Meridian - Dog Bite LawsDog bite laws in Meridian, Idaho are as follows.  Please check the following link to city ordinances for any updates or changes to the laws: (http://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=306; Title 6, Chapter 2, Animal Control):

ANIMAL: Any member of the animal kingdom, except members of the human race.

DOG: Any male or female member of the canine family.

IMPOUND: To deliver a seized animal to the city animal shelter.

OWN: To be the owner thereof; or to keep, harbor, or possess; or to accept or maintain custody, control, or care thereof.

OWNER: Any person owning, keeping, harboring, or possessing an animal, or accepting or maintaining custody, control, or care of an animal.

SEIZE: To take custody of an animal.

VICIOUS DOG: A dog declared by the animal control officer to be a vicious dog.

City of Meridian Dog License

  1. Dog License Required:
    1. Each dog owner living in or visiting Meridian for thirty (30) days or longer shall obtain a city of Meridian dog license for each dog that is owned by such person and that is more than six (6) months of age.
    2. Application for a city of Meridian dog license shall be made to the city clerk or licensing designee duly authorized by the city as set forth in this chapter. Such application shall include the following:
      1. A completed application form, which form shall include the name, physical address, mailing address, and telephone number of dog owner and a description of dog to be licensed;
      2. A valid spay or neuter certification, if applicable; and
      3. Applicable dog license fee per fee schedule. Where the fee schedule provides for a lower license fee for a spayed or neutered dog, the city or its licensing designee shall allow the payment of the lower license fee only upon the dog owner’s presentation of a certificate of neuter or spay issued by a veterinarian or by the Idaho Humane Society. License fees shall be waived for:
        • The owner of any dog used by a visually impaired, hearing impaired, or disabled person and used as a seeing eye dog, hearing ear dog, or service dog shall not be required to pay a license fee. The city or its licensing designee shall allow this exception to the license fee only upon the dog owner’s presentation of certification of the dog owner’s visual or hearing impairment or disability by a licensed medical doctor.
        • The owner of any dog in training to serve as a seeing eye dog, hearing ear dog, or guide dog shall not be required to pay a license fee. The city or its licensing designee shall allow this exception to the license fee only upon the dog owner’s presentation of proof that such dog is in training for such purpose.
        • Any dog owned by a public entity or public agency.
      4. The city clerk or licensing designee shall issue a dog license tag within two (2) working days of receipt of complete application materials and fees.
    3. Annual Licensing Required: All city of Meridian dog licenses shall be valid for one year from date of issuance.
    4. Lost Dog License Tag: The city or its licensing designee shall reissue a lost dog license tag upon payment of lost dog tag fee as set forth in fee schedule and verification that the license tag sought to be replaced is a current and valid city of Meridian dog license, which verification shall be made by reference to the official log(s) of the city or its licensing designee(s).
    5. Dog Licensing Designees: In order to facilitate the licensing of dogs within the city of Meridian, the city may enter into agreements with the Idaho Humane Society, veterinarians, or vendors of pet products doing business within the city of Meridian authorizing such licensing designee to issue city of Meridian dog licenses on behalf of the city.

Declaration of Vicious Dog

  1. Declaration Of Vicious Dog: The animal control officer is authorized to declare that a dog is a vicious dog.
    1. Any dog whose behavior or actions fall within one or more of the following may be declared a vicious dog:
      1. Any dog which, when unprovoked, attacks or bites another person or other domestic animal upon the streets, sidewalks, any public grounds or places, or private property not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog; or
      2. Any dog with a prior documented history, in any jurisdiction, of unprovoked attack or biting of persons or other domestic animals; or
      3. Any dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of fighting or attacking people or any dog trained for fighting or attacking of persons.
    2. Except that:
      1. No dog may be declared vicious if an injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time that such injury or damage was sustained: 1) was committing a wilful trespass or other crime or tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog, whether or not the dog’s owner is present at the time of the unlawful trespass or other crime; or 2) was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog; or 3) was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
      2. No dog may be declared vicious if the dog was protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault.
      3. No dog owned, maintained, or kept for work as a law enforcement dog, either currently or retired, may be declared vicious if the action that would be so defined by this definition, took place while the dog was acting within its capacity for law enforcement purposes.

 

  1. Notice Of Declaration Of Vicious Dog: Within two (2) working days of declaring a dog to be vicious, the animal control officer shall serve or mail to the dog’s owner, at the licensed address, written notification that such dog has been declared vicious. Such notice of declaration shall contain the following information:
    1. Date of such declaration.
    2. Facts supporting such declaration.
    3. Notice of the right to appeal such decision as set forth in this section, including an explanation of the time within which, and process by which, such appeal may be made to the chief of police, and further including notice that if such appeal is not made, the decision of the animal control officer shall be a final decision.
    4. Notice that, fourteen (14) working days following entry of a final decision:
      1. If such dog is impounded, the vicious dog shall be euthanized; or (Ord. 12-1518, 6-26-2012)
      2. If such dog is not impounded, the dog’s owner shall either voluntarily relinquish the vicious dog to the city animal shelter for euthanization, or remove the vicious dog from Meridian city limits. (Ord. 12-1518, 6-26-2012; amd. Ord. 13-1578, 9-24-2013, eff. 10-1-2013)Unless appealed as set forth in this section, the decision of the animal control officer declaring that a dog is a vicious dog shall be a final decision within five (5) working days from the date of the notice of declaration.

