Law:Division 14. Regulation And Licensing Of Dogs (California)

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Contents

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (fac:30501-30504) Food And Agricultural Code Section 30501-30504



30501. (a) The board of supervisors of any county or the governing body of any city may adopt Sections 30801, 30802, 30803, 30804, 30805, 30952, 31105, 31106, 31107, 31108, 31152, 31153, 31251, 31252, and 31254. If those sections are adopted by the board of supervisors of any county or the governing body of any city, those sections shall apply within the territorial limits of the county or the city, as the case may be. Nothing in this division requires a county to enforce those provisions within the territorial limits of any city located within the county. (b) Whenever the term "board of supervisors," "county," "county clerk," or "animal control officer" is used in this division, those terms shall also be deemed to include the governing body of a city, a city, the city clerk, or the animal control officer of a city, respectively.

30502. Any dog license tag which is issued by any city and county or city constitutes compliance with this division if it is issued pursuant to an ordinance which does all of the following: (a) Substantially complies with this division. (b) Provides for the wearing of the license tag upon the collar of the dog. (c) Provides for the keeping of a record which shall establish the identity of the person that owns or harbors the dog.


30503. (a) (1) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), no public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group shall sell or give away to a new owner any dog that has not been spayed or neutered. (2) For the purposes of this section a "rescue group" is a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, or a collaboration of individuals with at least one of its purposes being the sale or placement of dogs that have been removed from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane shelter or that have been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that dog. (b) (1) If a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state certifies that a dog is too sick or injured to be spayed or neutered, or that it would otherwise be detrimental to the health of the dog to be spayed or neutered, the adopter or purchaser shall pay the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group a deposit of not less than forty dollars ($40), and not more than seventy-five dollars ($75). (2) The entity shall establish the amount of the deposit at the level it determines is necessary to encourage the spaying or neutering of dogs. (3) The deposit shall be temporary, and shall only be retained until the dog is healthy enough to be spayed or neutered, as certified by a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state. (4) The dog shall be spayed or neutered within 14 business days of that certification. (5) The adopter or purchaser shall obtain written proof of spaying or neutering from the veterinarian performing the operation. (6) If the adopter or purchaser presents proof of spaying or neutering to the entity from which the dog was obtained within 30 business days of obtaining the proof, the adopter or purchaser shall receive a full refund of the deposit. (c) Public animal control agencies or shelters, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelters, humane society shelters, and rescue groups may enter into cooperative agreements with each other and with veterinarians in lieu of requiring spaying and neutering deposits to carry out this section. (d) Any funds from unclaimed deposits made pursuant to this section, as it read on January 1, 1999, and any funds from deposits that are unclaimed after January 1, 2000, may be expended only for programs to spay or neuter dogs and cats, including agreements with a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a humane society or licensed veterinarian to operate a program to spay or neuter dogs and cats. (e) This section only applies to a county that has a population exceeding 100,000 persons as of January 1, 2000, and to cities within that county.

30504. For purposes of this division, each member of a litter of puppies, weaned or unweaned, shall be treated as an individual animal.


Chapter 1.5. Special Provisions Applicable To Counties With A Population Of Less Than 100,000 Persons

Ca Codes (fac:30520-30525) Food And Agricultural Code Section 30520-30525



30520. (a) This chapter only applies to a county that has a population of less than 100,000 persons as of January 1, 2000, and to cities within that county. A county whose population exceeds 100,000 persons in a year subsequent to January 1, 2000, shall be subject to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 30501) commencing on January 1 of the year immediately following the year in which the population of that county exceeds 100,000 persons. (b) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group shall sell or give away any dog that has not been spayed or neutered. (c) A public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group may not transfer to a new owner a dog that has not been spayed or neutered, except as provided in subdivision (d). (d) A public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group may transfer to a new owner a dog that has not been spayed or neutered only if the animal shelter does both of the following: (1) Requires a written agreement, executed by the recipient, acknowledging the dog is not spayed or neutered and the recipient agrees in writing to be responsible for ensuring the dog will be spayed or neutered within 30 business days after the agreement is signed. (2) Receives from the recipient a sterilization deposit of not less than forty dollars ($40) and not more than seventy-five dollars ($75), the terms of which are part of the written agreement executed by the recipient under this section. (e) Public animal control agencies or shelters, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelters, humane society shelters, and rescue groups may enter into cooperative agreements with each other and with veterinarians in lieu of requiring spaying and neutering deposits to carry out this section.


