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Post Falls - Dog Bite LawsBelow are the Post Falls, ID dog bite injury laws that are relevant to the ownership and control of a dog.  Please check the following link to city ordinances for any updates or changes to the laws: (http://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=350 ; Title 6):

ANIMAL NUISANCE: Any nuisance arising out of the keeping, maintaining or owning of, or failure to exercise sufficient control of, an animal or animals.

AT LARGE ANIMAL: An animal, excluding cats, that is off the premises of its owner, or if on the premises of its owner or of another, with permission, is not on a leash or otherwise suitably contained within a fenced enclosure such that it is under the immediate control of a person physically capable of restraining the animal.

DISPOSITION: Adoption, quarantine, voluntary or involuntary custodianship or placement, or euthanasia humanely administered to an animal. “Disposition” includes placement or sale of an animal to the general public.

DOMESTIC ANIMAL: Includes dogs, cats, domesticated sheep, horses, pigs (excluding potbellied pig), cattle, goats, sheep, nonpoisonous snakes less than three feet (3′) in length, pigeons, ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, confined domestic hares and rabbits, pheasants, guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, frog, ferret, mouse, rat, and other birds and animals raised and/or maintained in confinement.

EXOTIC ANIMAL: Any live monkey, alligator, crocodile, cayman, raccoon, skunk, fox, bear, sea mammal, poisonous snake, nonpoisonous snakes more than three feet (3′) in length, members of the feline species other than domestic cat (Felis domesticus), members of the canine species other than domestic dog (Canis familiaris) or any other animal that by virtue of strength or inherent temperament or disposition would require a standard of care and control greater than that required for customary household pets sold by commercial pet shops or domestic farm animals.

GUARD OR ATTACK DOG: A dog trained to attack on command or to protect persons or property.

IMPOUNDMENT: The taking into custody of an animal by any police officer, animal safety officer, or any authorized representative thereof.

MUZZLE: A device constructed of strong material designed to fasten over the mouth of an animal to prevent the animal from barking or biting.

OWNER: Any person having temporary or permanent custody of, sheltering or having charge of, harboring, exercising control over, or having property rights to, any animal covered by this title. An animal shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered by any person or if the person purported to be harboring claims to have custody or responsibility for the care of any animal.

SANITARY: A condition of good order and cleanliness to minimize the possibility of disease transmission and not producing adverse health or sensory conditions for adjoining property owners.

UNDER RESTRAINT: An animal is secured by a leash or lead under the control of a person physically capable of restraining the animal, or securely enclosed within the real property limits of the owner’s premises.

VICIOUS OR DANGEROUS ANIMAL: Any animal that attacks, bites, or physically injures human beings, domestic animals, or livestock without adequate provocation, or which, because of temperament or training, has a known propensity to attack, bite, or physically injure human beings, domestic animals, or livestock. Any wild animal or any animal that without adequate provocation has bitten or attacked a human being or other animal shall be prima facie presumed vicious or dangerous.

Enforcement; Interference Prohibited; Authority Granted

Animal safety officers and police officers of the city shall be the enforcement officials for this title. 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 actions as required to enforce the provisions of this title. It shall be a violation of this title to interfere with an animal safety officer or other enforcement official in the performance of his duties. Animal safety officers are hereby authorized to take such actions as they deem appropriate to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, whether expressly authorized by this section, or not.

Unlawful Acts

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animal on any property located within the corporate limits of the city when the keeping of such animal, or the manner thereof, violates the provisions of this title, or when the owner neglects a duty established by this title or carries out conduct which this title labels as unlawful, or engages in activities, actions or behavior which violates a rule of conduct or requirement of this title or which creates a menace to public health or safety so as to create a nuisance to neighboring property owners or the public at large.
  2. Behavior and/or conditions which violate this title shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
    1. Any animal that unreasonably annoys humans, endangers the life or health of persons or other animals, or substantially interferes with the rights of citizens, other than its owner, to enjoyment of life or property;
    2. Any animal other than domestic cats found running at large;
    3. Any animal that makes disturbing or grunting noises, including, but not limited to, continued and repeated howling, barking, whining, or other utterances which cause annoyance, disturbance, or discomfort to reasonable neighbors or reasonable others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is kept or harbored;
    4. Any animal, or owner thereof, that causes fouling of the air by noxious or offensive odors and thereby creates unreasonable annoyance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is kept or harbored inclusive of conduct which neglects to maintain, clean or otherwise eliminate the waste which results from the containment of an animal;
    5. Any animal in heat (estrus) that is not confined so as to prevent attraction or contact with other animals;
    6. Any animal, whether or not on the property of its owner, that without provocation, molests, attacks, bites, menaces or otherwise interferes with the freedom or movement of persons in a public right of way;
    7. Any animal that chases motor vehicles on a public right of way;
    8. Any animal that attacks domestic animals;
    9. Any owner or harborer of animals who causes or allows conditions offensive or dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare by virtue of the number of animals maintained at a single residence or premises or because of the inadequacy of the facilities.

