The County Animal Control Ordinance was changed on April 6, 2010, after a huge amount of solid work by citizens (most of which was ignored) and a lot of shucking and jiving by County bureaucrats (most of which the Supes let the bureaucrats get away with).  The new Ordinance is nowhere near what it could be -- and obviously some mistakes were left in the Ordinance, because it would just be too embarrassing for the County to admit that it made some elementary errors.  What follows are CCIPRA writeups which will give the industrious reader a handle on the situation, and on related bad behavior by County Animal Control Officers.


I.  THE ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE SITUATION AS OF APRIL 5, 2010

The ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE is the subject of the only Public Hearing item.  The agenda listing is "Item 13, Adopt technical revisions to the recently approved Animal Control Ordinance".  The approval was on February 23.  Some changes were approved then without being discussed, and some of the votes were merely orders to rewrite sections of the ordinance along certain themes.

Since Feb 23, the County has posted a rewrite at http://cochise.az.gov/uploadedFiles/Main_Page/News/Draft%20Animal%20ordinance%2003%2004%2010%20post-hearing%20greenline%20version.doc
That's what the Supes will look at on April 6.  CCIPRA's very detailed look at the rewrite is at
  http://littlebigdog.net/AnimalControlForApril6.htm

BAD FEATURES OF THE REWRITE discussed on that page --
    -- deputy county attorney Britt Hanson is still citing a state statute improperly.  Fixing this would take two seconds.  Hanson has a law degree, why won't he use it more?
    -- For cats, "colony caregivers" get special status, and parts of the law are "outsourced" to private organizations.
    -- Supervisor Call should address the possible conflict of interest between his interest in a pet shop, and his vote for an ordinance that caters to local clubs whose attitude toward his shop may depend on his vote.
    -- Sloppy definitions for "Destructive Animal," "Owner," and "Provoke"
    -- Sloppy ordinances about keeping dogs under control, vicious dogs, supplying water to animals, impoundment and euthanization
    -- ARS 11-1005.A.5 lets a county forbid excessive AND unrestrained barking, not "OR."  The oral discussion used "and," but when Searle made a motion, he said "or."  Immediately after the meeting, deputy county attorney Hanson interjected "I heard 'and'."  Reporter Shar Porier heard the same, because her article in the Sierra Vista Herald talked about a motion "to follow the state statute of 'excessive and unrestrained barking'."  But the County rewrite for April 6 says "or."  It should say "and," which is what Hanson and Porier heard and what state law allows.

But above all, Animal Control Officers have too much power and discretion, in light of an ongoing scandal and federal lawsuit.  For a long discussion, see
   http://littlebigdog.net/YourDogsAreDead.htm

Basically, an Animal Control Officer heard some allegations about dogs being kept in life-threatening conditions.  The allegations were already three months old, and the ACO waited two more weeks to do anything with them.  She got a warrant and seized the dogs.  They were in the legal custody of the County, but were farmed out to "foster care" providers.

As soon as the dog owners got a chance, they denied all the allegations.  Their attorney worked with the county prosecutor, who agreed to let the owners' vet see the dogs.  The ACO was to produce the dogs, but didn't.

Then a different prosecutor came on, who took a hard line, and wouldn't let the owners' vet inspect the dogs.  A hearing on motions came around.  The ACO said "Nothing has happened" to most of the dogs, that they were receiving veterinary treatment, that they were "filled out" and fat, and so on.  The JP found that if the allegations been true, the dogs would have died before the ACO got a warrant.  The JP ordered the dogs returned home.

The County appealed.  During appeal, the prosecutor still wouldn't let the owners' vet see the dogs.  The owners won the appeal.  The JP again ordered the dogs returned home. The prosecutor dismissed the case, but the dogs still weren't returned, and a week later, the prosecutor filed a "Notice" saying "all of the dogs have expired."  There's no indication that the County ever investigated before filing that notice.

After trying to work things out for almost a year, the dog owners sued the County, the Sheriff's Office, Animal Control, Crystal Callahan, and others.  The defendants are in a mess, that all the taxpayers will pay for.  And after the case was filed, one of the foster caregivers said the dog she had is still alive.  The lawsuit has a lot of misconduct to untangle.

The taxpayers will pay for the untangling, and probably pay damages, all because an Animal Control Officer misused her discretion.  The new ordinance increases that discretion.  The Supervisors should pay a lot more attention before approving the proposed changes.



II.  THE "ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE" WRITEUP AS OF FEB 21, 2010


Here's a link to the existing ordinance, that's now in effect:

    http://littlebigdog.net/TITLE6ANIMALS.pdf

And here's a link to the County's final draft, including all the proposed changes as of February 12, 2010:
    http://littlebigdog.net/AnimalCountyFinalEntire.htm

While that draft was being developed, citizens gave lots of input, and lots of the input was adopted; the County has not been totally unresponsive.  However, many of the changes adopted were minor, and many major concerns remain at issue.  Here's a link to the parts of the final draft where issues remain, along with the citizen comments about them:
    http://littlebigdog.net/AnimalCountyFinalDisputed.htm

Also, totally separate drafts have been developed by CCIPRA using citizen input, aiming at short, simple, and comprehensible language.  Here's a link to the main draft:
    http://littlebigdog.net/AnimalCitizenVersion.htm

The focus of citizen work has, however, been on the County version.

The push to rewrite the Animal Control Ordinance began after a series of embarrassments to the Planning & Zoning Department.  The push to change the Ordinance has been as embarrassing for the County as the reasons that led up to the push.  It's quite a story.


III.  EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE 2008 PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE ORDINANCE


    For years, the county Planning Department tried to enforce its "policies" about dogs, instead of regulations actually adopted by the Board Of Supervisors.
    The Department used a "number of dogs" policy to bully citizens.  Years ago, the Supervisors passed a zoning regulation defining "animal husbandry" as the care, raising, and breeding of animals. That language is clear:  it defines animal husbandry as care, raising, AND breeding, and it says nothing about the number of dogs.  It's the Department's job to enforce clear regulations that are passed by the Supervisors. But for years, a clique in the Department has attempted to enforce Department "policy" instead of BOS regulations.  Citizens who resist being victimized by the Department's scofflaw attitude have had to spend lots of time and money to fight back.
    In early 2005, James Vlahovich (then Planning Department head, now Deputy County Administrator) wanted to set a uniform limit on the number of dogs people could own throughout the county -- the same number for downtown Sierra Vista as for a 20-section ranch.  However, according to Vlahovich himself, everybody he called -- animal control officers, the health department, veterinarians, kennel owners, dog breeders, and all 3 Boards Of Adjustment -- expressed strong opposition.  "Strong opposition" is Vlahovich's own phrase.
    Instead of taking the hint, Vlahovich found a deputy county attorney who would say that a Planning Department head can unilaterally set a policy defining what's "necessary" for ANY use you make of your own residence.
    Vlahovich founded the Soviet Of Cochise on May 24, 2005, by issuing a memo setting a policy limiting the number of dogs to "7 dogs on up to 2 acres, 10 dogs on 2 acres or more" as "necessary" for you on your own property.
    Vlahovich's memo added that he would try to get his policy passed as a regulation by December 2005. He failed.  It's no wonder, because his policy was so self-evidently dumb.  On a 640 acre parcel, one owner can have 10 dogs, but if the same 640 acre parcel is split up among 300 owners with 2+ acres each, each owner could have 10 dogs -- over 3000 dogs overall.  People who have lots of land and lots of dogs are discriminated against merely because Vlahovich wants uniformity in the number of dogs.
    Time passed.  Vlahovich became Deputy County Administrator; Judy Anderson, a longtime Department employee, replaced him as Department head.  In early 2008, after a series of meetings with citizens about zoning regulations, Anderson proposed to change the definition of "animal husbandry" from "care, raising, AND breeding" to "care, raising, AND/OR breeding" where "the number of animals generally exceeds that which would be considered accessory to other principal uses."
    Anderson's proposition said "Several comments suggested that a number should be codified in the regulations and a distinction made between rural and developed areas" -- but it did NOT note that many MORE citizen comments opposed setting any number at all.  In any case, Anderson's disingenuous proposal went nowhere.
    Nonetheless, Anderson's department acted as if Department policy overrode enacted ordinances.  In early February and March, 2008, the Department went after two families who care for old and homeless dogs until they die; the families don't breed or raise dogs, they take in old unwanted dogs and give them care until they die.  Under the enacted regulation, that isn't animal husbandry.  But the Department ignored the regulation and tried to enforce its "policy," and tried to make the families buy expensive "Special Use" permits to continue to care for the dogs.
    Both families fought back and won.  They appealed to the Boards Of Adjustment.  The central argument was that caring for old homeless dogs until they die -- just caring for them, not breeding or raising them -- isn't "animal husbandry" under the regulation, and that Department policy can't override the regulation.
    You might think that, at the hearings, the Department would at least try to justify its position, and explain why it thought its policy could override the enacted ordinance, but the Department made no such argument.  The Department completely dodged the issue, and lost both the appeals.  At least one
of the Boards Of Adjustment noted specifically that no regulation had been violated.  It was after those two defeats that the County push began to change the ordinance.


IV.  THE 2008 PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE ORDINANCE

A Board Of Supervisors work session about the Animal Control Ordinance was held on August 25, 2008.  The presentation at that meeting raised many serious issues.  The push to change the Ordinance stalled for over a year, and even now, almost two years later, the issues have still not been addressed.

Shar Porier reported on the meeting in the Sierra Vista Herald the next day, August 26, 2008 (the complete article is NOTE 1 below this writeup.)