30521. (a) A spaying or neutering deposit may be either of the following: (1) A portion of the adoption fee or other fees rendered in acquiring the dog, which will enable the adopter to take the dog for spaying or neutering to a veterinarian with whom the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group has an agreement that provides that the veterinarian will bill the shelter directly for the sterilization. (2) A deposit that is both of the following: (A) Refundable to the recipient if proof of spaying or neutering of the dog is presented to the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group not more than 30 business days after the date the dog is spayed or neutered. (B) Forfeited to the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group if proof of spaying or neutering is not presented to the animal shelter within 30 business days. (b) A spaying or neutering deposit shall be in the amount determined by the shelter, but shall not be less than forty dollars ($40) and shall not exceed seventy-five dollars ($75). (c) All spaying or neutering deposits forfeited or unclaimed under this section shall be retained by the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group and shall be used by the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group only for the following purposes: (1) A program to spay or neuter dogs and cats. (2) A public education program to reduce and prevent overpopulation of dogs and cats, and the related costs to local government. (3) A followup program to ensure that dogs and cats transferred by the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group are spayed or neutered in accordance with the agreement executed under subdivision (d) of Section 30520. (4) Any additional costs incurred by the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group in the administration of the requirements of this chapter.


30522. (a) (1) If a recipient fails to comply with the spaying or neutering agreement within 30 business days after the agreement is signed, the recipient shall forfeit the sterilization deposit and is subject to a fine pursuant to Section 30523. (2) An animal control officer, humane officer, police officer, peace officer, or any agency authorized to enforce the Penal Code may write citations with a civil penalty stated in an amount corresponding to the violation as provided in Section 30523. The fines shall be paid to the local municipality or public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane shelter, or rescue group. Any funds collected under this section shall be expended for the purpose of humane education, programs for low-cost spaying and neutering of dogs and cats, and any additional costs incurred by the animal shelter in the administration of the requirements of this chapter. (3) If the owner, at any time subsequent to 30 business days after the spaying or neutering agreement was signed, provides proof of spaying or neutering, the deposit shall be forfeited, but any fine levied but not yet paid, shall be waived. (b) A public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group may extend the date by which spaying or neutering is to be completed at its discretion for good cause shown. Any extension shall be in writing. (c) If a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state certifies that a dog is too sick or injured to be spayed or neutered, or that it would otherwise be detrimental to the health of the dog to be spayed or neutered, the adopter or purchaser shall pay the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group a deposit of not less than forty dollars ($40), and not more than seventy-five dollars ($75). The entity shall establish the amount of the deposit at the level it determines is necessary to encourage the spaying or neutering of dogs. The deposit shall be temporary, and shall be retained only until the dog is healthy enough to be spayed or neutered as certified by a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state. The dog shall be spayed or neutered within 14 business days of that certification. The adopter or purchaser shall obtain written proof of spaying or neutering from the veterinarian performing the operation. If the adopter or purchaser presents proof of spaying or neutering to the entity from which the dog was obtained within 30 business days, the adopter or purchaser shall receive a full refund of the deposit. (d) If an adopted dog dies within the spaying or neutering period provided for in the written agreement pursuant to Section 30520, subdivision (c) shall not apply to the dog. In that case, the recipient may receive a reimbursement of the sterilization deposit by submitting to the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group within the sterilization period a signed letter from a veterinarian licensed to practice medicine in this state stating that the animal has died. The letter shall include a description of the dog.


30523. (a) (1) A person who commits any violation of subdivision (b) is subject to a civil penalty of not less than fifty dollars ($50) on a first violation of subdivision (b), and a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) on any second or subsequent violation of subdivision (b). (2) An action for a penalty proposed under this section may be commenced by the administrator of the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group from which the recipient obtained the animal that is the subject of the violation in a court of competent jurisdiction. (b) A person is subject to the civil penalties pursuant to subdivision (a) if that person does any of the following: (1) Falsifies any proof of spaying or neutering submitted for the purpose of compliance with this chapter. (2) Provides to a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group or a licensed veterinarian inaccurate information regarding ownership of any dog required to be submitted for spaying or neutering under this chapter. (3) Submits to a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group false information regarding sterilization fees or fee schedules. (4) Issues a check for insufficient funds for any spaying or neutering deposit required under this chapter. (c) All penalties collected under this section shall be retained by the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group imposing the penalties, to be used solely for purposes provided for under subdivision (c) of Section 30521.


30524. Local ordinances concerning the adoption or placement procedures of any public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group shall be at least as restrictive as this chapter.


30525. Whenever a dog license tag is issued pursuant to this division, the tag shall be issued for one-half or less of the fee required for a dog, if a certificate is presented from a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or neutered.


