Stephenson County, IL
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Board of Stephenson County 4-8-1975 (Ch. 4 of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 309.
Zoning — See Ch. 400.

§ 205-1 Definitions.

[Amended 2-8-1994 by Ord. No. 94-02-197]
The terms used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the meanings ascribed to them below:
ADMINISTRATOR
The duly appointed County Animal Control Administrator.
[Amended 8-10-2011 by Res. No. 11-08-1821]
A. 
Any individual dog anywhere other than upon the property of the owner or custodian of the dog and unmuzzled, unleashed, or unattended by its owner or custodian that behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to a person or a companion animal; or
B. 
A dog that, without justification, bites a person and does not cause serious physical injury.
DOG
All members of the family Canidae.
LIFE-THREATENING REPTILE
Any member of the crocodilian family or any constricting snake six feet or over in length, such as a boa, python and anaconda.
PEACE OFFICER
Any person who by virtue of his office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for offenses, whether that duty extends to all offenses or is limited to specific offenses.
STRAY DOG
Any dog at large, and with no known owner or claimant.
VICIOUS DOG
A dog that, without justification, attacks a person and causes serious physical injury or death or any individual dog that has been found to be a "dangerous dog" upon three separate occasions.
[Added 8-10-2011 by Res. No. 11-08-1821]

§ 205-2 Pound.

There is hereby established a public pound as a place to securely impound animals taken up or captured by persons charged with the duty of enforcing the provisions of this chapter. Such pound shall comply, in all respects, with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Illinois Department of Public Health and shall, at all times, provide humane treatment of animals confined therein.

§ 205-3 Running at large.

[Amended 7-12-1977]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person who owns, keeps, or harbors a dog to cause or permit such dog to run at large in unincorporated areas of the County which have been subdivided for residential purposes.
B. 
All dogs kept in unincorporated areas of the County which have been subdivided for residential purposes shall be confined by means of a secure leash, chain, within a fenced area or under control by other recognized control methods in such a manner as to prevent said dog from running at large.
C. 
Any dog found running at large in violation of this section shall be taken up and impounded in the manner provided in this chapter.
D. 
Exceptions.
[Added 8-10-2011 by Res. No. 11-08-1821]
(1) 
A dog that is actively engaged in a legal hunting activity, including training, is not considered to be running at large if the dog is on land that is open to hunting or on land on which the person has obtained permission to hunt or to train a dog.
(2) 
A dog that is in a dog-friendly area or dog park is not considered to be running at large if the dog is monitored or supervised by a person.

§ 205-4 Dog rabies registration. [1]

[Added 9-12-2013 by Ord. No. 13-09-2009]
A. 
Every resident of the County who is the owner of a dog four months or more of age shall cause such dog to obtain a dog rabies registration annually in accordance with this section.
B. 
The first dog rabies registration shall be made within 180 days from the date of the dog's birth or within 30 days after the owner brings the dog into the County, whichever occurs later; and thereafter, annual dog rabies registration shall be made by the owner within 30 days after the anniversary date of the first dog rabies registration.
C. 
The Animal Control Department shall maintain records of the dog rabies registration numbers and the person to whom the dog rabies registration number is issued. The annually issued dog rabies inoculation tag number shall serve as the dog rabies registration number.
D. 
Failure of an owner to obtain the dog rabies registration within the proper time period will result in a late fee and/or penalties as adopted by the Stephenson County Board from time to time.
E. 
The annual dog rabies registration fee shall be set from time to time by the Stephenson County Board.
F. 
The provisions of this section shall be effective upon its passage as provided by law.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 205-4, Dog registration, added 2-14-1979, as amended, was repealed 5-16-2013 by Ord. No. 13-05-1986, effective 6-1-2013.

§ 205-5 Rabies inoculations; exemption.

