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A. Any owner of a dog which has been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous by the Animal Control Agency may appeal the notice by filing a written notice of appeal at the City of Snohomish, within fourteen (14) days from the date of the notice. Said written notice of appeal shall be on a form provided for that purpose by the Animal Control Agency or other written notice, but must contain the following items:

1. A caption reading: “Appeal of___________________________,” giving the name of the appellant.

2. A brief statement of the finding being appealed, together with any material facts claimed to support the contentions of the appellant.

3. A brief statement of the relief sought, and the reasons why the finding should be reversed, modified, or otherwise set aside.

4. The current address of the appellant.

5. A verification, by declaration under penalty of perjury, made by the appellant as to the truth of the matters stated in the appeal.

B. Failure to file a timely and complete notice of appeal constitutes a waiver of all rights to an appeal under this chapter.

C. Upon receipt of a timely filed and completed notice of appeal, a notice of hearing shall be sent to the appellant, setting the date, time, and place of the appeal hearing.

D. The hearing shall be set no less than 10 nor more than 30 business days following receipt of a timely filed and complete notice of appeal. The filing of a notice of appeal shall not stay the requirements for restraint of the dog provided to the owner pursuant to SMC Section 7.08.060(B)(5).

E. The hearing shall be before the City of Snohomish Hearing Examiner who is authorized by this chapter and section to conduct such hearing.

F. At the hearing, the owner of the dog found to be a potentially dangerous dog or dangerous dog shall be permitted to present evidence in support of their position at the hearing. A representative or representatives of the City also shall be permitted to present evidence in support of declaring the dog a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog.

G. Hearing.

1. Dogs shall be declared potentially dangerous or dangerous by the Hearing Examiner upon proof that they are animals as defined by Section 7.04.020. If a threat, injury, or damage sustained by a person forms part of the proof that the dog is dangerous, it shall be an affirmative defense to be proved by the owner that the dog’s 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 of the dog, or was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or has, in the past been observed or reported to have tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. Upon proof of such affirmative defense no declaration that the dog is dangerous shall be made.

2. At the hearing, the burden shall be on the owner of the dog, by a preponderance of the evidence, that one or more of the circumstances set forth in subsection (G)(1) of this section exist.

3. The affirmative defense set out in Subsection (G)(1) of this section shall not apply in actions to declare the dog to be potentially dangerous dog.

H. Hearing Examiner/Official Decision:

1. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Examiner/Official shall issue written findings, conclusions and a decision.

2. At the conclusion of a hearing to determine whether a dog is to be declared dangerous, the decision of the Hearing Examiner/Official may be:

a. The dog in question is declared to be a dangerous dog;

b. The dog in question is declared to be a potentially dangerous dog;

c. The dog in question is declared to be a potentially dangerous dog, with additions, deletions and/or modifications made to the restrictions initially proposed to be placed on the dog by the Animal Control Officer; or

d. The dog in question is declared to be neither dangerous nor potentially dangerous.

3. At the conclusion of a hearing to determine whether a dog is to be declared potentially dangerous, the decision of the Hearing Examiner may be:

a. The dog in question is declared to be a potentially dangerous dog;

b. The dog in question is declared to be a potentially dangerous dog, with additions, deletions, and/or modifications made to the restrictions initially proposed to be placed on the dog by the City of Snohomish Animal Control; or

c. The dog in question is declared to not be a potentially dangerous dog.

4. The decision of the Hearing Examiner/Official shall be final.

a. The Hearing Examiner’s decision shall be final and conclusive with right of appeal to the Superior Court of Snohomish County.

b. Notice of the appeal and any other pleadings required to be filed with the court shall be served as required by law.

c. The cost of transcribing and preparing all records ordered certified by the court or desired by the appellant for such appeal shall be borne by the appellant. The city, upon appeal to the Superior Court and payment by the appellant of the costs thereof, will prepare the record and transcribe the tape thereof and will deliver the same to the Court. Any appeal will be conducted on the record before the hearing examiner as if an appeal from a court of limited jurisdiction in accordance with the Rules of Appeal from Limited Jurisdictions (RALJ). (Ord. 1931, 1999)

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