Lewiston - Dog Bite LawsThe city of Lewiston, ID dog bite injury laws is as follows.  Please check the following link to city ordinances for any updates or changes to the laws: (http://www.codepublishing.com/ID/Lewiston/; Chapter 8 Animals and Fowl, Article II Dogs):

Allow: To permit by neglecting to restrain or prevent.

Animal control officer: Any person designated by the chief of police to carry out the provisions of this article.

At large: To be off the premises of the owner and not under the control of the owner or another person.

Bite: Any aggressive or voluntary closure by an animal’s mouth causing a redness, breaking or tearing of the skin of any person or which damages or destroys the personal property of another.

Dangerous dog: Any dog which exhibits a known inclination or tendency to attack or bite a person or persons or other animal or damage property without cause, or which has behaved in such manner that the person who harbors said dog knows or should know that the dog exhibits such tendencies to bite or harm persons or other animals or destroy property, may be declared a dangerous dog. A dog shall be determined dangerous and assigned a level of dangerousness according to the following guidelines:

Level 1 behavior: Level 1 behavior is established if a dog, while at large, is found to menace, chase and display threatening or aggressive behavior or otherwise threaten or endanger the safety of any person, domestic animal or fowl.

Level 2 behavior: Level 2 behavior is established if a dog, whether or not under control, aggressively bites any person, domestic animal or fowl, or maliciously damages or destroys the personal property of another.

Level 3 behavior: Level 3 behavior is established if:

(1) Any dog, whether or not under control, causes the serious injury or death of any person; or

(2) Any dog, while at large, kills any domestic animal or fowl; or

(3) Any dog engages in or is found to have been trained to engage in exhibitions of fighting; or

(4) There are repeat violations of level 2 behavior by a dog declared/determined to be a level 2 dangerous dog.

Dogs used in law enforcement shall be excluded from this section.

Dog: Any member, male or female, of the family canis familiaris.

Dog under control: A dog secured by a leash or lead not exceeding eight (8) feet in length and by a responsible person, or confined within a vehicle or confined within the boundaries of its owner’s real property.

Harboring: The keeping of any dog. The occupant of any premises on which a dog remains, or to which it customarily returns daily for food and care, for three (3) consecutive days or more is presumed to be harboring or keeping the dog for the purposes of this article.

Kennel: Any lot or premises or portion thereof, other than a veterinary office or animal shelter, grooming facility, or pet shop on which four (4) or more dogs are maintained, harbored, possessed, boarded, bred or cared for in return for compensation or kept for sale.

Leash: A cord, thong, leash or chain, not more than eight (8) feet in length, by which a dog is controlled by the person accompanying it.

Neutered dog: Male or female dogs rendered incapable of reproducing offspring. Proof of such sterilization must be evidenced by an acknowledgment of the owner.

Owner, custodian or keeper: Any person, including any firm, association, partnership or corporation or their agents, or persons acting with their permission, owning, keeping or harboring a dog.

Premises: All of the real property under a person’s or persons’ ownership, lease or control inside the inner line of a sidewalk; or, if there is no sidewalk, inside the curb, ditch or shoulder marking the edge of the traveled or used portion of the public right-of-way. “Premises” also includes the inside of a closed motor vehicle.

License Required

The keeping of any dog within the city is hereby forbidden and unlawful, unless the owner, custodian, keeper or person harboring the dog shall procure a license from the city for such dog. The license shall be obtained from any person authorized by the city manager to act as an agent for the city for the sale and distribution of dog licenses. This provision shall not apply to a dog under six (6) months of age; nor shall it apply to a nonresident keeping a dog within the city for no longer than sixty (60) days; nor shall it apply to the keeping of any dog within a properly licensed kennel, as provided for in section 8-34 of this article. In any prosecution for a violation of this section, the absence of a tag to be appended to a dog, as provided in section 8-27 of this article, excluding dogs used in law enforcement, shall be prima facie evidence that the dog has not been legally licensed. No prosecution for a violation of this section shall be commenced prior to March 1st of any calendar year. Whenever any person, after applying for and receiving a city dog license, shall move from the address named in such application, such person shall, within ten (10) days thereafter, notify the deputy treasurer of the city in writing of such address change.

