The Faulkner County Government has newly established animal control ordinances and has secured a location for the future shelter. The shelter is projected to be built by 2019.
Be it enacted by the Quorum Court of the County of Faulkner, State of Arkansas. An Ordinance to be entitled: An Ordinance relating to the regulation of dogs; the taking up and impoundment of vicious dogs and dogs thought to be infected with rabies; rabies prevention; and making violations a misdemeanor punishable by fine.
Except as specified herein, this Ordinance does not pertain to areas of or the residents of the incorporated municipalities of Faulkner County, but does include all other areas of Faulkner County, except that a resident of one of the incorporated municipalities, but allowing a vicious dog to run at large in an area of the County governed by the Ordinance, shall be subject to this Ordinance.
As used in this Ordinance the following terms mean:
a. ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER: “Animal Control Officer” means any person appointed by the Sheriff of Faulkner County to perform duties as assigned by the Sheriff to effectuate this Ordinance.
b. ANIMAL SHELTER: “Animal Shelter” means any premises approved by the Sheriff for the purpose of enforcing this Ordinance and used as a shelter for seized, homeless, abandoned or unwanted dogs, cats or other animals. It matters not whether the shelter is owned by Faulkner County and operated under the supervision of the Sheriff or whether it is owned and operated by a municipality, humane society or animal welfare group, which has a working agreement with the Sheriff for the support of Faulkner County.
c. AT LARGE: “At Large” means any dog not located on the premises of the owner.
d. OWNER: “Owner” means any person owning, keeping or harboring a dog within Faulkner County.
e. SHERIFF: “Sheriff” means the duly elected Sheriff of Faulkner County.
f. VACCINATED AGAINST RABIES: “Vaccinated against rabies” means the injection of an antirabies vaccine as provided in A.C.A. § 20-19-202.
g. VICIOUS DOG: “Vicious Dog” means any member of the canine (dog) family that has exhibited fierce or vicious behavior toward a person or that has attacked a person or another animal with such severity as to cause physical injury or property damage. However, any of the above described actions or behaviors should not be considered vicious if the dog was provoked or teased.
REGULATING OF DOGS
a. Each owner shall have on his, her or its dog collar or harness to which is securely fastened a metal plate or tag on which is legibly and permanently inscribed the name, address and/or phone number or its owner and verification that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies as required by state law.
b. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to abandon any dog in Faulkner County.
TAKING UP AND IMPOUNDING OF VICIOUS DOGS AND DOGS THOUGHT TO BE INFECTED WITH RABIES:
a. After investigating an incident involving the possibility of a dog exhibiting fierce or vicious behavior, the Sheriff or his deputy shall deem the dog vicious if he has determined that the dog acted in a manner or exhibited the behavior described in Section 2.g. Upon deeming a dog vicious, the officer shall notify the owner that the dog has been deemed vicious by hand delivery or by mailing a notice by certified mail to the owner. After deeming the dog vicious, the officer shall apprehend the dog and impound the dog at an animal shelter until a final determination has been made as to the status of whether the dog is vicious.
b. The Sheriff or his deputy for the purpose of enforcing this Ordinance, are clothed with full police power to apprehend and impound any vicious dog or a dog thought to be infected with rabies within Faulkner County and may enter upon private property to apprehend such dog. If after request therefore, the owner of such dog shall refuse to deliver the dog to the officer, the owner shall be in violation of this Ordinance. The owner of such dog shall be responsible for all the reasonable expenses incurred in the apprehending and impounding such dog.
RIGHT TO APPEAL DECISION TO DEEM THE DOG VICIOUS:
If an owner of a dog who has received notice that his or her dog has been deemed vicious feels that such a determination was made in error, the owner may appeal the officer’s decision within ten (10) days after receiving the notice by filing an appeal with the Faulkner County District Court.
RELEASE OF VICIOUS DOG:
A dog that has been apprehended and impounded pursuant to Section 4 as a vicious dog shall be released by the animal shelter after one of the following has occurred:
a. A final determination has been made that the dog is not vicious;
b. The owner signs an affidavit acknowledging that the dog is vicious and that the owner is not appealing a determination deeming the dog vicious; or
c. The owner signs an affidavit, suitable to the appealing authority, acknowledging that they will confine the dog as required by Section 10 of this Ordinance pending the outcome of an appeal.
FAILURE TO RETRIEVE IMPOUNDED VICIOUS DOG:
If a final determination has been made as to whether or not a dog is vicious, the animal shelter shall notify the owner by hand delivery or by certified mail that the dog must be retrieved from the animal shelter within 7 days. If the owner of the dog fails to retrieve the animal within 7 days, the dog shall be humanely destroyed if it has been deemed vicious or shall be put up for adoption if the dog has not been deemed vicious.
RELEASE OF DOG THOUGHT TO BE INFECTED WITH RABIES:
A dog that has been apprehended and impounded pursuant to Section 4 as a dog thought to infected with rabies shall be released by the animal shelter to the custody of the owner at the end of the legally required confinement period if the dog is determined not to be infected with rabies.
FAILURE TO RETRIEVE DOG THOUGHT TO BE INFECTED WITH RABIES:
If it is determined as provided by law that a dog thought to be infected with rabies is not infected with rabies, the animal shelter shall notify the owner by hand delivery or by certified mail that the dog must be retrieved from the animal shelter within 7 days. If the owner of such dog fails to retrieve the animal within 7 days, the dog shall be put up for adoption.
REGULATION OF VICIOUS DOGS:
Once a dog that has been deemed vicious is released from the animal shelter, any person who owns, keeps, harbors, or possesses, the dog shall:
a. Keep the dog confined within a dwelling or other building;
b. Keep the dog on a leash under the control of a responsible handler when outdoors; or
c. Keep the dog in a secured enclosure with a covered top and a secure bottom when outdoors and unattended.
VIOLATIONS – PUNISHMENT:
Any person violating or aiding in or abetting the violation of any provision of this Ordinance, or resisting, obstructing, or impeding the Sheriff or any authorized officer in enforcing this Ordinance or refusing to produce for inoculation any dog in his possession, or who removes a tag from a dog for purposes of destroying or concealing its identity, is guilty of a petty offense, for a first or second offense and shall be fined not less than $25.00 nor more than $200.00, and for a third and subsequent offence, shall be fined not less than $250.00 or more than $500.00, except that if an act prohibited herein or rendered unlawful is, in its nature, continuous in respect to time, the fine for allowing continuance thereof in violation of the Ordinance shall not exceed $250.00 for each day that the same is unlawfully continued.