Chapter 2. Disposition Of Funds

Ca Codes (fac:30651-30656) Food And Agricultural Code Section 30651-30656



30651. As used in this chapter, "livestock" includes domestic fowls and rabbits.


30652. All fees for the issuance of dog license tags and all fines collected pursuant to this division shall be paid into the county, city, or city and county treasury, as the case may be, and shall be used: (a) First, to pay fees for the issuance of dog license tags. (b) Second, to pay fees, salaries, costs, expenses, or any or all of them for the enforcement of this division and all ordinances which are made pursuant to this division. (c) Third, to pay damages to owners of livestock which are killed by dogs. (d) Fourth, to pay costs of any hospitalization or emergency care of animals pursuant to Section 597f of the Penal Code.


30653. Each such claim for damages is governed by Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940), Division 3.6, Title 1 of the Government Code, except that the claim, as presented, shall be accompanied by the affidavits of two disinterested witnesses executed within four days after the finding of the carcass of the animal.


30654. The affidavits shall fix the value of the livestock and establish the fact beyond reasonable doubt that the animal was killed by a dog.

30655. If a claim is allowed, it shall be paid from the fund which is provided for in this chapter in the same manner as other claims against the county are paid.


30656. (a) Any county, city, or city and county may, by ordinance, elect to utilize the provisions of this section in lieu of Sections 30653 and 30654. (b) The claim for damages to livestock, in addition to being governed by Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code, shall be accompanied by a statement by the local animal control officer relating to the probable cause of death of the animal and by proof submitted by the owner of the livestock to establish the value of the animal. (c) The statement submitted by the local animal control officer shall set forth the facts upon which the officer's statement is based and shall indicate whether, to the best of the officer's knowledge, the animal was killed by a dog.


Chapter 3. Dog Tags

Ca Codes (fac:30801-30807) Food And Agricultural Code Section 30801-30807



30801. (a) A board of supervisors may provide for the issuance of serially numbered metallic dog licenses pursuant to this section. The dog licenses shall be stamped with the name of the county and the year of issue. (b) The board of supervisors or animal control department may authorize veterinarians to issue the licenses to owners of dogs who make application. (c) The licenses shall be issued for a period of not to exceed two years. (d) In addition to the authority provided in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), a license may be issued, as provided by this section, by a board of supervisors for a period not to exceed three years for dogs that have attained the age of 12 months, or older, and who have been vaccinated against rabies. The person to whom the license is to be issued pursuant to this subdivision may choose a license period as established by the board of supervisors of up to one, two, or three years. However, when issuing a license pursuant to this subdivision, the license period shall not extend beyond the remaining period of validity for the current rabies vaccination.


30802. Each application for a dog license tag shall state the age, sex, color, and breed of the dog for which the license is desired and the address of the owner.


30803. (a) The animal control department shall endorse upon the application for a dog license tag the number of the license tag issued. (b) All applications that have been endorsed shall be kept on file in the office of the animal control department open to public inspection.


30804. The fee for the issuance of the dog license tag is fifty cents ($0.50). The board of supervisors may, however, increase the fee.

30804.5. Whenever dog license tags are issued pursuant to this division, any such tag shall be issued for one-half or less of the fee required for a dog, if a certificate is presented from a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or neutered.


30804.7. (a) The owner of a nonspayed or unneutered dog that is impounded once by a city or county animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or humane society, shall be fined thirty-five dollars ($35) on the first occurrence, fifty dollars ($50) on the second occurrence, and one hundred dollars ($100) for the third or subsequent occurrence. These fines are for unneutered impounded animals only, and are not in lieu of any fines or impound fees imposed by any individual city, county, public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane society shelter. (b) An animal control officer, humane officer, police officer, peace officer, or any agency authorized to enforce the Penal Code may write citations with a civil penalty stated in an amount corresponding to the violation as provided in subdivision (a). The fines shall be paid to the local municipality or public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane society shelter. Any funds collected under this section shall be expended for the purpose of humane education, programs for low cost spaying and neutering of dogs, and any additional costs incurred by the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group in the administration of the requirements of this division. (c) This section applies to each county and cities within each county, regardless of population. (d) No city or county, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or humane society is subject to any civil action by the owner of a dog that is spayed or neutered in accordance with this section.


30805. The board of supervisors shall fix the compensation of the animal control department for issuing dog license tags.


30807. Any licensed kennel may be exempted pursuant to regulation or ordinance from any requirement to obtain a license tag for each dog within the kennel.