Porier's article includes comments by people such as Anne Carl, a deputy county attorney who drew up the proposal; Chief Sheriff's Deputy Rod Rothrock; Mike Ortega, County Administrator; and Richard Searle, the County Supervisor for District 3 (Searle, representing roughly the north of the county, was the only Supervisor who attended).
    EQUALITY IN THE PET WORLD:  "The new Section 6, which deals with cats, will provide an equality in the pet world, [Ann Carl] said." ... "Chief Deputy Rod Rothrock, who helped with the ordinance, explained, 'If a dog relieves himself in a neighbor's yard, a resident can call and we'll respond.  If a cat goes into a neighbor's yard and disturbs something or eats the neighbor's birds, right now there is no course of action.'"
    CAT LICENSES:  "'We are proposing that cats get licenses, too,' reasoned Carl."
    KILLING ANIMALS:  "Any dog or cat that is determined to be neglected whether at-large or in a yard or pen ... can be put down by a decision of the animal control officer with agreement from one of the county's contracted veterinarians or their technicians, said Carl." ... "But Ortega noted that such decisions are made by staff on a daily basis and the county could rely on their judgement."
    COUNTY LIABILITY FOR KILLING ANIMALS:  "Searle was concerned about the liability the county would have ... especially in the case of euthanizing someone's pet that was picked up."
    DEFINING AN OWNER:  "Under the new ordinance an anyone and everyone at a specific address who feeds a dog or a cat for six days and is of legal age and capacity will be regarded as the owner(s) who is then required to get the animal rabies shots and a license."
    CONDITIONS OF KEEPING PETS:  "Shelter and kennel conditions are specified ...  'I'm concerned we're making it too restrictive and over-zealous,' Searle said.  'There are lots of people who don't let their dogs inside and the dogs are acclimated to the outdoors.'"
    KENNEL PERMIT FOR OVER FIVE DOGS:  "a person with six or more dogs would have to go to the planning and zoning commission to get a special use permit for a kennel, whether or not animal husbandry is involved.  That has been a sticking point with many in the rural areas who have spoken out against the kennel code at planning and zoning meetings.  'It's not the number of dogs you have, it's the conditions in which they are kept.  It shouldn't matter how many you have,' said Searle.  'And if you have a bunch of dogs and live on the back-40, there are no problems.'"
    CRUELTY & NEGLECT:  "Other aspects, especially as to what number of animals it takes to deserve a kennel designation, belong in the planning and zoning commission purview.  'Just because someone has a lot of critters doesn't mean they are going to be mistreated.  A person can have a special-use permit and be abusive to animals.  We should concentrate on cruelty issues,' Searle said."

After the Porier article was published, public comments kept coming in until the editor finally closed the subject almost a month later, on September 20.  There were about 12 pages of comments.  They made one thing clear:  any action like the proposed ordinance is going to create a lot more enemies than friends.

One person who's been watching the issue like a hawk is Diana Barton.  On the same morning that Shar Porier's article came out, Barton sent Supervisor Searle an email which reacted to some of the points in the article.  The complete email is attached below as Note 2; here are some of its more emphatic parts:
    "... The county would have the right to decide if they deemed my pet neglected (who would make this decision? neighbors, someone driving down the street? an inexperienced animal control officer) to come on to my property seize my animal take it to the shelter or if the animal is ill tempered, (whose decision would this be) they would be able to legally kill my animal based on a contracted vet or just a vet techs decision."
    "... How many times a day should I feed my dog.  What if my dog is too fat is that cruel?  If my dog is old and looks bad due to old age is that a reason to confiscate my dog?  My dog may very well be ill tempered if you snatch it out of my yard and haul it in the back of a truck in a cage handled by strangers and put in a strange place with other unkown animals, will you then kill it."
    "... Cochise County is a rural environment and yes people in the country have more animals, and yes they usually are outside guard animals or farm dogs and cats, that have a job to do ...."
    "Our county folks seem to have too much time on their hands, maybe we should put them to work on posting the agenda, meeting notes on time or possibly taking some burden off the livestock inspector on real animal cruelty issue, or monitoring the fences the illegals cut down on the ranches."
    "Stop regulating us to death!  They work for the citizens, did the majority of the citizens in Cochise County tell them we needed a Title 6 regulation?  If not then why did they feel the need to do this.  If they work for us and we did not tell them we wanted this then what gives here?  Do they feel the need to have busy work, so they have job security?"
    "Go ahead and license the damn cats if the county needs money, they are going to need more if they start killing peoples pets.  How do you decided if a cat is ill tempered, most will be if they are caught in a trap."
    "... why did we waste time and money on this ordinance?  How many complaints does the county get on cats each year in the county area?  Whose lame brain decision was this to work on this ordinance?"
    "I truly hope the county has some very deep pockets on this ordinance."

Supervisor Searle -- consistently willing to listen and discuss issues even with people he disagrees with -- answered Barton's email at 8:26 the next morning, August 27.  Searle's complete answer is Note 3 below; here are some quotations from it:
    "... I had many of the same questions and concerns that you expressed in your e-mail about what constitutes proper shelter and decisions being made by officers or technicians instead of veterinarians.
    "Because the article in the Herald may have caused additional confusion about the proposed ordinance ..., the County's PIO, wrote the following correction:
        [START OF PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER STATEMENT]
        "...
        "4.    Other changes being considered:
            "*    Definition of an owner
            "*    Determining when Animal Control can go onto properties
            "*    Determining when animals can be euthanized
            "*    Definition of cruelty and neglect
        "4.    Kennel License vs. Special Use Permit [numbering this paragraph as 4, instead of 5, is in the original email]
            "In the article [reporter Porier] writes '... a person with six or more dogs would have to go to the planning and zoning commission to get a special use permit for a kennel, whether or not animal husbandry is involved.'
            ...
            ".    Jim [James Vlahovich] did not say that all dog owners with 5 or more dogs need a special use permit!  The current department policy is that in urban areas (2 acres or less), someone can have up to 7 dogs.  In rural areas (greater than 2 acres), someone can have up to 10 dogs.  Numbers in excess of that would require a Special Use permit.
        ..."
        [END OF PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER STATEMENT]
    ... there are things in the ordinance as currently written that I do not approve of and would not vote for if not changed....

Other people were watching the issue closely too.  On August 28, 2008, Helene Jackson, of CCIPRA, sent all three county supervisors an email, attached below as Note 4.  It includes:
    "... I am concerned about the following:... 'a person with six or more dogs would have to go to the planning and zoning commission to get a special use permit for a kennel, whether or not animal husbandry is involved.'
    "Someone at the county is still trying to force people with more than a certain number of dogs to buy a Special Use permit. The permit costs $300.  People get no county services in return for the $300 permit.
    "I attended two Board of Adjustment hearings in recent months, in District 1 and District 3, about this very issue.  In both cases, families had taken in unwanted or older dogs to give them a home - not to breed or sell them.  P&Z tried to make these families buy Special Use permits and pay fines, claiming they were violating an animal husbandry regulation by having 'too many dogs.'  The families appealed to the Boards of Adjustment, others spoke up for them at the hearings, and the BoAs said the people had not violated the law.  Some of us pointed out - but the Dept. would never address these points - that there is no law, only a P&Z Dept. 'policy,' and that these families were not caring for AND raising AND breeding dogs, they were simply caring for them until they found good homes or the dogs died naturally.  All the dogs had been spayed or neutered.
    "After P&Z lost at these two hearings (and had to refund the $150 that each family was charged just to have the hearings), P&Z tried to slip through a change in their recent set of zoning regulation updates.  They surreptitiously tried to change the animal husbandry definition from 'care, raising, and breeding' to 'care, raising, and/or breeding' - which would have meant that the next person who appealed to the Board of Adjustment would probably lose because (s)he was doing one of those things - caring for homeless dogs.  The Dept. made the change after the citizens group met with Dept. employees on three occasions, and after the citizens group told Judy Anderson clearly that such shelters are not 'animal husbandry' and should not be assessed fees or fines or be required to buy Special Use permits.  In its presentation to the Commission, P&Z did not point out the change from 'and' to 'and/or.'
    "However, we caught the change, and protested to the Commissioners when they heard the zoning regulations.  They didn't let P&Z change the wording.  We thought that ended the matter.
    "... Yet here again is an attempt to slip it through, this time as part of an animal control ordinance."

With all of these items being publicized at the time, nothing more happened in public until June 2009, when the BOS voted to have another work session on the subject.


V.  BEGINNING IN 2009


After the June 2009 vote for another work session, Chief Sheriff's Deputy Rothrock emailed citizen Barton and Supervisor Searle the text of the reworked Ordinance.  The complete text he sent is attached below, as Note 5.  That text has been modified several times since, most recently on February 12.

At the February 2, 2010, Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Call expressed dissatisfaction with the state of readiness of the County's draft.  Attorney Hanson assured Call that the ordinance would be ready this time, for the February 23 meeting.  However, it doesn't appear that Hanson has come through as he promised.  The County draft remains what an earlier version was called:  a "lawyer's nightmare."

