Sec. 4-61.  Exemptions.

This article shall not apply to agencies conducting biomedical research or training, the production of livestock or poultry for sale as a consumer product and the lawful destruction of any animal for the purpose of protecting livestock, poultry or humans.

(Ord. of 6-22-98(2))

Sec. 4-62.  General care; prohibited acts.

All animals shall be kept and treated under sanitary and humane conditions and it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in one or more of the following acts:

(1)   Failure to provide adequate food.  All animals, unless otherwise indicated in this chapter, shall be given at suitable intervals, not to exceed 24 hours, a quantity of wholesome foodstuff in a container suitable for the age and species of the animal and sufficient to maintain a healthful level of nutrition. 

(2)   Failure to provide adequate water.  All animals shall have constant access to a supply of clean, fresh, potable water or a supply of clean, fresh potable water provided at suitable intervals. If access is not constant, then adequate amounts of water must be provided at least twice in a 24-hour period. If water is provided at intervals, it must remain in the animal's enclosure for at least one hour during each interval. 

(3)   Failure to provide adequate shelter.  All animals shall be provided with adequate shelter from the weather at all times. Examples of inadequate shelter include, but are not limited to the following: 

a.   Underneath outside steps, decks and stoops.

b.   Underneath houses.

c.   Inside or underneath motor vehicles.

d.   Inside metal or plastic barrels.

e.   Inside cardboard boxes.

f.   Inside temporary animal carriers or crates.

g.   Shelters located in flood-prone areas.

h.   Shelters surrounded by waste, debris, obstructions, or impediments that may endanger an animal.

(4)   Failure or refusal of any owner in contact with or having knowledge of a sick, diseased or injured animal  to provide proper medical treatment for the animal or notify the animal control division of the condition. A sick animal shall go no longer than 24 hours without veterinary care. 

(5)   Animal abuse.  Examples of animal abuse include, but are not limited to the following: 

a.   Allowing a collar, rope, or chain to become embedded in or cause injury to an animal's neck.

b.   Allowing a choke or pinch collar to be used as a primary collar when the animal is left unsupervised.

c.   Allowing a dog or cat to be left outside in inclement weather or extreme temperatures without adequate shelter.

d.   Intentionally allowing animals to engage in a fight.

e.   Allowing animals to be kept in unsanitary conditions.

f.   Allowing animals to be kept in crowded conditions. As to dogs, less than 100 square feet of unobstructed area per each dog weighing 20 pounds or under, less than 200 square feet of unobstructed area per each dog weighing greater than 20 pounds. This subsection shall not apply to licensed boarding facilities, licensed pet stores, veterinary care, and grooming facilities.

g.   Trapping a dog or cat without a permit issued by animal control.

h.   Permitting any exhibit, function, or activity where animals are being cruelly treated or animals run the risk of causing injury to the public or themselves. The animal control division shall have the authority to inspect and to close down public exhibits of animals which are part of fairs, carnivals, festivals, fund raising events, petting zoos and any other activity or function carried out in the county if it is determined that animals are being cruelly treated, abused or run the risk of causing injury to the public or themselves.

(6)   Tethering of a dog  except under the following circumstances: 

a.   Tethering for a period not to exceed seven consecutive days while actively engaged in:

1.   Shepherding or herding livestock.

2.   Lawful dog activities such as hunting training and hunting sporting events, field and obedience training, field or water training, law enforcement training, veterinary treatment and/or the pursuit of working or competing in these legal endeavors.

3.   Meeting the requirements of a camping or recreational area.

b.   When participating in recognized exempt activities or when a dog is on an attended leash, tethered dogs shall be attended by a responsible person and shall be tethered in a manner that does not cause unjustifiable pain, suffering, or risk of death. Tethers must be made of rope, twine, cord, or similar material with a swivel on one end or must be made of a chain that is at least ten feet in length with swivels on both ends and which does not exceed ten percent of the dog's body weight. All collars or harnesses used for the purpose of tethering a dog must be made of nylon or leather.