Chapter 3.5. Guide Dogs, Signal Dogs,and Service Dogs

Ca Codes (fac:30850-30854) Food And Agricultural Code Section 30850-30854



30850. (a) The animal control department shall endorse upon the application for an assistance dog identification tag the number of the identification tag issued. As used in this chapter, "assistance dogs" are dogs specially trained as guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs. All applications that have been endorsed shall be kept on file in the office of the animal control department and shall be open to public inspection. (b) Whenever a person applies for an assistance dog identification tag, the person shall sign an affidavit stating as follows: "By affixing my signature to this affidavit, I hereby declare I fully understand that Section 365.7 of the Penal Code prohibits any person to knowingly and fraudulently represent himself or herself, through verbal or written notice, to be the owner or trainer of any canine licensed as, to be qualified as, or identified as, a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog, as defined in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f), respectively, of Section 365.5 of the Penal Code and paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 54.1 of the Civil Code, and that a violation of Section 365.7 of the Penal Code is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine." (c) Upon the death or retirement of an assistance dog, the owner or person in possession of the assistance dog identification tag shall immediately return the tag to the animal control department that issued the tag.


30851. The owners of assistance dogs shall comply with all state and local ordinances regarding health and licensure requirements for dogs.

30852. (a) The tag identifying a dog as an assistance dog shall be used only by a person with a disability or a trainer of an assistance dog and shall be of such uniform statewide shape, size, and color as to be easily recognized. (b) The Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the State Department of Health Services, shall specify the shape, size, and color of the tags. This subdivision shall not be subject to the requirements of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.


30853. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the access of any person in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336).


30854. The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid or to be in conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336), that invalidity or conflict shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid or conflicting provision or application.


Chapter 4. Regulation

Ca Codes (fac:30951-30956) Food And Agricultural Code Section 30951-30956



30951. It is unlawful for any person to own, harbor, or keep any dog over the age of four months, or to permit such a dog which is owned, harbored, or controlled by him to run at large, unless the dog has attached to its neck or leg a substantial collar on which one of the following is fastened: (a) A metallic tag which gives the name and post office address of the owner. (b) A metal license tag which is issued by the authority of a county, city and county, or any municipal corporation for the purpose of identifying the dog and designating the owner.


30952. It is unlawful for any person to attach a license tag to the collar of any dog except the dog which is described in the application for such license tag.


30953. Except as otherwise provided in this division, it is unlawful for any person to kill, injure, or impound any dog, if the owner of the dog has complied with the provisions of this division.


30954. It is unlawful for any person to permit any female dog which is owned, harbored, or controlled by him, to run at large at any time during the period when the dog is in heat or breeding condition.


30955. It is unlawful for any person to permit any dog which is owned, harbored, or controlled by him to run at large on any farm on which livestock or domestic fowls are kept, without the consent of the owner of the farm, except for herding livestock, hunting or sporting purposes, or any competitive trials when the dog is within reasonable control or call of his owner or the agent of his owner.


30956. In an action for violation of Section 30955, the court may stay imposition of a sentence and order the defendant to compensate the owner of the farm in an amount equal to the cost of the damage done by the defendant's dog. If the defendant refuses to compensate the owner under this section, the court shall impose the appropriate sentence. Acceptance by the owner of compensation under this section precludes that person from bringing an action under any other law for damages caused by the defendant's dog.


Chapter 5. Killing And Seizure

Article 1. Generally

Ca Codes (fac:31101-31109) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31101-31109



31101. Any dog which is found running at large without the identification tag or dog license tag which is required pursuant to Section 30951 may be seized and impounded by any peace officer.


31102. Except in an area in which the provisions of Article 2 (commencing with Section 31151) of this chapter apply or as otherwise provided in Section 31104, any person may kill any dog in any of the following cases: (a) The dog is found in the act of killing, wounding, or persistently pursuing or worrying livestock or poultry on land or premises which are not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog. (b) The person has such proof as conclusively shows that the dog has been recently engaged in killing or wounding livestock or poultry on land or premises which are not owned or possessed by the dog's owner. No action, civil or criminal, shall be maintained for the killing of any such dog.

31103. Except in an area in which the provisions of Article 2 (commencing with Section 31151) of this chapter apply or as otherwise provided in Section 31104, any dog entering any enclosed or unenclosed property upon which livestock or poultry are confined may be seized or killed by the owner or tenant of the property or by any employee of the owner or tenant. No action, civil or criminal, shall be maintained against the owner, tenant, or employee for the seizure or killing of any such dog.


31104. The provisions of Sections 31102 and 31103 shall not apply to any dog which is inside the corporate limits of any city, or city and county, or to any dog which is under the reasonable control of his owner or keeper, unless the dog is actually caught in the act or worrying, wounding, chasing, or killing any livestock or poultry.