Since Feb 2, Hanson has only made the following changes:
   -- remove livestock from the definition of vicious animals
   -- give more power to Animal Control Officers in the handling & disposition of vicious, or possibly rabid, animals
   -- eliminate the requirement for a dog pound to be a "county" pound

Those changes are either minor or in the wrong direction.  They don't respond many other citizen issues:
  -- in the definitions, challenges to
      -- adopting the concept of "Colony Caregiver"
      -- giving special status to the AKC
      -- the definition of Animal Control Officer
      -- the definition of "destructive animal"
      -- the definition of "kennel"
      -- the definition of "owner"
      -- including a definition of "performance event"
      -- the definition of "provoke"
      -- the definition of "vicious animal"
  -- in section 6, prohibiting dogs at large, challenges to
      -- the "leash law"
      -- giving special privileges to the AKC etc.
      -- giving great discretion to an Animal Control Officer
  -- in section 7, prohibiting cats at large, challenges to the entire concept, including special treatment of "Colony Caregivers"
  -- in section 8, prohibiting barking dogs, many challenges.  Here are excerpts from citizen comments:
      "Dogs barking is ok as they tell us when they see people near our homes, that is good....  Did they start this mess just so they could charge us more for license etc., at least that's what I think."
      "This dog barking issue is outrageous ....  With all the crime, home invasions, etc, why do they think people have dogs.  They are better than an alarm system....  I am just furious over this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
      "Where do some of these people think we all live?  This isn't 'the big city'.  Also, WHY do they think we need this ordinance?  (I can hope they're all animal lovers trying to stop cruelty, but I'm too cynical to actually believe that.  It's gotta be something more, maybe $$$$ ???)"
      "... This part needs a little more refining, because as stated here my dog barking at illegals walking down my fence line may be impound by an Animal Control Officer if he believes he will bark at illegals again when they pass my property."
      "This needs more refining -- excessive and unrestrained barking needs to be reincorporated into language.  As rural property owners, we are dog owners not only for their companionship, but also for their protective 'alarm system' when something is not right on the property."
      "Should not just say 'noise will continue,' should define a time frame on the barking."
      "We have some issues in the county with dogs that guard our property, they will bark when illegals are passing by at night, that is there job!"
      "During the work session on June 23, Supervisor Searle noted that ... Pima [County]'s was a "kinder, gentler" approach.  Here's a link to Pima County's ordinance:  http://www.awasa.org/pca_code.html ]
      "appears to give Animal Control Officers greater authority to bypass the Citation process and impound if he simply believes that a violation will continue.  Subsequent fees for impoundment, etc., until a complaint is processed are not insignificant."
      "Filing of an excessive noise complaint should be the maximum action allowed [an Animal Control Officer] in this situation -- , not to enter private property and seize an animal that is not in danger or posing a safety threat...."
  -- in section 9, about seizing vicious dogs, challenges to
      -- elimination of the requirement that a dog be vicious
      -- the burden of proof, and time frame, for hearings
  -- in section 10, about cruelty and neglect, challenges to
      -- the basic definitions
      -- county traditions different from the ordinance
      -- extensive powers of a J.P.
  -- in section 11, about impounding "at large" animals, challenges to
      -- granting great authority to euthanize animals
  -- in section 12, about seizing an animal from its owner's land, challenges to
      -- extensive power given to Animal Control Officers
      -- extensive power to euthanize
  -- in section 13, about seizing an animal from inside its owner's home, challenges to
      -- extensive power given to Animal Control Officers
      -- extensive power to euthanize
  -- in section 14, about vaccination, challenges to
      -- more attention to allowing euthanasia
  -- in section 15, about dog licenses, challenges to
      -- the entire concept of requiring a license
      -- setting license fees.  These comments include concern about a note from deputy county attorney Anne Carl, who is presently drawing fire for her role in the Pettit case (discussed elsewhere in this update).  Here are two comments, of which the second was mailed directly to all three supervisors:
      "Carl appears to be the source of the following note:  '... If it's an unspoken policy that you've adopted, that might help people like Lori better influence people to behave, i.e., "I gave you a break THIS time..."'  Carl's comment invites the response, Why is a county attorney contemplating county employees enforcing 'unspoken policies'?  And of course, if Carl isn't sure this provision is needed, then why not leave it out?"
      "we have a county attorney talking about an unspoken policy that will make people behave by giving some people a break ... and possibly some people will not get a break.  What the heck is going on in our county government!  Richard, Pat and Ann I think you as Board of Supervisors need to get control of this type of behavior!  This sounds like the voters of Cochise County are a bunch of brainless children that need to be bribed to behave and follow.  These are sworn law enforcement people our county attorney is saying it is ok to influence people by cutting them a break on fines imposed by an ordinance.  How many other unspoken policies do the voters of Cochise County not know about!  By the way what is an unspoken policy?"
      -- letting the Sheriff decide the law
  -- in section 16, about kennel permits, challenges to
      -- the entire concept of a kennel permit (especially if the dog licensing requirement is done away with)

And where Hanson's latest draft does respond, the changes are in the wrong direction.  In light of the looming scandal about Animal Control Officers, it's not just absurd, it's politically insane, for Hanson to suggest giving Animal Control Officers more power.  Hanson is picking a big fight, but a fight which the Supervisors must carry on -- if they approve Hanson's inadequate effort.

Completely outside of the merit, or lack of merit, of Hanson's work, it's a terribly bad time for the County to adopt his work, because of a new scandal about the Animal Control Officer system which Hanson's latest draft, amazingly, strengthens.

Here are the main points of the scandal, step by step:
    1, based on information from an Animal Control Officer, the County seized dogs without good cause
    2, the County was ordered to return the dogs
    3, the County told the court that all the dogs were dead
    4, a woman caring for a seized dog says it's alive
    5, which means the County misled the court
    6, a victims' lawsuit against the County, the Animal Control Officer, and others, has been filed and is likely to expand

Here's a little background:  In 2008, Cochise County, through Animal Control Officer Crystal Callahan, seized over two dozen dogs from Bob and Barbara Ratliff of Elfrida, and filed criminal charges.  The County farmed the dogs out to "foster care," but the dogs remained in the legal custody of the County.  The court ruled that the County should never have seized the dogs, and that they must be returned.  Until that order, the County had been saying that most of the dogs were doing fine.  But when ordered to return the dogs, the County told the court that all the dogs had died.  That was in January 2009.

The Ratliffs hired an attorney, Perry Hicks.  The County stuck to its guns.  Events up to December 21, 2009, are posted at
    http://littlebigdog.net/YourDogsAreDead.htm
Finally, the County wore out Hicks's patience, and on December 31, 2009, he filed a civil suit in Cochise County Superior Court.  The Complaint is posted at
    http://littlebigdog.net/AnimalControlComplaint.pdf

The Defendants are the County Sheriff's Office (because it includes the Animal Control Officers), Crystal Callahan (a County Animal Control Officer), a group called "People Assisting Kindred Spirits," Pencin Veterinary Clinic, Pantano Animal Clinic, Mary Pencin, Marjorie "Heidi" Tipling, Donna M. Cecil aka Donna M. Dunham, Karen Radcliffe, Darlene L. Burnett, Mary Hinton, Sherry Hoard, Janelle Rodenburg, and some John & Jane Does.

The case has been transferred to federal district court, where you can follow it at
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-azdce/case_no-4:2010cv00062/case_id-498185/

Since suit was filed, the truth is beginning to come out about what happened to the dogs while they were in County custody.  The truth is not what the County said.

When a Complaint is filed, every Defendant must file an Answer.  Defendant Sherry Hoard, who provided "foster care for two of the dogs, filed her answer on January 26, 2010.  Her answer says "I am still providing foster care" to one of the dogs.  See
http://littlebigdog.net/RatliffAnswersHoardPage3.jpg

Since the County had said during the case that most of the dogs were doing fine, it always appeared suspicious when the County, after losing the case, suddenly said that all the dogs had died.  And now that at least one of the Ratliffs' dogs is alive, it's reasonable to wonder if more dogs are also alive but being kept from the Ratliffs.  The County Attorney's office, and Animal Control, have some explaining to do.

The particular county attorney involved is Gregory Harding.  On January 29, 2009, Harding, after losing the criminal case, filed a "Notice" in court.  The notice was based on a letter from Donna Cecil, aka Donna Dunham, which said "It has been nine months since these dogs were turned over to [Marjorie] Heidi Tipling and during that period of time all of the dogs have expired."  The letter was not authenticated in any way, and Harding's "Notice" did not say whether he or anyone else did any investigating before telling the court that all the dogs were dead.

One thing is certain:  the County cannot possibly look good as a result of this case.  One thing is very probable:  the County will end up looking very bad.

In light of the County's conduct as to the Ratliffs' dogs, it's hard to imagine why the Ordinance shouldn't include much greater protection for citizens against an Animal Control Officer.  Possibly the job should be abolished completely; state law says the Supervisors "may," not "must," create that job.  See
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/11/01005.htm&Title=11&DocType=ARS

But the last thing the Supervisors should do at this time is expand the powers of Animal Control Officers, as Hanson proposes.


