Article 1 Dogs and Cats

§6–101   Falls City Code   §6-114

Article 1. Dogs and Cats

§6-101.  DOGS AND CATS; LICENSE DOGS AND CATS; LICENSE. Any person who shall own, keep, or harbor a dog or cat over the age of five (5) months within the Municipality shall within thirty (30) days after acquisition of the said dog or cat, or within thirty (30) days of the dog or cat becoming five (5) months old acquire a license for each such dog or cat by payment of the annual license fee and state tax fee as set by Resolution of this City Council.  All license shall be renewed annually by payment of the license fee and state tax fee by or before (1st) day of May of each year.  This section shall not apply to any dog or cat placed in the care and custody of the Humane Society of Richardson County, Inc.

The said license fee and state tax shall be delinquent from and after May thirty-first (31st)and a delinquent fee as set by Resolution of the City Council shall be imposed in addition to the annual license fee and State tax fee. The possessor of any dog or cat brought into or harbored within the corporate limits subsequent to May first (1st) of any year, shall be liable for the payment of the dog or cat annual license fee and state tax levied herein and such amounts shall be delinquent if not paid within (30) days. Licenses shall be issued by the Municipal Police upon the payment of the appropriate license fee and state tax fee subject to the requirements of §6-112 if applicable.  Licenses shall not be transferable and no refund will be allowed in case of death, sale, or other disposition of the licensed dog or cat.

A certificate that the dog or cat has had a rabies shot, effective for the ensuing year of the license, shall be presented when the license is applied for and no license or tag shall be issued until the certificate is shown. A re-issue fee as set by Resolution of City Council shall be charged for all lost or destroyed licenses.  (Ref.   17-526, 54-603, 71-4412 RS Neb.)(Amended: Ord. #2004-100; Ord. #2008-111; Ord. #2015-105)

§6-102.   DOGS AND CATS; LICENSE TAGS.  Upon the payment of the license fee, or waiver of same as provided in section 6-101, the Police Department shall issue to the owner of a dog or cat a license certificate and a metallic tag for each dog or cat so licensed.  The metallic tags shall be properly attached to the collar or harness of all dogs or cats so licensed and shall entitle the owner to keep or harbor the said dog or cat until the thirtieth (30th) day of April following such licensing.  In the event that a license tag is lost and upon satisfactory evidence that the original plate or tag was issued in accordance with the provisions herein, the Municipal Police shall issue a duplicate or new tag for the balance of the year for which the license tax has been paid and shall charge and collect a fee of twenty-five cents (25¢) for each duplicate or new tag so issued. All license fees and collections shall be immediately credited to the General Fund. It shall be the duty of the Municipal Police to issue tags of a suitable design that are different in appearance each year.  

§6-103    DOGS AND CATS; OWNER DEFINED.  Any person who shall harbor or permit any dog, cat, or other animal to be for ten (10) days or more in or about his or her house, store, or enclosure, or to remain to be fed, shall be deemed the owner and possessor of such animal and shall be deemed to be liable for all penalties herein prescribed.  (Ref.  54-606, 71-4401 RS Neb.)  

§6-104    DOGS AND CATS; COLLARS.  It shall be the duty of the owner of any dog or cat to securely place a collar around the neck of such animal.  Such collar shall bear the metallic tags of registration carrying the name and owner of the animal.

§6-105    DOGS AND CATS; UNLICENCED.  All dogs and cats found running at large upon the streets and public grounds of the Municipality without a collar or harness with the metal tag affixed as aforesaid, are hereby declared a public nuisance.  Unlicenced dogs or cats found running at large shall be impounded in the Municipal Animal Shelter by the Municipal Police.  (Ref.  17-526, 54-604, 54-605, 54-607, 71-4408 RS Neb.)

§6-106    DOGS AND CATS; NUISANCES.  It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, or harbor any dog or cat which shall: 

A.   By loud, continued or frequent barking, howling or yelping, annoy or disturb any person or neighborhood;

B.  Habitually bark at or chase pedestrians, operators of bicycles, drivers of vehicles, or riders on horseback while they are on any public sidewalks, streets, or alleys in the Municipality;

C.   Habitually or frequently attack any other  animal;

D.   Is "in heat" and not properly confined;   

E.  Run at large upon any public property or the property of another person;

F.   Damage public or private property of another;  

G.  Cause injury to humans or by said animal's action place any person in a state of fear;

H.  Threaten or cause a condition which endangers public health;    

I.   Impede refuse collection by ripping any bag or tipping any container of such;

J.  Deposit manure on public property or private property of another person.   

K.  The provisions of this section shall not be construed to apply to the Municipal Animal Shelter.

§6-107      DOGS AND CATS; IMPOUNDING.   It shall be the duty of the Animal Warden and the Municipal Police to capture, secure, and remove in a humane manner to the Municipal Animal Shelter any dog or cat violating any provision of this Article.

