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Georgia

West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 4. Animals; Title 16. Crimes and Offenses; Title 27. Game and Fish.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: GA ST 4-8-1 to 45; GA ST 4-14-1 to 4-15-1; GA ST 27-3-16 to 18

Citation: Ga. Code Ann., 4-8-1 to 45; Ga. Code Ann., 4-14-1 to 4-15-1; Ga. Code Ann., 27-3-16 to 18


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:   These Georgia statutes comprise the state's dog laws and the "Responsible Dog Ownership Law.".  Among the provisions of the Responsible Dog Ownership Law include a requirement for registration of dangerous dogs as well as the necessity of such owner to carry at least $50,000 in liability insurance.  Owners of these dogs who do not comply with these and other provisions may have their dogs confiscated and destroyed. Any person who violates this article is guilty of a misdemeanor.


Statute in Full:

Links on other pages:

Dog bite/strict liability law

Title 4. Animals.  Chapter 8. Dogs.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 4-8-1. Dumping dead dog on property of another

§ 4-8-2. Dumping dead dog on public property or public right-of-way

§ 4-8-3. Abandoning dogs

§ 4-8-4. Liability for damage done by dogs

§ 4-8-5. Performing cruel acts on, or harming, maiming or killing dogs

§ 4-8-6. Permitting female dog in heat to roam free

§ 4-8-6.1. Removal of dog collar; permission

§ 4-8-7. Violations relating to dogs

Article 2. Dangerous Dog Control

§ 4-8-20. Short title

§ 4-8-21. Definitions

§ 4-8-22. Jurisdiction and duties of local governments

§ 4-8-23. Classification of vicious or dangerous dog; notice; hearing; judicial review

§ 4-8-24. Impoundment; threat to public safety

§ 4-8-25. Judge authorized to order euthanasia

§ 4-8-26. Euthanasia for causing serious injury on more than one occasion

§ 4-8-27. Issuance of certificate of registration

§ 4-8-28. Duties and prohibitions for owner of a classified dog

§ 4-8-29. Unlawful acts by owner of a dangerous or vicious dog; violations

§ 4-8-30. Confiscation of dangerous or vicious dog; noncompliance with articleArticle 3. Vicious Dog Control.

§ 4-8-31. Sovereign immunity

§ 4-8-32. Violation a criminal penalty

§ 4-8-33. Previously classified

§§ 4-8-40 to 4-8-45. Repealed by Laws 2012, Act 765, § 5, eff. July 1, 2012

Chapter 14. Sterilization of Dogs and Cats in Shelters

§ 4-14-1. Legislative intent

§ 4-14-2. Definitions

§ 4-14-3. Procedure for sterilization; exception; costs

§ 4-14-4. Violations

§ 4-14-5. More stringent shelter policies not prohibited

Chapter 15. Dog and Cat Reproductive Sterilization Support.

§ 4-15-1. Dog and cat reproductive sterilization support program

Title 16. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 11. Offenses Against Public Order and Safety. Article 4. Dangerous Instrumentalities and Practices. Part 1. General Provisions

§ 16-11-107. Destroying or causing serious or debilitating physical injury to police dog or police horse

§ 16-11-107.1. Harassment of assistance dog; penalties

 

 

 

Title 4. Animals.  Chapter 8. Dogs.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 4-8-1. Dumping dead dog on property of another

It is the intention of this chapter to establish as state law minimum standards for the control and regulation of dogs and to establish state crimes for violations of such minimum standards. However, this chapter shall not prohibit local governments from adopting and enforcing ordinances or resolutions which provide for more restrictive control and regulation of dogs than the minimum standards provided for in this chapter.

Credits

Laws 1969, p. 831, § 1; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 1, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-2. Dumping dead dog on public property or public right-of-way

No person shall abandon a dead dog on any public property or public right of way unless the place in which the dog is being left is a public dump or other facility designed for receiving such and has been designated by the local governmental authorities as a public facility for receiving trash or refuse and the provisions of Code Section 4-5-3 are complied with in full.

Laws 1969, p. 831, § 2.

 

§ 4-8-3. Abandoning dogs

No person shall release a dog on any property, public or private, with the intention of abandoning the dog.

