5.01 - Animal Control

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Animal Control



The purpose of this Ordinance is to provide proper control of animals within the exterior boundaries of the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation by establishing standards and procedures that protect the health and safety of persons and animals on the Reservation.

II.  Authority.

The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians has inherent sovereign authority, as confirmed and delineated in its Constitution, to protect the health and safety of persons and animals on its Reservation by enacting appropriate regulatory measures.

III.  Jurisdiction.

The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to all persons and animals, as defined herein, within the exterior boundaries of the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation.

IV.  Definitions.

For the purpose of this Ordinance, the following words shall have the following meanings:

A.  Animal means dog or cat.

B. Owner means any person, firm, association or corporation possessing, having title to or an interest in, harboring, or controlling through custody, or possession any animal.

C. Dangerous Animal shall mean any animal that:

 1. Unprovoked, inflicts bites on a human or domestic animal, either on public or

     private property; or

 2. Unprovoked, chases or approaches a person or domestic animal upon a street,

     sidewalks, or any public or private property in a menacing fashion or apparent

     attitude of attack; or

 3. Has a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause

     injury, or otherwise threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals on any

     public or private property.

D. Domestic Animal shall mean any of various animals such as a horse, cow or sheep domesticated by persons so as to live and breed in a tame condition.

E. Rabies Vaccination means the injection intramuscularly of anti-rabic vaccine received from a licensed veterinarian or at a public clinic that has been established for this purpose.

F. At Large means any licensed or unlicensed animal found off the premises of its owner and not under the control of a person, restrained in a vehicle, housed in a Veterinary Hospital or kennel, or under the control of and obedient to a person's command.

V.  Dangerous Animals.

A. No person shall keep, own, have custody of or control over a dangerous animal unless such animal is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under the physical restraint of a responsible person or confined in a proper enclosure in such a way as to prevent it from biting any human being, domestic animal or game animal. No person shall permit such animal to run at large at any time. The owner shall keep such animals from attacking or injuring persons lawfully on the premises of the owner.

B. The owner or keeper of a dangerous animal shall display a sign on his or her premises warning of the presence of a dangerous animal on the property. The sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway, street or road. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display the sign warning children of the presence of a dangerous animal.

C. Any person shall have the right to destroy immediately any dog engaged in the process of injuring any person or inflicting harm on domestic animals.

VI.  Running at Large.

No owner shall permit his or her animal, except a domestic cat, to run at large on the Torres Martinez Reservation.

VII.  Immunization for Rabies.

A. Owners shall obtain rabies vaccinations for their dogs and cats and such animals shall be reimmunized as required.

B. A current certification of rabies vaccination shall hereafter be required for all dogs and cats within the exterior boundaries of the Torres Martinez Reservation, and a copy of such certification shall be presented to the Tribal Council or such person designated by the Tribal Council upon request.

C. The owner shall display the current rabies vaccination tag issued at the time of the vaccination at all times on a collar, harness or chain attached to the dog or cat within the Reservation.

D. The owner of any dog or cat that has attacked, bitten or caused any skin abrasion shall report such incident to the Tribal Council or such other person designated for this purpose by the Tribal Council.

E. If there is reason to believe that such dog or cat is suffering from rabies or other diseases communicable to humans, the dog or cat shall be immediately examined and placed in quarantine and under observation for a minimum of ten (10) days. The animal may be quarantined in the owners home provided such animal can be kept, tied and isolated from other animals and cannot come into contact with any person.

