6.08.010 – Licensing.
A. It is unlawful for any person to own, keep, harbor, or have custody of any dog or cat over the age of five months within the city of Columbus without obtaining a license as herein provided; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to a nonresident keeping a dog or cat within the city limits for a period not in excess of thirty (30) days.
B. A written application for a license which shall include the name, street and post office box address of the applicant, description of the dog or cat, current rabies certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian or anti-rabies clinic, and if applicable, sterilization certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian or sterilization clinic, shall be submitted to the city clerk.
C. Payment of the following fees must accompany the license application:
Unneutered male dog …..$25.00
Unspayed female dog …..25.00
Neutered male dog …..10.00
Spayed female dog …..10.00
Unneutered male cat …..25.00
Unspayed female cat …..25.00
Neutered male cat …..10.00
Spayed female cat …..10.00
D. Upon acceptance of the licensing application and fee, the clerk shall issue a durable tag stamped with an identification number and the issuing year. Tags must be made to fasten to a collar or harness.
E. All dogs or cats must wear identification tags on collars or harnesses at all times when off the premises of the owner.
F. The clerk shall maintain a record of the identifying numbers of all tags issued and shall make this record available to the public at all times.
G. The licensing period shall begin January 1st, and end December 31st each year.
H. If not revoked, a license issued hereunder shall be effective from January 1st to December 31st of the current licensing year. Every person acquiring a dog or cat after July 1st of any licensing year can receive a license for the remainder of the licensing period for one-half of the stated fee.
I. A license recipient who has paid the full amount of the stated fee for an unsterilized dog or cat can obtain a refund of fifteen dollars ($15.00) by delivering to the city clerk a certificate of sterilization for the dog or cat from a licensed veterinarian or sterilization clinic within ninety (90) days after the date of purchase of the license for that licensing year.
J. Any person failing to obtain a license by January 31st or within thirty (30) days of the date that the dog or cat is acquired or reaches the age of five months shall be deemed delinquent and a delinquency fee of two dollars and fifty cents per month shall be assessed in addition to the applicable license fee.
K. A duplicate license may be obtained upon payment of a two dollar replacement fee.
L. No person may use any license for any animal other than the dog or cat for which it was issued.
M. Upon change of ownership of a licensed dog or cat, the new owner must apply for a new license.
N. It shall be the duty of the city clerk to report to the city council all monies collected for licensing fees.
Animal At Large
6.08.030 – Animals running at large prohibited.
A. For use within this section, the following are defined:
1. “At large” refers to any dog or cat being otherwise than on the premises of its owner when the dog or cat is not attached to a leash held by a person or restrained within a motor vehicle.
2. “Dogs” and “cats” include both male and female dogs and cats whether altered or not.
3. “Owner” means and includes any person, firm or corporation owning, harboring, sheltering or keeping a dog or cat.
B. It is unlawful for an owner of a dog or cat to allow or permit such animal to be at large within the corporate limits of the city of Columbus.
C. Penalties for violation of this section shall be as follows:
1. Upon the first conviction a person may be fined not more than fifty dollars ($50.00).
2. Upon the second and subsequent convictions a person may be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).
6.08.040 – Dangerous and potentially dangerous animals prohibited.
1. “Dangerous animal” means any animal that in the absence of intentional provocation:
a) Inflicts serious bodily injury to a person on public or private property; or
b) Is involved in a continuous sustained attack upon a person, not allowing the victim any means of escape, regardless of the extent of injury or defensive action; or
c) Is previously found to be potentially dangerous and while on or off the owner’s property chases or approaches a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack or inflicts bodily injury to a person or small animal; or
d) Inflicts injury to a person on public or private property, which injury results in death of the person.
e) These definitions do not apply to animals used in military or law enforcement work while they are actually performing in that capacity.
2. “Potentially dangerous animal” means any animal that in the absence of intentional provocation:
a) While off the owner’s property, chases or approaches a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack or inflicts bodily injury to a person or small animal; or
b) While on the owner’s property causes bodily injury to a person; or
c) While off the owner’s property kills a domestic animal, excluding birds, rodents and reptiles.
d) These definitions do not apply to animals used in military or law enforcement work while they are actually performing in that capacity.
3. “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function or process of any bodily member or organ.
4. “Menacing fashion” means approaching a person or animal within ten feet barking, growling and or lunging on or off a leash.
5. “Sterilization” means rendering permanently incapable of reproduction.
6. “Bite” means any abrasion, scratch, puncture, laceration, bruise, tear, or piercing of the skin inflicted by the teeth of an animal.
B. Potentially Dangerous Behavior. Any person who keeps, feeds harbors or allows to stay about the premises occupied or controlled by him within the city of Columbus any animal exhibiting potentially dangerous behavior is guilty of maintaining a public nuisance and is guilty of a misdemeanor. An animal is presumed to have exhibited potentially dangerous behavior if it demonstrated any of the behavior of a potentially dangerous animal as defined in subsection A. Such presumption is rebuttable.
1.Any animal not currently vaccinated for rabies which bites a person shall be isolated in strict confinement at the animal shelter or a licensed veterinarian clinic to be observed for at least ten days from the day of infliction of the bite. The owner will be responsible and must pay the confinement fees. If the owner fails to pay such fees, the animal control officer shall dispose of the animal.
