to its rightful owner. Upon demand by the humane society, any found animal will be surrendered and held for a minimum of five (5) days before a disposition is made. A person finding an animal is obligated to comply with all rules and regulations of this chapter pertaining to humane care and treatment of animals, while the animal is in custody awaiting return to its actual owner. With the exception of the humane society for the county, the finder will be considered the found animal's owner for the purpose of this section only after the animal is in the finder's custody for 30 continuous days.
Section 14. Animals in vehicles.
No animal shall be left unattended in a vehicle when the conditions in that vehicle would constitute a health hazard to the animal (extreme heat or cold). No animal shall be transported in any open vehicle unless confined in an appropriate manner intended to prevent the animal from jumping from the vehicle or being thrown from the vehicle in an accident or rapid stop or other use of the vehicle which could cause injury to the pet. No animal shall be transported in the trunk of any vehicle.
Section 15. Jurisdiction.
The board of commissioners finds that the terms and conditions of this chapter are in the best interests of all citizens of the county. Therefore, this chapter shall be in full force and effect in both the incorporated and unincorporated part of the county unless or until a municipality within the county passes an ordinance: Prohibiting enforcement of this chapter within the boundaries of the municipality; or Regulating and prohibiting acts or omissions substantially similar to those acts or omissions set out in this chapter.
Dated this 19th day of September, 2011. Board of County Commissioners of Jay County, Indiana Milo Miller Jim Zimmerman Faron Parr Attest: Nancy Culy, Jay County Auditor CR/NS May 23, 30, 2012