ARTICLE V


ANIMAL CONTROL


(Ord. No. 03-0689, adopted 06/05/2003 replaced Ord. No. 01-0296, adopted 05/03/2001)

SEC.

4-120.00 Preamble


    Duty of All Animal Owners to Be Responsible Owners: It shall be the duty of every owner of any animal or anyone having any animal in his possession or custody to exercise reasonable care and to take all necessary steps and precautions to protect other people, property, and animals from injuries or damage which might result from their animals' behavior, regardless of whether such behavior is motivated by mischievousness, playfulness, or ferocity.

    It shall be the duty of every owner of any animal or anyone having any animal in his possession or custody to care for said animal in a humane fashion and provide it with adequate shelter, nutrition and safe surroundings.

    In the event that the owner or keeper of any animal is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be responsible to ensure that all provisions of this ordinance are complied with.

SEC.

4-121.00 Definitions


    For the purpose of this Article, the following terms, phrases, words, and derivations shall have the meaning given herein, unless it shall be apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:



    Abandon: means to completely foresake and desert an animal previously under the custody or possession of a person without making reasonable arrangements for its proper care, sustenance, and shelter for a period longer than twenty-four (24) hours.

    Animal: Any living creature except human beings, including, but not limited to, mammals, and reptiles, except when referring specifically to the control of rabies when the word “animal” shall mean only mammals.

    Animal Shelter: The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, as designated by the St. Tammany Parish Council.

    At large: An animal shall be deemed to be at large if off the premises of its owner or keeper or not under the immediate control of a responsible person.
    
    Bite: Any abrasion, puncture, tear or piercing of the skin actually or suspected of being caused by an animal.

    Dangerous Animal

    a)    Any animal that when unprovoked, approaches in a dangerous or terrorizing manner, any person in an apparent attitude of attack when not on its owner's property.

    b)     Any animal with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack when unprovoked, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals.

    c)     Any animal which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation on public or private property.

    d)     Any animal owned or harbored primarily, or in part, for the purpose of dog fighting or any dog trained for dog fighting.

    e)     Any animal which is deemed dangerous by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services.
            
    Department: The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services.

    Enclosure: A fence or structure of at least six (6) feet in height, forming a pen suitable to prevent the unauthorized entry of human beings, and suitable to confine a dangerous animal. Such enclosures shall be securely closed and locked at all times and shall have secure sides. Such structures shall further have a secure bottom sufficient to prevent said animal from digging its way under and/or out of the said enclosure. The enclosure shall be located in a secure fenced area so as to prevent any person, except under conditions supervised by the animal's owner, from gaining any contact with the said animal. The enclosure shall have adequate shelter for the animal consisting of at least a roof and three sides. The dimensions of the enclosure shall meet or exceed the width and depth requirements established in Section 4-121.10 for adult dogs in runs.

    Euthanasia: The humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that involves instantaneous unconsciousness and immediate death or by a method that involves

anesthesia, produced by an agent which produces painless loss of consciousness, and subsequent death during such loss of consciousness.

    Exposed to rabies: An animal has been exposed to rabies if it has been bitten by a known rabid animal or if it has been in contact with any animal known or suspected of being infected with rabies.

    Officer: St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services and/or officers of designated and/or contracted agency.
                    
    Owner: Any person, partnership, business, corporation, firm, investment stock company, association or other legal entity owning, keeping or harboring any animal or having in his care an animal on or about his premises.

    Vaccination: Inoculation with a recognized anti-rabies vaccine, approved by the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH).

    Vicious Animal: Any animal previously classified as dangerous by its actions or through evaluation by Parish Animal Control Officers or Department of Animal Services employees which subsequently attacks, causes injury, or otherwise exhibits a propensity to endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals while outside the enclosure required for the harboring of a dangerous animal.

    Wild or Exotic Animal: Any live monkey, primate, racoon, skunk, wolf, wolf-hybrid, squirrel, fox, fox-hybrid, coyote, coyote-hybrid, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm- blooded animal, bird, poisonous snake or spider, which can normally be found in the wild state, or any crocodilian including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gravials. Ferrets, non-poisonous snakes with a length not greater than 6 feet, rabbits, rodents and birds which have been bred and raised in captivity and which have never known the wild shall be excluded from this definition.

SEC.

4-121.10 Standards


    Minimum Animal Care Standards:

    a)    Fresh water for drinking shall be available to all species at all times. Containers shall remain clean. All water containers shall remain free of fecal matter, urine and other debris and shall always remain easily accessible to the animal.

    b)    All animals shall be fed a food that is free from contamination, is wholesome, and of a sufficient quantity and nutritive value to meet the normal daily requirements of the animal. All animals shall be fed in clean containers which shall be easily accessible to the animal.

    c)    All animals are required to have proper shelter. In the case of a pet or companion animal that is kept outdoors, a shelter must have a minimum of three sides, a waterproof roof and a dry floor. Such shelter shall provide proper protection from the sun, rain, cold and the wind. Housing for animals shall be structurally sound and maintained in good repair. Housing for the animal shall allow, as a minimum, enough

room for the animal to stand, sit and to turn around comfortably. Proper housing shall always remain easily accessible to the animal at all times.

    d)    All dogs and cats shall be inoculated by a licensed veterinarian for rabies yearly. All dogs and cats shall wear the metal rabies inoculation tag given by the veterinarian at all times.

    e)    All animals must be provided proper veterinary care in cases of illness or injury where professional expertise is required. Such care shall be provided in a timely fashion upon need. In a case where professional veterinary assistance is required and cannot be sought due to financial constraints or limitations, the animal shall not be allowed to continue suffering. If it is in severe physical pain, it shall be surrendered for euthanasia immediately.

    f)    All animals shall be kept from running at large at all times. Any dog or cat or other animal that is not within the confines of its owner's property shall be considered at- large. All animal owners with fencing, dog yards, pens or other enclosures shall maintain such structures in a sufficient state as to prevent their animals from escaping.

    g)    Female animals in heat shall be secured in such a manner as to prevent unplanned breeding.

    h)    No animal shall be left unattended in a vehicle in conditions which cause the animal to suffer. An animal control officer, upon a valid complaint of this nature and in the presence of at least one witness who will supply a written statement on the incident, shall be permitted to use all reasonable means, including breaking a window, in order to free a suffering animal in the following circumstances, all of which must be met:
    
        1. A determination must be made before damaging the property that the case may be prosecuted by the office of animal control as cruelty to animals.