[Amended 8-10-2011 by Res. No. 11-08-1821; 3-14-2013 by Ord. No. 13-03-1972]
A. 
Every resident of the County who is the owner of a dog four months of age or older, whether said dog is confined at all times or not, shall be required to inoculate the dog against rabies in compliance with USDA licenses of vaccines used and shall be given a serially numbered tag at a fee set from time to time by the County Board.
B. 
A certificate in such form as is determined by the Administrator and approved by the County Board, signed by a licensed veterinarian, shall be evidence of such rabies inoculation and shall be presented to the Administrator at the time of the issuance of the rabies inoculation tag.
C. 
A dog shall be exempt from the rabies shot requirement if a licensed veterinarian determines in writing that rabies inoculation would compromise the animal's health.

§ 205-6 Dangerous and vicious dogs.

[Amended 7-12-1977; 8-10-2011 by Res. No. 11-08-1821]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain a public nuisance by owning, keeping or harboring a dangerous or vicious dog unless such person shall keep said dog safely and securely confined so as to prevent said dog from running at large and so as to prevent said dog from injuring any person who shall lawfully come upon the premises where such dog may be located.
B. 
All persons maintaining the premises upon which a dangerous or vicious dog is confined shall provide suitable and adequate warning of the presence of such dog by appropriate signs or other means so as to advise all persons lawfully entering the premises that such a dog is found or confined thereon.
C. 
Guide dogs for the blind or hearing impaired, support dogs for the physically handicapped and sentry, guard or police-owned dogs are exempt from this section while such dogs are under control of their handler performing duties for which they are specially trained. To qualify for exemption under this section, each such dog shall be currently inoculated against rabies in accordance with 510 ILCS 5/8, and the owner shall notify the Administrator of the current address of the premises where such dog is regularly kept. In the case of a sentry or guard dog, the owner shall keep the Administrator advised of the location where such dog shall be stationed at the premises. The Administrator shall provide police and fire departments with a categorized list of such exempted dogs, and shall promptly notify the department of any address changes reported to him.
D. 
The Administrator, State's Attorney, or any person may maintain a complaint in the name of Stephenson County, Illinois, to enjoin any persons from maintaining such dangerous or vicious dog in violation of the provisions of this section, and to abate the same, and to enjoin the owner of such animal from permitting the same from leaving his premises when not under control by leash or other recognized control methods. Upon filing of a complaint in Circuit Court setting forth facts sufficient to establish the existence of a nuisance as defined in this Code, the Court may, without notice, issue a temporary writ of injunction enjoining the owner of said dog from maintaining such nuisance until such time as a hearing on the merits of the complaint may be completed. If the court shall find at said hearing that the existence of the nuisance has been established, the Court may enter an order for violation of this section and, in addition, issue a permanent restraining order or injunction against the owner of said dog for maintaining a nuisance and to abate the same, and if necessary for the protection of the public may decree that such animal be humanely dispatched. The Illinois Civil Practice Act shall otherwise apply to all proceedings under this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 735 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.

§ 205-7 Stray dogs or dog packs attacking persons or animals.

Any stray dog or pack of stray dogs that shall attack a person, agriculture animals or otherwise menace the public welfare is hereby declared a nuisance and such animals shall be taken up, impounded and disposed of in the manner provided in this chapter. However, if such dogs are dangerous or vicious and cannot be safely taken up and impounded and present an immediate and substantial danger to other persons, such animals may be destroyed by a peace officer; provided, further, that in all cases where such dog which has bitten a person or caused an abrasion of the skin or any person is so slain and a period of less than 10 days has elapsed since the day upon which such dog bit any person or caused an abrasion of the skin of any person, it shall be the duty of the peace officer destroying such dog, to deliver the carcass and the brain of such dog to the Administrator.

§ 205-8 Mad or rabid dogs.

Any mad dog or dog suffering from rabies or any dog bit by a dog suffering from rabies is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and such dog may be slain by any peace officer, the Administrator or his deputy. It shall be the duty of any person owning or exercising ownership or agency of such dog to surrender the dog to a peace officer upon demand.

§ 205-9 Dog bites.

