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Delaware

Consolidated Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: DE ST TI 9 901 - 919; DE ST TI 9 920 - 928; DE ST TI 3 8201 - 8213; DE ST TI 3 8214 - 8225; DE ST TI 6 4001 - 4011; DE ST TI 7 1701 - 1740;

Citation: 9 Del.C. 901 - 919; 9 Del.C. 920 - 928; 3 Del.C. 8214 - 8225; 3 Del.C. 8201 - 8213; 6 Del.C. 4001 - 4011; 7 Del.C. 1701 - 25


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   These statutes comprise Delaware's dog laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning hunting field trials, and the dangerous dog subchapter.


Statute in Full:

 

West's Delaware Code Annotated. Title 9. Counties. Part I. Provisions Affecting All Counties. Chapter 9. Dogs. Subchapter I.

§ 901. Definitions

§ 902. Fees for dog and kennel licenses; terms

§ 903. Inspections of facilities and premises; suspension of kennel or retail dog dealer license

§ 904. Specifications for the humane handling, care and treatment of dogs

§ 905. Licensing agents; bond requirements; service charge; negotiations

§ 906. Reciprocity of dog license

§ 907. Rules and regulations

§ 908. Dogs running at large

§ 909. Destruction of muskrat dens, poultry or livestock

§ 910. Dogs deemed personal property; theft; penalty

§ 911. Injuring or killing dogs for certain acts

§ 912. Poisoning of dogs

§ 913. Liability of dog owner for damages

§ 914. Impounding of dog running at large

§ 915. Penalties; fines

§ 916. Unauthorized acts against a service dog; penalties

§ 917. County dog law management

§ 918. Rules and regulations

§ 919. Reserved by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010

Title 7. Conservation. Part I. Game, Wildlife and Dogs. Chapter 17. Dogs. Subchapter I. General Provisions. 

§ 1701. Field trials; permit

§ 1702. Dogs on state coastal beaches

§ 1703. License for special dog training area; requirements

§ 1704. Stocking area; training therein; hunting and trapping

§ 1705. Marking of boundary lines; posting of notice; penalty

§ 1706. Injuring or destroying fence, wire or poster; penalty

§ 1707. Training of dogs; unlawful to carry; penalty

§ 1708. Penalties

Links on other pages:

Dangerous and Potentially Dangerous Dogs

Rabies Laws

Spay/Neuter Laws

Pet Warranties

 

 

West's Delaware Code Annotated. Title 9. Counties. Part I. Provisions Affecting All Counties. Chapter 9. Dogs. Subchapter I. 

§ 901. Definitions

The following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) “Animal shelter” shall mean a facility which is used to house or contain animals and which is owned, operated or maintained by an incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or other not-for-profit organization devoted to the welfare, protection and humane treatment of such animals.

(2) “County” shall mean New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties as these territorial political subdivisions within the State are delineated respectively in Chapter 1 of this title.

(3) “Dog control agent” shall mean an individual employed by a county, or employed by an independent contractor of a county, for the purpose of enforcing dog control laws, rules, regulations and ordinances.

(4) “Primary enclosure” shall mean any structure used or designed for use to restrict a dog to a limited amount of space, including, but not limited to, a room, pen, cage, compartment or hutch.

(5) “Retail dog outlet” shall mean any premises where dogs are sold, or offered or maintained for sale, on a retail basis. The term shall not include:

a. Dogs which are produced and raised on such premises and are sold, offered or maintained for sale, by a person who resides on such premises;

b. The selling of a single litter of puppies or any part thereof during a calendar year; or

c. Any publicly operated or private, charitable or nonprofit animal shelter, pound, humane society, or animal rescue organization.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.


§ 902. Fees for dog and kennel licenses; terms

(a) Dog licenses. -- Each county shall issue dog licenses. Every dog owner shall obtain said dog license in the county in which the dog owner resides or where the retail dog outlet is located. Any dog license purchased from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control shall remain valid through the expiration date noted, at which time a license must be purchased from the county. The counties, in their discretion, shall set the license fees and provide applications for the following licenses:

(1) Individual dog owner licenses. -- Except for persons residing within the corporate limits of the City of Wilmington, the owner of any dog, 6 months of age or older, on or before March 1, shall apply to the county or its duly authorized agents on a form prescribed by the county for an individual dog owner license for such dog. All individual dog owner licenses shall be valid through December 31, and the valid period of the license is to be determined by the county but may not exceed 3 years. The counties may, in their discretion, charge up to $10, on an annual basis, for an individual dog owner license for a spayed or neutered dog and up to $15, on an annual basis, for an individual dog owner license for an unspayed or unneutered dog.

(2) Retail dog outlet licenses. -- Each owner of a retail dog outlet in the State must apply to the county for a retail dog outlet license on or before March 1. A retail dog outlet license shall be valid through December 31 but may not exceed 1 year.

