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Hamilton County Ordinance

Below is a shortened version of the Hamilton County Ordinance, including only the ordinance information about animal vaccinations, feral cats, and sterilization. To view the complete animal ordinance click on this link


*Editor's note: Ord. No. 03-23-06-A, adopted Apr. 24, 2006, amended Tit. 15, Art. 2.1, Ch. 1 in its entirety to read as herein set out. Former Art. 2.1, Ch. 1, §§ 15-2.1-1-1--15-2.1-1-24, pertained to similar subject matter, and derived from Ord. No. 2/11/02/A, §§ 1--24, adopted Feb. 11, 2002.

Sec. 15-2.1-1-1. 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:

Adult dog and adult cat means any dog or cat that is three months of age or older for the purposes of rabies vaccinations/tags.

Animal means every living dumb creature, both domestic and wild.

Animal control officer means any person who is authorized to implement and enforce county animal care and control ordinances and as defined in state statues.

Authorized veterinarian I clinic means any person licensed or permitted to practice veterinary medicine under the laws of the state, and such person shall have had no previous incidents where money collected from the sale of rabies or license tags has been used or handled inappropriately or illegally.

Colony means a group of one or more feral cats, whether unmanaged or managed.

Colony caretaker means an authorized person who provides food, water and shelter for feral cats in a registered colony.

Commercial animal establishment means any pet shop, auction, flea market, riding school or stable, pet grooming shop, zoological park, circus, kennel, or veterinary hospital.

Feral cat means any cat that has no apparent owner or identification and is wild, untamed, unsocialized, unmanageable and unable to be approached or handled.

(Ord. No. 03-23-06-A, 4-24-06; Ord. No. 11-26-07-A, § 3, 12-20-2007)
Cross references: Definitions generally, 1-1-4-5.
State law references: Animal health, IC 15-2.1; local ordinances on rabies control, IC 15-2.1-6-13.

Sec. 15-2.1-1-5. Vaccination of dogs, cats and ferrets.

(a) See IAC Title 345: Indiana State Board of Animal Health./p>

(b) All dogs and cats three months of age and older must be vaccinated against rabies. The rabies vaccination of a dog, cat, or ferret shall be maintained by ongoing revaccination of the animal as follows:

(1) Ferrets shall be revaccinated within 12 months of the prior vaccination.

(2) Dogs and cats that are vaccinated with a rabies vaccine the label of which recommends annual boosters shall be revaccinated within 12 months of the prior vaccination.

(3) Dogs and cats that are vaccinated with a rabies vaccine the label of which recommends a booster one year later and triennially thereafter shall be revaccinated within 36 months of each vaccination thereafter.

(c) The owner of the animal is responsible for procuring the vaccinations required by this section.
((Ord. No. 03-23-06-A, 4-24-06)

Sec. 15-2.1-1-9. Feral cats.

(a) The county may establish a fund, provide services, or an approved assistance program to offset the costs of trapping, neutering, and vaccinating captured feral cats that can be returned to an appropriate, controlled, protected and registered colony site. Caregivers for such colonies, whether one or several animals, may be aided by the county or the approved assistance program in providing traps for the capture of the cat, transportation to a spay/neuter facility and offsetting costs, to the extent that funding is available./p>

(b) Each feral cat colony will be registered by the caregivers with the humane society, for the county, which will serve as a clearinghouse for information on current caregivers, education for new caregivers, and assistance for persons found in violation of this chapter.

(c) Approved assistance programs for feral cat colonies within the county will exist only with the approval of the home owner or neighborhood association in which the colonies are to exist.

(d) It shall be unlawful for a person to provide food, water or shelter to a colony of feral cats, unless;

(1) The colony is an approved managed colony, registered with the humane society.

(2) The food, water or shelter is provided in conjunction with the implementation of trap, neuter, and return methodology as set forth below.

(3) Ear tipping will be used on feral cats in order to be identified as a spayed or neutered and vaccinated member of a managed colony.

(4) Any person or caregiver determined to be in violation of subsections (5)a. through h. below shall be issued a written warning and be allowed a period of time to come into compliance or provide satisfactory evidence of working to achieve compliance. Failure to comply shall result in a violation of this chapter, which may result in the issuance of a citation.

