SCRAPS is charged with enforcing the animal statutes for the unincorporated areas of Spokane County, the City of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Deer Park, Fairfield, Rockford, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake and Millwood. Each of these cities has their own pet laws along with Washington state laws.
SCRAPS officers are deputized by the Sheriff and carry commissions limited to enforcing animal laws. The majority of these laws concern dogs and cats, but officers are prepared to deal with a wide variety of animals and emergencies. Officers do not carry firearms, but are equipped with leashes, snares and tranquilizer guns. For special situations, live traps and other special equipment are available.
State and local pet laws
For the written laws relating to animal care in the State of Washington go to: apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx and click on Title 16. This does not cover county or city ordinances which might also apply - Spokane County Ordinances.
Pet licensing (dogs and cats) is mandatory in all areas of Spokane County within 30 days of acquisition of a pet or when the pet reaches 6 months of age. It is recommended that the license be attached to a substantial collar and worn by the pet at all times. SCRAPS offers pet licensing.
Animal at large
Dogs: The county ordinance specifies that all dogs must be kept confined to your property or be on a leash when off your property.
Cats: It is unlawful for a cat to run at large without being spayed or neutered, or to be on private property without permission of the property owner.
Pets must be controlled as a courtesy to others and for their protection.
Any animal which attacks, bites or physically threatens a person or another animal without provocation could be considered vicious. If a dog is declared to be dangerous by SCRAPS, the owner of the dog will have to meet specific conditions including, but not limited to, liability insurance and a special kennel to house the animal.
Howling, yelling, whining, barking or making other oral noises in such a manner as to disturb any person or groups of persons to an unreasonable degree is prohibited.
Any dog or cat accessible to other animals, while in heat, for purposes other than controlled or planned breeding is in violation of the animal ordinance.
It is unlawful for an owner to allow their dog to disturb people lawfully on public ways by snarling, barking, growling, or jumping at or toward such people.
Any domestic animal (dog or cat) which bites or otherwise breaks the skin of any person will need to be isolated and quarantined for rabies observation for a period of ten days at the owner's expense. This may be done at the home of the pet if the conditions set forth by the county health department can be met.
It is unlawful to physically mistreat any animal either by deliberate abuse or by neglect, or failure to furnish adequate care, shelter, and medical attention.
Effective January 1, 2014: The Revised Code of Washington prohibits the keeping of certain dangerous wild animals as pets. “Potentially dangerous wild animal”, means one of the following types of animals, whether bred in the wild or in captivity and any or all hybrids thereof:
Here is a partial list of animals that are regulated - for a complete list refer to RCW16.30.010.
Lions, tigers, captive-bred cougars, jaguars, cheetahs, leopards, snow leopards, and clouded leopards
Wolves excluding wolf hybrids
Crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gavials
A person who violates RCW16.030.010 is liable for a civil penalty according to RCW16.030.060.
Rabies is a fatal disease to pets and humans. It is transferred through saliva in animal bites. All pets 6 months of age or older are required by county ordinance to be currently vaccinated against rabies.
Animals may be impounded when they:
- Are running at large off of the owner's premises and not secured by a leash.
- Have injured or bitten a person or other animal, where the animal poses a continuing threat to people or animals.
- Have been subject to cruel treatment as defined by RCW 16.52.070.
- Running in a pack - dogs
- No license
- Damaging property
- Chasing vehicles - dogs
- Not being currently inoculated against rabies
- Illegal kennel - having 5 or more dogs/cats over 6 months old
In addition to payment of Impound Fees, Boarding Fees, and Transportation Fees, animal owners may be cited for violations of the Spokane County Code or the Revised Code of Washington and subject to fines and/or appearance in district or municipal courts. If you want to know what is required to be a responsible pet owner - please contact our shelter. We would love to help you avoid an animal related problem.