Laws 1969, p. 831, § 3.

 

§ 4-8-4. Liability for damage done by dogs

(a) The owner or, if no owner can be found, the custodian exercising care and control over any dog which while off the owner's or custodian's property causes injury, death, or damage directly or indirectly to any livestock, poultry, or pet animal shall be civilly liable to the owner of the livestock, poultry, or pet animal for injury, death, or damage caused by the dog. The owner or, if no owner can be found, the custodian exercising care and control over any dog shall be liable for any damage caused by such dog to public or private property. The liability of the owner or custodian of the dog shall include consequential damages.

(b) This Code section is to be considered cumulative of other remedies provided by law. There is no intent to eliminate or limit other causes of action which might inure to the owner of any livestock, poultry, or pet animal.

Credits

Laws 1969, p. 831, § 4; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 2, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-5. Performing cruel acts on, or harming, maiming or killing dogs

(a) No person shall perform a cruel act on any dog; nor shall any person harm, maim, or kill any dog, or attempt to do so, except that a person may:

(1) Defend his or her person or property, or the person or property of another, from injury or damage being caused by a dog; or

(2) Kill any dog causing injury or damage to any livestock, poultry, or pet animal.

(b) The method used for killing the dog shall be designed to be as humane as is possible under the circumstances. A person who humanely kills a dog under the circumstances indicated in subsection (a) of this Code section shall incur no liability for such death.

(c) This Code section shall not be construed to limit in any way the authority or duty of any law enforcement officer, dog or rabies control officer, humane society, or veterinarian.

Credits

Laws 1969, p. 831, § 5; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 3, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-6. Permitting female dog in heat to roam free

No owner or custodian of any dog in heat shall permit the dog to roam or run free beyond the limits of his property.

Laws 1969, p. 831, § 6.

 

§ 4-8-6.1. Removal of dog collar; permission

(a) For the purposes of this Code section, the term “collar” means any electronic or radio transmitting collar that has the purpose of tracking the location of a dog.

(b) No person shall remove a collar from a dog without permission from the dog's owner with the intention of preventing or hindering the owner from locating such dog, and if such dog is lost or killed as a result of the violator's removal of such collar, the violator shall be required to pay the dog's owner restitution in the amount of the actual value of the dog and any associated veterinary expenses.

(c) This Code section shall not apply to an owner or lessee of real property who removes a collar from a dog caught on his or her owned or leased property while such dog remains on such property if such owner or lessee gives notice of such action within 24 hours to the county or municipal law enforcement agency having territorial jurisdiction.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 2008, Act 540, § 1, eff. July 1, 2008.

 

§ 4-8-7. Violations relating to dogs

Except as provided in Code Sections 16-12-4 and 16-12-37, any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Laws 1969, p. 831, § 7; Laws 1988, p. 824, § 1; Laws 2000, p. 754, § 3.

 

Article 2. Dangerous Dog Control

§ 4-8-20. Short title

This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Responsible Dog Ownership Law.”

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-21. Definitions

(a) As used in this article, the term:

(1) “Classified dog” means any dog that has been classified as either a dangerous dog or vicious dog pursuant to this article.

(2) “Dangerous dog” means any dog that:

(A) Causes a substantial puncture of a person's skin by teeth without causing serious injury; provided, however, that a nip, scratch, or abrasion shall not be sufficient to classify a dog as dangerous under this subparagraph;

(B) Aggressively attacks in a manner that causes a person to reasonably believe that the dog posed an imminent threat of serious injury to such person or another person although no such injury occurs; provided, however, that the acts of barking, growling, or showing of teeth by a dog shall not be sufficient to classify a dog as dangerous under this subparagraph; or

(C) While off the owner's property, kills a pet animal; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall not apply where the death of such pet animal is caused by a dog that is working or training as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog.

(3) “Local government” means any county or municipality of this state.

(4) “Owner” means any natural person or any legal entity, including, but not limited to, a corporation, partnership, firm, or trust owning, possessing, harboring, keeping, or having custody or control of a dog. In the case of a dog owned by a minor, the term “owner” includes the parents or person in loco parentis with custody of the minor.

