§ 3-4-55. Requirements for possessing a vicious or dangerous dog  


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  • (a) It shall be unlawful for an owner to have or possess within this state a classified dog without a certificate of registration issued in accordance with the provisions of this Code. Certificates of registration shall be nontransferable and shall only be issued to a person eighteen (18) years of age or older. No more than one (1) certificate of registration shall be issued per domicile.

    (b) Unless otherwise specified by this Code section, a certificate of registration for a classified dog shall be issued only if the dog control officer determines that the following requirements have been met:

    (1) The owner has an enclosure designed to securely confine the classified dog on the owner's property, indoors, or in a securely locked and enclosed pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the classified dog from leaving such property; and

    (2) Clearly visible warning signs have been posted at all entrances to the premises where the dog resides;

    (3) A microchip containing an identification number and capable of being scanned has been injected under the skin between the shoulder blades of the classified dog;

    (c) Except as provided in subsections (d), (e) and (f) of this Code section, a certificate of registration for a vicious dog shall be issued only if the dog control officer determines that the additional requirements have been met:

    (1) The owner maintains and can provide proof of general or specific liability insurance in the amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) issued by an insurer authorized to transact business in this state insuring the owner of the vicious dog against liability for any bodily injury or property damage caused by the dog.

    (d) No certificate of registration shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of two (2) or more violations of this article.

    (e) No person shall be the owner of more than one (1) vicious dog.

    (f) No certificate of registration for a vicious dog shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of:

    (1) A serious violent felony as defined in O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.1;

    (2) The felony of dogfighting as provided for in O.C.G.A. § 16-12-37 or the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals as provided for in O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4; or

    (3) A felony involving trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana, methamphetamine, or ecstasy as provided for in O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-31 and 16-13-31.1 from the time of conviction until two (2) years after completion of his or her sentence, nor to any person residing with such person.

    (g) Certificates of registration shall be renewed on an annual basis. The owner of a classified dog shall pay an annual registration fee at the time the certificate of registration is issued. The annual registration fee shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00). Certificates of registration shall be renewed in the month of the initial registration. At the time of renewal of a certificate of registration for a classified dog, a dog control officer shall verify that the owner is continuing to comply with provisions of this article. Failure to renew a certificate of registration within ten (10) days of the renewal date or initial classification date shall constitute a violation of this article.

    (h) The owner of a classified dog shall notify the dog control officer within twenty-four (24) hours if the dog is on the loose or has attacked a human and shall notify the dog control officer within twenty-four (24) hours if the dog has died or has been euthanized.

    (i) A vicious dog shall not be transferred, sold, or donated to any other person unless it is relinquished for euthanasia to a governmental facility or veterinarian.

    (j) The owner of a classified dog who moves from one (1) jurisdiction to another within the State of Georgia shall register the classified dog in the new jurisdiction within ten (10) days of becoming a resident and notify the dog control officer of the jurisdiction from which he or she moved. The owner of a similarly classified dog who moves into this state shall register the dog as required within thirty (30) days of becoming a resident.

    (k) Any dog classified prior to July 1, 2012, as a potentially dangerous dog shall on and after that date be classified as a dangerous dog under this article.

    (l) Any dog classified prior to July 1, 2012, as a dangerous dog in this state shall on and after that date be classified as a vicious dog under this article.

(Ord. No. 12-12, § II, 7-16-12)