(3) Kennel licenses. -- Any person who maintains a kennel wherein more than 4 dogs are kept for show, trial, sale, breeding or other purposes may apply to the county in which the kennel owner resides or its duly authorized agents on a form prescribed by the county for a kennel license in lieu of an individual dog owner license for each dog. Kennel licenses shall be valid through December 31, and shall not be valid for more than 1 calendar year.

(4) Lost or stolen dog licenses or tags. --Each county shall adopt a policy to issue a replacement individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license or kennel license, or the tags accompanying such license, and shall set the fees for such replacement licenses or tags.

(5) The license fee limitations of $10 for a spayed or neutered dog and $15 for an unspayed or unneutered dog as set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall expire July 22, 2011, unless otherwise provided by a subsequent act of the General Assembly.

(b) Upon application and payment of the fee for an individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license, or kennel license, the applicant shall be entitled to receive a license, provided proof of a currently valid rabies vaccination can be presented for each dog for which the license is sought. Each individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license and kennel license shall show the date on which the license fee is paid. The county or its duly authorized agent shall issue each license showing the year for which the license is paid and the serial number of the license. Each issued license will be accompanied by either a metal tag or an alternative method of identification, such as, but not limited to, a microchip or tattoo. In the event a dog tag is issued, the tag shall be of a design to be adopted by the county, and shall be affixed to the collar by the owner of such dog. Dog collars with associated county tags may be removed and need not be worn at all times when the dog is licensed as [sic] a kennel or retail dog outlet and is housed in an enclosure or a pen. If the collar has been removed, a valid dog tag and license must be readily available for review by a dog control agent as proof that the individual dog is licensed. Dogs engaged in the act of hunting are exempted from wearing county tags while they are in the act of hunting, but must have some means of valid identification on the dog, and a valid dog tag and license must be available for review by a dog license agent while the dog is in the act of hunting.

(c) Whoever fails to secure a valid dog license, retail dog dealer’s license or kennel license for the calendar year on or before March 1, or when otherwise required by this section shall be fined not less than $50. The county may impose fines in excess of $50. For each subsequent offense occurring within 12 months of a prior offense, the person shall be fined not less than $100. The county may impose fines in excess of $100 for subsequent offenses. The minimum fine for a subsequent offense shall not be subject to suspension. Conviction for the failure to pay the license tax is a violation.

(d) Each county may revoke any individual dog owner license, retail dog outlet license or kennel license issued by said county, and may deny any person the right to secure any such license for a period of time within the Department’s discretion, if the licensee or person has been convicted of animal cruelty under the laws of Delaware or any state or federal law.

(e) The license fee set by the county pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall not be required to be paid when the dog is one which qualifies as a seeing eye, lead or guide dog or as a dog which has previously served in a branch of the United States armed forces. The county shall issue either a metal license tag or an alternative method for identification in accordance with subsection (b) of this section to such persons without the necessity of the payment of the dog license fee.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 903. Inspections of facilities and premises; suspension of kennel or retail dog dealer license

(a) Dog control agents are hereby authorized to inspect the facilities for which a kennel or retail dog outlet license is sought or obtained during normal business hours or by appointment for the purpose of ascertaining whether the facilities satisfy the requirements for the humane handling, care and treatment of dogs specified in § 904 of this title. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse admittance to a dog control agent for the purpose of making inspections.

(b) Any dog control agent having probable cause to believe a violation of § 904 of this title has or is taking place may enter upon the premises of the owner or custodian of any dog subject to such violation for purposes of investigating whether a violation of § 904 of this title has occurred; provided that the investigation can be conducted without having to enter a dwelling house or other structure used in connection therewith. A dog control agent may enter into a dwelling house or other structure only with the permission of the owner or occupant thereof or pursuant to a legally obtained search warrant, and is accompanied by a police officer or is a police officer as that term is defined in § 1911 of Title 11.

(c) If, upon inspection or investigation, the premises or facilities are found not to satisfy the requirements for the humane handling, care and treatment of dogs specified in § 904 of this title, the operator of such premises or facilities shall be issued a warning identifying the deficiencies. Such operator shall have a minimum of 10 business days to bring the premises or facility into compliance with § 904 of this title; provided, that this time period may be extended by the county, at its discretion, for up to 60 days. If, upon expiration of the warning period, such premises or facilities have not been brought into compliance, the operator shall be fined in accordance with the terms specified in § 714 of Title 7 [repealed] [FN1]. The county may also issue an order suspending the kennel license or retail dog outlet license, if any, until the cited deficiencies are remedied. The licensee shall be entitled to an administrative review of such order as established by the county in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act [§ 10101 et seq. of Title 29].

(d) Whenever the county suspends a license in accordance with this section, a dog control agent may seize and impound any dog in possession, custody or care of the person whose license is suspended if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the dog's health, safety or welfare is endangered.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, §§ 1, 6, eff. July 1, 2010.

