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Ada County Dog Bite Injury Laws
Parke Gordon Law Firm in Boise has helped many clients in Ada County receive a fair settlement from dog bite injuries. The following is the Ada County dog bite injury laws. Please check the following link to city ordinances for any updates or changes to the laws: (https://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=447 ; Chapter 7, Animal Control):
AT LARGE: Any domesticated animal off or away from the premises of the owner, and not under the control of such owner or his agent by leash, cord or chain (not to exceed 10 feet), by confinement, within a vehicle, or otherwise restrained and under the immediate control of a competent and responsible attendant.
DOG: Any canine of any age, male or female.
DOMESTICATED ANIMAL: Any animal that is accustomed to living in or about the habitation of man, including, but not limited to, cats, dogs, cows, horses, swine and fowl.
IMPOUNDED: Having been received into the custody of the Ada County sheriff’s department or into the custody of the Idaho Humane Society or other designated agent of the Ada County sheriff’s department.
KENNEL, COMMERCIAL: Any lot or premises or portions thereof on which five (5) or more dogs are maintained, harbored, possessed, trained, bred, boarded or cared for in return for compensation, but not including an animal clinic, animal hospital or veterinary office where boarding is limited to short term care incidental to the hospital use.
KENNEL, HOBBY: A facility located at the private residence of the dog owner, where five (5) to ten (10) of the owner’s dogs are maintained for purposes of breeding, hunting, organized field trials, obedience or confirmation, competition, personal safety and security, or for personal enjoyment. Trophies, medals or other awards realized by the dog owner shall not be construed as compensation.
NUISANCE DOMESTICATED ANIMAL: Any domesticated animal of any age, male or female, which molests passersby or passing vehicles, trespasses onto property not owned by the animal’s owner, is repeatedly at large, damages private or public property, or emits sound in an excessive, continuous or untimely fashion.
OWNER: Any person, group of persons, or corporations owning, keeping or harboring a dog or dogs or any other domesticated animal controlled by this provision.
VICIOUS DOG: A dog of any age, male or female, which, when unprovoked, in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, any public grounds or places or private property not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog; or a dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of persons or domestic animals; or any dog which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a person or domestic animal without provocation; or any dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of fighting or any dog trained for fighting.
Notwithstanding the above definition of a “vicious dog”, no dog may be declared vicious if an injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time of such injury or damage was sustained, was committing a wilful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog; or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog; or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
No dog may be declared vicious if the injury or damage was sustained as a result of teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog. No dog may be declared vicious if the dog was protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault. (Ord. 122, 12-23-1981; amd. Ord. 160, 12-10-1986; amd. Ord. 266, 9-23-1993; amd. Ord. 275, 4-7-1994; amd. Ord. 734, 1-13-2010; amd. Ord. 801, 9-12-2012)
- License Required: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, harbor, keep or possess a dog which is more than six (6) months of age within the county without first procuring a license therefor as provided by this chapter; provided however, that the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any person visiting in the county for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days, and owning or possessing a dog currently licensed, and bearing the license issued by another municipality or other licensing authority.
- Collar And Tag Required: Every dog except as noted in subsection A of this section shall at all times wear a substantial, durable collar, to which shall be securely attached the required license tag.
- Term Of License: All dog licenses shall be for a one year period commencing the day the license is issued and expiring twelve (12) months after such date.
- License Procedure: The owner or person in charge of any dog within the county shall make application to any veterinarian, vendor, or retail pet store, participating in the county dog licensing program or to the Idaho Humane Society, Inc. Upon receipt of such application and payment of fees, the person issuing the license shall issue a receipt designating the owner’s name and the number of the license, the sex of the dog, and the amount paid by him, together with a metal tag bearing the number corresponding to that upon the receipt. If title to said dog is transferred within the current year, a new license shall be purchased. It shall be unlawful for anyone to make false statements in the application for a license.
- Annual License Fees:
- Forty three dollars sixty cents ($43.60) for a nonneutered or nonspayed dog.
