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Section 1: The Table of Contents of the Johnson Police Department Policy & Standard Operating Procedure Manual is hereby amended by adding the following:
Section 2: That the ten (10) page document attached hereto which is identified as: Johnson Police Department 719 Animal Control Operations, should be and hereby is adopted as Policy 19 to Chapter 7 of the Johnson Police Department Policy and Standard Operating Procedure Manual.
Section 3: Chapter 7 is hereby amended by the addition of the attached as Policy 19 thereto.
Section 4: In all other respects, the Johnson Police Department Policy & Standard Operating Procedure Manual is not amended or modified and is hereby ratified and confirmed.

PASSED AND APPROVED this 10th day of April, 2018.



Johnson Police Department


Animal Control Operations

This policy is for internal use only and does not enlarge an employee's- civil liability in any way. The policy should not be construed as creating a higher duty of care,. in an evidentiary sense, with respect to third party civil claims against employees; A violation of this policy, if proven, can only form the basis of a complaint by this department for non-judicial

administrative action In accordance with the laws governing employee discipline.

Applicable Arkansas Statutes:

CALEA Standard:

ALEAP Standard: 3.08

Date Implemented:



Date Revised:


Vernon Sisemore, Chief of Police

Date Reviewed:




I. Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and procedures for responding to animal complaints, committing animals to be confined in the Animal Shelter and define responsibilities of Animal Control Personnel.

II. Policy: It is the policy of this department to ensure the humane and ethical treatment of animals as well as enforce laws and city ordinances related to animals within the City of Johnson. The handling of animal complaints is a function that all officers of the Johnson Police Department must perform from time to time. Normally, the Animal Control Officer will handle these matters during the hours they are on duty. State statutes and City Ordinance 2012-09 will provide legislation to address animal complaint issues,

Ill. Procedures:

A. Administration: The Chief of Police or his designee shall appoint personnel to the position of Animal Control Officer. All Animal Control Officers shall report directly to the Patrol Commander.. The Patrol Commander will ensure ACO's are provided with the necessary materials equipment and training as required for the performance of their duties.

B. Animal Control Officer Responsibilities.

  1. ACO's shall be responsible for responding to all animal complaints. They shall retain the authority and discretion to resolve animal complaints commensurate with City Ordinance, policy and best practices and procedures as provided by training.
  2. ACO's shall receive Level 1 and Level 2 training through the Arkansas State Animal Control Association in all currently recognized methods and practices in dealing with animal complaints, including, but not limited to, the capture, control, confinement and release of animals.  This training will be attended as soon as feasible subsequent to hire.
  3. ACO's shall complete a Daily Activity Log detailing the day's activities and vehicle usage. This will be done utilizing the Crimestar RMS Daily Activity Log module. The Daily Log shall be completed prior to the end of each shift.
  4. ACO's are responsible for requesting all needed supplies.
  5. ACO's will maintain their areas and vehicle in a heat, repaired and orderly fashion. This includes removal of feces and urine from kennels  on a daily basis.
  6. ACO's will ensure that all animals in custody of the City of Johnson, on a daily basis, are fed, appropriately sheltered, and medical needs are addressed if needed.
  7. ACO's will maintain a log of all traps set to capture animals to include: date of set up, location of set up, dates and times traps are checked, animals trapped, date the trap is removed, property owner and contact information if applicable,
  8. ACO's will issue violations and/or warnings for violations, of the Animal Control Ordinance in keeping with the city ordinance.
  9. ACO's will complete reports via the Crimestar RMS system for certain offenses as defined in this policy.


