City of Summerville

AGENDA

Regular Called Meeting

May 13, 2019

5:00 P.M.

(1) Call to order
(2) Roll Call
(3) Invocation

 

(4) Pledge of Allegiance
(5) Approval of meeting agenda

 

(6) Consent agenda (reserved)

 

(7) Reports and Presentations

A. Mayor’s Comments – Harry Harvey

i. Introduction of guests/visitors
Recognize & Read Proclamation for CHS Star Student Caleb Veitch and Star Teacher Lisa Benson
Oath of Office for Connie Howard Downtown Development Authority (DDA)
Carol Bridges-Business Owner on E.Washington St          

                   ii.   Other announcements/comments

                         

a. Main StreetSusan Locklear
b. Code Enforcement – Joey Norton
c. Water Treatment PlantJason Greene

 

d. Wastewater Treatment Plant – Chris Tuggle

 

e. Public Works/Utilities – Terry Tinney

 

 

 

f. Recreation – Bo Chamlee

 

g. PoliceStan Mosley

 

h. Fire – Robbie Lathem

 

i. City Attorney – Albert Palmour

j.City Manager – Janice Galloway

i. Financial Report (Attachment)
ii. Comments
(8) Unfinished Business

 

    a. Public Hearing for the Amended Animal Control

  Ordinance:

          i. Discussion

b. Second Reading and Adoption of the Amended Animal Control

  Ordinance:

     

               i. Discussion

ii. Action

 

   (9)  New Business

 

a. Approve minutes from the April 8, 2019meeting:            

 

i. Discussion
ii. Action

 

     b. Consider approving a takehome vehicle for the Fire Chief:

   

i. Discussion
ii. Action

    c. Approve and set an amount for a donation to the Chattooga County

         Fair to be held August 22-25, 2019:

     

               i.  Discussion

              ii.  Action

         

d. Approve solicitation of a Request For Proposal (RFP) for bids

   on mechanic and motorized fleet repair and maintenance:

          i. Discussion

         ii. Action

     e. Approve solicitation of a Request For Proposal (RFP) for bids on

        oil changes and the servicing of the city’s vehicle and equipment

        fleet:

 

               i.  Discussion

              ii.  Action

         

f. Approve a Part-Time Main Street Assistant ($10.00 hourly, 20

   hours weekly):

          i.  Discussion

         ii.  Action

g. Approve and set dates for FY 2019-2020 budget meetings:

     

          i. Discussion

         ii.  Action

h. Discussion of SPLOST projects:

          i.  Discussion

         ii.  Action

(10)  Public Comments

(11)  Adjournment

 

 

Read Animal Ordinance below:

ORDINANCE NO. __2019-1-10-1___

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CITY OF SUMMERVILLE, GEORGIA TO AMEND THE CHAPTER ON ANIMALS

WHEREAS, the City of Summerville, Georgia is charged with providing for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City; and

WHEREAS, the City is authorized to regulate animals within the City limits and to provide for the protection of animals under the Georgia Animal Protection Act, O.C.G.A. §4-11-1 et seq., and,

WHEREAS, the City Council desires to amend the City Code to provide for additional protections and regulation for the health and welfare of the citizens;

THEREFORE, THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SUMMERVILLE, GEORGIA, HEREBY ORDAIN as follows:

That Chapter 10 (Animals) of the Code of Ordinances, City of Summerville, Georgia, is hereby amended to read as follows:

CHAPTER 10 – ANIMALS

ARTICLE I. – IN GENERAL

Sec. 10-1. – Definitions.  

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Adequate food and water means food and water which is sufficient in an amount and appropriate for the particular type of animal to prevent starvation, dehydration, or a significant risk to the animal’s health from a lack of food or water.

Animal control officer means “dog control officer” and shall refer to an individual employed by the City Manager or designee to perform and execute the provisions of this chapter, and his office shall have the power to issue citations for violation of this chapter.

Animal control shelter means the facilities operated by the City Manager or designee for the confining of dogs, cats, or other animals impounded under the provisions of this chapter.

At large means a dog that is not on its owner’s property and not leashed.

Bite injury means any contact between an animal’s mouth and teeth and the skin of a bite victim which causes visible trauma. Such as a puncture wound, laceration, or other piercing of the skin.

Cat means cat, or any domesticated feline, of either sex, whether vaccinated against rabies or not.

Classified dog means any dog that has been classified as either a dangerous dog or vicious dog pursuant to this article.

Commercial guard/security dog means any dog that is purchased, leased, or rented and that is trained to guard, protect, patrol, or defend any commercial property, public or private, upon and within which it is located.

Current vaccination/license tag means a vaccination/license tag bearing a number that shows the license is valid for a one- or three-year period. The licensing period runs concurrently with the vaccination period.

Custodian means any person that has been entrusted with the responsibility and care of a dog, cat, or other animal by its owner.

Dangerous dog means any dog that according to the records of any appropriate authority: (i) inflicts a severe injury on a human without provocation on public or private property; or (ii) aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans without provocation after the dog has been classified as a potentially dangerous dog and after the owner has been notified of such classification. Exception: A dog is not considered potentially dangerous or dangerous if it bites a human:

(1)When being used by a law enforcement officer.

(2)When its owner is being attacked.

(3)Who is a willful trespasser on the property of the owner or who is committing

another tort or crime.

(4) Who has tormented or abused it or who in the past has been observed or reported to have tormented or abused it.

Dangerous dog means any dog that:

(A)  Causes a substantial puncture of a person’s skin by teeth without causing serious injury; provided, however, that a nip, scratch, or abrasion shall not be sufficient to classify a dog as dangerous under this subparagraph;

(B)  Aggressively attacks in a manner that causes a person to reasonably believe that the dog posed an imminent threat of serious injury to such person or another person although no such injury occurs; provided, however, that the acts of barking, growling, or showing of teeth by a dog shall not be sufficient to classify a dog as dangerous under this subparagraph; or

(C)  While off the owner’s property, kills a pet animal; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall not apply where the death of such pet animal is caused by a dog that is working or training as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog.

(D)  Any dog that inflicts an injury upon a person when the dog is being used by a law enforcement officer to carry out the law enforcement officer’s official duties shall not be a dangerous dog, potentially dangerous dog, or vicious dog. A dog shall not be a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog if the injury inflicted by the dog was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort or was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or had in the past been observed or reported to have tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

Dog means dog, or any domesticated canine, of either sex, whether vaccinated against rabies or not.

Domestic animal/fowl means any animal/fowl domesticated by humans so as to live and breed in a tame condition for the advantage of humans. Pen-raised skunks are categorized as those skunks acceptable by the state and may be kept in the state as pets.

Exotic animal means any animal of any kind that is not indigenous to the state, but not included in the definition of a domestic animal but shall include any hybrid animal which is part exotic animal.

Harborer means any person that has provided sustenance and/or shelter to a dog, cat, or other animal for a period of more than seven days.

Health department means the City Manager, or his authorized representatives, which shall include officers or employees of the Atlanta Humane Society so long as such corporation is under contract with the county.

Humane care of animals means, but is not limited to, the provision of adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter, and wholesome and adequate food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal’s size, species, and breed.

Impoundment means seizing and confining a dog by any police officer, animal control officer or any other public officer under the provisions of this Ordinance.

Kennel means any establishment, other than an animal shelter, where dogs or cats are maintained for boarding, holding, training, or similar purposes for a fee or compensation.

Livestock means horses, mules, cows, sheep, goats, hogs, and all other animals used or suitable for either food or labor.

Microchip reader means a device designed to read microchips at 125 kHz, both encrypted and nonencrypted, 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz, and which is ISO 11784 and 11785 compliant.

Muzzle means a device constructed of strong, soft material or of metal. Designed to fasten over the mouth of a dog that prevents the dog from biting any person or other animal and hat does not interfere with its respiration.

Nuisance means whatever is dangerous or detrimental to human life or health and whatever renders or tends to render the soil, air, water, or food impure or unwholesome, or unreasonably offends or impairs the senses of smell, sight, and hearing.

Owner means a person who intentionally exercises custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal.

Potentially dangerous dog means any dog that, without provocation, bites a human on public or private property at any time.

