Animals Ordinance

Reprinted directly from the Town of Huntersville Codes of Ordinances.

Chapter 94: Animals.

§ 94.03 Definitions

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

Animal. Any live, vertebrate creature specifically including, but not limited to dogs, cats, farm animals, birds, fish and reptiles.

Animal Control Officer. Any person or persons hired by the Town of Huntersville to pick up, restrain, impound, care for, sell or dispose of animals and be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter or state laws pertaining to the ownership and control of animals. This person will also investigate any complaints of cruelty to animals under the guidelines and authorization of G.S § 19A-45.

Cat. A domestic feline of either sex.

Competent Person. A person of suitable age and discretion to keep an animal under sufficient control in order to prevent harm to the animal, to persons, to other animals or to property.

Dangerous. Any animal, on or off the premises of its owner or keeper, which is three months of age or older and without provocation has killed, bitten or caused physical harm through bite(s) to a person; or without provocation attempted to bite or cause physical harm through bite(s) to a person; or without provocation has injured, maimed or killed a pet or domestic livestock. This definition shall not apply to a police K9, or if the victim was trespassing, as defined in this section, upon the property of the animal’s owner at the time the bite occurred.

Dog. A domestic canine of either sex.

Exotic Animals. Animals other than domestic animals, farm animals and wild animals that are not native to North Carolina as defined by § 94.46.

Exposed to Rabies. Any animal or human bitten by or exposed to any animal known or suspected to be infected with rabies.

Harboring an Animal. An animal shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered seven days or more, unless the animal is being boarded for a fee.

Kennel. An establishment wherein any person buys, sells, boards, breeds, grooms, lets for hire or trains dogs or cats.

Neutered or Spayed Dog or Cat. A dog or cat that has been operated upon to prevent reproduction.

Nuisance. Any animal or group of animals which:

  1. Is repeatedly found at large;
  2. Damages the property of anyone other than its owner’s;
  3. Is vicious;
  4. Causes fouling of the air by odors;
  5. Causes unsanitary conditions of enclosures or surroundings;
  6. By virtue of number or type is offensive or dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare;
  7. Excessively makes disturbing noises;
  8. Is diseased and dangerous to the health of humans or other animals.

Owner. Any person, group of persons, firm, organization, association, society, club, lodge, partnership, syndicate, trustee or corporations owning, keeping, having charge of, sheltering, feeding, harboring or taking care of any dog or cat or animal unless the animal is boarded for a fee.

Premises. A definite portion of real estate, including land with its appurtenances, a building or part of a building.

Provocation. Any act that would reasonably be expected to cause an animal to defend itself, its young, its owner or keeper or the property of the owner or keeper of said animal.

Restraint. An animal is under restraint within the meaning of this chapter if it is:

  1. Controlled by means of a chain, leash or like device;
  2. On or within a vehicle being driven or parked;
  3. Within a secure enclosure;
  4. Within the dwelling of the owner or keeper; or
  5. Under the immediate and effective control of a competent person.

Secure Fence Enclosure. A fence at least four feet high and forming an enclosure sufficient to contain the dog at all times. Minimum size of the enclosure must be at least 100 square feet. The entrance shall have a gate capable of being locked. (NOTE: If the dog to be secured is over 15 inches high at the shoulder or is capable of climbing a four foot fence, then a six foot fence with a wire top is required.)

Stray. Any dog within the town limits, off the premises of the owner or keeper and not under restraint.

Town Temporary Holding Facility. Any premises designated by the Police Department for the purpose of impounding and caring for animals found running at large, unwanted or otherwise subject to impoundment in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

Trespass. For the purpose of this chapter, it means that the victim has wrongfully invaded the property of the owner. The cause of the individual to be on the property and any other relevant circumstances shall be considered in order to determine whether a trespass has occurred. A child under the age of seven shall not be deemed a trespasser.

(Ordinance passed May 21, 2001)