General provisions. It shall be unlawful for any person to own or in any way maintain or harbor a
dog that is dangerous/potentially dangerous, except as provided in this Chapter. Notwithstanding
any exemption listed below, any dog which has killed a person shall be immediately euthanized by
the Animal Service Center.
Reporting requirement. Any attack or biting by a dog upon a person, livestock, or
domestic animal; transfer, gift, sale or other conveyance of ownership or possession of a
dangerous or potentially dangerous dog; confinement to a Veterinary facility; removal
from territorial jurisdiction of the county; animals death must be reported by any of the
owner, keeper, harborer of a dog deemed dangerous/ potentially dangerous or of
a dog who has attacked or bitten a person or domestic animal;
victim of or person witnessing such of an attack or biting;
veterinarian treating a domestic animal for such an attack or biting;
Health care professional treating a person for such an attack or biting.
The report must be made to the Sheriffs Office within 24 hours of the event.
Failure to report an incident within 24 hours may result in criminal and civil penalties
under this Ordinance and personal liability in subsequent incidents.
Exemptions. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to dogs causing injuries when:
Used by law enforcement agencies to carry out official law enforcement duties;
Functioning lawfully as hunting or herding dogs, or in controlling predators on the
property of, or under control of, the owner when performing duties appropriate to said
Protecting the owner or owner's premises from trespassers and other criminal perpetrators
while on its owner's premises;
Protecting itself or its young from assault, torment, or abuse.
Declaration of dangerous/potentially dangerous dog. The Sheriff or his/her designee shall have the
authority to declare a dog to be a dangerous/potentially dangerous dog. Any determination that a
dog is dangerous/potentially dangerous shall be made in writing summarizing the available
evidence and which shall be delivered or mailed by certified or registered mail to the owner. The
written determinations shall order compliance with the appropriate provisions of this ordinance
and may impose reasonable conditions to maintain the public health and safety.
Appeal. Any person who owns a dog that has been declared dangerous/potentially dangerous shall
have the right to appeal this decision to the Animal Services Appellate Board.
Manner of appeal. The owner of a dog declared dangerous/potentially dangerous must
request an appeal of the determination in writing. The written appeal must be submitted
to the Animal Service Director, and must be received by the Animal Service Director or
postmarked within 5 calendar days of the receipt by the owner of notice of the
Pending the appeal, the owner of a dog declared dangerous/potentially dangerous shall
comply with the provisions of § 16-10E.
Hearing procedures. Once properly appealed, the Animal Service Appellate Board shall
conduct a public quasi-judicial hearing to determine whether the declaration of the animal
as dangerous/potentially dangerous is correct.
Outcome. If the dog is affirmed by the Animal Service Appellate Board as being
dangerous/potentially dangerous, then the owner shall comply with the terms of § 16-
10E, F, G. Any person who owns a dog affirmed dangerous/potentially dangerous by the
Animal Service Appellate Board or its designee has the right to appeal this determination
to the Superior Court.
Enclosures and control measures for dangerous/potentially dangerous dogs. If a dog has been
determined to be dangerous/potentially dangerous, as specified in this section, the dog may be
retained upon the owner satisfying the following conditions:
The owner must insure that the dog at all times on and off the owners property remains
securely enclosed as per the Ordinance or controlled and muzzled as described below.
Failure to do so shall subject the owner to penalty under this chapter:
Confine the dog within the owner's residence; or,
Erect and confine the dog (except when muzzled and controlled as required
below) in a securely enclosed and padlocked pen with a concrete bottom and
secure top within 30 days. The structure must be secured by a child-resistant
lock. Pending construction of such pen, the dog must be confined within the
owner's residence or,
The animal must be muzzled and under restraint by a competent person who, by
means of a leash or chain, has such animal firmly under physical restraint at all
times when not in a secure building or enclosure.
Any dog deemed dangerous shall not be permitted in public recreation areas,
including dog parks, parks or greenways.
