The legal definition of a nuisance animal is found in Orange County Codified Ordinance 4-1-48:
"No person shall keep, maintain, or permit, either willfully or through failure to control, on any lot, parcel of land, or premises under his control any animal which by sound or cry shall disturb the peace and comfort of the inhabitants of the neighborhood or interfere with any person in the reasonable and comfortable enjoyment of life or property except noise on property used for agricultural purposes which is normally associated with animals on property used for such purposes."
The entire process for the Nuisance Complaint Procedure is as follows:
You, as the reporting party, initiate the first complaint by mailing in the completed Nuisance Complaint Form. Once the complaint form is received and entered, a postcard notifying the animal owner of the complaint is sent.
If after 10 days the nuisance violation continues, you must file a second complaint with OC Animal Care through the Nuisance Animal Desk. If the Nuisance Animal Desk is not contacted within 90 days of the initial complaint, the file will be purged. Upon second complaint, the dog owner is given 14 days to resolve the violation.
If the situation still exists after the 14-day period, you must file a third complaint with OC Animal care through the Nuisance Animal Desk. At the third complaint, you will be mailed a Nuisance Statement Form, including a sample statement form and directions for completion of the form. This completed form, when returned to OC Animal Care, is used to document the history of the situation.
Once the Nuisance Statement Form is received, OC Animal Care will issue a Notice to Abate (final warning) to the nuisance animal owner. After this notice is hand delivered to the owner by an Animal Control Officer, the owner is given 15 days to remedy the nuisance violation.
If the problem remains unresolved after the 15 days, the complainant must again contact the Nuisance Animal Desk and request a petition packet (legal evidence). The complainant then has 45 days to complete the packet and return it to OC Animal Care.
Once all information is received, reviewed and deemed complete, OC Animal Care will forward it to either the Orange County District Attorney or the City Attorney with a request for a criminal complaint. The action taken by either the District Attorney or City Attorney will be based upon the information that is supplied by the complaining party.
The ultimate resolution of a complaint in court occurs only after all the steps have been filed. The process is lengthy, but required if the case proceeds to court. Information of the complaining party will be kept confidential until the case is heard in court.
For further questions or information about the Nuisance Complaint Procedure, please contact
Nuisance Animal Desk
7:30 am to 3:30 pm - Monday - Friday
This procedure applies to animals other than barking dogs in all 18 cities serviced by OC Animal Care. The nuisance procedure is generally used for birds, livestock and other exotic animals.