(5) An approved feral cat colony caretaker, in order to obtain control of the feral cat population in the county may:

a. Humanely trap and sterilize (spay/neuter) and left ear-tip all cats that can be captured by a licensed veterinarian.

b. Vaccinate, as required by law, all cats that can be captured:

1. Against rabies, preferably with a three-year vaccine; and

2. Any other infectious disease as mandated by law.

3. Colony caretakers shall have a licensed veterinarian evaluate the health of all trapped feral cats. Seriously ill or injured cats with no reasonable prognosis for humane rehabilitation for survival outdoors will be humanely euthanized.

c. Release all non-feral cats to animal control or humane society for adoption or placement in accordance with the law.

d. Make every attempt to remove kittens from the colony before eight weeks of age for domestication and placement.

e. Make every attempt to remove sick or injured cats from the colony for immediate veterinary care or humane euthanasia.

f. Colony caretakers shall abide by the standard guidelines devised by this chapter, animal control or its designee, regarding the provisions of food, water, and shelter and veterinary care for the cats within the managed colony.

g. Ensure responsibility and arrangements for feeding the cat colony regularly throughout the year, including weekends, holidays and vacations of the feral cat caregiver.

h. A colony caretaker must maintain proof of sterilization, vaccination, tattoo or implant and medical records from a licensed veterinarian at all times. These records must be provided to the humane society or law enforcement upon request.

(e) Any law enforcement authority may impound feral cats in violation of the ordinance. Any feral cats impounded by law enforcement authority that bears an appropriate ear-tipping indicating it belongs to a managed colony may, at the discretion of law enforcement be returned to its managed colony unless illness or injury present an imminent danger to public health or safety.

(f) Violations, penalties and fines. Caregivers in violation of this section will lose caretaker privilege and will become subject to all sections of this chapter.
((Ord. No. 03-23-06-A, 4-24-06)

Sec. 15-2.1-1-23. Sterilization of dogs and cats required; breeder's permit.

(a) Each dog and cat over the age of six months which is kept in the county shall have been sterilized and rendered incapable of reproducing by a licensed veterinarian, unless a veterinarian has certified in writing that it would not be in the animal's best medical interest, but in no case later than when that excepted animal attains the age of nine months. It shall be unlawful for a person to own a dog or a cat not in compliance with this section and for which the owner does not have a current and valid intact breeder's permit. A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00.

(b) A breeder's permit shall be obtained by the following:

(1) Any person who intentionally causes or accidentally allows the breeding of a dog or cat available for breeding purposes;/p>

(2) Any person who offers for sale, sells, trades, receives other compensation, or gives away any litter of dogs or cats;

(3) Any owner or person having custody of a dog or cat that has delivered a litter or caused the delivery of a litter;

((4) Any person owning or having custody of a dog or cat which is older than six months of age, which has not been sterilized and for which the person owning or having custody of such an animal does not have a written certification from a licensed veterinarian stating that it is not in such animal's best medical interest to be sterilized, but in no case after the dog or cat has attained the age of nine months.

(c) Such breeder's permit shall:

(1) Allow the nonsterilization of animals owned by the permittee for one 12-month period after the date of issuance and the birthing of a maximum of one litter in a 12-month period in his or any domestic household or establishment or any combination thereof;/p>

(2) Not allow the owner to offer for sale, sell, trade, or receive other compensation or give away more than one litter of dogs or cats in such 12-month period;

((3) Require the holder of the permit to furnish the division of animal control with information on the birth of each litter of dogs and cats as may be required by the division to register the litter and be assigned a letter number for each litter.

(d) The holder of a breeder's permit shall:

(1) Transmit to the new owner or buyer the litter number of the animal acquired and the breeder's permit number in order that the new owner has assurance and proof that the animal was legally bred;/p>

(2) Immunize all dogs and cats offered for sale, trade, or other compensation or for free give away against the most common contagious diseases; for dogs against canine distemper, hepatitis, Para influenza, and parvo virus and for cats against feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleucopenia;

(3) Not offer a puppy or kitten under the age of eight weeks for sale, trade or other compensation or for free giveaway;

(4) Furnish a warrant of health for a period of not less than one week with the recommendation to have the animal examined by a licensed veterinarian for each animal sold, traded, or given away.

(e) Each breeder's permit shall be obtained from the division of animal control or the county sheriff's department.

(f) Each holder of a valid breeder's permit shall register additional litters with the division of animal control. Each additional litter registration shall comply with the same requirements as the original breeder's permit. Failure to register each litter shall be considered a violation of this section and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00.
(Ord. No. 03-23-06-A, 4-24-06; Ord. No. 11-26-07-A, § 3, 12-20-2007)