San Juan County Sheriff | Cat & Dog Ordinances
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Cat & Dog Ordinances

6.04.010 Definitions

As used in this chapter:

    • Animal control officer
    • Means any county law enforcement officer who is charged with the responsibility of enforcing this or any other state or local law.

    • Animal shelter manager
    • Means an employee charged with the responsibility of overseeing the operation of the county animal shelter.

    • Caretaker
    • Means a person providing shelter or food or otherwise caring for a dog or cat, or having the animal in their care for recreation or for any commercial purpose.

    • Cat
    • Means any animal of the species Felis catus.

    • County
    • Means San Juan County, Utah.

    • Dangerous dog
    • Means a dog with a known propensity for or history of unprovoked attacks against or intimidation of people or animals, as determined by the animal control officer.

    • Dog
    • Means any animal of the species Canis familiaris.

    • Guard dog
    • Means a dog specifically used to protect property and to guard against or watch for unwanted people or animals.

    • Owner
    • Means a person having financial or property interest in a dog or cat and providing shelter or food or otherwise caring for the animal.

    • Pen or Run
    • Means an enclosed area where an animal or animals are kept.

    • Running at large
    • Means being off the premises of the owner or caretaker and not under the control of the owner or caretaker or a member of his or her immediate family by leash or other means of physical control. Animals used for legal hunting purposes that are in pursuit of game, in compliance with Utah State law, are not deemed to be running at large. Additionally, animals used for the herding or protection of livestock, actively engaged in such activities are not deemed to be running at large.

    • Service or assistant dogs
    • Means any guide dog, signal dog, or other dog individually trained to provide aid or assistance to individuals with disabilities or special health needs as defined in Utah State Code Section

62A-5B-102

    .

  • State
  • Means the state of Utah.

  • Vaccinations
  • Means the standard series of inoculations given to dogs or cats to prevent the spread of disease.

6.04.020 Obstructing Animal Control And Animal Shelter Activities

No person shall remove any animal from the custody of the animal control officer or the animal shelter manager or out of the animal shelter by stealth or by force.  No person shall interrupt or hinder the animal control officer or animal shelter manager in the discharge of their duties.

6.04.030 Licensing Of Dogs And Cats

Every dog or cat owner or caretaker residing in the unincorporated county shall license every dog and cat they own or care for over the age of six months, and shall pay to the county applicable license fees as set from time to time by the County Commission. Every dog or cat owner or caretaker residing within an incorporated area of the county may meet this requirement by obtaining a valid license from the city in which they reside.

6.04.040 Dog And Cat Licensing–Certification

The owner or caretaker of a dog or cat shall state at the time the application for a license is made the owner’s name and address, and the sex, breed, and color of the dog or cat for which such application is being made.  The owner or caretaker shall also present a certificate from a licensed veterinarian stating that the dog or cat has been vaccinated for the prevention of rabies, and such certificate must give the last date of vaccination and the number of the vaccination tag issued by the veterinarian at the time of the vaccination.

6.04.050 Dog And Cat Licensing–Receipt And Tag

It is the duty of the dog or cat owner or caretaker to attach to the dog or cat the metallic license tag issued upon payment of the applicable license fee.  Proof of current rabies vaccination for each dog or cat shall be provided to the county before a license tag is issued.

  1. In the case of annual licensing, the license receipt and metallic license tag shall be valid and enforced during the calendar year for which it is issued, and until the first day of January of the next succeeding year.
  2. In the case of lifetime licensing as contained in Section 6.04.070, the license tag shall be valid and enforced for the life of the dog or cat.

6.04.060 Annual License–Fees For Unneutered And Unspayed Dogs And Cats

The fee for an annual license under this chapter for an unneutered male dog or cat, or for an unspayed female dog or cat shall be set by resolution.  No registration tag will be issued for a sum less than the full annual fee, except, however, the license fee may be waived for in-service or assistant dogs.  Proof of current rabies vaccination for each dog or cat shall be provided to the county before an annual license is renewed.

