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Maine

Maine Revised Statutes Annotated. Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: ME ST T.7 3901 - 4163; ME ST T. 12 12707

Citation: 7 M.R.S.A. 3901 - 4163; 12 M. R. S. A. 12707


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   These Maine statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws that determine the disposition of loose or dangerous dogs, and a chapter on the sale of dogs.


Statute in Full:

Chapter 717. ANIMAL WELFARE ACT

Chapter 719. UNCONTROLLED DOGS

Chapter 720. RABIES PREVENTION AND SHELTER PROVISIONS

Chapter 721. DOG LICENSES

Chapter 723. FACILITY LICENSES

Chapter 725. MUNICIPAL DUTIES

Chapter 727. DANGEROUS DOGS

Chapter 729. DAMAGE BY ANIMALS

Chapter 745. SALE OF DOGS AND CATS

Fish and wildlife provisions for dogs (Title 12)

Link to cruelty laws (chapters 730-A - chapter 743)

 

 

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare.

Chapter 717. Animal Welfare Act

§ 3901. Animal Welfare Act

§ 3902. Purposes; comprehensive program

§ 3903 - 3906-A. Repealed. Laws 1991, c. 779, § 3, eff. March 31, 1992

§ 3906-B. Powers and duties of commissioner

§ 3906-C. Animal Welfare Advisory Council

§ 3907. Definitions

§ 3908. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 9.

§ 3909. Enforcement

§ 3910. Repealed. Laws 2001, c. 617, § 5

§ 3910-A. Forfeitures and surcharge

§ 3910-B. Companion Animal Sterilization Fund

Chapter 719. Uncontrolled Dogs.

§ 3911. Dogs at large

§ 3911-A. Abandonment of wolf hybrid

§ 3911-B. Disposition of wolf hybrid at large

§ 3912. Disposition of dogs at large

§ 3912-A. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 13

§ 3913. Procedure for stray dogs

§ 3913-A. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 18

§ 3914. Purchase and sale of animals

§ 3915. Violation

Chapter 720: Rabies Prevention and Shelter Provisions.

§ 3916. Rabies vaccinations

§ 3917. Antirabies clinics

§ 3918. Violation

§ 3919. Seizure of stray cats

§ 3919-A. Procedure for acceptance and disposition of cats by animal shelter

§ 3919-B. Disposition of pet when owner is institutionalized

§ 3919-C. Animal held pending court decision

§ 3919-D. Temporary animal shelter

§ 3919-E. Disposition of small animals

Chapter 721. Dog Licenses

§ 3921. License necessary

§ 3921-A. Permanent identification of wolf hybrids

§ 3921-B. Prohibition on keeping a wolf hybrid; exception

§ 3922. Issuance of license

§ 3923. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 468, § 11

§3923-A. License and recording fees

§ 3923-B. Tags

§3923-C. Kennel license

§3923-D. Temporary licenses

§3923-E. Monthly report

§3923-F. Veterinarian serving as dog licensing agent

§3923-G. Internet licensing project

§3924. Violation

Chapter 723. Facility Licenses

§ 3931. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 29

§ 3931-A. Breeding kennels

§ 3931-B. Wolf hybrid kennel - § 3931-B. Repealed. Laws 2011, c. 100, § 13, eff. May 19, 2011

§ 3932. Boarding kennels

§ 3932-A. Animal shelters

§ 3933. Pet shops

§ 3934. Repealed. Laws 1991, c. 779, § 32, eff. March 31, 1992

§ 3935. License prohibited

§ 3935-A. Late fees

§ 3936. Inspection and quarantine

§ 3936-A. Noncompliance; subsequent inspection required

§ 3937. Investigation

§ 3938. Violation

§ 3938-A. Minimum age of transfer for cats and dogs

§ 3939. Dog licenses

§ 3939-A. Spay; neuter of dogs and cats

§ 3939-B. Violations

Chapter 725. Municipal Duties.

§ 3941. Posting of law

§ 3942. Issuance of dog licenses

§ 3943. Repealed. Laws 2009, c. 343, § 19

§ 3944. Issuance of kennel licenses

§ 3945. Use of license fees and court fines retained by municipalities

§ 3946. Dog recorders in unorganized territories

§ 3947. Animal control officers

§ 3948. Animal control

§ 3949. Animal shelter designation

§ 3950. Local regulations

§ 3950-A. Official refusal or neglect of duty

Chapter 727. Dangerous Dogs.

§ 3951. Killing for assault permitted

§ 3952. Keeping a dangerous dog

§ 3953. Stealing, injuring or killing dogs

Chapter 729. Damage by Animals.

§ 3961. Reimbursement for damage done by animals

§ 3961-A. Attack on service dog

§ 3962. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 468, § 18

§ 3962-A. Penalty for damage to livestock or pets by animals

§ 3963. Joint and several liability

§ 3964. Repealed. Laws 1995, c. 351, § 4

Chapter 745. Sale of Dogs and Cats.

§4151. Definitions

§4152. Disclosure

§ 4152-A. Documents necessary for breed registration

§4153. Sale prohibited

§ 4154. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 52.

§4155. Rights of the purchaser

§4156. Responsibilities of purchaser

§ 4157. Rights of seller

§4158. Contest

§4159. Posted notice

§4160. Notice of consumer rights

§4161. Limitation

§4162. Additional penalties

§ 4163. Dog or cat vendor's license

Title 12. Conservation. Part 13. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Subpart 4. Fish and Wildlife. Chapter 925. Fish and Wildlife Management and Research. Subchapter 1. Wildlife Management and Research.

§ 12707. Unlawful activity in wildlife sanctuary; general prohibitions and exceptions

 

 

Chapter 717. Animal Welfare Act.

§3901. Animal Welfare Act

 This chapter is known and may be cited as the "Animal Welfare Act."  [1995, c. 502, Pt. C, §5 (amd).]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1995, c. 502, § C-5, eff. Nov. 30, 1995.

 

 

§3902. Purposes; comprehensive program

The primary legislative purposes of this Act are to provide for the licensing of dogs and the humane and proper treatment of animals. To ensure the humane and proper treatment of animals, the commissioner shall develop, implement and administer a comprehensive program that upholds the animal welfare laws of the State through communication, education and enforcement.  [2001, c. 617, §4 (amd).]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 2001, c. 617, § 4.

