by Matt Rosenberg August 2nd, 2012
More than four out of every five dollars owed to King County for violations of animal control regulations in the first six months of this year have yet to be collected, according to a violations summary report from the county’s animal control division, Regional Animal Services of King County. The report was forwarded to the King County Council as an informational item last week by King County Executive Dow Constantine. It says that from January 2nd of this year through June 30th, 375 violations covering 1,029 offenses were issued outside of Seattle in King County, mainly by county animal control officers in the field. The total value of fines issued was $158,640 but only $25,315, or 16 percent, is reported as having been collected. Total violations outstanding carry a cash value of $133,325.
In a letter of transmittal to Council Chairman Larry Gossett dated July 27th and accompanying the report, Constantine notes that of the outstanding balance, $45,775, representing 101 violations, has been sent to collections and that pre-collections letters attempting to prompt payment were sent in another 174 cases.
Of the total citations issued so far this year the greatest in cumulative dollar value is for having an unlicensed unaltered pet; 215 offenses totaling $53,275. There have been 158 citations totaling $19,175 for unlicensed altered pets, 57 worth $27,350 for “vicious animal – first violation,” and 47 worth $8,750 for “no confinement.”
Other frequent offenses this year so far have been for “running at large” (139 citations for $7,120 total); first violations of the leash law (134 for $3,350 total); animals trespassing on private property (63 for $3,150); and animal threatening person in public (62 citations for $3,100). In most cases the animals in involved were dogs but some violations, such as trespassing, involved cattle.
Violation notices can be appealed within 14 days of issuance and then adjudicated by the King County Board of Appeals over eight to ten weeks with the fine due within 30 days of a decision if the appeal fails.