Restraint and Confinement

  1. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal to fail to keep such animal under restraint or permit such animal to run at large upon the streets and public ways of the city or upon private property without consent of the owner or present occupant. It shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section when an animal is found by an animal safety officer or police officer while it is away from its owner (or responsible person).
  2. Any dog, while on a street, sidewalk, public way, or other public space, or upon private property without the consent of the owner, shall be secured by a leash or chain of sufficient tensile strength to restrain the particular dog and be controlled by a person of sufficient age and strength to control the animal. This shall not apply to animals prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons or other properly trained assist dog.
  3. No owner or custodian of any animal shall fail to exercise proper care and control of such animal to prevent the same from becoming a private or public nuisance.
  4. Every female dog in heat shall be confined in a building or other enclosed area in such a manner that such female dog cannot come into contact with another animal except for planned breeding.

Restraint of Guard Dogs

  1. Every owner of a guard or attack dog shall keep such dog confined in a building, compartment or other enclosure. Any such enclosure shall be completely surrounded by a fence at least six feet (6′) in height and shall be topped with an anticlimbing device to prevent the animal from exiting the top of the enclosure.
  2. Such areas of confinement shall all have gates and entrances thereto securely closed and locked, and all fences shall be properly maintained and escape proof. Such premises shall be clearly posted to warn of the presence of guard dogs.
  3. The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs owned or controlled by government law enforcement agencies.

Dog Bites, Report Notice

  1. Any person owning, possessing or harboring any animal that bites any person, any person bitten by such animal or physician attending such, shall report the same to the animal safety officer or police officer, immediately but in no case longer than within eight (8) hours of the time of the bite or of learning of the bite, giving his/her full name, age, and address, the circumstances surrounding the bite and the extent of the bite, the medical treatment given and the name and address of the owner or person having custody or possession of the animal. The owner of the animal in question shall release, to the animal safety officer or police officer upon request, all information about the animal needed to complete the investigation.
  2. It shall be the duty of every person having knowledge of the existence of an animal apparently afflicted with rabies to report immediately to the animal safety officer the existence and description of such animal, the place where sent, the name of the owner or persons having custody of the animal, if known, and the symptoms suggesting rabies.

Animal Bite; Quarantine Required

No person owning or having custody or possession of any animal shall fail, refuse or neglect to isolate and quarantine an animal that has bitten a human or other animal for at least ten (10) days in such manner as may be specified by the animal safety officer or a police officer or for such period and in such manner as may otherwise be required by a public official with lawful authority.

Viciousness Guidelines and Standards

  1. In determining whether or not an animal is vicious, the animal safety officer shall be guided by the following:
    1. Whether or not the dog has bitten or attempted to bite any person or persons;
    2. Extraneous circumstances surrounding the occasion indicating the temper or potential ferocity of the subject animal; or
    3. Its general menace to the public or to specific individuals.
    4. The potential for the animal to attack or menace again.
    5. The record or history of compliance with animal regulations by the dog’s owner.
    6. The propensity of the breed of dog, according to documented authority, to display aggressive or vicious characteristics.
  2. These provisions shall apply to dogs even though the dog in question has been vaccinated and licensed as required by this title.

Vicious Dog; Complaint

Any person reasonably apprehensive over the safety of his person, family or property because of the threatening, predatory, menacing, destructive or vicious actions of any dog may make written complaint to the animal safety officer providing such information as the animal safety officer requires. Such proceedings may also be initiated by an animal safety officer upon information developed in the course of his duties. The animal safety officer, after investigation and consultation with the owner or custodian, and upon finding that there is good cause to believe that an animal poses a threat of injury to persons, animals or property, may declare such animal vicious. The owner of such animal shall immediately be notified in writing of the declaration and shall immediately thereafter maintain said dog in an enclosed cage or other secure enclosure as required by this chapter or by the lawful directives of the animal safety officer.