 

 

§3906-B. Powers and duties of commissioner

The commissioner has the powers and duties set forth in this section.

1. Dog licensing laws. The commissioner shall carry out the dog licensing laws and furnish to municipalities all license blanks, stickers and tags.

2. Animal Welfare Fund. The commissioner shall deposit all license fees received pursuant to chapters 721, [FN1] 723, [FN2] 725 [FN3] and 735 [FN4] in a separate account established by the Treasurer of State and known as the Animal Welfare Fund. The commissioner shall deposit 1/2 of feed registration fees collected under section 714, subsection 1 and revenue in excess of $100,000 from the surcharge collected under section 714, subsection 4 in the Animal Welfare Fund. This account does not lapse, but continues from year to year. The commissioner shall pay from the Animal Welfare Fund the expense of furnishing license blanks, stickers and tags, travel expenses and salaries for necessary personnel, payments to animal shelters and expenses incurred in the administration of this Part.

3. Dog recorders. The commissioner shall appoint dog recorders in unorganized territories and establish fees for services rendered.

4. Training and certification of animal control officers. The commissioner shall develop both a basic and advanced program to train animal control officers. The basic program must include training in investigation of complaints of cruelty to animals, training in response to calls concerning animals suspected of having rabies and training in enforcement of dog licensing laws and rabies immunization laws.

The advanced training must include, but is not limited to, training in animal cruelty with respect to hoarders of animals, animal cruelty with respect to domestic violence, new laws, case reviews and report writing.

The commissioner shall certify all animal control officers who complete the training programs.

5. Repealed. Laws 1995, c. 502, § C-10, eff. Nov. 30, 1995.

6. Inspections. The commissioner shall inspect licensed facilities as provided in chapters 723 and 735.

7. Payment of fees. The commissioner may authorize payments to providers of special services to animals when the commissioner determines those services are in the public interest.

8. Copies of law. The commissioner shall seasonably forward to the clerks of municipalities copies of this Part.

9. Employees. The commissioner, in consultation with the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, shall employ, subject to the Civil Service Law, [FN5] necessary employees to assist in enforcing this Part and in carrying out the commissioner's duties and responsibilities. The commissioner shall conduct a background check of a potential employee. The commissioner may not hire as a state humane agent a person who has been convicted of murder, a Class A or Class B offense, a violation under Title 17-A, chapter 9, 11, 12 or 13, a violation of Title 19-A, section 4011 or a criminal violation under Title 17, chapter 42 [FN6] or a person who has been adjudicated of a civil violation for cruelty to animals under chapter 739 [FN7] or who has been convicted or adjudicated in any other state, provincial or federal court of a violation similar to those specified in this subsection.

9-A. Humane agents. The commissioner shall assign a humane agent to each of the following areas of specialization:

A. Blood sports;

B. Exotic animals;

C. Large animals;

D. Mental health and domestic violence;

E. Small animals; and

F. Training.

10. Rules. Pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, [FN8] the commissioner shall adopt, amend and repeal rules, including emergency rules, necessary for the proper administration, implementation, enforcement and interpretation of any provision of law that the commissioner is charged with administering.

11. Cruelty to animals. The commissioner, in cooperation with animal control officers, shall investigate complaints of cruelty to animals and enforce cruelty-to-animal laws in accordance with chapter 739 and Title 17, chapter 42. The Attorney General and the district attorneys shall assist the commissioner with the commissioner's enforcement responsibilities.

12. Intermittent agents. The commissioner shall appoint intermittent humane agents as necessary to assist the commissioner in carrying out the commissioner's duties and responsibilities. The commissioner shall train and coordinate efforts of intermittent agents. These intermittent agents are unclassified employees whose training, compensation and hours of employment are determined by the commissioner.

13. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 682, § 1.

14. Information. The commissioner may obtain, develop or disseminate any information useful or convenient for carrying out any purpose or power of the commissioner.

15. Annual report. The commissioner shall report the activities of the commissioner annually by March 1st to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over agricultural matters and the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters. This report must include a summary of cases of cruelty to animals investigated by the commissioner, a summary of final dispositions of those cases and, with respect to companion animals, a report of the number of animal shelter intakes, the number of sterilizations and the number of euthanizations and an account of deposits into and payments from the Companion Animal Sterilization Fund established in section 3910-B.

16. Animal welfare auxiliary fund. The commissioner may accept gifts, donations, bequests, endowments, grants and matching funds from any private or public source for the purposes of ensuring the humane and proper treatment of animals and enhancing the administration and enforcement of this Part and Title 17, chapter 42. The commissioner shall deposit all funds accepted for these purposes and all proceeds from sales authorized under subsection 17 into a separate, nonlapsing account known as the animal welfare auxiliary fund. All gifts, donations, bequests, endowments, grants, proceeds and matching funds received must be used for the benefit of and accomplishment of the objectives in this Part and Title 17, chapter 42 and any gift, donation, bequest, endowment, grant or matching funds accepted with a stipulated purpose may be used only for that purpose.

All money deposited in the animal welfare auxiliary fund in accordance with section 1820-A, subsection 4 must be used for investigating alleged cases of mistreatment or abuse of equines and enhancing enforcement of this Part and Title 17, chapter 42 as these laws pertain to equines.

17. Fund-raising. The commissioner may engage in the marketing and selling of general merchandise products to generate supplemental funds, which must be deposited in the animal welfare auxiliary fund established under subsection 16.

CREDIT(S)

1991, c. 779, § 9, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 468, §§ 2, 3; 1995, c. 502, §§ C-10 to C-12, eff. Nov. 30, 1995; 1997, c. 690, §§ 1 to 3; 2001, c. 399, § 2, eff. June 13, 2001; 2001, c. 422, § 3, eff. June 18, 2001; 2003, c. 405, §§ 1 to 3; 2003, c. 536, § 1; 2003, c. 682, §§ 1, 2; 2005, c. 281, §§ 3, 4; 2007, c. 439, §§ 1, 2; 2009, c. 148, § 2, eff. May 18, 2009; 2009, c. 548, §§ 1, 2, eff. March 25, 2010.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3921 et seq.
[FN2] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3931 et seq.
[FN3] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3941 et seq.
[FN4] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3991.
[FN5] See 5 M.R.S.A. § 7039.
[FN6] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1011 et seq.
[FN7] 7 M.R.S.A. § 4011 et seq.
[FN8] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

 

§3906-C. Animal Welfare Advisory Council

The Animal Welfare Advisory Council, as established by Title 5, section 12004-I, subsection 2-C and referred to in this section as the “council,” shall advise the commissioner on matters pertaining to animal welfare.