C. Animal Control Vehicle

i. The Johnson Police Department will retain vehicles for use by ACO's. Persons authorized to operate the animal control vehicle's will1 at all times, comply with the department's regulations for the operation of vehicles under routine conditions (these vehicles shall not be operated under emergency conditions). There are no special licenses or training requirements for the operation of an animal control vehicle. ACO's are
responsible for all maintenance and upkeep of the animal control vehicle
and all assigned equipment. Equipment typically stored in the animal control vehicles, may include, but is not limited to:
1. Animal Snares
2. Animal Traps
3. Carrying Cages (for small animals)
4. Leashes and Similar Materials
5. Dog Pole
6. Leather Gloves

D. Enforcement Options: ACO's have the authority and discretion to enforce the City Codes relating to animals or fowls by:
i. Attempts to resolve complaints through informal means
ii. Issuance of a letter of notification and request for compliance of a violation of the Animal Control Ordinance regulating animals or fowls. This notification letter may be delivered either by mail or in person by an officer.
iii. Issuance of a written violation to the owner in possession or control of the animal to appear in the Johnson Department of the Washington County District Court.
iv. lmpoundment of the animal at the animal shelter as proscribed by law.
v. ACO's DO NOT have the authority to physically arrest a person

E. Animal Control Call Priorities: An ACO may receive a variety of calls each day. Prioritizing calls must be accomplished according to the situations as they arise. Calls might range in their degree of seriousness and priorities, which could be ever changing. The community's health and safety is always the major determining factor. Receipt of accurate and thorough information from the complainant is mandatory if calls are to be properly prioritized in the order of
their importance.,Calls will be assigned priority 1 through 3 as described below:

i. Priority 1 Calls:
1. Animal Bites
2. Loose Vicious / Dangerously Behaving Animals
3. Sick / Injured Animals
4. Suspected Rabid Animals
5. Animal Cruelty Cases

ii. Priority 2 Calls:
1. Potentially Dangerous Situations (ie. stray in public area, park, etc.)

iii. Priority 3 Calls:.
1. Animal Running at Large which does not display an Imminent threat to the public; ·
2, Animal in Trap
3. Unsanitary Conditions
4. Wild Animals (based on animal activity at the time of complaint)
5. Nuisance Animals

F. Humane Care: The humane care and handling of all animals ls the foundation for the City of Johnson's Animal Control policy and procedures. It shall be the responsibility of ACO's to maintain the dignity of the animals during capture, transport and housing.
G. Catch Methods: All animals cannot be caught or apprehended in the same manner. Apprehension of dogs at large is one of the most difficult tasks for animal control personnel. Whatever method of capture Is used it shall .be the most humane method possible; consistent with the safety of the animal control personnel and other persons who may be present. ACO's should not use more force than required nor cause the animal any more pain or discomfort than .is necessary; Since most of the animals involved are dogs, ACO's should know as much as possible about the psychology and the reaction of dogs under certain situations. Carrying methods for dogs are as follows:

i. Small Dog: Place the right hand under the body of the animal, with the index finger passing between the front legs. The index finger should hold the chest. The dog should be lifted so that the body is resting on the right hip: and hold the dog steady by the right forearm. Place the left hand holding the dog's neck away from you, with a leash so that no bite may occur.
ii. Large Dog: Kneel down, pick up and hold the dog by cradling the chest
and rump in your arms. The hands press the dog's body to yours. If the dog shows, signs of biting, do not attempt to carry the animal.
iii.. Animal Control Officers Shall Not: 

1. Carry or drag, an animal by the skin, limbs, or leash unless necessary.
2. Lead the animal by improper leashing.
3. Place the animal in the animal control vehicle without assuring that the door to the cage is secured.

H. Procedures and Equipment for Apprehending Animals:

i. Calling and picking up with hands: ACO’s is may call some animals and simply pick up and place the animal in the, animal control vehicle. These animals shall be picked up and carried to the animal control vehicle, in the manner described above; or leashed and led to the animal control vehicle.
ii. Catch Pole: Some animals will become completely submissive when the catch pole loop is placed around their neck. These animals may be led to the animal control vehicle and loaded by supporting the hindquarters and holding their neck away. If the animals reacts to the catch pole more violently, then allow a few seconds for the animal to settle down or become calm, before moving and loading the animal in the animal control vehicle. ACO's shall, when possible, support he hindquarters of the animal when it Is picked up by the catch pole to be placed in the
animal control vehicle.