        2. The animal shows physical signs of heat exhaustion, convulsions, or other near death symptoms which require immediate action by the animal control officer in order to save the animal's life.

        3. Any such action by the animal control officer will require approval from a supervisor or the person who is acting supervisor at the time of the incident; provided, however, that a supervisor is available upon a timely fashion as not to seriously impede the rescue of the animal if required immediately (i.e., after-hours emergency calls).

        4. All reasonable attempts to contact the owner or driver of the vehicle must have been thoroughly exhausted.
    
    If all of the circumstances of this section are met, the animal control officer, Sheriff's Office, Department of Animal Services and the Parish will be deemed not liable for any reasonable property damage in any such action taken so long as the intent was to save the animal and the damage to the personal property was limited to what was absolutely necessary.

    i)    All animal containment areas shall be maintained in order that excessive fecal matter and urine does not build up and create unsuitable living conditions for the animal and

humans who enter the containment area; and does not create a health hazard and/or offensive odor to adjacent neighbor or neighbors. All animal containment areas should remain free of excessive water buildup and/or excessive flooding or continuous standing water.

    Minimum Animal Housing Standards

    a)    The following are the minimum requirements for housing all pets in kennels, cages, tanks or other enclosures:
    
Minimum Housing Dimensions  
Species   Weight or Age  
Width
 
Depth
 
Height
 
Number of Animals
 
Adult dogs in cages:  
0 to 35 lbs.  
36" (A)  
36" (A)  
30" (A)  
1
 
Adult dogs in cages:  
0 to 35 lbs.  
60" (A)  
60" (A)  
30" (A)  
2  
Adult dogs in cages:  
0 to 35 lbs.  
90" (A)  
90" (A)  
30" (A)  
3 max.  
Adult dogs in cages:  
36 to 65 lbs.  
36" (A)  
72" (A)  
36" (A)  
1  
Adult dogs in cages:  
36 to 65 lbs.  
72" (A)  
72" (A)  
36" (A)  
2 max.  
Adult dogs in cages:  
66 lbs. and over  
72" (A)  
72" (A)  
48" (A)  
1 max.  
Puppies in cages:  
0 to 15 lbs.  
30"  
30"  
24"  
1  
Puppies in cages:  
0 to 15 lbs.  
30"  
30"  
24"  
2  
Puppies in cages:  
0 to 15 lbs.  
36"  
36"  
24"  
3  
Puppies in cages:  
0 to 15 lbs.  
48"  
48"  
24"  
5 max.  
Adult cats in cages:  
any size  
24"  
24"  
24"  
1  
Adult cats in cages:  
any size  
36"  
36"  
24"  
2 max.  
Kittens in cages:  
up to 4 mos.  
24"  
24"  
24"  
1  
Kittens in cages:  
up to 4 mos.  
24"  
24"  
24"  
2  
Kittens in cages:  
up to 4 mos.  
36"  
36"  
24"  
3  
Kittens in cages:  
up to 4 mos.  
48"  
48"  
24"  
4  
Kittens in cages:  
up to 4 mos.  
60"  
60"  
24"  
5 max.  
Rabbits and guinea pigs in cages  
any size  
24"  
24"  
24"  
37622  
Rabbits and guinea pigs in cages  
any size  
36  
36"  
24"  
3  
Rabbits and guinea pigs in cages  
any size  
48"  
48"  
24"  
36620  
Rabbits and guinea pigs in cages  
any size  
60"  
36"  
24"  
6 max.  
Hamsters  
any size  
24"  
12"  
12'  
8 max.  
Adult dogs in runs  
any size  
48"  
72"  
(Min. 12" higher than dog)  
1  
Adult dogs in runs  
any size  
48"  
108"  
(Min. 12" higher than dog)  
2  
Adult dogs in runs  
any size  
48"  
120"  
(Min. 12" higher than dog)  
3 max.  
Finches  
any size  
19 ½"  
10"  
12"  
4 max.  
Canaries  
any size  
19 ½"  
14"  
16"  
3 max.  
Parakeets  
any size  
18"  
18"  
18"  
3 max.  
Cockatiels  
any size  
20"  
20"  
18"  
2 max.  
Larger breed birds  
any size  
24"  
24"  
58"  
2 max.  

    b)    These dimensions may require modification to conform to the body sizes of certain breeds. In no case shall the cage height be less than six inches, plus the height of the dog at the withers, nor shall the width or depth be less than six inches, plus the length of the dog from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.
    
    c)    All animal rooms, cages, kennels, shipping containers and runs shall be of sufficient size to provide adequate and proper accommodations and protection from the weather for the animals kept therein. As a minimum, sufficient space must be provided for each and every animal in a single enclosure to, separately and together, stand up, lie down and turn around in a natural position.

    d)    All confined or restrained animals shall be given exercise proper for the individual animal under the particular conditions. Dog kennel runs, if made of concrete, shall provide adequate draining for proper sanitation. Droppings must be disposed of and the runs periodically treated with an effective disinfectant.

    e)    All caged birds must have enough room to move with ease. A caged bird shall be able to flap its wings without touching the sides of the cages.