[Amended 7-14-1981]
A. 
The owner or keeper of any dog, when notified that such dog has bitten any person or has so injured any person as to cause an abrasion of the skin, shall deliver such dog to a peace officer, whereupon such peace officer shall forthwith convey such dog to the pound, where such dog shall be securely confined for a period of 10 days from the date of such biting.
B. 
As an alternative procedure to subsection A, any dog which has bitten a person or caused an abrasion of the skin of any person and which has not been surrendered immediately by its owner to the public pound shall be delivered without delay and within 24 hours to a licensed veterinarian for impounding at the expense of the owner. The veterinarian impounding such dog shall report to the Administrator within 24 hours the owner's name, address, the date of impounding and date of biting or abrasion of the skin of any person, and shall notify the Administrator, in writing, of the final disposition of the animal at the termination of the period of impoundment.
C. 
If any dangerous or vicious dog presents an immediate and substantial danger to other persons, such dog may be destroyed by the Administrator, his agent or any peace officer; provided, further, in all cases where such dog which has bitten a person or caused an abrasion in the skin of a person is so slain and a period of less than 10 days has elapsed since the day upon which said dog bit any person causing the abrasion of the skin of any person, it shall be the duty of the peace officer, Administrator or his deputies destroying such dog to forthwith deliver the carcass and the brain of such dog to the Administrator.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
D. 
When evidence is presented to the Administrator that such dog or animal was inoculated against rabies within the time prescribed by law, it may be confined in the house of its owner or in a manner which will prohibit it from biting any person for a period of 10 days, if the Administrator or other licensed veterinarian adjudges the confinement satisfactory.
E. 
At the end of the confinement period, the animal shall be examined by a licensed veterinarian.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).

§ 205-10 Noisy animals.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, have in his possession or harbor any animal which by frequent or habitual barking, yelping or by other loud noise shall cause annoyance to any family or person, or shall disturb the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or place within the County. Such annoyance to any family or person or the disturbance of the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or place within the County by any animal is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and it shall be unlawful for any person to suffer or permit such nuisance to exist.
B. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to duly licensed and approved hospitals maintained for the treatment of small animals or the premises occupied by a properly authorized or licensed dog pound or animal shelter.
C. 
The Administrator, the State's Attorney, or any citizen of the County in which such nuisance is found may maintain a complaint in the name of the County to enjoin all persons from maintaining or permitting such animal and to abate the same and to enjoin the owner of such animal from permitting the same such barking as is heretofore described. Upon the filing of complaint in the Circuit Court, and if the Court is satisfied that such nuisance may exist, said Court shall allow a temporary writ of injunction with bond in such amount as the Court may deem appropriate and enjoin the defendant from maintaining such nuisance. If the existence of the nuisance is established following hearing, the owner of such dog or other animal shall be in violation of this chapter and in addition the Court shall enter a decree restraining the owner from maintaining such nuisance.
D. 
The Illinois Civil Practice Act shall otherwise apply to all proceedings under this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 735 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.

§ 205-11 Disposition of funds.

All monies collected for the registration of dogs and for the issuance of rabies inoculation tags pursuant to this chapter shall be transmitted to the County Treasurer, which monies shall be deposited in the Animal Control Fund.

§ 205-12 Liability of enforcement officers.

The Administrator, his agents or peace officers or other persons authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter shall not be held liable for the injury, death, or disease which may occur to any dog as a consequence of the enforcement of such provisions.

§ 205-13 Incorporation of state law.

The provisions of the Animal Control Act, to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, are hereby incorporated herein and shall be controlling as if set out at length.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 510 ILCS 5/1 et seq.

§ 205-14 Penalty.

[Amended 7-12-1977]
Any person convicted of violating any of the provisions of this chapter or neglecting or refusing to comply with any of the provisions hereof shall be punished as provided in the Illinois Animal Control Act, where applicable; otherwise, according to the general penalties provisions of this Code in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, Penalties.

§ 205-15 Life-threatening reptiles.

