AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND SECTIONS 4-1 AND 4-26 OF THE FAUQUIER COUNTY CODE PERTAINING TO DANGEROUS AND VICIOUS DOGS
WHEREAS, Section 3.1-796.93:1 of the Code of Virginia authorizes counties to adopt ordinances regulating dangerous dogs and vicious dogs; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors, after due notice and public hearing, has determined that it is in the best interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Fauquier County to adopt this Ordinance; now, therefore, be it
ORDAINED, by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 14th day of December 2006, That Sections 4-1 and 4-26 of the Code of Fauquier County be, and are hereby, amended, which Sections shall read as follows:
Sec. 4-1. Definitions.
Dangerous dog. The term "dangerous dog" means any canine or canine
crossbreed which has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person
or companion animal that is a dog or cat.
Sec. 4-26. Dangerous or vicious dogs.
law-enforcement officer or animal
(b) No canine or
canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog or vicious dog
solely because it is a particular breed, nor
(c) The owner of any
animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog shall, within ten (10)
days of such finding, obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate
from the local animal
(d) All certificates or renewals thereof required to be obtained under this section shall only be issued to persons eighteen years of age or older who present satisfactory evidence (i) of the animal's current rabies vaccination, if applicable, and (ii) that the animal is and will be confined in a proper enclosure, or is and will be confined inside the owner's residence, or is and will be muzzled and confined inside the owner's fenced-in yard until the proper enclosure is constructed. In addition, owners who apply for certificates or renewals thereof under this section shall not be issued a certificate or renewal thereof unless they present satisfactory evidence that (i) their residence is and will continue to be posted with clearly visible signs warning both minors and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property, and (ii) the animal has been permanently identified by means of a tattoo on the inside thigh or by electronic implantation. All certificates or renewals thereof required to be obtained under this ordinance shall only be issued to persons who present satisfactory evidence that the owner has liability insurance coverage, to the value of at least $100,000, that covers animal bites. The owner may obtain and maintain a bond in surety, in lieu of liability insurance, to the value of at least $100,000.
(e) While on the property of its owner, an animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog shall be confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked structure of sufficient height and design to prevent its escape or direct contact with or entry by minors, adults, or other animals. The structure shall be designed to provide the animal with shelter from the elements of nature. When off its owner's property, an animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog shall be kept on a leash and muzzled in such a manner as not to cause injury to the animal or interfere with the animal's vision or respiration, but so as to prevent it from biting a person or another animal.
(f) If the owner of an animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog is a minor, the custodial parent or legal guardian shall be responsible for complying with all requirements of this section.
(g) The owner of
any dog found to be a dangerous dog shall register the animal with the
Commonwealth of Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry, as established under §
3.1-796.93:3 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, within 45 days of such
a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction. After an animal has
been found by a court to be a dangerous dog, the animal's owner shall
immediately, upon learning of same, notify the local animal control
authority if the animal (i) is loose or unconfined; (ii) bites a person
or attacks another animal; (iii) is sold, given away, or dies.
(h) The owner of any
animal which has been found by a court to be a dangerous dog who
willfully fails to comply with the requirements of the ordinance shall
be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(i) Any owner or custodian of a canine or canine crossbreed or other animal is guilty of a:
1. Class 2 misdemeanor if the canine or canine crossbreed previously declared a dangerous dog pursuant to this section, when such declaration arose out of a separate and distinct incident, attacks and injures or kills a cat or dog that is a companion animal belonging to another person; or
2. Class 1 misdemeanor if the canine or canine crossbreed previously declared a dangerous dog pursuant to this section, when such declaration arose out of a separate and distinct incident, bites a human being or attacks a human being causing bodily injury.
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its owner’s or custodian’s property, or when the animal is a policy dog that is engaged in the performance of its duties at the time of the attack.
(j) All fees collected pursuant to the ordinance, less the costs incurred by the animal control authority in producing and distributing the certificates and tags required by the ordinance, shall be paid into a special dedicated fund in the treasury of the county for the purpose of paying the expenses of any training course required under Section 3.1-796.104:1 of the Code of Virginia, as amended.
(Ord. No. 95-30, 10-3-95, Ord. No. 05-11, 09-08-05, Ord. No. 06-_____, 12-14-06)
State law references: Authority to control dangerous or vicious dogs, § 3.1-796.93.1.