Proper enclosure means an enclosure for keeping a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog while on the owner’s property securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the dog from escaping. Any such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top, and, if the dog is enclosed within a fence, all sides of the fence shall be of sufficient height and the bottom of the fence shall be constructed or secured in such a manner as to prevent the dog’s escape either from over or from under the fence. Any such enclosure shall also provide protection from the elements for the dog.

Provocation means any action or activity, whether intentional or unintentional, which would be reasonably expected to cause a normal dog in similar circumstances to react in a manner similar to that shown by the evidence.

Public nuisance by dog means any dog within the City that habitually or repeatedly chases, snaps at, attacks or barks at pedestrians, other domestic animals, bicyclists or vehicles, or turns over garbage pails, or damages gardens, flowers or vegetables or habitually or repeatedly barks in such manner or to such extent that it is disruptive to peace and tranquility of any adjoining neighbors or property owners, or is a female dog which runs at large without restraint while in heat.

Records means records of any state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency; records of any county board of health; records of any federal, state, or local court; or records of the City Manager or designee.

Sanitary condition  means a condition of good order and cleanliness to minimize the possibility of disease transmission.

Serious injury means any physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death; results in death, broken or dislocated bones, lacerations requiring multiple sutures, or disfiguring avulsions; requires plastic surgery or admission to a hospital; or results in protracted impairment of health, including transmission of an infection or contagious disease, or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

Tether means any chain, rope, leash, tie out or wire designed to restrain an animal which is attached to an animal or to an animal’s collar or halter and is also attached in any manner to one or more stationary objects.

Vaccinate means intramuscular injection, by a veterinarian, of a specified dose of anti-rabies vaccine to an animal, such vaccine having the U.S. government license number of approval stamped on the label of the vaccine container and having been approved by the state department of human resources. Vaccine used for vaccination of dogs, cats, or other animals against rabies shall be refrigerated and kept under proper conditions and shall show no signs of spoilage or otherwise be unfit for producing immunity against rabies.

Vaccination certificate means a certificate provided by the state department of human resources and issued at the time of vaccination of the dog, cat, or other animal and bearing thereon the signature of the vaccinator; the name, color, breed, age, and sex of the dog, cat, or other animal; the name and address of the owner; the date of expiration of the vaccination; and the spay or neuter status, if known.

Vaccination/license tag means a metal tag bearing a number which is issued to the animal owner after showing proof of vaccination for the animal and paying, when required, the license fee. This tag is issued on behalf of the City by the City Manager or designee and is provided by the state department of human resources.

Veterinarian means any person who holds a license to practice the profession of veterinary medicine in the state; the veterinary license number shall be the same as that recorded by the Georgia Board of Veterinary Examiners

Vicious dog means a dog that inflicts serious injury on a person or causes serious injury to a person resulting from reasonable attempts to escape from the dog’s attack.

Vicious animal means any animal which, because of temperament, conditioning, or training, has a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack, bite, or injure humans or other animals without provocation; or an animal which has on one or more occasion caused physical injury to humans or other animals without provocation, whether on public or private property; An animal is not considered vicious if it attacks, bites, or menaces:

(1)When being used by a law enforcement officer.

(2)Anyone attacking the owner.

(3)Unlawful trespassers on the property of the owner.

(4)Any person or animal that has tormented or abused it.

(5)If it is defending its young or other animals.

Wildlife/fowl means any animal/fowl of any kind that is indigenous to the state, but not included in the definition of a domestic animal/fowl and shall include any hybrid animal/fowl that is part wild animal/fowl.

Sec. 10-2. – Penalties for violation of chapter.

(a)Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a violation of this Code and subject to a fine of up to $500.00 and/or imprisonment in jail for a period not to exceed 60 days or both. Each and every violation of the provisions of this chapter constitutes a separate offense.

(b)Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter as it pertains to a potentially dangerous dog will be fined not less than $150.00 for a second conviction, and not less than $300.00 for a third conviction and/or imprisonment in jail for a period not to exceed six months, or both.

(c)Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter as it pertains to a dangerous dog shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and will be fined not less than $500.00 for a second conviction, and not less than $750.00 for a third conviction and/or imprisonment in jail for a period not to exceed six months or both.

(d)If the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog fails to comply with section 10-101 and his dog attacks or bites a human, he shall be guilty of a felony and will be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 and/or imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years.

(e)If the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog knowingly and willfully fails to comply with section 10-101 and his dog aggressively attacks and causes severe injury to or the death of a human, he shall be guilty of a felony. Conviction under these circumstances will subject the owner to a fine of not less than $5,000.00, nor more than $10,000.00 and/or imprisonment for not less than one year, nor more than ten years.

(f)In addition to subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the City Manager or designee shall immediately confiscate the dog and place it in quarantine for a period of time as provided by the City Manager or designee and thereafter such dog shall be humanely destroyed.

(a) Violations. It shall be a violation of this chapter to:

(1) Fail to comply with any provision of this chapter;

(2) Fail to comply with any lawful order of an animal control officer or law enforcement officer unless such order is lawfully stayed or reversed; or

(3) Fail to pay costs imposed by the animal control officer unless payment thereof is lawfully stayed.

(b)Multiple animals. When multiple animals are in violation of this chapter or are maintained in circumstances that violate this chapter, each animal shall constitute a separate violation, or in the alternative, a higher fine shall be imposed on the single violation. In addition, multiple violations on the same animal shall result in a higher fine.

(c) Penalties. Any person violating the terms of this chapter or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, may be punished by civil penalty, or by criminal citation and fine, not to exceed $1,000.00. Separate offenses shall be deemed to be committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. Each animal shall constitute a separate offence, and each violation of a specific provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.

(d) Fines; minimum fine amounts. The following fines may be imposed pursuant to municipal court criminal citation or superior court civil action. The minimum fines imposed under this chapter shall be as listed below and shall be imposed as the minimum fine for listed violations. A higher fine may be imposed at the discretion of the court. Maximum fines shall be $1,000.00. Higher minimum fine levels shall be imposed for second violations and third and subsequent violations, or for multiple violation circumstances, or aggravating circumstances, as detailed below:

(1) Table of fines.

Particular offense​​​Fine amounts

​​​​​​Level I​​Level IILevel III

Violations of 10-7; 10-8; 10-101 $250.00$500.00$750.00

Violations of all other sections $150.00$300.00$450.00

(2) Level I.  Fines of Level I are the minimum required for the first violation of this chapter.  

(3) Level II. Fines of Level II are the minimum required for the second violation of this chapter, and they shall also be imposed when one animal is subject to two or more citations (e.g., a dog with no rabies tag, also running loose). Level II fines shall also be imposed when two or more animals are the subject of one citation (e.g., two dogs running loose).

(4)Level III. Fines of Level III are the minimum required for the third or subsequent violation of this chapter. Level III fines shall be imposed when an animal is subject to aggravating circumstances, such as extreme cruelty.

(5) Repeat citation. Level II and Level III fines shall be imposed when the same person is cited for further violations of any sort under this chapter, whether they be for the same offense or a different offense, or the same animal or different animals, provided they occur on a separate day.

(e) Procedure; citations; civil actions. The animal control officer may issue criminal citations to be heard in municipal court with a prosecuting attorney as designated by the City attorney. The City attorney or other attorney as designated by the City may bring a civil action in superior court or municipal court as appropriate for civil fines, attorney’s fees, injunctive relief to enjoin violations and prohibit future violations, and all other relief necessary to enforce this chapter, including mandamus or abatement of nuisance. The City shall be entitled to its attorney’s fees for any successful action brought in superior court. Civil penalties may be imposed pursuant to citation issued by the animal control officer and heard in municipal court with or without a prosecuting attorney.

(f) Restitution. Restitution for any injury inflicted on another by violation of this chapter may also be sought as relief and ordered by the magistrate or superior court, including recovery of costs incurred by the City for testing, housing, feeding and other costs.

(g) Continuing civil penalty. In the event that an injunction or other equitable relief is instituted against a person under this chapter, and in addition to any finding of contempt by the superior court, the continued violation of the chapter shall result in the accrual of a civil penalty at the rate of $250.00 per day so long as the violation continues. A higher rate may be imposed by the court.