[FN1] Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 915.


§ 904. Specifications for the humane handling, care and treatment of dogs

(a) General facilities.--

(1) Structural strength. -- Housing facilities for dogs shall be designed and constructed so that they are structurally sound. They shall have no sharp points or edges that could injure the dogs, and they shall contain the dogs securely and restrict other animals from entering.

(2) Storage. -- Supplies of food and bedding shall be stored in a manner that protects the supplies from spoilage, contamination and vermin infestation. Foods requiring refrigeration shall be stored accordingly.

(3) Drainage and waste disposal. -- Provision shall be made for the regular collection, removal and disposal of animal and food wastes, bedding, debris and dead animals in a manner that minimizes contamination and disease risks. If housing facilities are equipped with disposal facilities and drainage systems, they shall be constructed and operated so that animal wastes and water are rapidly eliminated and the dogs stay dry. All drains shall be properly constructed, installed and maintained. If closed drainage systems are used, they shall be equipped with traps and prevent the backflow of gases and the backup of sewage onto the floor.

(b) Indoor housing facilities.--

(1) Heating, cooling and temperature. -- Indoor housing facilities for dogs shall be sufficiently heated and cooled when necessary to protect the dogs from temperature extremes and to provide for their health and well-being. When dogs are present, the ambient temperature in the facility shall not be allowed to fall below 50/dF (10/dC) for dogs not acclimated to lower temperatures and for those breeds that cannot tolerate lower temperatures without stress or discomfort (such as short-haired breeds). Dry bedding or other methods of conserving body heat shall be provided when temperatures are below 50/dF (10/dC). The ambient temperature shall not fall below 45/dF (7.2/dC) for more than 4 consecutive hours when dogs are present, and shall not rise above 85/dF (29.5/dC) for more than 4 consecutive hours when dogs are present.

(2) Ventilation. -- Indoor housing facilities for dogs shall be sufficiently ventilated when dogs are present to provide for their health and well-being, and to minimize odors, drafts, ammonia levels and moisture condensation. Ventilation shall be provided by windows, vents, fans or air conditioning.

(3) Lighting. -- Indoor housing facilities for dogs shall have ample lighting by natural or artificial means. Lighting in indoor housing facilities shall be sufficient to allow observation of the physical condition of the dogs so housed, and to permit routine inspection and cleaning of the facility. Dogs housed in these facilities shall be provided a regular diurnal lighting cycle of either natural or artificial light. Primary enclosures shall be placed so as to protect the dogs from excessive light.

(4) Interior surfaces. -- The floors and walls of indoor housing facilities shall be constructed and maintained so that they are substantially impervious to moisture and may be readily sanitized.

(c) Outdoor housing facilities.--

(1) Restrictions. -- Dogs that are not acclimated to the outdoor temperatures prevalent in the area or region where they are maintained and breeds of dogs that cannot tolerate the prevalent outdoor temperatures without stress or discomfort (such as short-haired breeds in cold climates) may not be kept in outdoor facilities unless the practice is specifically approved by a licensed veterinarian.

(2) Shelter from the elements. -- Dogs shall be provided with proper shelter to protect them against inclement weather, preserve their body heat, and allow them to remain dry during rain or snow. Sufficient clean bedding material or other means of protection from the weather shall be provided when the ambient temperature falls below the temperature to which the dog is acclimated. Additional bedding material or other means of protection shall be provided when the temperature is 35/dF (1.7/dC) or lower.

(3) Shelter from sunlight. -- In addition to the shelter structure, 1 or more separate outside areas of shade shall be provided to allow the dogs to protect themselves when sunlight is likely to cause overheating or discomfort.

(4) Construction. -- Housing facilities for dogs shall be constructed to provide for the health and comfort of the animals. The floors and walls of outdoor housing facilities shall be constructed and maintained so that they are substantially impervious to moisture and may be readily sanitized. Mobile or traveling housing facilities, metal barrels, cars, refrigerators or freezers, and the like shall not constitute proper shelter.

(d) Primary enclosures.--

(1) Space requirements. -- Primary enclosures shall be constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space to allow each dog to turn about freely and to stand erect, sit and lie down in a comfortable, normal position. Each dog housed in a primary enclosure shall be provided with a minimum amount of floor space, which shall be calculated according to the procedure prescribed in 9 C.F.R. § 3.6(c)(1).

(2) Space requirements when nursing puppies. -- Each bitch with nursing puppies shall be provided with an additional amount of floor space, based on her breed and behavioral characteristics, and in accordance with generally accepted husbandry practices. If the additional amount of floor space for each nursing puppy is less than 5% of the minimum requirement for the bitch, the housing shall be approved by a licensed veterinarian.

(3) Height. -- The interior height of a primary enclosure shall be at least 6 inches higher than the head of the tallest dog in the enclosure when it is in a normal standing position.