Vicious Dog; Appeal

Any owner or keeper aggrieved by the classification of his animal as vicious, may request, in writing, a hearing before the city council at the next regularly scheduled meeting at which the appeal request may be accommodated. Notice of any such appeal hearing shall be provided by mail or personal delivery to any complaining party or adjoining property owner at least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the appeal hearing. Subject to procedural rulings by the mayor, any appealing party, as may those opposing such appeal, may present witnesses, evidence, and argument in support of the appeal, and the council shall by a vote of the majority of the members present either affirm or reverse the findings of the animal safety officer. The mayor may establish time limits and procedural standards for presentation of any such appeal.

Vicious Animals; Confinement and Supervision

  1. Every dog declared vicious shall be confined by its owner or authorized agent of its owner within a building or secure enclosure which complies with this section. The secure pen or structure must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides, or in the alternative to a secure top, the sides must be of such height that the enclosed animal could not, under any foreseeable circumstances in the opinion of the animal safety officer, escape by jumping or otherwise. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than one foot (1′), or be otherwise designed to prevent any possibility of escape by digging by the dog. All such pens, enclosures or structures must be adequately lighted, be kept clean and in sanitary condition and comply in all respects with applicable zoning and building codes.
  2. A vicious dog may be temporarily allowed out of said secure enclosure if such freedom from confinement occurs when accompanied at all times by an adult with the physical ability to control the dog and if securely muzzled. Every person harboring a vicious animal is charged with an affirmative duty to confine the animal in such a way that children, other than those of the owner, do not have access to such animal and that the animal cannot access others, either adult or children. The pen, enclosure or structure shall be locked and shall have displayed in a prominent place a clearly visible sign, at least eight and one-half inches by eleven inches (81/2” x 11″) in size, in at least two (2) conspicuous locations on the property, indicating that there is a vicious dog on the premises. The owner of a vicious dog shall not suffer or permit the dog to go beyond the premises of the owner unless the dog is caged or securely muzzled and restrained by a chain or leash not more than three feet (3′) in length, and under the physical restraint of a person large and strong enough to control the dog. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration, but shall prevent it from biting any human or animal.
  3. It shall be duty of the owner of a declared vicious animal to furnish the animal safety officer or police officer with the residence location of said animal unless or until the vicious designation is removed, even if such location is not within the city.
  4. The owner of a dog declared vicious pursuant to this chapter must secure and maintain general liability insurance, in an amount of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), which insures against the liabilities which derive from custody of the vicious dog. Proof of this insurance shall be displayed to any animal safety officer or police officer upon demand. Said insurance shall be obtained within ten (10) days from the date that the animal is declared vicious. Noncompliance with the requirements of this section by any owner of a dog designated as vicious shall constitute a violation of this chapter subject to all penalties or methods of enforcement authorized hereby.

Dangerous or Nuisance Dogs

Any dog which has been at large in excess of two (2) times in any calendar year or which has been at large and has proven menacing or threatening when at large may be declared a nuisance or dangerous, as appropriate, by the animal safety officer. A dog may be designated as dangerous even though it has not behaved in a manner severe enough to warrant designation as a vicious dog. Upon making such a declaration, the animal safety officer may prescribe the actions which the dog owner must take to abate the nuisance or to protect the public from the menacing characteristics of an animal so designated. Such restrictions may include additional fencing, security measures, repair of containment facilities, additional supervision or other measures intended to address the nuisance or danger involved. Such designation may be applied for a certain designated time frame such that the restrictions serve as a probation for the animal or animal owner in question. Violation of any restrictions set forth in a written order of the animal safety officer pursuant to this section shall constitute a violation of this chapter, subject to all penalties and enforcement measures authorized hereby. Upon petition and demonstration of compliance with applicable requirements, the animal safety officer may revise the designation of a vicious dog to nuisance or dangerous status if the animal safety officer believes that such designation will fulfill the purposes of this chapter. Any decision concerning classification of an animal as a nuisance or dangerous may be appealed by the animal owner in accord with the procedures established in this chapter regarding vicious dogs.

Subsequent Attack

Should any dog attack or bite a person or another animal, after the owner or harborer of such dog has been notified that the dog has been declared vicious, dangerous or nuisance, such dog shall be impounded, held for observation and shall not be returned to its owner until the animal safety officer can be assured that the insecurity which allowed the animal to go free has been remedied and will remain so. If any declared vicious dog is found at large and cannot be safely taken up and impounded, such dog may be summarily destroyed by any police officer or animal safety officer. Failure to maintain security for vicious, dangerous or nuisance dogs shall constitute a violation of this chapter.

