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Ordinances

Ordinances

Sec. 10-1. - Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Abandonment (of an animal) means the act of any person who: 

(1) Abandons an animal by leaving an animal unattended for a period of time in excess of 24 hours without food, water, adequate ventilation or shelter on public or private property, including but not limited to the property of the owner/custodian;

(2) Puts out, leaves, abandons, or in any other way discards any animal on public or private property, including but not limited to the property of the owner/custodian, and including but not limited to leaving an animal contained in a box, bag, fence, house or other structure or tethered; or

(3) Places an animal in the custody of a state licensed entity, such as but not limited to a veterinary clinic, grooming facility, boarding facility, or pet sitter for treatment, boarding, or other care, and fails to reclaim the animal by the agreed upon time. The entity shall abide by the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 44-14-490 in disposing of the animal.

Abused animal means any animal that has been harmed by an act, an omission or neglect, including but not limited to any animal that has been:

(1) Deprived of adequate food, water, shelter, ventilation, care, space, or veterinary care.

(2) Physically harmed, tortured, mutilated, beaten, or illegally killed.

(3) Trained/used for fighting other animals.

(4) Used as bait to train/lure other animals to fight/kill.

Adequate means sufficient; commensurate; equally efficient; equal to what is required; suitable to the case or occasion; satisfactory.

Animal shall not include fish or any pests that might normally be exterminated or removed from a business, a residence or other structure.

Animal bite means any physical contact of the teeth, nails, or claws of an animal with human flesh, including but not limited to a scrape, puncture, pierce, scratch or tear, so long as bleeding results.

Animal control facility/shelter means those facilities designated by the board of commissioners for the housing and care of animals pursuant to this chapter.

Animal control officer means an individual authorized by local law or by the governing authority of the county or the covered municipality to carry out the duties imposed by this chapter.

Animal control unit means, collectively, the animal control manager and employees who are under the direction of the Cobb County Police Department, its successor department(s), or other entity selected by the board of commissioners to carry out the duties of animal control for Cobb County pursuant to this chapter and federal/state laws. 

Animal mill means an individual or entity that keeps and/or breeds animals in conditions where animals are frequently caged for extended periods of time, do not receive adequate care, and/or are not kept in an environment conducive to the health and well being of the animals.

Animal shelter means an entity that possess a shelter license from the Georgia Department of Agriculture. 

Attacking or biting animal means:

(1) Any animal which poses a physical threat to human beings or other animals by virtue of an attack that caused property damage and/or physical injury.

(2) An animal shall not be an "attacking or biting animal" within the meaning of this chapter if:

a. It inflicts an injury upon a person when the animal is being used by a law enforcement officer to carry out the law enforcement officer's official duties.

b. The injury inflicted by the animal was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort; was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal; had in the past been reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the animal; or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

Bedding (adequate)means sufficient quantity of dry, non-contaminated, safe bedding, which is appropriate to the animal's age, size, species, and breed requirements.

Board of health means the Cobb County Board of Health, or its authorized representatives, which shall include officers or employees of CCAC.

Breeder means a person or entity that owns an animal and allows it to reproduce, whether planned or unplanned.

Care (adequate/humane)means attention to the needs of an animal, including but not limited to, the provision of adequate water, food, shelter, bedding, sanitary conditions, ventilation, heating/cooling (temperature control), space, exercise and veterinary medical attention necessary to maintain the health of the animal with regard to the specific age, size, species, and breed of animal.

Cobb County Animal Control means the Cobb County Animal Control Unit and Shelter sometimes referred to in this chapter as "CCAC".

Confinement means restriction of an animal to a home, basement, garage, building, pen, or other escape-proof enclosure. Confinement by a rope, chain, tether, fenced yard or other area accessible by other animals or persons, other than the caretaker, is not considered confinement.

Costs means confiscation costs on potentially dangerous dogs, dangerous dogs or vicious animals are set by the board of commissioners and shall be paid by the owner to Cobb County Animal Control.

Dangerous dog means:

(1) Any dog that, according to the records of the county, has without provocation either:

a. Inflicted severe injury on a human being on public or private property; or

b. Aggressively bitten, attacked or endangered the safety of humans after the dog has been classified as a potentially dangerous dog and after the owner has been notified of such classification.

(2) A dog shall not be a dangerous dog within the meaning of this chapter if:

a. The dog inflicts an injury upon a person when the dog is being used by a law enforcement officer executing official duties;

b. The injury inflicted by the dog was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort, was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog, had in the past been reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

Dead animal means a deceased animal including the carcass or parts of a carcass.

Dispose of means:

(1) The sale of any live animal at public or private sale, the giving or adopting of a live animal to an individual/entity, or the transference of ownership of a live animal to CCAC or any licensed humane society, licensed rescue group or licensed veterinarian. 

(2) Appropriate burial or cremation of a dead animal as directed in this chapter.

Dog control officer means the manager of Cobb County Animal Control or his/her designee who is responsible for enforcing the state dangerous dog laws. This term "dog control officer" is utilized by state law with regard to the state dangerous dog law.

Domestic animal means any animal other than wildlife, wild animals, or exotic animals as defined by this chapter that is domesticated by humans so as to live and breed in a tame condition. 

Effluent means an outflow or discharge of waste.

Euthanasia means the legal act of putting animals to death using humane methods approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Exercise (adequate)means bodily exertion suitable to the age, size, species and breed of animal to maintain normal good health, muscle tone, non-aggressive temperament, and normal behavior.

Exotic animal means any animal that is not indigenous to the State of Georgia.

Fence means a structure of wire, wood, stone or other materials, including invisible fencing, which is of sufficient height and strength to act as a barrier against the passage of the animal it is intended to enclose.

(1) A fence does not include an "invisible fence" if the fence is:

a. Turned off or the animal is not wearing a properly operating signaling device;

b. Ineffective for any animal that has learned it can cross the fence line;

c. Intended to be a means of keeping people or animals out of an enclosed area; or

d. Buried in or adjacent to the county right-of-way.

(2) An invisible fence is not an acceptable means of control for an animal that is classified as vicious, dangerous, potentially dangerous, or is in estrus/heat.

Fighting animal/game animal means any animal that has aggressive parentage, or an animal bred and/or trained to:

(1) Exhibit aggressive qualities;

(2) Have no instinct to withdraw from a fight or to display signs of submission;

(3) Fight to the point of complete exhaustion or death with minimal provocation;

(4) Suppress the animal's instinct for self-preservation;

(5) Inflict maximum damage to the animal's opponents;

(6) Offer little or no indication that an attack is imminent; or

(7) Be ready/willing for combat and unyielding in combat.

Food (adequate)means sufficient quantity of non-contaminated and nutritionally adequate food, fed according to age, size, species and breed requirements, or as directed by a veterinarian, which is sufficient to prevent starvation, malnutrition or risk to the animal's health. Garbage or spoiled/rancid food is not considered adequate food.

Foster home means a temporary home that cares for animals until they can be placed in a permanent home or returned to CCAC or its designee for adoption/disposal. Foster homes must be affiliated with and controlled by licensed rescue groups and/or licensed animal shelters.

Garbage means all refuse matter/effluent. Garbage includes, but is not limited to animal or vegetable refuse, by-product of a restaurant, kitchen, or meat/poultry processing establishment, spoiled/rancid food and refuse accumulation of animal, fruit, or vegetable matter, liquid or otherwise (that is normally discarded).

Grid means a manufactured type of wood, plastic, or wire flooring specifically designed to be used in an area where an animal is housed.

Hoarder means a person or entity that:

(1) Collects animals and fails to provide them with humane/adequate care;

(2) Collects dead animals that are not properly disposed of as required by this chapter; or

(3) Collects, houses, or harbors animals in filthy, unsanitary conditions that constitute a health hazard to the animals being kept, and/or to the animals or residents of adjacent property.

Human exposure to rabies means any bite, scratch, or other situation in which saliva or central nervous system (CNS) tissue of a potentially rabid animal enters an open wound, fresh wound, or comes in contact with a mucous membrane by entering the eye, mouth, or nose. Touching or handling a potentially rabid animal with the possible exception of a bat or touching or handling another animal or inanimate object that has had contact with a rabid animal does not constitute an exposure unless wet saliva or CNS tissue entered a fresh, open wound or had contact with a mucous membrane. Likewise, contact with the urine, feces, or blood of a potentially rabid animal does not constitute an exposure since the pathogenesis of rabies is such that the virus follows nerve pathways and has only limited circulation in the blood.

