Chapter 10.16 Rabies Control
Sec. 10.16.010 Authority and Purpose.
For the purpose of the preservation of public health, safety, and welfare in connection with the protection of human beings from rabies, the following chapter is enacted:
Pursuant to H.&S. Section 121615 All peace officers and boards of health shall carry out the provisions of this Chapter. The Department of Animal Care and Control is empowered and authorized to assist and cooperate in the enforcement of the ordinance codified in this Title.
Pursuant to H.&S. Section 121625 Any proper official within the meaning of this chapter may examine and enter upon all private premises for the enforcement of this chapter.
Sec. 10.16.020 County Veterinarian.
In furtherance of the program of the County of Mendocino for vaccination of dogs and cats against rabies, there is authorized and established a County Veterinarian who is appointed annually by the County Board of Supervisors and serves at the pleasure of the County Health Officer.
- County Veterinarian Duties.
- To approve such rabies and other vaccines for use in domestic animals.
- To assist and counsel Animal Care and Control staff on euthanasia, daily care, and treatment of animals that have been impounded.
- To prescribe the form or forms of certificates to be used by duly licensed veterinarians under the provisions hereof. Such form or forms will be provided to all duly licensed veterinarians practicing in the County at no charge upon request being made by them. As the county.s licensing coding system is based upon the exclusive use of this form, no other type of form is authorized.
Sec. 10.16.030 Administrative Control.
- Harboring Unvaccinated Dogs.
Any person owning or harboring any dog after such dog attains the age of four (4) months which has not been vaccinated for rabies by a duly licensed veterinarian is guilty of an infraction.
- Certificate of Vaccination.
After vaccinating any dog, the veterinarian performing such vaccination shall sign a prenumerically coded certificate of vaccination in triplicate containing the following information:
- The name and physical address of the owner or harborer of the vaccinated dog.
- The date of expiration of the vaccination.
- The breed, color, sex, approximate size and age.
Every licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine within the County of Mendocino shall submit to the Department of Animal Care and Control one (1) copy of each rabies vaccination certificate issued. Every licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine within the County of Mendocino shall submit to the Department of Animal Care and Control one (1) copy of each rabies vaccination certificate issued.
Veterinarians may, in lieu of submitting individual certificates, submit proof of each rabies vaccination given to a dog to the Department of Animal Care and Control via, electronic or U.S. Postal mail. The Department of Animal Care and Control must approve the reporting format, and the records shall be submitted at least monthly.
The Department of Animal Care and Control shall retain and file their copy of the certificate or veterinarian record for a period of no less than three (3) years. Vaccination and licensing records submitted to Animal Care and Control are confidential and not open to public inspection.
When a certificate of rabies vaccination is issued for the purpose of issuing a dog license, the vaccination must be valid for the entire licensing period.
- Exemption from Rabies Vaccination. Any dog may be exempted from antirabic vaccination during an illness or when the dog is not in physical condition to be vaccinated and the antirabic vaccination would be detrimental for a physiological reason to such dog.s health if a licensed veterinarian has examined the dog and certified in writing within five (5) days of examination that such vaccination should be postponed because of a specific illness. Old age, debility, and pregnancy will not exempt a dog from rabies vaccination. Exemption statements shall be valid only for the duration of the illness. The temporary exemption from vaccination does not exempt a dog from the licensing requirements once its physical condition permits.
- Stolen Certificate. Any person making use of or having in his possession or his control, a stolen, counterfeit or forged vaccination certificate is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- Presentation of Certificate on Demand. Any person owning or harboring any dog who fails or refuses to exhibit the certificate required herein upon demand to the Health Officer, any Public Health Sanitarian, Peace Officer, or Animal Care and Control Officer is guilty of an infraction.
- Time Limit for Vaccination. Any person who owns or harbors any dog which has been brought into the County of Mendocino shall, in the event such dog has not been vaccinated as provided herein, have a period of thirty (30) days from and after the arrival of such dog into the County of Mendocino within which to comply with this Chapter.
- Reporting of Bites.
It shall be the duty of any person having knowledge that any dog or other mammal has or is
suspected of having bitten any human being, or other mammal, or in all cases of mammal bites
treated by a physician to immediately report such occurrence or fact to the County Health Officer
or to the Department of Animal Care and Control and to furnish complete information regarding
The report shall state the name and address, age and sex of the person bitten, and/or description of the mammal bitten, if any, location and extent of bite wound, address location where such attack occurred, and any other specific information relating to the biting animal or the biting incident so requested by the Health Department or the Department of Animal Care and Control and/or Animal Care and Control Officer.
In the event that the Animal Care and Control Officer secures information of the existence of any case of rabies or other animal diseases dangerous to human beings, he/she shall immediately report same to the Health Officer. The owner of any mammal which has or is suspected of having bitten any person or other mammal within the preceding ten (10) days for dogs and cats, and fourteen (14) days for all other mammals, shall immediately, upon demand, surrender such mammal to the Health Officer, Peace Officer, or Animal Care and Control Officer for purposes of quarantine or confinement pursuant to Section 10.16.040.
Sec. 10.16.040 Quarantine.
No person shall refuse to obey the conditions of a lawfully imposed quarantine and no dog which has been held under quarantine shall be released without having been properly vaccinated and licensed.
Once an area has been declared a rabies area, during the period for which the quarantine order is in force, any officer may kill or in his/her discretion, capture and hold for further action by the Health Department any mammal in a quarantine area, found on public highways, lands and streets, or not held in restraint on private premises as specified in this Section. The Health Department should be notified within twenty-four (24) hours.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an assistance dog serving the physically handicapped shall not be quarantined, in the absence of evidence that the dog has been exposed to rabies, unless its owner fails:
- To keep the dog safely confined to the premises of the master; and
- To keep the dog available for examination at all reasonable times.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Chapter, a dog used by any state, county, city, or city and county law enforcement agency, shall not be immediately quarantined after biting any person when such bite occurred while the dog was being used for any law enforcement purpose. After the particular assignment, the dog shall be quarantined for a period not to exceed ten (10) days from date of bite. The law enforcement agency shall make the dog available for examination at any reasonable time. The law enforcement agency shall notify the local health officer if the dog exhibits any abnormal behavior.
Sec. 10.16.050 Epidemics.
Either the Health Officer or the County Veterinarian may determine and declare that an epidemic or other unusually dangerous health situations exists among animals in the County. Upon the making of such a declaration, the Health Officer or the County Veterinarian shall prepare and promulgate, with the approval of the Board of Supervisors, such rules and regulations as are necessary for the conduct of all persons within the area where the dangerous condition exists. These rules and regulations may include, but are not limited to, quarantine, vaccination, and/or destruction of diseased, exposed or stray animals by humane methods. It shall be the duty of the Department of Animal Care and Control, the County Veterinarian, and the Health Officer to cooperate in the enforcement of such rules and regulations.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of the Health and Safety Code and Administrative Code of the State relating to rabies shall prevail when such provisions are more stringent than those provided in this chapter.
Sec. 10.16.060 Penalty.
It is unlawful and a misdemeanor for any person having control, custody or possession of the mammal, whether or not that person is the owner of the mammal, to fail to surrender such mammal to the Health Officer, Peace Officer, or Animal Care and Control Officer upon demand, or to in any way hinder, interfere with or delay the officers designated herein with the enforcement of this Chapter.