A. Any Animal shall be taken up and Impounded at the Animal Shelter (or at such other place as may be approved by the Manager) if, to the knowledge of Animal Services, any of the following conditions exist, including but not limited to:
- The Animal is engaged in an activity or existing in a condition prohibited by this chapter;
- The Animal is, or will be, without proper care due to the injury, illness, death, incarceration, or other involuntary absence of the Owner or person responsible for the care of such Animal;
- The Animal is being neglected or mistreated as described in Penal Code sections 597, 597f, 597t, 597.1, or other state or federal law prohibiting the mistreatment of animals.
- The Animal poses an immediate threat to public safety and/or health; or
- The Animal is required to be quarantined.
B. Notice of Impoundment.
When an Animal implanted with a Microchip or wearing a current Tulare County license is Impounded, Animal Services shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the Owner or Custodian of record of the date and place of Impoundment or removal, and the procedure whereby the Owner or Custodian may apply to regain custody of the Animal.
- All Impounded Animals shall be kept in the Animal Shelter or other authorized place of Impoundment for the period as described in Sections 31108, 31752 and 31753 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
- During this holding period and prior to adoption or euthanasia, the Animal will be scanned for a Microchip, license tag, tattoo or other form of identification. If one is found and the Owner can be determined, a reasonable effort must be made to contact the Owner of the Animal.
- Except for stray Animals experiencing irremediable suffering, any stray Animal Impounded shall, prior to the scheduled euthanasia of that Animal, be released to any willing Animal Rescue.
- Except in case of abuse, neglect, quarantine, or potentially dangerous or vicious dogs, the Owner or Custodian of any Animal Impounded may, at any time before the expiration of the period of Impoundment, redeem the Animal by paying all civil penalties, fees and charges accrued. If the Animal is subject to the licensing or license provisions of this chapter, the licensing requirements must be satisfied before the Animal is released.
- Pursuant to Section 31254 of the Food and Agricultural Code, the refusal or failure of the Owner or Custodian of any Impounded Animal to pay the fees and charges after due notification shall be held to be an abandonment of the Animal by the Owner or Custodian.
- All Animals that have been Impounded must be implanted with a Microchip at the Owner’s or Custodian's expense prior to redemption.
- Upon the second Impoundment within a twenty-four (24) month period, any Animal so Impounded must be spayed or neutered at the Owner’s or Custodian’s expense prior to redemption, and any applicable breeding permit issued for the Animal revoked.
E. Owner Surrendered Animals.
- Upon surrender of the Animal to Animal Services, the Owner or Custodian must present sufficient identification such as driver’s license or California identification card and the bill of sale for the Animal, adoption contract, or Dog license, to establish his or her Ownership of the Animal and shall sign a statement that he or she is the lawful Owner of the Animal. The Owner or Custodian of the surrendered Animal must pay all required fees.
- If the Animal surrendered has a history of Potentially Dangerous or Vicious behavior, it may be immediately euthanized in accordance with Section 31108.5 of the Food and Agriculture Code.
- All Animals will be held for the length of time outlined in Section 31754 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
F. Animal Impounded for Abuse or Neglect.
- In addition to any other civil or criminal penalties, Animals impounded or seized for violations of section 4-07-3210, section 4-07-3230, any of the statutes listed in section 4-07-5200(A)(3), or any other state or federal law prohibiting the mistreatment of animals will not be returned until the Owner demonstrates to the satisfaction of the seizing agency, the Administrative Review Officer, Administrative Review Appeals Officer, or the County Hearing Officer that the Owner can and will provide proper and necessary care for the Animal, and all costs for the seizure and care of the Animal are paid. The Animal’s return may be conditioned.
- If the seizing agency believes that return of the Animal would endanger the Animal, the agency shall provide notice to the Owner that the Animal will not be returned to the Owner. The Owner may request Administrative Review in the same manner as in post-seizure proceedings. The decision of the Administrative Review Officer may be appealed to the Administrative Review Appeals Officer in the same manner as a Kennel Operator under section 7-07-4008, except that evidence presented shall relate to the allegations of abuse or neglect.
G. Disposition of Impounded and Surrendered Animals.
- Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, an Impounded Animal which is not redeemed within the applicable holding period specified in this chapter or an Animal voluntarily surrendered to Animal Services for adoption, except an Animal that has been Impounded for quarantine or is known to have bitten a human or to have demonstrated potentially dangerous or vicious propensities, may be offered for adoption as determined by Animal Services and in accordance with the laws of the State of California.
When an Animal is adopted, the receipt issued by Animal Services shall be valid proof of Ownership to the adopter. All adoptions shall convey a good and valid title to the adopter, and the previous Animal Owner or Custodian shall thereafter be barred from recovering said Animal.