BELOW:  NOTES 1 THROUGH 5, MENTIONED ABOVE

NOTE 1, SHAR PORIER'S 8/26/08 ARTICLE
    County ordinance change could require licenses for cats
    Herald/Review BISBEE — If the rewritten county animal control ordinance gets approved by the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, cats roaming around in other people's yards or on public property can be rounded up and taken to a shelter just like their canine counterparts.
    Anne Carl, civil attorney for the county, compiled the new document that clearly defines Title 6 of the county ordinances.  She presented it to Supervisor Richard Searle and County Administrator Mike Ortega in a work session Monday morning.  Supervisors Paul Newman and Pat Call did not attend.
    The ordinance is aimed at protecting the county residents and animals from the spread of rabies as the number of cases continues to rise in the state.  The new ordinance that includes cats would be a first for the counties in Arizona, added Carl.
    The new Section 6, which deals with cats, will provide an equality in the pet world, she said.
    Chief Deputy Rod Rothrock, who helped with the ordinance, explained, "If a dog relieves himself in a neighbor's yard, a resident can call and we'll respond.  If a cat goes into a neighbor's yard and disturbs something or eats the neighbor’s birds, right now there is no course of action."
    Section 6.3 specifies that the county animal control officer "shall only pick up a cat when the officer suspects that a cat-at-large is in or is causing danger or distress; when a cat is feral; or if a county resident makes a specific complaint ..."
    Cat owners also may be required to get a county license for their felines, as well, though just what that fee would be was not discussed.
    "We are proposing that cats get licenses, too," reasoned Carl.  "The licenses enable us to find the owners."
    It could be the same fee as a dog license that is set to go up to $5 a year (for a neutered animal) or $12 for three years.  The licenses, which provide the county with $9,700 in funds at the current $3 per license per un-neutered animal, could be obtained at the same time as rabies shots.
    The idea behind the three-year license is to make it more convenient for residents.  As animals are taken in for rabies shots once every three years, the license can be purchased at the same time for the same period, pointed out Chief Deputy Rod Rothrock.
    The county animal control officer will provide harmless traps that are set up in the complaining resident's yard to catch the wayward cat or dog that has become a nuisance upon payment of a refundable deposit of $25.  The resident has to trap the critter in the shade of the resident's property and place food and water in the trap.  When the animal has been trapped, the resident must immediately call the county to come and pick it up.  Since animal control is not on duty over weekends, people who have the traps cannot set them during that time.
    Any dog or cat that is determined to be neglected whether at-large or in a yard or pen, also can be taken to an animal shelter or, if it is obviously too ill or too ill-tempered, can be put down by a decision of the animal control officer with agreement from one of the county's contracted veterinarians or their technicians, said Carl.
    Law enforcement would be able to enter a yard to untangle a dog from its chain, added Rothrock, who indicated calls are made to the sheriff's office about animal welfare.
    Searle was concerned about the liability the county would have as decisions of the animals' health and well-being would be assessed by county employees, especially in the case of euthanizing someone’s pet that was picked up.
    Animal control officer Lori Nichols-Wright told him that if an animal is picked up and has parvo, it will be euthanized since such diseased animals cannot be taken into a shelter where the disease could spread.
    She indicated the veterinarian contracted with the county to perform the euthanasia would be making the decision.
    But Ortega noted that such decisions are made by staff on a daily basis and the county could rely on their judgement.
    A new definition for just who an owner is also was added by Carl.  Under the new ordinance an anyone and everyone at a specific address who feeds a dog or a cat for six days and is of legal age and capacity will be regarded as the owner(s) who is then required to get the animal rabies shots and a license.
    Shelter and kennel conditions are specified and require pet owners to provide convenient access to natural or artificial shelter that is structurally sound and of sufficient size.  "Any shelter which does not protect the animal from temperature extremes or precipitation, or does not provide adequate ventilation or drainage is in violation ..."
    "I’m concerned we’re making it too restrictive and over-zealous," Searle said.  "There are lots of people who don't let their dogs inside and the dogs are acclimated to the outdoors."
    There was some discussion on the definition of a kennel, which the ordinance states as "an enclosed, control area inaccessible to other animals in which a person keeps, harbors or maintains five or more dogs under controlled conditions."
    Under these circumstances, a person with six or more dogs would have to go to the planning and zoning commission to get a special use permit for a kennel, whether or not animal husbandry is involved.  That has been a sticking point with many in the rural areas who have spoken out against the kennel code at planning and zoning meetings.
    "It's not the number of dogs you have, it's the conditions in which they are kept. It shouldn't matter how many you have," said Searle.  "And if you have a bunch of dogs and live on the back-40, there are no problems."
    Searle wants the ordinance to deal with animal cruelty and neglect issues that involve law enforcement.  Other aspects, especially as to what number of animals it takes to deserve a kennel designation, belong in the planning and zoning commission purview.
    "Just because someone has a lot of critters doesn't mean they are going to be mistreated.  A person can have a special-use permit and be abusive to animals.  We should concentrate on cruelty issues," Searle said.
    The ordinance will not come back to the supervisors in a work session setting.  Instead, Ortega said it could be brought before the supervisors in a regular meeting.  All ordinances and amendments to ordinances are required to include a public hearing.  No date was given as to when the animal ordinance would be brought to the board.

NOTE 2, Diana Barton's email to Searle on 8/26/08
    I just finished reading the article in the Herald on the work session on Title 6 animal ordinance.  I am appalled that the county has felt the need to go so deeply into stepping on our personal lives.  If I am reading the article correctly and please correct me if I am not.  The county would have the right to decide if they deemed my pet neglected (who would make this decision? neighbors, someone driving down the street? an inexperienced animal control officer) to come on to my property seize my animal take it to the shelter or if the animal is ill tempered, (whose decision would this be) they would be able to legally kill my animal based on a contracted vet or just a vet techs decision.
    Then they have added the specific shelter conditions that are required, natural or artificial shelter that is structurally sound (do we need a building permit or engineered design?) that protects the animal from temperature extremes.
     I deal frequently with issue on horse cruelty and will get a call saying a horse is not being feed properly, I will go out to look and I will see a working horse, yes you can see its ribs, no it is not underfeed, this horse is used on a ranch, roping cutting doing a job, staying fit.  So whose perception do you use?
    A few years back I had someone leave a note on my mailbox telling me I was cruel to my horses, did not provide them with shade on a hot day and had them locked in a small corral.  Well the real story was they were all laying in my roping arena on the hot sand sunning themselves, not locked in, with 10 ac of trees, 3 barns and 2 covered areas to choose from, but they chose to lay in the sun.  Silly horses got me in trouble!
    I am afraid we will start regulating chickens, pigs and other livestock.  Do we define how large a coop should be, how many chickens can set on a nest at one time.  Is it cruel to let a cat eat mice is this an approved food?  How many times a day should I feed my dog.  What if my dog is too fat is that cruel?  If my dog is old and looks bad due to old age is that a reason to confiscate my dog?  My dog may very well be ill tempered if you snatch it out of my yard and haul it in the back of a truck in a cage handled by strangers and put in a strange place with other unkown animals, will you then kill it.
    Mr Ortega and his group need to be replaced, you can tell him I said so.  They do not seem to realize that Cochise County is a rural environment and yes people in the country have more animals, and yes they usually are outside guard animals or farm dogs and cats, that have a job to do, and no they usually are not in the house, as they have probably rolled in horse or cow poop or caught a rabbit or bird or even been to the barn and eaten some horse poop.
    Our county folks seem to have too much time on their hands, maybe we should put them to work on posting the agenda, meeting notes on time or possibly taking some burden off the livestock inspector on real animal cruelty issue, or monitoring the fences the illegals cut down on the ranches.
    Stop regulating us to death!  They work for the citizens, did the majority of the citizens in Cochise County tell them we needed a Title 6 regulation?  If not then why did they feel the need to do this.  If they work for us and we did not tell them we wanted this then what gives here?  Do they feel the need to have busy work, so they have job security?
    Go ahead and license the damn cats if the county needs money, they are going to need more if they start killing peoples pets.  How do you decided if a cat is ill tempered, most will be if they are caught in a trap.
    Now for the serious stuff, why did we waste time and money on this ordinance?  How many complaints does the county get on cats each year in the county area? Whose lame brain decision was this to work on this ordinance?  Was this the reason the county was late on posting the work session?  Why did Call and Newman not attend, did they not get notified in a timely manner or did they choose to stay out of the line of fire?
    I truly hope the county has some very deep pockets on this ordinance.
    The article says this will be presented to the board, do all work sessions get presented?  Who makes the decision on what is presented to the board?  I really hope if this is presented to the board that the public is given more than their just barely adequate 24 hour notice.
    This would have been a work session I would have taken time off work to attend, but because of late notice I was not afforded the opportunity to arrange my schedule or to even notify anyone on the email list in a timely fashion.
    Things like this make me want to pack my bags and move out of Dodge!
    Thanks for letting me vent,

NOTE 3, Supervisor Searle's answer to Barton's email
    First of all, you need to know that the update of this ordinance was being brought forward by the Sheriff's Office, not the Board or P&Z.  Second, you need to know that I had many of the same questions and concerns that you expressed in your e-mail about what constitutes proper shelter and decisions being made by officers or technicians instead of veterinarians.  Because the article in the Herald may have caused additional confusion about the proposed ordinance, Karla Jensen, the County's PIO, wrote the following correction:
        NOTES AND CORRECTIONS FROM THE ARTICLE ABOUT CAT LICENSING 08/26/08
        The article "Ordinance change could require licenses for cats" appearing in the 8/28/08 Herald makes it sound like the focus of the CCSO Animal Ordinance proposed changes were primarily about cat licensing.  Not True!
        1.    First, this is not a new ordinance but amendments to the existing animal ordinance.
        2.    The primary issue was a proposal to enable citizens to purchase a new 3-year dog license instead of just a one year.
            *    This is more in line with the rabies vaccination which is good for three years.
            *    Dog owners will have the choice to purchase a one year, 2 year or 3 year license.
            *    Changes in license fees (incorrectly stated in article):
               Current fees - $5 if dog is neutered; $10 if not.
            Change - $12 for 3-year license for neutered dog (unsure of change for un-neutered; probably around $25)
        3.    Cat License: a proposal has been put in the ordinance amendments to consider.
            *    This is NOT a major consideration but rather something that the County Attorney's office has attempted to flesh out from the existing "de facto policy" to consider for addressing the growing rabies problem statewide.
            *    There is currently a de facto cat policy:  if someone is negatively impacted by a neighbor's pet (destruction of property, disturbance to other pets for instance), they can call CCSO and request a trap.
            *    Supervisor Searle asked if other counties are licensing cats and made it very clear that he does not support licensing cats at this time.
        4.    Other changes being considered:
            *    Definition of an owner
            *    Determining when Animal Control can go onto properties
            *    Determining when animals can be euthanized
            *    Definition of cruelty and neglect
        4.    Kennel License vs. Special Use Permit
            In the article she writes "... a person with six or more dogs would have to go to the planning and zoning commission to get a special use permit for a kennel, whether or not animal husbandry is involved."
            .    Reality:    What Jim V. said was he wanted the PNZ department to review the subsection on kennel permits and licensing to see if their definitions and the special use permit definitions are in line.
            .    Jim did not say that all dog owners with 5 or more dogs need a special use permit!  The current department policy is that in urban areas (2 acres or less), someone can have up to 7 dogs.  In rural areas (greater than 2 acres), someone can have up to 10 dogs.  Numbers in excess of that would require a Special Use permit.
            .    Note: Animal Husbandry definition:  "facilities, including kennels, related to the care, raising, and breeding of animals."
            .    PNZ does not have a policy, or absolute number, for cats as accessory to a residential use or requiring a special use permit for animal husbandry.  The Zoning Administrator would look at the number of cats on a case-by-case basis.  Typically, a "business" of breeding and selling cats would require the SUP [that is, a Special Use Permit] and a rescue operation with adoption services would require the SUP.
        [END OF KARLA JENSON STATEMENT; BACK TO SEARLE:]
    I'm not sure what the exact next steps will be if the Sheriff's Office wants to move this forward.  Due to both Newman and Call being absent, it is possible that we may have another work session on this issue before bringing it to the Board for possible approval.  I can tell you that there are things in the ordinance as currently written that I do not approve of and would not vote for if not changed.  As for notification of future meetings, I can assure you it is not the intent of the Board to give short notice to any meetings.  As I may have told you earlier, there are exceptions to any rule, but the intent is to give citizens as much notice of meetings as possible.