Humane society means a licensed organization that rescues, assists and provides care for animals, educates the public in humane care of animals, initiates/facilitates programs to improve the quality of life for animals.

Impoundment means the taking into custody of an animal by CCAC.

Licensed means having a valid Georgia state license issued under the authority of the State of Georgia.

Lure means an animal used to bait/teach/encourage another animal to chase, fight or kill other animals.

Manager means the manager of the Cobb County Animal Control Unit or his/her designee.

Neglect means absence of adequate care that is unintentional.

Neglect (willful)means the intentional withholding of adequate food, water and humane care required by an animal to prevent starvation, dehydration, death, or other harmful/debilitating conditions.

Nuisance animal means any animal that:

(1) Damages, soils, defiles, eliminates or defecates on private property other than its owner's property or on public property;

(2) Causes unsanitary or offensive conditions or otherwise endangers public health, welfare or safety;

(3) Causes a disturbance by barking, howling or other noisemaking for a period of more than 15 minutes;

(4) Chases vehicles, bicycles, or people;

(5) Is in estrus and not confined in a manner which can keep it away from intact males of the same species; or

(6) Causes serious annoyance to a neighboring residence and interferes with the reasonable use and enjoyment of that property.

Owner means any person owning, possessing, harboring, keeping or having custody or control of any animal subject to this chapter. This definition is intended to embrace any person who is a custodian.

Police department means the Cobb County Police Department or its successor department(s).

Potentially dangerous dog means:

(1) Any dog that has without provocation bitten a human being on public or private property.

(2) A dog is not considered a potentially dangerous dog according to this chapter if:

a. The dog inflicts an injury upon a person when the dog is being used by a law enforcement officer in carrying out official duties; or

b. The injury inflicted was sustained by a person who was committing a willful trespass or other tort, was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog, had in the past been reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

Primary enclosure means any structure or device used to restrict an animal to a limited amount of space, such as a fence, building, room, pen, run, cage, stall, paddock, or pasture, that provides adequate space and shelter.

Proper enclosure means an enclosure for keeping a dangerous dog, potentially dangerous dog or vicious animal securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the entry of another animal or any person other than the owner or caretaker.

The enclosure must:

(1) Be designed to prevent the animal from escaping, and:

a. If the enclosure is a fence, the fence must be high enough to keep the animal from climbing over and must be secured at the bottom to keep the animal from digging under.

b. If the enclosure is a pen or structure other than a fence, the pen or structure must have secure   sides, top and bottom constructed or secured in such a manner to prevent the animal's escape,  and be of a height and strength to maintain the animal within it.

(2) Provide adequate shelter.

(3) Provide adequate space for the animal.

Provoked attack means an attack resulting when a domestic animal is placed in a situation such that an expected reaction would be to bite or attack.

Relinquished means written transfer of ownership of an animal by the owner to CCAC.

Rescue animal means a dog, cat, or other animal temporarily maintained by a licensed rescue group until the animal can be placed in a permanent home.

Rescue group (licensed)means any individual or entity that houses and cares for rescue animals until permanent homes can be located and that maintains all required federal, state and local licenses/registrations.

Restraint of animal means complete and immediate control of an animal by a physical device while under the direct supervision of a competent person.

Running at large means any domestic animal not under the control and restraint of the owner or the owner's designee.

Sale of animals means the transfer of ownership of an animal through verbal or written agreement to a new owner in exchange for money, goods, services, or fees.

Sanitary conditions means animal living space free from health hazards, irritants, or conditions that may endanger or pose a significant risk to an animal's health. In the case of farm animals, nothing in this section shall be construed as imposing sanitation requirements or standards more stringent than normally accepted animal husbandry and humane practices as defined by this chapter and Georgia state law as regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Severe injury means any physical injury resulting in any of the following:

(1) Broken bones;

(2) Puncture wounds;

(3) Lacerations, with or without, sutures;

(4) A medical procedure; or

(5) Death.

Shelter (adequate)means protective cover for a domestic animal appropriate for the species and providing adequate space to maintain the animal in good health, which also prevents pain, suffering or a significant risk to the animal's health. 

(1) Adequate shelter includes but is not limited to the following:

a. Sufficient coverage and insulation to protect an animal from extreme hot and cold temperatures;

b. Sufficient protection from the elements to keep the animal dry;

c. Sufficient shade and ventilation to prevent an animal from overheating and/or dehydrating; and

d. Adequate bedding or resting area suitable for the breed, species, age, size, and medical condition of the animal.

(2) Adequate shelter is structurally sound housing which provides an animal with:

a. Adequate space;

b. Four solid walls or an "igloo" type of structure;

c. A roof;

d. A dry floor that is either:

1. Solid, or

2. Grids, provided the animal can easily stand, walk, lay and sit on the grids without its feet or body parts being caught, damaged, or injured. The grids and area under the grids must be designed so that they can be cleaned and sanitized.

e. An entrance; and

f. Adequate space for the number of animals on the property.

(3) Materials not suitable for shelters include but are not limited to:

a. Inadequately insulated containers;

b. Crates with exposed sharp edges;

c. Metal or plastic drums;

d. Abandoned or parked vehicles;

e. Porches or decks;

f. Lean-tos;

g. Any other structure that fails to provide sufficient protection from the elements; and

h. Any other structure that is not safe or suitable for housing the species.

Space (adequate)means:

(1) Sufficient safe space for adequate exercise suitable to the age, size, species and breed of animal;

(2) Sufficient space during periods of confinement, suitable to the age, size, species and breed of animal to permit the animal to turn about freely, stand, sit, or lie, move, etc. in a comfortable and normal position; or

(3) For sick or injured animals, confinement as directed by a veterinarian.

State dangerous dog control law means O.C.G.A. tit. 4, ch. 8, art. 2 (O.C.G.A § 4-8-20 et seq.) as amended.

Strict confinement/isolation for animals bitten by rabid animal means confinement for the period of time recommended by the State of Georgia and kept inside a home, basement, garage, or suitable building, and isolated from other animals and people other than the caretaker while the animal is being observed for symptoms of rabies. An animal within a fenced yard, on a chain, or otherwise in an area accessible in any way to other animals or persons other than the caretaker is not in a strictly confined area. 

Temperature control (adequate) means maintaining temperatures recommended for animals by the Department of Agriculture guidelines for shelters and farm animals.

Tether means any chain, rope, leash, tie out or wire designed to restrain an animal which is attached to an animal's collar or halter and is also attached to a stationary object. Acceptable temporary tethers include appropriate size chain, leash, rope or other tethering device that is of adequate length to satisfy the space and exercise requirements for the animal. In any event, any tether must be a minimum of ten feet in length. Tethering devices, as referred to in this chapter, are the type commonly used for the size animal involved and are attached to the animal by means of a properly fitted collar or harness.

Training group (licensed)means an appropriately licensed organization or individual that trains animals to assist physically handicapped persons, to assist search and rescue operations, and/or to work with government agencies or law enforcement agencies.

Unprovoked attack or without provocation means an attack that is not provoked as defined by this chapter.

Unsanitary conditions means animal living space including shelter and exercise area, contaminated by health hazards, irritants, items or conditions that endanger or pose a risk to an animal's health, including but not limited to:

(1) Excessive animal waste;

(2) Garbage, trash or effluent;

(3) Standing water or mud;

(4) Rancid/contaminated food or water;

(5) Fumes, foul or noxious odors, contaminated air, hazardous chemicals or poisons;

(6) Decaying materials;

(7) Uncontrolled parasite or rodent infestation; and

(8) Areas that contain nails, screws, broken glass, broken boards, pits, poisons, sharp implements or other items that could cause injury, illness or death to an animal.

Ventilation (adequate)means fresh air sufficient to provide for the health of an animal.

Veterinarianmeans a doctor of veterinary medicine licensed to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in animals.

Veterinary care (adequate)means medical care of an animal from or under the direction of a licensed veterinarian and necessary to maintain the health of an animal based on the age, species, breed, etc., of the animal, or to prevent an animal from suffering from:

(1) Ongoing infections;

(2) Infestation of parasites;

(3) Disease; or

(4) Any other medical condition/injury where withholding or neglecting to provide such care would:

a. Endanger the health or welfare of the animal; or

b. Promote the spread of communicable diseases.

Veterinary clinic (licensed)means a business facility where veterinary medicine is practiced.

