Section 4-1 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:

Animal means any live, vertebrate creature including, but not limited to dogs, cats, farm animals, fowl, reptiles and excluding humans.

Animal control officer means an individual employed by the county in the position classified as animal control officer, whose primary responsibility is to enforce this chapter, and the laws of the state that pertain to rabies control, animal cruelty, investigations and vicious animals.

Animal shelter means a facility operated by a humane society, or governmental agency or its authorized agents for the purpose of impounding or caring for animals held under the authority of this chapter or state law.

At large means when an animal is off the property of its owner or its keeper and not under the control or restraint of a person competent to control and restrain that animal.

Board of health means the county board of health.

Competent person means a person of suitable age and discretion to keep an animal under sufficient restraint and control in order to prevent harm to the animal, another person, other animals, including but not limited to domesticated livestock, and property.

Cruel means every act, omission or neglect whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted; such acts, omissions or neglect shall include, but not be limited to beating, kicking, hanging, submerging under water, suffocating, poisoning, setting on fire, depriving of food, water, shelter and/or medical treatment, or otherwise subjecting the animal to conditions detrimental to its health or general welfare. Such times shall not apply to the lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the state wildlife resources commission.

Exposed to rabies means when an animal has been bitten by an animal known or suspected to have been infected with rabies.

Health department means the county health department.

Health director means the health director of the county.

Impoundment means when any animal is taken into custody of the animal control officer, or a person or animal shelter authorized by the county, health director, sheriff or SPCA.

Keeper means a person having custody of a domestic animal or who keeps or harbors a domestic animal or who knowingly permits a domestic animal to remain on or about any premises occupied or controlled by such person.

Owner means a person having the right of property of an animal.

Restraint means when any animal is within the real property limits of its owner or keeper, or secured by physical means or under the control of a competent person, or within a vehicle but not at risk of succumbing to the effects of high interior temperature, or adequately contained by a fence or enclosure that can be locked and is of sufficient height to prevent the animal from escaping by climbing or jumping, or confined in a building. In the case of a vicious animal, a fence or enclosure of sufficient size and height will be approved by the animal control officer.

SPCA means the local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Stray means any domestic animal not wearing either a rabies or identification tag and having no known owner or keeper.

Suspected of having rabies means an animal which is not properly vaccinated against rabies as required by state law or an animal, including but not limited to dogs and cats, which has bitten a person.

Vicious animal means any animal that meets the G.S. 67-4.1 definition of a "dangerous dog" or "potentially dangerous dog;" any animal on or off the premises of its owner or keeper, and the animal has without provocation bitten a person or has without provocation attacked another animal; and any dog that is owned, kept or harbored for the purpose of dogfighting or training for dogfighting.
(Ord. of 7-7-92, art. III)
Cross References: Definitions generally, § 1-2.