(5) “Serious injury” means any physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death; results in death, broken or dislocated bones, lacerations requiring multiple sutures, or disfiguring avulsions; requires plastic surgery or admission to a hospital; or results in protracted impairment of health, including transmission of an infection or contagious disease, or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

(6) “Vicious dog” means a dog that inflicts serious injury on a person or causes serious injury to a person resulting from reasonable attempts to escape from the dog's attack.

(b) No dog shall be classified as a dangerous dog or vicious dog for actions that occur while the dog is being used by a law enforcement or military officer to carry out the law enforcement or military officer's official duties. No dog shall be classified as a dangerous dog or a vicious dog if the person injured by such dog was a person who, at the time, was committing a trespass, was abusing the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit an offense under Chapter 5 of Title 16.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 1989, p. 159, § 1; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-22. Jurisdiction and duties of local governments

(a) A county's jurisdiction for the enforcement of this article shall be the unincorporated area of the county and a municipality's jurisdiction for such enforcement shall be the territory within the corporate limits of the municipality.

(b) The governing authority of each local government shall designate an individual as dog control officer to aid in the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article. A person carrying out the duties of dog control officer shall not be authorized to make arrests unless the person is a law enforcement officer having the powers of arrest.

(c) Any county or municipality or any combination of such local governments may enter into agreements with each other for the consolidation of dog control services under this Code section.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 2000, p. 1238, § 1; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012. 

 

§ 4-8-23. Classification of vicious or dangerous dog; notice; hearing; judicial review

(a) For purposes of this Code section, the term:

(1) “Authority” means an animal control board or local board of health, as determined by the governing authority of a local government.

(2) “Mail” means to send by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the recipient's last known address.

(b) Upon receiving a report of a dog believed to be subject to classification as a dangerous dog or vicious dog within a dog control officer's jurisdiction, the dog control officer shall make such investigations as necessary to determine whether such dog is subject to classification as a dangerous dog or vicious dog.

(c) When a dog control officer determines that a dog is subject to classification as a dangerous dog or vicious dog, the dog control officer shall mail a dated notice to the dog's owner within 72 hours. Such notice shall include a summary of the dog control officer's determination and shall state that the owner has a right to request a hearing from the authority on the dog control officer's determination within 15 days after the date shown on the notice. The notice shall also provide a form for requesting the hearing and shall state that if a hearing is not requested within the allotted time, the dog control officer's determination shall become effective for all purposes under this article.

(d) When a hearing is requested by a dog owner in accordance with subsection (c) of this Code section, such hearing shall be scheduled within 30 days after the request is received; provided, however, that such hearing may be continued by the authority for good cause shown. At least ten days prior to the hearing, the authority conducting the hearing shall mail to the dog owner written notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. At the hearing, the dog owner shall be given the opportunity to testify and present evidence and the authority conducting the hearing shall receive other evidence and testimony as may be reasonably necessary to sustain, modify, or overrule the dog control officer's determination.

(e) Within ten days after the hearing, the authority which conducted the hearing shall mail written notice to the dog owner of its determination on the matter. If such determination is that the dog is a dangerous dog or a vicious dog, the notice of classification shall specify the date upon which that determination shall be effective. If the determination is that the dog is to be euthanized pursuant to Code Section 4-8-26, the notice shall specify the date by which the euthanasia shall occur.

(f) Judicial review of the authority's final decision may be had in accordance with Code Section 50-13-19.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 1989, p. 159, § 2; Laws 2000, p. 1589, § 3; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-24. Requirements of notice to owner of classification of dog as dangerous or potentially dangerous; hearing

A law enforcement officer or dog control officer shall immediately impound a dog if the officer believes the dog poses a threat to the public safety.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 2000, p. 1589, § 3; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-25. Judge authorized to order euthanasia

The judge of any superior court of competent jurisdiction within this state may order the euthanasia of a dog if the court finds, after notice and opportunity for hearing as provided by Code Section 4-8-23, that the dog has seriously injured a human or presents a danger to humans not suitable for control under this article and:

(1) The owner or custodian of the dog has been convicted of a violation of any state criminal law and the crime was related to such dog; or

(2) Any local governmental authority has filed with the court a civil action requesting the euthanasia of the dog.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 1989, p. 159, § 3; Laws 1989, p. 1552, § 15; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-26. Euthanasia for causing serious injury on more than one occasion

A dog that is found, after notice and opportunity for hearing as provided by Code Section 4-8-23, to have caused a serious injury to a human on more than one occasion shall be euthanized; provided, however, that no injury occurring before July 1, 2012, shall count for purposes of this subsection.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-27. Issuance of certificate of registration

(a) It shall be unlawful for an owner to have or possess within this state a classified dog without a certificate of registration issued in accordance with the provisions of this Code section. Certificates of registration shall be nontransferable and shall only be issued to a person 18 years of age or older. No more than one certificate of registration shall be issued per domicile.

(b) Unless otherwise specified by this Code section, a certificate of registration for a dangerous dog shall be issued if the dog control officer determines that the following requirements have been met:

(1) The owner has maintained an enclosure designed to securely confine the dangerous dog on the owner's property, indoors, or in a securely locked and enclosed pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the dangerous dog from leaving such property; and

(2) Clearly visible warning signs have been posted at all entrances to the premises where the dog resides;

(c) Except as provided in subsections (e) and (f) of this Code section, a certificate of registration for a vicious dog shall be issued if the dog control officer determines that the following requirements have been met:

(1) The owner has maintained an enclosure designed to securely confine the vicious dog on the owner's property, indoors, or in a securely locked and enclosed pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the vicious dog from leaving such property;

(2) Clearly visible warning signs have been posted at all entrances to the premises where the dog resides;

(3) A microchip containing an identification number and capable of being scanned has been injected under the skin between the shoulder blades of the dog; and

(4) The owner maintains and can provide proof of general or specific liability insurance in the amount of at least $50,000.00 issued by an insurer authorized to transact business in this state insuring the owner of the vicious dog against liability for any bodily injury or property damage caused by the dog.

(d) No certificate of registration shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of two or more violations of this article.

(e) No person shall be the owner of more than one vicious dog.

(f) No certificate of registration for a vicious dog shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of:

(1) A serious violent felony as defined in Code Section 17-10-6.1;

(2) The felony of dogfighting as provided for in Code Section 16-12-37 or the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals as provided for in Code Section 16-12-4; or

(3) A felony involving trafficking in cocaine, illegal drugs, marijuana, methamphetamine, or ecstasy as provided for in Code Sections 16-13-31 and 16-13-31.1

from the time of conviction until two years after completion of his or her sentence, nor to any person residing with such person.

(g) Certificates of registration shall be renewed on an annual basis. At the time of renewal of a certificate of registration for a vicious dog, a dog control officer shall verify that the owner is continuing to comply with provisions of this article. Failure to renew a certificate of registration within ten days of the renewal date or initial classification date shall constitute a violation of this article.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-28. Duties and prohibitions for owner of a classified dog

(a) The owner of a classified dog shall notify the dog control officer within 24 hours if the dog is on the loose or has attacked a human and shall notify the dog control officer within 24 hours if the dog has died or has been euthanized.

(b) A vicious dog shall not be transferred, sold, or donated to any other person unless it is relinquished to a governmental facility or veterinarian to be euthanized.

(c) The owner of a classified dog who moves from one jurisdiction to another within the State of Georgia shall register the classified dog in the new jurisdiction within ten days of becoming a resident and notify the dog control officer of the jurisdiction from which he or she moved. The owner of a similarly classified dog who moves into this state shall register the dog as required in Code Section 4-8-27 within 30 days of becoming a resident.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-29. Unlawful acts by owner of a dangerous or vicious dog; violations

(a) It shall be unlawful for an owner of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be off the owner's property unless:

(1) The dog is restrained by a leash not to exceed six feet in length and is under the immediate physical control of a person capable of preventing the dog from engaging any other human or animal when necessary;

(2) The dog is contained in a closed and locked cage or crate; or

(3) The dog is working or training as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog.