Impoundment

  1. In addition to any other remedies provided in this chapter, an animal safety officer or a police officer may seize, impound and humanely confine to an animal shelter or hospital any of the following animals:
    1. Any dog without a valid license tag;
    2. Any animal at large;
    3. Any animal constituting a public nuisance or considered a danger to the public;
    4. Any animal that is in violation of any quarantine or confinement order of the Panhandle health district, a Post Falls animal safety officer or any standing quarantine or confinement order of any public officer;
    5. Any unattended animal that is ill, injured or otherwise in need of care;
    6. Any animal that is reasonably believed to have been abused or neglected;
    7. Any animal that is reasonably suspected of having rabies;
    8. Any animal that is charged with being potentially dangerous, or dangerous where the city council or animal safety officer determines that there is a threat to public health and safety; including illegal exotic and wild animals;
    9. Any animal that a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered impounded or destroyed;
    10. Any animal that is considered unattended or abandoned, as in situations where the owner is deceased, has been arrested or has been evicted from his regular place of residence;
    11. Any animal that has been declared vicious and the owner or harborer fails to adhere the established guidelines set forth in the vicious dog guidelines as set forth in chapter 6.16of this title.
  2. An animal safety officer or police officer may also, or in lieu of impoundment of a dog running at large, issue to the owner a notice of violation which calls for payment of an animal control fee or, in the alternative, may issue a uniform citation charging the owner with a criminal violation of this chapter. Any animal owner issued a notice of violation shall pay any animal control fee established by resolution to the city within thirty (30) days of the date the notice of violation is issued. Such fee may be paid at the location noted on the notice of violation. In the event that such fee is not paid within the time period prescribed, the animal safety officer or police officer may issue a uniform citation or refer the matter to the city prosecutor in order to initiate misdemeanor criminal proceedings for the underlying violation of this chapter. Such citation or complaint shall be punishable as a criminal misdemeanor as otherwise provided by this code.

Licensing of Dogs

  1. License Required: No person shall own, keep, or harbor any dog over the age of six (6) months within the city unless such dog is licensed as provided in this chapter.
  2. Application: Application for such license shall be made by the owner on a form to be provided by the city within ten (10) days after acquiring any dog over six (6) months of age or within ten (10) days after a dog becomes six (6) months of age; provided that any owner moving to the city for the purposes of establishing residence or becoming a resident as a result of any annexation, and otherwise required to obtain a license, shall have until thirty (30) days after establishing residence to obtain such license.
  3. Proof Of Rabies Vaccination Required: All owners applying for a license must show to the satisfaction of the licensing authority that the animal for which the license is being obtained has been inoculated against rabies within the last two (2) years.
  4. Proof Of Sterilization: Any owner claiming that his dog has been spayed or neutered must show to the satisfaction of the licensing authority that the operation has been performed.
  5. Payment Of License Fee: A license fee shall be paid at the time of making application. The license fee for dogs shall be established by the city council by resolution. Such fee may be different depending upon the altered status or other relevant characteristics of the animal.
  6. Exemption From License Fee: License fees shall not be required for seeing eye dogs, dogs prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons, government police dogs or dogs belonging to a nonresident of the city (which are licensed elsewhere) and kept within the boundaries of the city for not longer than thirty (30) days; provided that all dogs not subject to payment of the license fee shall at the time of entry into the city be properly vaccinated against rabies, and while kept within the city, meet all other requirements of this title. Any owner claiming any of these exemptions has the burden of proving to the satisfaction of the licensing authority that the dog in question is entitled to such exemption.
  7. Penalties: Any owner of a dog over the age of six (6) months who fails to obtain a license within the time period specified inthis chapter shall be subject to a fee set by the city council by resolution and/or shall be subject to prosecution for violation of this chapter as otherwise provided herein.

Violations and Penalties

It shall be a violation of this title to:

  1. Fail to comply with any provision of this title, that is, to do that which is described as unlawful or to violate the requirements established by this title;
  2. Fail to comply with any lawful order of the animal safety officer or police officer, unless such order is lawfully stayed or reversed; or
  3. Any person who violates any provision of this title shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished as provided in title 1, chapter 1.24of this code. Should any person be found guilty in any court of competent jurisdiction, the court may order the animal involved to be destroyed by the animal safety officer.
  4. The city may undertake civil legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction to seek to enjoin conduct which violates the provisions of this title and/or to recover the reasonable costs of actions deemed necessary to bring about compliance herewith.

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