SEC.

4-122.00 Applicability


    The provisions of this article shall be in force throughout unincorporated areas of the Parish.

SEC.

4-123.00 Licensing, Registration, Vaccination, and Tags


    License required; tag: It shall be the duty of the owner or keeper of every animal over (3) three months old to register same with the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services by the purchase of a license tag. Such license tag shall be dated and indicate the number of the license tag issued for the animal at the time it is vaccinated by a licensed veterinary or licensed veterinary technologist with appropriate anti-rabies vaccine at the owner's expense. The license tag shall indicate the current calendar year. The license tag shall be fastened to the animal's collar or harness and worn at all times. The license must be renewed no later than one (1) year from the latest vaccination date and no animal shall be vaccinated without the issuance of a license or licensed without a current rabies vaccination.

    Fees: The annual fee for registration, licensing and issuance of tags shall amount to Three Dollars ($3.00) per animal. In the event a license tag is lost, a duplicate tag may be issued for a replacement fee of One Dollar ($1.00) upon presentation of the original license receipt to the issuing agency.

    Exemptions: Fee exempt registrations may be issued for the following:



a)    Police, Sheriff's department or other law enforcement dogs.
b)    Dogs trained to lead the blind (“Seeing-Eye dogs”).
c) Licensed veterinary, vet or clinic animals in conduct of business.

    Hunting and show animals: Animals used for hunting, on exhibition at American Kennel Club or other approved shows engaged in a specific “animal club” sponsored race or trail, or such animals while being transported to and from such events need not wear their collars nor their tags.

    Counterfeiting Prohibited: Any person who counterfeits or imitates the license tag as provided by St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, or any person who shall put on an animal any such counterfeit or imitation tag, or who shall use a license tag on an animal for which it was not issued, shall be subject to the penalties provided for in Section 4- 134.00 of this article.

    Removal of tags: Any person who shall maliciously or wantonly remove, or cause to be removed directly or indirectly, any such tag from the animal of another person shall be subject to the penalties provided for in Sec. 4-134.00 of this article.

    Financial Responsibility: The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services shall assume responsibility for the collection, accounting, administration and reporting of all fees, fines and penalties collected under the provisions of this article, excluding court assessed costs, fees and penalties. The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services shall be responsible for the procurement, distribution and registration of license tags.

SEC.

4-124.00 Rabies Control and Attack (Bite) Cases


    a) Should a dog or any other animal bite a person or be reported to have bitten a person within the limits of the Parish of St. Tammany, it shall be the duty of the owner, or the person having the same in his possession or under his control, immediately to notify the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, and surrender said dog or animal to any representative of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, who is herewith authorized and empowered to enter the premises in order to make any inspection or examination of said dog or animal as may be deemed necessary by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services. It shall be the duty of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services to impound or cause to be impounded any such dog or animal for a period of ten (10) days for observation either in the hospital facilities of a licensed veterinarian or at the St. Tammany Parish Animal Services Center, or require such animal to be confined securely for a period of ten (10) days by the person owning the same or having possession thereof in such manner and on such premises as may be designated by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services may order their representatives the destruction of such animal and send its head to the Bureau of Laboratories of the Louisiana Department of Health for a rabies laboratory test. Home confinement shall be allowed only if the following conditions are met:

        1. Current vaccination with an approved rabies vaccine;
                2. Specific approval of medical director of the St. Tammany Parish
         Department of Animal Services; and
             3. Specific approval of exposed party and agreement to the confinement conditions by the animal owner.



    If the animal medical director of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services determines that such animal may be confined under the control or custody of the owner or person having control over it, said owner or person shall notify the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services immediately if the animal shows any symptoms of sickness, or abnormal behavior, or escapes, and if such animal dies during confinement, such person having custody thereof shall surrender the carcass to the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services. This section shall not apply, except in the discretion of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, to such small caged pets as mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters or guinea pigs and any other animal that may be specifically excluded by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services.

    b) Should any animal undergoing the ten (10) days observation for having bitten a person show indication of rabies, it shall be the duty of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services to destroy such animal after confirming diagnosis by a licensed Veterinarian. The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services and/or designated agency shall send the head of any such animal, and also the head of any animal which dies during the rabies quarantine, to the Bureau of laboratories of the Louisiana Department of Health for a rabies laboratory test.

    c) It shall be the duty of every veterinarian having an animal quarantined for a bite incident to submit a report to the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services as to the condition of said quarantined animal on the initial day of observation and the tenth day immediately following the date of said bite incident.

    d) Any animal impounded or confined for rabies quarantine shall be released upon completion of the ten (10) days observation period only upon authorization of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services or their authorized representative. Any such animal must have a valid license and vaccination before it may be released, or it may be e vaccinated and licensed after completion of the rabies quarantine prior to being released.

    e) Animals exposed to rabies. If any animal is suspected of having been exposed to rabies, all persons having knowledge of such condition or event shall forthwith surrender such animal to the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services or their representative, shall fully advise same of all the facts and circumstances involved. Such animal may be quarantined, confined, humanely destroyed, or released under the direction and supervision of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services as it deems advisable in rabies control.

    f) No person shall fail or refuse to surrender an animal for supervised quarantine, confinement or humane destruction as required herein for rabies control when deemed advisable by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services.

    g) Any person having possession of or responsibility for any quarantined or confined animal shall immediately notify the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services if such animal escapes, or becomes or appears to become sick or dies; and in case of death of the animal while under quarantine or confinement shall immediately surrender the dead body to the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services for diagnostic purposes.

SEC.

4-125.00 Prohibition



Enticing animals: It shall be unlawful for any person to release or entice any animal secured by the owner or keeper within his or her yard outside of the premises of such keeper or owner.

