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The Animal Control and Animal Shelter Ordinance number 15-06 was adopted On May 19, 2015, and amended by Ordinance number 2017-17 which was adopted on October 3, 2017.

The following is the Definitions section of the Ordinance.

(Scroll down to download the complete Animal Control Ordinance.)

6.04.020 Definitions

The following words as used in this Chapter shall have the following meanings:

"Abandon"-means to desert an animal or to leave the animal permanently in a place without making provision for adequate long term care of the animal. This term does not include an animal in a place that is temporarily vacated for the protection of human life during a disaster.

"Altered"- means any animal which has been spayed or neutered.

"Animal" - means any live, non-human vertebrate creature domestic, wild, or exotic.

"Animal Control Officer"- means any person employed by the Porter County Sheriff's Department to perform and enforce the provisions of this Chapter.

"Animal Shelter"- means the facility established by the board of commissioners and operated by the designated Director or its other authorized agents for the purposes of impounding, caring for, and making disposition of animals held under the authority of this Chapter or State Law.

"At large"- means any animal that is running free off its owner's premises and not under the immediate control of a responsible adult person.

"Beat"- means to unnecessarily or cruelly strike an animal, or to throw the animal against an object causing the animal to suffer severe pain or injury. The term does not include reasonable training or disciplinary techniques.

"Biting Animal"- means an animal inflicting an injury on another person or animal, including but not limited to a skin abrasion, by tooth or nail.

"Colony"- means a group of one (1) or more free-roaming cats/feral cats, whether unmanaged OT managed.

"Colony Caretaker" - means a person who provides food, water and shelter for free-roaming cats/feral cats in a managed colony.

"Confine"- means the restriction of an animal by the owner, or his agent, to an escape-proof building or other enclosure away from other animals and the public.

"Dangerous Animal"- means any animal meeting any of the following criteria:

(1)  any animal which bites and inflicts severe injury on any person or animal, without provocation on any public property or in any place outside or over the boundaries of its owner's property; or 

(2) any animal which, without provocation and while on its owner's property, bites and inflicts severe injury on any person or animal, where the victim was acting peaceably, was not provoking the animal, and was not committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises, or otherwise had a legal right to be on said property at the time of the bite or attack; or 

(3) any animal which on more than one (l) occasion, without provocation, bites without inflicting severe injury upon any person or animal, on any public property or in any place outside or over the boundaries of its owner's property; or 

(4) any animal owned or harbored primarily for the purpose of dog OT other animal fighting and has, through use for this purpose, become a threat to the safety of other animals and persons. This definition does not include law enforcement animals owned by any government agency which is working within the scope and course of its duties.

"Domestic Livestock"- means any animal, other than a domestic pet, that is kept for commercial purposes or is a member of, but is not limited to, one (I)  or more of the following species: alpaca, bison, elk, cattle, donkey, goat, horse, llama, mule, ostrich, emu, poultry, pig, or rabbit.

"Domestic Pet"-means any animal other than domestic livestock, that is kept for pleasure rather than utility, or is a member of, but not limited to, one (1) or more of the following species: cat, chinchilla, cockatiels, dog, ferret, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, mouse, parakeets, rat or reptiles not regulated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and defined as herein.

"Ear Tipping" - means removing approximately one quarter-inch off the tip of a cat's left ear while the cat is anesthetized,  for the purpose of identifying the cat as a sterilized animal.

"Feral Cat"- means a cat that has lived its life with little or no human contact, is not socialized, and has reverted to a wild state.

"Harboring"- means providing any care, shelter, refuge, restraint, food or nourishment in such a manner as to control an animal's activities, whether done within the person's home, enclosure, yard, and place of business or on any premises where such person resides or controls.

"Intact"- means any animal that has not been spayed or neutered.

"Neglect" - means endangering an animal's health by failing to provide or arrange to provide the animal with food or water, if the animal is dependent upon the person for the provision of food or water; restraining an animal for more than a brief period in a manner that endangers the animal's life or health; restraining the animal in a manner that seriously endangers the animal's life or health; failing to provide reasonable care; and leaving a domestic pet or livestock outdoors and exposed to the elements without adequate shelter appropriate to its species.

"Owner"- means any person having a right of property in any animal, or any person keeping or harboring one (1) or more animals.

"Public Nuisance"- means any animal that: molests passers-by or  passing vehicles on public property; attacks other animals; damages or defecates on public or private property of another person, unless the waste is immediately removed and disposed of in a sanitary fashion by the animal's owner/harborer; barks, whines, howls or emits any other loud noise, in an excessive or repeated fashion; is permitted by its owner to create an offensive smell through excessive accumulation of excrement; or which produces or causes any other unsanitary condition not remedied by its owner; or otherwise interferes with others enjoyment of life or property.

"Restraint"- means the securing of an animal by a leash or lead in the control of a responsible person, or confining an animal by means which would reasonably and reliably prevent the animal's escape.

"Shelter Director"- means the person appointed to be responsible for the administration, operation and programs of the Animal Shelter and its personnel.

"Stray"- means any animal that does not appear, upon reasonable investigation, to have an owner.

"Tether"- means attaching a domestic pet to a stationary object or pulley run by means of a chain, rope, cable, or other similar restraint. Tether does not include the use of a leash to walk a domestic pet.

"Vicious"- means any animal meeting the following criteria: 

(1) any animal which, when unprovoked, attacks and inflicts bodily injury or serious bodily injury as defined under Indiana Code Section 35-31.5-2-29 "bodily injury" (or its equivalent) and Indiana Code Section 35-35.1-2-292 "serious bodily injury" (or its equivalent) or inflicts severe injury on a human being, or kills or inflicts severe injury on a domestic pet or livestock. and has been determined by an Animal Control Officer to pose a significant and substantial risk to public health, safety and welfare which cannot be reasonably or reliably mitigated by imposing additional conditions of restraint on the animal; 

(2) any animal previously determined to be and currently listed as a dangerous animal  under the guidelines of this Chapter which, after its owner has been notified of this determination, continues to engage in behavior or is maintained in such a manner that violates Section 6.04.080 (Dangerous Animals); 

(3) any animal which attacks and kills a person, where the circumstances of the attack would not have justified a person in those exact circumstances to legally use deadly force in accord with I.C. § 35-31.5- 2-85 "deadly force" (or its equivalent).

Download Complete Ordinance

CLICK HERE To Download Complete Animal Control Ordinance
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Porter County Animal Control serves all of Porter County EXCEPT FOR THE CITY OF PORTAGE. All information contained in this section of the website is only applicable to the areas served by Porter County Animal Control. If you live in the City of Portage, you will need to contact them directly at (219) 763-1825, as they may have different policies and ordinances.