Prior to the adoption of Ord. 18576 on 07/05/2005, Section 5-57 read as follows.


        (a)     No person shall own, keep, harbor or allow to be in or upon his premises any vicious dangerous or aggressive animal unless it is confined in accordance with the provisions of this section. An animal is shall be considered vicious dangerous or aggressive:

    (1)    If it bites or otherwise injures any person or domestic animal or pet, or

     (2)    If it habitually snaps at, growls or otherwise manifests a disposition to bite, attack or injure any person or domestic animal or pet, or

    (3)    If it causes any person to have a reasonable fear of immediate serious physical injury.

    Any untrained dog maintained and utilized by the Columbia Police Department as a police dog shall not be considered a vicious dangerous or aggressive animal so long as it is maintained and utilized by the Columbia Police Department as a police dog.

    (b)     Vicious Dangerous or aggressive animals shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked kennel or cage. The kennel or cage shall be of a size appropriate to the size of the animal kept therein and shall provide adequate ventilation, shade from the sun and protection from the elements. In the event of a dispute over the appropriate size, the guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture shall apply. The kennel or cage must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. Such kennel or cage must have a secure bottom or floor attached to the sides or the sides must be embedded in the ground. The kennel or cage must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals are within the structure. Any such kennel or cage must be located at least ten (10) feet from any property line and must comply with all zoning and building regulations of the city. Kennels for vicious dangerous or aggressive dogs must be at least six (6) feet in height and, unless a secure bottom or floor is attached to the sides, the sides must be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet.

    (c)     When confined indoors, no vicious dangerous or aggressive animal may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house, building or structure that would allow the animal to exit such building on its own volition. No such animal may be kept in a house, building or structure when the windows are open. No vicious dangerous or aggressive dog may be kept in a house, building or structure when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure.

    (d)     No person shall permit a vicious dangerous or aggressive animal to go outside its kennel, cage or secure structure unless that person has the animal securely leashed on a leash no longer than four (4) feet in length and that person has physical control of the leash. Such animals shall not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, buildings, etc. Additionally, all such animals on a leash outside the animal's kennel, cage or secure structure must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent the animal from biting persons or other animals.

    (e)     A sign or signs shall be conspicuously posted upon the kennel or cage of any vicious dangerous or aggressive animal with letters at least two (2) inches high containing a warning to beware of the vicious dangerous or aggressive animal.

    (f)     All owners, keepers or harborers of any vicious animal must maintain in effect public liability insurance in a single incident amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) for bodily injury to or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any persons which may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of such animal. All owners, keepers or harborers of vicious animals shall present to the animal control officer a statement certifying that they have the required insurance policy in effect. Such insurance policy shall provide that no cancellation of the policy will be made unless ten (10) days' written notice is first given to the animal control officer. Any dangerous or aggressive animal that is not confined in accordance with this section may be impounded by an animal control officer.  Except for exigent circumstances, if the owner of a dangerous or aggressive animal does not consent to removal of the animal or if the owner of the property on which the animal is located does not consent to entry onto the property, the animal control officer shall enter the property and remove the animal only pursuant to a warrant issued by a judge.  The dangerous or aggressive animal shall remain impounded until:

    (1)    The owner satisfies an animal control officer that the animal will be confined in accordance with this section; or

    (2)    The owner relinquishes ownership of the animal and the animal is either destroyed or placed with a person who will keep the animal in a lawful manner; or

    (3)    A person charged with a violation of this section has been found not guilty and the judge orders the animal released; or

    (4)    A court determines that the animal is not a dangerous or aggressive animal or that the animal has been confined in accordance with the requirements of this ordinance.

    (g)    The owner of the dangerous or aggressive animal shall pay the boarding fee and impoundment fee provided for in Sec. 5-5 plus any additional cost incurred by the city in feeding and caring for the animal.  The owner shall be billed periodically by the city for such fees and expenses.  If the owner fails to pay such a bill within ten (10) days after it was mailed, ownership of the animal shall be deemed relinquished and, after the procedures of this section have been followed, the animal may either be humanely destroyed or placed with a person who shall keep the animal in a lawful manner.  Bills for fees and costs under this section shall notify the animal owner that if the bill is not paid within ten (10) days, the animal will be destroyed or placed with some person who shall keep the animal in a lawful manner.  The bill shall also state that the animal owner may meet with the director of public health or the director’s designee to dispute whether the animal is a dangerous or aggressive animal or the amount of the bill before the animal is destroyed or placed with another person.  If the animal owner wishes to meet, the owner must request a meeting in writing.  The request must be delivered to the director of public health at the address given for this purpose on the bill.  The request must be delivered before the deadline for disposition of the animal indicated on the bill.

    (h)    All dangerous or aggressive animals shall be photographed and implanted with an identifying microchip at the owner’s expense in accordance with rules established by the director of health services.

    (i)    No person shall own, keep or harbor any dangerous or aggressive animal without a current annual dangerous or aggressive animal registration issued by the department of health. The annual fee for a dangerous or aggressive animal registration shall be two hundred seventy-five dollars ($275.00).  A prorated portion of the fee shall be refunded if the dangerous or aggressive animal dies or has been permanently moved outside the city limits.

    (gj)     Upon conviction of any person of a violation of this section, the municipal judge may, in addition to the usual judgment upon conviction, order the animal control officer to forthwith take up and put to death such vicious dangerous or aggressive animal.

(Code 1964, § 5.130; Ord. No. 11910, § 1, 6-6-88; Ord. No. 13168, § 2, 11-18-91; Ord. No. 15071, § 1, 12-2-96)

    Cross reference(s)--Disposition of animals biting or attacking persons, § 5-3.