(1) Declaration. The Poundmaster has the authority to declare an animal potentially dangerous or dangerous and require such animal to have a permit in accordance with this section. The Poundmaster may declare an animal potentially dangerous or dangerous if the Poundmaster has probable cause to believe that the animal falls within the definitions set forth in PMC 6.05.010. If the owner of such animal can be readily determined, the Poundmaster shall notify the owner personally or by certified mail of the declaration. If, however, the owner of such animal cannot be readily determined, notification shall be waived.
(2) Impoundment. No person shall have, keep or maintain a potentially dangerous or dangerous animal without first obtaining a permit from the Poundmaster. Any animal meeting this definition and found at large without a permit will be impounded immediately at the expense of the owner. If the owner of such animal can be readily determined, the Poundmaster shall notify the owner personally or by certified or regular mail of the impoundment. If, however, the owner of such animal cannot be readily determined, notification shall be by posting at the animal control agency as provided in PMC 6.05.080.
(3) Appeal. Any owner of an animal subject to this section may appeal the determination of the Poundmaster to the Hearing Examiner for determination provided the appeal is made in writing and filed with the City Clerk within 10 days of the Poundmaster’s determination. The hearing shall be scheduled within seven days of the date of service of such notice and the decision of the Poundmaster shall be stayed and any impoundment shall continue, at the cost of the owner, pending the appeal.
(a) If the Hearing Examiner finds insufficient evidence to support the declaration, the declaration shall be rescinded and the restrictions imposed thereby annulled. All impound fees are the responsibility of the owner of the animal; no animal impound expense and fee(s) shall be assessed against the City of Pasco or the Animal Control Authority or officer.
(b) If the Hearing Examiner finds sufficient evidence to support the declaration, he/she shall impose restitution if applicable, and may impose reasonable additional restrictions on the animal.
(c) Decisions of the Hearing Examiner shall be final and conclusive unless a timely appeal is filed with the Superior Court of Franklin County by an aggrieved party within 21 calendar days from the date of issuance of the decision and any impoundment shall continue, at the cost of the owner, pending the appeal.
(4) Redemption or Destruction of Animal. An animal impounded under this section shall be returned to its owner if they comply with subsection (5) of this section and PMC 6.05.070 within 72 hours of after notification of impoundment. If, however, the owner of the impounded animal under this section does not comply with subsection (5) of this section and PMC 6.05.070 within 72 hours after notification of impounding, such animal shall be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. For purposes of determining whether the 72 hours have expired, the following methods shall be used: (a) if the owner is personally served by the Poundmaster, time begins when the owner was personally served; (b) if the owner is mailed notice by certified and regular mail, time begins three days after the notice was mailed; and (c) if the owner of such animal could not be readily determined by the Poundmaster, notice shall be by posting as provided by PMC 6.05.080 and the time begins at posting as provided by PMC 6.05.080. EXCEPTION: Upon execution of declaration of removal by the owner or authorized representative of the owner of the animal and payment of applicable fees including impound fees, the animal may be released by the Poundmaster into the custody of the owner or authorized representative of the owner for the immediate and permanent removal of the animal from the City.
(5) Permit Required. No person shall have, keep or maintain any potentially dangerous or dangerous animal without first obtaining an annual permit from the Poundmaster. The fee for such a permit shall be in addition to the regular annual license fee. A permit will only be granted if the applicant has provided and maintains: (a) a proper enclosure to properly and safely confine the animal as determined by the Poundmaster, (b) a conspicuously posted sign on the premises which clearly warns the public and children that there is a potentially dangerous or dangerous animal on the property, (c) $250,000 surety bond issued by a surety insurer qualified under Chapter 48.28 RCW in a form acceptable to the Poundmaster payable to any person injured by the potentially dangerous or dangerous animal; or liability insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, issued by an insurer qualified under RCW Title 48 in the amount of not less than $250,000 with maximum deductible coverage not to exceed $2,500, in a form requiring notice to the City of cancellation or nonrenewal of such policy not less than 30 days prior to its date of cancellation or expiration, insuring the owner for any personal injuries or property damage inflicted by the animal and (d) proof that all surrounding property owners and occupants have been notified and given an opportunity to comment on the confinement plans.
(6) Exemption from Permit Requirement. An animal that is classified as “potentially dangerous” under the provisions of PMC 6.05.010 may be exempted from the permit requirements of subsection (5) of this section, provided such animal has passed the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test of the American Kennel Club (AKC), as administered by the Poundmaster or the Animal Control Authority, or a reasonably equivalent canine behavioral test as determined by the City, and received the appropriate certificate from AKC or equivalent approved testing agency. Animals that pass the AKC CGC test or approved equivalent canine behavioral test are exempt from permit regulations for a period of at least two years. Such animal shall be retested and passed once every two years in order to maintain this exemption. Animals that fail the AKC CGC test or approved equivalent canine behavioral test shall be given the opportunity to retest within a reasonable period of time, as determined by the City.
(a) No animal shall be exempt from the permit by way of transfer of ownership. Any owner of a potentially dangerous or dangerous animal shall file a certification with the Poundmaster certifying that the animal has been transferred and that prior to transfer the owner disclosed the permit requirement to the new owner who shall countersign and date the certification. Such certification shall include the address of both the transferor and transferee.
(7) Control and Confinement. A dangerous and potentially dangerous animal must be muzzled and securely leashed, restrained and under the control of a person physically able to control the animal when away from the property of the owner or keeper; or, while on the property of the owner, must be securely confined within a “proper enclosure” as defined in PMC 6.05.010 made of materials strong enough to adequately and humanely confine the dog in a manner which prevents it from escaping the property and to prevent the entry of young children and kept in conformance with the requirements of subsection (5) of this section, unless otherwise exempt under subsection (6) of this section.
(8) Violations and Regulation. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. No person, being the owner of any potentially dangerous or dangerous animal, shall keep, harbor or maintain the same on or off their premises in a manner endangering or likely to endanger the safety of persons, property or other animals nor shall they allow the same to run at large within the City. It shall be a defense to any charge under this section involving an alleged potentially dangerous or dangerous animal that the person endangered was committing, was about to commit or had just committed a trespass or crime and that the animal’s reaction was a natural result thereof. The Poundmaster may petition the Pasco Code Enforcement Board to determine whether an animal should be destroyed.