(4) Use of tethers. -- If dog houses with tethers are used as primary enclosures for dogs kept outdoors, the tethers shall be attached so that the dog cannot become entangled with other objects or come into physical contact with other dogs in the housing facility, and so the dog can roam to the full range of the tether. The tether shall be of a type commonly used for the size dog involved, made of material not normally susceptible to being severed by the dog through chewing or otherwise, and shall be attached to the dog by means of a well-fitted collar that will not cause trauma or injury to the dog. The tether shall be a minimum of 10 feet in length and allow the dog convenient access to the dog house and to food and water containers.

(5) Wire flooring. -- A dog may be sheltered in a primary enclosure having wire flooring if the wire flooring is kept in good repair and does not result in injuries to the dog. The flooring shall be constructed so as not to allow passage of the animal's feet through any openings in the floor of the enclosure. Such flooring shall not sag or bend significantly between structural supports. For primary enclosures built after October 1, 1998, or any floors installed after that date, if the flooring is constructed of metal strands, such strands shall either be greater than 1/8 of an inch in diameter (9 gauge wire) or shall be coated with a material such as plastic or fiberglass.

(6) Exceptions. -- Paragraphs (d)(1) through (5) of this section shall not apply to licensed retail dog dealers if all of the following conditions are met:

a. The primary enclosure is constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space to allow the dog to turn about freely and to stand erect, sit and lie down in a comfortable, normal position;

b. The dog is being offered for sale on a retail basis, or has been sold and is awaiting physical transfer to its new owner; and

c. The dog is maintained in a primary enclosure that keeps the dog on display to patrons of the retail dog outlet during its normal business hours.

(e) Animal health and husbandry standards.--

(1) Compatible grouping. -- Dogs that are housed in the same primary enclosure shall be compatible with the following restrictions:

a. Females in heat may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with males, except for breeding purposes.

b. Any dog exhibiting a vicious or overly aggressive disposition shall be housed separately.

c. Puppies 4 months of age or less may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with adult dogs other than their dams or foster dams.

d. Dogs may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with any other animal species, unless they are compatible.

e. Dogs under quarantine or treatment for a communicable disease shall be separated from other dogs and other susceptible animal species in such a manner as to minimize the dissemination of such disease.

(2) Feeding. -- Dogs shall be fed at least once each day, except as otherwise might be required to provide adequate veterinary care. The food shall be free from contamination, wholesome, palatable and of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain the normal condition and weight of the dog. The diet shall be appropriate for the individual dog's age and condition.

(3) Food receptacles. -- Food receptacles shall be readily accessible to all dogs and shall be located so as to minimize contamination by excreta. The receptacles shall be durable and shall be kept clean. The food receptacles shall be sanitized at least once per week. Disposable food receptacles may be used but shall be discarded after each feeding. Self-feeders may be used for the feeding of dry food but shall be sanitized regularly to prevent molding, deterioration or caking of feed.

(4) Watering. -- If potable water is not continually available to the dogs, it shall be offered to the dogs as often as necessary to ensure their health and well-being. Watering receptacles shall be kept clean and shall be sanitized at least once per week.

(5) Cleaning of primary enclosure. -- Excreta and food waste shall be removed from a primary enclosure, including any floor area or ground surface beneath the primary enclosure, on a daily basis. When steam or water is used to clean the primary enclosure, whether by hosing, flushing or other methods, dogs shall be removed, unless the enclosure is large enough to ensure that the dogs will not be harmed, wetted or distressed in the process. Standing water shall be removed from the primary enclosure and dogs in other primary enclosures shall be protected from being contaminated with water and other wastes during the cleaning.

(6) Housekeeping for premises. -- Premises where housing facilities are located, including buildings and surrounding grounds, shall be kept clean and in good repair to protect the dogs from injury and to facilitate the husbandry practices set forth in this section.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.

 


§ 905. Licensing agents; bond requirements; service charge; negotiations

(a) Each county may authorize as many qualified persons or companies as licensing agents as it deems necessary to effectuate the efficient distribution of dog licenses.

(b) The bond requirement may be determined by the county.

(c) Licensing agents may add a service charge to the required fee for a license. This fee shall be set by each county in its discretion.

(d) Each county may adopt, amend, modify or repeal rules and regulations to effectuate the policy and purpose of this section.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 906. Reciprocity of dog license

(a) Each county shall establish a licensing system which identifies the county in which the dog’s owner maintains that owner’s primary residence.

(b) When by or pursuant to the authority under this chapter a dog is licensed by its owner within the county then such dog shall not need an additional license within the other counties of this State.

(c) When by or pursuant to the laws of the state of the owner’s primary residence, a person licenses in that person’s own state of residence, then such dog shall not need an additional license in this State.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 907. Rules and regulations

Each county shall have the authority to enact all rules and regulations, including the authority to set the amount of license fees to license dogs or kennels, in furtherance of the provisions of this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2010. Amended by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.