1. Membership. The council consists of 14 members appointed by the Governor as follows:

A. One member representing municipal interests;

B. One animal control officer;

C. One member representing licensed animal shelters;

D. One member representing licensed boarding kennels;

E. One member representing licensed pet shops;

F. Repealed. Laws 2001, c. 399, § 3.

G. One member who is or has been a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State;

H. One member who owns a pet and represents the interests of the public in animal welfare, generally;

I. One attorney with experience in animal welfare law;

J. One cooperative extension agent or specialist;

K. One member with expertise in equine care;

L. One member with expertise in livestock representing a statewide farming organization;

M. One member representing a state-based animal advocacy group;

N. One member who holds a kennel license issued under section 3923-C; and

O. One member representing licensed breeding kennels.

In making the appointment of the veterinarian member, the Governor shall consider nominations made by the Maine Veterinary Medical Association. In making the appointment of the person holding a kennel license issued under section 3923-C, the Governor shall consider nominations made by state-based dog clubs.

2. Staff. The department shall provide necessary staffing services to the council.

3. Compensation. Members of the council are entitled to travel and meal expenses only.

4. Terms of office. Except for initial appointees, each member serves for a term of 3 years or until the member's successor has been appointed. A member may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms. In the case of a vacancy for any reason, the Governor shall appoint a member representing the same interest to fill the unexpired term.

5. Initial terms of office. Initially, 4 appointed members serve for one year, 4 members serve for 2 years and 3 members serve for 3 years.

6. Administration; meetings. The council shall elect one of its members as chair. The chair serves for a 2-year period and may not serve as chair for consecutive 2-year periods.

The council shall hold regular public meetings every other month but may waive by majority vote a succeeding meeting. The chair shall call special meetings of the council whenever requested in writing by 2 or more members. The council shall send notice and minutes of the meetings to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over animal welfare matters.

7. Duties. The council shall perform the following duties:

A. Review and advise the commissioner on proposed revisions to the animal welfare laws and rules;

B. Assist the commissioner in the continuing implementation and evaluation of the animal welfare laws and rules;

C. Review training programs for humane agents and animal control officers and make recommendations for training appropriate to the duties of the humane agents and animal control officers;

D. Research options for increasing revenue to the Animal Welfare Fund to ensure funding for the implementation and enforcement of the animal welfare laws and rules, periodically evaluate the adequacy of funding for those laws and rules and make recommendations to the commissioner; and

E. Advise the commissioner on other matters related to the animal welfare laws and rules.

CREDIT(S)

1991, c. 779, § 10, eff. March 31, 1992; 1995, c. 502, § C-13, eff. Nov. 30, 1995; 2001, c. 399, § 3, eff. June 13, 2001; 2003, c. 405, § 4; 2009, c. 333, § 1; 2009, c. 343, §§ 1, 2.

 

 

§3907. Definitions

As used in this Part, and in every law relating to or affecting animals, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Act. “Act” means the Animal Welfare Act.

1-A. Repealed. Laws 2013, c. 115, § 1, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

1-B. Abandoned animal. “Abandoned animal” means an animal that has been deserted by its owner or keeper, excluding animals that are part of a population control effort.

2. Animal. “Animal” means every living, sentient creature not a human being.

3. Animal control. “Animal control” means control of dogs, cats, and domesticated or undomesticated animals in accordance with section 3948.

4. Animal control officer. “Animal control officer” means the person appointed periodically by a municipality pursuant to chapter 725.1

5. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 2.

5-A. Animal shelter. “Animal shelter” means a facility that houses animals and operates for the purpose of providing stray, abandoned, abused or owner-surrendered animals with sanctuary or finding the animals temporary or permanent adoptive homes.

6. At large. “At large” means off the premises of the owner and not under the control of any person whose personal presence and attention would reasonably control the conduct of the animal.

7. Repealed. Laws 2005, c. 510, § 2.

8. Boarding kennel. “Boarding kennel” means any place, building, tract of land or abode in or on which 3 or more privately owned companion animals are kept at any one time for their owners in return for a fee or compensation and includes a facility where 3 or more companion animals are kept for training purposes for compensation.

8-A. Breeding kennel. “Breeding kennel” means a location where 5 or more adult female dogs or cats capable of breeding are kept and some or all of the offspring are offered for sale, sold or exchanged for value or a location where more than 16 dogs or cats raised on the premises are sold to the public in a 12-month period. “Breeding kennel” does not include a kennel licensed by a municipality under section 3923-C when the dogs are kept primarily for hunting, show, training, sledding, competition, field trials or exhibition purposes and not more than 16 dogs are offered for sale, sold or exchanged for value within a 12-month period.

9. Business day. “Business day” means any day of the calendar year other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

9-A. Cat identification. “Cat identification” means:

A. A registered microchip used in conjunction with a visible collar and tag, with a faceted, reflective ear stud or a tipped or notched ear;

B. A collar or collar and tag worn by the cat that provides the current name, address and telephone number of the owner; or

C. A collar and tag providing the name and address of the animal shelter that issued the tag.

10. Clerk; municipal clerk. “Clerk” or “municipal clerk” means the clerk of a municipality, the deputy clerk or assistant clerk, where directed by the clerk, carrying out the duties of this Part.

11. Commissioner. “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry or his duly authorized agent.

11-A. Companion animal. “Companion animal” means a cat or dog.

11-B. Council. “Council” means the Animal Welfare Advisory Council as established by Title 5, section 12004-I, subsection 2-C or its duly authorized agent.

12. Constable. “Constable” means a law enforcement officer appointed by municipal officers pursuant to law.

12-A. Repealed. Laws 1999, c. 498, § 1.

12-B. Repealed. Laws 2005, c. 510, § 5.

12-C. Dog. “Dog” means a member of the genus and species known as canis familiaris, except that in chapters 720, 721, 725, 727, 729 and 739 “dog” means a member of the genus and species known as canis familiaris or any canine, regardless of generation, resulting from the interbreeding of a member of canis familiaris with a wolf hybrid.