I. After Hours Call-Out: ACO's will be called out for priority 1 and 2 calls. ACO's will be assisted by police personnel. On duty officers will respond to priority 3 calls and leave any information for follow up for the ACO.

J. Animal Bite Complaints: Animal bites are defined as instances where the victim's skin has been broken or penetrated by the teeth of an animaI. Scratches caused by the claws or talons do not constitute an animal bite. Officers shall proceed as follows in the event of an animal bite:

 i. If the ACO is off-duty gather the following information:
1; Complainant's name, address and telephone number
2 Location of the animal and/or owner, if known
3. Description of the animal
4. Circumstances that led to the complaint
5. Determine whether an animal bite has in fact occurred. If so, notify
the ACO, and pass on all relevant information.

ii. ACO's will respond to animal bites as follows::
1. If the owner of the animal is known, verify animal's rabies vaccination record. The animal will be quarantined for a period of time as determine by city ordinance. At the discretion of the ACO, the quarantine may be at the owner's premises or at the animal shelter 

2. If the owner is unknown, capture and proceed with impoundment of the animal. If it is not possible to capture the animal, determine any area where the animal is frequently seen and continuously monitor the animal until capture can be made.

3. ACO's shall forward all information received concerning the vaccination history of the animal to the victim at the earliest opportunity. 

4. When the victim is also the owner of the animal, they shall be instructed to quarantine the animal as described in this section.

5. The victim shall be requested to seek medical treatment for the wound and to notify the ACO of the treatment received.

6. Wild animal bites will be reported to the Arkansas Department of Health.

K. Vicious Animals: Complaints of vicious animals, especially running at large, need immediate attention and should be dispatched immediately. When responding to a complaint of a vicious animal, the appropriate actions should be taken as soon as possible, to diminish the chance of injury to anyone. The following may be required:

1. Verify that the animal Is vicious
2. Identify who was attacked, where, when, and what injuries received. Advise the victim to seek medical treatment, if necessary.
3. ln the event a citizen or officer is in imminent danger of attack or an attack has already occurred, employees may use the force necessary (Including deadly force) to repel the attack.
4. The owner or custodian of the animal should be determined and instructed to restrain the animal. A written violation for Ordinance 2012-09 should be issued to the owner or custodian.

L. Suspected Rabid Animals: Complaints of suspected rabid animals should be given immediate attention and should be immediately dispatched. The owner or custodian should be identified, and the vaccination status determined. The owner or custodian must be able to display a vaccination certificate, or the animal will be handled as though it has not been vaccinated. In cases of suspected rabies where vaccination cannot be confirmed, (I.e. owner not sure or owner cannot be located), the animal shall be impounded and confined at the animal shelter. The cage and all associated paperwork will be marked in bold letters that read ''SUSPECTED RABIES". Before an animal suspected of having rabies is handled, animal control personnel shall take the appropriate steps to protect against a possible bite from the animal (i.e jacket, gloves, etc., will be worn). If destruction of such an animal is deemed necessary the ACO shall ensure that destruction is accomplished in the least public manner and as humanely as possible, ensuring that the head of the animal is not damaged and is preserved for analysis to confirm rabies. The ACO shall then forward the head of the animal to the Arkansas Department of Health for analysis.

M. Animals Running at Large: The City of Johnson addresses violations of animals running at large;

i. It is not a violation for cats and other natural wild animals to run at large. ACO’s will address, as city ordinance violations, dogs, running at large. ACO's will address other animals running at large If they are a danger or nuisance to the public Cats running at large will not be addressed, unless there is a clear issue of danger to the public. At large, is defined as any animal not under the control of the owner or a member, of the owner's immediate family by fencing, leash, cord, chain or other physical restraining device.
ii. Dogs running at large, may be Impounded and confined at the animal
shelter. Other animals running at large causing a public safety issue may
be temporarily held until an owner is located.