6.04.070 Lifetime License–Fees For Neutered Or Spayed Dogs And Cats

There shall be no fee for a lifetime license under this chapter, provided that the following requirements are met:

  1. Male dogs or cats have been neutered.
  2. Female dogs or cats have been spayed.
  3. Proof of rabies vaccination has been provided to the county upon initial licensing and prior to the thirty-first day of December of each year.  Failure to provide proof of current rabies vaccination shall result in revocation of the lifetime license.
  4. The owner or caretaker of a dog or cat holding a lifetime license shall notify the county of a change of address or ownership within thirty days.
  5. For animals less than six months of age, proof of spay or neuter must be submitted within six months of licensing date.
  6. The owner or caretaker shall allow the county animal control officer to implant a microchip into their dog or cat.

6.04.080 Tag–Duty Of Owner Or Caretaker To Attach.

  1. It is the duty of the owner or caretaker of any dog or cat to provide a suitable collar for each dog or cat.  Each pet’s license tag shall be attached to the collar and must be worn at all times when off the premises of the owner or caretaker.
  2. In place of a collar and tag, an owner or caretaker of a cat may have the license number tattooed in the cat’s ear.
  3. Proper licensing may also be accomplished through the use of implanted microchips or other means as approved by the animal control officer.

6.04.090 Licensed Cats Permitted To Roam.

Properly licensed cats that have been spayed or neutered and are current on rabies vaccinations shall be permitted to roam.

6.04.100 Cats Not Spayed Or Neutered Restricted To Owners’ Property

Cats that are not spayed or neutered must remain on the owner’s or caretaker’s property under physical control and shall be prevented by the owner or caretaker from leaving the property.

6.04.110 Tag–Removal By Person Other Than Owner Or Caretaker Unlawful

It is unlawful for any person other than the owner or caretaker to remove the license tag from any dog or cat.

6.04.120 Tag–Replacement

Any owner of a licensed dog or cat whose license tag has been lost shall secure a replacement tag by paying a fee established by county commission.

6.04.130 Change Of Ownership Of Dog Or Cat

Whenever the ownership of a dog or cat changes, the new owner shall notify the county and pay a sum established by resolution, whereupon the county shall change the record accordingly for such dog or cat.

6.04.140 Records To Be Kept

The county shall maintain a complete registry of all licensed dogs and cats, describing the same by name of owner, address, name, breed and number on the license tag.

6.04.150 Animal Quarters Pens And Runs

All animal quarters, pens, runs and other structures or locations in which dogs, cats or other household pets are kept shall shall be maintained as necessary to prevent odor or health and sanitation problems.  The owner or occupant of any premises permitting such conditions who does not abate unhealthy or unsanitary conditions in these areas within three days of notification by the animal control officer shall be guilty of a Class C Misdemeanor and fines not to exceed $650.00.

6.04.160 Rabies–Vaccination Required

It is unlawful for any owner or caretaker to keep a dog or cat over the age of six months within the county unless the dog or cat has been vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian, and the period of immunization specified by the veterinarian has not expired.  The owner or caretaker of the dog or cat shall possess a certificate from the veterinarian showing the date of the last vaccination and the number of the vaccination tag issued by the veterinarian at the time of vaccination.

6.04.170 Rabies–Vaccination Tag

Every owner or keeper of any dog or cat shall attach the animal’s vaccination tag to the collar of the dog or cat, to be worn at all times by the animal.  Alternative means of displaying the vaccination information such as through the use of implanted microchips may be approved by the animal control officer.

6.04.180 Rabies–Quarantine.

  1. Any animal that bites or exposes a person or another animal to the possibility of contracting rabies shall be impounded and quarantined for a period of ten days.  The owner or caretaker of the animal shall be liable for the cost of impoundment and quarantine.
  2. The animal shall be examined immediately after it has bitten anyone and again at the end of the ten day period.  If at the end of the ten days, an animal control officer is convinced that the animal is free from rabies, the animal shall be released from quarantine.
  3. If the animal dies in the meanwhile, the animal control officer, the animal shelter manager or a duly appointed agent shall notify proper public health officials and shall follow the requirements of state law.  The owner of the animal shall be financially liable for the cost of any examinations or investigations that may result.
  4. Anyone with knowledge that an animal has bitten a person or has exposed the person to the possibility of contracting rabies shall immediately notify the animal control officer

6.04.190 Rabies–Examination Of Biting Animal Required

An animal impounded for biting shall be examined by an animal control officer at the time it is impounded and at the end of the ten day quarantine period. If the animal control officer determines that it is necessary, at any time, for the animal to be seen by a veterinarian, arrangements will be made for the animal to be examined and the expense shall be passed on to the animal’s caretaker.