The owner must post a warning sign, of at least 120 square inches, which is to be visible
to any adjoining property from each exposure of the residence or the structure in which
the dangerous/potentially dangerous dog is confined. Each sign must have an approved
graphic representation of an appropriate animal such that the dangerousness of the animal
is communicated to those who cannot read, including young children.
Microchip. Within 10 days of the determination or appeal determination, the owner of a
dangerous/ potentially dangerous dog must demonstrate to the Animal Enforcement that
such dog had a microchip implanted.
Inspection. Animal Enforcement shall cause periodic inspections to be made of the
premises where the dangerous/potentially dangerous dog is kept to assure compliance
with the provisions of this Ordinance. The owner must permit these inspections at any
reasonable time without notice to the owner from the Animal Enforcement Officers.
All control measures required by this section must be met immediately upon the
determination that the animal is dangerous/potentially dangerous except for the
construction of the enclosure discussed in section 1(b) of this provision. The
Owner has 30 days to construct the enclosure during which time the animal must
be confined indoors and may only be permitted outside under the control of a
competent person by leash and the animal must be muzzled. Failure to meet all
control measures may result in the immediate impoundment of the animal and
civil and criminal penalties.
If the owner has no place to keep the animal while the structure is being
constructed, the animal may be kept at the Animal Services Center or at a
private establishment approved by Animal Enforcement at the owners expense.
Notification. Within 24 hours:
Of change of address or ownership of a dangerous/potentially dangerous dog, the owner
shall provide written notification of the change of address or ownership to the Sheriff,
stating the full name if theres a new owner, address, and location of the new owner of
Of the death of a dangerous/potentially dangerous dog, the owner shall provide written
notification of the dog's death to the Sheriff.
Notification prior to transfer. Prior to any transfer to a new owner (with or without consideration)
of a dangerous/potentially dangerous dog, the owner must provide to the Sheriff a written
statement, signed before a notary by the transferee (on a form obtained from the Animal Service
Center), indicating the transferee's understanding of the transferee's obligations hereunder as an
owner of a dangerous/potentially dangerous dog. If the dangerous or potentially dangerous dog is
being transferred out of Henderson County or out of North Carolina,
The owner of the animal must notify the Sheriff and the new jurisdiction to which the
animal is being moved that this dog has been deemed a dangerous/potentially dangerous
The Sheriff also shall notify the new jurisdiction that the animal has been deemed
dangerous and the circumstances surrounding the case.
The owner must comply with any local regulations regarding dangerous dogs in the new
Immediate impoundment. Any dangerous/potentially dangerous dog kept in violation of this
section may be immediately impounded upon issuance of any warrant for the same, pending the
outcome of the criminal action. If the owner is convicted of a criminal offense of keeping a
dangerous/potentially dangerous dog in violation of this section, in addition to any criminal
penalties imposed, the Animal Services Director or his/her designee may euthanize the dog.
Nothing herein shall be construed to in any way limit the use of civil penalties for a violation of
Cost of impoundment. Costs of impoundment at the Animal Services Center shall be paid
by the owner or the person liable for the animal at a daily rate as determined by the
County. In instances where the Animal Services Center must impound the animal(s) at a
private facility or kennel, the person liable for the animal will pay the rate established by
Release from impoundment.
No dog deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous who has been impounded by
the Animal Services Center shall be released to the owner from impoundment
except upon proof submitted by the owner or person liable for the animal that all
the elements of this Ordinance have been met as verified by Animal
Enforcement. This shall not apply in instances where criminal charges have
been brought against the owner.
If criminal charges have been brought against the owner for failure to comply
with this Ordinance or for interference with the operations of the Animal
Services Center, no dog deemed dangerous shall be released from Animal
Services until determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. During this
time while the dog is impounded, it cannot be euthanized and the cost of
impoundment shall be charged to the owner.
No dog deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous may be adopted.
All dogs deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous must be altered within 30
days of the determination.