2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 4-8-24 (2010)
TITLE 4 - ANIMALS
CHAPTER 8 - DOGS
ARTICLE 2 - DANGEROUS DOG CONTROL
§ 4-8-24 - Procedures for classification as dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs; notice; hearing
4-8-24. Procedures for classification as dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs; notice; hearing
(a) As applied to the owners of potentially dangerous dogs, the procedures provided for in this Code section must be carried out as a necessary condition for the enforcement of the provisions of this article against such owners. As applied to the owners of dangerous dogs, the procedures provided for in this Code section shall not be an essential element of any crime provided for in this article.
(b) When a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog is classified as such, the dog control officer shall notify the dog's owner of such classification.
(c) The notice to the owner shall meet the following requirements:
(1) The notice shall be in writing and mailed by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the owner's last known address;
(2) The notice shall include a summary of the dog control officer's findings that formed the basis for the dog's classification as a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog;
(3) The notice shall be dated and shall state that the owner, within 15 days after the date shown on the notice, has a right to request a hearing on the dog control officer's determination that the dog is a dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog;
(4) The notice shall state that the hearing, if requested, shall be before the governing authority, the board of health, or the animal control board of the respective local government and shall specify the name of the applicable agency which will conduct the hearing;
(5) The notice shall state that if a hearing is not requested, the dog control officer's determination that the dog is a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog will become effective for all purposes under this article on a date specified in the notice, which shall be after the last day on which the owner has a right to request a hearing; and
(6) The notice shall include a form to request a hearing before the applicable agency and shall provide specific instructions on mailing or delivering such request to the agency.
(d) When the governing authority, animal control board, or local board of health, whichever is applicable, receives a request for a hearing as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall schedule such hearing within 30 days after receiving the request. The governing authority or board shall notify the dog owner in writing by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery of the date, time, and place of the hearing, and such notice shall be mailed to the dog owner at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. At the hearing, the owner of the dog shall be given the opportunity to testify and present evidence and in addition thereto the governing authority or board shall receive such other evidence and hear such other testimony as the governing authority or board may find reasonably necessary to make a determination either to sustain, modify, or overrule the dog control officer's classification of the dog.
(e) Within ten days after the date of the hearing, the governing authority or board shall notify the dog owner in writing by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery of its determination on the matter. If such determination is that the dog is a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog, the notice shall specify the date upon which that determination is effective.
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