(h) Notice of felony issues. Under O.C.G.A. 4-8-28(c), repeated violations of the dangerous dog provisions can constitute a felony. Such charges shall be referred to the district attorney.

(i) Additional penalties. The municipal court and superior court shall be authorized to impose additional penalties for violation of this chapter at its discretion, to include the following:

(1) Confinement up to 60 days jail.

(2) Training and/or pet education classes. The animal control officer shall maintain a list of approved training and/or pet education classes for obedience training and for education of pet owners. No training requirement costing more than $250.00 shall be imposed.

(3) Community service up to 240 hours.

(4) For vicious animal convictions, the person may be required to relinquish control of the animal in question to animal control and the animal will be dealt with in the discretion of the department.

Sec. 10-3. – Enforcement of chapter.

The City Manager or designee shall enforce this chapter by means of impoundment and court citations.

Section 10-4. – Right of entry of enforcement officers; investigations; interference with enforcement officer.

(a) Right of entry. Employees and agents of the City shall have the right to go upon private

property within the City for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter, provided it is necessary for such purpose.

(b)Investigations.

(1) For the purpose of discharging the duties imposed by this chapter and to enforce its provisions, any agent, including the dog control officer of the City or any police officer, is empowered to enter upon any premises upon which a dog or other animal is kept or harbored and to demand the exhibition by the owner of such dog or other animal, and any agent of the Cityor police officer may enter the premises where any animal is kept in a reportedly cruel or inhumane manner and demand to examine such animal and to take possession of such animal, when in such agent’s or officer’s opinion it requires humane treatment.

(2) Upon receiving a report of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog within a dog control officer’s jurisdiction from a law enforcement agency, animal control agency, rabies control officer, or county board of health, the dog control officer shall make such investigations and inquiries with regard to such report as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

(c) Interference with enforcement officer. No person shall interfere with, hinder or molest any agent or officer of the City in the performance of any duty of such agent, or seek to release any animal in the custody of the City, or its agents or officers, except as provided in this chapter.

Sec. 10-5 -Tethering and use of trolley line.  

(a) No person shall tie, stake or fasten any animal to a stationary object within any street, alley, sidewalk, right-of-way, adjacent property, or other public place within the City or in such manner that the animal has access to any portion of any street, alley, sidewalk or other public place.

(b) The tether shall be attached to a properly fitted collar and not weight more than five percent  (5%)  of the body weight of the dog.  The following shall be prohibited:

(1) No chain collars, prong collars, or choke collars shall be used in tethering an animal; and

(2) No tether shall be shorter than either eight feet or five times the length of the animal (from nose to base of tail), whichever is longer.

(c) The tether shall be placed in an area to prevent the animal from becoming tangled with anything or another animal in its surrounding area.

(d) Any tether shall have swivels on both ends and be attached to a properly fitted buckle-type collar or harness worn by the animal.

(e)The trolley is the only system approved for tethering outdoors within the City.  The following guidelines shall be used in a trolley line system:

(1)A neck collar or body harness can be used before placing on a trolley line.

(2)The trolley line should have a safety block on each end of the tethering line to prevent entanglement with the post the tethering line is attached to.

(3)The running cable should be a minimum of 15 feet long.

(4)Only one dog may be attached to each trolley line.

Sec. 10-6. – Special permits; kennels.  

A kennel operating within the City as defined in Section 10-1 shall be required to have a permit to operate.  Each premises where there are four or more dogs over the age of four months kept, maintained or harbored for a period of 14 days or longer, shall be deemed to constitute a kennel. The owner or person in possession of the premises where the kennel is located shall be required to apply to the City Manager or designee for a special permit. Each kennel must also obtain the permit required by O.C.G.A. § 4-11-3 from the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of Georgia. Other permits as may be required by the City zoning ordinance must also be obtained before the operation of a kennel.

(a) A special permit will be issued upon payment of an annual fee set by the City Manager and proof that the premises and dogs covered by the special permit meet the requirements set out in this article.
(b) The special permit will be valid for one year from the date of issue, provided it is not revoked during the year for violations of this chapter. Application to renew a special permit must be made at least 14 days prior to the expiration of the existing permit.
(c) Individual license tags will be issued for each dog located in such a kennel, and a separate tag fee over and above the annual special permit fee will not be required.
(d) All commercial kennels that are subject to a business license fee shall be exempt from the annual special permit fee.
(e) All required licenses must be prominently displayed at the kennel.
(f) Any person operating a kennel without the proper permits shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

State law reference – O.C.G.A. §4-11-3 – Licenses for pet dealers and kennel, stable, or animal shelter operators; requirement; issuance; application; O.C.G.A. § 4-11-4 – Display of licenses.

Sec. 10-7. – Cruelty to animals.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to overload, poison, cruelly treat, maim, tease, bruise, deprive of necessary sustenance or medical attention, improperly use, deprive of shade and shelter, or in any manner whatsoever, torture, kill, or abuse any animal.
(b) No person shall abandon any animal on any property, public or private, or keep an animal under unsanitary conditions.

State law reference— Local authority to adopt ordinances for animal protection under the Georgia Animal Protection Act, O.C.G.A. § 4-11-18; dogfighting, O.C.G.A. § 16-12-37; abandoning dogs, § 4-8-3; cruelty to dogs, O.C.G.A. § 4-8-5; cruelty to animals, O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4.

Sec. 10-8. – Cruel treatment of animals prohibited.

(a)No person shall willfully place within reach of any domestic animals any substance that is poisonous or harmful to the animal.

(b)No person shall willfully and unjustifiably kill or injure any domestic animal other than livestock maintained for food purposes.

State law reference— Cruelty to animals, O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4.

Sec. 10-9. – Disposal of deceased animals.

No person shall place any dead animal upon his premises or upon the premises of any other person or allow any dead animal to remain upon his premises or any dead animal belonging to the person to remain upon the premises of another without disposing of same or causing the animal to be properly removed or disposed of within 24 hours.

State law reference— Disposition of dead animals, O.C.G.A. § 4-5-3.

Sec. 10-10. – Removal of canine fecal matter.

(a) It is unlawful for any person owning, possessing, harboring, or having care, charge, control, or custody of any dog not to remove any feces left by that dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street, lot, public park, or other public area or public property.
(b) Dog waste shall be immediately removed by placing said matter in a closed or sealed container and thereafter disposing of it in a trash receptacle, sanitary disposal unit, or other closed or sealed refuse container.
(c) Each and every violation of this section shall be punishable to the extent provided by in the penalty provisions of Section10-2 of this Code.
(d) This section shall not apply to visually impaired persons who have the charge, control, or use of a guide dog.

Sec. 10-11. – Running at large.

(a)Generally. Within the territorial boundaries of the City, the running at large of dogs, domestic animals, livestock, owned wildlife, exotic animals, and dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs is prohibited, with the exception of cats. Owners of wildlife or exotic animals must have the necessary state and/or federal permits on their person when transporting their animals.

(b)Dogs.

(1)It shall be unlawful for the owner, custodian or harborer of any dog to allow or permit such dog to leave the premises of the owner or other person having custody of the dog unless such dog is securely under leash, said leash being not more than six feet long, and under the control of a competent person. Dogs must be confined to the premises of the owner or other person having custody of the dog and shall be restrained by means of a fence or wall or other enclosure orrestrained individually by a leash or chain. Excluded are those dogs participating in or training for obedience trials, field trials, dog shows, tracking work, or law enforcement. Also, the requirements of this subsection shall not apply in any area zoned for agriculture where the owner or person having custody of the dog is at the time in question using the dog for hunting purposes and has on his person a valid hunting license and proof of vaccination.

(2)An electronic confinement system shall be considered an acceptable enclosure when the equipment is properly maintained and in continuous working order, and the animal to be contained within wears the appropriate electronic collar when within the system perimeters.

(3)In cases where an animal has been deemed dangerous by the court, or has been trained to be a guard dog, an electronic animal confinement system may not be used as either the primary or secondary enclosure.

(4)Individuals who contain an animal by means of an electronic animal confinement system and are found to be in violation of this section or have been deemed as restraining a dangerous animal shall thereafter restrain the animal by means of a fence, wall or other enclosure, or such animal shall be restrained individually by a leash or chain.