Cruelty:

    a) No person shall poison or ill treat an animal, nor may an animal be abandoned. No person shall unnecessarily or cruelly beat, mutilate, kill, torture, or abuse any animal. Such person shall be subject to the maximum penalties provided by this Article.

    b) For purposes of this subsection, where more than one animal is tortured, maimed, mutilated, or maliciously killed, each act comprises a separate offense.
    
Seizure and disposition of animals cruelly treated

    a) The seizing officer shall notify the owner of the seized animal of the provisions of this Section by posting written notice at the location where the animal was seized or by leaving it with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at that location within twenty-four hours of the seizure.
    
    b) The seizing officer shall photograph the animal within fifteen days after posting of the notice of seizure and shall cause an affidavit to be prepared in order to document its condition in accordance with R.S. 15:436.2.
        
    c) The seizing officer shall appoint a licensed veterinarian or other suitable custodian to care for any such animal. The custodian shall retain custody of the animal in accordance with this Section.

    d) The seized animal shall be held by the custodian provided for in Paragraph (3) for a period of fifteen consecutive days, including weekends and holidays, after such notice of seizure is given. Thereafter, if a person who claims an interest in such animal has not posted bond in accordance with Subsection C, the animal may be humanely disposed of by sale, adoption, or euthanasia.

    e) Upon a person's conviction of cruelty to animals, it shall be proper for the court, in its discretion, to order the forfeiture and final determination of the custody of any animal found to be cruelly treated in accordance with this Section and the forfeiture of the bond posted pursuant to Subsection C as part of the sentence. The court may, in its discretion, order the payment of any reasonable or additional costs incurred in the boarding or veterinary treatment of any seized animal prior to its disposition, whether or not a bond was posted by the defendant. In the event of the acquittal or final discharge without conviction of the accused, the court shall, on demand, direct the delivery of any animal held in custody to the owner thereof and order the return of any bond posted pursuant to Subsection C, less reasonable administrative costs.

    f) Nothing in this Section shall prevent the euthanasia of any seized animal, at any time, whether or not any bond was posted, if a licensed veterinarian determines that the animal is not likely to survive and is suffering, as a result of any physical condition. In such instances, the court, in its discretion, may order the return of any bond posted, less reasonable costs, at the time of trial.



    g) Upon a person's conviction of cruelty to animals, it shall be proper for the court, in its discretion, to order the forfeiture and final determination of the custody of any animal found to be cruelly treated as part of the sentence. In the event of the acquittal or final discharge, without conviction of the accused, the court shall, on demand, direct the delivery of any animal held in custody to the owner of the animal.

    h)In the event of conviction under this section, or in the event of the failure of the accused to appear at trial, the court shall order the animal to be euthanized or made available for adoption.

    Certain animals banned: It shall be unlawful for any person in the unincorporated areas of St. Tammany Parish to possess, own, breed, or otherwise bring into the parish any live wild or exotic animal without first acquiring all licenses and permits required by State law for the keeping of wild or exotic animals.

    Any animal determined by the Parish Department of Animal Services to be of a type specifically banned may be subject to immediate impoundment. The owner or possessor of the animal shall have ten (10) days following the date of impoundment or notice to provide proof of proper licensing or a verifiable plan for removal of the animal from the parish. If, after ten (10) days, the owner or possessor has not provided proof of licensing or an appropriate plan to the satisfaction of the Department of Animal Services, the animal may be euthanized according to procedures established in this article. An impounded animal for which no owner or possessor can be located within ten (10) days of impoundment, may be euthanized or otherwise removed from the parish at the discretion of the Parish Department of Animal Services.

    Live animals as prizes:

    It shall be unlawful for any person to give away an animal as an advertising device, or as a game prize at any fair, festival or charity event. Raffling or auctioning an animal shall be permitted provided monetary consideration is given in exchange for a chance of winning the animal.

    For purposes of this section, an animal shall include, but is not limited to, fish, rabbits, birds, cats and dogs.

    Companion animal hoarding:

    “Companion animal” means an animal that is commonly considered a pet or is considered by the owner to be pet. “Companion animal” included canines and felines.“Pet” means a domesticated animal kept for companionship rather than utility.

    Companion animal hoarding consist of a person:

    a)    Possessing over fifteen companion animals;
        Exclusion: with a St. Tammany Parish kennel license.
    b)    Failing to provide necessary nutrition to the companion animals;
    c)    Failing to shelter the companion animals in a sanitary environment;
            d)    Failing to provide necessary veterinary care to the companion animals; and displaying a disregard for the conditions under which the companion animals are living.



    Upon a conviction for companion animal hoarding, the court shall order as assessment of any necessary psychological counseling or treatment for the convicted offender. The convicted offender shall bear the expense of participating in the psychological counseling order by the court.

    Upon a conviction for companion animal hoarding, the court may order that the offender is precluded from owning, harboring or having custody or control of any animals or from considering with others to maintain or create a collection of animals on the offender's behalf for a period of time that the court deems reasonable.

    St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services officer who reasonably believes that the life or health of companion animals are endangered due to companion animal hoarding may apply to the district court, in the parish where the companion animals are located for a warrant to seize the companion animals.

    Except as provided in Subsection 3. of this section, if the court finds probable cause that companion animal hoarding is occurring, the court shall issue a warrant for the seizure of the companion animals. The court shall also schedule a hearing on the matter as expeditiously as possible within thirty days unless good cause is demonstrated by the state for a hearing at a later time.

    Written notice regarding the time and location of the hearing shall be provided to the owner charged with companion animal hoarding. The court may order publication of a notice of the hearing in a newspaper closest to the location of the seizure.