Vicious animal means:

(1) Any animal which:

a. Constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals by virtue of an attack of such severity or intensity as to cause severe property or physical damage; or

b. Makes an unprovoked attack on animals or on human beings; or

c. Intentionally attacks physical property in an effort to cause harm to a human or other animal.

(2) An animal shall not be a vicious animal within the meaning of this chapter if:

a. It inflicts an injury upon a person when the animal is being used by a law enforcement officer carrying out official duties; or 

b. The injury inflicted by the animal was sustained by a person who was committing a willful trespass or other tort, was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal, had in the past been reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the animal, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

Water (adequate)means clean, fresh water sufficient to prevent dehydration, properly sustain health, and prevent significant risk to the animal's health. For the purposes of this chapter, snow, ice or rancid/ contaminated water are not considered adequate water.

Wild animal/wildlife means any animal which is indigenous to this state, but not included in the definition of a domestic animal, and including any hybrid animal that is part wild animal.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 2; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-2; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Cross reference—Definitions generally, § 1-2.

* State law and other references—See Georgia Department of Agriculture, Animal Industry Division, Chapter 40-13-13, Animal Protection, the current state law, and the Georgia Rabies Control Manual.

Sec. 10-10. - Requirements for possessing dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs; registration; insurance; inspection.

(a) Certificate required. It shall be unlawful for any person to have or possess a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog without a certificate of registration issued by the county. No more than one certificate of registration shall be granted per person or owner for a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog. No more than one certificate shall be issued per domicile. 

(b) Conditions for issuance of certificate. Subject to the requirements of this section for dangerous dogs and subject to revocation for non-compliance and possible confiscation, the CCAC manager shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog if the owner presents to the CCAC manager sufficient evidence of the following:

(1) A proper enclosure to confine the dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog; and

(2) The posting on the premises of a dangerous dog sign obtained from the county warning that there is a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog on the property.

(c) Dangerous dogs. In addition to the requirements of subsection (a) and (b) of this section, the owner of a dangerous dog shall present to the CCAC manager evidence of either:

(1) Insurance. A policy of insurance in the amount specified by the State of Georgia Dangerous Dog Law, issued by an insurer authorized to transact business in this state insuring the owner of a dangerous dog against liability for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog, provided:

a. It shall be the continuing and sole duty of the owner to provide the CCAC manager an updated and effective policy;

b. The owner shall notify the CCAC manager of any changes, renewals, and/or cancellations by written notice at least 30 days prior to any change, renewal, and/or cancellation; and 

c. The county shall have the right to rely on the representations of the owner that to maintain the required insurance when the owner qualifies for the issuance of the certificate of registration; or 

(2) Surety bond. A surety bond in the amount specified by the State of Georgia and issued by a surety company authorized to transact business in this state payable to any persons injured by the dangerous dog.

(d) Fees. The certificate of registration must be renewed annually on the date the dog was declared a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog. An annual fee to register dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs as set by the board of commissioners shall be paid by the owner to CCAC.

(e) Right to inspect. CCAC shall have the right to inspect, randomly and without notice, a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog, which is required to be confined pursuant to this section, in its environment. Permission of the owner or person in custody of the animal confined shall not be unreasonably withheld.

(f) The owner of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog shall notify the dog control officer within 24 hours if the dog is loose, unconfined, has attacked a human, has died, or has been sold or donated. If the dog has been sold or donated, the owner shall provide the dog control officer the name, address, and telephone number of the new owner of the dog, and notify the new owner of the designation.

(g) The owner of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog shall notify the dog control officer within ten days if the owner is moving within the Dog Control Officer's jurisdiction or moving from the Dog Control Officer's jurisdiction. The owner of the dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog who is moving out of the county shall register the dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog in the new jurisdiction within ten days after becoming a resident. Likewise, any person moving into Cobb County who owns a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog shall register the dangerous dog in Cobb County within ten days after becoming a resident.

(h) Any person who releases a vicious animal either willfully through failure to exercise due care or control or who takes such animal out of such proper enclosure in such a manner which is likely to cause injury to another person or damage to the property of another person shall be in violation of this chapter.

(Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-8; Ord. of 5-24-05)

State law reference—Dangerous Dog Control Law, O.C.G.A. § 4-8-20 et seq.

Sec. 10-11. - Control of animal.

(a) General control.

(1) It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal to permit such animal to be out of his immediate control and restraint, or to be left unattended off the premises of the owner, or to be upon the property of another person without the permission of the owner or person in possession of such other property. For the purposes of this chapter, condominium and apartment common property shall not be considered to be the premises of the animal owner. Voice control does not constitute control of an animal.

(2) Restraint of dogs and/or animals shall be maintained as follows:

a. When upon the premises of the owner, all animals shall be kept indoors or in a primary enclosure as defined by this chapter in such a manner as to contain the animal within the bounds of the owner's premises, or on a leash in the hands of a person that possesses the ability to restrain the animal. 

b. When off the premises of the owner, all animals shall at a minimum be maintained on an appropriate chain, leash or tie not exceeding 6 feet in length, and in the hands of a person who possesses the ability to restrain the animal.

c. It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog to chain, tie, fasten or otherwise tether the dog to a stationary object or pulley run as a means of confinement, except that the dog may be temporarily confined by a tether while attended by its owner, notwithstanding subsections (2)a. and (2)b. of this section.

(3) The requirements of subsection (2) of this section shall not apply in the areas zoned for agricultural purposes where the owner of the dog is using the dog for hunting or working purposes and has the dog in his possession or control. If the dog is being used for hunting purposes the owner shall have on his person a valid hunting license. Dogs, while hunting, or show dogs while being shown, are not required to wear a collar or dog tag; but the owner shall have the dog tag in his possession where it may be shown upon demand of a representative of CCAC.

(4) No person shall tie, stake or fasten any animal within any street, alley, sidewalk, right-of-way, or other public place within the county or in such manner that the animal has access to any portion of any street, alley, sidewalk or other public place.

(5) Every female dog and cat in heat shall be confined in a building or other enclosure in such a manner that such female dog or cat cannot come into contact with an intact male of the same species except for planned breeding.

(6) Every animal shall be restrained and controlled so as to prevent it from causing property damage, harassing pedestrians or bicyclists, molesting passersby, chasing vehicles, or attacking persons or other animals.

(7) Exception: Section 10-11(a)(2)b. shall not apply to the areas contained within the Sweat Mountain Dog Park or within any other county or city dog park designated as such by the applicable governing authority, provided that all other rules, regulations and ordinances connected to the use of that area are followed. All owners must possess the ability to restrain their dog(s) and must be present in the off-leash area of said park with any dog(s) they brought into the park, to adequately control or restrain them if needed, so as to prevent injury to other people or dogs in the off-leash area.

(b) Control of attacking or biting animal, vicious animals, potentially dangerous dogs and dangerous dogs.

(1) The above provisions concerning general control and contained in subsection (a) of this section are applicable to attacking or biting animals, vicious animals and dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs.

(2) When upon the premises of the owner, attacking or biting animals, vicious animals, potentially dangerous dogs and dangerous dogs shall be kept indoors or in a proper enclosure as defined by this chapter. Permanent or temporary tethering as a means of enclosure is not permissible.

(3) The owner of a dangerous dog shall not permit the dog to be outside of a proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled in a manner that will prevent it from biting any person. The dog must be restrained by a substantial chain or leash not more than six feet in length and under the physical control of a person who possesses the ability to restrain the dog.

(4) The owner of a potentially dangerous dog, vicious animal or attacking or biting animal shall not permit the dog or animal to be outside a proper enclosure unless the dog or animal is restrained by a substantial chain or leash not more than six feet in length and is under the physical restraint of a person who possesses the ability to restrain the dog or animal.

(c) In any prosecution under this Code section, any animal found running at large may be held by CCAC as evidence of a violation of this Code section. Such holding is at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney, and the animal may be released at the conclusion of the prosecution.

(d) In lieu of paying a fine or serving jail time under this section, a violator may, at the discretion of the judge, relinquish the animal to CCAC for placement or disposal as determined by CCAC.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 9; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-9; Ord. of 5-24-05; Ord. of 2-27-07; Ord of 4-25-17)

State law reference—Livestock running at large, O.C.G.A. § 4-3-1 et seq.; permitting dogs in heat to run at large, O.C.G.A. § 4-8-6.

Sec. 10-12. - Attacking or biting animals.