N. Sick or Injured Animals: When arriving, assessment should be made as to whether the animal is sick or injured. The owner or custodian should be notified. If notification cannot be made, the animal should be admitted to the animal shelter and continuous attempts made to identify the owner; If notification can be made, return the animal and advise them to seek appropriate medical treatment. If destruction is deemed necessary the animal shall be disposed of in the most humane manner possible.

O. Dead Animals: The Public Works department will be notified to pick up dead animals on public right of ways. Dead animals on private property shall be the responsibility of the property owner.

P. Animal Cruelty: Animal cruelty consists of many different forms. Animal control personnel will investigate all complaints of animal cruelty within the City of Johnson to determine the validity of the complaint and take appropriate action. All attempts should be made to work with the owner to the betterment of the animal's condition. The ACO may remove any animal kept or confined in other than a humane manner and may impound such animal. If requested, ACO's may assist Johnson Police Officers with respect to animal cruelty cases.

Q. Dogs Constituting a Nuisance: ACO's responding to complaints of nuisance dogs will determine if the complaint is justified and will identify the owner of the animal. The owner will then be given a warning, which orders the, owner to
abate the nuisance. If additional complaints are received on the same dog for the same nuisance, ACO's shall issue a citation pursuant to Ordinance 2012-09. Previous and/or current complainants shall be summoned as witnesses. If the owner cannot be identified and the dog can be captured, or If it Is an aggravated or repetitive case, AC0’ s may elect to impound the dog and confine it at the animal shelter.

R. Wild Animals: When answering a complaint of a wild animal in the City of Johnson and it is determined that the animal must be destroyed, both safety and humane interests must be of great concern. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be notified and their direction of what to do with the animal will be followed.

S. Complaint Follow-Ups
I. Speak with the complainant and gather all pertinent information
concerning the call. · ·
Ii; Contact the complainant before leaving the area, as to the status of the complaint.
iii. If complainant is unavailable, patrol the area and make attempts to solve
the problem. Return to the complainant's address and again attempt to
make contact. If no contact is made with the complainant, gather all
information possible about the complainant from dispatch and contact the complainant at a later date.
T Escapes:

i. Make every possible attempt to recapture the animal.
ii. In the event that the animal cannot be recaptured, return to the complainant's residence and advise them of the status of the animal.

U. Traps: Live animal traps are frequently used to capture stray or unruly animals They are a humane way, to confine an animal until the animal can be brought to the shelter. In many instances the baited traps are the only way to catch a stray dog, cat or any other animal that is causing problems for the community.

i. Appropriate Usage: If the animal cannot be caught by hands or with the use of a rope, catch pole, etc. or the area is too open to allow for capture (i.e. fields, unfenced yards, etc.).
ii. Initial Contact: The owner of the property shall be notified when a trap is placed on their property. The property owner should understand that the trap is a live animal trap and must be monitored every six (6} to eight
(8) hours and every two (2) to three (3) hours during inclement weather. Citizens may be asked to assist ACO's with the monitoring of traps. Animal traps will be removed at the ACO's discretion.
iii. Animal Trapped: ACO1 s shall remove the trap and animal to the shelter or, in the event of a wild animal, another safe area, as soon as possible. In the event the trapped animal was not the target animal, ACO's should release the animal and reset the trap.
Iv. Follow-Up: ACO's will monitor all animal trap locations daily. In the event the ACO is not able to check traps daily, the ACO must ensure the trap is monitored, or close or remove the trap.
v. Setting Live Animal Traps:

1. Set the trap on the property of the person who has requested the live trap or removal of an animal.
2. Affix the trap so it may stay stationary,
3. Do .not affix the trap to anything that with damage the property of the owner.

vi. Animal Removal: If the animal trapped is the intended animal to be trapped, the animal shall be taken to the shelter for processing and handling. · ·

vii. Trap Removal: ACO's shall make arrangements with the owner of the property for a date and time that the trap will be removed from their property. ACtl"s shall clean the trap of all old food, cans1, leaves and/or trash. ACO's shall check the trap for any needed repair and document the removal of the trap on the trap log.