NOTE 4, Helene Jackson's email to all three supervisors on 8/28/08
    I have read some emails going around about the proposed animal control ordinance.  I appreciate Mr. Searle's responses as reported in the Herald.  I am concerned about the following:  "Under these circumstances, a person with six or more dogs would have to go to the planning and zoning commission to get a special use permit for a kennel, whether or not animal husbandry is involved.  That has been a sticking point with many in the rural areas who have spoken out against the kennel code at planning and zoning meetings."
    Someone at the county is still trying to force people with more than a certain number of dogs to buy a Special Use permit. The permit costs $300.  People get no county services in return for the $300 permit.
    I attended two Board of Adjustment hearings in recent months, in District 1 and District 3, about this very issue.  In both cases, families had taken in unwanted or older dogs to give them a home - not to breed or sell them.  P&Z tried to make these families buy Special Use permits and pay fines, claiming they were violating an animal husbandry regulation by having "too many dogs."  The families appealed to the Boards of Adjustment, others spoke up for them at the hearings, and the BoAs said the people had not violated the law.  Some of us pointed out - but the Dept. would never address these points - that there is no law, only a P&Z Dept. "policy," and that these families were not caring for AND raising AND breeding dogs, they were simply caring for them until they found good homes or the dogs died naturally.  All the dogs had been spayed or neutered.
    After P&Z lost at these two hearings (and had to refund the $150 that each family was charged just to have the hearings), P&Z tried to slip through a change in their recent set of zoning regulation updates.  They surreptitiously tried to change the animal husbandry definition from "care, raising, and breeding" to "care, raising, and/or breeding" - which would have meant that the next person who appealed to the Board of Adjustment would probably lose because (s)he was doing one of those things - caring for homeless dogs.  The Dept. made the change after the citizens group met with Dept. employees on three occasions, and after the citizens group told Judy Anderson clearly that such shelters are not "animal husbandry" and should not be assessed fees or fines or be required to buy Special Use permits.  In its presentation to the Commission, P&Z did not point out the change from "and" to "and/or."
    However, we caught the change, and protested to the Commissioners when they heard the zoning regulations.  They didn't let P&Z change the wording.  We thought that ended the matter.
    The P&Z Dept. tried for years to get a law passed to limit the number of dogs people can have, and failed miserably, so made up some internal "policy" - the one mentioned as 7 dogs on less than 2 acres, 10 dogs on 2 or more acres.  Judy Anderson tried to get the citizens group to include this policy as part of the zoning regulation update, and the citizens group said no.  Since it is a policy and not a law, so far the BoAs have supported the people who appeal.  Yet here again is an attempt to slip it through, this time as part of an animal control ordinance.
    Will this fixation over the number of dogs ever end?  And is it any wonder that people don't trust county government?

NOTE 5, COMPLETE JUNE 2009 DRAFT ORDINANCE FROM DEPUTY ROTHROCK

    SECTION 1: SHORT TITLE
    SECTION 2: PURPOSE
    SECTION 3: APPLICATION
    SECTION 4: DEFINITIONS
    SECTION 5: DOGS AT LARGE PROHIBITED; EXCEPTIONS; PENALTIES
    SECTION 6: CATS AT LARGE PROHIBITED; PENALTIES
    SECTION 7: BARKING OR HOWLING DOGS; PENALTIES
    SECTION 8: HARBORING OF VICIOUS OR DESTRUCTIVE ANIMALS; PENALTIES; PROCEDURE; DEFENSES
    SECTION 9: CRUELTY TO AND NEGLECT OF ANIMALS
    SECTION 10: AUTHORITY TO IMPOUND "AT LARGE" ANIMAL
    SECTION 11: AUTHORITY TO REMOVE AN ANIMAL FROM A HOME'S CURTILAGE AND IMPOUND ANIMAL
    SECTION 12: AUTHORITY TO REMOVE AN ANIMAL FROM A DWELLING AND IMPOUND; PROCEDURE FOR EX PARTE ORDER TO SEIZE AND IMPOUND
    SECTION 13: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING ON PROTECTIVE RETENTION OF ANIMALS
    SECTION 14: COSTS OF IMPOUNDMENT
    SECTION 15: RELEASE FROM IMPOUNDMENT CONDITIONS
    SECTION 16: RABIES MANAGEMENT; VACCINATION REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS
    SECTION 17: LICENSE REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS
    SECTION 18: KENNEL PERMIT REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS
    SECTION 19: ANIMAL CONTROL ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY AND ALLOCATION OF PROCEEDS FROM FINES
    SECTION 20: POLICY EXEMPTION: WILDLIFE SPECIALIST

SECTION 1: SHORT TITLE

1.1 The provisions of this ordinance may be cited as the Cochise County Animal Control Ordinance (CCACO).

SECTION 2: PURPOSE

2.1 This ordinance is hereby approved and adopted for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, convenience, and general welfare of the citizens of Cochise County by regulating dogs, cats and other domesticated animals in unincorporated areas of the county.

SECTION 3: APPLICATION

3.1 This ordinance shall not apply to any incorporated city or town, unless by explicit agreement, but shall apply only within the unincorporated areas of Cochise County.

SECTION 4: DEFINITIONS
    "Abandonment" means either leaving an animal unattended for more than 24 hours, or releasing the animal upon public highways or public or private lands, or failing to provide proper or adequate food, water, exercise, shelter or medical care.
    "Animal" means any animal of a species that is susceptible to rabies, except man.
    "Animal Control Officer" means any person employed by the Sheriff of Cochise County for the purpose of enforcing this Ordinance or state statutes pertaining to animals, and all persons and deputies employed by the county to act in the same or similar manner. Also known as "County Enforcement Agent."
    "Animal Shelter" means a facility designated or recognized by the County for the purpose of impounding and/or caring for animals, including a contract service provider.
    "At large" means off the premises of the owner and not under the
control of the owner, or other person acting for the owner, whether by leash, chain, cord, rope or other physical device.
    "Bite" means any penetration of the skin by the teeth of any animal.
    "Cat" means any member of the species Felis Catus.
    "County" means the County of Cochise of the State of Arizona.
    "County Enforcement Agent" means the Sheriff of Cochise County or any other person whom the Board of Supervisors may designate as County Enforcement Agent and any deputies designated by the County Enforcement Agent. Deputies specifically handling animal control issues, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, are also known as "Animal Control Officers."
    "Destructive Animal" means any animal that has a propensity to destroy or damage, or causes damage to the property of a person other than the animal's owner.
    "Dog" means any animal originating from the family Canidae, and includes crossbreeds and descendents of any crossbreeds of wolves and coyotes.
    "Domesticated Companion Animal" means an animal that has traditionally, through a long association with humans, lived in a state of dependence upon humans or has been traditionally kept as a household pet, including but not limited to dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, mice, rabbits, parakeets, parrots, cockatiels, cockatoos, canaries, love birds, finches and tropical fish. The term excludes any exotic or wild animal.
    "Exotic Animal" means any animal other than a human being or animal classified as a "Domesticated Companion Animal."
    "Hunting dog" means a dog that is allowed to range freely within the sight or sound of its owner while in the course of pursuing legal game.
    "Kennel" means an enclosed, controlled area, inaccessible to other animals, in which a person keeps, harbors or maintains five or more dogs under controlled conditions.
    "Livestock" means horses, stallions, colts, geldings, mares, sheep, rams, lambs, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers, cows, calves, mules, jacks, jennets, burros, goats, kids, swine, and any other fur-bearing animals being raised in captivity, including those other animals recognized by the Department of Agriculture as being within the jurisdiction of its Department.
    "Neglect" means failure to comply with the minimum requirements for animal care set forth in Section 9 of this Ordinance.
    "Owner" means any person owning, keeping, possessing, harboring, or maintaining (e.g., feeding over the course of six or more days) an animal within Cochise County, including any authorized agent of that person. "Owner" shall include every person who resides at the same address and permits an animal to remain on the premises in which that person resides, if that person is of legal age and capacity.
    "Person" means any individual, corporation, society, co-partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association, or any other legal or business entity.
    "Pet" means any "Domesticated Companion Animal" owned or maintained, etc. by any person.
    "Provoke" means to perform any act or omission that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude is likely to precipitate the bite or attack by an animal.
    "Rabies Suspect Animal" means any animal that has bitten, scratched, or broken the skin of a human being; been in contact with or been bitten, scratched or has had its skin broken by any rabid animal; been found within or moving through a declared and active rabies quarantine area; or any animal that shows symptoms suggestive of rabies.
    "Rabies Quarantine Area" means any area declared to require rabies monitoring and control by the county board of supervisors upon a recommendation by the county board of health or local health department.
    "Vicious Animal" means any animal that is declared vicious pursuant to this ordinance, or any animal that bites, attempts to bite, attacks, endangers or otherwise injures or causes to be injured a person or other animal, but does not include the following:
        a. An animal that bites or attacks a person or animal that is trespassing on the property of the animal's owner;
        b. An animal that bites or attacks a person or animal that provokes, torments, tortures or treats the animal cruelly;
        c. A police dog under the control of its owner; or
        d. An animal that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person if that person is engaged in lawful activity and is the subject of an assault or battery.