 

  1. Appeal To Chief Of Police: Appeal of the animal control officer’s declaration that a dog is vicious may be made by the dog’s owner. Such appeal shall be made in writing, shall state the reasons for such appeal, and shall be delivered to the chief of police via U.S. mail within five (5) working days from the date of the notice of declaration. At the scheduled hearing, the chief or designee shall review the decision of the animal control officer to declare the dog vicious. The dog owner shall be allowed to present any reasonable evidence to show cause for reversal of the animal control officer’s decision. The chief or designee may establish procedures and time limits for the hearing, but shall hear all reasonable evidence. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the chief or designee shall either affirm the decision of the animal control officer that the dog is vicious, or reverse the decision. Within three (3) working days following the hearing, the chief or designee shall mail to the dog owner notice of his decision. Such notice of decision shall include:
    1. Date of such decision.
    2. Facts supporting such decision.
    3. Notice of the right to appeal such decision as set forth in this section, including an explanation of the time within which, and process by which, such appeal may be made to the city council, and further including notice that if such appeal is not made, the decision of the chief or designee shall be a final decision.
    4. Notice that, fourteen (14) working days following entry of a final decision:
      1. If such dog is impounded, the vicious dog shall be euthanized; or (Ord. 12-1518, 6-26-2012)
      2. If such dog is not impounded, the dog’s owner shall either voluntarily relinquish the vicious dog to the city animal shelter for euthanization, or remove the vicious dog from Meridian city limits. (Ord. 12-1518, 6-26-2012; amd. Ord. 13-1578, 9-24-2013, eff. 10-1-2013)Unless appealed as set forth in this section, a decision of the chief or designee affirming the animal control officer’s declaration shall be a final decision seven (7) working days following the date of the chief’s notice of decision.

 

  1. Appeal To City Council: Appeal of the chief’s notice of decision affirming the animal control officer’s decision that a dog is vicious may be made by the dog’s owner. Such appeal shall be made in writing, shall state the reasons for such appeal, and shall be delivered to the city clerk via U.S. mail or in person within five (5) working days from the date of the chief’s notice of decision. Upon receipt of such written appeal, the city clerk shall schedule a public hearing on the appeal at a city council meeting within fourteen (14) days. City council shall conduct a de novo review and may establish procedures and time limits for such hearing. Following such hearing, city council shall either affirm or reverse the chief’s or designee’s decision. Within three (3) working days following the hearing, the city clerk shall mail to the dog owner written notice of city council’s decision. Such notice of decision shall include:
    1. Date of such decision.
    2. Facts supporting such decision.
    3. Notice that, fourteen (14) working days following notice of final decision:
      1. If such dog is impounded, the vicious dog shall be euthanized; or (Ord. 12-1518, 6-26-2012)
      2. If such dog is not impounded, the dog’s owner shall either voluntarily relinquish the vicious dog to the city animal shelter for euthanization, or remove the vicious dog from Meridian city limits. (Ord. 12-1518, 6-26-2012; amd. Ord. 13-1578, 9-24-2013, eff. 10-1-2013)Upon mailing of such written notice, the city council’s decision on such appeal shall be a final decision.

 

  1. Final Decision: Within fourteen (14) working days of a final decision that a dog is a vicious dog, whether such final decision is entered by the animal control officer, the chief of police or designee, or city council:
    1. If such dog is impounded, the vicious dog shall be euthanized. (Ord. 12-1518, 6-26-2012)
    2. If such dog is not impounded, the dog’s owner shall either voluntarily relinquish the vicious dog to the city animal shelter for euthanization, or remove the vicious dog from Meridian city limits.

Prohibited Acts

A court sentencing a person for a violation of this chapter may assess court costs in addition to the fines and penalties set forth herein.

Barking Dog: It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to permit a dog owned by such person to carry on excessive, continuous or untimely barking or noise. A violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00).