V. Animal Shelter: The: City of Johnson provides for temporary housing for animals. Per Ordinance 2012-09 animals not claimed by their owner within three (3) days, will be transferred to the Washington County Animal Shelter. Any animal not claimed within five. (5} days shall be forfeited to the county. While animals are in the custody of ACO’s,. they will be treated as humanely as possible. Kennel stalls will be cleaned daily, and all animals will be fed at least once daily. ·

W. Maintenance: ACO's will maintain all animal control equipment and kennels. Any supplies or equipment needed must be requested by the ACO.

X. Uniforms: ACO's will be issued uniform shirts and pants. The uniform must be worn while on duty. ACO's may wear the uniform or other appropriate dress when attending training, court or other public functions in their role as ACO.

Y. Incident Reports / Information: ACO's will complete incident reports via the Crimestar RMS system for all the following cases. In addition, investigative supplements will be completed via Crimestar for all follow-up investigations, medical reports, citations, etc. associated with the case file:

i. Animal Cruelty Cases
ii. Animal Bite Cases
iii. If the Incident occurs while ACO's are off-duty, the patrol officer on-duty will do the report and forward it to the ACO for further investigation. All
supplemental information, photographs, veterinarian's reports, Arkansas Department of Health reports and any bill associated with the case must be submitted to the case file.

Z. Daily Reports: ACO's, will do a daily activity report via the-daily activity module in Crimestar. 

AA. Issuing Citations and Citation Entry: ACO's will issue either a citation or a warning for all violations that ACO's address. Upon completion of the citation, ACO's will electronically enter the citation into Crimestar. All records and court copies of' citations will be turned In to supervisors at the end of each shift.

BB. Animal Adopt on: If a cat, dog or other animal is picked up within the city running at large and has no collar, tag, or PIT, and the cat, dog or other animal is impounded in the city for three (3) days, the: ACO may, upon application by a responsible adult with proper identification, allow such animal to be adopted by such adult with adequate assurance that the cat, dog , or other animal will be promptly taken to a licensed veterinarian for necessary shots and health check.

CC. Animal Surrender Policy The City of Johnson will not accept surrender of any animal from the owner of the: animal, Anyone, wishing to surrender an animal should be referred to the Washington County Animal Shelter.

DD. Authorization to Immediately Terminate Animals Deemed Dangerous to
the Public: It is the desire of the City of Johnson to capture dogs or other animals running at large, that affect the immediate public health and safety of residents. Cats running at large are not deemed a public health or safety issue unless the cat is believed to be rabid or the cat has attacked or is-attempting to attack a member of the public. Typical methods of capture include catch poles, traps, gloves, etc. Captured dogs or cats will be impounded. Other animals will be relocated, provided to Arkansas Game and Fish employees or addressed as appropriate in accordance with Arkansas law and or best management practices. As a practical matter, the City of Johnson recognizes that dogs and other animals may be an immediate threat to the public health and safety of the residents of this city. At times these animals are not able to be captured. Dogs running at large over an extended period of time, obviously abandoned, Iiving wild, and unable to be captured are declared to be a danger to the public health and safety of the residents of the City of Johnson. In such cases, ACO's may request approval of the Chief of Police or his designee to immediately terminate the animal in the field. If approval is granted for the immediate termination of an animal, ACO's will utilize the assistance of a Johnson Police Officer to carry out the termination. Officers will only terminate an animal when it is safe and reasonable to do so and will attempt to do so out of the view of the public. Officers will ensure that no damage to a person or property will occur when terminating an animal and will not attempt to terminate an animal if any chance of damage to a person or property (other than the intended animal) exists.

EE Wild Animals Inhabiting Residential or Commercial Property: Owners / Operators of residential or commercial properties are ultimately responsible for their own property. ACO's will assist owners / operators to the extent possible to capture wild animals inhabiting structures. Assistance is restricted to the use of Gloves, catch poles, traps, and other non-damaging capture devices. ACO's will not damage residential or commercial property In an effort to locate such animals. If ACO's are not able to assist the owner/operator in remedying the matter, the ownerIoperator should be instructed to consider other professional services.