City of Coldwater, MI
Branch County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
This chapter shall be described as the "Animal Control Chapter" of the City, and it shall be deemed sufficient in any proceeding to refer to the same by number and by such short title.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
Every person in possession of any animal, who knowingly allows the animal to remain about his or her premises for a period of five days, shall be deemed to be the owner of the animal for the purposes of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991; Ord. No. 702, passed 1-23-2006; Ord. No. 727, passed 2-23-2009]
(a) 
Every owner, possessor or person having the charge or custody of an animal shall provide for the animal's adequate care.
(b) 
No owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of an animal shall not do any of the following:
(1) 
Fail to provide an animal with adequate care.
(2) 
Cruelly drive, work, beat or kick an animal, or cause an animal to be cruelly driven, worked, beaten or kicked.
(3) 
Carry or cause to be carried in or upon a vehicle or otherwise any live animal having the feet or legs tied together, other than an animal being transported for medical care, or a horse whose feet are hobbled to protect the horse during transports or in any other cruel and inhumane manner.
(4) 
Carry or cause to be carried a live animal in or upon a vehicle or otherwise without providing a secure space, rack, car, crate, or cage, in which livestock may stand, and in which all other animals may stand, turn around, and lie down during transportation, or while awaiting slaughter.
(5) 
Abandon an animal or cause an animal to be abandoned, in any place, without making provisions for the animal's adequate care, unless premises are vacated for the protection of human life or the prevention of injury to a human. An animal that is lost by an owner or custodian while traveling, walking, hiking, or hunting is not abandoned under this section when the owner or custodian has made a reasonable effort to locate the animal.
(6) 
Allow any animal, including one who is aged, diseased, maimed, hopelessly sick, disabled, or nonambulatory to suffer unnecessary neglect, torture, or pain.
(c) 
No person shall trap any animal, or set any trap, at any time, upon any property owned by the City. This prohibition shall not apply to a law enforcement officer, acting to enforce the law or to control or dispose of a dangerous or injured animal or a licensed exterminator acting at the direction of City employees.
(d) 
As used in this section:
(1) 
ADEQUATE CARE — Includes the provision of sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise, and veterinary medical attention in order to maintain an animal in a state of good health.
(2) 
NEGLECT — Means to fail to sufficiently and properly care for an animal to the extent that the animal's health is jeopardized.
(3) 
SANITARY CONDITIONS — Means space free from health hazards including excessive animal waste, overcrowding of animals, or other conditions that may endanger the animal's health. This definition does not include any condition resulting from a customary and reasonable practice pursuant to farming or animal husbandry.
(4) 
SHELTER — Means adequate protection from the elements and weather conditions suitable for the age, species, and physical condition of the animal so as to maintain the animal in a state of good health. Shelter, for livestock, includes structures or natural features such as trees or topography. Shelter, for a dog, including one or more of the following:
A. 
The residence of the dog's owner or other individual.
B. 
A doghouse that is an enclosed structure with a roof and of appropriate dimensions for the breed and size of the dog. The doghouse shall have dry bedding when the outdoor temperature is or is predicted to drop below freezing.
C. 
A structure, including a garage, barn, or shed, that is sufficiently insulated and ventilated to protect the dog from exposure to extreme temperatures or, if not sufficiently insulated and ventilated, contains a doghouse as provided under division (d)(4)B. of this section that is accessible to the dog.
(5) 
STATE OF GOOD HEALTH — Means freedom from disease and illness and in a condition of proper body weight and temperature for the age and species of the animal, unless the animal is undergoing appropriate treatment.
