SENATE BILL 5092
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Senators Kastama, Winsley, Regala and Rossi
Read first time 01/10/2001. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to dangerous dogs; amending RCW 16.08.070, 16.08.080, and 16.08.100; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 16.08.070 and 1987 c 94 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout RCW 16.08.070 through 16.08.100.
(1) "Potentially dangerous dog" means any dog that when unprovoked: (a) Inflicts bites on a human or a domestic animal either on public or private property, or (b) chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, or any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury, or to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.
dog" means any dog that ((
according to the records of the appropriate
authority,)) (a) (( has inflicted)) inflicts severe injury on
a human being without provocation on public or private property, (b) (( has
killed)) kills a domestic animal without provocation while off the
owner's property, or (c) has been previously found to be potentially dangerous because
of injury inflicted on a human, the owner having received notice of such
and the dog again aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of
humans or domestic animals.
(3) "Severe injury" means any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.
(4) "Proper enclosure of a dangerous dog" means, while on the owner's property, a dangerous dog shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top, and shall also provide protection from the elements for the dog.
(5) "Animal control authority" means an entity acting alone or in concert with other local governmental units for enforcement of the animal control laws of the city, county, and state and the shelter and welfare of animals.
(6) "Animal control officer" means any individual employed, contracted with, or appointed by the animal control authority for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of this chapter or any other law or ordinance relating to the licensure of animals, control of animals, or seizure and impoundment of animals, and includes any state or local law enforcement officer or other employee whose duties in whole or in part include assignments that involve the seizure and impoundment of any animal.
(7) "Owner" means any person, firm, corporation, organization, or department possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in, or having control or custody of an animal.
Sec. 2. RCW 16.08.080 and 1989 c 26 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any city or county that has a notification and appeal process in place as of the effective date of this act with regard to determining a dog within its jurisdiction to be dangerous may continue to utilize its process. A city or county animal control authority that seeks to declare a dog within its jurisdiction, as defined in subsection (7) of this section, to be dangerous must serve notice upon the dog owner in person or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested.
(2) The notice must state: The statutory basis for the proposed action; the reasons the authority considers the animal dangerous; a statement that the dog is subject to registration and controls required by this chapter, including a recitation of the controls in subsection (6) of this section; and an explanation of the owner's rights and of the proper procedure for appealing a decision finding the dog dangerous.
(3) The authority must make a final determination regarding the dog within thirty days of the date of delivering or mailing the notice. Before the final determination, the owner may request a meeting with the authority and at that meeting present reasons the dog should not be declared dangerous. If the owner requests a meeting, the authority must schedule one within the twenty-day period following the date of delivering or mailing the notice. The authority must issue its final determination in a written order including: Citation of the statutory basis for the action; a brief statement of the facts supporting the final determination; and the signature of the person who made the determination. The authority must deliver the order to the owner in person or mail the order to the owner by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested.
(4) If the local jurisdiction has provided for an administrative appeal of the final determination, the owner must follow the appeal procedure set forth by that jurisdiction. If the local jurisdiction has not provided for an administrative appeal, the owner may appeal a municipal authority's final determination that the dog is dangerous to the municipal court, and may appeal a county animal control authority's or county sheriff's final determination that the dog is dangerous to the district court. The owner must make such appeal within twenty days of receiving the final determination. While the appeal is pending, the authority may order that the dog be confined or controlled in compliance with RCW 16.08.090. If the dog is determined to be dangerous, the owner must pay all costs of confinement and control.
(5) It is unlawful for an owner to have a dangerous dog in the state without a certificate of registration issued under this section. This section and RCW 16.08.090 and 16.08.100 shall not apply to police dogs as defined in RCW 4.24.410.
Unless a city or county has a more restrictive code requirement, the animal
control authority of the city or county in which an owner has a dangerous dog
shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner of such animal if the
owner presents to the animal control unit sufficient evidence of:
(a) A proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog and the posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog;
(b) A surety bond
issued by a surety insurer qualified under chapter 48.28 RCW in a form
acceptable to the animal control authority in the sum of at least two
hundred fifty thousand dollars, payable to any person injured by the ((
dangerous dog; or
(c) A policy of liability insurance, such as homeowner's insurance, issued by an insurer qualified under Title 48 RCW in the amount of at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog.
If an owner has the dangerous dog in an incorporated area that is serviced by
both a city and a county animal control authority, the owner shall obtain a
certificate of registration from the city authority;
If an owner has the dangerous dog in an incorporated or unincorporated area
served only by a county animal control authority, the owner shall obtain a
certificate of registration from the county authority;
If an owner has the dangerous dog in an incorporated or unincorporated area
that is not served by an animal control authority, the owner shall obtain a
certificate of registration from the office of the local sheriff.
This subsection does not apply if a city or county does not allow dangerous
dogs within its jurisdiction.
(8) Cities and counties may charge an annual fee, in addition to regular dog licensing fees, to register dangerous dogs.
(9) Nothing in this section limits a local authority in placing additional restrictions upon owners of dangerous dogs. This section does not require a local authority to allow a dangerous dog within its jurisdiction.
Sec. 3. RCW 16.08.100 and 1987 c 94 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any dangerous dog shall be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority if the: (a) Dog is not validly registered under RCW 16.08.080; (b) owner does not secure the liability insurance coverage required under RCW 16.08.080; (c) dog is not maintained in the proper enclosure; or (d) dog is outside of the dwelling of the owner, or outside of the proper enclosure and not under physical restraint of the responsible person. The owner must pay the costs of confinement and control. The animal control authority must serve notice upon the dog owner in person or by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, specifying the reason for the confiscation of the dangerous dog, that the owner is responsible for payment of the costs of confinement and control, and that the dog will be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner if the deficiencies for which the dog was confiscated are not corrected within twenty days. The animal control authority shall destroy the confiscated dangerous dog in an expeditious and humane manner if any deficiencies required by this subsection are not corrected within twenty days of notification. In addition, the owner shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021.
(2) If a dangerous dog of an owner with a prior conviction under this chapter attacks or bites a person or another domestic animal, the dog's owner is guilty of a class C felony, punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021. In addition, the dangerous dog shall be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority, placed in quarantine for the proper length of time, and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.
(3) The owner of any dog that aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of any human, whether or not the dog has previously been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous, shall be guilty of a class C felony punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021. In such a prosecution, the state has the burden of showing that the owner of the dog either knew or should have known that the dog was potentially dangerous as defined in this chapter. In addition, the dog shall be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority, placed in quarantine for the proper length of time, and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.
(4) Any person entering a dog in a dog fight is guilty of a class C felony punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021.
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