    If the owner of the companion animals cannot be determined, a written notice regarding the circumstanced of the seizure shall be conspicuously posted where the animals are seized at the time the seizure occurs.

    If a court finds probable cause that companion animal hoarding is occurring, the court may order the owner charged with companion animal hoarding to provide necessary food, water, shelter and care for the companion animals that are basis of the charge until the charges against the owner are adjudicated. The court may order a St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services officer to make regular visits to the home of the owner charged with companion animal hoarding to ascertain if the companion animals are receiving necessary food, water, shelter and care until the charges against the owner are adjudicated. At any time a St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Control officer may apply for a warrant to seize the companion animals pursuant to Subsection E. of this section if the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services officer feels that the companion animals are not receiving the necessary court-ordered food, water, shelter and care.

    Disposition of seized Companion Animals:

    a)     If the court finds the owner is not committing companion animal hoarding, the court shall return the companion animals to their owner.

    b)     Upon conviction, the court shall place the companion animals for adoption with an animal shelter or animal welfare organization or provide for the humane euthanasia of the companion animals.


    c)     In no event shall the owner be permitted to adopt the seized companion animals following a conviction of companion animal hoarding.

    d)     An individual who is authorized by the court to care for the companion animals, to treat companion animals or to attempt to restore companion animals to good health is immune from civil or criminal liability resulting from his action.
    
    Forfeiture:

            a)    Within fourteen days following the seizure of companion animals from an owner who is alleged to have committed companion animal hoarding, the Department of Animal Services may file a petition for forfeiture prior to trial before the court having jurisdiction over the case. In the petition, the Department of Animal Services may request that permanent forfeiture of the companion animals be granted if the owner of the companion animals is alleged to have committed companion animal hoarding and is also proven to have committed cruelty to animals or extreme cruelty to animals.

    Cost:

    a)     Upon seizure of the companion animals, the owner shall post a bond or other adequate financial assurance acceptable to the court within fifteen days to cover the cost of the boarding the seized companion animals and all necessary veterinary examinations and care provided to the seized companion animals housed at an animal shelter or animal welfare organization during the pendency of the proceedings. If bond isn't posted, then the animal may be disposed of by sale, adoption or euthanasia.

    b)     In the absence of a conviction, the bond or adequate financial assurance          acceptable to the court shall be returned to the owner and seizing agency shall bear the cost of boarding the companion animals and all necessary veterinary examinations and care of the companion animals during the pendency of the proceedings.

    c)     Nothing in this section shall preclude an owner charged with companion animal hoarding from voluntary, permanent relinquishment of any companion animal to the Department of Animal Services in lieu of posting a bond or other adequate financial assurance. Voluntary relinquishment has no effect on any proceeding filed against a person charged with companion animal hoarding.
        
SEC.

4-126.00 Public Nuisance


     a)    Every owner or keeper of animals shall exercise proper care and control of such animals so as to prevent them from creating or becoming a public nuisance.

        Excessive or untimely barking, howling or yelping so as to disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood or its residents or to disturb the health or repose of the residents; attacking or molesting passerby or other animals; being repeatedly at large; chasing vehicles; scratching on or digging into or urinating or defecating upon lawns, shrubs, buildings or any property, either public or private, other than property of the owner or keeper of an animal all shall be deemed to be the creation of a public nuisance and the owner or keeper of an animal causing such public nuisance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to the penalties of Section 4-134.00 of this article. In the case of nuisance by defecation, the owner of keeper must remove all feces and dispose of them in a sanitary manner or be considered to be further in violation of the

provisions of this article and guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to the penalties of this article.

    b)     Premises on which animals, including fowl, are kept shall be maintained so as to prevent disagreeable odors arising therefrom, or the presence or breeding of flies, mosquitos and other pests. Provisions shall be made for the removal and disposal of animal and food wastes, bedding, dead animals and debris. Disposal facilities shall be so provided and operated as to minimize vermin infestation, odors and disease hazards.

    c)     Upon receipt of a written and signed complaint wherein it is alleged that an animal, or group of animals, is a public nuisance, the Department of Animal Services shall investigate the complaint. If the parties refuse to cooperate, the Department of Animal Services has the right to initiate a complaint in a Court of proper jurisdiction.

    d)     In the event revocation of an animal's license or reduction in the number of animals kept is ordered by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, the owner shall have fifteen (15) days to dispose of the animal or animals unless otherwise specified by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services. If the owner fails to take such action, then the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services and/or designated agency may take custody of the animal or animals.

    e)     Exemptions - The sounds and noises created by farm animals located on property with an R-Rural Zoning classification shall not be considered a violation of this Section.

SEC.

4-127.00 Dangerous Animals

                
            a) Confinement of Dangerous Animals: Dangerous animals shall be confined within a dwelling or enclosure by their owner and/or keeper. Confinement shall be in such a manner that the animal cannot come in contact with any person or other animal except under supervised conditions.

    b)     Destruction of Wild or Dangerous Animals: Agents of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services shall destroy any wild or vicious dog or other animal found in violation of this ordinance and which cannot be safely taken up or impounded. It shall be unlawful for any person other than agents of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services to kill any wild or dangerous animal, except under such circumstances where such action is necessary for defense or where such animal is imminently threatening or attacking any person.

    This subsection (b) shall not apply to those individuals duly licensed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to hunt and kill wild game during established hunting seasons in St. Tammany Parish, nor to the killing of wild animals threatening livestock.

    c)     Requirements for Registration and Harboring Dangerous Animals: The owner and/or keeper of a dangerous animal shall secure a permit from the Parish Department of Animal Services, renewable each year from the anniversary date of such issue, provided said owner and/or keeper meets the following requirements:

        1. The owner and/or keeper shall have the animal penned in a proper enclosure as defined in Sec.4-121.00 at all times when the animal is not confined and supervised within the owner's and/or keeper's dwelling, or being moved or exercised.