SECTION 5: DOGS AT LARGE PROHIBITED; EXCEPTIONS; PENALTIES

[5.1] A dog owner shall at all times keep such animal on his or her own premises, unless such animal is restrained by a pet carrier, leash, chain, rope, or cord of not more than six feet in length and of sufficient strength to control the action of said dog. This Section is not intended to prohibit the keeping of dogs within enclosed areas that are within the owner's jurisdiction when such enclosure will control the conduct of said dog. For example, a dog shall be deemed to be on the owner's premises when the animal is within the owner's car or other vehicle.

[5.2] The owner shall at all times keep such dog from being at large upon or about the streets, sidewalks, alleys, or public property.

[5.3] The owner shall at all times keep such dog from being at large upon or about the private premises of any person who has not granted permission therefore.

[5.4] Dogs may be at large while participating in field trials, shows, obedience classes; or while assisting their owner in legal hunting or in herding livestock; or while assisting a peace officer engaged in law enforcement duties. Guide dogs under direct and effective voice control of disabled individuals who insure that they do not violate any other provision of law are also exempted.

5.5 An Animal Control Officer who believes that any animal within the county limits is at large, may impound the animal as provided in Section 10.

5.6 A person found to have violated this Section shall be guilty of a petty offense.

[5].7 Injury to any person or damage to any property by an animal at large shall be the full responsibility of the animal owner or persons responsible for the animal when such damages were inflicted.

SECTION 6 CATS AT LARGE PROHIBITED; PENALTIES

[6].1 A cat owner shall at all times keep such animal from being  at large upon or about the private premises of any person who has not granted permission therefore.

[6].2 A cat owner shall at all times keep such animal from being at large upon public property.

[6].3 An Animal Control Officer shall only pick up a cat when the Animal Control Officer suspects that a cat-at-large is in or is causing danger or distress; when the Animal Control Officer suspects that the cat-at-large is feral; or when a County resident makes a specific complaint about a cat-at-large; and as time permits.

[6].4 When a cat owner can be identified, the owner will be counseled and/or cited for failing to control his or her pet. Animal Control Officers cannot remove a cat from the property of its owner without the owner's permission unless the health and safety of the animal or others are at risk.

[6].5 When a specific complaint has been made against a cat and the cat has not yet for the purposes of this complaint been captured, the complaining County resident may, by personal check, pay a $25 refundable deposit to the County for a humane capture trap. Complainant must place the trap in the shade on his or her own premises, place food and water in the trap and immediately telephone the Animal Control Officer once a cat has been captured. Animal Control Officers may not be available on holidays and weekends, so residents shall close the doors of empty traps on those days and as directed by the Animal Control Officer.

6.6 An Animal Control Officer who believes that any animal within the county limits is at large, may impound the animal as provided in Section 10.

[6.7] A person found to have violated this Section shall be guilty of a petty offense.

[6.8] Injury to any person or damage to any property by an animal at large shall be the full responsibility of the animal owner or persons responsible for the animal when such damages were inflicted.

SECTION 7: BARKING OR HOWLING DOGS; PENALTIES

7.1 It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having charge, care, custody or control of any dog to permit said dog to bark, howl or otherwise make noises so as to disturb the peace and quiet of any person or persons at any hour of the day or night.

7.2 An Animal Control Officer who believes that any animal within the county limits is barking or howling or otherwise making disturbing noises, and that the noise will continue, may impound the animal as provided in Section 11 or Section 12.

7.3 A person found to have violated this Section shall be guilty of a petty offense.

SECTION 8: HARBORING OF VICIOUS OR DESTRUCTIVE ANIMALS; PENALTIES; PROCEDURE; DEFENSES

8.1 It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, control, harbor or otherwise have under his or her control any animal which is vicious or destructive. This section shall not apply to zoos, wild animal parks or animal shelters, or to contrary orders of a Justice of the Peace issued pursuant to this article.

8.2 The owner of any animal that bites, attempts to bite, endangers or otherwise injures or causes injury to human beings or other animals is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor, except as provided in Subsection 8.4 of this ordinance.

8.3 The owner of any animal that destroys, damages or causes damage to the property of a person other than its owner is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor, except as provided in Subsection 8.4 of this ordinance.

8.4 It shall be an affirmative defense to the provisions of this section:
    A. Upon proof by the owner of an animal that injuries caused by that animal were the result of provocation by the person sustaining such injury; or
    B. If the animal is a police dog under the control of its trainer.

8.5 An Animal Control Officer who believes that any animal within the county limits is an immediate danger to the safety of any person or other animal, or that an animal may continue to damage or destroy the property belonging to a person other than its owner, may impound the animal as provided in Section 10, 11 or 12 of this ordinance.

8.6 Beyond other criminal proceedings that may already be in effect under this Section, the Cochise County Attorney's Office may petition the Cochise County Justice Court to declare an animal vicious or destructive. The Justice Court, for good cause shown in the petition, shall order that a hearing be held, which may or may not coincide with other criminal proceedings involving the animal under this section. At the hearing, the owner shall appear and show cause why the animal should not be declared vicious or destructive with sanctions ordered pursuant to this section.

8.7 Upon the declaration of an animal as vicious or destructive, a Justice of the Peace shall order one or more of the following:
    A. That the animal shall be kept in an enclosure that is secure, high and tight enough so that the animal cannot escape; that the enclosure and property whereon it is located shall be posted with conspicuous warning signs; and that at no time shall the animal leave the enclosure unless it is muzzled, leashed and under the control of a responsible adult human being; or
    B. That the animal be banished from the county limits of Cochise County; or
    C. That the animal be humanely destroyed; or
    D. That all or part of any fine imposed upon an owner be allocated as restitution to any person who suffered economic loss due to a violation of this section.

8.8 It is unlawful for any person to fail to comply with an order of a Justice of the Peace regarding a vicious or destructive animal. It is a separate offense for each day that such person fails to comply with the Justice of the Peace's order.

8.9 Any person violating any provision of this Section shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

SECTION 9: CRUELTY TO AND NEGLECT OF ANIMALS

9.1 A person is guilty of cruelty to animals if, except as otherwise authorized by law, such person recklessly:
    A. subjects any animals or poultry under human custody or control to cruel mistreatment; or
    B. subjects any animal or poultry under his or her custody or control to cruel neglect or abandonment; or
    C. kills any animal or poultry under the custody or control of another without either legal privilege or consent of the owner.

9.2 Any person owning or having care, control, or custody of any animal shall insure:
    A. That the animal receives daily food that is free from contamination and is of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain the animal in good health; and
    B. That potable water is accessible to the animal at all times, either free-flowing or in a clean receptacle; and
    C. That, except for livestock, all animals have convenient access to natural or artificial shelter throughout the year. Any such artificial shelter shall be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the animal from injury and from the elements, and of sufficient size to permit the animal to enter, stand, turn around and lie down in a natural manner. Any shelter which does not protect the animal from temperature extremes or precipitation, or which does not provide adequate ventilation or drainage, is in violation of this ordinance.  Any shelter, all bedding and any spaces accessible to the animal shall be maintained in a manner which minimizes the risk of the animal contracting disease, being injured, or becoming infested with parasites; and
    D. That the animal receives care and medical treatment for debilitating injuries, parasites and diseases, sufficient to maintain the animal in good health and minimize suffering; and
    E. That the animal is given adequate exercise space either:
        i. Within an enclosure that shall be constructed of material, and in a manner to minimize the risk of injury to the animal, and shall encompass sufficient usable space to keep the animal in good condition; or
        ii. On a tieout, consisting of a chain, leash, wire cable or similar restraint attached to a swivel or pulley. A tieout shall be so located as to keep the animal exclusively on the secured premises. Tieouts shall be so located that they cannot become entangled with other objects.  Collars used to attach an animal to a tieout shall not be of a choke type.  No tieout shall employ a restraint which is less than ten (10) feet in length; and
    F. That the animal has access to adequate ventilation and is protected from temperature extremes at all times. It is unlawful for any person to keep any animal in a vehicle or other enclosed space in which the temperature is either so high or so low, or the ventilation is so inadequate, as to endanger the animal's life or health. An Animal Control Officer is authorized to use whatever force is reasonable and necessary to remove any animal from vehicle or other enclosed space whenever it appears that the animal's life or health is endangered by extreme temperatures or lack of ventilation within the vehicle or other enclosed space. No Animal Control Officer shall be liable for damages to property caused by the use of reasonable force to remove an animal from such a vehicle or other enclosed space under such circumstances.

9.3 An Animal Control Officer who believes that any animal within the county limits has been or is being subject to cruelty or neglect, may impound the animal as provided in Section 10, Section 11 or Section 12 of this ordinance.

9.4 Any person violating the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

9.5 Upon a finding that an animal has been the victim of cruelty or neglect, the Justice of the Peace may order one or both of the following:
    A. That the animal be forfeited to the Cochise County Animal Control Division.
    B. That the owner not be permitted to own or control an animal within the unincorporated areas of Cochise County for a period not to exceed three years.

SECTION 10: AUTHORITY TO CAPTURE AND IMPOUND "AT LARGE" ANIMAL

10.1 An Animal Control Officer is authorized to capture and impound any animal found to be "at large" in accordance with Sections 5 and 6.

10.2 Captured "at large" animals will be checked for tags and scanned for microchip identification. In every case where a captured animal can be identified and the owner's whereabouts are known, an attempt will be made to contact the owner at the time of capture.

10.3 Captured "at large" animals who exhibit any of the following
symptoms may immediately be humanely euthanized:
    Having any untended sickness or injury causing protracted suffering;
    Having obvious infection, where the infection is so well-seated that the animal's survival is doubtful;
    Having obvious and highly communicable disease;
    Exhibiting behavior that is obviously feral, where in the judgment of the technician, no reasonable period of holding would permit it to be adopted and socialized;
    Being newborn, not weaned from its mother's milk, and being unable to consume dry food.

10.4 Unless an "at large" animal exhibits any of the symptoms set forth in Subsection 10.3 or is otherwise suffering or risks spreading disease, it must be maintained a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours unless claimed by owner.