12-D. Dangerous dog. “Dangerous dog” means a dog or wolf hybrid that bites an individual or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the dog or wolf hybrid owner's or keeper's premises at the time of the bite or a dog or wolf hybrid that causes a reasonable and prudent person who is not on the dog or wolf hybrid owner's or keeper's premises and is acting in a reasonable and nonaggressive manner to fear imminent bodily injury by assaulting or threatening to assault that individual or individual's domestic animal. “Dangerous dog” does not include a dog certified by the State and used for law enforcement use. “Dangerous dog” does not include a dog or wolf hybrid that bites or threatens to assault an individual who is on the dog or wolf hybrid owner's or keeper's premises if the dog or wolf hybrid has no prior history of assault and was provoked by the individual immediately prior to the bite or threatened assault.

For the purposes of this definition, “dog or wolf hybrid owner's or keeper's premises” means the residence or residences, including buildings and land and motor vehicles, belonging to the owner or keeper of the dog or wolf hybrid.

12-E. Feral cat. “Feral cat” means a cat without owner identification of any kind that consistently exhibits extreme fear in the presence of people.

12-F. Dog licensing agent. “Dog licensing agent” means a veterinarian office or animal shelter that licenses dogs for a municipality.

13. Service dog kept for breeding purposes. “Service dog kept for breeding purposes” means a male or female dog owned by a nonprofit organization for the purpose of producing puppies to be trained as service dogs and living with a resident of the State.

14. Service dog kept prior to training. “Service dog kept prior to training” means a dog under 18 months of age, owned by a nonprofit organization for the purpose of training as a service dog and living temporarily with a resident of the State prior to training.

15. Humane agent. “Humane agent” means an employee of the department who assists in enforcing this Part.

15-A. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 4.

15-B. Humanely clean conditions. “Humanely clean conditions” means that both indoor areas and outdoor enclosures are cleaned on a periodic basis to remove excretions and other waste materials, dirt and trash with sufficient frequency to minimize health hazards and to provide adequately clean living conditions for the species of animal.

15-C. Humanely trap. “Humanely trap” means to trap an animal using traps and trapping methods that are designed to avoid injury to animals to the greatest extent practicable for animal control or animal rescue purposes.

16. Keeper. “Keeper” means a person in possession or control of a dog or other animal. A person becomes the keeper of a stray domesticated animal, other than a dog or livestock, if the person feeds that animal for at least 10 consecutive days.

17. Kennel. “Kennel” means 5 or more dogs kept in a single location under one ownership for breeding, hunting, show, training, field trials, sledding, competition or exhibition purposes. The sale or exchange of one litter of puppies within a 12-month period alone does not constitute the operation of a kennel.

18. Law enforcement officer. “Law enforcement officer” means any person who, by virtue of his public employment, is vested by law with a duty to maintain public order, enforce any law of this State establishing a civil violation, prosecute offenders or make arrests for crimes, whether that duty extends to all crimes or is limited to specific crimes.

18-A. Livestock. “Livestock” means cattle; equines; sheep; goats; swine; domesticated cervids, fowl and rabbits; members of the family Camelidae, genus lama and genus vicugna; bison; and ratites.

19. Municipality. “Municipality” means an organized city, town or plantation.

20. Mutilate. “Mutilate” means to injure or disfigure by irreparably damaging body parts. “Mutilate” does not include conduct performed by a licensed veterinarian or conduct that conforms to accepted veterinary practices.

21. Owner. “Owner” means a person owning, keeping or harboring a dog or other animal.

22. Person. “Person” means an individual, corporation, partnership, association or any other legal entity.

22-A. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 6.

22-B. Pet. “Pet” means a dog, cat or other domesticated animal commonly kept as a companion, but does not include tamed animals that are ordinarily considered wild animals or livestock.

23. Pet shop. “Pet shop” means a place or vehicle in or on which any dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles, fish, pet birds, exotic birds or exotic animals not born and raised on those premises are kept for the purpose of sale to the public.

23-A. Rescue group. “Rescue group” means an organization or individual that receives animals that have been abandoned, surrendered or removed from an animal facility or that takes in homeless dogs or cats and sells, gives or otherwise places the animals in private homes. “Rescue group” does not include a facility licensed under chapter 723.

23-B. Population control effort. “Population control effort” means the activities, programs and projects aimed at reducing the number of cats and dogs without homes, including, but not limited to, the trapping, neutering and vaccinating of feral cats, the trapping of cats for impoundment at an animal shelter and spaying or neutering services for abandoned animals and stray dogs and cats.

24. Respective municipality. “Respective municipality” means, in the case of towns, plantations and cities, the municipality where the dog or ferret is found; in the case of unorganized territories, the municipality near or adjacent to the unorganized territory where the dog or ferret is found; or the designee of that municipality.

24-A. Service dog. “Service dog” means a dog that meets the definition of “service animal” set forth in Title 5, section 4553, subsection 9-E, paragraph A or B.

25. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 10.

25-A. Stray. “Stray” means off the owner's premises and not under the control of a person.

25-B. Small animal. “Small animal” means a bird, reptile or amphibian or a small mammal, other than a cat or dog, commonly kept as a household pet and that is an unrestricted species designated by the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in rules adopted pursuant to Title 12, chapter 915.

26. Torment, torture and cruelty. “Torment, torture and cruelty” means every act, omission or neglect, whether by the owner or any other person, where unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted.

26-A. Unorganized territory. “Unorganized territory” means all areas located within the jurisdiction of the State, except areas located within organized cities and towns, and Indian reservations. “Unorganized territory” does not include plantations.

27. Vertebrate. “Vertebrate” means a subphylum of chordate animals comprising those having a brain enclosed in a skull or cranium and a segmented spinal column, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

28. Warrant. “Warrant” means an order of municipal officers directing a police officer, constable, sheriff or animal control officer to enter a complaint and summons against the owners or keepers of unlicensed dogs following notice of and noncompliance with a violation of law.

29. Well cared for. “Well cared for” means that the animal is receiving necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather and humanely clean conditions and that the animal has not been nor is being injured, overworked, tormented, tortured, abandoned, poisoned, beaten, mutilated or exposed to a poison with the intent that it be taken by the animal.

30. Wolf hybrid. “Wolf hybrid” means a mammal that is the offspring of the reproduction between a species of wild canid or wild canid hybrid and a domestic dog or wild canid hybrid. “Wolf hybrid” includes a mammal that is represented by its owner to be a wolf hybrid, coyote hybrid, coydog or any other kind of wild canid hybrid.

