A. Administrative Review Appeal.
1. Administrative Review regarding a Potentially Dangerous or Vicious Animal shall proceed directly to an Administrative Review Appeal without an Administrative Review.
2. After an Animal has been impounded under this Article, the Animal Owner or Custodian
3. Conversely, if, after an investigation, the identified facts show that cause to conduct a Potentially Dangerous or Vicious Animal Administrative Review Appeal has not been shown, Animal Services shall notify the Animal Owner or Custodian to reclaim the Animal from Animal Services.
B. Conduct of Administrative Review Appeal.
1. The Administrative Review Appeal shall be conducted before the Administrative Review Appeals Officer.
2. The Administrative Review Appeal shall be an informal process.
3. The burden at the Administrative Review Appeal is on the Animal Owner or Custodian to explain why the Animal is not Potentially Dangerous or Vicious.
4. The Administrative Review Appeals Officer may find, based upon information presented, that:
The Animal is not Potentially Dangerous or Vicious and should be returned to its Owner or Custodian;
The Animal is not Potentially Dangerous or Vicious but that the attack, bite, or injury was the result of improper or negligent training, handling, or maintenance and that the License should be revoked and the Animal relinquished to Animal Services;
The Animal is Potentially Dangerous or Vicious but may be returned to the Owner or Custodian with stipulations and/or restrictions; or
The Animal is Potentially Dangerous or Vicious and that it should be humanely euthanized no sooner than the fifth business day, including Saturday, following the mailing of notice of determination.
5. The Administrative Review Appeals Officer shall make other orders required or authorized by this chapter.
6. The Administrative Review Appeals Officer may decide all issues for or against the Owner or Custodian of the Animal even if the Owner or Custodian fails to appear at the Administrative Review Appeal. Failure to appear at the Administrative Review Appeal will be deemed a forfeiture of the Animal.
C. Consideration of Information. In considering whether an Animal is Potentially Dangerous and/or Vicious, the Administrative Review Appeals Officer shall consider relevant information, including, but not limited to, the following:
Any previous history of the Animal attacking, biting or causing injury to a human being or other Animal.
The nature and extent of injuries inflicted and the number of victims involved.
The location where the bite, attack or injury occurred.
The presence or absence of any provocation for the bite, attack, or injury.
The extent to which property has been damaged or destroyed.
Whether the Animal exhibits any characteristics of being trained for fighting or attacking, or other evidence to show such training or fighting.
Whether the Animal exhibits characteristics of aggressive or unpredictable temperament or behavior in the presence of Persons or other Animals.
Whether the Animal can be effectively trained or re-trained to change its temperament or behavior.
The manner in which the Animal had been maintained by its Owner or Custodian.
Any other relevant information concerning the maintenance of the Animal.
Any other relevant information regarding the ability of the Owner or Custodian to protect the public safety in the future if the Animal is permitted to remain in the County.
Mitigating Circumstances. In considering whether an Animal is Potentially Dangerous and/or Vicious the Administrative Review Appeals Officer may consider information regarding any of the following mitigating circumstances:
Determinations and Orders; Notice; Compliance; Appeal; Finality of Appeal
Within ten (10) calendar days after the Administrative Review Appeal is conducted, the Administrative Review Appeal Officer shall notify in writing Animal Services and the Owner or Custodian of the determination and orders issued, by first class mail or personal service at the address appearing on the request for Administrative Review Appeal.
If a determination is made by the Administrative Review Appeal Officer that the Animal is Potentially Dangerous or Vicious, and is returning the Animal to the Owner or Custodian, the Owner or Custodian shall comply with subsection F and G of this section within fifteen (15) calendar days after the date of determination or twenty (20) calendar days if notice of the determination is mailed to the Owner or Custodian by first class mail.
If Animal Services or the Owner or Custodian of the Animal contests the determination, he or she may, within five (5) business days of the date of the notice of determination, appeal the decision of the Administrative Review Appeal Officer to the County Hearing Officer.
The appeal shall be heard by the County Hearing Officer as provided by Article 31 of Chapter 1 of Part I of this code.
The decision of the County Hearing Officer shall be final for all purposes. Judicial review of a decision made after an appeal hearing pursuant to this section shall be made pursuant to Section 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure where and to the extent said section may be applicable.
Registration. Any Animal which has been declared in a final decision to be Potentially Dangerous or Vicious within the meaning of Section 4.07.1400, and is being returned to the Owner or Custodian, shall be subject to special registration requirements as follows:
An Owner or Custodian of a Potentially Dangerous or Vicious Animal is required to pay, in addition to any Licensing or License Fee, an annual special registration fee (as applicable) which shall be valid and renewable concurrent with the effective dates of the Licensing of the Animal. Late registration is subject to a penalty fee equal to two times the annual registration fee.
Keeping of a Potentially Dangerous or Vicious Animal. In addition to any other provisions provided in the final decision, the keeping of an Animal which has been declared Potentially Dangerous or Vicious and returned to the Animal Owner or Custodian by the Administrative Review Appeals Officer or County Hearing Officer shall, at the minimum, be subject to the following provisions:
The Animal must at all times, when not under restraint by leash on public property, be securely confined in an enclosure under lock within a lawful fence.
The Animal must, at all times when kept in any part of a house or structure, be confined in such a manner that the Animal cannot exit such building on its own volition.
The Animal must, at all times, be licensed and registered as required by this chapter and must be kept in compliance with all the regulatory provisions of this chapter in its entirety.
The Animal Owner or Custodian must notify Animal Services in writing within three calendar days if the location of the Animal is to be permanently changed. An administration fee will be charged to modify the issued license.
The Owner or Custodian must allow Animal Services to inspect the property at such time as reasonable to insure the provisions of the final decision are being complied with. All costs associated with these provisions or any other or additional provisions ordered by the Administrative Review Appeals Officer or County Hearing Officer shall be borne by the Owner or Custodian of the Animal which has been declared to be Potentially Dangerous or Vicious.
H. Right to Destroy. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent Animal Services from destroying an Animal which is in the act of dangerous or vicious behavior towards any person or other Animal as set forth in Section 4.07.1400, if such immediate destruction is reasonably necessary to protect public safety.