        2. The owner and/or keeper shall display in a prominent place on the premises on which the animal is kept a sign warning that a dangerous animal is housed on the premises. Such sign shall be easily readable by members of the general public and intelligible to young children and/or those who are unable to read or write the English language. A similar sign shall be posted on the animal's pen. These signs shall be provided by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services.

        3. Prior to the issuance or renewal of a permit for a dangerous animal, its owner or keeper shall sign a statement attesting under oath that:

        a)     The owner and/or keeper shall, on or prior to the effective date of the permit for which application is being made, have a suitable enclosure as required by the provisions of this section for the harboring of the dangerous animal on the premises where the dangerous animal will be kept or maintained.
    
        b)     The owner and/or keeper shall notify the Parish Department of Animal Services immediately whenever a dangerous animal is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked another animal or has attacked a human, has died, been sold, or given away, or has been relocated. If the animal has been sold or given away, the owner and/or keeper shall provide the name, address, and phone number of the new owner to the Parish Department of Animal Services.

        c)     The owner and/or keeper shall provide two (2) color photographs of the animal clearly depicting color, approximate size, and facial characteristics.

        d)     The owner and/or keeper shall show proof to the satisfaction of the Department of Animal Services that the animal has received a micro-chip identification tag.

Control of Dangerous Animals:

    a)    All dangerous animals shall be confined in an enclosure which meets requirements set forth under the provisions of this section if the animal is kept outside of the owner and/or keepers dwelling. It shall be unlawful for any owner and/or keeper to maintain a dangerous animal upon any premises which does not have such a locked enclosure if the animal is kept outside of the owner's or keeper's dwelling.

b)    It shall be unlawful for any owner and/or keeper to allow any dangerous animal to be outside of the dwelling of the owner and/or keeper, or outside of the herein above defined enclosure, unless it is necessary for the owner and/or keeper to exercise the animal or to move the animal. Whenever the said animal is allowed outside the owner and/or keeper's dwelling or outside of its enclosure, the animal shall be restrained on a leash and collar having a minimum tensile strength of three hundred (300) pounds and not exceeding six (6) feet in length. The animal shall be kept under the direct control and supervision of its owner and/or keeper at all times. Further, it shall be unlawful to exercise a dangerous animal upon the public streets, sidewalks, rights-of-way, parks and property of the parish.

c)    The requirements of this section for the maintenance of physical control over the animal shall not be satisfied by the mere chaining, roping, leashing, or similar restraining of the animal to inanimate objects such as stakes, trees, posts, or buildings.

    d) The owner and/or keeper of any dangerous animal shall:



                  1. Upon designation of the animal being dangerous by the Department of Animal Services as a result of a complaint or by other means, will surrender said animal to the Department of Animal Services to be impounded at the parish animal shelter until the owner and/or keeper provides an enclosure for the animal as defined in Sec. 4-121.00 or for a maximum period of thirty (30) days.

                  2. After the thirty (30) day period set forth above, if the owner and/or keeper does not provide for the proper enclosure required by Sec. 4-121.00, then the said dangerous animal may be destroyed.

             3. Within fifteen (15) days of issuance of a permit, the owner/keeper shall:

                          a. Display the warning signs required under the provisions of subsection (C) 3 of this section.

              b. Sign the sworn statement required under the provisions of subsection (C) 3 of this section.

                c. Submit to the Parish Department of Animal Services the photographs of the animal required under the provisions of subsection (C) 3 of this section.

                         d. Show proof of a micro-chip identification tag required under the provisions of subsection (C) 3 of this section, or submit the animal to the Department of Animal Services for micro-chip tagging.

                 4. Within ten business days of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal, the owner must procure and maintain in effect liability insurance, including coverage of claims arising from the conduct of the owner's animal, in an amount not less than $100,000.00 or adequate financial assurance acceptable to St. Tammany Parish.

     5. The animal shall be spayed or neutered, at the owner's expense.

    6. The owner and the animal must complete a course of animal obedience training approved by the Department of Animal Services.

Applicability: The provisions of this section shall not apply to proprietors of animal hospitals, to veterinarians, or to search and rescue organizations and law enforcement agencies who keep or maintain dangerous animals on their professional premises in the usual and normal course of business, or to zoological gardens, theatrical exhibits, or a circus provided that such animal hospital, veterinarian, zoological garden, theatrical exhibit, or circus possesses all permits required by the laws of this parish and state and complies with all other regulations concerning the keeping and maintaining of such animals.

Penalty: Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this section shall, for each violation, be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), plus court costs, or be imprisoned in the parish jail for not more than sixty (60) days or both. Each separate day on which any violation of the provisions of this section is shown to have continued to exist shall constitute a separate offense.


Appeal Mechanism: In the event that an animal is deemed dangerous by the St. Tammany Department of Animal Services, the owner and/or keeper of said animal can appeal that determination to the Animal Shelter Advisory Board, which shall convene and make a recommendation to be ratified by the Parish President.

SEC.

4-127.10 Vicious Animals


Animal determined as Vicious: Any animal previously classified as dangerous which subsequently violates any section of this Article, or whose owner/keeper subsequently violates any requirements established for the harboring of dangerous animals by this Article, may be deemed vicious by the Department of Animal Services.

Removal from Parish: Any animal determined to be vicious shall be subject to immediate impoundment. The owner or keeper of the animal shall have ten (10) days following the date of impoundment to provide a verifiable plan for removal of the animal from the parish. If, after ten (10) days, the owner or keeper has not provided an appropriate plan to the satisfaction of the Department of Animal Services, the animal may be euthanized according to procedures established in this Article. An impounded animal for which no owner or keeper can be located within ten (10) days of impoundment, may be euthanized or otherwise removed from the parish at the discretion of the Department of Animal Services.