31105. The board of supervisors shall provide for both of the following: (a) The taking up and impounding of all dogs which are found running at large in violation of any provision of this division. (b) The killing in some humane manner or other disposition of any dog which is impounded.

31106. The board of supervisors may appoint proper persons to take up, impound, and kill dogs pursuant to this division or it may enter into a contract with any humane society or other organization or association which will do both of the following: (a) Undertake to carry out the provisions of this division regarding the taking up, impounding, and killing of dogs. (b) Give a proper bond in whatever amount may be fixed by the board of supervisors for the faithful performance of the contract.


31107. No dog which is impounded pursuant to this division shall be killed or otherwise disposed of without notice to the owner, if he is known.

31108. (a) The required holding period for a stray dog impounded pursuant to this division shall be six business days, not including the day of impoundment, except as follows: (1) If the public or private shelter has made the dog available for owner redemption on one weekday evening until at least 7:00 p.m. or one weekend day, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of impoundment. (2) If the public or private shelter has fewer than three full-time employees or is not open during all regular weekday business hours, and if it has established a procedure to enable owners to reclaim their dogs by appointment at a mutually agreeable time when the public or private shelter would otherwise be closed, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of impoundment. Except as provided in Section 17006, stray dogs shall be held for owner redemption during the first three days of the holding period, not including the day of impoundment, and shall be available for owner redemption or adoption for the remainder of the holding period. (b) Except as provided in Section 17006, any stray dog that is impounded pursuant to this division shall, prior to the euthanasia of that animal, be released to a nonprofit, as defined in Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, animal rescue or adoption organization if requested by the organization prior to the scheduled euthanasia of that animal. The public or private shelter may enter into cooperative agreements with any animal rescue or adoption organization. In addition to any required spay or neuter deposit, the public or private shelter, at its discretion, may assess a fee, not to exceed the standard adoption fee, for animals adopted or released. (c) During the holding period required by this section and prior to the adoption or euthanasia of a dog impounded pursuant to this division, a public or private shelter shall scan the dog for a microchip that identifies the owner of that dog and shall make reasonable efforts to contact the owner and notify him or her that his or her dog is impounded and is available for redemption.


31108.5. (a) (1) Upon relinquishment of a dog to a public or private shelter, the owner of that dog shall present sufficient identification to establish his or her ownership of the dog and shall sign a statement that he or she is the lawful owner of the dog. (2) Any person who provides false information pursuant to this subdivision about his or her ownership of the dog shall be liable to the true owner of the dog in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000). (b) Upon relinquishment, the dog may be made available for immediate euthanasia if it has a history of vicious or dangerous behavior documented by the agency charged with enforcing state and local animal laws.


31109. Any dog which is found straying on any farm where livestock are kept, which has attached to its collar the identification tag or dog license tag prescribed by Section 30951, may be taken up, impounded, and detained in the same manner as described in this division. The person taking up the dog may recover from the owner, in any court having jurisdiction, the fees fixed by the board of supervisors for taking up and keeping unlicensed and unidentified dogs, together with costs.


Article 2. Optional Provisions

Ca Codes (fac:31151-31153) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31151-31153



31151. The provisions of Sections 31102 and 31103 shall not apply in any area of a county in which the board of supervisors has provided, by resolution, that the provisions of this article apply.


31152. Any person may kill any dog in any area of a county in which the provisions of this article apply in any of the following cases: (a) The dog is found in the act of killing, wounding, or persistently pursuing livestock or poultry on land or premises not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog. (b) The dog has no readily visible identification tag or license tag prescribed by Section 30951 and is worrying livestock or poultry on land or premises not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog. If the dog has on him any readily visible identification tag or license tag prescribed by Section 30951, and the dog is found in the act of worrying livestock or poultry on land or premises not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog, the dog may only be killed if the dog has, and the owner has been notified that the dog has, previously so worried livestock or poultry. (c) The person has such proof as conclusively shows that the dog has been recently engaged in killing or wounding livestock or poultry on land or premises not owned or possessed by the dog's owner. No action, civil or criminal, shall be maintained for killing a dog as authorized by this section.

31153. Any dog entering any enclosed or unenclosed property upon which livestock or poultry are confined may be seized by the owner or tenant of the property or any employee of the owner or tenant. No action, civil or criminal, shall be maintained against the owner, tenant, or employee for the seizure of any such dog.



Chapter 6. Fees For Impounding

Ca Codes (fac:31251-31255) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31251-31255



31251. The board of supervisors of each county shall fix the fee for impounding any dog and the amount which is to be paid for keeping the dog.

