Chapter 55—Animal Protection and Control

55.01 Purpose
55.02 Definitions
55.03 Livestock
55.04 Animals At Large Prohibited
55.05 Keeping of Dangerous Animals Prohibited
55.06 Impounding Animals At Large
55.07 Redemption of Impounded Animals
55.08 Rabies Vaccination
55.09 Failure to Report Suspected Rabies Cases
55.10 Confinement for Rabies Determination
55.11 Standard of Care
55.12 Limited Tying of Animals
55.13 Animal Waste
55.14 Animal Neglect
55.15 Livestock Neglect
55.16 Prohibited Practice
55.17 Harassment of Animals
55.18 Duty to Report Animal Abuse or Neglect
55.19 Duties Upon Striking an Animal
55.20 Disposition of Dead Animals
55.21 Nuisances
55.22 Sale or Disposal of Live Animals as Prizes
55.23 Animals in Motor Vehicles
55.24 Animals in Transport
55.25 Animal Related Events
55.26 Keeping of Vicious Animals
55.27 Notification of Guard Dog Location
55.28 Violations; Penalties
55.29 Animal Complaints and Traps

55.01 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations regarding the treatment and control of animals in the City.

55.02 DEFINITIONS.

The following terms are defined for use in this chapter:

  1. “Advertise” means to present a commercial message in any medium including but not limited to print, radio, television, sign, display, label, tag, or articulation.
  2. “Animal” means any non-human vertebrate.
  3. “At large” means off the premises of the owner and on other premises against the wishes of the person in possession of such other premises or upon the public streets, alleys, public grounds, school grounds or parks within the City. An animal properly licensed as required by Chapter 56 shall not be deemed at large if:
    1. The animal is on the owner’s property or a neighbor’s property with that neighbor’s consent; or
    2. The animal is confined in a cage or motor vehicle; or
    3. The animal is restrained by a leash or chain not more than ten (10) feet in length and of sufficient strength to restrain the dog and the leash or chain is held by a person capable and competent to restrain and control the dog; or
    4. The dog is actively engaged in training in dog obedience, for hunting or for other service under continual control of its owner or trainer provided that the owner or trainer is conducting the training in an open public area, is not endangering other users or animals in the area, has the dog within 30 yards and under continual voice control and has in his/her possession a dog leash appropriate to control the dog; or
    5. The animal is a draft animal engaged in drawing vehicles or conveyances.
  4. “Business” means any enterprise relating to any of the following:
    1. The sale or offer for sale of goods or services.
    2. A recruitment for employment or membership in an organization.
    3. A solicitation to make an investment.
    4. An amusement or entertainment activity.
  5. “Cat” means all members of the Felis Domestica species, male or female, whether spayed, neutered or intact.
  6. “Dangerous animal” means the following animals:
    1. Badgers, wolverines, weasels, skunks and minks;
    2. Raccoons and opossums;
    3. Bats;
    4. Scorpions;
    5. Bees;
    6. Any dog which has attacked a human being or domestic animal one or more times, without provocation.
  7. “Dog” means all members of the canine species, male or female, whether spayed, neutered or intact.
  8. “Enforcement Officer” is an animal control officer or a peace officer.
  9. “Euthanize” means to kill an animal in a humane manner.
  10. “Fair” means any of the following:
    1. The annual fair and exposition held by the Iowa State Fair Board pursuant to Chapter 173 of the Code of Iowa or any fair event conducted by a fair under the provisions of Chapter 174 of the Code of Iowa.
    2. An exhibition of agricultural or manufactured products.
    3. An event for operation of amusement rides or devices or concession booths.
  11. “Game” means a “game of chance” or “game of skill” as defined in Section 99B.1 of the Code of Iowa.
  12. “Leash” means a cord, chain, or similar restraint not more than six (6) feet in length and of sufficient strength to restrain an animal that is at all times under the control of a person competent to restrain and control the animal.
  13. “Livestock” means an animal belonging to the bovine (cow or ox), caprine (goat), equine (horse), ovine (sheep) or porcine (swine) species, ostriches, rheas and emus; farm deer (as defined in Section 170.1 of the Code of Iowa); or poultry.
  14. “Owner” is any person owning, keeping, sheltering or harboring an animal.
  15.  “Pet” means living dog, cat or an animal normally maintained in a small tank or cage in or near a residence, including but not limited to a rabbit, gerbil, hamster, mouse, parrot, canary, mynah, finch, tropical fish, goldfish, snake, turtle, gecko or iguana.
  16. “Story County animal control officer” is the person charged with the duty of enforcing any provisions pertaining to animals.
  17.  “Vicious animal” means and includes:
    1. Any dog with a history, tendency or disposition to attack, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
    2. Any dog that snaps, attempts to bite a human being or domestic animal, or manifests a disposition to snap or bite.
    3. Any dog that, unprovoked, chases or approaches anyone in a menacing fashion off the owner’s property.
    4. Any dog that has been trained for dog fighting, animal fighting or animal baiting or is owned or kept for such purposes.
    5. Any dog trained to attack human beings, upon command or spontaneously in response to human activities, except dogs owned by and under the control of the County Sheriff, a law enforcement agency of the State or of the United States or a branch of the armed forces of the United States.
      A dog shall not be deemed to be “vicious” if the threat or injury: (i) is caused by a person who is assaulting the dog’s owner, committing a willful trespass or tort upon the owner’s premises, or provoking, tormenting, or abusing the dog or can be shown to have done so repeatedly at other times; (ii) is a response to pain or injury, or is to protect itself, its kennel, its offspring, or its owner’s property; or (iii) is inflicted by a dog owned by a law enforcement agency in the line of duty.
55.03 LIVESTOCK.