(b) It shall be unlawful for an owner of a vicious dog to permit the dog to be:

(1) Outside an enclosure designed to securely confine the vicious dog while on the owner's property or outside a securely locked and enclosed pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the vicious dog from leaving such property unless:

(A) The dog is muzzled and restrained by a leash not to exceed six feet in length and is under the immediate physical control of a person capable of preventing the dog from engaging any other human or animal when necessary; or

(B) The dog is contained in a closed and locked cage or crate; or

(2) Unattended with minors.

(c) A person who violates subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature.

(d) An owner with a previous conviction for a violation of this article whose classified dog causes serious injury to a human being under circumstances constituting another violation of this article shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine of not less than $5,000.00 nor more than $10,000.00, or both. In addition, the classified dog shall be euthanized at the cost of the owner.

(e) Any irregularity in classification proceedings shall not be a defense to any prosecution under this article so long as the owner of the dog received actual notice of the classification and did not pursue a civil remedy for the correction of the irregularity.

Credits

Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 1989, p. 159, § 4; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-30. Confiscation of dangerous or vicious dog; noncompliance with article

(a) A dangerous or vicious dog shall be immediately confiscated by any dog control officer or by a law enforcement officer in the case of any violation of this article. A refusal to surrender a dog subject to confiscation shall be a violation of this article.

(b) The owner of any dog that has been confiscated pursuant to this article may recover such dog upon payment of reasonable confiscation and housing costs and proof of compliance with the provisions of this article. All fines and all charges for services performed by a law enforcement or dog control officer shall be paid prior to owner recovery of the dog. Criminal prosecution shall not be stayed due to owner recovery or euthanasia of the dog.

(c) In the event the owner has not complied with the provisions of this article within 20 days of the date the dog was confiscated, such dog shall be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner and the owner may be required to pay the costs of housing and euthanasia.

Credits

Laws 1989, p. 159, § 5; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-31. Sovereign immunity

Under no circumstances shall a local government or any employee or official of a local government be held liable for any damages to any person who suffers an injury inflicted by a dog as a result of a failure to enforce the provisions of this article.

Credits

Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-32. Violation a criminal penalty

Except as otherwise specified in this article, any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Credits

Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 4-8-33. Previously classified

(a)(1) Any dog classified prior to July 1, 2012, as a potentially dangerous dog in this state shall on and after that date be classified as a dangerous dog under this article.

(2) Any dog classified prior to July 1, 2012, as a dangerous dog or vicious dog in this state shall on and after that date be classified as a vicious dog under this article.

(b) The owner of any dog referred to in subsection (a) of this Code section shall come into compliance with all current provisions of this article by January 1, 2013.

Credits

Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

Article 3. Vicious Dog Control.

§§ 4-8-40 to 4-8-45. Repealed by Laws 2012, Act 765, § 5, eff. July 1, 2012

 

Chapter 14. Sterilization of Dogs and Cats in Shelters

§ 4-14-1. Legislative intent

The General Assembly finds that the breeding of dogs and cats acquired from public or private animal shelters, animal control agencies operated by political subdivisions of this state, humane societies, or public or private animal refuges in the State of Georgia results in the birth of thousands of animals who become strays, suffer privation and death, constitute a public nuisance and health hazard, and, ultimately, are impounded and destroyed at great public expense. It is therefore declared to be the public policy of this state that preventing the breeding of dogs and cats acquired from such shelters, animal control agencies, humane societies, or public or private animal refuges be encouraged.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1994, p. 999, § 1.

 

§ 4-14-2. Definitions

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) “Animal shelter” means any facility operated by or under contract for the state or any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the state for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted dogs, cats, and other animals; any veterinary hospital or clinic operated by a veterinarian or veterinarians which operates for such purpose in addition to its customary purposes; and any facility operated, owned, or maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, or other nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals.
 
(2) “Humane society” means any unincorporated nonprofit organization existing for the purpose of prevention of cruelty to animals.
 
(3) “Public or private animal refuge” means harborers of unwanted animals of any breed, including crossbreeds, who provide food, shelter, and confinement for a group of dogs, a group of cats, or a combination of dogs and cats.
 