31252. If the impounding of a dog is done by an appointee of the board of supervisors or by a humane society or other organization or association which has entered into a contract for impounding dogs, the fees for taking up, impounding, and keeping the dog shall be a charge upon the county treasury, to be paid as other claims against the county are paid.


31253. If a dog which has been impounded is claimed by the owner, the fee for impounding and keeping the dog, as fixed by the board of supervisors, shall be paid by the owner to the person, organization, or association which has custody of the dog, to be retained by him or them. No charge for fees pertaining to the dog shall be paid by the board of supervisors.


31254. The refusal or failure of the owner of any such dog to pay the fee and charges after due notification shall be held to be an abandonment of the dog by the owner.


31255. (a) An animal control officer of any county, if so authorized by the board of supervisors of the county, or an animal control officer of any city, if so authorized by the governing body of the city, may accept a credit card as a method of payment for any fee or penalty provided by this division, for any license, fee, or fine, or for any other obligation owed to the officer. (b) Notwithstanding Title 1.3 (commencing with Section 1747) of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, a surcharge may be imposed to cover the rate of discount that the credit card issuer debits the local agency on acceptance of the sales draft.


Chapter 7. Violations

Ca Codes (fac:31401-31402) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31401-31402



31401. Except as provided in Section 31402, violation of any provision of this division is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50) for a first offense, and by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for a second or subsequent offense.


31402. Violation of any provision of this division that results in death or serious injury to livestock or poultry is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months or by both the fine and imprisonment. As used in this section, "serious injury" means injury of a degree of severity that the injured animal must be destroyed or injury that results in the fair market value of the animal being reduced to a level at which it may not be profitably sold.


Chapter 8. Civil Liability

Ca Codes (fac:31501-31508) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31501-31508



31501. The owner of any livestock or poultry which is injured or killed by any dog may recover as liquidated damages from the owner of the dog twice the actual value of the animals killed or twice the value of the damages sustained by reason of the injuries, as the case may be.

31502. If two or more dogs kept by two or more owners or keepers injure or kill any livestock or poultry at the same time, the owners or keepers of the dogs are jointly and severally liable for the damage.

31503. If any person sustains any loss or damage to any livestock or poultry which is caused by a dog, or if any livestock of any person is necessarily destroyed because of having been bitten by a dog, the person may file a complaint in the superior court of the county within which the damage occurred. A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case.


31504. The complaint shall satisfy all of the following requirements: (a) Be in writing. (b) Signed by the person that makes it. (c) State when, where, what, and how much damage was done. (d) State, if known, the name of the person that owns the dog or was in charge of it when the loss or damage was sustained.


31505. If the person that owns the dog or was in charge of it when the damage or loss was sustained appears from the complaint, the judge shall forthwith issue a summons against such person commanding him to appear before the judge and show cause why the dog should not be killed.

31506. The summons shall be made returnable not less than two nor more than six days from the date of issue and shall be served at least two days before the time of appearance ordered.


31507. The service of the summons may be made by any person over the age of 18 years or by registered mail to the last known address of the owner or person in charge. Any expense connected with the summons shall be borne by the owner of the livestock or poultry which was injured or the party that makes the complaint.


31508. Upon the return day fixed in the summons, the judge shall proceed to determine whether the loss or damage to the livestock was caused by the dog. If he finds that it was caused by the dog, he shall notify the person that owns the dog or was in charge of it when the loss or damage was sustained to kill the dog. Failure of such person to kill the dog as directed renders the owner subject to the penalties which are prescribed in this division.


Chapter 9. Potentially Dangerous And Vicious Dogs

Article 1. Findings, Definitions, And General Provisions

Ca Codes (fac:31601-31609) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31601-31609



31601. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Potentially dangerous and vicious dogs have become a serious and widespread threat to the safety and welfare of citizens of this state. In recent years, they have assaulted without provocation and seriously injured numerous individuals, particularly children, and have killed numerous dogs. Many of these attacks have occurred in public places. (b) The number and severity of these attacks are attributable to the failure of owners to register, confine, and properly control vicious and potentially dangerous dogs. (c) The necessity for the regulation and control of vicious and potentially dangerous dogs is a statewide problem, requiring statewide regulation, and existing laws are inadequate to deal with the threat to public health and safety posed by vicious and potentially dangerous dogs.

31602. "Potentially dangerous dog" means any of the following: (a) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog. (b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, bites a person causing a less severe injury than as defined in Section 31604. (c) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury attacking a domestic animal off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.