Credits
1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 622, § FF-11; 1991, c. 779, §§ 11 to 15, eff. March 31, 1992; Laws 1991, c. 779, § 52; 1993, c. 468, §§ 4, 5; 1993, c. 657, §§ 1 to 11; 1995, c. 351, § 1; 1995, c. 409, §§ 1, 2; 1995, c. 490, §§ 1 to 5; 1997, c. 33, § 1; 1997, c. 456, §§ 1, 2; 1997, c. 690, §§ 4 to 8; 1997, c. 704, § 1; 1999, c. 127, § A-16, eff. May 6, 1999; 1999, c. 350, § 1; 1999, c; 498, § 1; 2001, c. 363, § 1; 2001, c. 399, § 4, eff. June 13, 2001; 2001, c. 422, § 4, eff. June 18, 2001; 2003, c. 334, § 2; 2003, c. 536, § 2; 2003, c. 682, § 3; 2005, c. 510, §§ 1 to 5; R.R.2005, c. 2, § 10, eff. Oct. 1, 2006; 2007, c. 439, §§ 3 to 5; 2007, c. 664, §§ 8 to 10; 2007, c. 702, §§ 3 to 6; 2009, c. 343, §§ 3, 4; 2009, c. 403, § 1; 2011, c. 100, §§ 1 to 4, eff. May 19, 2011; 2011, c. 369, § 3; 2013, c. 115, §§ 1 to 6, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3941 et seq.

 

§ 3908. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 9.

 

 

§3909. Enforcement

1. Attorney General and District Attorneys. Whenever a person has engaged in or is about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes a violation of this Part, a rule adopted pursuant to this Part or a condition of an order, license or permit approved or decision issued by the commissioner pursuant to this Part, or that constitutes a violation of Title 17, chapter 42,1 the Attorney General or a District Attorney, at the request of the commissioner, may institute proceedings before the District Court or Superior Court for an order enjoining those acts or practices, an order directing compliance or imposing a civil or criminal penalty, or any combination of these actions, as provided by law. Upon a showing by the commissioner that the person has engaged or is about to engage in such an act or practice, the court may grant a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order or other order as appropriate.

2. Designated employees of the department. For purposes of prosecution under this section, the commissioner may authorize humane agents and a state veterinarian who have been certified in accordance with subsection 3-A to issue and serve civil violation processes against offenders pursuant to the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80H and any other applicable rules of court for violations of this Part. The commissioner may authorize certified humane agents or a certified state veterinarian to represent the department in District Court in the prosecution of civil violations of these laws. A certified humane agent or a certified state veterinarian may seek civil penalties as provided by law as well as a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order or other equitable relief as the court finds appropriate.

2-A. Animal welfare citation form. The commissioner shall designate the Uniform Summons and Complaint as the citation form to be used by the department.

A. The Department of Public Safety is responsible for all Uniform Summons and Complaint forms issued to the department. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee is responsible for the further issuance of Uniform Summons and Complaint books to humane agents and a state veterinarian certified under subsection 3-A and for the proper disposition of those books.

B. It is unlawful and official misconduct for any humane agent or other public employee to dispose of an official citation form or Uniform Summons and Complaint, except in accordance with law and as provided for in an applicable official policy or procedure of the department.

C. A Uniform Summons and Complaint may be filed in a court having jurisdiction and constitutes a lawful complaint to commence any criminal prosecution or civil violation proceeding if the Uniform Summons and Complaint is duly sworn to as required by law and is otherwise legally sufficient.

D. A Uniform Summons and Complaint, when served upon a person by a humane agent, functions as a summons to appear in court. A person who fails to appear in court after having been served with a summons commits a Class E crime. Upon that person's failure to appear, the court may issue a warrant of arrest. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this paragraph that the failure to appear resulted from just cause.

3. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 405, § 5.

3-A. Humane agents; training requirements. Continuing employment of a humane agent hired after October 1, 2003 is contingent upon the successful completion by that agent of a 100-hour service training program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy or a nationally recognized training program on investigation and enforcement of animal welfare laws and the successful completion of an examination on state animal welfare laws and rules adopted pursuant to this Part. To issue and serve civil violation processes or represent the department in District Court under subsection 2, a humane agent or a state veterinarian must have completed a program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy that certifies familiarity with court procedures.

A humane agent, regardless of appointment date, shall complete training in the handling of small and large animals and a minimum of 40 hours of training each year, including a combination of classroom and hands-on training.

4. Subpoenas. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee after consultation with the appropriate attorney for the State or the legal counsel for the department may:

A. Serve subpoenas requiring persons to disclose or provide to the department information or records in their possession that are necessary and relevant to an investigation under the animal welfare laws.

(1) The department may apply to the District Court to enforce a subpoena.

(2) A person who complies with a subpoena is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise result from the act of turning over or providing information or records to the department.

5. Enforcement provision; animal control officers. The certification of an animal control officer under section 3906-B may be suspended or revoked by the commissioner in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375.

6. Confidential information. The names of and other identifying information about persons providing information pertaining to criminal or civil cruelty to animals to the department are confidential information and may not be released.

Credits

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 16, eff. March 13, 1992; 1995, c. 490, § 6; 1997, c. 456, § 3; 1997, c. 683, § B-1, eff. April 3, 1998; 1999, c. 254, § 2; 2001, c. 422, § 5, eff. June 18, 2001; 2003, c. 405, §§ 5, 6; 2003, c. 536, § 3; 2005, c. 422, § 1; 2009, c. 213, § M-2, eff. May 28, 2009; 2009, c. 343, §§ 5 to 8; 2009, c. 652, § A-6, eff. April 14, 2010; 2013, c. 267, § C-1, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

[FN1] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1011 et seq.

 

§3910-A. Forfeitures and surcharge

1. Forfeitures. Unless otherwise provided, any court in this State shall collect fines or forfeitures imposed for violations of this Part and pay the fine or forfeiture into the treasury of the municipality where the offense or violation was committed. The municipal clerk shall deposit and expend fines and forfeitures received in accordance with section 3945. [2001, c. 617, §6 (new).]