(4) “Sexually mature animal” means any dog or cat that has reached the age of 180 days or six months or more.
 
(5) “Sterilization” means the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of a dog or cat in order to render the animal unable to reproduce.
CREDIT(S)

Laws 1994, p. 999, § 1.

 

§ 4-14-3. Procedure for sterilization; exception; costs

(a) Any public or private animal shelter, animal control agency operated by a political subdivision of this state, humane society, or public or private animal refuge shall make provisions for the sterilization of all dogs or cats acquired from such shelter, agency, society, or refuge by:

(1) Providing sterilization by a licensed veterinarian before relinquishing custody of the animal; or
 
(2) Entering into a written agreement with the person acquiring such animal guaranteeing that sterilization will be performed by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days after acquisition of such animal in the case of an adult animal or within 30 days of the sexual maturity of the animal in the case of an immature animal;
provided, however, that the requirements of this Code section shall not apply to any privately owned animal which any such shelter, agency, society, or refuge may have in its possession for any reason if the owner of such animal claims or presents evidence that such animal is the property of such person.

(b) All costs of sterilization pursuant to this Code section shall be the responsibility of the person acquiring such animal and, if performed prior to acquisition, may be included in any fees charged by the shelter, agency, society, or refuge for such animal.

(c) Any person acquiring an animal from a public or private animal shelter, animal control agency operated by a political subdivision of this state, humane society, or public or private animal refuge, which animal is not sterile at the time of acquisition, shall submit to the animal shelter, animal control agency, humane society, or public or private animal refuge a signed statement from the licensed veterinarian performing the sterilization required by paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section within seven days after such sterilization attesting that such sterilization has been performed.
 
(d) Every public or private animal shelter, animal control agency operated by a political subdivision of this state, humane society, or public or private animal refuge selling or offering for sale or exchange any dog or cat shall maintain and furnish to any person acquiring an animal from such shelter, agency, society, or refuge a current list of veterinarians licensed in this state who have notified the shelter, agency, society, or refuge that they are willing to perform sterilizations and the cost for such procedures.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1994, p. 999, § 1.

 

§ 4-14-4. Violations

It shall be a misdemeanor to fail or refuse to comply with the requirements of Code Section 4-14-3 and any person convicted of said misdemeanor shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $200.00.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1994, p. 999, § 1.

 

§ 4-14-5. More stringent shelter policies not prohibited

This chapter shall not prohibit the adoption by any political subdivision of this state of shelter policies which are more stringent than the requirements of this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1994, p. 999, § 1.

 

Chapter 15. Dog and Cat Reproductive Sterilization Support

§ 4-15-1. Dog and cat reproductive sterilization support program

(a) The Commissioner shall establish a dog and cat reproductive sterilization support program and educational activities in support thereof. The department shall utilize moneys placed in a special fund for such program as derived from special license plate sales, any funds appropriated to the department for such purposes, and any voluntary contributions or other funds made available to the department for such purposes for the implementation, operation, and support of such reproductive sterilization program. The Commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules to direct and administer the dog and cat reproductive sterilization support program and to carry out this Code section.

(b) The Commissioner shall submit a report to the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs detailing the receipts of and expenditures from the dog and cat reproductive sterilization support program fund. Such report shall be made not later than the last day of August each year.

(c)(1) Unless an earlier date is deemed feasible and established by the Governor, each Georgia income tax return form for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2006, shall contain appropriate language, to be determined by the state revenue commissioner, offering the taxpayer the opportunity to contribute to the Dog and Cat Sterilization Fund established in subsection (a) of this Code section by either donating all or any part of any tax refund due, by authorizing a reduction in the refund check otherwise payable, or by contributing any amount over and above any amount of tax owed by adding that amount to the taxpayer's payment. The instructions accompanying the income tax return form shall contain a description of the purposes for which this fund was established and the intended use of moneys received from the contributions. Each taxpayer required to file a state income tax return who desires to contribute to the Dog and Cat Sterilization Fund may designate such contribution as provided in this Code section on the appropriate income tax return form.