If any owner of keeper is present, in lieu of impoundment, a citation may be issued to that person and that person may retain possession of the animal.

The dog or cat so impounded shall be treated in a humane manner and shall be provided with a sufficient supply of food and fresh water each day.

Each impounded dog or cat shall be kept and maintained at the Municipal Animal Shelter for a period of not less than five (5) days unless reclaimed earlier by the owner.

After the impounding of any animal where a citation has not been issued to the owner or keeper as provided pursuant to this section, the Animal Warden shall promptly notify the owner or keeper of such animal of its impoundment if the owner or keeper of such animal can be determined and located by reasonable investigation; however, no liability shall be attached to the City of Falls City, the Animal Warden, the Municipal Police, or any staff member of the same for failure  to give such notice beyond reasonable investigation.

A fee for the care of any animal during the period of impoundment at the Municipal Animal Shelter shall be at the rate established by Resolution of the City Council for each day or portion thereof that such animal is actually impounded; provided, however, that such cost shall be increased by the actual amount of any expense, excluding food and water, incurred either in the impoundment or the care of said animal. The owner or keeper must pay these costs in full to obtain custody of said animal, but the payment is not required and the same waived for adopted animals from the Municipal Animal Shelter. The owner or keeper shall also be required to comply with the licensing and rabies vaccination requirements prior to release of said animal.

If the dog or cat is not claimed at the end of five (5) days, the Municipal Police or Animal Warden may dispose of the dog or cat in accordance with applicable rules and regulations pertaining to the same; provided, that if, in the judgment of the Municipal Police or Animal Warden, a suitable home can be found for any such dog or cat within or outside of the Municipality, the said dog or cat shall then be turned over to that person and the new owner shall then be required to pay all fees and meet licensing and vaccinating requirements provided in this Chapter.

The Municipality shall acquire legal title to any unlicensed dog or cat impounded in the Municipal Animal Shelter after five (5) days.

All unclaimed or unwanted dogs and cats shall be destroyed and buried in the summary and humane manner.

Nothing herein shall prevent the Municipality from entering into an agreement with a private veterinarian, clinic, or humane society to provide the facilities or to operate the Municipal Animal Shelter. If such an agreement were entered into, the provisions of this Article should apply to such party as would be in control of the Animal Shelter as it applies to those Municipal employees mentioned herein with respect to the operation of the Animal Shelter. (Amended: Ord. #2004-101; Ord. 2015-105)

§6-108    DOGS AND CATS; ANIMAL SHELTER.  The Municipal Animal Shelter shall be safe, suitable, and conveniently located for the impounding, keeping and destruction of dogs, cats, or other animals.  The said Animal Shelter shall be sanitary, ventilated and lighted.  (Ref.  17-548 RS Neb.)

§6-109  DOGS AND CATS; REMOVAL OR DISPOSAL.  If the judge deems necessary, any animal found in violation of any section of this Article may be ordered put to death or removed from the Municipality in addition to any fine so levied by the court. 


Animal Control Authority shall mean an entity authorized to enforce the animal control laws of the City of Falls City.

Animal Control Officer shall mean any individual employed, appointed, or authorized by an animal control authority for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of this act or any other  law or ordinance relating to the licensing, registration and vaccination of animals, control of animals, or seizure and impoundment of animals and shall include  any state or local law enforcement or other employee whose duties in whole or in part include assignments that involve the seizure and impoundment of any animal.

Dangerous Dog shall mean any dog that, according to the records of an animal control authority:

1.  has killed a human being;

2.  has inflicted injury on a human being that requires  medical treatment;

3.  has killed a domestic animal without provocation;  or

4.  has been previously determined to be a potentially dangerous dog by the animal control authority, the owner has received notice from the animal  control  authority or an animal control  officer  of such determination, and the dog inflicts an injury on a human being that does not require medical treatment, injures a domestic animal, or threatens the safety of humans or domestic  animals.

Exceptions:  A dog shall not be defined  as a dangerous dog if the injury, damage or threat was sustained  by a person  who, at the time, was committing  a willful trespass,  was committing  any other tort upon the property of the owner  of the dog, was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog, who has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused, or assaulted  the dog, or who was committing  or attempting to commit a crime.

A dog shall not be defined as a dangerous dog if the dog is a police animal as defined by state law;

Domestic Animal shall mean a cat, a dog, or livestock;

Medical Treatment means treatment administered by a physician or other licensed health care professional that results in sutures or surgery or treatment for one or more broken bones.

