1 CHAPTER 95: ANIMALS Includes Amendment for Cats and §95.40 Fines and Penalties- June 2007
§ 95.01 DEFINITIONS.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
Animal Shelter. A place provided and operated by the county for the restraint, care and disposition of animals.
At Large. Off the premises of the owner and not under control either by leash, cord or chain, or without the immediate and effective control of the owner or other responsible person.
Control. Within 50 feet of the owner and not on the private property of others.
Dog. Both male and female over the age of four months.
Cat. A domestic feline of either sex over the age of four months.
Owner. Any person owning, keeping or harboring a dog or cat, and for the purpose of this chapter, the head of the household shall be deemed to be the owner in respect to any dog or cat owned, kept or harbored by any person residing in such household and kept on such premises.
Vicious Dog. Any dog which has bitten one or more persons without provocation or one in which a propensity to attack humans exists and such propensity is known or ought to reasonably be known to the owner. (‘88 Code. § 3-16)
§ 95.02 RESPONSIBILITY OF OWNER.
Owners of dogs are responsible for the acts of their dogs and cats. The owner of any dog or cat which is a nuisance on the property of another person or which damages another person's property or person is fully responsible and accountable for these acts. (‘ Code. § 3-20)
§ 95.03 RABIES CONTROL.
Every dog or cat that bites a human being shall be delivered within eight hours by the owner to the county animal shelter or to a licensed veterinary hospital where it shall be confined for observation for not less than ten days at the owner's expense. Wounds inflicted by dogs or cats on human beings shall be reported immediately to the Health Department by the person who has been bitten by the dog or cat or, in the case of a child, by his or her parent or guardian, as specified in G.S. § 130A - 196. (‘88 Code. § 3-27)
§ 95.15 ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE.
It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any of his or her animals or fowl to run at large on any of the streets or public lots of the city. (‘88 Code. § 3-1) Statutory References: City authorized to regulate, restrain and prohibit the running at large of domestic animals, see G.S. § 160A-186
§ 95.16 KEEPING OF HOGS PROHIBITED.
No person shall be permitted to keep or maintain any hog pen or keep any hogs within the city. (‘88 Code, § 3-2)
§ 95.17 PROHIBITED ACTS.
(A) Limitation on number. It shall be unlawful for any owner to keep more than three dogs or three cats within the corporate limits of the city.
(B) Vicious dogs. It shall be unlawful for any owner to keep any vicious dog within the city limits.
(C) Running at large. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow any dog of his or hers to run at large within the city limits. When walking dogs, they must be under leash or control, and the owner shall not permit the dog to enter on or disturb in any manner the property of others, even though under leash.
(D) Female dogs in heat. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any female dog in heat to keep the same within the city limits during such period, unless confined to the premises of the owner or other person with the person's consent.
(E) Barking dogs. It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to keep or have within the city a dog that habitually or repeatedly barks in such manner or to such extent that it is a public nuisance.
(F) Dogs which are nuisances. It shall be unlawful for any owner to keep on his or her lot or premises any dog that causes unsanitary conditions or barks, howls, fights, or makes such other noises as to disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or general public and causes a neighborhood or public nuisance. Failure to abate any such nuisance upon warning from the Chief of Police or his or her duly authorized representative shall be a misdemeanor subject to punishment as provided in § 10-99. (‘88 Code, § 3-19) Penalty, see § 10-99 Statutory reference: Permitting bitch at large, see G.S. § 67-2 Confinement of vicious animals, see G.S. § 130A-200
§ 95.18 TEASING, MOLESTING AND THE LIKE.
It shall be unlawful for any person to tease, molest, bait or in any way bother any dog not belonging to him or her or legally under his or her control. (‘88 Code, § 3-22) Penalty, see §10.99
§ 95.19 MAINTENANCE OF LOTS, PENS AND THE LIKE.
Every person who owns or maintains any pen, lot, shelter or other place where dogs are kept shall maintain such place in a clean, sanitary condition which precludes the drifting of odors beyond the boundaries of his or her own property, and such owner shall provide shelter from inclement weather for the animals. (‘88 Code, § 3-24) Penalty, see § 10.99
§ 95.20 KEEPING STRAYS; NOTIFICATION OF POLICE.
It shall be unlawful for any person in the city knowingly and intentionally to harbor, feed, keep in possession by confinement or otherwise any dog or cat that does not belong to him or her, unless he or she has within 48 hours from the time the dog or cat came into his or her possession, notified the Police Department. Upon receiving the notice, the city animal control officer may take the dog or cat and place it in the shelter, record same and shall deal with it as provided in § 95.38 and attempt to find the owner.
