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Dog Bite Laws for Idaho Falls
If you or your child have been injured by a dog and the dog bite occurred in Idaho Falls, below are the Idaho Falls city dog bite laws that are relevant to the ownership and control of a dog. Please check the following link to city ordinances for any updates or changes to the laws: (https://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/107; Chapter 6 Dog Control):
(A) AT LARGE: A dog shall be deemed to be at large when off the property of the owner, and not under restraint or control.
(B) DOG: A dog of an age four (4) months or older that is kept as a household pet.
(C) ENCLOSURE: A fence or structure suitable to prevent escape of the animal or the entry of young children.
(D) NUISANCE ANIMAL: A nuisance animal, including a dog or cat, is one that:
- Frequently runs at large;
- Damages, soils, or defecates on private property other than property owned or controlled by the animal owner or on public property, including walks and recreation areas, unless such waste is immediately removed and properly disposed of by the animal owner or handler;
- Causes unsanitary or dangerous conditions;
- Causes a disturbance by excessive barking or other noise making
- Creates a general public nuisance; and/or
- Chases vehicles, or molests, attacks, or interferes with persons or other domestic animals on public property.
(E) OWNER: A person having the right of property or custody of an animal or who keeps or harbors an animal or knowingly permits an animal to remain on or about any premises occupied, owned, or controlled by that person.
(F) PERSON: Any individual, corporation, partnership, organization or institution commonly recognized by law as a unit.
(G) RESTRAINT: A dog shall be considered under restraint if it is confined within a structure or fenced yard, is secured by a leash, lead or chain or is confined within a vehicle in a manner that prevents escape.
(H) UNLICENSED DOG: A dog for which a license has not been issued for the current year, or to which the tag provided for in this Chapter is not attached.
(I) VACCINATION: The inoculation of an animal against rabies in accordance with state law and the “Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control” published by the National Association of the State Public Health Veterinarians and published annually in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. (Ord. 3078, 6-28-16)
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor any dog within the City without paying a license fee as herein provided. Dogs kept in a commercial dog kennel need not be individually licensed, but must be restricted to the premises or kept within a cage or enclosure at all times. This Section shall not apply to any person owning or possessing a dog currently licensed and bearing the license issued by another licensing authority, nor shall it apply to any dog which has strayed into the City but is duly licensed by, and wearing the tag of, another licensing authority.
(B) All dogs over the age of four (4) months must be vaccinated for rabies, and a copy of the vaccination certificate must be present with the license application.
Tags to be Placed on Collar
It shall be unlawful for any person to own or keep a licensed dog within the City which does not have a tag affixed to its neck. If the metal tag is lost, a duplicate tag may be obtained from the Clerk, or other authorized representative, upon payment in an amount set from time to time by Resolution of Council. (Ord. 2964, 8-14-14)
Impounding of Dogs
Any nuisance animal may be impounded in the Animal Control Shelter. All dogs found at large are declared to be public nuisances and all City police or animal control officers shall impound them in the Animal Control Shelter.
(A) Rabies Vaccination. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog or cat to not have a current rabies vaccination. Vaccinations must begin when the animal has reached the age of four (4) months. Every owner must, upon request of a City Police or Animal Services Officer produce proof of such vaccination(s).
(B) Suspected Rabies – Quarantine Procedures. Any owner of any animal which shows symptoms of rabies, or which has bitten any person causing an abrasion to the skin, shall surrender the animal for quarantine at the Animal Services Shelter or to a licensed veterinarian for a period of ten (10) days or shall securely quarantine the animal on his/her premises for said period of time. The choice of place of quarantine shall be at the discretion of the Animal Services Manager. All costs for the quarantine shall be borne by the owner. If an owner refuses to surrender or confine the animal, Animal Services Officers are hereby authorized to seize the animal and transport it to the Animal Services Shelter or a licensed veterinarian for quarantine. City Police or Animal Services Officers are hereby authorized to immediately impound any quarantined animal found outside the quarantine area and arrange for its confinement in accordance with this section. If the animal has been quarantined by the owner, on the next working day following the ten (10) day quarantine, the owner shall take the animal to a licensed veterinarian for examination and to obtain a rabies vaccination if the owner has not provided a current valid rabies vaccination certificate. A copy of the examination results and a current certificate of rabies vaccination must be provided to Animal Services no later than the following day. If an animal quarantined at the Animal Services Shelter is determined to be free of rabies, it shall be returned to the owner upon payment of all costs for confinement, examination and vaccination and if such fees are not paid, the animal may be disposed of as herein provided. If the animal is determined to be rabid, it shall be humanely destroyed and the owner shall be responsible to pay the boarding fees as set forth in this Chapter.
Unlawful Disposal of Rabid Dog
It shall be unlawful for any person to kill or cause to be killed any rabid dog, or dog suspected of having rabies, or any dog who has bitten or attacked a person, without having given the notice required by this Chapter, or having given such notice, to kill such dog before the expiration of the ten (10) days quarantine period.
Control of Dogs
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to harbor or keep on his or her premises, or in his or her control any dog which, by loud and prolonged barking or howling, disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, or of the occupants of adjacent premises.
(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to have or keep on his or her premises or in his or her control a nuisance animal.
(C) Any owner or keeper of a dog whose dog is determined to be at large on or in any public street, alley, sidewalk, park or place, or upon private property without the permission of the owner or occupant thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor. . . . Notwithstanding the foregoing, it shall be unlawful for any person to allow a dog under leash to be in any public park or recreation area designated by the Council as a public area in which dogs are not allowed, unless the dog is a service dog or is a participant in an approved dog show, exhibition or dog training course, or is otherwise allowed by law or regulation in such an area. Such areas shall be specifically designated by resolution of the Council and a sign giving notice of such prohibition shall be posted at each vehicular entrance to such public area.