 


§ 908. Dogs running at large

(a) No dog shall be permitted to run at large at any time, unless the dog is accompanied by the owner or custodian and under the owner's or custodian's reasonable control and is licensed in accordance with county ordinances, except that a person who is an occupant of a farm or property containing 20 acres or more on which there are no more than 3 resident dwelling units may permit a dog to run at large between October 1 and the last day of February, next following. Any owner or custodian who violates this subsection shall be fined not less than $25 or more than $50. For each subsequent offense occurring within 12 months of a prior offense, the person shall be fined not less than $50 or more than $100. The minimum fine for a subsequent offense shall not be subject to suspension. For the purposes of this section, the term “dog” shall mean any dog or dog hybrid. Allowing a dog to run at large is a violation.

(b) The owner or custodian of every dog shall, at all times between the hours of sunset and sunrise of each day, keep such dog either:

(1) Confined within an enclosure from which it cannot escape; or

(2) Firmly secured by means of a collar or chain or other device so that it cannot stray from the premises on which it is secured; or

(3) Under the reasonable control of some person or when engaged in lawful hunting accompanied by the owner or custodian.

(c) Whoever, being the owner, custodian, possessor or harborer of any female dog, allows such dog to run or remain at large in this State while in heat shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100. For each subsequent offense occurring within 12 months of a prior offense, the person shall be fined not less than $100 or more than $200. The minimum fine for a subsequent offense shall not be subject to suspension. Allowing a female dog to run at large while in heat is a violation.

(d) Whoever, being the owner, custodian, possessor or harborer of any dog that while running at large and without provocation, bites a person, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500. For each subsequent offense involving the same dog, such owner, custodian, possessor or harborer shall be fined not less than $750 or more than $1,500. The minimum fines provided for in this subsection, $100 for the first offense and $750 for each subsequent offense, shall not be subject to suspension.

(e) Upon conviction in any court of an offense under subsection (d) of this section, the court shall cause a report to be forwarded to the county in which the offense occurred or to the dog control authority in each county as designated by the county. Said report shall contain the name of the defendant, the name of the dog, the license number of the dog, the date of the offense and the date of conviction. The county shall maintain these reports for a period of 3 years.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 909. Destruction of muskrat dens, poultry or livestock

No owner or custodian of any dog shall permit such dog to injure, destroy or disturb any muskrat den, trap, lead or house or any poultry or livestock.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 910. Dogs deemed personal property; theft; penalty

(a) All dogs shall be deemed personal property and may be the subject of theft pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 11. Any warrant of arrest or other process issued under or by virtue of the several laws in relation to the theft of such property may be directed to and executed by any police officer, constable, or dog warden.

(b) The presence of any dog, regardless of age, not confined on the premises of a person other than the lawful owner of such dog shall raise no presumption of theft against the owner or tenant of such premises.

(c) No person shall confine any dog not that person’s own lawful property without contacting the county, an animal control constable, dog warden or other officer within 48 hours of confining such dog and providing the county, animal control constable, dog warden or other officer with a complete description of the dog, the exact location of the premises on which such dog is to be detained and the name of the owner or tenant of such property.


Credits

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010. Amended by 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 78 Laws 2012, ch. 266, § 14, eff. June 19, 2012.

 

§ 911. Injuring or killing dogs for certain acts

(a) Any police officer, animal control constable or dog warden who finds a dog running at large and deems such dog to be an immediate threat to the public health and welfare may kill such dog.

(b) Any person may injure or kill a dog in self-defense or to protect livestock, poultry or another human being at the time such dog is attacking such livestock, poultry or human being.

(c) Any person may injure or kill a dog at the time such dog is wounding another dog if the dog being wounded is on the property of its owner or under the immediate control of its owner and being wounded by a dog that is running at large.

(d) Any person who injures or kills any dog in accordance with this section shall not be held criminally or civilly liable therefor.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 912. Poisoning of dogs

No person except a law-enforcement officer, animal control constable or dog warden shall place any poison of any description in any place on the person's premises, or elsewhere, where it may be easily found and eaten by dogs.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 913. Liability of dog owner for damages

The owner of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death or loss to person or property that is caused by such dog, unless the injury, death or loss was caused to the body or property of a person who, at the time, was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner, or was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against any person, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 914. Impounding of dog running at large

Any dog found running at large contrary to any of the provisions of this chapter may be impounded and disposed of under such rules and regulations as the county adopts. Any impounded dog shall not be disposed of without 5 days' written notification to the owner of the dog, if ownership can be determined, unless earlier disposal is recommended by a doctor of veterinary medicine.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 915. Penalties; fines

Whoever violates this chapter, unless otherwise specifically provided, shall be subject to the fines provided for in § 1708 of Title 7 and such fines shall be payable as provided therein.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 916. Unauthorized acts against a service dog; penalties

(a) “Service dog” means any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.