The owner of any animal that exhibits the characteristics or behavior as set forth in the definition of "attacking or biting animal" [in section 10-1] shall be in violation of this chapter.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 26; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-24; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-12.1. - Vicious animals; possession of vicious animals.

(a) The owner of any animal shall be in violation of this chapter if the animal engages in any activity or exhibits any behavior as defined a "vicious animal" by this chapter under section 10-1.

(b) Upon being adjudicated guilty of or entering a guilty plea or nolo contendere plea to a charge made under this provision, the owner of the vicious animal, if allowed to maintain the animal will have to adhere to the following requirements for possessing a vicious animal:

(1) The owner must possess a proper enclosure to confine the vicious animal; and

(2) The owner must post the premises with a vicious animal warning sign.

(c) Right to inspect. CCAC shall have the right to inspect, randomly and without notice, a vicious animal which is required to be confined pursuant to this section in its environment. Permission of the owner or person in custody of the animal confined shall not be unreasonably withheld.

(d) Any person who releases a vicious animal either willfully through failure to exercise due care or control or who takes such animal out of such proper enclosure in such a manner which is likely to cause injury to another person or damage to the property of another person shall be in violation of this chapter.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-12.2. - Penalty for violation of section 10-12.1.

For the first conviction under foregoing section 10-12.1, vicious animals; possession of vicious animals, the following penalties may be assessed:

(1) The convicted person may serve 60 days confinement, and/or

(2) The convicted person may be fined $1,000.00, and/or

(3) The convicted person may be required to relinquish control of the animal in question to Cobb County Animal Control and the animal will be dealt with in the discretion of Animal Control.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

State law reference—Liability of owner or keeper of vicious or dangerous animal for injuries caused by animal. O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7.

Sec. 10-121. - Cruelty to animals.

(a) Any person who abuses an animal, or aids another person in abusing an animal, or causes or permits an animal to abuse another animal, by acting or failing to act, shall be in violation of this chapter. Cruelty to an animal includes but is not limited to:

(1) Willful neglect as defined by this chapter;

(2) Failure to provide reasonable remedy or relief for any injured or diseased animal;

(3) Overloading, overdriving;

(4) Beating, torturing, tormenting or mutilating;

(5) Abandonment;

(6) Killing any animal or causing the same to be done;

(7) Failure to maintain adequate care;

(8) Failure to provide adequate food;

(9) Failure to provide adequate water;

(10) Failure to provide adequate shelter;

(11) Failure to provide adequate bedding;

(12) Failure to provide adequate primary enclosure;

(13) Failure to provide adequate exercise;

(14) Failure to provide adequate space;

(15) Failure to maintain sanitary conditions;

(16) Failure to provide adequate ventilation;

(17) Failure to provide adequate temperature control;

(18) Hording or collecting animals as defined by this chapter;

(19) Owning, managing, obtaining, confining or caring for any number of animals in an animal mill as defined by this chapter; or

(20) Otherwise treating any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner;

(b) Exceptions:

(1) Licensed veterinarians who perform surgery or euthanasia and CCAC personnel who euthanize animals under the direction of the CCAC manager per the guidelines of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, Georgia Department of Agriculture and this chapter are not in violation of this chapter.

(2) A person shall not be guilty of cruelty when the person is protecting his life, the life of another person or animal that is being attacked by an animal that is attempting to severely harm or kill him, provided that the person being attacked is not committing a crime or is not aggravating or inciting the animal to attack, and has not aggravated, injured, abused, or assaulted the animal in the past.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, §§ 10, 11, 27; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-25; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-121.1. - Aggravated cruelty to animals.

(a) Any person shall be in violation of this chapter and shall be guilty of aggravated cruelty who knowingly and maliciously causes or aids another person or animal in causing or attempting to cause the death, physical harm or serious disfigurement of an animal by, but not limited to, any of the following:

(1) Rendering a part of such animal's body useless;

(2) Drowning, severely starving, severely dehydrating, strangling, suffocating, burying alive, or burning;

(3) Attempting to kill, abuse, maim, disfigure, dismember, mutilate or torture any animal; or

(4) Administering poison to any animal or exposing any animal to any poisonous or toxic/deadly substance.

(b) Exception: Licensed veterinarians who perform surgery or euthanasia and CCAC personnel who euthanize animals under the direction of the CCAC manager per the guidelines of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, Georgia Department of Agriculture and this chapter are not in violation of this chapter.

(c) Exception: A person shall not be guilty of aggravated cruelty when the person is protecting his life, or the life of another person or animal that is being attacked by an animal that is attempting to severely harm or kill him, provided that the person or animal being attacked is not committing a crime or is not aggravating or inciting the animal to attack, and has not aggravated, injured, abused or assaulted the animal in the past.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-121.2. - Abandonment of a domestic animal.

a) Any person who engages in any behavior or activity defined as "abandonment (abandonment of an animal)" under section 10-1, shall be in violation of this chapter.

(b) Exception: An animal that is deserted when premises are temporarily vacated for the protection of human life during a disaster or emergency hospitalization shall not be regarded as abandoned under this article where the owner or custodian lacked sufficient time or resources to make reasonable arrangements for the adequate care and custody of the animal.

(c) Exception: An animal relinquished through a written agreement with CCAC, the Humane Society of Cobb County, other licensed rescue group, licensed veterinarians, individual, or other entity shall not be deemed abandoned but shall be considered relinquished to the entity.

(d) Exception: An animal left unattended when its sole owner dies shall not be deemed abandoned, and shall be impounded by CCAC until CCAC can locate a family member to take custody of the animal. If a family member cannot be located, then the animal will be held in compliance with section 10-67 of this chapter.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 23; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-21; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-121.3 - Fighting of animals.

(a) No animal shall be used for fighting.

(b) No animal shall be used to train other animals to fight.

(c) No animal shall be used as bait to encourage aggressive or fighting behavior in other animals.

(d) No person shall own, possess, keep, harbor, train, lend, borrow, or handle any dog, cat, bird/fowl, or other domestic, feral or wild animal with the intent that such animal shall be engaged in any animal fight/fight training, exhibition of animal fighting or being used as bait for fighting/aggressive animals.

(e) No person shall train, assist, umpire/referee or in any way participate in the training of any animal to be used for animal fighting or used as bait or for animal fighting, or torment, badger or bait any animal for the purpose of fighting or blood sport training or any other such activity, the primary purpose of which is the training/conditioning of animals for aggressive or vicious behavior or animal fights or exhibitions of fighting animals.

(f) No person shall charge admission to, participate in, or be present as a spectator, handler, timekeeper, referee, guard, etc. at any animal fight/battle.

(g) No person shall profit from any activity connected with any animal fight or exhibition of animals fighting or training, or competitions or matches of fighting animals.

(h) Any animal found to be used in violation of subsections (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) of this section will be immediately confiscated by CCAC.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-121.4 - Animal fighting/training arenas/areas.

No person shall, for the purpose of any exhibition/ occurrence of animal fighting, training for animal fighting, or training of animals to display aggressive behaviors:

(1) Build, make, maintain, or keep a pit or other animal fighting arena or area, whether permanent or portable, on premises owned or occupied by him;

(2) Allow a pit or other animal fighting arena or area whether permanent or portable, to be built, made, maintained, or kept on his premises; or

(3) Build, make, maintain, or keep a pit or other animal fighting arena or area, whether permanent or portable, on public or private property.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-121.5 - Training equipment.

No person shall:

(1) Possess, use, sell, give, trade, or loan apparatus, paraphernalia, pit supplies, implements, programs, drugs or equipment used to train or condition animals to be aggressive, aggressive animals, game animals, or animals used to train other animals to be aggressive. 

(2) Use any animal as bait or as a lure in training dogs for racing or other competitions.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-121.6. - Animals in motor vehicles.

Any person shall be in violation of this chapter who:

(1) Transports an animal in a pickup or other open vehicle unless the animal is either:

a. Fully enclosed within the vehicle.

b. Protected by a belt, halter, tether, cage, container or other device that will prevent the animal from falling, jumping or being thrown from the motor vehicle and that will protect the animal from harm.

(2) Leaves an animal in a parked vehicle when temperatures inside the vehicle may adversely affect the animal's health and welfare. When the conditions inside a parked vehicle constitute an imminent threat to the animal's health or safety, any animal left in a parked vehicle may be removed from that vehicle by CCAC, any law enforcement agency, or fire agency.

(3) Leaves an animal unrestrained or unattended in any parked open vehicle.