6.04.200 Rabies–Police Authority

Animal control officers and police officers who reasonably suspect an animal is infected with rabies may dispose of the animal in accordance with Utah Administrative Code Rule R386-702.  It shall be the duty of any person owning or exercising control over such animal to surrender the animal to any police officer or animal control officer upon demand.  Failure to do so will be a Class C Misdemeanor.

6.04.210 Impoundment–Animal Control Officer Authority

  1. The animal control officer shall have the authority to apprehend and impound any dog found running at large within the county.
  2. Any person apprehending any dog running at large on his property may deliver the dog to the animal control officer for impoundment.
  3. At the discretion of the animal control officer, such dogs may be returned to the owner or caretaker if the dog is properly licensed as outlined in Section 6.04.060 and it is the animal’s first time at large.
  4. The animal control officer shall have the authority to impound any cat running at large without a license tag or ear tattoo or other form of license identification approved by the animal control officer

6.04.220 Impoundment–Registration

The animal control officer, animal shelter manager or a duly appointed agent shall immediately upon impounding any dog or cat make a complete registry entry, detailing the breed, color and sex of such animal and whether properly licensed, if known.  If the dog or cat is properly licensed, the animal control officer, animal shelter manager or a duly appointed agent shall enter the name and address of the owner and the number of the license tag.  If known and if bearing a vaccination tag, the number of such tag shall be recorded.

6.04.230 Impoundment–Notice

When any properly licensed dog or cat shall be impounded pursuant to this chapter, the animal control officer, animal shelter manager or a duly appointed agent shall give notice in person or by mail or telephone to the owner of such properly registered animal, and shall provide the reason for the impoundment.  Written or oral notice given to the owner or caretaker or to any member of his or her household over the age of fourteen years shall be considered adequate notice.

6.04.240 Impoundment–Release Of Animal Without Tag

  1. Any properly licensed dog or cat impounded or taken up for being at large without a license tag or equivalent identification such as an implanted microchip may be redeemed by the owner or caretaker of the animal upon payment to the county of all  impoundment fees as set by resolution.  A dog or cat without a license tag or equivalent identification such as implanted microchip shall not be released from impoundment until it receives a license tag or equivalent identification such as implanted microchip.
  2. Impoundment fees and costs and applicable fines may be applied to the cost of tagging or microchipping the dog or cat.

6.04.25 Impoundment Of Registered Animal Running At Large That Has Not Been Spayed Or Neutered

In the case of a properly registered dog or cat impounded or taken up for being at large that has not been spayed or neutered and has been impounded or taken up for being at large two times within any consecutive twelve-month period, the owner or caretaker of said dog or cat shall be subject to a spay or neuter deposit of $50.00 prior to the release of the animal.  Said deposit fee shall be refunded if the dog or cat owner or caretaker presents proof of spay or neuter within thirty days of release.

6.04.260 Impoundment–Fees

Any person redeeming an impounded dog or cat shall pay all fees established by the county and incurred in the care of the animal.

6.04.280 Disposal–Euthanasia

Disposal by euthanasia of any animal at the animal shelter shall be done humanely and in compliance with all state law.

6.04.290 Dogs Running At Large–Authority To Apprehend

  1. It is unlawful for the owner or caretaker of any dog to permit a dog to run at large at any time within the county.
  2. The animal control officer shall have the authority to apprehend and impound any dog found running at large within the county.
  3. The animal control officer shall have the authority to enter and go upon the premises of an owner or caretaker of a dog in pursuit of that dog when found running at large.

