(a) No person shall keep, harbor, own or knowingly allow to be in or upon the person’s premises any dangerous exotic animal including any lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, Canada lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, bear, hyena, wolf, coyote, any deadly, dangerous or venomous reptile or any other exotic animal declared by the director of public health to be dangerous. Provided, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a properly maintained and licensed zoological park, circus, scientific or educational institution, research laboratory or veterinary hospital.
(b) Any animal that is determined by an animal control officer to be a dangerous exotic animal shall be immediately impounded. Except for exigent circumstances, if the owner of the dangerous exotic 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 exotic animal shall remain impounded until:
(1) The director of public health determines that the animal is not an exotic dangerous animal; or
(2) The owner satisfies an animal control officer that the animal will be kept in a lawful manner; or
(3) The owner relinquishes ownership of the animal and the animal is either humanely destroyed or placed with a person who shall keep the animal in a lawful manner; or
(4) A person charged with a violation of this section has been found not guilty and the judge orders the animal released; or
(5) A court determines that the animal is not a dangerous exotic animal.
(c) The owner of the dangerous exotic 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 exotic 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.
(Ord. No. 11910, § 1, 6-6-88; Ord. No. 18576, § 1, 7-5-05)