2. Surcharge imposed. A surcharge of $10 must be added to every fine, forfeiture or penalty imposed by any court in this State for a violation of this Part. The surcharge, for the purposes of collection and collection procedures, is considered a part of the fine, forfeiture or penalty. All funds collected as a result of this surcharge must be deposited monthly in the Animal Welfare Fund established under section 3906-B, subsection 2. [2001, c. 710, §5 (amd); §6 (aff).]

CREDIT(S)

2001, c. 617, § 6; 2001, c. 710, § 5.

 

 

§3910-B. Companion Animal Sterilization Fund

1. Establishment. There is established the Companion Animal Sterilization Fund, an interest-bearing account, referred to in this section as “the fund.” The fund receives money deposited by the Treasurer of State pursuant to Title 36, section 5284-A, revenues generated in accordance with this section, all revenue from the surcharges collected under section 3933, subsection 4, revenue received from surcharges in accordance with section 714, subsection 4 and any money contributed voluntarily to the fund. All money deposited in the fund and the earnings on that money remain in the fund to be used for the spaying or neutering of companion animals owned by persons meeting income limit standards and for the necessary direct administrative and personnel costs associated with the management of the fund and may not be deposited in the General Fund or any other fund except as specifically provided by law. The fund may not be charged for indirect costs under a departmental indirect cost allocation plan.

1-A. Option to contract for administration of the fund. The commissioner may contract the administration of the fund to a suitable organization or individual selected through a competitive process. The contracting organization or individual shall administer the fund in accordance with procedures and eligibility standards established under subsection 2. The contracting organization or individual may not expend more than 15% of the fund annually for administrative costs.

2. Subsidies; development of standards. The commissioner shall develop procedures and eligibility standards for the awarding of subsidies to low-income persons for the spaying or neutering of those persons' companion animals. Procedures and eligibility standards must be developed in consultation with veterinarians and representatives of humane societies and animal shelters.

3. Fund-raising. The commissioner or the commissioner's authorized agent may provide for the creation, reproduction, sale, licensing and distribution and other disposal of any art or other products for the purpose of generating revenues for the fund. All money generated from the sale of these items must be deposited into the fund.

4. Oversight. The Animal Welfare Advisory Council established in section 3906-C or a subcommittee of the council shall review the objectives of the fund and make recommendations for maximizing use of available resources to meet the objectives of the fund. The council or subcommittee shall review the administration of the fund and make recommendations, which may include the development of a competitive process to contract for the administration of the fund.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 682, § 4; 2005, c. 281, § 5; 2005, c. 510, § 6; 2007, c. 539, §§ CCCC-1 to CCCC-3; 2009, c. 148, § 3, eff. May 18, 2009.

 

Chapter 719. Uncontrolled Dogs.

§3911. Dogs at large

It is unlawful for any dog, licensed or unlicensed, to be at large, except when used for hunting. The owner or keeper of any dog found at large is subject to the penalties provided in this chapter.  [1999, c. 254, §3 (amd).]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 643, § 1, eff. March 25, 1988; 1999, c. 254, § 3.

 

§3911-A. Abandonment of wolf hybrid

A person who abandons a wolf hybrid licensed under section 3922 commits a civil violation for which a fine not to exceed $1,000 may be adjudged. A person who abandons a wolf hybrid not licensed under section 3922 commits a civil violation for which a fine of $1,000 must be adjudged and may also be subject to a penalty under Title 12, section 12153. For the purposes of this section “abandon” means to desert. For enforcement purposes a wolf hybrid is abandoned if the animal is found a distance of more than 5 miles from the premises of the owner and is not under the control of any person.

CREDIT(S)

2001, c. 129, § 1; 2011, c. 100, § 5, eff. May 19, 2011.

 

§ 3911-B. Disposition of wolf hybrid at large

The owner or keeper of a wolf hybrid found at large commits a civil violation. An animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall seize, impound or restrain a wolf hybrid found at large and proceed under this section.

1. Owner of wolf hybrid located. If a wolf hybrid at large is licensed under section 3922, subsection 3-B or its owner can otherwise be identified and located, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall take the wolf hybrid to its owner and issue citations for violations of this Part.

2. Unable to locate owner. If an animal at large is permanently identified as a wolf hybrid in accordance with section 3921-A but the owner of record cannot be located, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall take the wolf hybrid to the animal shelter designated by the respective municipality in which the wolf hybrid was found.

An animal shelter that accepts a wolf hybrid under this subsection is entitled to receive from the department the sum of $4 a day for the period for which food and shelter are furnished, not to exceed 6 days. The animal shelter's responsibilities and the procedure for filing claims and calculating fees established under section 3913, subsection 3 apply to wolf hybrids accepted under this subsection. Upon expiration of the 6-day period, ownership of the wolf hybrid is vested in the animal shelter. The animal shelter shall:

A. Transfer ownership of the wolf hybrid to a person holding a permit to possess wildlife under Title 12, section 12152 and authorized to accept wolf hybrids in compliance with rules adopted under Title 12, section 12160, subsection 2;

B. Transfer ownership of the wolf hybrid to a person who operates an animal refuge in another state and is licensed to accept wolf hybrids; or

C. After keeping the wolf hybrid for 8 days, euthanize the wolf hybrid humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4.

3. Owner unknown. If an animal suspected of being a wolf hybrid is found at large and that animal is not licensed under section 3922 and does not bear any identification of the owner, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall notify the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and request assistance in the capture and disposition of the animal under Title 12, section 12160.

4. Euthanasia for severely sick, severely injured or extremely vicious wolf hybrid. Notwithstanding subsections 1, 2 and 3, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter within the State may authorize in writing immediate euthanasia of a severely sick, severely injured or extremely vicious wolf hybrid upon determining that the following conditions are met:

A. The clerk, dog recorder or animal control officer of the respective municipality where the wolf hybrid was found has been notified of the animal's presence and the owner of the wolf hybrid, if known, has been notified; and

B. A veterinarian states in writing that the wolf hybrid's recovery from its injury or illness, given reasonable time and reasonable care, is doubtful or that the wolf hybrid presents a danger to the public.

Notwithstanding paragraphs A and B, a veterinarian may authorize immediate euthanasia if, in the veterinarian's judgment, the wolf hybrid is severely injured or sick and has no possibility of recovery.

5. Immunity from civil liability. A veterinarian, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter is not civilly liable to any party for authorization made in accordance with subsection 4 nor is any person performing euthanasia under that authorization.

