[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ledgeview 7-21-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-023. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 7, Animals, which consisted of Art. I, Dogs, adopted 1-2-1979, as amended.
The following regulations shall apply to all animals as defined in this chapter found within the Town of Ledgeview, subject to the exceptions listed within this chapter.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a regulatory means for the keeping of animals in the Town of Ledgeview, subject to reasonable restrictions, which will preserve the public health, safety, and welfare.
As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ADEQUATE CARE
- Care of an animal to include, but not be limited to, a clean, safe shelter that provides protection from the weather, sufficient heat and ventilation, wholesome food and water, and exercise consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal's size, species and breed.
- ANIMAL CONTROL AUTHORITY
- The person or persons designated by the Town of Ledgeview to enforce this chapter.
- AT LARGE
- An animal shall be deemed to be at large when off the property of the owner and not under restraint or control.
- AT-RISK ANIMAL
- An animal that:
- An overt act committed with the intent to harm or needlessly kill an animal, or committed out of depraved indifference for the animal's well-being, including but not limited to, torture, maiming, beating or otherwise committing violence that causes injury or death.
- DANGEROUS (VICIOUS) ANIMAL
- Any animal that:
- A. Without justification attacks a person or domestic animal causing physical injury or death; or
- B. Behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses an unjustified imminent threat of serious injury or death to one or more persons or domestic animals; or
- C. Is used for dog fighting or other illegal activity; or
- D. Escalates behavior that caused it to be adjudicated as an at-risk animal.
- Any canine, regardless of age or sex.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Any animal that has been bred or raised to live in or about the habitation of humans and is dependent on people for food and shelter, including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, turtles, and the like.
- A fence or structure suitable to prevent the escape of the animal or the entry of young children.
- EXOTIC ANIMAL
- An animal of a nondomesticated species not commonly kept as a household pet or for food and fiber production. Exotic animals may or may not be native to the area and may or may not be governed by existing wildlife regulations.
- A facility serving as temporary or permanent housing for dogs and maintained for the purpose of breeding, selling, training or boarding dogs. A kennel can be maintained within a household premises or may occupy a different property and may be operated as a hobby or business.
- MENACING FASHION
- Demonstrating an intent or desire to cause injury by one or more of the following actions:
- A. An attempt to bite or claw a person or another animal in such a fashion to show plainly to a reasonable person an unfriendly intent and put them in fear of attack; or
- B. Growling or barking in an unfriendly manner while approaching or chasing a person or another animal; or
- C. Growling or barking in an unfriendly manner while making physical contact with a person or another animal.
- An overt act involving failure to provide for an animal's health or safety, including but not limited to failure to provide adequate food, water, shelter, exercise or necessary veterinary care to an animal or to adequately confine an animal in a manner appropriate to its species, breed, age and condition.
- A person having the right of property or custody of an animal or who keeps or harbors an animal or knowingly permits an animal to remain on or about any premises occupied, owned or controlled by that person.
- Any owner, person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of any kind.
- To own, keep, harbor, bring into the Town, act as a custodian, or have custody or control of an animal.
- Any attack by an animal or physical injury caused by an animal shall be considered provoked if at the time the attack occurs or the injury is inflicted:
- A. The person who was attacked or injured was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the animal; or
- B. The animal was protecting a person, itself, its young or another animal from an attack by a human being or another animal; or
- C. The person who was attacked or injured was committing a crime on the property of the animal's owner or caretaker.
- An animal shall be considered under restraint if it is confined within the real property limits of its owner, is secured by a leash or lead or is otherwise under the control of a responsible person, or is confined within a vehicle in a manner that prevents escape.
- The inoculation of an animal against rabies in accordance with state law and the "Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control" published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and published annually in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- WILD ANIMAL
- Any animal, including birds, reptiles, and amphibians of a wild nature, that is normally found in the wild and which is not a domestic animal.
The animals described in § 7-4, whether bred in the wild or in captivity, and any or all hybrids of same, shall be defined as "exotic animals" pursuant to the Town of Ledgeview Code of Ordinances. Except as specifically noted, no person shall possess any exotic animal in the Town of Ledgeview. The animals listed in parentheses are intended to act as examples and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list or limit the generality of each group of animals, unless otherwise specified. The following list is subject to change and may be updated at any time.
The keeping of fowl, including pigeons, in other than an approved coop, aviary or loft as described herein, is prohibited. "Pigeons" shall be defined to include racing pigeons, fancy pigeons and sporting pigeons.
All coops, aviaries and lofts shall be kept and maintained in such a way that they are kept clean and free from filth, garbage and other substances which attract rodents or other vermin. No coops, aviaries or lofts shall be maintained or operated in any manner which violates any Town building code.
Building designs. Aviaries, coops or lofts shall be completely enclosed with wire netting or equivalent material that will prevent the fowl from escaping the confines of the structure. Structures shall not exceed 200 square feet in size and shall be of such a design as to conform with the symmetry of the existing principal structures on the lot and shall be sided in similar fashion to the principal structure on the property. All aviaries and housing of pigeons shall be elevated a minimum of six inches and a maximum of 12 inches above the grade to ensure a freeway beneath the aviary. Further, the aviary shall rest upon and be anchored to a foundation or piers made of concrete or other suitable foundation material. No aviary may exceed 12 feet in height. The property upon which the fowl are kept shall have established a principal use conforming with the zoning district.
Licensing of dogs; rabies vaccinations.
All dogs over the age of four months must be vaccinated for rabies, and a copy of the vaccination certificate must be presented with the license application.
