Control of Nuisance and Vicious Animals


Download Original Document PDF

A.  Definitions:

1.  Public Nuisance Animal. Any animal or group of animals which

(a)  Is repeatedly found at large;
(b)  Damages the property of anyone other than its owner;
(c)  Is vicious
(d)  Causes fouling of the air by odors;
(e)  Causes unsanitary condition of enclosures or surroundings;
(f)   By virtue of number or type is offensive or dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare;
(g)  Excessively makes disturbing noises;
(h)  Is diseased and dangerous to the public health.

2. Vicious Animal. Any animal which constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals by virtue of attacks of such number and severity as to cause property damage or physical injury.

B. Public Nuisance Animals.

1.  Prohibited Generally; Exceptions. It shall be unlawful to own, keep, or harbor a public nuisance animal within the Town. Provided, however, it shall not be unlawful to own or keep a dog of vicious tendencies for the protection of persons or property, if such a dog is securely confined in a manner not to expose it to the general public. This exception for dogs of vicious tendencies does not extend to dogs which excessively make disturbing noises.

2.  Complaint and Notice. Upon receipt of a detailed complaint being made to the Police Department by any resident or residents that any person is maintaining a public nuisance, the Chief of Police shall cause the owner of the animal or animals in question to be notified that a complaint has been received and shall cause the situation complained of to be investigated and a report and findings thereon to be reduced to writing by the investigating officer.

3.  Abatement. In the written findings of the investigating officer indicate that the complaint is justified, then the Chief of Police shall cause the owner or keeper of the animal or animals in question to be so notified verbally and in writing, to be delivered to the owner of the alleged public nuisance animal or shall cause the copy thereof to be left at the owner’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. This notice shall order the owner to abate such nuisance within seven (7) days after notification, unless in the judgement of the officer circumstances dictate an earlier time, and the owner shall be issued a citation for the violation. In the event the owner of the animal or animals is unknown and cannot be ascertained, the notice and order, along with a general description of the animal or animals shall be published within a local newspaper.

4.  Impoundment Upon Failure to Abate. If any person receiving notice in the manner hereinabove described shall fail or refuse to abate the nuisance upon order of the Chief of Police within the specified time, the Police Chief may cause the animal or animals in question to be apprehended and impounded.

5.  Redemption; Destruction. If the owner shall so request, the animal or animals may be redeemed pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance and upon the further condition that the owner execute a written agreement to comply with the abatement order. If no redemption and execution is made by the owner within the time specified under this ordinance, then the animal shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions hereunder.

C. Running at large prohibited. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any domesticated animal to allow such animal to be at-large within the corporate limits of the Town or any Town property.

D. Dogs at large; defecation on streets and private property.

1.  It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog to allow such animal to be at large in the Town or on any Town property.

2.  It shall be unlawful for any person owning, harboring, keeping, or in charge of any dog to fail to remove feces deposited by the dog on any street, sidewalk, park or other publicly owned area.

3.  It shall be unlawful for any person owning, harboring, keeping, or in charge of any dog to fail to remove feces deposited by the dog on any private property unless the owner of the property has given permission allowing such use of the property.

E. Confinement of female dogs in heat.

Every female dog, while in heat, shall be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such manner that she will not be in contact with another dog, nor create a nuisance by attracting other animals; provided, this section shall not be construed to prohibit the intentional breeding of animals within an enclosed area on the premises of the owner of an animal being bred.

F. Enforcement -- Violations and Penalties.

1. The failure to comply with the provisions of this ordinance shall constitute a violation of this ordinance. Every day on which a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation and separate offense.

2. Any person who violates this ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by fine or imprisonment as provided by N.C.G.S. 14-4.

3. Upon the first violation of this ordinance, the violator shall be fined $25.00. Upon the second and each subsequent violation the fine shall be a $100.00.

G. Severability. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by a Court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct or independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this ordinance.

H. Effective Date. This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after the 20th day of July, 1998.

Ordained by the vote of the Board of Commissioners of the Town of Denton on the 20th day of July, 1998.




Denton Living