Micro-chipping of Vicious Animals required: Any animal determined to be vicious shall be subject to micro-chip identification by the Department of Animal Service prior to release from impoundment. All costs associated with the micro-chipping shall be born by the owner or keeper of the animal.

Appeal Mechanism: In the event that an animal is deemed vicious by the St. Tammany Department of Animal Services, the owner and/or keeper of said animal can appeal that determination to the Animal Shelter Advisory Board, which shall convene and make a recommendation to be ratified by the Parish President.

SEC.

4-128.00 Exposure or Poisons


    No person shall expose any known poisonous substance, whether mixed with food or not, so that same shall be liable to be eaten by any animal, provided that it shall not be unlawful for a person to expose on his own property common rat poison mixed only with vegetable substances.

SEC.

4-129.00 Leash Law


Confinement by owner:

    a)    All animals owned or kept in the unincorporated portions of St. Tammany Parish shall be confined within a fenced yard, or enclosure meeting or exceeding the standards for runs set forth in section 4-121.10 (b), when not confined within the owner/keeper's dwelling or being exercised or transported outside the owner/keeper's premises. Owners or keepers of dangerous animals shall be required to comply with the additional requirements for harboring dangerous animals established in Section 4- 127.00.


    b)    Fencing must be of a material, style and workmanship reasonably sufficient to restrain the animal, prevent escape and not allow ready and unobstructed access to the animal by the general public.

    c)    “Electronic Fences”, incorporating the use of electrical charges as a means of restraint of an animal within a yard-like perimeter, may only be used as a secondary means of restraint and not as a replacement for actual fencing material or an enclosure.

    d)    Tethering of Animals: An owner or keeper of an animal, other than one deemed dangerous or vicious, may tether said animal only in a fashion conforming to the method indicated below:

         1. Tethering shall only be used as a secondary means of restraint and shall not serve as an alternative to fencing or enclosure requirements.

         2. Tethering must occur only on a type configuration which permits the animal to move freely in all directions.

                 3. Tethering must occur only with a lead rope, chain or cable at least twelve (12) feet in length.

                 4. Tethering must occur in an open area free of any choking hazards such as trees, bushes, poles, or other obstructions, with the exception of the object to which the lead is joined.

5. Tethering of dangerous animals or vicious animals is strictly prohibited.

Dogs at large; violation notices: No dogs shall be permitted to run loose, free or at- large, or be upon any street, alleyway, highway, common or public square unless under the immediate control of a competent person and restrained by a substantial chain or leash except for recognizable breeds of hunting dogs when in the process of tracking or retrieving of game, during a properly supervised hunt, said breeds being hounds, retrievers, spaniels, setters and pointers. “Electronic Leashes” utilizing an electrical charge as a means of restraint shall not serve as a replacement for a tangible chain or leash. Dogs found at large by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services may be seized and impounded; or as an alternative, a notice may be issued to the owner that his dog is in violation of this section. Such notice will impose upon the dog owner a fine of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and shall be paid to the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services in person or by mail within five (5) days of the time the notice was served. Failure to make such payment shall render such owner subject to the penalties provided for in Section 4-134.00 of this article.

    Redemption of impounded dogs: The owner shall be entitled to resume possession of any impounded dog upon payment of the impoundment and daily board fees and compliance with vaccination/registration requirements; provided application for such possession, with payment of all required fees, is made within three (3) days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and all legal holidays, after impoundment.

    Escaped dogs: Should any dog be captured while at large by the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services and escape said agents by entering premises of the owner or keeper, or any other person, and such owner, keeper or person refuses to deliver such dog to such agents of St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, such owner, keeper, or

person shall be subject to the penalties provided in Section 4-134.00 of this article. The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services or designated agency and/or law enforcement officials may write tickets for any or all violations of this article.

    Dogs on school grounds: Owners shall not permit their dogs on any school ground when school is in session, or on any public recreation area when an organized activity is being conducted, unless the dog is controlled by a leash or similar device to prevent the dog from biting any person or animal.

    Animals in restaurants: Dogs or other animals shall not be permitted in restaurants or other places serving food, establishments selling food or edible products, or in any place of business when prohibited by owner of same. This provision shall not apply to “seeing-eye” dogs.

    Animals in heat: Every female dog or cat in heat shall be confined so that the animal cannot come into contact with an un-neutered male, except for planned breeding.

SEC.

4-129.01 Animals Restricted from Parades and Other Public Events


    The presence of pets, animals or reptiles, other than those actually participating in a parade or other public event, is prohibited within one hundred fifty (150) feet of a route or site of such function.

    Beyond 150 feet of a route or site of a parade or public event, owners shall be required to leash, muzzle, or case pets, animals or reptiles which accompany them to such functions.

    Any person violating this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both. In addition thereto, court costs may be imposed.

SEC.

4-130.00 Impoundment


    Reasons: Whenever animals are kept within any building or on any premises without food, water or proper care and attention, or are kept in violation of the provisions of this article, or are infected with disease, or kept under conditions which could endanger public health or create a nuisance, it shall be the duty of any authorized employee of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services and/or law enforcement official to enter said building or premises to take possession of and remove said animals so abandoned or neglected. Animals so impounded shall not be released before the reason for causing said impoundment has been corrected.

    Disposition of unclaimed animals: If any impounded animal, other than a dog or cat impounded for being at large, is not reclaimed by the owner upon payment of impoundment and daily board fees and compliance with other legal requirements for keeping an animal, or if the reason for causing said impoundment is not corrected within a reasonable time, the animal shall be held for such time as the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services deems reasonable, considering the animal's probable value, condition to health and suitability for use. Upon expiration of such reasonable time, the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services may offer the animal for adoption, or it may be humanely destroyed.