It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the City except by written consent of the Council or except in compliance with the City’s zoning regulation.

55.04 ANIMALS AT LARGE PROHIBITED.

All animals shall be restrained by the owners thereof from running at large.

55.05 KEEPING OF DANGEROUS ANIMALS PROHIBITED.

No person shall keep, shelter or harbor any dangerous animal as a pet, or act as a temporary custodian for such animal, or keep, shelter, or harbor such animal for any purpose or in any capacity within the City.

55.06 IMPOUNDING ANIMALS AT LARGE.

Any animal found at large shall be apprehended and impounded by the City until the Story County animal control officer can pick up the animal at City Hall. City employees and the Story County animal control officer shall have the right to enter upon private property when it is necessary to do so in order to apprehend any animal that has been running at large. Such entrance upon private property shall be in reasonable pursuit of the animal and shall not include entry into a domicile unless it is at the invitation of the occupant. If the Story County animal control officer determines that the animal at large is dangerous or fierce and a threat to human safety, and that it cannot be safely captured, the animal may be killed.

55.07 REDEMPTION OF IMPOUNDED ANIMALS.
  1. When an animal has been apprehended and impounded for being at large or for any other reason, said animal may be redeemed by the owner, prior to impoundment by the Story County animal control officer, upon payment of ten dollars ($10.00) to the City for a release fee. Once the Story County Control officer has custody of the impounded animal, the owner shall contact Story County Animal Control and Shelter for redeeming the animal.
  2. The owner of such animal shall be notified that upon payment of the impounding costs, such animal will be returned. If the impounded animal is not recovered by the owner within seven (7) days after notice, said animal shall be disposed of in a manner determined by the Story County animal control officer.
55.08 RABIES VACCINATION.

Every owner of a dog or cat shall obtain a rabies vaccination for each animal between three (3) and four (4) months of age and at such intervals thereafter as stipulated by the manufacturers of the vaccines used. This section applies to all dogs and cats kept within the City, brought into the City for shows, exhibitions, or performances, or in transit. This section does not apply to dogs and cats in transit that are continuously held in secure cages and dogs and cats assigned to research, production of biologics, and licensed animal care shelters or similar facilities.

55.09 FAILURE TO REPORT SUSPECTED RABIES CASES.

It is the duty of the owner of any animal which has bitten or attacked a person or is suspected of having rabies or any person having knowledge of such bite or attack or suspicion of rabies to report this to the Story County Sheriff’s Office and the Story County animal control officer.

55.10 CONFINEMENT FOR RABIES DETERMINATION.

When the City and/or the Story County animal control officer receives information that any person has been bitten by an animal or that an animal is suspected of having rabies, the Story County animal control officer shall investigate and may order confinement of the animal in accordance with the provisions of this section. Failure or refusal to comply with such order shall be a violation of this section.

  1. Dogs or cats may be confined for observation for ten (10) days at the animal shelter or under the care of a licensed veterinarian. The Story County animal control officer may permit confinement at the residence of the owner if the dog or cat has appropriate vaccination records, the dog or cat is not clinically suspected of being rabid and subject to other conditions imposed by the Story County animal control officer. Dogs and cats suspected of rabies may be humanely euthanized and examined by an authorized diagnostic laboratory for rabies upon the owner’s request or when there has been a severe attack on the face or neck.
  2. Animals other than dogs or cats which are known to have bitten a person or are suspected of rabies shall be examined by a licensed veterinarian. Depending on the veterinarian’s recommendation, the animal may be quarantined and/or humanely euthanized and examined by an authorized diagnostic laboratory for rabies.

