§ 16-19. Violations and penalties.
The following penalties shall pertain to violations of this Chapter: 
Misdemeanor. The violation of any provision of this Chapter shall be a misdemeanor, and any 
person convicted of such violation shall be punishable as provided in N.C.G.S. 14-4or 
other applicable law. Each violation of this Chapter (or if a continuing violation, each day in 
which the violation continues) is a separate offense. Each violation for each animal is a separate 
offense.  Payment of a fine imposed in criminal proceedings pursuant to this subsection does not 
affect the liability for fees or civil penalties imposed under this Chapter.
Enforcement. Enforcement of this Chapter may include any appropriate equitable remedy, 
injunction or order of abatement issuing from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to 
Issuance of a citation. Issuance of a citation for violation of this Chapter is directed toward and 
against the owner. The purpose of the issuance of a citation is to affect the conduct of the owner 
by seeking to have the owner insure compliance with this Chapter. The issuance of a citation 
hereunder shall not affect the prosecution of a violation hereof as a misdemeanor as provided 
above. A citation  shall: 
Give notice of the violation(s) alleged of the owner; 
State the civil penalties for such violation(s); 
State the date by which any penalties for such violation(s) must be paid; and 
State that the County may initiate after such date a civil action to collect the civil 
penalties which are and may become due. 
Civil penalties. In addition to and independent of any criminal penalties and other sanctions 
provided in this article, violations of this article may also subject the offender to the civil penalties
hereinafter set forth.
The Animal Service Director, Animal Enforcement Officers, Sheriff, or Sheriff's 
Deputies may issue to the known owner of any animal, or to any other violator of the 
provisions of this Chapter, a citation. Citations so issued may be delivered in person or 
mailed by certified or registered mail to the person charged if that person cannot be 
readily found. The citation shall impose upon the violator a minimum civil penalty of 
$50. or such greater amounts for offenses as may be set by ordinance. The imposed civil 
penalty shall be paid in full to the Animal Service Center within 30 days of receipt of the 
citation assessing the civil penalty. This civil penalty  is in addition to other fees or costs 
authorized by this Chapter.
In the event that the owner of an animal or other alleged violator does not respond to the 
above-described citation, or the applicable civil penalty is not paid within the time period
prescribed, a civil action may be commenced to recover the penalty and costs associated 
with collection of  the penalty, and/or a criminal summons may be issued against the 
owner or other alleged violator of this Chapter, and upon conviction, the owner shall be 
punished as provided by state law. The Sheriff is expressly authorized to initiate and 
prosecute small claims actions in District Court to collect civil penalties and fees due to 
the Department and may call on the County Legal Department for assistance as needed. 
Each violation of this Ordinance is a separate fine.  Each day in violation and each animal
kept in violation are considered separate offenses and may be fined for each individually.
The following civil penalties are hereby established for each incident violation of this 
Animal Service Civil Penalty Fee Schedule Description
Penalty Fee
Interference with Animal Enforcement Officer, or agent (per incident)
Concealment of an animal to evade ordinance (per day of violation)
Public nuisance:
First violation
Second violation
Third (and subsequent) violation (per day of violation)
Keeping a dangerous/potentially dangerous dog:
Unattended/loose/unrestrained (per day)
Without tattoo/microchip (per day)
Failing to notify of change of address or death (per day)
Failing to present proof of transferee responsibility (per day)
Mistreatment of an animal (per day)
Release of an animal from County-owned trap (per incident)
Keeping an aggressive animal:
Unattended/loose/ unrestrained (per day)
Without tattooing/ microchip (per day)
Failing to notify of change of address or death (per day)
Prohibition of giveaways in public places per incident per animal
Any person who fails to pay a fine within period of 30 days after receiving citation shall 
be deemed to have committed a misdemeanor and a warrant may be issued for the 
person’s arrest.  Prosecution under this section shall require proof of the occurrence of 
the underlying facts giving rise to the notice of citation.
The owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous animal shall be strictly liable in civil 
damages for any injuries or property damage the animal inflicts upon a person, his 
property or another animal as per N.C.G.S. 67-4.4.
Violations taking place over continuous days shall be capped at 10 days per animal per 
violation unless there is evidence suggesting that the person has tried to interfere with 
Animal Enforcement Officers or obstruct justice in which case additional fines may 
The final determination regarding the imposition and amount of fines shall be determined
by the County and alternative settlements shall be allowed where appropriate.
Interference.  It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with, hinder, molest, resist or 
obstruct any employee or agent of the Department in the performance of any duty authorized by 
law or ordinance, or to seek to release any domestic animal in the custody of such employees or 
agents (including from traps, cages, or other enclosures) except as specifically provided or 
authorized by the Department.