(6) 
TETHERING — Means the restraint and confinement of a dog by use of a chain, rope, or similar device.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
No person shall keep any horses, cows, hogs, sheep, rabbits, poultry, goats or other farm animals, nor any wild animals, without first obtaining a permit from the Building Commissioner. The Building Commissioner shall cause an inspection to be made of the premises to ascertain that suitable barns, stables, pens or enclosures are orderly. Persons to whom permits are issued shall be responsible for keeping the buildings or enclosures clean. No persons shall at any time maintain the barns, stables, pens or enclosures nor any horses, cows, hogs, sheep, rabbits, poultry, goats or any farm animals, nor any wild animals, in such a condition as to cause the same to create offensive odors or to be dangerous to the public health. No farm or wild animals shall be permitted to stray beyond the premises of the owner of the animals. "Wild animal" means any animal, whether tame or not, that is not a farm or other domesticated animal.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
Every owner of an animal shall be liable for damages for any and all injuries to persons or property caused by the animal, to be determined and collected in appropriate civil proceedings, and nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed so as to impose any liability upon the City or its agents or employees for damages caused by the animal.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
No person shall own, keep or house any animal within the City unless the person shall have complied with the laws of the State and Branch County providing for the licensing and registration of the animal.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
No person shall own, keep or house any dog six months old or older, or any other animal that requires licensing and registration, that does not, at all times when the dog or animal is off the premises of the owner, wear a collar or harness with a license tag issued pursuant to the laws of the State and Branch County.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
Any lot or premises on which three or more dogs, cats or other household pets are either permanently or temporarily boarded for remuneration is considered to be a commercial kennel, and shall be subject to the rules, regulations and licensing requirements related thereto.
No owner of any female dog shall permit that female dog to go beyond the premises of the owner when she is in heat, unless the female dog is held properly in leash, and no owner shall allow any dog to stray beyond his or her premises unless it is under the reasonable control of some person. For purposes of this chapter, a dog shall be deemed to be under "reasonable control" when the dog is on leash, in an enclosed vehicle or container, or with the owner, or some member of the owner's family, or some other person with the permission of the owner, provided the dog is amenable to orders and comments of the person in charge thereof.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
No person shall own, possess, shelter, keep or harbor any animals in the City under such conditions or in such a manner as to create a nuisance by way of noise, odor, menace to health, destruction of property, trespassing on the property of others or otherwise.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
No person shall own, keep, house or have charge of any animal which, by loud or frequent or habitual barking, crying, yelping or howling, becomes a nuisance.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
No person shall own or harbor a fierce or vicious animal.
It shall be the duty of any person owning or harboring an animal which has been attacked or bitten by another animal showing symptoms of rabies or known to have rabies, to immediately notify the Police Department or the District Health Officer that he or she has the animal in his or her possession, and he or she shall comply with all lawful orders and requirements of the Police Department and the District Health Officer.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
It shall be the duty of the Coldwater Police Department to impound any diseased or abandoned animal, or any animals other than dogs which are running at large and which are creating a nuisance by way of noise, odor, menace to health or otherwise. It shall also be the duty of the Coldwater Police Department to impound any dog found running at large in the City not under the control of the owner or keeper, contrary to the provisions of this chapter. The Coldwater Police Department is hereby authorized to assist or call upon the Branch County Dog Warden or the Branch County Animal Control Officer in executing the provisions of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
(a) 
On a sworn Complaint to the District Court that any one of the following facts exists:
(1) 
An animal, licensed or unlicensed, has attacked or bitten a person without provocation;
(2) 
An animal, licensed or unlicensed, has destroyed the property or habitually caused damage by trespassing on the property of a person who is not the owner of the animal; or
(3) 
An animal, licensed or unlicensed, has shown vicious habits or has molested a person when lawfully on public property;
then the District Court Magistrate or Judge shall issue a summons against the owner of the animal, commanding him or her to appear before the Court and show cause why the animal should not be destroyed or confined. The issuance of a summons under this section shall not preclude confinement of the animal under Section 610.16; however, upon the issuance of a summons under this section, the alternative confinement method provided for in Section 610.17 shall not be advisable.
(b) 
The aforesaid summons shall be made returnable not less than two, nor more than six, days from the date thereof and shall be served at least two days before the time of the appearance mentioned therein. Upon the return day fixed in said summons, the Court shall proceed to determine whether the animal has at any time committed any of the acts set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) to (3) hereof.
If the Court so finds, the Court shall forthwith either order the animal confined to the premises of the owner or order the Chief of Police to cause the animal to be destroyed. The Court also shall order payment of the cost of the proceeding against the owner, as well as the costs of confinement of the animal if the animal has been confined under Section 610.14. Nothing in this section shall preclude the imposition of penalties under Section 610.99.