31603. "Vicious dog" means any of the following: (a) Any dog seized under Section 599aa of the Penal Code and upon the sustaining of a conviction of the owner or keeper under subdivision (a) of Section 597.5 of the Penal Code. (b) Any dog which, when unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being. (c) Any dog previously determined to be and currently listed as a potentially dangerous dog which, after its owner or keeper has been notified of this determination, continues the behavior described in Section 31602 or is maintained in violation of Section 31641, 31642, or 31643.

31604. "Severe injury" means any physical injury to a human being that results in muscle tears or disfiguring lacerations or requires multiple sutures or corrective or cosmetic surgery.


31605. "Enclosure" means a fence or structure suitable to prevent the entry of young children, and which is suitable to confine a vicious dog in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or keeper of the dog. The enclosure shall be designed in order to prevent the animal from escaping. The animal shall be housed pursuant to Section 597t of the Penal Code.


31606. "Animal control department" means the county or city animal control department. If the city or county does not have an animal control department, it means whatever entity performs animal control functions.

31607. "Impounded" means taken into the custody of the public pound or animal control department or provider of animal control services to the city or county where the potentially dangerous or vicious dog is found.

31608. "County" includes any city and county.


31609. (a) This chapter does not apply to licensed kennels, humane society shelters, animal control facilities, or veterinarians. (b) This chapter does not apply to dogs while utilized by any police department or any law enforcement officer in the performance of police work.


Article 2. Judicial Process

Ca Codes (fac:31621-31626) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31621-31626



31621. If an animal control officer or a law enforcement officer has investigated and determined that there exists probable cause to believe that a dog is potentially dangerous or vicious, the chief officer of the public pound or animal control department or his or her immediate supervisor or the head of the local law enforcement agency, or his or her designee, shall petition the superior court of the county wherein the dog is owned or kept for a hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the dog in question should be declared potentially dangerous or vicious. A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case. A city or county may establish an administrative hearing procedure to hear and dispose of petitions filed pursuant to this chapter. Whenever possible, any complaint received from a member of the public which serves as the evidentiary basis for the animal control officer or law enforcement officer to find probable cause shall be sworn to and verified by the complainant and shall be attached to the petition. The chief officer of the public pound or animal control department or head of the local law enforcement agency shall notify the owner or keeper of the dog that a hearing will be held by the superior court or the hearing entity, as the case may be, at which time he or she may present evidence as to why the dog should not be declared potentially dangerous or vicious. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be served with notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition, either personally or by first-class mail with return receipt requested. The hearing shall be held promptly within no less than five working days nor more than 10 working days after service of notice upon the owner or keeper of the dog. The hearing shall be open to the public. The court may admit into evidence all relevant evidence, including incident reports and the affidavits of witnesses, limit the scope of discovery, and may shorten the time to produce records or witnesses. A jury shall not be available. The court may find, upon a preponderance of the evidence, that the dog is potentially dangerous or vicious and make other orders authorized by this chapter.


31622. (a) After the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 31621, the owner or keeper of the dog shall be notified in writing of the determination and orders issued, either personally or by first-class mail postage prepaid by the court or hearing entity. If a determination is made that the dog is potentially dangerous or vicious, the owner or keeper shall comply with Article 3 (commencing with Section 31641) in accordance with a time schedule established by the chief officer of the public pound or animal control department or the head of the local law enforcement agency, but in no case more than 30 days after the date of the determination or 35 days if notice of the determination is mailed to the owner or keeper of the dog. If the petitioner or the owner or keeper of the dog contests the determination, he or she may, within five days of the receipt of the notice of determination, appeal the decision of the court or hearing entity of original jurisdiction. The fee for filing an appeal, payable to the clerk of the court, is as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 70626 of the Government Code. If the original hearing held pursuant to Section 31621 was before a hearing entity other than a court of the jurisdiction, appeal shall be to the superior court. If the original hearing was held in the superior court, appeal shall be to the superior court before a judge other than the judge who originally heard the petition. The petitioner or the owner or keeper of the dog shall serve personally or by first-class mail, postage prepaid, notice of the appeal upon the other party. (b) The court hearing the appeal shall conduct a hearing de novo, without a jury, and make its own determination as to potential danger and viciousness and make other orders authorized by this chapter, based upon the evidence presented. The hearing shall be conducted in the same manner and within the time periods set forth in Section 31621 and subdivision (a). The court may admit all relevant evidence, including incident reports and the affidavits of witnesses, limit the scope of discovery, and may shorten the time to produce records or witnesses. The issue shall be decided upon the preponderance of the evidence. If the court rules the dog to be potentially dangerous or vicious, the court may establish a time schedule to ensure compliance with this chapter, but in no case more than 30 days subsequent to the date of the court's determination or 35 days if the service of the judgment is by first-class mail.