(c)Restraint of domestic animals, livestock, owned wildlife and exotic animals. It shall be unlawful for the owner, custodian, or harborer of any domestic animal, livestock, wildlife, or exotic animal to allow or permit such animal to leave the premises of the owner or other person having custody of such unless securely under leash, in a carrying case, or restrained by some other means and under the control of a competent person, with the exception of cats.

(d)Confinement of domestic animals, livestock, owned wildlife, exotic animals, and dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs. Domestic animals, livestock, owned wildlife, exotic animals, and dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs shall be securely confined to the premises of the owner or other person having custody of such by means set forth under the provisions of this chapter, or approved by the City Manager or designee and/or as required by state or federal regulations, with the exception of cats.

State law reference— Livestock running at large, O.C.G.A. § 4-3-1 et seq.

Sec. 10-12. – Commercial guard/security dogs.

(a) It shall be the duty of all persons who keep, use, or maintain any guard/security dog to have signs conspicuously posted on the premises where the guard/security dog is located to warn of the presence of the dog. This warning shall consist of a warning sign placed at each entrance and exit to the premises and in a position to be legible from the sidewalk or ground level adjacent to the sign (eye level). If the premises are not enclosed by a wall or fence, a sign shall be placed at every entrance and exit to each structure on the premises in which a guard/security dog is located. Each sign shall measure at least ten inches by 14 inches and shall contain block lettering stating “Warning, Guard Dog on Duty.” In addition, for dogs rented or leased, the sign shall set forth the name, address, and phone number of the responsible person or persons, to be notified during any hour of the day or night.
(b) It shall be the duty of any person who keeps, uses, or maintains a guard/security dog to ensure the dog is vaccinated against rabies and licensed as required by section 10-5(b). The dog also must have the current vaccination tag affixed to a collar worn by the dog at all times as required by section 10-5(c).
(c) It shall be the duty of any person that sells, leases, and/or rents any guard/security dog to be used within the City to notify the City Manager or designee, of the location and number of guard/security dogs in use, kept, or maintained at a particular location. The City Manager or designee shall maintain a record of the location, number of guard/security dogs, and current rabies vaccination and licensure of all guard/security dogs utilized within the City. The person that sells, leases, and/or rents a guard/security dog to be used in the City shall furnish the following information to the City Manager or designee:

(1)Name, address, and telephone number of the location where a guard dog is located.

(2)Name, breed, sex, and current license tag information of each guard dog at any location in the City.

(d)It shall be unlawful to transport any guard/security dog in an open bed truck, and the vehicle transporting guard dogs shall be identified as to the business owner. It shall be unlawful to transport any guard dog in the City except under the following conditions:

(1)Each dog shall be placed in separate holding bins.

(2)Each holding bin shall be enclosed and measure 48 inches long by 18 inches wide by 30 inches high.

(3)Each holding bin will be adequately ventilated.

(e)No guard/security dog shall be chained, tethered, or otherwise tied to any inanimate objects such as a tree, post, or building, outside of its own enclosure.

(f)A guard/security dog shall be confined by the owner/custodian/harborer within a building or secure enclosure out of which it cannot climb, dig, jump, or otherwise escape of its own volition.

Sec. 10-13. – Confinement of female dogs in heat.

It shall be the duty of any owner, custodian, or harborer of any female dog in heat within the areas designated in section 10-4(a), when she is left unattended, to securely confine such dog so as to prevent contact with another dog except for planned breeding.

State law reference— Permitting dogs in heat to run at large, O.C.G.A. § 4-8-6.

Sec. 10-14. – Skunks and foxes.

(a) All skunks, except pen-raised skunks, and all foxes from whatever geographic region, including Alaska and Canada, are forbidden to be purchased, sold, owned, possessed, or harbored. Pen-raised skunks and foxes in possession as of July 1, 1987, are grandfathered.
(b) Pen-raised skunks, other than black and white skunks, may be purchased and kept as pets after securing a permit from the City Manager or designee. The City Manager or designee is responsible for ensuring that purchasers of pen-raised skunks are made knowledgeable of the proper care, handling, and confinement. No pet store shall allow the purchase of pen-raised skunks without being first presented with the permit issued by the City Manager or designee.

Sec. 10-15. – Wildlife or exotic animal.

Each owner, custodian, or harborer of any wildlife or exotic animal must obtain all necessary state and/or federal permits and meet all state and/or federal requirements for keeping such an animal.

Sec. 10-16. – Nuisances.

(a) Any vicious animal shall be deemed a nuisance. A vicious dog will be exempt as a nuisance upon classification as a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog as prescribed by law.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any domestic animal or livestock except under the following conditions:

(1)Any housing or enclosure used by any domestic animal or livestock shall be well-drained, free from accumulations of animal excrement and objectionable odors and otherwise clean and sanitary. Animal excrement shall be disposed of in a manner approved by the City Manager or designee.

(2)A domestic animal or livestock shall be kept at the following minimum distances from any occupied building except the dwelling unit of the owner. (Exceptions: licensed veterinary hospitals, commercial kennels, grooming parlors and public or commercial horse facilities.)

Animal

Distance (in feet)

Horses, mules, asses, cows, sheep or goats

150

Hogs

900

Dogs (three or more)

25

Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters

25

Chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, pigeons, or similar fowl

25

(3)Except in an area zoned for agriculture, each domestic animal or livestock shall be provided with the following average minimum floor or ground area in the enclosure or housing in which it is kept. (Exceptions: licensed veterinary hospitals, commercial kennels, grooming parlors and public and commercial horse facilities.)

Animal

Area per Animal
(in square feet)

Horses, mules, asses, cows, sheep, or goats

150

Hogs

150

Dogs

100

Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters

4

Chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, pigeons, or similar fowl

4

(4)Except in the areas zoned for agriculture, the maximum number of domestic animals or livestock that may be kept on any single premises shall not exceed the following. (Exceptions: licensed veterinary hospitals, commercial kennels, grooming parlors, and public and commercial horse facilities.)

Animal

Maximum
Number

Horses, mules, asses, cows

5

Sheep, goats

10

Hogs

10

Dogs, cats

10

Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters

75

Chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, pigeons, or similar fowl

75

Sec. 10-17. Animals as prizes.

It shall be unlawful to offer as a prize or gift any animal in any contest, raffle, or lottery, or as an enticement for fundraising or for entry into any place of business.

Sec. 10 -18 Adequate indoor and out of doors shelter standards and requirements; required standards of care for pets.  

(a) Proper care. No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may refuse or neglect to supply the animal with a sufficient supply of food and water as prescribed in this section.

(b) Food. The animal should have a daily intake of food to maintain the animal’s proper weight and health.

(c) Potable water. Potable water shall be available at all times for the animal.

(d) Minimum indoor standards. The minimum standards of shelter for the indoor care of the animal shall include:

(1) Ambient temperatures. The ambient temperature shall be compatible with the health of the animal.

(2) Ventilation. Indoor housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated by natural or mechanical means to provide for the health of the animals at all times.

(e) Shelter. All pets must have shelter available when tied or confined while unattended outdoors for any length of time.

(f) Dogs. If a dog is tied or confined unattended outdoors or in an unheated enclosure, a shelter of suitable size to accommodate the dog shall be provided. The minimum specifications for such shelter shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide sufficient space to allow as follows for the animal:

(1) Shall allow the dog to turn around freely;

(2) Shall have at least three four sides, a floor and roof;

(3) Shall keep the dog dry under any and all-weatherconditions; and

(4) The shelter shall have suitable drainage, which rapidly eliminates excess water.

(5) Bedding must be provided to maintain comfortable temperatures during times when

outside temperature is at or below 32 degrees.

(6) Structure must include a heavy plastic or rubber flap to cover the door.

(7) Shade area should be provided, or the dog should be taken inside if the temperature is above 90 degrees.

(g) Outdoor enclosure space standards. Minimum space requirements for outdoor enclosures shall include:

(1) Small dogs. Dogs weighing 20 30 pounds and under shall have a minimum of 25 100 square feet enclosure per dog;

(2) Medium dogs. Dogs weighing 21 31 pounds to 5060 pounds shall have a minimum of 50 150 square feet enclosure per dog;

(3) Large dogs. Dogs weighing 51 61 pounds and over shall have a minimum of 100 200 square feet enclosure per dog;

(4) Structural strength. The housing facilities shall be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the animals from injury and to contain the animals.