(b) No person shall intentionally interfere with the use of a service dog by obstructing, intimidating or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the user or animal. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(c) No person shall intentionally injure or disable a service dog that is being used by its owner or the officer teamed with the dog. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(d) No person shall intentionally kill a service dog owned by a private person or agency. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class D felony. This subsection, however, does not apply to a law-enforcement officer as defined by § 222 of Title 11 who is forced to take such action pursuant to the lawful performance of the officer's duties.

(e) No person shall intentionally steal, take or wrongfully obtain a service dog owned by a private person or agency. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class E felony.

(f) In any case where a person is convicted under subsection (b), (c), (d) or (e) of this section, that person shall also be ordered to make full restitution for all damages, including incidental and consequential expenses incurred by the service, guide or seeing eye dog owner and the dog which arise out of or are related to the criminal offense.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 917. County dog law management

(a) In order to enforce this chapter the county shall authorize the hiring of, or contract for, sufficient animal control constables or dog wardens to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.

(b) All animal control constable and dog wardens shall be uniformed and shall be adequately trained and equipped to enforce the dog control laws and ordinances of the State or any of its political subdivisions and the county.

(c) For the purposes of this chapter, the term “animal control constable” shall have the meaning ascribed in Chapter 29 of Title 10. The term “dog warden” shall mean a person employed by the county or an animal control agency to enforce the dog control laws and ordinances of this State or county and any of its political subdivisions. In addition, all police officersmay enforce the dog control laws and ordinances of the county, this State and any of its political subdivisions.


Credits

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010. Amended by 78 Laws 2012, ch. 266, § 15, eff. June 19, 2012.

 

§ 918. Rules and regulations

Each county may adopt, amend, modify or repeal ordinances, rules and regulations to effectuate the policy and purposes of this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 919. Reserved by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010
 

Title 7. Conservation. Part I. Game, Wildlife and Dogs. Chapter 17. Dogs. Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 1701. Field trials; permit

Field trials with dogs may not be held in this State without first securing a permit from the Department. The Department may grant permits to bona fide field trial clubs or associations to hold field trials in this State under such rules and regulations adopted by the Department, safeguarding the interests of the game of this State. Dogs brought into the State to participate in such field trials and which are removed from the State within 10 days, are exempt from the state dog license tax.

Credits
34 Laws 1925, ch. 185, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 81. Redesignated from 7 § 1713 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

Codifications: Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, § 2406L; Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2876; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 1711; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 1713

 

§ 1702. Dogs on state coastal beaches

Whoever, being the owner, possessor, harborer or custodian of any dog, allows such dog to be upon the designated swimming or sunbathing area of a state coastal beach strand at anytime between May 1 and September 30, inclusive, of any year, except when such dog is on said property on behalf of a law enforcement agency or a blind person, as defined in § 2101 of Title 31, is guilty of a violation and shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $50. For each subsequent offense, the person shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100. “Coastal beach strand” shall mean all that coastal real property between the western base of the dunes and the low water mark except those lands within a municipality which has enacted an ordinance governing the activities of dogs on said real property.

Credits
64 Laws 1984, ch. 283, § 1; 71 Laws 1997, ch. 135, § 11; 74 Laws 2004, ch. 253, § 1, eff. June 15, 2004. Redesignated from 7 § 1715 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

Codifications: 7 Del.C. 1953, § 1715

 

§ 1703. License for special dog training area; requirements

Upon application of any club or organization having 20 or more members who are citizens of this State, or upon application of 20 or more citizens of this State, and the payment of an annual registration fee of $10, the Department may issue a license authorizing the establishment and maintenance by such club, organization of citizens, on land owned by them, or over which they have legal control, of a special dog training area wherein and whereon dogs may be trained at any time during the year. No such dog training area shall be less than 100 acres, nor more than 250 acres.

Credits
48 Laws 1951, ch. 131, § 1; 55 Laws 1966, ch. 329; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 82; 71 Laws 1997, ch. 135, § 13. Redesignated from 7 § 1721 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2869A; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 1721

 

§ 1704. Stocking area; training therein; hunting and trapping

The licensees shall, from time to time, during each year stock each such area with 25 pieces of game per 100 acres at their own expense, under supervision of the Department, unless the Department determines that the area is already adequately stocked. The licensees may at any time during the year train their own dogs or the dogs of other persons on such area or permit others so to do under such conditions as are mutually agreed upon. Neither the licensees nor any other person shall, at any time, hunt or trap within the confines of such area, except that the licensees or any person authorized by them may hunt or trap vermin and predators for the purpose of exterminating vermin and predators on such area.

