Dogs, Ownership, Responsibility


I am posting the following  public service notice per the request of constituents that either own a dog or is impacted by a dog. The following ordinances came from the City of Washington Codes [click here].


No person shall allow any dog owned or in his possession to be at large as provided in this Article unless properly restrained and any dog found at large may be impounded and its owner or keeper subject to prosecution under the terms of this Code. (Ord. No. 3509 §12, 4-15-68; Ord. No. 3622)

Cross Reference–Animals generally, running at large, §205.010.


A. It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own, buy, sell, give, receive or in any way possess within the corporate limits of the City of Washington, Missouri:

1. Any vicious dog, except as otherwise provided in this Section. “Vicious dog” is defined to mean:

a. Any dog which, without provocation, attacks or bites, or has attacked or bitten, a human being or domestic animal, or any dog which has a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury to, or otherwise threaten the safety of human beings or domestic animals shall be defined as a “vicious dog”.

b. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, no dog shall be deemed a “vicious dog” if a threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who at the time was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or if a person at the time of such thteat, injury or damage was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog, or was threatening or committing an assault or other bodily harm to the owner or keeper, or the owner or keeper’s immediate family or their invitees.

c. Any dog owned by governmental or law enforcement agencies when being used in the service of those agencies shall be exempt from the requirements specified herein.

B. Upon conviction of a violation of this Section the violator shall be punished by a fine not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) or by imprisonment in the City or County Jail not exceeding ninety (90) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition, upon a conviction or upon a plea of guilty to a violation of this Section, the court shall order the immediate seizure of the subject vicious dog and shall further order that the subject vicious dog shall be surrendered immediately to the Police Department to be destroyed. Each day that a violation of this Section continues shall be deemed a separate offense.

C. Vicious dogs residing or located in the City limits may be kept by their owners, keepers or harborers within the City, subject to the following requirements:

1. No person shall permit a vicious dog to go outside its kennel or pen unless such dog is securely leashed with a leash no longer than four (4) feet in length. No person shall permit a vicious dog to be kept on a chain, rope or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless a person is in physical control of the leash. Such dogs may not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, buildings, etc. In addition, all vicious dogs on a leash outside the animal’s kennel must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals.

2. All vicious dogs shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled as above provided. Such pen, kennel or structure must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. All structures used to confine vicious dogs must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals are within the structure. Such structure must have a secure bottom or floor attached to the sides of the pen or the sides of the pen must be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet. The sides of said structure shall be built so that no part of said animal may extend through to the outside of the structure, and so that no part of the human body may extend through to the inside of the structure. All such structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition. In addition to the requirements described herein, all structures shall comply with all zoning and building regulations of the City. The structure, when occupied by a vicious dog, shall not be occupied by any other animal. If the vicious dog is a female with offspring under nine (9) weeks of age, the offspring may occupy the same structure as the mother.

3. No vicious dog may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or other structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacle to prevent the dog from exiting the structure.

4. All owners, keepers or harborers of vicious dogs within the City shall display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public using the words “Beware of Vicious Dog”. An identical sign must also be placed in a clearly visible location on the kennel or pen of such animal.

5. All owners, keepers, or harborers of vicious dogs must provide proof to the City Clerk of public liability insurance in a single incident amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) or more for bodily injury to or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any persons which may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of such animal. Such insurance policy shall provide that no cancellation, termination, expiration or change of the policy will be made unless thirty (30) days’ written notice is first given to the Washington City Clerk.

6. Within ten (10) days of the effective date of this Section, or the acquisition of a vicious dog, every owner, keeper or harborer of a vicious dog shall register said animal with the City Clerk on the “Vicious Dog” registry. Failure to so register shall constitute a violation of this Section. Notice of this requirement shall be given by posting a copy of this Section in City Hall. The owner, keeper or harborer shall, after registration, provide the City Clerk with two (2) color photographs (one (1) showing the left profile and the other showing the right profile) of the registered animal, clearly showing the color, distinguishing marks and approximate size of the animal.

7. All owners, keepers or harborers of registered vicious dogs must within ten (10) days of the incident, report the following information in writing to the City Clerk as required hereinafter:

a. The removal from the City or death of a vicious dog;

b. The birth of offspring of a vicious dog; and

c. The new address of a registered vicious dog owner should the owner move within the corporate City limits.

8. The owner of a vicious dog shall immediately notify the Police Department if the animal is loose, unconfined or missing or has attacked another animal or a human being.

9. All vicious dogs shall wear a bright orange collar so that the animal can be readily identified.

10. No person shall sell, barter or in any other way dispose of a vicious dog within the City to any person within the City unless the recipient person resides permanently in the same household on the same premises as the owner of such dog, provided that the owner of a vicious dog may sell or otherwise dispose of a dog or the offspring of such dog to persons who do not reside within the City.

11. All offspring of vicious dogs within the City must be removed from the City within nine (9) weeks of birth of such animal.

12. There shall be an irrebuttable presumption that any dog registered within the City as a vicious dog prohibited by this Section is in fact a dog subject to the requirements of this Section.

13. It shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper or harborer of a vicious dog within the City to fail to comply with the requirements and conditions set forth in this Section, and the vicious dog(s) of such owners shall be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment. Failure to comply will result in the revocation of the license of such animal resulting in the immediate removal of the animal from the City. Each day that a violation of this Section continues shall be deemed a separate offense. In addition to the foregoing penalties, any person who violates this Section shall pay all expenses, including shelter, food, handling, veterinary care and testimony, necessitated by the enforcement of this Section.

14. In the event owner, keeper or harborer of a vicious dog is a minor, any parent or legal guardian of such minor shall be responsible for fulfilling the requirements of this Section. In addition to the foregoing, the parent or legal guardian shall be responsible for all injuries and property damage sustained by any person or domestic animal caused by or as a result of an unprovoked attack by said vicious dog.

15. Any vicious dog found off the premises of its owner or not securely muzzled, as required herein, may be seized by any Public Officer or Animal Control Officer and the owner or keeper may be brought to trial for violation of this Section. Upon establishment by a preponderance of evidence that such dog has vicious propensities and that the dog was off the premises of its owner or keeper, the court may order the dog to be destroyed by euthanasia. In addition, the owner or keeper shall be subject to such penalties as are authorized by the Section. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Chapter, any dangerous animal found to be unconfined or not securely muzzled and under restraint as defined herein shall remain impounded until the court makes a determination as to whether the dog is a “vicious dog” and was found to be unconfined or not securely muzzled. (Ord. No. 03-9480 §§1–2, 12-1-03)


A. A person commits the crime of peace disturbance if:

1. He unreasonably and knowingly disturbs or alarms another person or persons by:

a. Loud noise; or

b. Offensive language addressed in a face-to-face manner to a specific individual and uttered under circumstances that are likely to produce an immediate violent response from a reasonable recipient; or…


A. It shall be a violation of this Section for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noise or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace or safety of others within the limits of the City.

Published in: on June 14, 2008 at 8:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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