ANIMAL LICENSES (and other pet information)
Owners are responsible for their pets. Except for licensed veterinarians and commercial kennels, it is unlawful keep any dog in the city older than six months of age unless a license has been procured for it. Licenses are valid for the calendar year for which they are issued, expiring on the thirty-first of December of the licensing year. Failure to license a pet is a civil infraction. Licenses are voluntary for cats and other pet animals for identification purposes.
Animal licenses are free of charge. Upon application for a license, the owner shall be issued an identification tag, which must be worn by the animal at all times. A dog without an authorized and current license tag may be impounded. Licenses are not transferable from one pet to another.
It is unlawful for the owner or custodian of any animal to:
The following animals are required to be licensed, but are exempt from licensing fees:
- Fail to display conspicuously any current and valid license identification tag on the licensed animal;
- Fail to show any animal’s license upon request of any animal control officer or any police officer;
- Use or permit another person to use a license or license identification not issued to such person for his animal;
- Remove a valid license identification from any cat or dog without owner’s consent, and that of the issuing authority;
- Alter a license in any manner;
- Make a false or misleading statement or representation regarding the ownership or right to custody or control of an animal redeemed from, surrendered to, or detained by the animal control officer;
- Remove any detained animal from the city animal shelter or a department vehicle without the written consent of the animal control officer or other representative of the issuing authority; or
- Affix any animal identification tag to any animal for which such tag and license were not issued.
Owners and/or custodians are responsible for the behavior of animals in their care. It is a civil infraction if:
- A professionally trained and certified guide dog owned or in the custody of a blind or partially blind person;
- A signal dog owned by or in the custody of a deaf person or a person whose hearing is impaired. A “signal dog” shall mean any dog trained to alert a deaf person, or a person whose hearing is impaired, to intruders or sounds;
- A service dog owned by or in the custody of a physically disabled person. A “service dog” shall mean any dog individually trained to the physically disabled participant’s requirements including, but not limited to, minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items;
- Police dogs trained and actively assisting in law enforcement operations;
- Dogs in training programs sponsored by licensed and approved agencies identified with providing trained animals to disabled individuals or law enforcement agencies.
Failure to provide humane care is a misdemeanor.
- The animal is at large;
- The animal constitutes a nuisance pet animal;
- The animal is on public property such as a public park, sidewalks, streets or school grounds and not on a leash held by a person who is able to maintain physical control. This does not apply to guide dogs for the visually impaired or service animals for the physically handicapped, or public property specifically designated by the city of Yelm as not requiring a leash.
- Owners allow the accumulation of cat or dog feces in any open area, run, cage or yard and to fail to remove or dispose of feces at least once every 24 hours.
- Owners fail to remove their pet’s fecal material from another’s property, or from public property.
Any person keeping, securing or confining dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs shall be deemed guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
For full details, please see the Yelm Municipal Code, Title 6.