Credits
48 Laws 1951, ch. 131, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 83. Redesignated from 7 § 1722 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2869A; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 1722

 

§ 1705. Marking of boundary lines; posting of notice; penalty

(a) The boundary lines of the special dog training area shall be plainly and conspicuously posted prior to September 1st of each year with legible notices, at least 10 inches by 12 inches in size, placed not more than 100 yards apart which shall bear the following warning:

SPECIAL DOG TRAINING AREA

HUNTING UNLAWFUL

THIS LAND IS SET ASIDE UNDER SPECIAL LICENSE FOR THE TRAINING OF DOGS.

ENTERING HEREON FOR THE PURPOSE OF HUNTING OR DISTURBING GAME OR PERMITTING DOGS TO ENTER WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION IS PUNISHABLE BY PENALTY OF TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($25.00) FOR EACH OFFENSE.

 ...........................................................................

(b) Whoever violates any of the provisions of any such notice and warning is guilty of a violation and shall be fined $25 for each offense, together with the costs of prosecution.

Credits

 
48 Laws 1951, ch. 131, § 1; 71 Laws 1997, ch. 135, § 14. Redesignated from 7 § 1723 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2869A; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 1723

 

§ 1706. Injuring or destroying fence, wire or poster; penalty

No person shall willfully, negligently or maliciously cut, remove, cover up, deface or otherwise mutilate, injure or destroy any special dog training area boundary fence, wire or poster placed in accordance with this subchapter.

Whoever violates this section is guilty of a violation and shall be fined $10 for each offense, together with costs of prosecution.

Credits

48 Laws 1951, ch. 131, § 1; 71 Laws 1997, ch. 135, § 15. Redesignated from 7 § 1724 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2869A; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 1724

 

§ 1707. Training of dogs; unlawful to carry firearm; penalty

(a) The owner or custodian of any bird, rabbit, raccoon or fox dog, may train and break the same, at any time of the year, daylight or night, except during the months of March, April, May, June, July and August. If while training or breaking dogs, the owner or custodian thereof exercises reasonable precaution to keep such dogs in control, and if any such dog, during such training, wanders off and out of control of the owner or custodian without the owner's or custodian's fault, such dog shall not be deemed to be running at large within the meaning of this section. If any dog kills any game protected by the laws of this State, during the closed season while so training, the owner or custodian shall be fined not less than $2 nor more than $5 for each offense.

(b) No person shall carry a firearm while training a dog in closed game season.

(c) The Department may issue an annual permit to the owner or custodian of any retriever dog authorizing the training of such dog or dogs at any time of the year provided such owner or custodian is a trainer of retriever dogs, and provided no game is to be used in the training. Any person to whom such a permit shall issue may possess artificially reared game and may hunt such game with a shotgun; but such game must be hand-liberated during dog training.

CREDIT(S)

34 Laws 1925, ch. 185, § 1; 35 Laws 1927, ch. 166, § 1; 37 Laws 1931, ch. 225, § 1; 45 Laws 1945, ch. 208, § 1; 56 Laws 1968, ch. 257; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 77; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 71 Laws 1998, ch. 431, § 1, eff. July 13, 1998; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 3, eff. July 1, 2010.

Codifications: Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, § 2406E; Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2869; 7 Del.C. 1953, §§ 1704, 1706

 

§ 1708. Penalties

(a) Whoever violates this chapter, unless otherwise specifically provided, shall be fined not less than $50 or more than $100 for each offense. For each subsequent offense, the person shall be fined not less than $100 or more than $250. All fines imposed following a conviction for violation for any sections(s) of this subchapter shall be remitted by the sentencing court or voluntary assessment center to the county in which the offense occurred.

(b) Applicability. Any duly constituted law enforcement officer of this State or any of its political subdivisions, the County, or any animal control constable or dog warden employed by the County who charges a person with any offense which is a violation of a law, ordinance or regulation established or promulgated under the authority of this Chapter shall, in addition to issuing a summons for any such offense, provide the alleged violator with a voluntary assessment form which, when properly executed by the officer, allows the offender to dispose of the charge without the necessity of personally appearing in the court to which the summons is returnable.

(c) Definitions.

(1) “Payment” as used in this section shall mean the total amount of the fine and costs as herein provided and any assessment added to the fine pursuant to Delaware law.

(2) “Voluntary assessment form” as used in this section shall mean the written document issued to an alleged violator which advises such person that they may dispose of the charge without the necessity of personally appearing in court by paying the fine together with any costs and statutory assessments.

(d) Places and time of payment. Payments made pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the voluntary assessment center or court to which the summons is returnable and shall be disbursed to the County in which the offense occurred. The payment must be received by the voluntary assessment center or court within 30 days from the date of arrest (excluding Saturday and Sunday) and shall be paid only by check or money order or by electronic means as authorized by the voluntary assessment center.

(e) Offenses designated as “offenses subject to voluntary assessment” exceptions. All offenses, as now or hereafter set forth in this chapter, or ordinances or regulations promulgated under authority thereof, are hereby designated as offenses subject to voluntary assessment except for violations punishable under § 928 of Title 9 of this Code.