[Added 2-8-1994 by Ord. No. 94-02-197]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain a public nuisance by owning, keeping, or harboring a life-threatening reptile.
B. 
Any life-threatening reptile presents an immediate and substantial danger to the public and such life-threatening reptile shall be destroyed by a peace officer immediately.
C. 
Any property damage caused by the destruction of the life-threatening reptile shall be the responsibility of the owner, keeper, or harborer of the life-threatening reptile. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, keeper, or harborer of the life-threatening reptile to appropriately and legally dispose of the carcass.

§ 205-16 Authorized.

Any animal violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be impounded by the Administrator.

§ 205-17 Notice to owner.

[Amended 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 97-10-226]
A. 
The Administrator shall, immediately upon receiving any animal, make a complete registry thereof by entering the breed, color and sex of such animal, whether licensed or not, and, if bearing a registration tag, the number thereof.
B. 
When animals are apprehended and impounded by the Administrator, he shall give notice of said impoundment of not less than seven business days to the owner, if known, at said owner's last known address, such notice to be sent by registered mail or certified mail with a return receipt requested. An affidavit or testimony of the Administrator, or his deputy, who mailed such notice shall be prima facie evidence of the receipt of such notice by the owner of such dog.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
C. 
If at the time of impoundment an animal is a stray and is not wearing registration or identification tags and is not redeemed by its owner within five days after impounding, the Administrator or his agent may deliver possession of such animal to any person seeking to adopt such animal who, in the discretion of the Administrator, would provide a suitable home for it, on such terms and conditions as the Administrator shall deem proper. If, in the opinion of the Administrator, the dog is not adoptable or is suffering because of severe physical disability, it may be destroyed after having been impounded for a period of five days. If such animal has bitten a person causing an abrasion of the skin of the person, the impoundment period shall include 10 days from the date of the biting or causing of the abrasion before disposition of such animal may be made under the provisions of this section.
D. 
If an owner notifies the Administrator or his deputy that his dog has been lost and provides a description of such animal, the Administrator, for a period of six months thereafter, shall be under a duty to notify the owner within 24 hours after the impounding of said animal.

§ 205-18 Disposition of impounded animals.

[Amended 6-14-1988 by Ord. No. 88-06-125; 9-9-1992 by Ord. No. 92-09-181; 1-10-1995 by Ord. No. 95-01-209]
A. 
In case the owner of any impounded animal desires to redeem it, he may do so if:[1]
(1) 
He presents proof of current rabies inoculation, and registration, if applicable, or he pays for the rabies inoculation of it and registration if applicable; and
(2) 
The animal is a dog and he pays the pound for the board of the dog for the period it was impounded, at a rate as set by the County Board from time to time; and
(3) 
He pays an additional penalty, which penalty shall be paid into the Animal Control Fund at the time of said redemption. This shall be in addition to any other penalties invoked under this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
If any animal is not redeemed by its owner within seven days after impounding, following notice as provided above, the Administrator or his agent may deliver possession of such animal to any person seeking to adopt such animal who, in the discretion of the Administrator, would provide a suitable home for it, on such terms and conditions as the Administrator shall deem proper. If, in the opinion of the Administrator, the dog is not adoptable or is suffering because of severe physical disability, it may be destroyed after having been impounded for a period of seven days following due notice to said owner. However, in no event shall a licensed dog, bearing a tag, be sold or destroyed unless the Administrator has received a return receipt hereinbefore provided for, or has received a registered or certified letter to the registered owner returned undelivered. If such animal has bitten a person causing an abrasion of the skin of the person, the impoundment period shall include 10 days from the date of biting or causing of the abrasion before disposition of such animal may be made under the provisions of this section.

§ 205-19 Poultry destruction reimbursement.

[Added 4-9-1991 by Ord. No. 91-04-166]
No owner of poultry shall be reimbursed for the destruction of poultry under Chapter 510 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes or under the County Code for financial losses incurred unless the owner of the poultry has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the poultry is protected from roving canines. Those reasonable steps include, but are not limited to, a double fence row at least two feet apart made of chain link or other similar material with the openings in the fence not more than 12 square inches in size between the links and the heights of not less than six feet, suitably anchored to the ground as to make digging underneath the fence extremely difficult and time consuming for any canine who would seek to enter the area where the poultry is confined.