CREDIT(S)

2011, c. 100, § 6, eff. May 19, 2011

 

 

§3912. Disposition of dogs at large

1. Ownership of dog unknown. Except as provided in subsection 2, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall seize, impound or restrain a dog found in violation of section 3911 and deliver it to an animal shelter as provided for in section 3913, subsection 2-A. If ownership can not be established, such a dog may be handled as a stray dog for the purpose of acceptance by an animal shelter. [1997, c. 690, §10 (new).]

2. Ownership of dog known. An animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall seize, impound or restrain a dog found in violation of section 3911 and, if the owner is known, shall:

A. Take the dog to its owner; or  [1999, c. 254, §4 (new).]

B. Deliver it to an animal shelter as provided in section 3913. An animal shelter receiving a dog in accordance with this paragraph shall follow the procedure for stray dogs provided in section 3913.  [1999, c. 254, §4 (new).]

[1999, c. 254, §4 (rpr).]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 643, § 1, eff. March 25, 1988; 1991, c. 779, § 17, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 657, § 12; 1997, c. 690, § 10; 1999, c. 254, § 4.

 

 

§3913. Procedure for stray dogs

1. Persons finding stray dogs. A person finding a stray dog and taking control of that dog shall take that dog to its owner if known or, if the owner is not known, to the animal shelter designated by the municipality in which the dog was found.

2. Repealed. Laws 1991, c. 779, § 20, eff. March 31, 1992.

2-A. Animal shelter. An animal shelter, as defined in section 3907, to which a stray dog is taken shall accept the dog for a period of 6 days unless the shelter is in quarantine or has a bona fide lack of adequate space. Except as provided in subsection 2-B, the acceptance entitles the animal shelter to receive from the department the sum of $4 a day for the period for which food and shelter are furnished to the dog. An animal shelter may refuse to accept dogs from municipalities not contracting with that animal shelter.

2-B. Adoption policy. Beginning January 1, 2010, to be eligible for reimbursement under subsection 2-A, an animal shelter must have an adoption policy. An adoption policy must provide for a dog to be available for adoption for a minimum of 24 hours except as provided in subsection 6.

3. Claims; fees. The procedure for filing claims and calculating fees is as follows.

A. On the business day next following the date of acceptance of a dog that is not delivered by an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity, the animal shelter shall notify the animal control officer or person acting in that capacity of the respective municipality of the acceptance of the dog, its description and the circumstances of its finding.

B. An animal shelter that accepts a dog under this section, within 45 days of acceptance of the dog, shall submit a claim on a department-approved form to the department for fees incurred in providing food and shelter and the animal shelter shall forward a copy of the claim to the clerk of the respective municipality.

C. If the owner claims the dog within the 6-day period, the owner may have and receive the dog upon payment of all department-approved fees as provided in subsection 2-A, the municipal impoundment fee and actual fees incurred for food, shelter, veterinary care and any other fees required by this chapter for each day that the dog has been sheltered, provided that the dog is licensed in accordance with chapter 721. [FN1]

4. Ownership of dog. Upon expiration of the 6-day period, ownership of the dog is vested in the animal shelter. The animal shelter may then:

A. Except as provided in section 3938-A, sell or give away the dog, but not to a research facility, if a license is first obtained in accordance with chapter 721; or

B. Otherwise dispose of the dog humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter IV. [FN2] Except as provided in this section, an animal shelter must hold a dog at least 8 days before euthanasia.

Notwithstanding this subsection, ownership of a dog for the purposes of adoption is immediately vested in an animal shelter if the animal shelter makes a determination that the dog is obviously abandoned. An obviously abandoned dog does not include a dog roaming at large.

An animal shelter shall establish and collect fees for reclaimed or adopted animals to offset costs of keeping a dog beyond 6 days.

None of the proceeds obtained from the sale, donation, adoption or other disposition of the dog may be deducted from the fee claimed.

Notwithstanding subsection 3, paragraph C, the previous owner may reacquire the dog at any time prior to its sale, donation or disposal upon payment of the municipal impoundment fee and actual fees incurred for food, shelter, veterinary care and any other fees required by this chapter for each day that the dog has been sheltered. In this case, no fee may be allowed by the department.

5. Deleted. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 11.

6. Euthanasia for severely sick, severely injured or extremely vicious dog. A humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter within the State may authorize in writing immediate euthanasia of a severely sick, severely injured or extremely vicious dog upon determining that the following conditions are met:

A. The clerk or animal control officer of the municipality where the dog was found has been notified of the dog's presence and the owner of the dog, if known, has been notified; and

B. Deleted. Laws 1997, c.690, § 11.

C. A veterinarian states in writing that the dog's recovery from its injury or illness, given reasonable time and reasonable care, is doubtful or that the dog presents a danger to the public.

Notwithstanding paragraphs A to C, a veterinarian may authorize immediate euthanasia if, in the veterinarian's judgment, there is no possibility of recovery for a severely injured or sick animal.

7. Immunity from civil liability. A veterinarian, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter is not civilly liable to any party for authorization made in accordance with subsection 6 nor is any person performing euthanasia under that authorization.

8, 9. Repealed. Laws 1991, c. 779, § 23, eff. March 31, 1992.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 622, §§ FF-12 to FF-14; 1991, c. 779, §§ 19 to 23, eff. March 31, 1992; Laws 1991, c. 779, § 52; 1993, c. 468, §§ 6, 7; 1993, c. 657, §§ 14 to 17; 1995, c. 268, § 1; 1997, c. 690, § 11; 2007, c. 439, § 6; 2009, c. 343, §§ 9, 10.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3921 et seq.
[FN2] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1041 et seq.

 

§3914. Purchase and sale of animals

Animal shelters, kennels, breeding kennels, boarding kennels and pet shops engaged in buying or selling animals shall keep records of the buyer and seller in each transaction for a 2-year period commencing at the time of purchase or sale. The records must be open to inspection by the department or law enforcement officers. A person not in possession of a valid license for an animal shelter, kennel, breeding kennel, boarding kennel or pet shop shall obtain a vendor's license under section 4163 prior to selling, offering for sale or exchanging for value a cat or dog.

A wolf hybrid may not be sold or exchanged for value. Ownership of a wolf hybrid may be transferred only in accordance with section 3911-B or section 3921-B, subsection 3.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 24, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 657, § 19; 2007, c. 439, § 7; 2011, c. 100, § 7, eff. May 19, 2011.

