1. Upon a petition brought by a local authority, a court in the county where an animal is maintained by a responsible party or a local authority shall determine if the animal is a threatened animal and order its disposition after a hearing.
a. The matter shall be heard within ten days from the filing of the petition for disposition by the local authority.
b. If the animal has been rescued, the court may order that the animal be placed under the custody of the local authority and maintained in the same manner as a rescued animal under section 717B.5.
c. The court may continue the hearing for up to thirty days upon petition by the responsible party. However, the court shall not grant a continuance unless the animal is maintained by the local authority. The responsible party must post a bond or other security with the local authority as a condition of the continuance. The amount of the bond or other security shall be determined by the court, which shall not be more than the amount sufficient to provide maintenance of the animal for thirty days. The court may grant a subsequent continuance upon petition by the responsible party. The continuance shall be for not more than thirty days. The responsible party must post a new bond or security as a condition of the subsequent continuance in the same manner as the original bond or security or as otherwise ordered by the court. However, the court shall order the immediate disposition of the animal if the animal is permanently distressed by disease or injury to a degree that would result in severe or prolonged suffering.
Terms Used In Iowa Code 717B.4
- Animal: means a nonhuman vertebrate. See Iowa Code 717B.1
- clerk: means clerk of the court in which the action or proceeding is brought or is pending; and the words "clerk's office" mean the office of that clerk. See Iowa Code 4.1
- Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
- Dispositional expenses: means expenses incurred by a local authority in rescuing an animal as provided in section 717B. See Iowa Code 717B.1
- following: when used by way of reference to a chapter or other part of a statute mean the next preceding or next following chapter or other part. See Iowa Code 4.1
- Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
- Local authority: means a city as defined in section 362. See Iowa Code 717B.1
- Maintenance: means to provide on-site or off-site care to neglected animals. See Iowa Code 717B.1
- person: means individual, corporation, limited liability company, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, or any other legal entity. See Iowa Code 4.1
- property: includes personal and real property. See Iowa Code 4.1
- Responsible party: means a person who owns or maintains an animal. See Iowa Code 717B.1
- Threatened animal: means an animal that is abused as provided in section 717B. See Iowa Code 717B.1
2. The hearing to determine if the animal is a threatened animal for purposes of disposition shall be a civil proceeding. If the case is related to a criminal proceeding, the disposition shall not be part of that proceeding and shall not be considered a criminal penalty imposed on a person found in violation of this chapter.
3. If the court determines that an animal is not a threatened animal, the court shall order that the animal be returned to the custody of the responsible party. If the court determines that an animal is a threatened animal, the court shall order the local authority to dispose of the threatened animal in any manner deemed appropriate for the welfare of the animal. In addition, all of the following apply:
a. The court may order the responsible party to pay an amount which shall not be more than the dispositional expenses incurred by the local authority. The court may also award the local authority court costs, reasonable attorney fees and expenses related to the investigation and prosecution of the case, which shall be taxed as part of the costs of the action.
b. If a bond or other security was posted as a condition for a continuance of a disposition hearing as provided in this section, the local authority may use the posted amount to offset the local authority’s dispositional expenses.
c. If any moneys are realized from the disposition of a threatened animal, the moneys shall be used to offset the local authority’s dispositional expenses before satisfying indebtedness secured by any security interest in or lien on the threatened animal.
d. If the threatened animal is owned by more than one responsible party, the amount required to offset the local authority’s dispositional expenses shall be prorated among the responsible parties based on the percentage of interest owned in the threatened animal attributable to the responsible parties as the threatened animal’s titleholders. For purposes of this paragraph, a responsible party who does not own an interest in the threatened animal shall be deemed to be an owner holding a percentage interest in the animal equal to the largest percentage interest held by a landowner who is attributed an interest as the threatened animal’s titleholder. If the responsible party is a landowner, the local authority may submit the amount to reimburse the local authority for its dispositional expenses to the clerk of the county board of supervisors who shall report the amount to the county treasurer. If the threatened animal is owned by more than one landowner, the amount shall be prorated among the landowners based on the percentage of interest owned in the threatened animal attributable to each landowner as the animal’s titleholders. The amount shall be placed upon the tax books, and collected with interest and penalties after due, in the same manner as other unpaid property taxes. The county shall reimburse a city within thirty days from the collection of the property taxes.