10.5 The owner of any animal impounded under the provisions of this section shall be liable for any impoundment, boarding or veterinary fees incurred in connection therewith.

SECTION 11: AUTHORITY TO REMOVE AN ANIMAL FROM A HOME'S CURTILAGE AND IMPOUND ANIMAL

11.1 An Animal Control Officer is authorized to seize and remove an animal from a home's curtilage (i.e., the yard or other area around a dwelling), and impound that animal in any of the following circumstances:
    A. If an Animal Control Officer has an order to seize the animal;
    B. If an Animal Control Officer has consent from the property owner or custodian;
    C. If the animal is in plain view, and the Animal Control Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that very prompt action is required to protect the health or safety of the animal or the health or safety of any other animal or person;
    D. If the animal is in plain view, and the Animal Control Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the animal's well-being is threatened by any dangerous condition or circumstance, including but not limited to mistreatment, tieout, exposure to the elements, extremes of temperature, lack of adequate ventilation or drainage, lack of sanitation, deprivation of proper food or potable water, restraint, restriction of movement, confinement, lack of sufficient exercise space, constrictive gear, injury, illness, physical impairment or parasites;
    E. If the animal is in plain view and has been declared vicious or destructive, but its owner is apparently non-compliant with the court's order regarding that declaration; or
    F. If the animal that is in plain view has strayed from the property and returned to the property, the animal's owner is not at home and/or is not forbidding the removal, and there is not a sufficient enclosure around the curtilage to prevent the animal from escaping again.

11.2 Removed and impounded animals who exhibit any of the following symptoms, may immediately be humanely euthanized:
    Having any untended sickness or injury causing protracted suffering;
    Having obvious infection, where the infection is so well-seated that the animal's survival is doubtful;
    Having obvious and highly communicable disease;
    Exhibiting behavior that is obviously feral, where in the judgment of the technician, no reasonable period of holding would permit it to be adopted and socialized;
    Being newborn, not weaned from its mother's milk, and being unable to consume dry food.

11.3 Unless an animal that was removed and impounded exhibits any of the symptoms set forth in Subsection 11.2 or is otherwise suffering or risks spreading disease, it must be maintained a minimum of five (5) days, unless the owner has properly requested a hearing to be conducted within seven (7) days of the date of impoundment.

11.4 If the animal owner's whereabouts can be ascertained and the owner can be reasonably contacted, he or she shall be given notice of his or her right to file a petition for order to show cause as provided in Section 13.

11.5 If the owner's whereabouts cannot be ascertained or the owner cannot be reasonably contacted, notice shall left at the dwelling or sent, by certified mail, to his or her last known address, if any. A hearing, pursuant to Section 13, shall be conducted no less than seven (7) days from the date of impoundment.

11.6 The owner of any animal removed and impounded under the provisions of this section shall be liable for any impoundment, boarding or veterinary fees incurred in connection therewith.

SECTION 12: AUTHORITY TO REMOVE AN ANIMAL FROM A DWELLING AND IMPOUND; PROCEDURE FOR EX PARTE ORDER TO SEIZE AND IMPOUND

12.1 An Animal Control Officer may pursue an order to seize and remove an animal from within a dwelling and impound that animal in any of the following circumstances:
    A. If an Animal Control Officer has issued a citation for any violation of this ordinance or of the Cochise County Code or of Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to animals, and reasonably believes that the violation will continue;
    B. If - due to an owner's unavailability or uncooperativeness - an Animal Control Officer has been unable to issue a citation, but reasonably believes that a violation of this ordinance or of the Cochise County Code or of Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to animals will continue;
    C. If an Animal Control Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that removal and impoundment is required to protect the health or safety of the animal or the health or safety of any other animal or person;
    D. If the Animal Control Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the animal is in distress caused by mistreatment, tieout, exposure to the elements, extremes of temperature, lack of adequate ventilation or drainage, lack of sanitation, deprivation of proper food or potable water, restraint, restriction of movement, confinement, lack of sufficient exercise space, constrictive gear, injury, illness, physical impairment or parasites; or
    E. If the animal's well-being is threatened by any dangerous condition or circumstance.

1[2].2 In an affidavit filed in Cochise County Justice Court, an
Animal Control Officer must allege that she or he has probable cause to believe that an animal is or has been subject to any of the following:
    o cruel mistreatment or neglect;
    o inadequate potable water, food, or medical treatment;
    o inadequate protection from temperature extremes;
    o inadequate ventilation or drainage, etc.;
Or that the animal
    o has been or should be declared vicious or destructive; or
    o has been in violation of any provision of this ordinance;

[12.3] In addition to stating the grounds for issuance of an order, an Animal Control Officer's sworn affidavit must provide the animal's location.

[12.4] Upon making a determination of probable cause, a judge may order that the Animal Control Officer enter the animal's premises and seize, transport, impound and board the animal at the owner's expense.

[12.5] Within five (5) days of the issuance of the order, the Animal Control Officer shall execute the order, while furnishing a copy of the order together with a receipt for the animal so seized, to the person from whom it was taken or in whose possession it was found; or in the absence of such person, in the place in which the animal was found.

[12.6] The receipt for a seized animal shall also contain notice of an owner's right to, within five (5) days of the seizure, file a Petition in Justice Court for an Order to Show Cause why the animal should not be returned pending the outcome of the complaint.

[12.7] If no Petition for an Order to Show Cause is filed within five (5) days or if the owner does file a Petition but fails to appear at the Order to Show Cause hearing, the Justice of the Peace shall order the animal forfeited to the Cochise County Animal Control Division.

[12.8] Removed and impounded animals who exhibit any of the following symptoms, may immediately be humanely euthanized:
    Having any untended sickness or injury causing protracted suffering;
    Having obvious infection, where the infection is so well-seated that the animal's survival is doubtful;
    Having obvious and highly communicable disease;
    Exhibiting behavior that is obviously feral, where in the judgment of the technician, no reasonable period of holding would permit it to be adopted and socialized;
    Being newborn, not weaned from its mother's milk, and being unable to consume dry food.

12.9 Unless an animal that was removed and impounded exhibits any of the symptoms set forth in Subsection 12.8 or is otherwise suffering or risks spreading disease, it must be maintained a minimum of five (5) days.

12.10 The owner of any animal removed and impounded under the provisions of this section shall be liable for any impoundment, boarding or veterinary fees incurred in connection therewith.

12.11 Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the attorney for the state, after seizure of an animal by a peace officer, from taking possession of and keeping the animal when the attorney deems the animal to be of evidentiary value in any criminal prosecution relating to the condition of the animal. If the attorney for the state intends to take possession of and retain an animal as evidence in any criminal prosecution, the attorney shall promptly provide written notice to the peace officer.

SECTION 13: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING ON PROTECTIVE RETENTION OF ANIMALS

13.1 Within five (5) days of service of a complaint, the owner of an animal impounded pursuant to Section 11 or Section 12 of this ordinance, may file a petition in the Justice Court for an order to show cause why the animal should not be returned to the owner pending the outcome of the complaint.

13.2 At the hearing on the order to show cause, the Justice of the Peace, upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that there are reasonable grounds to believe:
    a. that the neglect or cruelty to the animal will continue; or
    b. that the owner willfully or through gross negligence caused or allowed to be caused pain, suffering or serious injury to the animal; or
    c. that the animal is vicious or destructive; or
    d. that the animal was and will continue to be at large; or
    e. was and will continue to be barking or howling or otherwise making noise unreasonably;
Shall order the animal retained by the Cochise County Animal Control Division pending the outcome of the complaint.

13.3 If the owner fails to appear at the order to show cause hearing, or if no petition for an order to show cause is filed within five (5) days of service of the complaint, the Justice of the Peace shall order the animal forfeited to the Cochise County Animal Control Division.

SECTION 14: COSTS OF IMPOUNDMENT

1[4].1 The owner of an animal impounded pursuant to this ordinance shall be liable for all costs of transportation, board and all other costs arising from impoundment or of bringing the animal into compliance with all requirements established by statute or ordinance including, but not limited to, the requirements set forth in Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to animals.

SECTION 15: RELEASE FROM IMPOUNDMENT CONDITIONS

1[5].1 The owner of any impounded animal which is legally authorized for release to the owner pursuant to order of the Court or pursuant to applicable statutes or ordinances may reclaim said animal upon payment of all charges, costs and fees as set forth herein and upon compliance with such other requirements as may be imposed by law.

1[5].2 In addition to such other amounts as may be determined by the court, an owner shall pay the amounts for release of an animal from impoundment as provided in Appendix A. Required fees are to be paid to the Animal Control Officer or a designated representative.

1[5].3 By resolution, the Board of Supervisors may provide for the owner or keeper of an unaltered dog or cat impounded for the first time to convert the impoundment fee in excess of the cost of impoundment to offset the cost of spaying or neutering provided that proof of spaying or neutering is provided to the Animal Control Officer within 30 days of release from impoundment. By resolution, the Board of Supervisors may provide for the owner of an unaltered dog or cat impounded for second and subsequent times to pay a neuter or spay deposit in addition to impoundment fees, said deposit to be refunded provided that proof of spaying or neutering is provided to the Cochise County Animal Control Officer within 30 days of release from impoundment.

SECTION 16: RABIES MANAGEMENT; VACCINATION REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS

1[6].1 Initial Vaccination: The owner of every dog or cat, three (3) months of age or older shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies.  Unvaccinated dogs or cats more than three (3) months of age that are acquired or moved into Cochise County must be vaccinated within thirty (30) days of acquisition or arrival, unless there is documented evidence of current vaccination.

16].2 Revaccination: The owner of every dog or cat shall have the animal revaccinated twelve (12) months after the initial vaccination.  Thereafter, the interval between revaccinations shall conform to the manufacturer's written instructions (every twelve (12) months for annual vaccines and every thirty-six (36) months for triennial vaccines).