Minimum enclosure areas are the actual walking area for the dog and excludes area of the

indoor shelter area, i.e. dog house.

(h)Dogs should be brought inside at 32 degrees or below unless adequate shelter is provided outdoors as outlined in this section.  

Sec. 10-19Enforcement.  

(a) Authorization. Animal control officers and law enforcement officers of the various jurisdictions within the City shall be enforcement officials for this chapter. These officials shall have the authority to act on behalf of the City in investigating complaints, impounding and destroying animals, issuing citations, and taking other lawful action as required to enforce the provisions of this chapter. It shall be a violation of this chapter to interfere with any animal control officer or other enforcement official in the performance of his duties.

(b) Citations upon affidavit. Upon the sworn affidavit of any citizens alleging a violation of this chapter, an animal control officer or law enforcement officer may issue a citation to the owner of the animal requiring the owner to appear before the municipal court for the City of Summerville for an adjudication of the complaint on a date and time certain.

(c)Citation requirements. Citations issued hereunder shall be personally served upon the person accused. Each citation shall state the time and place at which the accused is to appear for trial.

(d) Interference with officer. It shall be a violation of this chapter to interfere with, hinder, disrupt, or obstruct an animal control officer in the performance of his or her duty or the enforcement of this chapter.

Sec. 10-20 – Search and Seizure Warrants; Inspection Warrants

Animal control officers may apply for search and seizure warrants, or inspection warrants pursuant to O.C.G.A. 2-2-11 when they reasonably believe a violation of sections 10-5, 10-18, 10-105(a) and (b), 10-103 (d)-(h), 10-103 and 10-101 of this chapter is occurring. The officer shall apply to a judge of municipal court only upon cause and with an affidavit particularly describing the place, dwelling, structure, premises, or vehicle to be inspected and the purpose for which the inspection is to be made. In addition, the affidavit shall contain either a statement that consent to inspect has been sought and refused or facts or circumstances reasonably justifying the failure to seek such consent. Cause shall be deemed to exist if there is reason to believe that a condition of nonconformity with the provisions of sections 10-5, 10-18, 10-105(a) and (b), 10-102 (d) – (h), 10-103 and 10-101 exists with respect to the particular place, dwelling, structure, premises or vehicle.

Secs. 10-21—10-50. – Reserved.

ARTICLE II. – RABIES CONTROL

State Law reference— Control of rabies, O.C.G.A. § 31-19-1 et seq

Sec. 10-51. – Vaccination required.

(a)The owner, custodian, or harborer of each dog or cat over four months of age, kept, maintained, or harbored in any area of the City is required to maintain a current rabies vaccination on such dog or cat.

(b)It shall be the duty of all persons owning or having custody of any dog or cat over four months of age brought into the City from outside the City to have such dog or cat vaccinated within 14 days from the date of entry, provided that when the owner or person having custody of the dog or cat produces evidence satisfactory to the City Manager or designee that such dog or cat has a current vaccination, as prescribed by this article, such dog or cat will not be required to be vaccinated again until the expiration date of the current vaccination.

(c)Only a licensed veterinarian shall be entitled in connection with his practice, on the request of any owner of a dog, cat, or other animal, to vaccinate such dog, cat, or other animal against rabies, with a vaccine as set forth in the definition of “vaccinate” in section 10-1, provided that at the time of vaccination he furnishes two copies of the vaccination certificate to the owner, forwards one copy to the City Manager or designee, and maintains one copy for his files.

State law reference— Inoculation of canines and felines against rabies, O.C.G.A. § 31-19-5.

Sec. 10-52. – Rabies cases to be reported.

It shall be the duty of any person knowing of a rabid animal, or of any animal showing symptoms of rabies, to immediately report such animal to the City Manager or designee and give as much pertinent information as possible. Any bite by an animal shall be reported to the City Manager or designee. The City Manager or designee, in order to maintain an effective epidemiological surveillance and control program, shall maintain a record of its rabies-related activities, including investigation and confirmation of rabies in animals, in the manner and frequency stipulated by the City Manager or designee.

State law reference— Duty of persons to notify, O.C.G.A. § 31-19-4.

Sec. 10-53. – Quarantine.

(a)In the event a dog or cat has bitten a human, such animal shall be immediately confined at the animal control shelter, veterinary hospital, or other such premises deemed acceptable by the City Manager or designee for a period of ten days from the date of the bite to be observed for symptoms of rabies.

(b)In the event a warm-blooded animal other than a dog or cat has bitten a human or other warm-blooded animal, or in the event a warm-blooded animal has been bitten by another warm-blooded animal, the recommendations contained in the Rabies Control Manual compiled by the state department of human resources shall be followed.

(c)All expenses incurred for boarding an animal for the quarantine period as well as other applicable fees shall be paid by the owner or custodian of the biting animal.

(d)It shall be unlawful for any person, custodian, or harborer to fail to surrender a dog, cat, or other animal, which has bitten a human, upon the sworn statement of the person bitten. Such animal will be placed under quarantine or submitted for laboratory examination at the discretion of the City Manager or designee. The provisions of this division shall apply, regardless of whether or not such animal has a current rabies vaccination and tag.

(e)When rabies has been found to exist in any warm-blooded animal, or where its existence is suspected, the City Manager or designee may designate a geographical area within which quarantine of all owned warm-blooded animals shall be maintained. Such animals shall be immediately confined to the premises designated and, in a manner, approved by the City Manager or designee, whether or not such animals have been vaccinated against rabies.

(f)No warm-blooded animal shall be brought into or removed from a quarantined area or premises without written approval of the City Manager or designee.

(g)Quarantine ordered by the City Manager or designee shall be maintained for such period as deemed necessary to protect the public health.

(h)Quarantined areas or premises where rabid animals or animals suspected of having rabies remain at large may be posted by the City Manager or designee with signs which read as follows: “Rabies Suspected” or “Rabies—Keep Away from Animals.” Such signs shall be conspicuously displayed in a place designated by the City Manager or designee and shall not be removed except by the City Manager or designee. Such signs shall not be defaced.

(i)The owner, custodian, or harborer of each animal subject to a quarantine invoked by the City Manager or designee under the terms of this article shall be notified of the quarantine, the particular animals subject thereto, and shall be given such other information as the City Manager or designee deems necessary.

(j)Every animal showing clinical signs of rabies, as determined by the City Manager or designee, shall be immediately destroyed; and/or the heads of all animals suspected of having had rabies at the time of death shall be submitted to the epidemiology office, department of human resources, for examination by the department of human resources laboratory.

Secs. 10-54—10-100. – Reserved.

ARTICLE III- VICIOUS ANIMALS AND DANGEROUS

OR POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOGS

State Law reference— Dangerous Dog Control Law, Responsible Dog Ownership Law O.C.G.A. § 4-8-20 et seq.; vicious dogs control, O.C.G.A. § 4-8-40 et seq.  

Sec. 10-101. – Precautions to be taken by owners.

(a)No person owning or having custody or control of any dog or other animal known by such person to be vicious, dangerous, or potentially dangerous shall permit it to run at large, or permit it to run loose on or within the premises of such person in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any person lawfully entering such premises.

(b)It shall be the duty of every owner of any vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog, or anyone having any such animal in his possession or custody, to ensure that the vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog is kept under restraint, as prescribed in subsections (d), (e), and (f) of this section, and that reasonable care and precautions are taken to prevent the vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog from leaving, while unattended, the real property limits of its owner, custodian, or harborer, and it is securely and humanely enclosed within a house, building, fence, locked pen, or other enclosure out of which it cannot climb, dig, jump, or otherwise escape on its own volition. Such enclosure must be securely locked at any time the animal is left unattended so that children are prevented from entry and to prevent the vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog from escaping.

(c)For owners of a vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog whose animal lives out-of-doors, a portion of their property should be fenced with a perimeter or area fence. Within this perimeter fence, the vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog must be humanely confined inside a locked pen or kennel of adequate size. The pen or kennel may not share common fencing with the area or perimeter fence and fencing shall be at least six (6) feet high and embedded in the ground not less than one (1) foot. The kennel or pen must have secure sides; a secure top attached to all sides, the sides must be securely set into the ground or onto a concrete pad, or securely attached to a wire bottom. The gate to the kennel must be locked when the animal is unattended. This enclosure shall provide protection from the elements and meet the other requirements of this Chapter.