(f) Offer and acceptance of voluntary assessment; effect; request for hearing.

(1) At the time of making an arrest for any offense subject to this section, the arresting officer, animal control constable or dog warden may offer the alleged violator the option of accepting a voluntary assessment. The alleged violator's acceptance of the voluntary assessment constitutes an acknowledgment of guilt of the offense stated in the form, and an agreement to pay the fine as herein provided, together with costs and assessments, within 30 days from the date of arrest (excluding Saturday and Sunday), during which time payment must be received by the applicable court or voluntary assessment center.

(2) In lieu of paying the voluntary assessment, a person who has been issued a voluntary assessment form may request a hearing on any charge stated in such form by notifying, in writing, the voluntary assessment center or court to which payment was to be made of such request within 30 days of the date of arrest. If the alleged violator makes a timely request for a hearing, the charge shall be prosecuted as if the voluntary assessment had not been permitted and the officer shall swear to the summons prior to trial.

(g) Penalty. If an alleged violator elects the option of accepting a voluntary assessment in accordance with subsection (f) of this section, the penalty imposed shall be the minimum fine for each offense charged, and fines shall be cumulative if more than 1 offense is charged.

(h) Court Costs and Assessments. In lieu of any other court costs, and provided the offense is not subject to other proceedings under this section, each fine for an offense under this section shall be subject to court costs of $20.00, unless otherwise provided by court rule in lieu thereof. Each fine for an offense under this section shall be subject to all penalty assessments which are provided for in Chapter 90 of Title 11 or any other provision of the Code.

(i) Agreement to accept voluntary assessment; procedure. Whenever a person is arrested for commission of an offense subject to voluntary assessment and has elected to make payment as herein provided, the arresting officer, using the uniform Delaware complaint and summons citation, shall complete the information section and prepare the voluntary assessment form indicating the amount of the fine, and give a copy of the citation and form to the arrested person and release the arrested person from custody. The arresting officer shall also inform the arrested person of the court or voluntary assessment center to which payment should be submitted if the person does not request a hearing. No officer shall receive or accept custody of a payment. If the person declines to accept voluntary assessment, the arresting officer shall issue a citation and summons or, if appropriate, follow the procedure for arrest as set forth in Chapter 19 of Title 11.

(j) Payment of fine as complete satisfaction; repeat offenders.

(1) Payment of the prescribed fine, costs and penalty assessment is a complete satisfaction of the violation, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, but does not waive any administrative penalty in the nature of license revocation which may lawfully be revoked by a County.

(2) In the event that following compliance with the payment provisions of this section, it is determined that within the 2-year period immediately preceding the violation, the violator was convicted of or made a payment pursuant to this section in satisfaction of a violation of the same section of this title, personal appearance before the court to which the summons is returnable shall be required. Notice of the time and place for the required court appearance shall be given to the violator by the court to which the summons for the offense would be returnable.

(k) Removal from applicability of section.

If a payment due pursuant to this section is not received by voluntary assessment center or the court to which the summons is returnable within 30 days from the date of arrest (excluding Saturday and Sunday), the violator shall be prosecuted for the offense charged on the voluntary assessment form in a manner as if a voluntary assessment form had not been issued. Upon conviction in such prosecution, the court shall impose penalties as provided for by this Chapter and this section.

(l) Nonexclusive procedure. The procedure prescribed is not exclusive of any other method prescribed by law for the arrest and prosecution of persons violating this chapter.

Credits

Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 4, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

Resdesignated Sections:

 § 1709. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 911 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1710. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 912 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1711. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 913 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1712. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 914 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1713. Redesignated as 7 Del.C. § 1701 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1714. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 915 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1715. Redesignated as 7 Del.C. § 1702 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1716. Repealed by 71 Laws 1997, ch. 135, § 12, eff. Oct. 1, 1997

 § 1717. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 916 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1718. Repealed by 77 Laws 2009, ch. 179, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010

Subchapter II. Training Areas

 § 1721. Redesignated as 7 Del.C. § 1703 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1722. Redesignated as 7 Del.C. § 1704 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1723. Redesignated as 7 Del.C. § 1705 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1724. Redesignated as 7 Del.C. § 1706 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1725. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 917 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 7, eff. July 1, 2010.

Subchapter III. Dangerous and Potentially Dangerous Dogs

§ 1730. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 920 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1731. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 921 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1732. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 922 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1733. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 923 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1734. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 924 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1735. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 925 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

§ 1736. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 926 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1737. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 927 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1738. Repealed by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 5, eff. July 1, 2010

 § 1739. Redesignated as 9 Del.C. § 928 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 8, eff. July 1, 2010.

 § 1740. Repealed by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 428, § 5, eff. July 1, 2010 

 

 



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