- Dogs classified as pit bulls must be spayed and neutered, with certain exceptions.
Sec. 14-60. – Pit bulls. (a) Definition.
(1) Pit bull means any pit bull that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any pit bull displaying the physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds, or any pit bull exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics that conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club (“AKC”) or United Kennel Club (“UKC”) for any of the above breeds.
(2) If an owner, keeper or harborer is unsure as to whether an unspayed and unneutered dog is a pit bull, then the owner, keeper or harborer of the dog may make an appointment with the supervisor of animal health and public safety for the purpose of the supervisor making a determination as to whether or not such dog is a pit bull. If the pit bull owner, keeper or harborer wishes to appeal the determination that the dog is a pit bull, then within five business days of the supervisors determination such owner, keeper or harborer may request a hearing before the director of neighborhood and community services. The hearing shall be held no more than 30 days after the supervisor or animal health and public safety receives the request. The hearing may be informal and the rules of evidence not strictly observed. The decision of the director is final.
(b) Mandatory spaying and neutering of pit bulls; exceptions.
(1) No person may own, keep, or harbor any pit bull that the person in possession knew, or should have known, was a pit bull that has not been spayed or neutered unless:
a. The pit bull is under eight weeks of age;
b. The pit bull cannot be spayed or neutered without a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily harm or death due to a physical abnormality. A veterinarian must certify such a condition and determine the time frame after which the pit bull can be spayed or neutered. Within 30 days of the operative date of this ordinance, or within 30 days of taking possession or ownership of an unspayed or unneutered pit bull, the owner, keeper or harborer must submit such documentation to be verified by the supervisor of animal health and public safety;
c. The pit bull has been present in the city for less than 30 days;
d. The owner, keeper or harborer has obtained, or has submitted an application for a permit for the breeding and transfer of pit bull offspring;
e. The determination of the breed is under appeal pursuant to subsection (a) above; or
f. The pit bull is a show dog. Within thirty days of the effective date of this ordinance, or within thirty days of taking possession or ownership of an unspayed or unneutered pit bull, the owner, keeper, or harborer shall submit a copy of the AKC or UKC organization papers to the supervisor of animal health and public safety demonstrating the pedigree information and the show dog registration of the pit bull and demonstrating that the pit bull conforms to the same breeding permit guidelines set forth in subsection (e) below.
(c) Penalties for failure to spay or neuter. Any person who violates the provisions of this section requiring that a pit bull be spayed or neutered shall be subject to the following:
(1) A first violation shall be an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00 and the impoundment of the pit bull by the supervisor of animal health and public safety. In order for the owner, keeper or harborer to reclaim the pit bull from the supervisor of animal health and public safety, in addition to paying the other charges and fees set out in this chapter, one of the following must occur:
a. The supervisor of animal health and public safety shall have a veterinarian spay or neuter the pit bull. The pit bull owner, keeper or harborer shall pay a deposit of $100.00 prior to the procedure and will be charged the fee for such services consisting of the actual expense incurred as established by the supervisor of animal health and public safety.
b. In the alternative, the owner, keeper or harborer shall arrange for another veterinarian within the city to spay or neuter and shall pay the supervisor of animal health and public safety a fee of $60.00, which shall cover the supervisor’s costs of delivering the pit bull to a veterinarian of the owners, keeper’s or harborers choosing. The supervisor of animal health and public safety shall deliver the pit bull to the veterinarian, and the veterinarian shall release the pit bull to the owner, keeper or harborer only after the spaying or neutering is complete.
c. At the discretion of the supervisor of animal health and public safety, the supervisor may release the pit bull to the owner, keeper or harborer provided that the owner, keeper or harborer signs an affidavit swearing or affirming that such owner, keeper or harborer will have the pit bull spayed or neutered within two weeks and will provide documentation verifying that the spaying or neutering occurred upon completion. If the owner, keeper or harborer fails to have his or her pit bull spayed or neutered as agreed in the affidavit, the supervisor of animal health and public safety shall have the authority to impound the dog, and the owner, keeper or harborer may be charged with a second violation of this section.
d. In the event that the supervisor of animal health and public safety determines that payment of any fees by the owner, keeper or harborer of a pit bull which is impounded or otherwise taken into custody would cause extreme financial difficulty to the owner, keeper or harborer, then the supervisor may, at his or her discretion, waive all or part of the fees necessary for compliance with this section.
(2) A second violation of this section by the owner, keeper or harborer, shall be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months or by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition, a second violation shall result in the supervisor of animal health and public safety impounding the pit bull and disposing of the pit bull in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.