This section does not apply if a police service dog or a horse used by a law enforcement agency and acting in the performance of its duties has bitten a person.

55.11 STANDARD OF CARE.

All owners and keepers of any animal shall comply with the following standards of care. Failure to comply with any standards shall be a violation of this section.

  1. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate food, shelter and water for that animal. No person keeping an animal shall abandon any such animal. “Abandon” means ceasing to provide control over, shelter, food and water for an animal without having made responsible arrangements for such care, custody and physical control to be provided by another person.
  2. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate food, which means providing at intervals appropriate for the species a quantity of wholesome food stuff, suitable for the physical condition and age of the animal, served in a clean receptacle or container, sufficient to maintain an adequate level of nutrition for such animal.
  3. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate outdoor shelter for such animal when it is kept outdoors tangle-free, which means a structurally sound, weather-proof, properly ventilated shelter, which provides access to shade from direct sunlight and regress from exposure to weather conditions. The shelter should be appropriate for the particular species and breed.
  4. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate indoor shelter for such animal when it is kept indoors, which means a properly ventilated and illuminated facility, sufficiently regulated by heating or cooling to protect the animal from extremes of temperature, and to provide for its health and comfort. It should be appropriate for the particular species and breed.
  5. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate sanitation, which means periodic cleaning or sanitizing housing facilities and any area where the animal is confined or restrained, to remove excreta and other waste materials and dirt, so as to minimize vermin infestation, odors and disease hazards.
  6. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate space, which means primary enclosures and housing facilities shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide sufficient space to allow each animal to make normal postural and social adjustments with adequate freedom of movement to maintain physical condition. The space shall be appropriate for the particular species.
  7. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate veterinary care, which means that a sick, diseased, or injured animal shall be provided with a proper program of care by a veterinarian, or humanely euthanized. All animals shall be provided with proper immunizations and preventive health care including parasite control.
  8. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to provide adequate water, which means reasonable access to a supply of clean, fresh, potable water, provided in a sanitary manner and secured so that the animal cannot turn the container over. If potable water is not accessible to the animal at all times, it shall be provided daily, for such duration and of sufficient quantity as appropriate for the species.
  9. It is the duty of each person keeping an animal to keep the animal clean and to provide grooming as appropriate for the species.
55.12 LIMITED TYING OF ANIMALS.

It is unlawful for a person to tie or leash any dog or other animal to inanimate objects such as trees, post, stakes, fences, buildings, or any other object or structure at any time between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Any animal that is tied or leashed at other times must be tied or leashed so that it does not become entangled and is prevented from reaching within ten (10) feet of any property line.

55.13 ANIMAL WASTE.

Any person who walks an animal on private or pubic grounds is responsible for the proper and immediate disposal of the solid waste excreted by that animal, except when the animal is on the owner’s or keeper’s property. This section does not apply to animals under control of persons with disabilities which such animals have been specially trained for the purpose of assisting persons with disabilities.

55.14 ANIMAL NEGLECT.

It is unlawful for a person who impounds or confines, in any place, an animal, excluding livestock, to fail to supply the animal during confinement with a sufficient quantity of food or water, or to fail to provide a confined dog or cat with adequate shelter, or to torture, deprive of necessary sustenance, mutilate, beat, or kill such animal by any means which causes unjustified pain, distress or suffering.

55.15 LIVESTOCK NEGLECT.

It is unlawful for a person who impounds or confines livestock in any place to fail to provide the livestock with care consistent with customary animal husbandry practices or to deprive the livestock of necessary sustenance or to injure or destroy livestock by any means which causes pain or suffering in a manner inconsistent with customary animal husbandry practices.

55.16 PROHIBITED PRACTICE.

Any practice and/or procedure designed or intended to increase the aggressiveness and attack propensities of an animal is a violation of this section.

55.17 HARASSMENT OF ANIMALS.

It is unlawful to engage in harassment of an animal except when this action is deemed necessary to protect persons or their property from the animal. No person, except the owner of an animal or his/her authorized agent, shall willfully open any door or gate on any private or public premises for the purpose of enticing or enabling any such animal to leave such premises.