(d)A vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog shall not be upon any street or public place except when securely restrained by leash not more than six fourfeet in length and humanely muzzled when appropriate, as determined by the City Manager or designee, and in the charge of a competent person. The person walking the dog shall be over the age of eighteen (18) and shall have the physical ability to restrain the dog at all times.

(e)Whenever outside of its enclosure, as provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, but on the owner’s property, a vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog must be attended by the owner or custodian and restrained by a secure collar, muzzled when appropriate, as determined by the City Manager or designee, and on a leash of sufficient strength to prevent escape.

(f)No vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog shall be chained, tethered, or otherwise tied while unattended by the owner or custodian to any inanimate object such as a tree, post, or building, outside of its primary enclosure.

(g)A warning sign (i.e., beware of dog) shall be conspicuously posted denoting a vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog on the premises. These signs are exempt from building permit requirements.

(h)Failure to keep any vicious animal or dangerous or potentially dangerous dog confined or under restraint as provided for in this section shall be unlawful and shall be punishable as provided in this chapter.

(i)All owners of dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs must spay or neuter the dog and provide proof of sterilization to the City Manager or designee within fourteen (14) days of the declaration of status.

(j)No dangerous dog shall be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such dog shall be kept in a house or structure when the windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure.

Sec. 10-102. Determination of Status; Notice to owners of dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs.

(a)The City Manager or designee may find and declare a dog potentially dangerous, dangerous or vicious if probably cause exists to believe that the dog falls within the definition of “vicious dog”, “dangerous dog”, or “potentially dangerous dog”.  The finding must be based upon:

(1)the written complaint of a person who is willing to testify that the animal has acted in a manner which causes it to fall within the definition of “vicious dog”; “dangerous dog”, or “potentially dangerous dog”; or

(2)Dog bite reports filed with the animal control officer as required by city ordinance or state law; and,

(3)Actions of the dog witnessed by any animal control officer or law enforcement officer; or

(4) Other substantial evidence admissible in court.

(b)A dog may be declared dangerous under this section if the dog has within a twelve-month period attacked and killed a domestic animal on more than one occasion.  For purposes of this subsection only, a domestic animal does not include any feral animal or does not apply where the attack was upon a domestic animal that was at large or upon a domestic animal that was tormenting or attacking the dog.

(c)Dogs shall not be declared dangerous, potentially dangerous or vicious if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or was tormenting, abusing, provoking or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused, provoked or assaulted the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

When the City Manager or designee classifies a dog as a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog or reclassifies a potentially dangerous dog as a dangerous dog, the City Manager or designee shall notify the dog’s owner. The notice shall be in writing and shall meet the following requirements:

(1)The notice shall be in writing and mailed by certified mail to the owner’s last known address or served personally upon the owner by law enforcement.  If the owner is not known a notice shall be published in The Summerville News.

(2)The notice shall include:

(i) The name and address of the owner;

(ii)A description of the dog;

(iii) Whereabouts of the dog;

(iv)A summary of the City Manager or designee’s findings that formed the basis for the dog’s classification as a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog;

(v)Restrictions placed upon the dog and when the owner is not known the intended disposition of the dog;

(vi)Penalties for violation of the restrictions, including possibility of destruction of the dog.

(3)The notice shall be dated and shall state that the owner, within 15 days after the date shown on the notice, has the right to request a hearing on the City Manager or designee’s determination that the dog is a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog;

(4)The notice shall state that the hearing, if requested, shall be before the City Manager or designee;

(5)The notice shall state that if a hearing is not requested, the City Manager or designee’s determination that the dog is a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog will become effective for all purposes on a date specified in the notice, which shall be after the last day on which the owner has a right to request a hearing; and

(6)The notice shall include a form to request a hearing before the animal control hearing board and shall provide specific instructions on mailing or delivering such request to the board.

(7)When notice is given by certified mail, notice is effective when received; provided however, if certified mail delivery is refused, notice is effective by publication or posting and whenever notice is accomplished by publication or posting the notice is effective and deemed received on the earlier of the day the property is posted or the newspaper is published.

(b)When the City Manager or designee receives a request for a hearing, as provided in this section, such person shall schedule such hearing within 30 days after receiving the request. The City Manager or designee will notify the dog owner in writing by certified mail of the date, time, and place of the hearing, and such notice shall be mailed to the dog owner at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. At the hearing, the owner of the dog shall be given the opportunity to testify and present evidence, and, in addition thereto, the City Manager or designee shall receive such other evidence and hear such other testimony as the hearing board may find reasonably necessary to make a determination either to sustain, modify, or overrule the City Manager or designee’s classification of the dog.

(c)Within ten days after the date of the hearing, the City Manager or designee shall notify the dog owner in writing by certified mail of its determination on the matter. If such determination is that the dog is a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog, the notice shall specify the date upon which that determination is effective.

(d)A certificate of registration to the effect that the dog owner has a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog shall also be issued by the City Manager or designee, and is contingent upon the dog owner presenting to the City Manager or designee evidence of:

(1)An enclosure as prescribed in this chapter for confinement of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog;

(2)The proper posting of the premises as prescribed in this chapter; and

(3)An insurance policy or surety bond in the amount of $15,000.00, insuring the owner against liability for any personal injuries inflicted by a dangerous dog. This shall apply to dogs classified as dangerous, only.

(e)An annual fee of $100.00 will be charged in addition to regular dog licensing fees, to register dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs. This registration fee is subject to change as dictated by the City Council. Certificates of registration shall be renewed on an annual basis. At the time of the annual renewal of a certificate of registration, the City Manager or designee shall require evidence from the owner or make such investigation as may be necessary to verify that the dangerous or potentially dangerous dog is continuing to be confined in a proper enclosure and that the owner is continuing to comply with other provisions of this chapter.

(f)Issuance of a certificate of registration or the renewal of a certificate of registration by the City Manager or designee does not warrant or guarantee that the requirements specified in this chapter are maintained by the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog on a continuous basis following the date of the issuance of the initial certificate of registration, or following the date of any renewal of such certificate.

(g)The owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog shall notify the City Manager or designee within 24 hours if the dog is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked a human, has died, or been sold, stolen or donated. If the dog is sold or donated, the owner shall also provide the name, address and telephone number of the new owner. If sold or donated to another resident of the City, the new owner has ten days after taking possession of the dog to register the dog with the City Manager or designee. If the owner moves with the dog from one jurisdiction to another within the state, the owner shall register the dangerous or potentially dangerous dog in the new jurisdiction within ten days after becoming a resident.

(h)The owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog who is a new resident of the state shall register the dog as required in this article within 30 days after becoming a resident.

State law referenceO.C.G.A. §4-8-27 Certificates of registration; requirements for issuance of certificate; individuals excluded from receiving registration; limitation of ownership; annual renewal.  

Sec. 10-103 – Requirements for State registration; additional requirements for owners of vicious dogs

(a)All owners of dangerous dogs, vicious dogs and potentially dangerous dogs shall also meet all requirements for registration of said dog with the State of Georgia as required by law.

(b)Except as provided in subsections (c) and Section 10-104, a certificate of registration for a vicious dog shall be issued if the dog control officer determines that the following requirements have been met:

(1)  The owner has maintained an enclosure designed to securely confine the vicious dog on the owner’s property, indoors, or in a securely locked and enclosed pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the vicious dog from leaving such property;

(2)  Clearly visible warning signs have been posted at all entrances to the premises where the dog resides;

(3)  A microchip containing an identification number and capable of being scanned has been injected under the skin between the shoulder blades of the dog; and

(4)  The owner maintains and can provide proof of general or specific liability insurance in the amount of at least $50,000.00 issued by an insurer authorized to transact business in this state insuring the owner of the vicious dog against liability for any bodily injury or property damage caused by the dog.

(c)No person shall be the owner of more than one vicious dog.

State law reference – O.C.G.A. §4-8-27

Sec. 10-104Persons not entitled to Certificates of Registration

(a)No certificate of registration shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of two or more violations of this article.