(4) Leaves an animal in any vehicle where it must stand, sit or lie on extremely hot or cold surfaces including but not limited to truck beds.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-121.7. - Impoundment of animals inhumanly or cruelly treated in violation of sections 10-121 through 10-121.6.

Any animal that has not received humane care, that has been subjected to cruelty in violation of sections 10-121 through 10-121.2 or 10-121.6, or that is used or intended for use in any violation of sections 10-121.3 through 121.5 shall be immediately impounded by CCAC.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-13. - Attacking and biting animals; report of; confiscation

(a) Notice to the county.

(1) Any person having information an animal has bitten or attacked a person shall immediately report such information to CCAC.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a)(1) of this section, the owner of a vicious animal shall notify CCAC immediately, but in any case within 24 hours, if the animal is loose, unconfined, has attacked a human, has died or has been sold or donated. If the animal has been sold or donated, the designation travels with the animal, and the original owner shall provide CCAC with the name, address and telephone number of the new owner of the animal, and the former owner shall inform the new owner of the designation.

(b) Confiscation of biting animals. Upon receiving notice that an animal has bitten or attacked a person, an authorized person from CCAC shall investigate the incident. Any animal determined to have bitten a person shall be immediately strictly confined and isolated for observation at CCAC or, at the owner's option, the owner may immediately take the biting animal to a licensed veterinarian. In the event the licensed veterinarian is closed or unable to take the animal at that time, the animal will be immediately transported to the animal shelter and held until the animal can be transported to a veterinary clinic. Regardless of the quarantine or confinement location, the owner shall be responsible for all expenses incurred. The biting animal shall be segregated and isolated for at least ten days from the date of the bite.

(1) Nothing shall prohibit CCAC from allowing an animal to remain in strict confinement on the premises of the owner subject to daily inspections by CCAC so long as the health, safety, and welfare of any person or animal is not threatened. Those animals may include but are not limited to the following:

a. A female animal that is nursing offspring and that is current on her rabies vaccination.

b. A vaccinated animal if the animal has a medical condition, verified by a written statement from a licensed veterinarian, and confinement at CCAC or a veterinary clinic would be detrimental to the health and welfare of the animal.

c. An animal that is current on its vaccination and has bitten its owner, caretaker, or member of its family.

(2) No animal that is in strict confinement for biting shall be vaccinated for rabies until the end of the quarantine period.

(3) No animal that is in strict confinement shall be sterilized or undergo any other surgical procedure during the quarantine period unless the surgery is necessary for a life threatening medical condition or injury.

(c) Confiscation of dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs. In addition to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog, after adjudication, shall be confiscated as follows:

(1) Dangerous dogs. A dangerous dog shall be immediately confiscated by CCAC or by a law enforcement officer or by another person authorized by CCAC if:

a. The owner of the dog does not secure the liability insurance or bond required by section 10-10;

b. The dog is not validly registered as required by section 10-10 of this section, including the posting of warning signs;

c. The dog is not maintained in a proper enclosure; or

d. The dog is outside of a proper enclosure in violation of section 10-11.

(2) Potentially dangerous dogs. A potentially dangerous dog shall be confiscated in the same manner as a dangerous dog if the dog is:

a. Not validly registered as required by section 10-10, including the posting of warning signs;

b. Not maintained in a proper enclosure; or

c. Outside of a proper enclosure in violation of section 10-11.

(d) Return of confiscated dangerous dogs, potentially dangerous dogs or vicious animals. Any dog that has been confiscated under the provisions of subsections (b), (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section shall be returned to its owner upon the owner's compliance with the provisions of this chapter and upon payment of reasonable confiscation costs provided in this chapter. If the owner has not complied with the provisions of this section within 20 days of the date the dog was confiscated, the dog shall be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. The payment of reasonable confiscation costs and the return of a dog shall not bar or affect an action against the owner for violation of this chapter.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 13; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-10; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-135. - Selling/giving away of animals; use of animals as prizes.

Selling or giving away animals in front of or on private property or public property, other than the animal owner's property, without the owner's permission, is prohibited. A licensed rescue group, licensed animal shelter, licensed veterinarian, licensed pet dealer, or licensed humane society which has all required governmental licenses, registrations and has obtained permission from the owner of the business or property, may sell or give away animals on private or public property, including but not limited to: retail stores, businesses, flea markets, yard sales and CCAC property.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 21; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-19; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-136. - Motorist hitting domestic animal to make report.

Any person who strikes or causes injury to any domestic animal while operating a motor vehicle shall notify the owner of the nature of the injury and the location of the incident. If the owner is unknown, the person striking or injuring the animal shall notify CCAC, the county police department, or any law enforcement agency.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 22; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-20; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-137. - Exhibition of animals.

(a) Animal exhibitions will be permitted provided that the exhibitor:

(1) Has all valid licenses and permits that are required by the state, county or city available for inspection on demand;

(2) Abides by all federal, state and local laws, ordinances, rules and guidelines that apply to such exhibits;

(3) Does not exhibit any animal that is ill or injured;

(4) Has a licensed veterinarian either present or on call to attend to any injured/ill animal;

(5) Confines/controls all animals to protect the public and the animals from harm; and

(6) Ensures that all animals are treated in accordance with this chapter.

(b) Legal exhibitions include but are not limited to petting zoos, circuses, dog shows, individuals or groups displaying/marketing animals for adoption or sale, etc., unless otherwise prohibited in this chapter. Animals that are high-risk carriers of rabies such as foxes, raccoons, and skunks shall not be exhibited in petting zoos or any exhibition where they can come in contact with people.

(c) Exhibitions of animals for illegal purposes as stated in local ordinances, this chapter, state and federal laws are strictly prohibited.

(d) No person shall in any manner or for any reason encourage, instigate, promote, assist, exhibit, organize, sponsor, host or participate in an exhibition/demonstration of the following types of animals including but not limited to those animals that are:

(1) Used or potentially used for fighting or training for fighting;

(2) Game animals;

(3) Bred with the intent to fight;

(4) Aggressive animals.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-138. - Sanitation.

(a) Animal owners, or persons who care for animals at the person's residence, must keep their property, including but not limited to their yards, porches, balconies, decks, and interior living spaces reasonably free of animal waste including feces and urine and the residue thereof. Animal waste will be removed in a timely manner by placing said material in a closed or sealed container and thereafter disposing of it in the animal owner's trash receptacle, sanitary disposal unit, or other closed or sealed refuse container, so as to provide a sanitary and odor-free condition at all times. The waste removal method described above shall not apply to those persons maintaining animals on tracts of land seven acres or greater.

(b) Persons who permit their animals to defecate on public or private property other than their own property are required to immediately pick up the feces, bag the feces, and properly dispose of the feces. Animal waste shall be removed by placing said matter in a closed or sealed container and thereafter disposing of it in the animal owner's or public trash receptacle, sanitary disposal unit or other closed or sealed refuse container.

(c) Any person found in violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be in violation of this chapter, subject to the following exceptions:

(1) Persons using guide dogs or assistance dogs are exempt from removing feces;

(2) Hunting dogs being used in a legal hunt with permission of the property owner; or

(3) Law enforcement officers working police trained dogs.

(Ord. of 5-24-05; Amd. of 2-24-09)

Sec. 10-14. Prohibited animals.

It shall be unlawful to purchase, sell, own, possess, harbor or breed skunks, foxes, prairie dogs, raccoons, coyotes, wolves, hybrid wolves, any hybrid animal that is part wild animal, exotic cats or any other wildlife unless licensed by the respective federal or state department of agriculture to possess such animal.

(Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Ord. of 6-28-94; Code 1977, § 3-5-26; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-15. - Ferrets.

European ferrets, mustela putorius furo, may be sold, purchased, exhibited, or held as pets, provided that the ferret owner can provide valid documentation that the ferret was sexually spayed or neutered prior to seven months of age and is vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian with a properly administered vaccine approved for use on ferrets by the United States Department of Agriculture.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-3. - Interpretation of chapter.

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted or applied so as to create any power or duty in conflict with the preemptive effect of any federal or state law.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted or applied so as to create any liability on the part of county, or any employee, board or official which enforces or fails to enforce any of the provisions provided in this chapter or any provisions in the state dangerous dog law.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 3; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-3; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-36. - Animal control unit; unit commander; dog control officer; animal control officers; humane officers.

(a) Animal control unit. There is hereby created the county animal control unit, which shall have primary responsibility for animal control and welfare in the county.