Owner notification; holding time, release of animal, adoption and disposal of animal: Owner notification, holding time, release of animal, adoption and disposal of animals impounded in the animal shelter shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations provided for the operation of said St. Tammany Department of Animal Services.

Liability of owner for dogs at large: In addition to fees and charges to be paid the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services for the release of any impounded dog, any owner who has permitted his licensed or unlicensed dog to roam at large may be found guilty of violation of this article and shall be subject to a penalty as set forth in Section 4-134.00 of this article.

SEC.

4-131.00 Unwanted Animals


    Owners of unwanted animals may bring and release such animals to the St. Tammany Parish Animal Services Center at no cost to the owner to be made available for adoption or other disposition at the discretion of the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services.

SEC.

4-132.00 Animals at Large



    The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services may impound any dog, cat, rabbit, racoon, opossum, hamster, guinea pig, gerbil, and any other animal of like nature found to be at large. Any such animal impounded may be reclaimed by the owner upon payment of impoundment and daily board fees and compliance with other legal requirements for keeping such animal. If no claim is made on any such animal after three (3) days of impoundment, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services may humanely dispose of same in its discretion.

SEC.

4-133.00 Shelter Fees and Charges


    Service fees and charges shall be as provided for the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services for the operation of the Animal Services Center.

SEC.

4-134.00 Penalties


    a)     The owner or keeper of a dog, or any other animal and any other person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction or pleading guilty to each such offense for each animal or incident before a court of law of the Parish of St. Tammany, shall be fined and/or imprisoned according to provisions of the schedule of subsection (b) below, or may be both fined and imprisoned in the discretion of the court.

    b)     The fine and imprisonment schedule for conviction of violations of provisions of this article shall be as follows:

    First offense:
            Fine                             $ 50.00
            Imprisonment in parish jail, days              10

    Second offense:
            Fine                             $ 75.00
            Imprisonment in parish jail, days             20    


    Third offense:
            Fine                             $100.00
            Imprisonment in parish jail, days              30

    Fourth and subsequent offense:
            Fine                             $500.00
            Imprisonment in parish jail, days             30

    c)     Any person, partnership, or corporation, convicted of a second offense of cruelty to animals shall be permanently barred from being issued any license authorized under this article.

SEC.

4-135.00 Police Authority


    Nothing contained herein is intended to or shall abrogate or supersede the general police authority vested in the Sheriff of St. Tammany Parish. Authority granted to the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services and/or designated agency, director in this article, shall exist and be exercised concurrently with the general police authority vested in the Sheriff. Said concurrent authority shall include enforcement of all sections of this Article and the issuance of citations for violations.

SEC.

4-136.00 Policies/Procedures for Parish Department of Animal Services


    These policies and procedures for the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services are enacted per Resolution P.J.S. No. 99-9132, adopted March 18, 1999, in accordance with the recommendations of the Animal Control Committee.

    Animals Brought to the Dept. of Animal Services (“DAS”): Stray dogs and cats that are brought into the shelter, will be held for at least three (3) days (not to include Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). Animals that are remanded to the shelter and signed over to the DAS by the owner will be put up for adoption immediately if deemed adoptable by the staff. If the animal is deemed not adoptable, it will be euthanised. If a stray animal is brought in and is sick and/or injured and in physical distress and has no identification, it will be euthanised as soon as possible. If the animal has identification, the staff will attempt to notify the owner and stabilize the animal if injured. Animals that are up for adoption will be held as long as possible to be adopted. However, they can be euthanised to make room for new animals that are brought to the shelter. Livestock will be held according to State law. These procedures comply with all State and Federal laws.

    Adoption Procedure: The animal must be free to be adopted (i.e., held the required 3 day period unless signed over by the owner). All shelter animals shall receive a micro-chip identification tag prior to adoption. After picking out the animal to be adopted, the adopter will be required to get written receipt from a licensed Veterinarian that the animal will receive a health examination, heart worm check, be spayed or neutered, receive general disease vaccinations and Rabies vaccinations, and purchase the Parish registration tag. Upon receipt of this, a payment of a $ 25.00 administration fee to the DAS, the animal may be adopted. Alternatively, the adopter may have the DAS provide the spay or neuter services for a $40.00 administrative fee. It is understood that the DAS does not have a Veterinarian on staff and cannot guarantee the health of an animal adopted out. If an animal is adopted and proves to be sick or diseased, the adopter can return the animal to the DAS and pick another for no additional administration fee. Recognized rescue groups will have these procedures waived, so long as the animal is spayed or neutered.



    The DAS shall not release any cat or dog from the custody of any of its shelters, employees or animal control officers for any purpose except adoption or redemption by its owners.

    Euthanasia Procedures: The method of euthanasia utilized at the Dept. of Animal Services will be injection of Sodium Pentabarbital. Only staff that is Certified Animal Euthanasia Technicians (C.A.E.T.) through the State of Louisiana will be allowed to perform the procedure. Continuing training and support will be provided to the staff in euthanasia techniques. Fractious and feral animals will be sedated when necessary before being euthanized. Before being euthanised, animals will be double-checked by the staff to be sure that they have been held for the required amount of time, that all means to reach the owner have been used, and that there are no other holds on the animal.

Fees:    Adoption fee                        $25.00 administration fee
Owner reclaim fee                     25.00 plus $5.00/day boarding fee per dog
Rabies watch (bite cases)             10.00 plus $5.00/day boarding fee
Animal brought in by non-parish resident      15.00 per animal
Parish tag                      3.00 per year
(Ord. No. 03-0689, adopted 06/05/2003)