Owner means any person, firm, corporation, organization, political subdivision, or department possessing, harboring, keeping, or having control or custody of a dog; and

Potentially dangerous dog means (a) any dog that when unprovoked (i). inflicts an injury on a human being  that does not require medical  treatment,

(ii).  injures a domestic animal;

(iii). chases or approaches a person upon streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or

(b) any specific dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack when unprovoked, to cause injury, or to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals. (Ref 54-617 RS Neb. Ord. 2007-111; Ordinance 2017-100)


No owner  of a dangerous  dog shall permit  the dog to go beyond  the property  of the owner unless the dog is restrained securely by a chain or leash adequate to control the dog, by a person nineteen (19)years of age or older. (Ref 54-618 RS Neb.) (Ordinance 2017-100)


The owner of a dangerous  dog as defined in section 6-110 shall be permitted  to keep said dog in the City of Falls City, Nebraska, provided  the owner maintains said dog at all times in compliance with the following requirements:

A.  Said dog shall maintain a current license issued by-the City of Falls City, Nebraska pursuant to the Municipal Code of The City of Falls City, Nebraska.

B.   The owner of said dog shall have and continually maintain at least $100,000.00 in liability insurance covering any damage or injury done by said dog. Premium payment for said liability insurance coverage shall be sufficient to cover a minimum of one (1) year of liability insurance coverage.  The policy  shall further contain a provision  requiring  the insurance company to provide written notice to the City Clerk not less than fifteen(15) days prior to any cancellation, termination, or expiration  of the Policy;

C.   Said dog shall only be walked  or exercised, off the property of owner, on a leash adequate to control the dog, by a person nineteen ( 19) years of age or older;

D.   The owner, shall, at the owners own expense, have the dog spayed or neutered and shall present written proof from a licensed veterinarian that this sterilization has been performed,

E.   Except as provided by Section 6-112 (C) above, said dog shall be kept indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or dog run area made of at least nine (9) gauge chain link fencing  or equivalent  grade of fencing with no more  than one (1) inch spacing.  Said pen or dog run shall be locked with key or combination lock whenever such dog is within the structure. Said pen or dog run shall be at least three (3) feet wide and ten (10) feet long. Said pen or dog run shall have sides of at least six (6) feet high and a cover shall be secured over the top. If the pen or dog run has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides shall be embedded in the ground no less than two(2) feet or have a concrete pad for the bottom. The pen or structure shall protect the dog from the elements.  The pen or structure shall be at least 10 feet from any property line of the owner. All structures erected shall comply with the zoning and building regulations of the City of Falls City.  All structures shall be adequately lighted and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

F.      The owner of a dangerous dog shall post warning signs on the property where the dog is kept that are clearly visible from all areas of public access and that inform persons that a dangerous dog is on the property.  Such warning sign shall be no less than ten inches by twelve inches and shall contain the words warning and dangerous dog in high contrast with lettering at least three inches high on a black background. (Ref. 54-619 RS Neb.; Ord #2007-111; Ord #2007-113) (Ordinance 2017-100)


Any dangerous dog found within the city limits of the City of Falls City may be immediately  confiscated by an animal control  officer if the owner is in violation of this article, The owner shall be responsible for the reasonable costs incurred by the animal control authority for the care of a dangerous dog confiscated  by an animal control  officer  or for the destruction  of any dangerous dog if the action by the animal control authority is pursuant to law and if the owner violated this article.

In addition to any other penalty, a court may order the animal control authority to dispose of a dangerous dog in an expeditious and humane manner. (Ref. 54-620 RS Neb.) (Ordinance 2017-100)


  1. When an owner  of a dog would  like a determination  regarding the classification of the owner's dog as a classification no later than five (5) days after impoundment. Such petition shall include the name and address, including mailing address, of the petitioner. The City Clerk will then issue a notice of hearing date by mailing a copy to the petitioner's address no later than ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing.

  2. The hearing, if any, will be held before the Animal Control Board.  The owner of such dog shall bear the burden of proof.  Any facts that the petitioner wishes to be considered shall be submitted under oath or affirmation, either in writing or orally at the hearing. The Animal Control Board shall make a final determination whether the dog is a dangerous dog as defined in section 6- 110. Such final determination shall then be considered a final order of the City.

C.   If the dog is determined to be a dangerous dog, said dog will remain impounded for up to 10 days or until the owner of said dog has provided written proof to the City Clerk that the owner of said dog is in full compliance with section 6-112.  If after 10 days owner is not in compliance with section 6-112 the dog will be put up for adoption or humanly destroyed. If the dog is found not to be a dangerous dog the dog shall be released to the owner. Whether said dog is found to be a dangerous dog or not to be found a dangerous dog, the owner of said dog shall be responsible for all applicable fees and costs as set forth in section 6-107.

D.   With respect to any dog that was impounded as the immediate result of an attack or bite unless an appeal is filed as set out in subsection A above within 5 days the dog shall thereafter be humanely destroyed.(Ordinance 2017-100)