F. In the event of the death of an animal during quarantine, such animal shall be turned over to local or state health officials for the purpose of making such post mortem examinations as necessary to determine whether such animal died of rabies or other diseases communicable to


VIII.  Cruelty to Animals.

No person shall knowingly or intentionally:

A. Torture, torment, mutilate, cruelly beat or kill, or seriously overwork an animal; or

B. Fail to provide necessary food, drink, air, light, space, shelter, or care for an animal in one's custody; or

C. Abandon an animal in one's custody; or

D. Transport or confine an animal in a cruel manner, including but not limited to confining an animal in a vehicle without adequate ventilation from open windows; or

E. Cause one animal to fight another.

IX.  Use of Dog in Illegal Activity.

No person shall keep, maintain, control, or retain any dog in connection with, or for the purpose, whether in whole or in part, of aiding, abetting or conducting any illegal activity or committing any crime within the Torres Martinez Reservation.

X.  Enforcement.

A. It shall be a violation for any person to do any act which is prohibited by this Ordinance or for any person to fail to do any act which is required by this Ordinance.

B. The civil penalty for a violation of this Ordinance shall be Fifty Dollars ($50) for the first cited violation, Seventy-Five Dollars ($75) for the second violation and One Hundred Dollars ($100) for the third and all subsequent violations committed within one year of the first. Every day in which a person is in violation of this Ordinance shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.

C. The Tribal Council shall authorize persons to enforce this Ordinance through the issuance of violations. A notice of violation shall be issued when a violation of this Ordinance occurs in the enforcement authority's presence or when the enforcement authority investigating a report of a violation finds probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred.

D. The Tribal Council shall give written notice to anyone who violates this Ordinance, which shall specify the nature of the violation, its location and the date and time of the violation. The Notice shall also set a date and time for a hearing before the Tribal Council to consider the violation. The Notice shall be served upon the alleged violator by delivering a copy personally to the alleged violator, his or her representative or to any member of the violator's family residing with him or her who is more than 18 years of age. If, after reasonable effort to deliver the Notice, the alleged violator cannot be personally served, service may be made by sending a copy to the violators last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by sending a copy by regular first class mail.

E. The Tribal Council shall adopt procedures for hearing and determining violations of this Ordinance.

XI.  Impoundment.

A. Animals may be impounded when they are running at large; when an animal has been subjected to cruelty as defined in section VIII; or when an animal has not been quarantined as required by section VII.

B. Animals shall be impounded in a place and manner designated by the Tribal Council.

C. Following impoundment, the Tribal Council or person designated for this purpose shall notify the owner of its impoundment. If the owner is unknown, reasonable efforts shall be made to ascertain and/or notify the owner of the impoundment.

D. Animals other than quarantined animals impounded by the Tribal Council may be redeemed by the owner upon payment of the costs of the impound. If an animal has been quarantined by the Tribal Council, the owner may redeem it after the quarantine period has expired if the animal shows no signs of rabies or other contagious diseases and the owner pays the costs of quarantine.

E. When an animal is not redeemed within ten (10) days following receipt of notice of the impoundment by the owner, the Tribal Council may give or sell the animal to a suitable person, euthanize or otherwise dispose of the animal.

XII.  Delegation of Authority.

If necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this Ordinance, the Tribal Council may delegate all or part of its responsibilities to competent agencies and officers of federal, state, or local governments. The Tribal Council may negotiate memoranda of agreement or contracts with such agencies or officers as necessary to enforce and carry out this Ordinance. The Tribal Council may also deputize as appropriate any necessary persons over the age of eighteen (18) years for the purpose of enforcing this Ordinance.

XIII.  Repeal of Inconsistent Laws.

All Ordinances, Resolutions, and other enactments of the General Council or Tribal Council of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed.

XIV.  Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall be effective on the date it is enacted by the General Council of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

XV.  Sovereign Immunity.

The Tribe does not waive either expressly or implicitly its sovereign immunity from suit in the enactment or implementation of this Ordinance.


We, the undersigned duly elected officials of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, hereby certify that at a General Council Meeting held on June 14th, 2008, this Ordinance was reviewed and approved by a vote of 16 in favor, 1 opposed and 0 abstaining. We the members of the Tribal Council do hereby certify that this foregoing Ordinance has not been amended or rescinded in any way.

Supplemental Documents:

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