- Seventeen dollars forty cents ($17.40) for a neutered or spayed dog. A certificate of neuter or spay issued by a veterinarian or the Idaho Humane Society, Inc., shall be presented at the time the license is applied for in order to secure the license rate for a neutered or spayed dog.
- Senior citizens (those 65 years of age and over) shall pay a license fee of nine dollars seventy five cents ($9.75).
- Duplicate licenses shall be issued for four dollars ($4.00).
- Other household pets may be licensed annually upon a voluntary basis for the sum of seven dollars fifty cents ($7.50) per year.
- Exceptions To License: Any dog owned by a blind or visually or hearing impaired person and used as a seeing eye or hearing ear dog shall be licensed at no cost to the owner. (Ord. 122, 12-23-1981; amd. Ord. 160, 12-10-1986; amd. Ord. 384, 11-2-1999; amd. Ord. 734, 1-13-2010)
Limitations on Number of Dogs
No owner may keep, harbor or possess on any premises more than four (4) dogs unless a valid kennel license is obtained. For the purposes of this chapter, the litter of a female dog may be kept with its mother. Such litter, together with the mother, shall count as one dog until the litter reaches six (6) months of age. Animals counted in the litter must be sold, traded or given away before the litter reaches six (6) months of age so as not to exceed the limits set out in this section. (Ord. 122, 12-23-1981; amd. Ord. 160, 12-10-1986)
Restricted and Prohibited Acts and Conditions
- Use Of License Tag: It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any dog owned, kept or harbored by him to wear a license tag issued for another dog or to wear any imitation of the license tag issued by the county for that year, or any tag marked on plate or collar similar to that required by the county at that time and calculated to deceive.
- Running At Large: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, harbor or have in his/her control a dog, whether the dog is licensed or not, which dog is found at large upon the streets or alleys of the county, or in any public place in the county or upon any other premises without the consent of the person in possession of such premises. Said person who owns, harbors or has in his/her control said dog is responsible for such dog being at large and is in violation of this chapter, except:
- When such dog is in the presence of a person and controlled by a leash, cord or chain not to exceed ten feet (10′) in length.
- When such dog is confined to a motor vehicle.
- When such dog is in the immediate care and control of a competent and responsible attendant.
- Female Dogs In Heat: Each female dog, when in heat, shall be penned or enclosed in such a manner as to preclude other dogs from attacking such female dog, or being attracted to such female dog so as to create a nuisance.
- Rabies Suspects:
- It shall be unlawful for a person to own, keep or harbor any dog afflicted with rabies.
- The sheriff, his deputy, or the Idaho Humane Society, Inc., shall secure disposition of any dog afflicted with rabies.
- It is hereby made the duty of an owner of a dog showing symptoms of rabies, or of an unvaccinated dog which has bitten any person causing an abrasion of the skin, to surrender the dog for confinement at the Idaho Humane Society, Inc., or to a licensed veterinarian, for a minimum of ten (10) days. If such a dog shall be determined free of rabies, the same shall be returned to the owner upon payment of the regular fee for keeping dogs impounded. If such fee is not paid, the dog shall be subject to disposal as provided by disposition of unclaimed dogs below. At the discretion of either the sheriff, the Idaho Humane Society, Inc., or the Central district health department, if the owner of the subject dog submits a certificate of current rabies vaccination, the quarantine of a dog may be upon the premises of the owner, or the person in charge of such dog, if the dog is securely confined, and is kept from contact with other animals.
- Nuisance Domesticated Animals: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, harbor or have in his/her possession any domesticated animal which acts in a manner consistent with the definition of a “nuisance domesticated animal” as defined in section 5-7-2of this chapter. Such domesticated animals shall be deemed a nuisance and shall be prohibited and may be subject to impound pursuant to section 5-7-7-4 of this chapter.