  1. Damage To Property: It shall be unlawful for any person owning any animal to cause or allow such animal to damage private or public property without the consent of the property’s owner. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  2. Dog At Large In Public Place: Except as otherwise allowed by law, it shall be unlawful for any dog owner to allow or cause any dog owned by such person to be or remain in any public place, unless such dog is controlled by a leash not exceeding six feet (6′) in length. A person’s first violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of twenty five dollars ($25.00). A person’s second violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00). A person’s third violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The animal control officer may seize and impound any dog found in violation of this subsection.
  3. Dog At Large On Private Premises: It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to allow or cause such dog to be or remain upon any private premises without the consent of the person in possession of such premises. A person’s first violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of twenty five dollars ($25.00). A person’s second violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00). A person’s third violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail. The animal control officer may seize and impound any dog found in violation of this subsection.
  4. Dog Attacking Or Biting: Any owner of a dog which, when unprovoked, attacks or bites another person or other domestic animal upon the streets, sidewalks, any public grounds or places, or private property not owned or possessed by the owner of the biting dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail. The animal control officer may seize and impound any dog found in violation of this subsection. Where a dog seized pursuant to this provision shows any symptom of rabies or has not been vaccinated for rabies, the animal control officer shall deliver the biting animal to the Idaho Humane Society or to a licensed veterinarian for examination for rabies, and all related costs of such examination shall be paid by the dog owner upon demand from city. Such examination may include, at the discretion of the Idaho Humane Society or veterinarian to whom the biting dog is surrendered, a period of quarantine, confinement, and/or impoundment. If such biting dog is determined to be free of rabies, the dog shall be returned to the owner upon payment to the Idaho Humane Society or licensed veterinarian who examined such animal of all related fees and/or costs. If such biting dog is determined to be afflicted with rabies, the biting dog shall be euthanized according to the provisions of this chapter.
  5. Dog Rushing: It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog which, when unprovoked, in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approaches any person in apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, any public grounds or places, or private property not owned or possessed by the owner of the dog. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  6. Failure To Display Dog License Tag: It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to cause any licensed dog owned by such person to wear, at all times, a durable, secure collar bearing a valid city of Meridian dog license tag. Production of proof that such dog is licensed shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violation of this subsection. The person raising such affirmative defense shall bear the burden of proof that such defense applies. A violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of twenty five dollars ($25.00).
  7. Failure To License Dog: It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to obtain a city of Meridian dog license for any dog owned by such person. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violation of this subsection that such dog is six (6) months of age or younger. The person raising such affirmative defense shall bear the burden of proof that such defense applies. A person’s first violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of twenty five dollars ($25.00). A person’s second violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00). A person’s third violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  8. Failure To Update Dog Owner Contact Information: It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to provide to the city clerk’s office updated contact information where there is a change in such dog owner’s physical address, mailing address, and/or telephone number registered with any city of Meridian dog license. A violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of ten dollars ($10.00).
  9. Failure To Vaccinate Dog Against Rabies: It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to vaccinate his or her dog against rabies within the first year of the dog’s life. Further, it shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to renew his or her dog’s rabies vaccination every three (3) years.
  10. Female Dog In Heat: It shall be unlawful for any owner of a female dog in heat to fail to enclose such female dog in such a manner as to preclude other dogs from attacking or being attracted to such female dog. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  11. Fraudulent Display Of Dog License Tag: It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to cause or allow any dog owned by such person to wear a dog license tag issued for another dog, or to wear any imitation of a city of Meridian dog license tag. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  12. Harboring Excess Dogs: It shall be unlawful for any person to own; keep, harbor, possess, accept, or maintain custody, control, or care of; or license more than three (3) dogs at any single residence, property, or premises. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violation of this subsection that such dogs comprise a single litter of puppies under six (6) months of age that is kept at a single location with the mother dog. The person raising such affirmative defense shall bear the burden of proof that such defense applies. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  13. Harboring Rabid Animal: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, harbor, possess, accept, or maintain custody, control, or care of any animal afflicted with rabies. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail. The animal control officer may seize and impound any animal found in violation of this subsection.
  14. Harboring Vicious Dog: It shall be unlawful for any person to own a vicious dog in the city of Meridian more than fourteen (14) days following the entry of a final decision that the dog is a vicious dog. Fourteen (14) days following the entry of a final decision that the dog is a vicious dog, such dog may be considered to be contraband, and may be seized pursuant to warrant and euthanized. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and one hundred eighty (180) days’ jail. Additionally, upon conviction, the court may authorize the animal control officer to seize, impound, and/or euthanize the dog giving rise to the violation.
  15. Improper Disposal Of Dead Dogs: It shall be unlawful for any person to place or leave any dead dog on public or private property, including premises lawfully owned or possessed by such person. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  16. Interference With Animal Control Officer: It shall be unlawful for any person to hinder or interfere with in any manner an animal control officer who is enforcing any of the provisions of this chapter. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.
  17. Removal Of Dog Feces: It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to promptly remove and dispose of, in a sanitary manner, any and all feces left by a dog owned or being handled by such person on property, public or private, other than the premises of the owner or handler of such dog. A violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of twenty five dollars ($25.00).
  18. Unlawful Reclamation Of Impounded Dog: It shall be unlawful for any person to recover or attempt to recover possession of any impounded dog, in any manner contrary to city policy or the provisions of this chapter. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) and ninety (90) days’ jail.

Severability

If any provision or section of this chapter shall be held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, then such provision or section shall be considered separately and apart from the remaining provisions or sections of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect.

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