(2) The Department of Revenue shall determine annually the total amount so contributed, shall withhold therefrom a reasonable amount for administering this voluntary contribution program, and shall transmit the balance to the Department of Agriculture for deposit in the Dog and Cat Sterilization Fund established in subsection (a) of this Code section; provided, however, the amount retained for administrative costs shall not exceed $50,000.00 per year. If, in any tax year, the administrative costs of the Department of Revenue for collecting contributions pursuant to this subsection exceed the sum of such contributions, the administrative costs which the Department of Revenue is authorized to withhold from such contributions shall not exceed the sum of such contributions.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 2002, p. 1215, § 1; Laws 2005, Act 357, § 1, eff. July 1, 2005; Laws 2009, Act 74, § 1, eff. April 30, 2009.

 

Title 16. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 11. Offenses Against Public Order and Safety. Article 4. Dangerous Instrumentalities and Practices. Part 1. General Provisions


§ 16-11-107. Destroying or causing serious or debilitating physical injury to police dog or police horse

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Accelerant detection dog” means a dog trained to detect hydrocarbon substances.

(2) “Bomb detection dog” means a dog trained to locate bombs or explosives by scent.

(3) “Firearms detection dog” means a dog trained to locate firearms by scent.

(4) “Narcotic detection dog” means a dog trained to locate narcotics by scent.

(5) “Narcotics” means any controlled substance as defined in paragraph (4) of Code Section 16-13-21 and shall include marijuana as defined by paragraph (16) of Code Section 16-13-21.

(6) “Patrol dog” means a dog trained to protect a peace officer and to apprehend or hold without excessive force a person in violation of the criminal statutes of this state.

(7) “Police dog” means a bomb detection dog, a firearms detection dog, a narcotic detection dog, a patrol dog, an accelerant detection dog, or a tracking dog used by a law enforcement agency. “Police dog” also means a search and rescue dog.

(8) “Police horse” means a horse trained to transport, carry, or be ridden by a law enforcement officer and used by a law enforcement agency.

(8.1) “Search and rescue dog” means any dog that is owned or the services of which are employed by a fire department or the state fire marshal for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of missing persons, including but not limited to persons who are lost, who are trapped under debris as a result of a natural or manmade disaster, or who are drowning victims.

(9) “Tracking dog” means a dog trained to track and find a missing person, escaped inmate, or fleeing felon.

(b) Any person who knowingly and intentionally destroys or causes serious or debilitating physical injury to a police dog or police horse, knowing said dog to be a police dog or said horse to be a police horse, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, or both. This subsection shall not apply to the destruction of a police dog or police horse for humane purposes.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1983, p. 528, § 1; Laws 1996, p. 370, § 1; Laws 1996, p. 778, § 1; Laws 1998, p. 657, § 1.2.


§ 16-11-107.1. Harassment of assistance dog; penalties

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Assistance dog” means a dog that is or has been trained by a licensed or certified person, organization, or agency to perform physical tasks for a physically challenged person. Assistance dogs include guide or leader dogs that guide individuals who are legally blind; hearing dogs that alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to specific sounds; and service dogs for individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness, which are trained to perform a variety of physical tasks, including, but not limited to, pulling a wheelchair, lending balance support, picking up dropped objects, or providing assistance in a medical crisis.

(2) “Harass” means to engage in any conduct directed toward an assistance dog that is knowingly likely to impede or interfere with the assistance dog's performance of its duties or that places the blind, deaf, or physically limited person being served or assisted by the dog in danger of injury.

(3) “Notice” means an oral or otherwise communicated warning proscribing the behavior of another person and a request that the person stop the particular behavior.

(b) Any person who knowingly and intentionally harasses or attempts to harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both.

(c) Any person who has received notice that his or her behavior is interfering with the use of an assistance dog who continues to knowingly and intentionally harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both, provided that any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(d) Any person who knowingly and intentionally allows his or her dog to harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both, provided that any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(e) Any person who knowingly and intentionally allows his or her dog to cause death or physical harm to an assistance dog by rendering a part of the assistance dog's body useless or by seriously disfiguring the assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1996, p. 665, § 1; Laws 2004, Act 722, § 1, eff. July 1, 2004.


 



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