Transfer of Ownership

It shall be unlawful for any person to use any license tag for any dog other than the one for which it is issued. If there is a change of ownership of a licensed dog, the new owner shall apply for and obtain a new license.

Dogs at Large

It shall be unlawful for any person to cause, permit, or allow a dog or dogs, owned, harbored, controlled, or kept by him or her, to roam, run, or stray away from the premises in which the dog or dogs are owned, harbored, controlled, or kept, except where the dog or dogs are kept under control by means of a leash or chain not exceeding eight (8) feet in length by the owner or other person. A leash or chain shall not be required for a dog which is securely confined in any vehicle. Every female dog in heat shall be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that such female dog cannot come in contact with another dog except for planned breeding.


No person owning, harboring, controlling or keeping any dog shall permit the dog to do any of the following acts:

(1) Behavior described in levels 1 through 3 (see definition for “dangerous dog” in section 8-22).

(2) Scatter garbage, refuse or debris.

(3) Chase any person, vehicle or animal.

(4) Deposit fecal material on any property not that of its owner or custodian without the owner or custodian immediately removing it.

(5) Bark, howl or otherwise cause noise which disturbs or is likely to disturb the peace and quiet of any person.

(6) Trespass upon the property of another person.

Prohibited Acts

(a) No person shall keep or harbor within the city any dog whose behavior is established to be level 3, as defined in section 8-22above.

(b) No person shall keep, harbor or maintain a dog or dogs within the city in such a manner that the keeping of the same results in a nauseous, foul or offensive condition.

(c) No owner or custodian of a dog shall fail to provide it with adequate food, water, shelter and necessary veterinary care which shall include a rabies vaccination every three (3) years.

(d) No person shall beat, cruelly ill-treat or abuse any dog.

(e) No person shall train any dog to exhibit level 3 behavior as defined by this code.

Disposition of Dangerous Dogs

Whenever it shall reasonably appear to an officer, attempting to impound a dog under the provisions of this article, that such dog is dangerous to other persons and if capture cannot be effected safely and promptly, said officer is authorized to destroy the dog.


Any dog which bites and breaks the skin of any person shall be quarantined for ten (10) days at the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter or a veterinary clinic or hospital. The owner shall be responsible for all costs of quarantine. Such dog shall be securely confined within an enclosure from which it cannot escape and which is not accessible to the public. The animal control officer shall maintain a record of every animal which bites a person without provocation.

Destruction of Dangerous or Diseased Dogs

Any dangerous dog impounded under the provisions of this article, or any animal which has bitten any person and, after examination by a veterinarian, is found to have rabies or other disease rendering said animal dangerous to persons, shall be destroyed.

Dangerous Dog Registration

(a) No owner may keep a dangerous dog, except a dog used by law enforcement officers for police work, without a certificate of registration issued under this chapter. The certificate of registration shall be acquired within fourteen (14) days from the incident giving rise to the classification or within fourteen (14) days of termination of any criminal action.

(b) No dog which has been declared or determined a dangerous dog or has exhibited level 2 behavior (see definition of “dangerous dog” in section 8-22) outside the Lewiston city boundaries shall be retained within the city limits without a dangerous dog certificate of registration. Official records from appropriate enforcement agencies may be used to establish the character of any dog being brought within the boundaries of the city.

(c) The animal control authority of the city shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner of a dangerous dog upon payment of the fee set forth in section 8-25 if the owner presents to the authority sufficient evidence of:

(1) A proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog; and

(2) The posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property, and a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog; and

(3) A surety bond issued by a surety insurer, qualified under the Idaho Code, in a form acceptable to the animal control authority, in the sum of at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog; or

(4) A policy of liability insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, issued by an insurer, qualified under the Idaho Code, in the amount of at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog.