(b) No certificate of registration for a vicious dog shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of:

(1)  A serious violent felony as defined in Code Section 17-10-6.1;

(2) The felony of dogfighting as provided for in Code Section 16-12-37 or the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals as provided for in Code Section 16-12-4; or

(3)  A felony involving trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana, methamphetamine, or ecstasy as provided for in Code Sections 16-13-31 and 16-13-31.1 from the time of conviction until two years after completion of his or her sentence, nor to any person residing with such person.

Section 10-105 – Confiscation of dangerous dog or vicious dog.

(a) Dangerous dogs. A dangerous dog shall be immediately confiscated by the dog control officer, or by a law enforcement officer, or by another person authorized by the dog control officer if:

(1) The owner of the dog does not secure the liability insurance or bond required by the chapter;

(2) The dog is not validly registered as required by this chapter;

(3) The dog is not maintained in a proper enclosure; or

(4) The dog is outside a proper enclosure in violation of section 10-103.

(B) Potentially dangerous dogs. A potentially dangerous dog shall be confiscated in the same manner as a dangerous dog if the dog is:

(1) Not validly registered as required by this chapter;

(2) Not maintained in a proper enclosure; or

(3) Outside a proper enclosure in violation of section 10-103.

Sec. 10-106 – Public nuisance by dog  

(a) Dogs creating nuisance prohibited. The owner of any dog which is alleged to create a public nuisance as defined in section 10-1 is subject to the following provisions as to hearings and disposition. If the final determination of the following procedure determines the dog to be a public nuisance, it shall be unlawful to maintain such dog within the City limits.

(b) Filing of complaint. Any person desiring to file a complaint against the owner of any dog alleged to have created or to be creating a public nuisance shall file the complaint in writing with the City Clerk on forms prescribed by the City Clerk naming the owner of the dog and describing the dog as to breed, etc., to the best of such person’s ability, and it shall be the duty of the City to conduct a hearing on the complaint in accordance with the rules and provisions set out in this section.

(c)Hearing; determination by Mayor. Upon complaint to the City by two or more persons regarding a particular dog that has created, or is creating a public nuisance, the Cityshall conduct a hearing presided over by the Mayor to determine whether such dog is in fact a public nuisance. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the owner of such dog at least ten days prior to the hearing, either by hand delivery or certified mail/return receipt requested. Notice of hearing shall specify the date, time and place of the hearing and a copy of the complaint shall be enclosed. If the Mayor, for the same reason, cannot conduct the hearing, it shall then be presided over by the Mayor pro tempore. All parties and witnesses shall be sworn and can be examined by all parties, including the presiding officer. Also, any parties may introduce any documentary evidence in addition to testimony of the party and/or witness. At the conclusion of the hearing, the presiding officer shall make the determination as to whether the dog is a public nuisance.

(d) Appeals. If a dog is determined to be a public nuisance by the Mayor, the owner of the dog shall have the right to appeal such decision to the City Council as a whole without the Mayor at the next regular meeting of the Mayor and Council held no earlier than 15 days from the date of receipt of the determination. The owner of a dog determined to be a public nuisance must be notified in writing of the presiding officer’s decision within five days of the hearing by certified mail. The owner will then have ten days to notify in writing the City Clerk of the request to appeal the Mayor‘s determination to the full council at its next regularly scheduled meeting as provided in this subsection.

(e) Removal or destruction of dog. If any dog is determined to be a public nuisance after the complaint is heard in accordance with the provisions of this section, after all appeals of the decision are exhausted, the owner of the dog shall be requested to remove the dog from the City limits within 72 hours of the actual date of the determination. If the owner fails to remove the dog deemed to be a public nuisance, then it shall be the duty of the dog control officer or any officer of the police department to immediately confiscate and impound the dog and then to destroy the dog in an expeditious and humane manner.

Sec. 10-107 – Dangerous dog ownership requirements.

(a)Liability insurance or Surety bond. Subject to judicial discretion, the owner of a dangerous dog may be required to present to the City Manager that he has procured liability insurance or a surety bond in the amount of not less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) covering any damage or injury that may be caused by such dangerous dog.  The policy shall contain a provision requiring that the City be notified immediately by the agent insuring it if the insurance policy is cancelled, terminated or expires.  The liability insurance or surety bond shall be obtained prior to the issuing of a permit to keep a dangerous dog.  The dog owner shall sign a statement attesting that he shall maintain and not voluntarily cancel the liability insurance policy during the twelve (12) month period for which a permit is sought, unless he ceases to own or keep the dog prior to the expiration date of the permit period.

(b)Identification photographs.  All owners, keepers, or harborers of dangerous dogs must within ten (10) days of determination provide to the City Manager or designee two color photographs of the registered dog clearly showing the color and approximate size of the dog.  

(c)Microchip.  All owners, keepers or harborers of dangerous dogs must within ten (10) days of determination microchip the dog and provide microchip information to the City Manager or designee to register the dog as dangerous.

(d)Sale or transfer of ownership Prohibited.  No person shall sell, barter, or in any other way dispose of a dangerous dog registered with the City to any person within the city unless the recipient person resides permanently in the same household and on  the same premises as the owner of such dog, provided that that the owner of a dangerous dog may sell or otherwise dispose of a registered dog to persons who do not reside in the city. The owner must disclose the dog’s status as a dangerous dog to anyone to whom the owner transfers custody or care of the dog.

(e)Notification of Escape.  The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog shall notify law enforcement if such dog escapes from its enclosure or restraint and is at large.  Such immediate notification shall also be required if the dog bites or attacks a person or domestic animal.

Sec. 10-108 – Penalties for Article III.

(a)In addition to other penalties for violations of this section, a court may revoke the authority of a person to keep a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog within the City.

(b)It shall be a separate offense to fail to comply with the restrictions in this section.  Any dog found to be in violation of this Section shall be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment pursuant to Section XX-XXX.  In addition, failure to comply with the requirements and conditions set forth in this Ordinance shall result in the revocation of the dog’s license and the permit providing for the keeping of such dog.

(c)Any person violating this Article is guilty of a civil violation and must pay a fine of $500.00.  

(d)If a court finds a person has violated this Article, in addition to any fine imposed the court may order abatement of the violation and order restitution be paid to any person injured as a result of the violation up to the maximum amount allowable by law.

Sec. 10-109 – Waiver of Declaration.

The owner of a potentially dangerous dog or a dangerous dog may apply to the City Manager or designee to have the declaration waived after two (2) years upon meeting the following conditions:

(a)The owner and offending dog have no subsequent violations of this Chapter; and,

(b)The owner of the dog has complied with all the provisions of this Chapter for a period of two (2) years for a potentially dangerous dog and three (3) years for a dangerous dog; and,

(c)The owner provides proof to the City Manager of successful completion of a behavior modification program administered by a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), or Veterinary Behaviorist, certified through the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) or equivalent training.

If it can be determined by sufficient evidence that the dog has complied with all conditions in this subsection and has sufficient evidence that the dog’s behavior has changed, the application shall be forwarded to the Court to rescind the dangerous dog declaration.

Sec. 10-110 – Reckless Dog Owner.

(a)Any person convicted of:

(i)a violation of this Article three (3) or more times in a 24-month (twenty-four) period; or,

(ii)a violation of this Article two (2) or more times in any five (5) year period shall be declared a reckless dog owner.

(b)The City Manager or designee shall issue a notification of the declaration to the Reckless Dog Owner to the person with the following:

(i)name and address of the person subject to the declaration, and;

(ii)the description, violation, and conviction that led to the declaration, and;

(iii)the name, description, and license number of all dogs subject to the effects of the declaration, and;

(iv)instructions on appealing the declaration to City Court.

(c)Once declared a reckless dog owner, the city licenses of all dogs owned by the person shall be revoked, and the person shall not own, keep, possess, or harbor a dog for a period of five (5) full years from the date of the declaration.

(d)A person declared to be a reckless dog owner may apply to the City Manager or designee to have the declaration waived after two (2) years upon meeting the following conditions:

(i)The person has no subsequent violations of this Chapter of the Code; and,

(ii)The person has complied with all the provisions of this act for a period of two (2) years; and,

(iii)The person provides proof to the City Manager or designee of successful completion of a program designed to improve the person’s understanding of dog ownership responsibilities and based upon an interview with the City Manager or designee establishes that understanding.