Rabies vaccinations must be given by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with state law and the compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control.
Dog license fees will be set by the governing jurisdiction in which the dog is kept.
Limitation on number of dogs per residential lot.
No person shall own, harbor or keep more than three dogs on any lot zoned as R-1 or R-2 with the exception of a litter of pups or a portion of a litter, which may be kept for a period not exceeding 10 weeks from birth. If more than one family resides on any particular lot, then the party exceeding the limitation imposed by this article is in violation thereof.
The keeping of more than three dogs other than litters as described above shall require a conditional use permit, which may be granted by the Town Board. Any owner who owns, harbors or keeps more than three dogs other than litters as described above is presumed to be operating a dog kennel and shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 135, Zoning.
Dogs must be securely confined, restrained, leashed or under control of an owner.
Owners shall prevent dogs from causing a nuisance by barking, howling or yelping in a habitual, consistent or persistent manner that disturbs the peace of the neighborhood.
Nuisances include but are not limited to frequent running at large, chasing cars, excessive noise or yelping, soiling of public property or of private property not owned or rented by the pet owner, and noxious odors or unsanitary conditions caused by failure to clean the dog's resident property.
Owners must remove feces deposited by their dogs on public property, public and private rights-of-way, and private property not owned or rented by the animal owner and prevent pets from spraying or depositing urine on lawns and landscaping that causes damage to grasses, flowers, shrubs, etc.
The animal control authority shall investigate each complaint and issue a warning letter to the dog owner on the first offense. A citation may be issued on subsequent offenses.
Restrictions on keeping dogs.
Is deemed dangerous or vicious; or
Habitually pursues any vehicle upon any public street, alley, or highway of the Town; or
Assaults or attacks any person or animal; or
Is at large; or
Habitually barks or howls to the annoyance of any person or persons; or
Kills, wounds, or acts in menacing fashion toward any animals; or
Is known by such person to be infected with rabies or to have been bitten by an animal known to have been infected with rabies.
Duty of owners in cases of dog bite.
Procedure for classifying an animal as "at risk":
The constable or his representative or the animal control authority shall investigate the circumstances of any complaint filed against an animal alleged to be at risk and notify the owner of the charge.
The constable or his representative or the animal control authority shall have discretionary authority to refrain from classifying an animal as an at-risk animal if it can be determined that the behavior was:
Sanctions for owning an at-risk animal. The owner must provide secure fencing or other appropriate secure enclosure to keep the animal confined on his own property. When off the owner's property, the animal must be kept on a secure leash of no more than four feet in length or in a fully secure traveling container and under control of a legally responsible person.
Repeated violations. Repeated violations that would earn an at-risk designation will result in classification of the animal as dangerous.
In the case of canines, if there have been no further incidents for a period of 18 months, and the owner can provide to the constable or his representative proof of successful completion of obedience training at a reputable club or business, the designation may be removed.
A dangerous animal is one that:
Has previously been classified as at risk and exhibits escalating aggressive behaviors that result in further complaints; or
An animal that, without provocation, inflicts severe injury on a human being; or
Menaces, maims or kills domestic animals when off its owner's property; or
Is used in the commission of a crime, including but not limited to animal fighting, menacing or guarding illegal operations.
Notwithstanding the above, the constable or his representative shall have discretionary authority to refrain from filing charges against the animal or animal owner, even if the animal has engaged in the specified behaviors, if it can be determined that the behavior was the result of the victim abusing or tormenting the animal, was directed toward a trespasser or a person committing or attempting to commit a crime or involved other similar mitigating or extenuating circumstances.
Animals that have been determined to be dangerous shall be confined in a secure enclosure so as to contain the animal and prevent trespass. Additionally, the property shall contain a posting visible to all indicating that the property has a dangerous animal on premises.
Additional incidents of dangerous acts or behavior on the part of the animal may result in a petition for the destruction of the animal and for additional penalties for the owner. All costs associated with the destruction of the animal will be assessed against the animal's owner.
No person, owner, or custodian shall permit any animal (including fowl) to be at large within the Town.
No person, owner, or custodian shall permit any animal (including fowl) to be left unattended within five feet of a public right-of-way. Such public rights-of-way include, but are not limited to, sidewalks, streets, alleys, and parking lots.
Animal owners must provide adequate care for animals in their keeping. Adequate care includes but is not limited to a clean, safe shelter that provides protection from the weather, sufficient heat and ventilation, wholesome food and water and exercise consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal's size, species and breed.
A constable or his representative shall impound cattle, horses, sheep, swine and other animals at large on the highways in violation of the Town ordinance.
Any person, firm or corporation, or agent, employee, or contractor of such, which violates, destroys, omits, neglects, or refuses to comply with, or who resists enforcement of, any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a forfeiture in accordance with § 1-16, Forfeiture Schedule, of this Code, together with the costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of such forfeiture and costs may be imprisoned in the county jail until payment of said forfeiture and costs of prosecution are made pursuant to § 800.095, Wis. Stats. Confinement to the county jail shall not exceed 30 days for each offense. Each violation and each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.
This section shall not preclude the Town of Ledgeview from maintaining any appropriate action to prevent or remove a violation of this section or any other remedy available by law.
If a court of competent jurisdiction adjudges any section, clause, provision, or portion of this Code of Ordinances unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder of this chapter shall not be affected thereby.
If any application of this chapter to a particular structure, use, land, or water is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not be applicable to any other structure, use, land, or water not specifically included in said judgment.