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(1) The City Council hereby determines that owning, keeping, or harboring vicious dogs is a nuisance, and that strict controls of vicious dogs are necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of West Valley City.

(2) The Animal Control Division, in the discretion of the Animal Control Administrator or upon receipt of a complaint alleging that a particular dog is a vicious dog, as defined herein, may initiate proceedings to declare such dog a vicious dog. All proceedings to determine whether or not a dog is vicious, or a proceeding on a violation alleged to have been committed by a dog previously determined to be vicious, shall be conducted by an Administrative Code Enforcement Hearing Officer pursuant to the procedures of Title 10 of the City Code, in addition to the procedures set forth in this section. In determining whether or not a dog shall be declared a vicious dog, the Hearing Officer may consider, as a mitigating factor, that the actions of the dog were provoked, as defined in this chapter. A hearing on the matter shall be conducted if requested in writing. The person owning, keeping, sheltering, or harboring the dog in question shall be given written notice of the time and place of the hearing, pursuant to Section 10-2-504 of the City Code. Said notice shall set forth the description of the dog in question and the basis for the allegation of viciousness. The notice shall also set forth that if the dog is determined to be vicious, the owner will be required to register and restrain it in accordance with this chapter, remove it from the City, or allow it to be destroyed. The notice shall state that if the owner or keeper of the dog fails to request a hearing in writing, a default order will be entered deeming the dog vicious. The notice shall be served upon any adult residing at the premises where the dog is located, or may be posted on those premises if no adult is present to accept service.

(3) If, after the hearing, the Hearing Officer determines that a dog is vicious, as defined in this chapter, the Hearing Officer shall order the person owning, sheltering, harboring, or keeping the dog to register the dog in compliance with this chapter; to remove it from the City; or to cause it to be destroyed in a humane manner. The order shall immediately be served upon the individual or entity against whom issued in the same manner as the notice of hearing. If the order is not complied with within three days of its issuance, the Animal Control Division is authorized to order the seizure and impoundment of the dog. A dog so seized shall be impounded for a period of ten days from the date the order is served upon the owner or keeper. If, at the end of the impoundment period, the person against whom the order was issued has not appealed such order to the District Court, the Animal Control Division shall cause the dog to be destroyed.

(4) The order issued by the Hearing Officer, declaring a dog vicious, or in violation of this chapter, and ordering the owner or keeper to register, remove, or destroy the dog, may be appealed to the District Court. In order to appeal the order, written notice of appeal must be filed with the Court within ten days after receipt of the order to remove, register, or destroy the vicious dog. Failure to file such written notice of appeal shall constitute a waiver of the right to appeal the order of the Hearing Officer. The order issued by the Hearing Officer shall state the appeal process established by this section.

a. The District Court shall review the record of the Hearing Officer's decision or the allegations that led to the default order, and shall uphold the decision unless it was arbitrary, capricious, or illegal.

b. If the appeal is from an order finding that a dog previously determined to be vicious is in violation of this chapter, then the Court shall review the order concerning the violation only, and not review the prior determination that the dog is vicious.

c. While the appeal is pending, the dog shall be confined in a manner consistent with the requirements of this chapter, as approved by the Animal Control Administrator, and at the sole expense of the owner or keeper.

(5) If the District Court upholds the decision of the Hearing Officer, the owner or keeper of the vicious dog shall comply with the Hearing Officer's order within three days of receiving notice of the Court's decision. If the order is not complied with, the Animal Control Division is authorized to seize and impound the vicious dog, at the owner's or keeper's expense. The dog will be impounded for seven days, during which the owner or keeper may redeem the animal by paying all reasonable costs associated with the impoundment, and by showing, to the satisfaction of the Animal Control Administrator, that the owner or keeper will fully comply with the order of the Hearing Officer.

(6) Failure to comply with an order of the Hearing Officer issued pursuant hereto and not appealed, or upheld by the District Court after appeal, shall constitute a Class B misdemeanor.

(7) Any dog found at large which displays vicious tendencies may be processed as a vicious dog pursuant to the foregoing.

(8) All costs of such impoundment or quarantine shall be paid by the owner if the dog is determined to be vicious. If collection of expenses is pursued, the City shall file suit and receive a judgment for all expenses, together with reasonable attorneys' fees, interest, and court costs. If the dog is not determined to be vicious, all costs of such impoundment or quarantine shall be paid by the City.

(Ord. No. 98-61 Amended 08/25/1998)

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