(7)   Leaving an animal in a closed vehicle or other enclosure for such duration or at such temperatures as an animal control officer or animal cruelty investigator deems harmful or potentially harmful to the animal.

(8)   Carrying or causing to be carried in or upon the open area of a truck or other motor vehicle any animal that is not secured in an animal carrier or by a harness or other device, such that the animal cannot fall from, jump from or be thrown from the vehicle.

(9)   Failure or refusal to report injured or killed domestic animals.

a.   All persons who injure or kill a domesticated animal by running over, into or otherwise coming into contact with such animal with an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or other vehicle shall notify the owner of the animal immediately.

b.   If the owner is unknown, the person who injured or killed the animal shall immediately notify the animal control administrator, or the police department if the injury or death occurred in the city, or the sheriff's department if the injury or death occurred in the county by giving his or her name and address, a description of the animal and the location of the incident.

(10)   Unless otherwise permitted by law, giving away or offering any animal as a prize, premium or advertising device for or as an inducement to enter any contest, game or other competition involving skill or chance, or auctioning, raffling or otherwise offering as a prize or premium any animal for fundraising or charitable purposes.

(11)   Displaying any dog or cat on public property for the purpose of selling or giving the animal away. This subsection shall not apply to the display of animals in a pet shop, commercial kennel, veterinarian's office, or display by a nonprofit animal welfare entity organized and operated under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

This section 4-62, is not intended, and shall not, in any manner regulate the Durham County Animal Shelter or the care of animals that fall under the exclusive province of federal or state laws.

The chapter, as amended, is effective on the 1st day of January, 2010.

(Ord. of 6-22-98(2); Ord. of 5-10-04, 16; Ord. of 9-8-08, 2)

Sec. 4-63.  Sanctions, penalties, fines, remedies.

Any person who fails, refuses or otherwise violates this article shall be subject to the following sanctions or penalties:

(1)   Pursuant to G.S. 19A-46, an animal control officer may obtain a magistrate's order to take possession of the animal.

(2)   If the conditions pose an immediate threat to the health or safety of the animal or the public, animal control may summarily seize the animal.

a.   A notice of seizure describing the exigent circumstances warranting the seizure shall be left with the owner or affixed to the premises. Examples of exigent circumstances include, but are not limited to the following:

1.   Unsanitary conditions resulting from the number of animals involved.

2.   Unsanitary conditions resulting from the owner's inability or unwillingness to clean the area where the animals are housed.

b.   The owner of an animal seized pursuant to this section may appeal the seizure by filing a request for appeal as set forth in section 4-12.

c.   If the owner fails to redeem the animal within the time limit provided by this chapter, or fails to timely request an appeal, the county may initiate an action in district court for permanent custody of any animal impounded. The costs of caring for the animal pending final determination of court proceedings shall be charged against the owner.

(3)   If it is determined by the animal control officer that the animal is not in immediate danger, or the problem which gives rise to the inadequate treatment or abuse can be corrected within 72 hours, the officer may, in lieu of subsection (1) or (2) above issue a written notice of violation directing the owner or possessor of the animal to correct the problem within 72 hours. If the condition or problem is not corrected within 72 hours, the animal control officer may take action as outlined in subsection (1) or (2) above.

(4)   Notwithstanding the other provisions and sanctions of this article, the animal control division may issue a civil penalty for violation of any provision of this section in accordance with section 4-9.

(5)   Violation of state law.  When it has been determined by the animal control officer that there has been a violation of one or more provisions of state law regarding cruelty to animals, including G.S. 14-360, the officer shall initiate a criminal summons or warrant. 

(6)   Failure to report.  Failure to report any event for which a report is required under this article shall be subject to a civil penalty as indicated in section 4-9. 

(Ord. of 6-22-98(2); Ord. of 5-10-04, 17)

Secs. 4-64--4-85.  Reserved.