§ 5-34. Impoundment of animals; compulsory sterilization  

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  • (a) The county may purchase, construct, lease, operate, and maintain county shelters to retain:

    (1) Any animal captured, seized or picked up by the division pursuant to this article;

    (2) Any animal delivered to the division;

    (3) Any animal ordered impounded by any court;

    (4) Any animal under investigation for classification as dangerous or potentially dangerous.

    (b) The division manager may retain the services of a licensed veterinarian or utilize the animal services division spay/neuter clinic veterinarian to spay or neuter any impounded fertile dog or cat, or to treat any sick or injured animal retained in a county shelter. When the owner or keeper of such animal is identified, such owner or keeper shall be liable for payment of the veterinary expenses or reimbursement of the county's expenses in treating and caring for the animal. Animal services division staff may administer medication and veterinary care as prescribed by a veterinarian. The county, its employees and agents, shall not be liable for any act or omission in rendering such care.

    (c) No animal impounded pursuant to this article shall be released to its owner or keeper until:

    (1) The owner of the impounded dog, cat, or ferret, which is not currently vaccinated against rabies, will be issued a citation for failure to obtain a rabies vaccination;

    (2) The owner or keeper of an impounded animal pays all applicable fees due;

    (3) The owner or keeper of an impounded animal pays any expenses incurred by the county for veterinary treatment.

    (d) An owned fertile dog or cat impounded by animal services may be spayed or neutered by the animal services division spay/neuter clinic, in accordance with the provision of this subsection and prior to the release of the dog or cat.

    (1) An initial citation for Category II violations, as identified in section 5-50, may be waived by the division manager if, prior to release, spay or neuter procedures are completed.

    (2) Upon second impoundment of an owned dog or cat, written notification of intent to sterilize the animal shall be given to the owner or keeper of this animal. The cost of the spay or neuter shall be charged to the owner prior to release of the animal to the owner.

    (3) Any owner of an impounded animal subject to mandatory spay/neuter may petition in writing for a hearing to be conducted by the division manager or his designee. Such petition must be made by the owner within three (3) working days of the division's issuance of a notice of impoundment. The hearing must be held within four (4) working days of receipt of such petition. After the hearing, the division manager or designee shall require the animal to be spayed or neutered unless the division manager has determined that good cause exists for not requiring that the animal be spayed or neutered.

    (e) An initial citation for Category II violations, as identified in section 5-50, may be waived by the division manager, pending completion of either spay or neuter surgery of the animal, within seven (7) working days of the initial notice of violation.

(Code 1965, § 3-11; Ord. No. 87-9, § 11, 3-9-87; Ord. No. 91-8, § 10, 4-2-91; Ord. No. 95-32, § 7, 9-26-95; Ord. No. 2002-04, § 5, 6-4-02; Ord. No. 2005-07, § 8, 7-12-05)