SCRAPS law enforcement duties
SCRAPS is charged with enforcing Spokane County Code and the Revised Code of Washington as they pertain to animals. Animal protection officers respond to complaints in unincorporated Spokane County, Spokane, Cheney, Millwood, Medical Lake, Deer Park, Fairfield, Liberty Lake, Rockford, and Spokane Valley. These officers and the animal protection director hold a Special Deputy One commission with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department limited to enforcing the animal laws and statues.
Officers are prepared to deal with a wide variety of animals and emergencies - officers provide:
- Rescue of sick, injured, or abandoned animals
- Investigation of dog/cat bites
- Control of vicious dogs/cats
- Pickup of dead dogs/cats
- Impoundments of stray dogs/cats
- Dogs/cats at large
- Dog/cat threats to person
- Dog/cat threats to domestic animals
- Investigations of animal cruelty or neglect complaints
- Issuance of citations for infractions and/or misdemeanors (including licensing)
- Nuisance complaints, barking
- Acting as expert witnesses in court cases
- Assisting other law enforcement agencies with animal related problems
- Assisting citizen initiated case with field investigations
- Educate citizens with regard to animal laws and humane treatment of animals
- Kennel licensing and inspection
- Dangerous dog registration and inspection
- Inherently dangerous mammal and reptile registration and inspection
Municipal vs. donation funded programs
SCRAPS contracts with municipal agencies to provide animal protection services. Many services and programs that SCRAPS offers are not funded through these contracts but through donations made to SCRAPS and the SCRAPS Hope Foundation
These programs include the SCRAPS animal behavior program. This program provides free dog training classes to the public, free behavior information and handouts, individual assessment of shelter animals, and education programs for the community. Donations support the staffing of two part-time dog trainers to assist with this program.
Donations also support emergency medical treatment of shelter animals. For example, if your pet was picked up after it was hit by a car, municipal contracts do not allow for medical care but donations do allow SCRAPS to provide emergency care for your pet.
SCRAPS completely depends upon donations to pay for pet food and supplies for the shelter.
Donations also support extra care for the animals including additional staff to care for the animals, interactive toys to keep the animals entertained, specially designed music to keep the animals calm, and other innovative programs.
Your donations to the SCRAPS Hope Foundation are tax-deductible. Thank you for helping us, help them.
What Happens When you Call
- All complaints are entered in a log and assigned to an animal control officer.
- Complaints are prioritized and higher priority complaints are handled first.
- All complaints are responded to in a timely manner.
- On a first visit for routine nuisance complaints, animal control officers usually try to educate the pet owner and provide them with information on the law and solutions to the problem.
- Second nuisance complaints may result in the animal control officer taking a statement from the complainant and possibly issuing a citation to the pet owner.
- Third nuisance complaints generally result in a citation being issued.
- If an officer is responding to a complaint of a loose dog, they may impound the animal if it is running loose when they arrive. Officers try to return loose animals to their owners from the field when possible.
- A first call on a barking problem generates a letter to the dog owner regarding the complaint and the law; included is a helpful hints brochure. Second barking complaints result in a personal visit to the dog owner by an officer and/or a citation may be issued. Third complaints usually result in a citation.
- · An officer investigates all cruelty complaints. If an officer finds an extreme animal cruelty, they may get a warrant and remove the animal for veterinary treatment and safekeeping.
- Dogs causing severe injury to a human, killing a domestic animal or dogs previously deemed potentially dangerous may be deemed dangerous and impounded, pending registration requirements, to insure public safety.
- Dogs/cats involved in a bite are quarantined for a 10-day rabies observation period. Home quarantine is allowed and the Spokane County Health District verifies the animal’s health at the end of the observation period.
- Neighborhoods that have chronic problems with dogs running at large will be patrolled whenever possible.
The above are general guidelines for the department. Animal control officers use common sense and investigative skills to come up with the best solution to the problem for the community and the animals.
Building a more humane community, protecting public safety and ensuring animal welfare thorough compassionate, responsive, professional enforcement of laws and public policy.
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) was first conceived as the Spokane County Dog Control back in 1923 when records show the first dog licenses being sold. During this early history of SCRAPS our job consisted of answering complaints by residents about dogs running at large. We didn’t have animal protection officers; we had “dog catchers.” We didn’t have a shelter; we had a “pound” for impounded dogs. Our pound was small, and from the start, over-crowded.
In January of 2014, SCRAPS became the only animal protection agency for Spokane County and the cities of Spokane, Fairfield, Deer Park, Spokane Valley, Medical Lake, Millwood, Rockford, Liberty Lake and Cheney. We are now housed in the regional animal facility located at 6815 E. Trent.