If the City Manager or designee finds sufficient evidence that the person has complied with all conditions in this subsection, the reckless dog owner designation may be rescinded subject to conditions that can help to ensure no future violations.  If the declaration is not removed, the person aggrieved may appeal to the City Court within 30 days of that decision.  Upon appeal, the person must provide clear and convincing evidence that ownership of a dog in the future will be handled responsibly and not in violation of any law or ordinance.

Sec. 10-111 – Appeals.

(a)Any person aggrieved by a decision to declare a dog potentially dangerous, dangerous or vicious, or to declare a person a reckless dog owner, or to impound a dog, or to have a dog euthanized may appeal the decision to the City Court within 30 days of the decision unless a different time period is provided in this Chapter.  A person aggrieved by a decision of the City Court may appeal that decision to the Superior Court of Chattooga County.

(b)If a dog is ordered to be euthanized for public health or safety reasons other than for rabies, the owner may immediately appeal the decision to the Superior Court of Chattooga County and upon a showing of good cause the court may suspend the order to euthanize the dog until the appeal is finally resolved.

Secs. 10-112—10-140. – Reserved.

ARTICLE IV. – IMPOUNDMENT AND REDEMPTION

Sec. 10-141. – Impoundment of dogs, domestic animals, livestock, owned wildlife, and exotic animals.

(a)Any citizen may pick up and impound any animal running at large in the City, provided said animal is promptly surrendered to the City Manager or designee to allow the person having the right of possession an opportunity to reclaim their animal.

(b)Dogs, domestic animals, livestock, owned wildlife, and exotic animals within any of the following classes may be captured and impounded:

(1)Dogs or cats without a current rabies vaccination.

(2)Dogs or cats without a current City license.

(3)Dogs not wearing a current vaccination/license tag. This shall include dogs wearing a tag that was not issued for said dog.

(4)Warm-blooded animals which have bitten a human or another warm-blooded animal and warm-blooded animals which have been bitten by another warm-blooded animal suspected of having rabies.

(5)Warm-blooded animals suspected of having rabies

(6)Unconfined warm-blooded animals in quarantine areas.

(7)Animals whose safety, health, or life is in immediate danger.

(8)Animals whose ownership is unknown.

(9)Dogs, domestic animals, livestock, owned wildlife, or exotic animals roaming at large, with the exception of cats.

(10)Vicious animals or dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs not properly confined or restrained as defined in this chapter.

(11)Commercial guard/security dogs not properly confined or restrained as defined in this chapter.

(12)Dogs in heat not properly confined as defined in this chapter.

(d)No animal shall be exempt from the provisions of this article by virtue of a vaccination, tag, or certificate.

(e)The City Manager or designee empowered to perform any duty under this article is hereby authorized to go upon any premises to seize for impounding a dog or other animal which the officer is in immediate pursuit of with the exception of any occupied building into which the dog or other animal may enter. In the latter case, if the occupant or owner of the premises gives permission to the City Manager or designee to enter the premises, the City Manager or designee may remove said dog or other animal.

(f)It shall be unlawful for any person to, in any manner, interfere with, hinder, resist, obstruct, or molest the City Manager or designee in the performance of his duties, or for any person to remove any animal from the City Manager or designee’s vehicle or animal control shelter without the permission of the City Manager or designee.

(g)When the owner of the dog or other animal impounded under the provisions of this article can be readily identified and located, the City Manager or designee shall notify the owner of the impoundment. A reasonable attempt to contact the owner shall be satisfied by a telephone call to the owner’s residence, when possible, or a postcard sent to the owner’s residence through the U.S. postal system.

(h)A dangerous dog shall be immediately impounded by the City Manager or designee if:

(1)The owner of the dangerous dog does not secure the liability insurance or surety bond required by this chapter;

(2)The dangerous dog is not validly registered as required by this chapter; or

(3)The dangerous dog is not maintained in a proper enclosure as specified in this chapter.

Any dangerous dog impounded under the provisions of this section shall be returned to its owner upon the owner’s compliance with the provisions of this section, and upon payment of reasonable impoundment costs. In the event the owner has not complied with the provisions of this section within 14 20 days of the date the dog was impounded, said dog shall be released to an animal shelter, or shall be euthanizeddestroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.

State law reference— Duty of local officers to impound livestock running at large, O.C.G.A. § 4-3-4; confiscation and destruction of dangerous dogs, O.C.G.A. § 4-8-27.

Sec. 10-142. – Disposition of impounded animals.

(a) Every animal impounded under the provisions of this article which is found upon arrival at the animal control shelter to be diseased or injured, and whose ownership is unknown or is relinquished in writing, shall, at the discretion of the City Manager or designee, be immediately destroyed if not accepted by an organization approved by the City Manageror designee, and provided such organization signs a receipt for the animal. In the event an owner cannot be contacted and the severity of the injury or disease of the animal dictates that euthanasia is a humane course of action, the animal will be destroyed and the owner, if known, notified as soon as possible.
(b) If, in the opinion of the City Manager or designee, the release of an impounded animal will impair the safety of the public, such animal will be held pending a court order disposition.
(c) Any animal impounded under the provisions of this article except livestock shall be held a minimum of three days from the day of impoundment or such longer period of time as deemed reasonable by the City Manager or designee. Livestock shall be held a minimum of 14 days. Animals under observation for rabies symptoms shall remain in the animal control shelter for such period of time as the health department or its designee may deem necessary to protect the public health.
(d) Impounded animals not claimed within three days of the day of impoundment or at the end of the quarantine period shall be disposed of (euthanized) in a humane manner as approved by the City Manager or designee. No animal impounded under the provisions of this article shall be released to any person or organization for the purpose of live animal experimentation.
(e) Before the release of any impounded animal, the owner shall pay the following:
(1) A vaccination fee on any unvaccinated animal when a vaccination is required by this chapter.
(2) A license fee for any unlicensed dog or cat in an area covered by this chapter.
(3) An impoundment fee.
(4) A daily boarding fee.

(f)The City Manager shall establish reasonable vaccination, license, impoundment, and boarding fees. In some instances, the amount of impoundment and boarding fees will be on a cost-incurred basis.

(f) Proceeds from license, impoundment, and boarding fees shall be applied to the annual operating budget of the City for animal and rabies control, enforcement activity, and operation of the animal facility.
(g) The City Manager or designee shall exercise every reasonable care to prevent injury, illness, death, escape, or pilfering of any animal with which it deals but shall not be responsible for any such occurrence.

State law reference— Destruction of vicious dogs, O.C.G.A. § 4-8-43; redemption of impounded livestock by owner, O.C.G.A. § 4-3-6; disposal of impounded livestock, O.C.G.A. § 4-3-7.

Sec. 10-143. – Adoption of impounded animals.

(a) The City Manager or designee shall cooperate with the Humane Society and any other approved organization by offering for adoption or placement cats and/or dogs not claimed by the person having the right of possession or any cat and/or dog that may be designated as a stray.
(b) Organizations with a continuing interest in adopting animals from the animal control shelter must register with the City Manager or designee on the forms provided and be designated as an approved adoption organization.
(c) All animals housed at the animal control shelter shall be under the authority of the City Manager or designee. No animal will be released for adoption or placement prior to the holding period required by section 10-142(c) and with the written approval of the City Manager or designee.
(d) The City Manager or designee may confer ownership (permit adoption) of any animal which has become the property of the animal control shelter to an approved organization, subject to conditions prescribed by the City Manager or designee, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1)Payment of any vaccination, licensing, or veterinary costs shall be the responsibility of the receiving organization;

(2)Evidence satisfactory to the City Manager or designee that the animal has been, or will be, examined by a veterinarian and vaccinations against rabies and other diseases administered; and

(3)Evidence satisfactory to the City Manager or designee that the animal has been, or will be, neutered or spayed.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby expressly repealed.  

SO ORDAINED, this _________day of _________________, 20____.

​​

Approved:​​​​​​​ATTEST:

​​​​​​

_______________________________​​____________________________(SEAL)

Mayor ​​​​​​​City Clerk

City of Summerville, Georgia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here