The ordinance prohibits barking or oral noises from any animal that disturbs a neighbor or neighborhood to an unreasonable degree. The petition requires a minimum of three witnesses from different households. The "unreasonable degree" of noise is determined on a case by case basis. After receipt of the petition and accompanying statements, an Animal Control Officer will contact the animal owner and could issue a Notice of Violation and Order to Abate. The animal owner is entitled to a civil Appeal Hearing with the Edmonds Municipal Court Judge. All witnesses on the petition must appear at the hearing to give testimony if subpoenaed.
If the Judge upholds the Abatement Order, or the animal owner does not file an appeal, the Abatement Order is in effect forever. Should the noise nuisance continue after the Abatement Order is in effect, the animal owner could be served with a Criminal Misdemeanor citation for Failure to Abate a Nuisance which is subject to a monetary fine, possible removal of the animal and other judicial punishments.
If a leash is used, then it must be no longer than eight feet in length and have a person capable of controlling the animal at the other end. In addition, a person walking any animal must have a bag, scoop, or other device to remove feces for eventual disposal of the waste. An Animal Control Officer must view leash and scoop law violations for animals running at large in order to take immediate enforcement action.
One Animal Control Officer is on duty to handle calls in the City of Edmonds each day. Citizens need to contact Animal Control by dialing 9-1-1 to report dogs running at large utilizing the police dispatch center. The officer will patrol the neighborhood as soon as possible in an attempt to impound the animal. Officers must prioritize calls for service from the 9-1-1 center based on public safety for both people and animals. For example, a request for a dog running at large may wait while the officer handles a more serious call such as an injured animal or a dog bite call with the biting animal still at large.
All small animals (with the exception of cats) running at large and not posing a public safety threat can be reported to the Animal Control voice mail at 425-771-0205. Repeated trespass complaints concerning the same animal may also be dealt with through the nuisance abatement and petition process as mentioned for barking dog complaints. Three witnesses will also be required for trespass nuisances.