6.04.300 Dogs In Public Places–Maximum Length Of Leash–Exception

Leash length shall be sufficient to provide control over the dog.  Nonretractable leashes shall be no greater than eight feet in length.  This provision shall not apply to in-service or assistant dogs or dogs assigned to law enforcement officers as part of the law enforcement officers’ official duties.

6.04.310 Dog Fights–Penalty

It is unlawful for any person within the limits of the city to in any manner whatever encourage or urge dogs or any other animals or fowl to fight or urge them on after they commence to fight.  It is unlawful for any person within the limits of the city to place or collect wagers on any form of animal fighting.  Violation of this subsection shall be a Class B Misdemeanor.

6.04.320 Dangerous Dogs–Prohibited

  1. It shall be illegal to harbor or keep a dangerous dog within the county or to allow one to run at large within the county.
  2. A dog is considered dangerous, following a determination that the dog has a propensity for or a history of unprovoked physical attacks on persons or animals, or if the animal has a propensity for or a history of unprovoked physical intimidation of persons or animals.
  3. The animal control officer shall issue a citation to the owner or caretaker of the dog informing the owner or caretaker that the dog must be euthanized or removed from the county within five days.
  4. If, following the five-day notice period, the dangerous dog is found within the county, the animal control officer and law enforcement officers shall have the authority to impound the dog, and the animal control officer, animal shelter manager or duly authorized agent shall have the authority to have the dog immediately euthanized, subject to (E) below.
  5. The owner or caretaker of the dog declared as dangerous must appeal to the appropriate court the decision to euthanize the dog within the five-day notice period.  Notification of successful appeal must be presented to the county within the five-day notice period. No animal shall be euthanized during this 5 day period.
  6. If, during or following the five-day notice period, the dangerous dog is found running at large in the county, the animal control officer and law enforcement officers shall have the authority to have the dog euthanized.
  7. In the discharge of their duties regarding dangerous dogs, the animal control officer and law enforcement officers shall be authorized to enter the premises and property of the owner or caretaker of a dog determined to be dangerous in order to impound the dog.

6.04.330 Fierce Or Dangerous Dogs–Euthanizing

The animal control officer and law enforcement officers shall have the authority to euthanize or kill, or cause to be euthanized or killed, any dog found running at large that, in the judgment of the officers, poses a threat to the health and safety of persons or animals, or poses a threat to property.  Unless otherwise restricted in this section.

6.04.340 Abandonment Unlawful

It is unlawful for any person to abandon any animal or turn the same out at large within the county. Violation of this section is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $650.00

6.04.350 Abandoning Diseased Animals

It is unlawful for any person to abandon or turn out at large any sick, diseased, injured or disabled animal.  Animal control officers and police officer shall have the authority to kill or euthanize and dispose of any animals found running at large within the county that are incapacitated by sickness, disease, injury or other disability, or that present a threat to the health and safety of persons and animals or present a threat to property.  Violation of this section is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $800.00

6.04.360 Leading Or Running At Large Of Wild Animals Prohibited

No person shall permit any wild or other dangerous animal to run at large, nor lead any such animal over any public road or on any public place within city limits.

6.04.370 Cruelty To Animals A Class B Misdemeanor

Every person who, within the County, is cruel to animals in any of the following ways, is guilty of a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no more than $800.00:

  1. By overloading, overdriving, overworking, cruelly beating, torturing, tormenting, mutilating or cruelly killing any animal or causing or knowingly allowing the same to be done;
  2. By cruelly working any old, maimed, infirm, sick or disabled animal, or causing or knowingly allowing the same to be done;
  3. By failing as owner or caretaker to provide an animal with proper food, drink and shelter or other essential care;
  4. By abandoning or turning out at large any animal;
  5. By carrying or driving, or causing to be carried, driven or kept, any animal in an unnecessarily cruel manner;
  6. By carrying or driving, or causing to be carried or driven, any animal bound or tied by its legs or bound down by the neck, so that it cannot freely stand in an upright position while being transported;
  7. By leaving an animal unattended in a vehicle when the conditions in that vehicle would constitute a health hazard to the animal.  Animal control officers and police officers shall have the authority to open the vehicle and remove said animals if in the judgment of the officer the animal is in imminent danger.  In such cases, the officer and the county shall not be responsible for any damage done to the vehicle through the efforts to remove the animal.