(a) The owner of a dog declared to be dangerous shall have three (3) days (excluding weekends and holidays) to file a written appeal of the declaration with the chief of police for termination of criminal action. The chief of police (or designee) shall have the power to order an investigation pertaining to the harboring of any dangerous dog and shall have the power to order the destruction of any dog. The chief, or his designee, may cause the dangerous dog to be taken into custody for destruction, which action shall set the basis for the determination that the dog is dangerous. Notice of this decision shall be given to the owner, keeper or lawful custodian in writing, as provided for in section 8-38. The owner of the dog shall then have two (2) days (excluding weekends and holidays) to file a written appeal of the decision with the chief of police. The appeal shall be heard by a three-member commission selected by the police department from a nine-person pool for a two-year term within five (5) days (excluding weekends and holidays) of the appeal. Such appeal shall be a de novo hearing and the appellant shall have due process rights similar to those available in city personnel hearings.

(b) In determining whether a dog is dangerous, the fact finder shall consider past incidents, provocation for the bite, whether the attack occurred on the premises where the dog resided, the legal status of the victim on the premises and any other fact or allegation which might have justified the attack.

(c) The written decision of the city manager (or other officer) on appeal shall be final (unless stayed by court action) and shall be implemented, unless the decision is appealed to the local district court within two (2) days (excluding weekends and holidays).

(d) Any impoundment fees incurred during this period shall be paid for by the owner of the dog, except when said dog is found not dangerous on appeal or by a competent court.

Dog Parks

(a) This section applies to all dog parks located within the city limits that are operated by the city of Lewiston.

(b) All dog parks shall be open during daylight hours, from sunrise to sunset.

(c) Use of the dog parks shall be at each individual’s own risk. Dog owners and handlers shall be responsible for the actions and behavior of dogs under their care and control and shall be liable for any damage or injury inflicted by dogs under their care and control. The city of Lewiston shall not be liable or responsible for any damage or injury that occurs in a dog park. Dog park users assume all risk associated with use of a dog park and shall hold the city of Lewiston, its officers, agents, and employees harmless for any injury or damage caused by dogs or humans while accessing or using a dog park.

(d) The following rules apply to all dog parks operated by the city of Lewiston:

(1) All dogs must be on a leash and collar while entering and exiting the dog park. Dogs are not required to be on a leash while in the fenced area of the dog park.

(2) Dogs must be under the control of the owner or handler at all times. Dog owners and handlers must be physically capable of controlling their dogs and must prevent aggressive behavior, biting, fighting, and aggressive biting.

(3) Dogs showing any aggression must be leashed and immediately removed from the dog park. Dogs with a known history of aggressive or dangerous behavior are prohibited from the dog park.

(4) Each person aged thirteen (13) years and older may have up to a maximum of two (2) dogs in the dog park at any given time.

(5) Dog owners and handlers shall carry one (1) leash per dog under their control.

(6) No dog may be left unattended in the dog park. Dogs must be within view and voice control of the owner or handler at all times.

(7) Dogs under six (6) months of age are not allowed in the dog park.

(8) Dogs must have current vaccinations and license.

(9) Dogs must be healthy and free of contagious diseases and parasites.

(10) Appropriate dog toys are allowed, but dog toys that are edible, such as rawhides and bones, are not allowed in the dog park.

(11) Dogs in heat are not allowed in the dog park.

(12) Dog owners and handlers shall pick up and dispose of their dog’s waste.

(13) Dog owners and handlers shall repair any damage caused by their dog, such as holes dug by their dog.

(14) Animals other than dogs are not allowed in the dog park.

(15) The small dog enclosure is only for dogs weighing less than thirty (30) pounds. No large dogs are permitted in the small dog enclosure.

(16) The large dog enclosure is for dogs weighing thirty (30) pounds or more. Small dogs are allowed in the large dog enclosure at their own risk.

(17) All children twelve (12) years of age and younger must be accompanied and supervised by an adult aged eighteen (18) years or older at all times while in the dog park.

(18) The dog park is subject to closure upon determination by the city that there is a reason deemed to be in the public’s interest or safety, or for maintenance purposes.

(19) Any person who violates these rules may be removed from the dog park and/or prohibited from returning to or using the dog park.

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