(b) Appointment of unit. The unit manager of the animal control unit shall be appointed by the appropriate appointing authority. The unit manager may also be designated by the board of health as the official rabies control officer for the county. 

(c) Powers and duties of unit manager. The unit manager shall be primarily responsible, with support from the director of the department of public safety, for the enforcement of this chapter; and his duties shall include but not limited to the following: 

(1) Responsible for the operation of the animal shelter and the performance of such duties and the keeping of such records as the board of commissioners may require.

(2) Cooperation with the county board of health in the enforcement of rabies control regulations and of animal control directives.

(3) Cooperation with animal welfare organizations.

(4) Taking up and impounding animals which are in violation of this chapter, using any and all means available that are humane in nature.

(5) Housing animals at the animal shelter, or at any facility designated by CCAC to function or serve as an auxiliary shelter.

(6) Keeping a record of the number, description and disposition of all animals impounded or otherwise taken into custody, showing in detail in the case of each animal the following:

a. A general description by sex, breed and approximate age, together with any identification tag, vaccination tag or other marking, if any; 

b. The date of receipt;

c. The date and manner of disposal;

d. The name and address of the person reclaiming or adopting;

e. The fees and charges;

f. The proceeds of sales received;

g. The condition of the animal when received;

h. Any treatment administered to the animal, including any drugs, medication or appliances;

i. The condition of the animal when reclaimed, redeemed, adopted or purchased; and

j. Such additional records as the board of commissioners may require.

(d) Identification. The animal control officers shall wear uniforms and badges containing individual names while engaged in the execution of their duties. The unit manager and assistant manager shall possess badges for use in the execution of their duties, but shall not necessarily wear uniforms.

(e) Dog control officer. The unit manager is hereby designated the responsibility of dog control officer, and shall carry out all duties provided for by the state dangerous dog control law for the county or any other local government pursuant to contract or agreement; and his duties shall include, but not be limited to the following:

(1) Upon receiving a report of a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog, to make such investigation and inquiries as may be necessary to identify dangerous dogs and dangerous dog owners within the dog control officer's jurisdiction.

(2) Notifying the dog's owner pursuant to the state dangerous dog control law when the dog has been classified.

(f) Enforcement by unit manager, animal control officer, humane officers. In addition to other duties, the unit manager, animal control officers and humane officers shall have authority to investigate all animal complaints and enforce the animal control ordinance and state dangerous dog law as applied in this chapter.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 4; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-4; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-37. - Fees

(a) The fees with respect to all services performed in connection with enforcement of this chapter shall be set by the board of commissioners from time to time. A copy of such fee schedule shall be posted at the headquarters of the CCAC and may be changed at any time and from time to time as determined by the board of commissioners.

(b) The fees established and collected under this chapter and pursuant to the state dangerous dog control law are not penalties but are imposed for the sole purpose of defraying expenses borne by the county for animal control and welfare under this chapter and are subject to change at any time.

(c) The CCAC may waive any part of the normally required fees at his discretion.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 20; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-18; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-4. - Incorporation of state law; construction; other regulations.

(a) Incorporation. The state law known as the dangerous dog control law is incorporated in this chapter by reference and made part of this chapter. 

(b) Construction. This chapter shall be construed to effectuate its purposes and policies and to supplement such existing state laws as may relate to animals.

(c) Other regulations. Other provisions of law or regulations relating to this chapter shall apply when any provisions of this chapter shall conflict with the laws of the state or the United States of America. The laws of the state or the United States of America shall apply when this chapter is silent.

(Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-3.1(a)—(c); Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-5. - Jurisdiction and interlocal agreement.

The jurisdiction for enforcement of this chapter shall be in the unincorporated area of the county; however, the county may contract or enter into agreements with other municipalities to enforce this chapter for joint animal control services or for the provision of animal control services and for the separate or joint use of personnel, facilities and equipment for such services. Such agreements or contracts shall be subject to any state law, which may govern.

(Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-3.2; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-51. - Membership.

(a) The Cobb County Animal Control Board shall consist of the following: One member of the Humane Society of Cobb County board of directors or its designee (post 1); three interested citizens who have interest in domestic animals (posts 2, 3, 4); two veterinarians, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Cobb County Veterinary Medical Society (posts 5, 6); and one citizen chosen by the chairman of the board of commissioners (post 7). Members of the animal control board shall adopt procedures and policies to govern potential conflicts of interest arising from the responsibilities and duties of their positions.

(b) The manager of the animal control unit shall be an ex officio member of the animal control board.

(c) All members of the animal control board shall be residents of the county.

(d) Members of the board of commissioners from districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall separately appoint posts 5, 3, 1, and 6 respectively (i.e., district commissioner 1 appoints post 5; district commissioner 2 appoints post 3; district commissioner 3 appoints post 1; district commissioner 4 appoints post 6.) The terms of those four members will run concurrent with the appointing commissioner's term, and these members will serve at the appointing commissioner's pleasure.

In addition, the commissioners from districts 1 and 3 shall together appoint the post 4 member, and the commissioners from districts 2 and 4 shall together appoint the post 2 member. These two members shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing commissioners, and these members' terms shall begin with the announcement of their appointment at an open meeting and will conclude upon first of their appointing commissioner's leaving office for any reason. Notwithstanding the above, all members shall continue to serve until their replacements are appointed.

(e) One member of the animal control board (post 7) shall be appointed by the chairman of the board of commissioners. The post 7 member shall serve concurrently with the chairman's term of office and at the chairman's pleasure and until a successor is appointed and qualified.

(f) The changes provided in this section concerning membership will take effect post-by-post upon the expiration of the terms of the members of the animal control board presently serving on the date of the adoption of this revision of this chapter.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 5; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Ord. of 3-9-93; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-5; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-52. - Powers and duties.

(a) In addition to such other powers and duties as may be set forth in this chapter, the animal control board shall have the power and duty to:

(1) Hold hearings and recommend to the board of commissioners regulations and amendments to this chapter concerning the control and welfare of animals in the county.

(2) Recommend to the board of commissioners guidelines for the operation and maintenance of the animal shelter.

(3) Hold a public meeting at least twice yearly.

(4) Study animal related issues and recommend to the board of commissioners those programs, methods, found to be both economically feasible and humane.

(5) Study and recommend to the board of commissioners requirements for the treatment and maintenance of animals at the animal shelter.

(6) Supply to the board of commissioners semiannual reports as to any recommendations provided for in this section or at such other intervals or times as may be designated by the board of commissioners.

(7) Carry out those duties as provided in the state dangerous dog control law, as amended, and hold hearings and determine matters provided therein and as amended. In addition, the animal control board may enact procedures for hearings on the state dangerous dog law. 

(b) The animal control board may request and receive in a timely manner statistics, information and documentation necessary for reports and studies for the board of commissioners.

(c) The animal control board may enact its own by-laws and general hearing procedures.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 6; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-6; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-6. - Interference with animal control officer.

It shall be unlawful to interfere with any animal control officer by taking or attempting to take any animal from any vehicle used to transport such animal, or by taking or attempting to take any animal from the animal control impounding areas, or by any other method which would block or hinder any officer referred to in this section from performing his duties.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 24; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-22; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-66. - Impoundment of animals found running at large; notice to owner.

(a) Subject to the state dangerous dog control law and the provisions of this chapter relating to rabies control and the rules and regulations of the board of health and this chapter, any animal found running at large or otherwise engaged in any activity or existing in a condition prohibited by this chapter or by the state dangerous dog control law shall be taken and impounded at the animal shelter. 

(b) Any person may take into custody any animal running at large in violation of this chapter and place with CCAC.

(c) Any person who takes into custody an animal running at large in violation of this chapter shall deliver such animal to the animal shelter without fee or charge. However, a person may house the animal for five business days while attempting to locate and/or contact the owner. Once in the custody of the animal shelter, the shelter shall hold and dispose of such animal in the same manner as though such animal had been running at large and impounded by officers of CCAC.

(d) Upon receipt for impoundment of any domesticated animal found to have any means of identification, the CCAC shall immediately make diligent efforts to ascertain the identity of the animal's owner. If identified, CCAC shall, within 24 hours of receipt, telephone the owner to give notice of the impoundment. If CCAC is unable to contact the owner by telephone, it shall send notice of impoundment to the owner by certified mail.