55.18 DUTY TO REPORT ANIMAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT.

It is the duty of any person having knowledge of or observing animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect to report such to a local enforcement agent.

55.19 DUTIES UPON STRIKING AN ANIMAL.

Any person who, as the operator of a motor vehicle, strikes an animal shall report such injury or death to City Hall or to the Story County animal control officer.

55.20 DISPOSITION OF DEAD ANIMALS.

The owner of any dead animal within the City who fails, neglects or refuses to properly bury or dispose of the same within twenty-four (24) hours after having notice thereof is in violation of this section.

55.21 NUISANCES.

The following acts and circumstances are hereby declared to be nuisances and therefore prohibited.

  1. Keeping of animals on private property in such numbers or in such manner that allows for the accumulation of solid waste of such animals, which becomes a detriment to or menace to the health of the animals, or an annoyance to humans.
  2. Allowing any dog, cat or animal to bay, bark, whine or howl or make a sound of any kind or nature for prolonged periods in such manner as to unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of the vicinity.
  3. Allowing pet animals to run after or chase persons, bicycles, automobiles or other vehicle.
  4. Allowing pet animals to cause any damage or defilement to public or private property.
  5. Allowing pet animals to molest any person on public or private property who has a legitimate reason to be thereon.
  6. Allowing chickens, ducks or other fowl to crow, quack or make other noises during the night or early morning hours, which annoys residents of the immediate neighborhood.
  7. Keeping or harboring of bees.
55.22 SALE OR DISPOSAL OF LIVE ANIMALS AS PRIZES.
  1. No person shall give away any live animal, fish, reptile, or bird as a prize for, or as an inducement to enter, any contest, game, fair, or other competition, or as an inducement to enter a place of amusement, or offer such vertebrate as an incentive to enter into any business agreement whereby the offer was for the purpose of attracting trade.
  2. No person shall sell, offer for sale, raffle, offer or give as a prize, premium or advertising device or display in any store, shop, carnival, fair, or other public place a chick, duckling, gosling or rabbit that has been dyed or otherwise colored artificially.
  3. No person may sell chickens or ducklings younger than four weeks of age in quantities of less than twenty-five (25) to a single purchaser.
55.23 ANIMALS IN MOTOR VEHICLES.

No person shall leave an animal unattended in, or tethered to, a standing or parked motor vehicle, in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the animal. The following persons may use reasonable means, including reasonable force, to remove an animal from a motor vehicle when there is an apparent violation of this section:

  1. An animal control officer under the jurisdiction of a state or local governing body;
  2. A peace officer;
  3. A member of a fire or rescue squad.

The person rescuing the animal shall notify the Story County animal control officer, who may take the animal to a veterinarian for treatment, if necessary. The cost of such treatment shall be paid by the City and the City shall claim reimbursement from the person judged to be responsible for leaving the animal unattended.

55.24 ANIMALS IN TRANSPORT.

No animal shall be transported in the open bed of a pickup truck, except when the animal is secured inside a cage or kennel or is secured by a leash or tether sufficiently short to keep the animal inside the pickup box at all times. No person shall transport an animal in a box, container, or cage without proper ventilation and proper space requirements for that animal. Applicable standards set out in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 9, Part 3, Animals and Animal Products, shall apply.

55.25 ANIMAL RELATED EVENTS.

No performing animal exhibition, circus, or animal related event shall be permitted in which animals are induced or encouraged to perform through the use of chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will cause or is likely to cause injury or suffering. All equipment used on a performing animal shall fit properly and be in good working condition. The Story County animal control officer shall be notified of all public animal auctions and all public events in which animals that perform are exhibited or are available for hire. Where applicable, all animal related events, including public auctions, animal exhibitions, and circuses must comply with the standards set out in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 9, Part 3, Animals and Animal Products.