1[6].3 Duties of Veterinarian: It shall be the duty of each veterinarian, when vaccinating any dog or cat, to complete a certificate of rabies vaccination (or generate a computer print out) for each dog or cat that is vaccinated. The certificate shall include the following information:
    Owner's name, address, and telephone number;
    Description of the dog or cat (species, breed, sex, markings, age, and name);
    Date of vaccination;
    Date of vaccination expiration;
    Rabies vaccination tag number;
    Vaccine producer and product name;
    Manufacturer's serial or lot number of vaccine;
    Veterinarian's signature;
    Veterinarian's address and license number.
The original certificate of rabies vaccination shall be provided to the owner. The veterinarian who administers the vaccination shall retain one copy, and make a third copy available to the County Enforcement Agent as needed. All parties should retain the certificate for the duration of the vaccination plus one year. A durable metal or plastic, serially numbered rabies tag issued by the veterinarian who administers the vaccine shall be provided to the owner with instructions that it must be securely attached to the dog or cat's collar or harness.

[16.4] Duties of Owner: The owner is responsible to procure rabies vaccination for his or her dog or cat, as outlined above.

[16.5] Impoundment of dog or cat found in violation: Any dog or cat without a valid and current rabies vaccination shall be impounded at the owner's expense for up to seventy-two (72) hours. Any animal unclaimed at the end of seventy-two (72) hours becomes the property of the animal shelter in which the animal is impounded.

[16.6] Management of dog or cat that has potentially been exposed to rabies but has never been vaccinated against rabies: A dog or cat that has never been vaccinated against rabies and is bitten by or otherwise potentially exposed to a rabid or suspect rabid animal may be either euthanized immediately, or seized by the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official and – at the owner's expense with payment upfront – impounded for six (6) months in strict isolation. If the animal shows no signs of rabies at the end of five (5) months, it will be vaccinated against rabies at the owner's expense at that time. At the end of six (6) months, and again at the owner's expense with payment upfront, the animal will be examined by a licensed veterinarian who will report the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official handling the case. If the examination determines that the dog or cat is free of signs of illness compatible with rabies, it may be released from impoundment. If at any point during the impoundment period or upon examination, the dog or cat shows signs of illness compatible with rabies, the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official will order the immediate humane euthanasia and testing of the impounded animal. If a suspect rabid animal is available for testing, the dog or cat that was bitten by or otherwise potentially exposed to the suspect rabid animal will be isolated pending the rabies testing result on the suspect animal. If the esting results are negative, the bitten or otherwise potentially exposed animal shall be released with the approval of the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official.

[16.7] Management of currently vaccinated dog or cat that is bitten by or potentially exposed to rabid or suspect rabid animals: A dog or cat that is currently vaccinated against rabies and is bitten by or otherwise potentially exposed to a rabid or suspect rabid animal may be either humanely euthanized, or – at the owner's expense with payment upfront – revaccinated immediately with a booster rabies vaccination and then placed in home quarantine (i.e., an escape-proof enclosure) for observation for forty-five (45) days. During that time, the dog or cat may only be removed from confinement on a leash and under supervision of a responsible adult. At the end of the isolation period, the dog or cat will be examined by a veterinarian, at the owner's expense. If the veterinarian determines that the dog or cat is free of signs of illness compatible with rabies, it may be released from home quarantine. If at any point during the isolation period or upon examination, the dog or cat shows signs of illness compatible with rabies, the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official will order the immediate humane euthanasia of the animal.

[16.8] Management of dog or cat that has potentially been exposed to rabies, and has been vaccinated against rabies in the past but is now overdue for rabies vaccines. These cases should be handled on a case-by-case basis, upon consultation with the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official. At the very least, however, owner should comply with Section 16.7.

[16.9] Management of other animals that have potentially been exposed to rabies: Animals other than dogs, cats, or livestock that have been bitten by or otherwise potentially exposed to a rabid or suspect rabid animal should be euthanized immediately or evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official. If a suspect rabid animal is available for testing, an animal that was bitten by or otherwise potentially exposed to the suspect rabid animal will be isolated pending the rabies testing result on the suspect animal. If the testing results are negative, the bitten or otherwise potentially exposed animal shall be released with the approval of the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official.

[16.10] Management of Animals that Bite a Person: Anyone knowing of an animal bite to a human shall immediately report the bite to the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official.
    A) A dog or cat that is currently vaccinated against rabies and that bites or reportedly bites a human will be, if the animal shows clear clinical signs of rabies or the animal's owner consents to its destruction, humanely euthanized and tested for rabies. Otherwise, the animal will be, at the owner's expense with payment upfront, checked for signs of illness compatible with rabies. If no signs are detected, the animal will be quarantined at the home of the owner or wherever the dog or cat is harbored and observed for ten (10) days from the date of the bite. Home quarantine will require an escape-proof enclosure from which the dog or cat may only be removed on a leash and under supervision of a responsible adult. Rabies vaccine should not be administered to the animal until the quarantine period is complete. At the end of ten (10) days, the dog or cat shall be reexamined, again at the owner's expense.  The results of the veterinary examinations will be documented and provided to the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official. If at the end of the quarantine period, the dog or cat shows no signs of illness compatible with rabies, it may be released from quarantine. If at any time during quarantine or upon examination, the dog or cat shows signs of illness compatible with rabies, the animal shall be humanely euthanized and tested for rabies.
    B) Dogs or cats that are not currently vaccinated against rabies, and bite or reportedly bite a human will be considered rabies suspect and will be seized by the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official. If the animal shows clear clinical signs of rabies or the animal's owner consents to its destruction, it shall be humanely euthanized and tested for rabies. Otherwise, the animal will be, at the owner's expense with payment upfront, impounded and quarantined for a period of not less than ten (10) days from the date of the bite.  Rabies vaccine should not be administered to the animal until the quarantine period is complete. At the end of ten (10) days, the dog or cat shall be reexamined, again at the owner's expense. The results of the veterinary examinations will be documented and provided to the County Enforcement Agent or Public Health Official. If at the end of the quarantine period, the dog or cat shows no signs of illness compatible with rabies, it may be vaccinated at the owner's expense and then released from quarantine.  If at any time during quarantine or upon examination, the dog or cat shows signs of illness compatible with rabies, the animal shall be humanely euthanized and tested for rabies.
    C) Domestic companion animals other than dogs or cats, with the exception of pet rodents or rabbits, that bite or reportedly bite a human will, at the expense of the owner, be confined and quarantined in a county pound or veterinary hospital for not less than fourteen (14) days.
    D) Other animals shall be either seized immediately humanely euthanized for rabies testing, or treated according to the circumstances of exposure, the species, and the presence of rabies in the area.

[16.11] Dogs or cats found at large that bite a person or may have been exposed to a potentially rabid animal will be checked for identification and clear clinical signs of rabies. In the event the animal exhibits clear clinical signs of rabies, the animal will be immediately humanely euthanized. In the event the owner remains unknown or unreachable for seventy-two (72) hours after time of capture, the animal shall be automatically considered forfeited.

[16.12] Wolves and wolf-hybrids: Because the rabies vaccination is considered ineffective in these animals, any dog that falls into this category shall be treated as if unvaccinated.

[16.13] Exotic animals will be managed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the animal and what is known or presumed about that animal.

[16.14] Rabies quarantine area: If the County Board of Supervisors has declared a rabies quarantine area, an emergency program for the control of rabies within that area shall be in effect. For the duration of that program, the County Enforcement Officer or Public Health Officer shall consider any mammal besides a human who is found within that area, a suspect rabid animal, and treat the animal accordingly, whether the animal was vaccinated or not.

SECTION 17: LICENSE REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS

1[7].1 Every dog, three (3) months of age and older, shall be licensed. On proof of rabies vaccination in accordance with Section 15 of this ordinance, and upon application for licensure and payment of the required fee to the county clerk, a license shall be issued. All licenses shall expire upon the expiration of the rabies vaccine.

1[7].2 Duties of Owner: An owner shall make sure that his or her dog, three (3) months of age or older, wears a collar or harness with the current, valid and approved license securely attached.

1[7].3 Wolves and wolf-hybrids, three (3) months of age and older that are kept as pets, also shall be licensed, although proof of rabies vaccination for these animals is not required.

1[7].4 Dogs that are permanently confined to the controlled conditions of a permitted kennel in accordance with Section 17 of this ordinance need not be individually licensed unless leaving those controlled conditions.

1[7].5 Fees for licenses are provided in attached Appendix A, which is incorporated herein.

1[7].6 Fees may be changed by a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors at any time; however, new rates shall not become effective until thirty (30) days after the vote or when they have been published, whichever date is later.

SECTION 18: KENNEL PERMIT REQUIRED; EXCEPTIONS

1[8].1 A person operating a kennel within the County shall obtain a permit issued by the County Board of Supervisors, except if each individual dog is licensed in accordance with Section 16 of this ordinance.

1[8].2 Animals leaving controlled kennel conditions shall be licensed in accordance with Section 16 of this ordinance, except if only being transported to another kennel that has a permit issued under this section.

1[8].3 A person who fails to obtain a kennel permit under this section is subject to a penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) in addition to the annual fee.

1[8].4 A person who knowingly fails to obtain a kennel permit within thirty (30) days after written notification from the County Enforcement Agent is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

1[8].5 The annual fee for the kennel permit is provided in attached Appendix A, which is incorporated herein.

SECTION 19: ANIMAL CONTROL ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY AND ALLOCATION OF PROCEEDS FROM FINES

1[9].1 Animal Control Officers are hereby empowered to issue citations for violations of the provisions of this ordinance and to otherwise enforce the requirements of this ordinance in the manner provided therein.

1[9].2 Fines received for violations of this ordinance shall be deposited in a special permanent, non-lapsing and non-reverting fund which is hereby established for the purpose of defraying a portion of the expenses of the Cochise County Animal Control Division.

SECTION 20: POLICY EXEMPTION: WILDLIFE SPECIALIST

[20].1 Wildlife Specialists employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are, in their professional capacities, not subject to the requirements of this policy, because they operate under federal guidelines.