(e) Diseased, injured, or pregnant animals, and animals in need of immediate veterinary care so as to lessen the suffering, prevent the spread of a communicable disease to other animals, and/or to save the animal's life, shall be treated by or under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. If an animal is suffering from any life threatening disease or injury where life cannot be maintained and a slow death would be inhumane, and the licensed veterinarian and the CCAC manager agree that the best interest of the animal would be served by euthanizing the animal, then the animal shall be humanely euthanized regardless of whether or not the normally required impoundment period has expired.

(f) Any licensed veterinarian who is caring for an animal during the period of impoundment shall immediately notify the CCAC manager if the animal dies.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 13; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-11; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-66.1. - Taking; selling impounding of owned animals.

(a) Any person who takes, steals, or deliberately lures a cat, dog or other domestic animal off the property of the owner without permission of the owner, or who deliberately releases such animal from the property of the owner, without the permission of the owner, shall be in violation of this chapter.

(1) A law enforcement officer or the CCAC manager or his designee who takes an animal as directed in this chapter while performing his duties as defined by this chapter shall not be in violation of this section.

(2) An animal that has been injured, that is in danger, or whose health or safety has been compromised may be removed by CCAC without being in violation of this chapter.

(3) Any CCAC officer who finds an animal in need of immediate medical care or treatment due to a life threatening illness or injury or finds an animal in danger, may remove the animal from public or private property if the removal is for the purpose of seeking immediate medical care for the animal, or is in the immediate best interest of the animal. If the animal is removed from a private residence, notice shall be left at the owner's residence advising the owner of the impoundment and reason for impoundment.

(b) It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person who, knowing the identity of an animal's owner, without permission of said owner does any of the following:

(1) Relinquishes the animal to CCAC without notifying CCAC of the animal owner's name and address;

(2) Relinquishes the animal to CCAC and falsely represents himself as the owner of the animal;

(3) Sells the animal; or

(4) Gives the animal away.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-66.2. - Entrapment of animals; methods, duration, access to food and water, etc.

(a) Trapping of animals is permitted only if all of the following are complied with:

(1) The trap shall be a humane trap that is safe and non-debilitating;

(2) The trap must be placed in such a manner to prevent injury to children;

(3) Traps set to operate must be checked at least every eight hours;

(4) Traps must not be set for more than eight hours prior to the earliest possible transport to the animal shelter; and

(5) Traps can only be placed on public or private property with permission of the owner or lessor of the property.

(b) Trapped animals:

(1) Shall be given food and water as needed to prevent malnutrition and dehydration;

(2) May not be treated in a cruel or abusive manner;

(3) That are domestic animals and are seriously ill or severely injured shall be taken to a licensed veterinarian or the animal shelter for evaluation, care and disposition;

(4) That are domestic animals that appear to be uninjured and reasonably healthy shall be taken to animal shelter or returned to the owner if known; and

(5) That are wild animals or wildlife shall be taken to the animal shelter.

(Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-67. - Period of impoundment or confinement.

(a) All periods specified in this section shall be deemed to commence at 12:01 a.m. of the day following the day of impoundment or confinement.

(b) Other than those dogs confiscated under sections 10-13(b), 10-13(c), 10-97, or 10-121 through 10-121.18, all impounded animals shall be kept at the animal shelter for a period of not less than five working days unless redeemed within such period.

(c) Wildlife or wild animals as defined by this chapter which have been captured by or come to be in the custody of CCAC shall not be deemed impounded and need not be retained for any minimum length of time. Wildlife and wild animals received by CCAC will be disposed of in accordance with federal and state guidelines.

(d) Any animal which is voluntarily surrendered to CCAC shall be deemed permanently relinquished to CCAC and may be immediately adopted, destroyed or otherwise disposed of as though it had been impounded.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 14; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-12; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-68. - Redemption; abandonment.

(a) The owner of any impounded animal may regain possession of the animal upon payment of all applicable fees specified in section 10-37 and compliance with the terms of this chapter. Such redemption shall not affect any criminal liability of the owner, which may exist with respect to any violation of this chapter and shall not preclude proceedings against the owner for the purpose of pursuing sanctions under this chapter. The following exceptions apply:

(1) Any animal impounded as a result of cruelty, abuse, neglect, or any other reason defined by this chapter as inhumane treatment may be retained by CCAC until such time as the case is disposed of in a court competent to hear such matters.

(2) Any impounded animal adopted from CCAC that was not spayed or neutered per the adoption agreement may immediately be reclaimed by CCAC, and the owner may not be permitted to reclaim said animal.

(b) Any impounded animal not redeemed within the period specified in sections 10-13(d) or 10-67, whichever is applicable, shall be considered abandoned to CCAC, in which event all rights of ownership shall vest in CCAC; and the owner shall have no further claim to such animal.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 15; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-13; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-69. - Adoption.

(a) CCAC shall endeavor to locate adopters for adoptable animals. No adoption shall become final until the termination of the impoundment period or confinement period provided for in section 10-67. No person under 18 years of age may adopt an animal and all adopters must provide proper identification prior to the adoption.

(b) As a condition precedent to adoption, all fees pursuant to section 10-37(a) shall be paid by the adopter.

(c) The unit manager shall have the right to refuse adoption to any person or entity who, for any reason, in the discretion of the unit manager or his designee, may be deemed unsuitable as an adopter.

(d) No transfer of any animal held at the animal shelter shall be valid without the written approval of CCAC.

(e) All animals adopted from the animal shelter shall be neutered or spayed. Upon completion of neutering or spaying, within the period specified by CCAC, the veterinarian performing such operation shall submit to CCAC signed certification of such operation. The adopter shall be responsible for providing proof that the animal has been sterilized within seven days of the surgery or will insure that the licensed veterinarian responsible for the spay/neuter surgery submits signed verification to CCAC that the sterilization process has been accomplished.

(f) No person residing in the same household, nor any corporation, institute or other entity, may adopt more than three animals within any 12-month period; however, nothing shall prohibit CCAC discretion to donate more than three animals in a 12-month period, if the donation is in the best interest or welfare of the animal or it is in the best interest of public safety.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, CCAC shall have the right to keep any animal which could otherwise be adopted or sold.

(Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-14; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-7. - Disposal of dead animal.

(a) Legislative authority. This section is enacted pursuant to the Georgia Constitution and 1967 Ga. Laws (Act No. 19), page 914 (see pt. J, § 1-4) and 1969 Ga. Laws (Act No. 213), page 2486 (see pt. I, §§ 2-38, 2-39).

(b) Abandonment of dead animals; requirements as to disposal generally.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person who owns or is caring for an animal which has died or has been killed to abandon the animal, its parts, or blood. Under no conditions may dead animals be   abandoned at any location, including but not limited to, in wells or open pits of any kind on private or public land.

(2) No person shall dispose of an animal, its parts or blood, by burial on the land of another without the permission of the owner of the land.

(3) Arrangements for proper burial must be made with a county official in order to dispose of a dead animal in a county landfill.

(c) Removal and disposition of dead animals within rights of way and on public property. Any other provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, it shall be the duty of CCAC and the county department of transportation to remove and dispose of the carcasses of all dead animals found within the rights-of-way of all county roads maintained either totally or in part from county funds. 

(d) Methods of disposal of dead animals. Methods which can be used for disposal of dead animals are burial and incineration in a county approved incinerator. Disposal of animal carcasses by either of the approved methods must be completed within 12 hours after the death or discovery of the carcass unless the carcass is properly refrigerated or frozen.

(1) If incineration is chosen, the entire carcass must be reduced to ashes in the incineration process only in a county approved incinerator.

(2) Carcasses which are buried must be buried at least three feet below the ground level, but no more than eight feet, and have not less than three feet of earth over the carcass.

(3) Mutilation of dead domestic animals is prohibited.

(Code 1977, § 3-5-15.1; Ord. of 5-24-05)

State law reference—Dead Animal Disposal Act, O.C.G.A. § 4-5-1 et seq.

Sec. 10-70. - Sale of animals.

CCAC shall have the exclusive right to dispose of all animals that have been relinquished to CCAC, impounded or confiscated and not redeemed within the period specified by CCAC, including but not limited to domestic animals, farm animals, livestock, exotic animals, birds and reptiles, in any manner deemed appropriate and in the best interest of the animal and in accordance with this chapter.

(Code 1977, § 3-5-14.1; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-71. - Destruction of animals.