6.04.380 Killing Or Injuring Animals With Vehicle

Any person who kills or injures an animal while driving a vehicle shall stop at the scene of the accident and render such assistance as practicable, shall make a reasonable effort to locate and identify himself to the owner of or any person having custody of the animal or contact the San Juan County Dispatch.

6.04.390 Premises Confining Animals

Premises where animals are confined shall be shall be maintained in a neat and sanitary condition.

6.04.400 Poisoning Animals

It is unlawful for a person to throw or deposit poisoned meat or any poison or harmful substance in any street, alley, marketplace or public place, or on any private premises, in the county for the purpose of destroying or injuring any animal.  This provision does not apply to efforts to exterminate insects and rodents.  In the case of efforts to exterminate insects and rodents, distribution of poisons shall be controlled to prevent consumption of or contact with the poison by any persons or animals other than those targeted for extermination.

6.04.410 Nuisance Dogs

  1. The animal control officer shall have the authority to deem a dog as a nuisance.  A dog shall be deemed a nuisance if it:
    1. Barks or makes disturbing noises in an excessive, continuous or untimely fashion;
    2. Defecates on public property or on private property without the prior permission of the property owner and the animal’s owner or caretaker fails to dispose of the feces in an appropriate manner;
    3. Bites, injures, threatens or intimidates persons or animals passing by;
    4. Chases pedestrians, bicycles or motor vehicles;
    5. Trespasses on public or private property and causes damage; or
    6. Creates an offensive or dangerous situation for persons or animals or poses a threat to property.
  2. Owners and caretakers of nuisance dogs shall be responsible to control their dogs in a manner that leads to the cessation of the nuisance behavior.
  3. The animal control officer shall be authorized to impound the nuisance dog if the owner or caretaker of the dog fails to control the dog in a manner that eliminates the nuisance behavior or fails to remove the dog from within city limits within three days from the time the owner or caretaker receives a written citation from an animal control officer or law enforcement officer.
  4. If the owner or caretaker of the dog is not present when the animal control officer deems the dog as a nuisance, the animal control officer shall have the authority to summarily impound the dog.
  5. The owner or caretaker of an impounded dog shall be notified according to the provisions of Section 6.04.230

6.04.420 Animals Running At Large

Except for the provisions of Section 6.04.090 (Licensed cats permitted to roam), the owner or caretaker of any animal shall not allow the animal to run at large within the county or to trespass on public property or private property without the prior approval of the property owner.  Except for the provisions of Section 6.04.090 (Licensed cats permitted to roam), the animal control officer and law enforcement officer shall have the authority to impound any animal found to be running at large within city limits.

6.04.430 Guard Dog–Permit–Required

No person shall keep any guard dog for the purpose of guarding or protecting real or personal property in the county without first obtaining a permit from the county commission and paying a fee established by resolution.  The permit shall list the location at which the dog is to be kept, and shall be nontransferable to any other location.  Guard dog permits shall expire after one year from the date of issuance.

6.04.440 Guard Dog–Confinement Provisions

No person shall keep any guard dog for the purposes of guarding or protecting real or personal property unless such dog is securely confined within a building or enclosure.  Owners of properties utilizing guard dogs shall have adequate safeguards to prevent the entry onto the property by children and accidental or unintentional entry onto the property by any persons.  Properties utilizing guard dogs shall declare the potential danger at each entrance, door and gate, and shall have warning signs posted at intervals of no more than one hundred feet along all fences surrounding the property or buildings.  Failure to comply with these provisions shall be a Class C Misdemeanor.

6.04.450 Police Officer–Assistance

It is lawful for the animal control officer, in the performance of his or her duties, to call for and accept the assistance of any law enforcement officer.

6.04.460 Violation–Penalty

Any person violating any provision of this chapter, whether by act of commission or act of omission, unless otherwise specified, shall be guilty of an infraction, and upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to punishment by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.