31623. The court or hearing entity of original jurisdiction or the court hearing the appeal may decide all issues for or against the owner or keeper of the dog even if the owner or keeper fails to appear at the hearing.

31624. The determination of the court hearing the appeal shall be final and conclusive upon all parties.


31625. (a) If upon investigation it is determined by the animal control officer or law enforcement officer that probable cause exists to believe the dog in question poses an immediate threat to public safety, then the animal control officer or law enforcement officer may seize and impound the dog pending the hearings to be held pursuant to this article. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be liable to the city or county where the dog is impounded for the costs and expenses of keeping the dog, if the dog is later adjudicated potentially dangerous or vicious. (b) When a dog has been impounded pursuant to subdivision (a) and it is not contrary to public safety, the chief animal control officer shall permit the animal to be confined at the owner's expense in a department approved kennel or veterinary facility.


31626. (a) No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if any injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time the injury or damage was sustained, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if the dog was protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault. No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if an injury or damage was sustained by a domestic animal which at the time the injury or damage was sustained was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog. (b) No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if the injury or damage to a domestic animal was sustained while the dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog on the property of, or under the control of, its owner or keeper, and the damage or injury was to a species or type of domestic animal appropriate to the work of the dog.


Article 3. Disposition Of Potentially Dangerous Or Vicious Dogs

Ca Codes (fac:31641-31646) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31641-31646



31641. All potentially dangerous dogs shall be properly licensed and vaccinated. The licensing authority shall include the potentially dangerous designation in the registration records of the dog, either after the owner or keeper of the dog has agreed to the designation or the court or hearing entity has determined the designation applies to the dog. The city or county may charge a potentially dangerous dog fee in addition to the regular licensing fee to provide for the increased costs of maintaining the records of the dog.


31642. A potentially dangerous dog, while on the owner's property, shall, at all times, be kept indoors, or in a securely fenced yard from which the dog cannot escape, and into which children cannot trespass. A potentially dangerous animal may be off the owner's premises only if it is restrained by a substantial leash, of appropriate length, and if it is under the control of a responsible adult.


31643. If the dog in question dies, or is sold, transferred, or permanently removed from the city or county where the owner or keeper resides, the owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall notify the animal control department of the changed condition and new location of the dog in writing within two working days.


31644. If there are no additional instances of the behavior described in Section 31602 within a 36-month period from the date of designation as a potentially dangerous dog, the dog shall be removed from the list of potentially dangerous dogs. The dog may, but is not required to be, removed from the list of potentially dangerous dogs prior to the expiration of the 36-month period if the owner or keeper of the dog demonstrates to the animal control department that changes in circumstances or measures taken by the owner or keeper, such as training of the dog, have mitigated the risk to the public safety.

31645. (a) A dog determined to be a vicious dog may be destroyed by the animal control department when it is found, after proceedings conducted under Article 2 (commencing with Section 31621), that the release of the dog would create a significant threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. (b) If it is determined that a dog found to be vicious shall not be destroyed, the judicial authority shall impose conditions upon the ownership of the dog that protect the public health, safety, and welfare. (c) Any enclosure that is required pursuant to subdivision (b) shall meet the requirements of Section 31605.


31646. The owner of a dog determined to be a vicious dog may be prohibited by the city or county from owning, possessing, controlling, or having custody of any dog for a period of up to three years, when it is found, after proceedings conducted under Article 2 (commencing with Section 31621), that ownership or possession of a dog by that person would create a significant threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.


Article 4. Penalties

Ca Codes (fac:31662-31663) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31662-31663



31662. Any violation of this chapter involving a potentially dangerous dog shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). Any violation of this chapter involving a vicious dog shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).


31663. All fines paid pursuant to this article shall be paid to the city or county in which the violation occurred for the purpose of defraying the cost of the implementation of this chapter.


Article 5. Miscellaneous

Ca Codes (fac:31681-31683) Food And Agricultural Code Section 31681-31683



31681. If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.


31682. The Judicial Council shall prepare all forms necessary to give effect to this chapter, including a summons or citation to be used by law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of this chapter. This chapter does not affect or change the existing civil liability or criminal laws regarding dogs.


31683. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a city or county from adopting or enforcing its own program for the control of potentially dangerous or vicious dogs that may incorporate all, part, or none of this chapter, or that may punish a violation of this chapter as a misdemeanor or may impose a more restrictive program to control potentially dangerous or vicious dogs. Except as provided in Section 122331 of the Health and Safety Code, no program regulating any dog shall be specific as to breed.


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