(a)Subject to those dogs falling within subsections (b) and (c) of this section, any impounded animal within one of the following categories may be destroyed at the discretion of CCAC, in as humane a manner as possible: 

(1) Any animal not redeemed within the periods specified in section 10-68 and section 10-13(d) or which by reason of age, disease, temperament or injury, is not considered adoptable or otherwise placeable, or when limitations on available kennel space at CCAC exist. 

(2) Any animal, which is suffering excessively, without regard to whether the period of confinement designated in section 10-67 has expired.

(3) Any animal, which presents a danger or exhibits a propensity for aggressive behavior towards any person or other animal, without regard to whether the period of confinement designated in section 10-67 has expired.

(b) The owner of a dog confiscated for violation of section 10-10 shall have 20 days from the date the dog was confiscated to comply with the provisions of this chapter and pay reasonable confiscation costs to redeem the animal. If the owner has not complied with the provisions of this chapter within the 20-day period, the dog shall be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner, as determined by CCAC.

(c) Any dog confiscated when the owner is in violation of the state dangerous dog control law (O.C.G.A. § 4-8-20 et seq.) or section 10-10 of this chapter shall be destroyed as determined by CCAC only after there has been a conviction or order by the appropriate court under either of such sections.

(d) Any animal confiscated when the owner is in violation of section 10-12.1 of this chapter may be destroyed as determined by CCAC only after there has been a conviction or an order by an appropriate court.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 17; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-15; Ord. of 5-24-05)

State law reference—Euthanasia of dogs and cats by animal shelters, O.C.G.A. § 4-11-5.1.

Sec. 10-72. - Neutering and spaying.

(a) No impounded animal shall be neutered or spayed (sterilized) without the owner's consent until the period of redemption has expired, except any animal that in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian must be sterilized in order to save its life may be sterilized by a licensed veterinarian prior to the expiration of the redemption period.

(b) CCAC shall accomplish the sterilization of any animal whose period of impoundment has expired or that has been voluntarily surrendered to the county by:

(1) Requiring adopters to sign a binding agreement to have the adopted animal sterilized within a period specified by CCAC as follows:

a. Within 30 days from the date of adoption for animals over the age of six months.

b. Within the first six months of age for sexually immature animals.

(2) By CCAC sterilizing the animal prior to adoption.

(3) If the animal cannot be sterilized as required due to disease, medical condition, or for other reasons as specified by a veterinarian, then signed verification from a licensed veterinarian shall be delivered to CCAC by the adopter and the animal shall be sterilized upon recovery or as soon as recommended by the veterinarian.

(c) The adopter of any animal required to be sterilized pursuant this chapter shall be responsible for providing CCAC proof that the animal has been sterilized within seven days of the surgery. The adopter will not be relieved of this responsibility until the veterinarian performing the sterilization certifies to CCAC that the sterilization has been accomplished, or unless the veterinarian certifies to CCAC in writing that the animal has died.

(d) Any adopted animal not sterilized within the time specified may be reclaimed by CCAC.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 19; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-17; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-8. - Treatment of diseased or injured animals.

When, in the opinion of the CCAC manager, an animal in the custody of CCAC is:

(1) Diseased or injured and in need of immediate treatment so as to lessen the animal's suffering or to prevent the spread of communicable disease, the CCAC manager or designee shall immediately obtain the services of or place the animal with a licensed veterinarian for the purpose of administering necessary treatment.

(2) Suffering needlessly due to a life threatening disease or injury, and a licensed veterinarian recommends euthanasia as the most humane course of action, and the CCAC manager or designee agrees that the best interest of the animal would be served by euthanizing the animal, then the animal shall be humanely euthanized regardless of whether or not the normally required impoundment period has expired.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 18; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-16; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-9. - Animals creating nuisances.

The owner of any animal shall be in violation of this chapter if the animal exhibits any behavior or engages in any activity defined as a "nuisance animal" under section 10-1.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, § 25; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-23; Ord. of 5-24-05)

Sec. 10-96. - Rabies inoculation, tag requirement for dogs, cats and ferrets.

(a) Insofar as the control of rabies is concerned, this chapter shall be construed and enforced consistently with any rules and regulations promulgated by the board of health. CCAC and the public safety director and his designees are authorized and directed to enforce any such rabies control rules and regulations which may be promulgated by the board of health.

(b) All dogs, cats and ferrets shall be vaccinated by four months of age and revaccinated as recommended by the current Compendium of Animal Rabies or a licensed veterinarian according to the type of vaccine and the duration of its effectiveness.

(c) Animals that may not be vaccinated for health reasons at the direction of a licensed veterinarian and those under the suggested age shall wear a collar with identification tags when off the property of the owner.

(d) Ferrets are not required to wear a collar and tag, however the owner, caretaker or veterinarian shall provide proof of vaccination upon demand of CCAC.

(e) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor or allow to be kept or harbored any dog or cat over four months of age without a collar, which shall have attached thereto a valid vaccination tag.

(1) Dogs, while legally hunting or working on agricultural property with permission of the owner, are not required to wear a collar with identification tags when off the property of the owner.

(2) Show animals are not required to wear a collar or rabies tag while being shown as required by this chapter provided that the owner/handler shall have the rabies tag in his possession where it may be shown upon demand of a representative of CCAC.

(3) Animals that are housed at licensed kennels, shelters, or veterinary clinics are exempt from wearing collars and rabies tags provided the animal has been properly vaccinated and the veterinarian/caretaker has the rabies tag or proof of vaccination in his possession where it may be shown upon demand of a representative of CCAC.

(4) Cats and dogs over four months of age that are on the owner's property are not required to wear their rabies tag provided the animal has been properly vaccinated and the veterinarian/caretaker has the rabies tag or proof of vaccination in his possession where it may be shown upon demand of a representative of CCAC.

(f) Any dog or cat entering the county for the purpose of a temporary stay not exceeding 14 days shall be exempt from the rabies tag provision of this section, but shall be subject to all other provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. of 9-23-80, §§ 7, 8; Ord. of 6-11-85; Ord. of 10-24-89; Code 1977, § 3-5-7; Ord. of 5-24-05)

State law reference—Inoculation of dogs and cats against rabies, O.C.G.A. § 31-19-6; rabies inoculation tags, O.C.G.A. § 31-19-6.

Sec. 10-97. - Animals bitten by rabid animals/suspected rabid animals.

(a) Dogs, cats and ferrets current on their rabies vaccinations that are bitten by a suspected or proven rabid animal shall be revaccinated immediately, confined and observed for the recommended time set by the State of Georgia. Confinement is the responsibility of the owner and subject to unannounced inspections by CCAC to ensure compliance. 

(b) Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets that are bitten by a suspected or proven rabid animal should be humanely euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to euthanize the animal, the exposed animal must be placed in strict confinement/isolation for the period of time set by the State of Georgia and vaccinated one month prior to being released from isolation. Confining the animal in strict isolation is the responsibility of the animal owner and subject to unannounced inspections by CCAC.

(c) Cattle and livestock that are current on their rabies vaccinations bitten by a suspected or proven rabid animal shall be revaccinated immediately, confined, and observed for the period of time set by the State of Georgia. Confining the animal in strict isolation is the responsibility of the animal owner and subject to unannounced inspections by CCAC.

(d) Unvaccinated cattle or livestock bitten by a suspected or proven rabid animal should be destroyed (slaughtered) immediately. Under special circumstances and with the approval of CCAC and the county health department, the owner may opt to keep the exposed animal under very strict confinement/isolation and close observation for the period of time set by the State of Georgia.

(e) Any animal bitten by a suspected or proven rabid animal that is not destroyed and manifests any of the symptoms of rabies should be immediately examined by a licensed veterinarian. If the licensed veterinarian determines the animal is displaying symptoms of rabies and the symptoms cannot be attributed to any other illness or injury, the animal shall be humanely euthanized and CCAC shall be notified. 

(f) All animals will be managed in accordance with the guidelines established in the most current edition of the Georgia Rabies Control Manual.

(Res. of 11-9-93; Code 1977, § 3-5-7.1; Ord. of 5-24-05)

State law reference—Animal bites, O.C.G.A. § 31-19-4.

Secs. 10-122—10-134. - Reserved.

Reserved.

Secs. 10-16—10-35. - Reserved.

Reserved.

Secs. 10-38—10-50. - Reserved.

Reserved.

Secs. 10-53—10-65. - Reserved.

Reserved.

Secs. 10-73—10.95. - Reserved.

Reserved.

Secs. 10-98—10-120. - Reserved

Reserved.