55.26 KEEPING OF VICIOUS ANIMALS.
    1. Confinement. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no person owning, possessing, harboring or having the care of a vicious animal shall permit such animal to go unconfined upon the premises of such person and shall not permit the animal to go beyond the premises unless the animal is confined. A vicious animal is unconfined unless the following conditions are met:
      1. Leash and Muzzle. No person shall permit a vicious animal to go outside its kennel or pen unless such animal is securely leashed with a leash no longer than six (6) feet in length. No person shall permit a vicious animal to be kept on a chain, rope, or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless both the dog and the leash are under the physical control of a person 18 years of age or older. Such animals may not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, fences, buildings, or any other object or structure. In addition, all vicious animals on a leash outside the animal’s kennel must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent the animal from biting persons or other animals.
      2. Enclosure. All vicious animals shall be securely confined within an occupied house or residence or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled as provided in this section. Such pen, kennel or structure must have secure sides at least six (6) feet in height and a secure top attached to the sides. All structures to confine vicious animals must be locked with a key or a combination lock when such animals are within the structure. Such structure must have a secure bottom, floor or foundation attached to the sides of the pen, or the sides of the pen must be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet, and the structure must be located at least ten (10) feet away from any property line. All structures erected to house vicious animals must comply with all zoning and building regulations of the City and with Section 55.09 of this chapter. All such structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
      3. No vicious animal may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the animal to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or structure when the windows are open or when the screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacles preventing the animal from exiting the structure.
    2. Insurance. The owner of any vicious animal shall provide proof to the City Clerk of general liability insurance of no less than $100,000.00 per occurrence of bodily injury to or death of any person or person or for damage to property which may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of such vicious animal. Such insurance policy shall provide that no cancellation of the policy shall be made unless ten (10) days’ written notice is first given to the City Clerk.
    3. Signs. All owners of vicious animals that are dogs within the City shall display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public using the words “Beware of Dog.” In addition, a similar sign is required to be posted on the kennel, pen or other enclosure of such animal.
    4. Identification. All owners of vicious animals must provide to the City Clerk two (2) color photographs of the animal clearly showing the color and approximate size of the animal.
    5. Reporting Requirements. All owners of vicious animals must report within ten (10) days of its occurrence the following information in writing to the City Clerk:
      1. The removal from the City or death of a vicious animal;
      2. The new address of a vicious animal owner if the owner moves within the City limits or if the vicious animal is sold or transferred to another owner.
55.27 NOTIFICATION OF GUARD DOG LOCATION.

Any person who harbors a guard dog in an area not adjoining the owner’s residence shall post notice of the animal’s presence and purpose at the place where the dog is being harbored.

55.28 VIOLATIONS; PENALTIES.
    1. Conviction of a person for violation of any provision of this chapter shall result in the following fines:
      • First Offense $ 100.00
      • Second Offense $ 150.00
      • Third Offense $ 200.00
      • Fourth Offense $ 250.00
        Conviction for a fourth time will result in additional penalties as provided in subsection 2 hereof.
    2. After the third conviction for violation of any provision of this chapter by the same person with respect to any animals at any site or sites, a proceeding for a fourth violation against that person for a violation of this chapter may include a request to the Court for an order that a specified animal being kept by the person be relocated or other disposition made within a reasonable time to be specified in the City’s request to the Court.
    3. An animal that is a nuisance as declared by Section 55.21 of this chapter or an animal being kept in circumstances that are a nuisance as declared by said section may be impounded by the Story County animal control officer so as to abate the nuisance. If the keeper of the animal so impounded is known, a violation of the said section may be charged against that person. Additionally, the enforcement personnel may ask the Court for an order that the animal be relocated or other disposition made within a reasonable time to be specified in the request for such order.
    4. When there is a violation of Section 55.11 of this chapter (Standard of Care), the Story County animal control officer may cause an animal affected by such violation to be taken into protective custody. The owner and/or keeper failing to meet the requirements of said section may be charged with a violation of the section. Additionally, the Story County animal control officer may, in the proceedings brought for violation of said section, ask the Court for an order that the affected animal be relocated or other disposition made within a reasonable time to be specified in the request for such order.
    5. The City shall ask the Court to specify in any order directing that an animal be relocated or other disposition made that during the time allowed for relocation or other disposition the animal be kept in conformance with conditions and circumstances as specified in the Court’s order, such conditions and circumstances to be reasonably proposed by the City in its request to the Court.
    6. When an animal is impounded or taken into protective custody by the Story County animal control officer, the owner of the animal shall reimburse the Story County Animal Control and Shelter for the expense of nourishing and caring for the animal while impounded or in the protective custody of the Shelter, and an animal shall not be released from impoundment or protective custody until the amount of such reimbursement due and payable to the Shelter has been received. If the animal is not reclaimed and the expense of its care paid to the Shelter within seven (7) days after the day the animal is available for release, the animal may be euthanized or made available for adoption.
55.29 ANIMAL COMPLAINTS AND TRAPS.

If the City Clerk receives a complaint from a citizen that there is a cat or other small animal running at large or trespassing on private property, the City may furnish a trap to be placed on or in the property of the complainant under the supervision of the City. The complainant shall notify City Hall when an animal is trapped and someone from the City will pick up the trap and the animal.