Any person who has in his or her possession an animal which has contracted rabies, or which has been subjected to the same, or which is suspected of having rabies, or which has bitten any person, shall, upon the demand of the Police Department or of the District Health Officer, produce and surrender up the animal to the Police Department or District Health Officer, to be held in a licensed kennel of a licensed veterinarian, for treatment and observation for a period of 10 days. In lieu of the delivering up of the animal as aforesaid, the person shall have the option of delivering the animal to an approved kennel, there to be held for treatment and observation for the ten-day period, and shall furnish to the Police Department written evidence that the animal has been so delivered.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
(a) 
An alternative confinement method shall be available for an animal that has bitten a person when the animal was confined to its owner's premises and at the time of the occurrence had a valid license attached to a collar around its neck and was properly immunized against rabies. However, this section shall not be operative if the person bitten (or his or her parent, if the person bitten was a minor) requests in writing the standard confinement method provided in Section 610.16.
(b) 
The owner of an animal wishing to take advantage of this alternative confinement method shall keep the animal properly confined within the house or within a fenced enclosure for the full ten-day period. The Police Department or Health Officer shall have the right to check to see if the animal is so confined. If the animal is not so confined, it shall immediately be delivered up by its owner for the remainder of the ten-day period as provided in Section 610.16.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
No animal shall be released from the Branch County Dog Warden, the Branch County Animal Control Officer or a licensed kennel under the provisions of Section 610.16, unless the owner or his or her authorized agent shall pay to the City Police Department a fee set forth in the following schedule:
(a) 
For the release of a licensed animal properly immunized against rabies, or for the release of an animal not required to be licensed but properly immunized against rabies, the sum of $20 shall be paid together with;
(b) 
Payment of the cost of boarding the animal at the rate of $3 per day, with a minimum charge, however, for one day.
No animal shall be released from the impounding unless it is properly immunized and licensed, if required. The cost of the immunization and licensing shall be paid by the owner in addition to the fees set forth in this section. The $20. fee so charged shall go into the General Fund of the City, and board charges collected shall be remitted to the person providing authorized confinement for the animal.
All animals placed in the custody of the Branch County Dog Warden or Branch County Animal Control Officer shall be held and/or disposed of in accordance with State law.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
The Chief of Police of the City is hereby authorized to require that any animal be quarantined, or that quarantine be established in the City for any defined period, when in his or her opinion such measures are necessary in order to protect the health of the inhabitants of the City.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991; Ord. No. 700, passed 1-23-2006]
The Police Department of the City, the Branch County Animal Control Officer or the Branch County Dog Warden may, upon witnessing violations of this chapter which require impounding the animal and where it is impractical or impossible to impound the animal, issue to the owner of the animal a written notice of the violation. The owner of the animal may, within 72 hours, present the notice to the Violations Bureau in the City, and there pay the penalties which would have been imposed had the animal been impounded, with the exception that only the minimum charge for board of the animal shall be made. If the owner of the animal shall fail to appear within said 72 hours, the person issuing the notice shall forthwith file a complaint in District Court and secure a warrant for the arrest of the owner of the animal. All further proceedings shall be had in accordance with the rules and regulations and practice of District Court. Payment of any penalty in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be deemed full satisfaction for the violation.
In the event that the violation notice is issued by the Branch County Dog Warden, the Dog Warden shall be entitled to receive the sum of $1.50 for each violation notice issued upon presentation of his or her statement to the office of the City Clerk at the end of each calendar month. The Violations Bureau shall remit all money collected under this chapter to the office of the City Clerk for credit to the General Fund of the City.
[Ord. No. 459, passed 4-8-1991]
If any person shall be guilty of more than one violation of this chapter within any calendar year, it shall be the duty of the person witnessing any subsequent violation to file a complaint in District Court, and the owner shall not be permitted to settle the subsequent violation by payment of impounding fees as hereinabove provided.
[Ord. No. 500, passed 12-12-1994]
The Director of Police and Fire Services or his or her designated representative is hereby designated as the authorized City official to issue Municipal civil infraction citations (directing alleged violators to appear in court) or Municipal civil infraction violation notices (directing alleged violators to appear at the City of Coldwater Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau) as provided in Chapter 211 of the Administration Code.
[Ord. No. 500, passed 12-12-1994]
A person who violates Section 610.11 is responsible for a Municipal civil infraction and shall be subject to the payment of a civil fine of not less than $25, plus costs and other sanctions, for each infraction. A second offense, within a period of 90 days, shall be subject to a civil fine of not less than $50, plus costs and other sanctions, for each infraction. Third and subsequent offenses, within 90 days, shall be subject to a civil fine of one $100, plus costs and other sanctions, for each infraction.