- Vicious Dogs: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, harbor, or have in his/her possession any dog or dogs which, when unprovoked, acts in a manner consistent with the definition of a “vicious dog” as defined in section 5-7-2 of this chapter. Such dog or dogs shall be prohibited and may be subject to impound and destruction pursuant to section 5-7-7-5 of this chapter. (Ord. 122, 12-23-1981; amd. Ord. 160, 12-10-1986; amd. Ord. 275, 4-7-1994; amd. Ord. 801, 9-12-2012)
Impounding, Fees, Determination of Viciousness and Destruction of Vicious Dogs
The Idaho Humane Society, Inc., or Ada County sheriff’s office shall capture, impound and may destroy any dog found to be vicious pursuant to the determination of this section. Notice and terms of the impoundment, determination of viciousness and disposal of such dogs shall be as follows:
- Record Of Impounding: Immediately after impounding any dog hereunder, it shall be the duty of the Idaho Humane Society, Inc., to enter upon the records of the animal shelter the date of impounding and a description of the dog impounded under a charge of viciousness.
- Determination Of A Vicious Dog:
- In the event that the animal control officer or Ada County sheriff’s officer has probable cause to believe that a dog is vicious, the animal control officer or the Ada County sheriff’s officer is hereby empowered to seize and impound such dog. In the event that the owner of the dog refuses to surrender the dog to the animal control officer or the Ada County sheriff’s officer, the animal control officer or Ada County sheriff’s officer may employ any legal means to seize the dog.
- The director of the Idaho Humane Society, Inc., or his designated representative shall be empowered to convene a hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the dog in question should be declared vicious. The director of the Idaho Humane Society, Inc., or his designated representative shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation and shall notify the owner of the dog that a hearing will be held, at which time the owner may have the opportunity to present evidence why the dog should not be declared vicious. The owner of the dog has the burden of proof to show the dog is not vicious. The hearing shall be held no less than five (5) days nor more than ten (10) days after service of notice upon the owner of the dog. The hearing shall be informal and be open to the public.
- After the hearing, the owner of the dog shall be notified in writing of the determination. The notice of the determination shall be mailed to the owner of the dog with the presumption that the owner of the dog received the notice not more than three (3) days from the date the notice was mailed.
- Destruction Of Vicious Dog:
- If the determination is made that the dog is vicious, the dog shall be subject to destruction after ten (10) days from the date the notice of determination of viciousness was mailed to the owner of the dog. If the owner of the dog contests the determination, the owner may, within five (5) days of receiving such determination, bring a petition in magistrate court, in the fourth judicial district, in the state of Idaho, in and for the county of Ada, wherein the dog is owned, praying that the court conduct its own hearing on whether or not the animal should be declared vicious. The petition shall be governed by the Idaho rules of civil procedure. The owner of the dog has the burden of proof to show the dog is not vicious. The destruction of the dog shall be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
- If the court finds that the dog is not vicious as defined by this chapter, such dog may be released to the custody of the owner upon payment to the shelter or animal control officer of the expenses of impounding such dog.
- If the court finds that the dog is vicious as defined by this chapter, such dog shall be subject to destruction by the Idaho Humane Society, Inc. (Ord. 275, 4-7-1994)
Fines and Penalties
Fine For Domesticated Animal Running At Large, Nuisance Domesticated Animal, Or For Failure To License: In addition to or in lieu of impounding a domesticated animal found running at large, a nuisance domesticated animal, or a dog which has not been licensed, as required by the pertinent provisions of this chapter, the sheriff, deputy sheriff, or animal control officer sworn as a limited purpose deputy, may issue to the known owner of such domesticated animal a citation which shall be an infraction. Such citation shall impose upon the owner a fine of twenty five dollars ($25.00) for the first violation, fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second violation, and one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the third and subsequent violations.
Misdemeanor; Fine: Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter for which a fixed fine has not been designated shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished with a fine as provided by Idaho Code, section 18-113 as it may from time to time be amended and/or retitled, or by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days, or by both said fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 122-1-82, 7-21-1982; amd. Ord. 160, 12-10-1986; amd. Ord. 275, 4-7-1994; amd. Ord. 376, 7-27-1999; amd. Ord. 603, 1-30-2006; amd. Ord. 801, 9-12-2012)
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