§ 95.21 NOTIFICATION OF INJURED DOG OR CAT.
It shall be unlawful for any person injuring a dog or cat by running over or into it with an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or other vehicle to fail to notify immediately the owner or Police Department.
§ 95.22 INTERFERENCE AND THE LIKE WITH ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER.
It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with, hinder or molest the city animal control officer in the performance of any duty authorized by this chapter or to seek to release any animal in the custody of the officer.
ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT
§ 95.35 CREATION OF ANIMAL CONTROL BRANCH AND OFFICE OF ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER; POWERS AND DUTIES GENERALLY.
There is created an animal control branch for the city with branch being a part of the city's Police Department. An animal control officer shall be employed to perform all of the duties incident to the administration and enforcement of this chapter and to perform such other duties as by general statute or city ordinance may be imposed, and the officer shall work under the supervision of the Chief of Police or his or her designee. The Police Department shall be the point of contact for city citizens as pertains to animals.( ‘88 Code, § 3-17)
§ 95.36 DUTIES OF ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER BRANCH.
The animal control branch shall be charged with the responsibility of:
(A) Enforcement of the city laws, ordinances, and resolutions relating to dogs and cats or to the care, custody and control of animals;
(B) Cooperation with the county agencies in the enforcement of the laws of the state with regard to dogs and/or cats as to the confinement and leashing of vicious animals. Reference is particularly made to the state laws as set out and contained in G.S. §§ 67-1 through 67-28 and §§ 130-184 et seq.;
(C) Investigations of reported and observed cruelty or animal abuse with regard to dogs, cats and other animals within the city limits, pursuant to the provisions of G.S. §§ 14-360 et seq, ( ‘88 Code, § 3-18)
§ 95.37 KEEPING OF RECORDS.
It shall be the duty of the county animal control officer to keep or cause to be kept accurate and detailed records as outlined in paragraph IV of the county rabies control program, (‘ 88 Code, § 3-28)
§ 95.38 IMPOUNDMENT GENERALLY; RECORDS.
(A) Any dog or cat within the city without an owner that is given into the custody of the city animal control officer pursuant to §95.20 or any dog running at large shall be taken by the city animal control officer and confined in the animal shelter controlled by the county for a period established by the county for redemption by the owner.
(B) Complete and accurate records of all activities is the responsibility of the county, (‘88 Code, § 3-21)
§ 93.39 NOTIFICATION OF OWNER OF IMPOUNDED ANIMAL.
Immediately upon impounding an animal from the city, the animal shelter personnel shall attempt to notify the owner by telephone and inform such owner of the conditions whereby the animal may be redeemed. If the attempt to notify by telephone is unsuccessful, an official, dated, written notice shall be mailed to the owner's address shown on records when a county privilege license was purchased. ( ‘88 Code, § 3-28)
§ 95.40 FINES AND PENALTIES
(A) Any violation of this chapter (Chapter 95) is both a civil offense and a misdemeanor criminal offense. The fine for a criminal violation of this chapter shall be up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) or larger if allowed by G.S. § 14-4. Misdemeanor violations shall be enforced by the issuance of citations or by arrest according to the same procedures used for other criminal violations.
(B) The first violation of this chapter shall subject the violator to a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00) and impoundment of the offending animal or animals. The second violation during a twelve (12) month period shall be subject to a civil penalty of two hundred dollars ($200.00) and impoundment of the offending animal or animals. The third violation of this chapter within a twelve (12) month period shall subject the violator to a civil penalty of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and banning of the offending animal or animals from the city limits. Civil citations shall be served personally upon the owner or violator by the animal control officer, by a member of the Rockingham Police Department or by any other means authorized for the service of civil process by the North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure. If a violator fails to pay the civil penalty within ten (10) days after being notified of the amount due, the City shall seek to recover the penalty together with all costs by filing a civil action in the General Court of Justice in the nature of a suit to collect a debt.
(C) Appeal of civil penalty shall be made within seven (7) days of issuance of citation or notice of violation. The appeal shall be made to the City Manager and the City Manager will conduct a hearing on the appeal. The decision of the City Manager shall be final.
**NOTE: It will be necessary to substitute §95.40 for § 10.99 and at the end of §§95.15, 95.16, 95.17, 95.18, 95.19, 95.20 and 95.22
1 Note from Website Administrator Stated above is the City of Rockingham's Ordinance for Animals. Please note the highlighted areas that are referenced for the most asked questions and complaints.