2. Upon the discretion and advice of the animal control officer any animal currently vaccinated for rabies which bites a person may be isolated in strict confinement at the owner’s home provided the following conditions are met:
a) Animal must be kept away from all animals and people except the immediate household.
b) Animal must be kept inside an enclosed structure such as a house, garage or if outside, the animal must be in a covered pen from which it cannot escape or come into contact with another animal or person. If confinement is authorized under this condition, the person responsible for the animal shall further assure that the animal shall only be allowed outside the above-described pen or other suitable place approved by the animal control officer if the animal is on a leash which is held by a person that is capable of and is in fact controlling the animal in question.
c) Animal cannot be sold, given away, destroyed or moved from the premises until notified by the animal control officer that the quarantine period is over.
d) Animal under quarantine is not to receive any vaccinations without the authorization of a veterinarian and the animal control officer.
e) If the animal becomes lost, sick, acts strangely in any way, or dies during the quarantine it must be reported immediately to the animal control officer.
Animal control or law enforcement officers must be allowed reasonable access to the place of quarantine between the hours of seven a.m.—ten p.m. for inspection.
The owner will be responsible and must pay all confinement fees. If the owner fails to pay such fees, the animal control officer shall dispose of the animal.
Any animal owner who fails to cooperate with the animal control officer in satisfactory quarantine of his animal who has bitten a person is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Any animal manifesting characteristics of rabies (hydrophobia) may be put to death at the discretion of animal control officer or a licensed veterinarian so that the head may be examined to make confirmatory search for Negri bodies. All animals definitely known to have been bitten by the infected animal should be destroyed. If, however, the animal is only suspected of having the disease he should not be put to death but quarantined for observation, for a negative laboratory examination at this time would only leave the diagnosis in doubt.
Quarantine procedures do not apply to animals used in military or law enforcement work and service animals for the disabled. These animals will be required to be under current veterinarian care and subject to inspections by the animal control officer.
Any person who keeps, feeds, harbors or allows to stay about the premises occupied or controlled by him within the city of Columbus any animal exhibiting dangerous behavior is guilty of a misdemeanor. An animal is presumed to have exhibited dangerous behavior if it demonstrated any of the behavior of a dangerous animal as defined in subsection A. Such presumption is rebuttable. Upon conviction of maintaining a particular dangerous animal, said animal may be ordered by the court to be destroyed by the animal control officer or a licensed veterinarian. An animal involved in a fatal attack on a person shall be impounded and destroyed by the animal control officer or a licensed veterinarian.
Any owner or keeper convicted of having a dangerous animal, which hasn’t been destroyed as set forth in subsection D.1., must comply with and must show the animal control officer sufficient evidence that the following requirements are met in order to keep the animal:
A securely enclosed structure consisting of the minimum dimensions of five feet by eight feet and including an enclosed top shall be provided by the owner or keeper. The structure must be embedded in the ground no less than two feet, if the floor is not concrete. The structure shall provide protection from the elements for the animal. The structure must prevent unauthorized entry and be designed to prevent the animal from escaping.
The owner or keeper shall display signs on his premises warning that there is a dangerous animal on the property. These signs shall be visible and capable of being read from the public roadway and from any normal means of entry to the premises. In addition, the owner or keeper shall conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that will inform children of the presence of a dangerous animal.
The owner or keeper of a dangerous animal shall present proof of procurement of liability insurance in the amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), covering the twelve (12) month period during which registration is sought. This policy shall contain a provision requiring that the city be notified by the insurance company at least ten days in advance of any cancellation, termination or expiration of the policy.
The owner or keeper shall have the dangerous animal microchipped by a licensed veterinarian and have the animal control officer register the microchip with the microchip company.
The owner or keeper shall have the animal sterilized as defined in subsection A.
The owner or keeper shall not tether, tie up or chain the animal.
The owner or keeper of an animal convicted of having a dangerous animal shall notify the animal control officer within twenty-four (24) hours of a change of address or death of the animal. Immediate notification shall be required if the animal is loose.
The owner or keeper of an animal convicted of having a dangerous animal shall not sell, transfer or give away the animal, other than to the animal control officer or a licensed veterinarian for disposal.
The animal control officer is empowered to make whatever inquiry is deemed necessary to ensure compliance with the above provisions. Should it be found that the owner or keeper is in noncompliance with the provisions, the animal shall be immediately confiscated, impounded, and destroyed.
The owner or keeper is responsible for all fees and costs set forth in this section.
Justifiable Use of Force. While on the owner’s property or off the owner’s property and under the control, an animal is justified in using force or threat to use force necessary: to defend himself or a person; to prevent or terminate a person’s or animals trespass on or other criminal interferences with his owner or owner’s property. A defense of justifiable use of force is an affirmative defense to subsections B. and D.
If the animal control officer has probable cause to believe that a dog is a dangerous or potentially dangerous animal as defined under this section, the animal control officer may take such action as is reasonably necessary to restrain or control the dog, including but not limited to taking possession of the dog and impounding the same in suitable facilities for a period of time necessary to determine the presence or absence of rabies. The animal may continue to be impounded pending judicial proceedings if the city judge determines that impoundment is necessary for the protection of the public. The impoundment fees shall be ten dollars ($10.00) per day and must be paid by the owner before the animal is released from impoundment. If the owner fails to pay the impoundment fees, the animal control officer may dispose of the animal.