(D) It shall be unlawful for any owner or keeper of any female dog in heat to allow such dog to be at large. It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of such a dog to fail to confine or enclose such dog in a manner that precludes other dogs from breeding the female dog.
(E) It shall be unlawful for any person to let to the owner or keeper of a female dog any dog, except within an enclosure so arranged as to obstruct such animal completely from the view of all persons who have no proprietary interest in the breeding of such animals.
It shall be unlawful for any person to hinder, or interfere with any City Police or Animal Services officer who is seizing any animal, euthanizing the same, or removing the carcass under this Chapter.
At Risk Dogs
(A) An at risk dog is one that:
(1) Menaces, chases, displays threatening or aggressive behavior or otherwise threatens or endangers the safety of any person.
(2) Causes physical injury to any domestic animal while at large.
(3) Repeatedly runs at large.
(B) Procedure for classifying a dog as at risk:
- An Animal Services Officer shall investigate the circumstances of any complaint filed against a dog alleged to be at risk and notify the dog owner of the charge. The results of the investigation will be reported to the Animal Services Manager and to the dog owner. If the Animal Services Manager deems the dog to be at risk, the dog owner has the option of filing an appeal with the courts. The dog owner shall file such appeal with the courts within thirty (30) days from the date of the designation.
- Notwithstanding the above, the Animal Services Manager or his representative shall have discretionary authority to refrain from classifying a dog as at risk (potentially dangerous), even if the dog has engaged in the specified behaviors, if it can be determined that the behavior was:
- The result of the victim abusing or tormenting the dog;
- Was directed towards a trespasser or a person committing or attempting to commit a crime; or
- Involved other similar mitigating or extenuating circumstances.
(C) Sanctions for owning an at risk dog:
- The owner must provide secure fencing to keep the dog confined on his own property. When off the owner’s property, the dog must be kept on a secure leash of no more than four feet (4’) in length and under control of a legally responsible person. The owner must also place photos of the dog on file with Animal Services, microchip the dog for identification and provide proof of liability insurance that covers injuries.
(D) Repeated violations of Section 5-6-13 (A)(1) or (2) will result in classifications of the dog as dangerous.
(E) If there have been no further incidents for a period of eighteen (18) months and the owner can provide proof of obedience training at a reputable club or business, he may appeal to Animal Services for removal of the designation.
(A) A dangerous dog is one that:
- Has previously been classified as at-risk and exhibits escalating aggressive behaviors that result in further complaint.
- A dog that, without provocation, inflicts severe injury on a human being.
- Menaces, maims, or kills domestic animals when off its owner’s property.
- Is used in the commission of a crime, including but not limited to animal fighting or guarding illegal operations.
(B) Procedure for classifying a dog as dangerous:
- (1)The animal control officer shall investigate the circumstances of any complaint filed against a dog alleged to be at risk and notify the dog owner of the charge. The results of the investigation will be reported to the Animal Services Manager and to the dog owner. If the Animal Services Manager deems the dog to be dangerous, the dog owner has the option of filing an appeal with the courts. Such appeal shall be within ten (10) days of the designation as a dangerous dog. Depending on the circumstances, the dog may be impounded pending disposition of the case.
- (2)Notwithstanding the above, the Animal Services Manager or his representative shall have discretionary authority to refrain from classifying a dog as dangerous, even if the dog has engaged in the specified behaviors, if it can be determined that the behavior was:
- The result of the victim abusing or tormenting the dog.
- Was directed towards a trespasser or a person committing or attempting to commit a crime.
- Involved other similar mitigating or extenuating circumstances
(C) Sanctions for Owning a Dangerous Dog: A dangerous dog may be returned to the owner or may be destroyed depending on the outcome of the investigation. If the dog is returned to the owner, it must be microchipped, confined in a locked pen with a top when not in a home or other building, and restricted by a sturdy leash no longer than four feet long when in public. Photos of the dog must be filed with Animal Services and the owner must provide proof of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in liability insurance.
(D) Confinement of Dangerous Dogs: Dogs that have been classified as dangerous must be confined behind a locked fence of sufficient height and materials to securely contain the dog and prevent trespass. Confinement must be sufficient to prevent children from coming into contact with the dog. When off the owner’s property, a dangerous dog must be restricted by a leash of no more than four (4) feet in length, must be under the control of a legally responsible person, and may be required to wear a muzzle.
(E) Transporting Dangerous Dogs: Dogs that have been classified as dangerous must be confined in a crate in a closed, locked vehicle to prevent opportunities for escape and in a manner sufficient to prevent children from coming into contact with the dog through an open window in a vehicle.
(F) Additional Incidents: Additional incidents sufficient to identify the dog as dangerous and will result in destruction of the dog.
(G) Penalties for Dangerous Dogs Running at Large:
- If an owner is allowed to keep the dangerous dog as set forth in subsections (C), (D) and (E) above, if that dangerous dog then runs at large and repeats the behavior that earned the designation will be impounded and euthanized.
- Dangerous dogs that run at large without repeating the behavior may be returned to their owners at the discretion of Animal Services after reviewing the case and inspection of the confinement facility.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to confine their dangerous dogs out of carelessness or neglect.
Attorney for Dog Bite Injuries
Brent Gordon Law Firm in Idaho Falls and Pocatello serves clients in and around the Idaho Falls area. If you or your child has been injured by a dog bite, contact the experienced dog bite attorneys of Brent Gordon Law Firm to handle your case. Call our law office today for a free consultation.
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