 

 

§3915. Violation

 Any person who violates this chapter commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not less than $50 nor more than $250 may be adjudged for a first violation and not less than $100 nor more than $500 for 2 or more violations.  [2001, c. 13, §1 (amd).]

CREDIT(S)

1991, c. 779, § 25, eff. March 31, 1992; 1997, c. 690, § 12; 2001, c. 13, § 1.

 

Chapter 720. Rabies Prevention and Shelter Provisions.

§ 3916. Rabies vaccinations

1. Required for cats. Except as provided in subsection 4, an owner or keeper of a cat over 3 months of age must have that cat vaccinated against rabies. Rabies vaccine must be administered by a licensed veterinarian or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Upon receiving an initial vaccination, a cat is considered protected for one year and an owner or keeper of that cat must get a booster vaccination for that cat one year after the initial vaccination and subsequent booster vaccinations at intervals that do not exceed the intervals recommended by a national association of state public health veterinarians for the type of vaccine administered.

1-A. Required for dogs. A person owning or keeping a dog shall, within 30 days after the dog attains the age of 6 months, cause the dog to be vaccinated against rabies and shall have booster vaccinations administered periodically in accordance with rules adopted by the Commissioner of Health and Human Services under section 3922, subsection 3. A wolf hybrid is required to be vaccinated in accordance with this subsection. The procedure prescribed under Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 5 for a wolf hybrid suspected of having rabies does not change based on proof that the wolf hybrid has received a rabies vaccination.

2. Certificate. A licensed veterinarian who vaccinates or supervises the vaccination of a cat or dog shall issue to the owner or keeper a certificate of rabies vaccination approved by the State and shall indicate on the certificate the date by which a booster vaccination is required pursuant to subsection 1 or 1-A.

2-A. Notice to department. A veterinarian who issues a certificate of rabies vaccination for a dog pursuant to subsection 2 shall, within 30 days of issuing the certificate, forward by mail, e-mail or fax a copy of that certificate to the department. The department shall send a copy of the certificate by mail, e-mail or fax to the clerk of the municipality in which the owner resides. If the owner resides in the unorganized territory, the department shall send a copy of the certificate to the dog recorder in that unorganized territory or, in the absence of a duly authorized dog recorder, to the dog recorder in the nearest municipality or unorganized territory in the same county in which the owner resides. The department may retain a copy or electronic record of the rabies certificate. The department may accumulate certificates received and distribute them periodically to the appropriate municipalities and dog recorders. Distributions must be made no fewer than 4 times a year.

3. Enforcement. A humane agent, an animal control officer or a law enforcement officer may ask an owner or keeper of a cat or dog to present proof of a certificate of rabies vaccination from the State.

4. Exception. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, an animal shelter operated by a nonprofit organization is not required to vaccinate an abandoned or stray cat or dog received by the shelter.

An owner or keeper of a cat is exempt from the requirements of subsection 1 if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the cat. To qualify for this exemption, the owner or keeper must have a written statement signed by a licensed veterinarian that includes a description of the cat and the medical reason that precludes the vaccination.

CREDIT(S)

1991, c. 779, § 26, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 468, § 9; 1995, c. 490, § 7; 1997, c. 704, §§ 3 to 5; 2005, c. 422, §§ 3 to 6; 2007, c. 119, § 1; 2007, c. 439, § 8.

 


§ 3917. Antirabies clinics

The following provisions apply to low-cost antirabies clinics.

1. Clinic establishment. The department shall facilitate the establishment of low-cost antirabies clinics at locations and on dates as appropriate. At least one low-cost antirabies clinic must be conducted annually in each county. In facilitating the establishment of antirabies clinics, the department shall cooperate with local veterinarians and local organizations. When other arrangements can not be made for a licensed veterinarian to vaccinate or to supervise vaccinations by an animal technician at a low-cost clinic, a veterinarian employed by the department shall administer the vaccinations.

2. Veterinarians participating in low-cost antirabies clinics. This subsection applies to a veterinarian licensed under Title 32, chapter 71-A [FN1] or an assistant under the direction of the veterinarian providing professional services within the scope of the veterinarian's license who participates in a low-cost antirabies clinic established under this section. Adherence by the veterinarian or assistant to the standards of care within the profession creates a rebuttable presumption that the conduct of the veterinarian or assistant was not negligent.

CREDIT(S)

1991, c. 779, § 26, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 468, § 10.


§ 3918. Violation

A person who violates this chapter commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not more than $100 may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

1997, c. 704, § 6.


§ 3919. Seizure of stray cats

1. Definition. For the purposes of this chapter, a “stray cat” means a cat on the premises of a person other than the owner of the cat, without the consent of the owner or occupant of the premises, on a public street or on other public property, except under the physical control of the owner.

2. Seizure by animal control officer. An animal control officer or person acting in that capacity may seize or humanely trap a stray cat or small animal and deliver it to an animal shelter as provided for in section 3919-A or section 3919-E or to the owner, if the owner is known. If ownership can not be established, such a cat or small animal may be handled as a homeless cat or small animal for the purpose of acceptance and disposition by an animal shelter.

3. Person finding stray cat. A person finding a stray cat or small animal and not knowing the owner or residence of the cat or small animal may take that cat or small animal to the animal shelter designated by the municipality in which the cat or small animal was found.

Credits
2001, c. 363, § 3; 2013, c. 115, § 7, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 


§ 3919-A. Procedure for acceptance and disposition of cats by animal shelter

An animal shelter to which a cat is taken may accept the cat unless the shelter is in quarantine. An animal shelter accepting a cat shall comply with the provisions of this section.

1. Cats with identification. An animal shelter that accepts a cat with cat identification shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the owner by telephone or by sending a written notice within 24 hours of accepting the cat. Except as provided in subsections 4 and 5, the animal shelter shall hold the cat for a period of 6 days beginning on and including the day of acceptance. If the owner claims the cat within the 6-day period, the animal shelter shall release the cat to the owner upon payment of any municipal impoundment fee and actual fees incurred for food, shelter and veterinary care. Upon expiration of the 6-day period, ownership of the cat is vested with the animal shelter and the animal shelter may then handle the cat as a homeless cat for disposition in accordance with subsection 2.

2. Homeless cats. When an animal shelter accepts a cat under section 3919 and that cat does not have cat identification, the animal shelter shall hold the cat for not less than 48 hours or, for feral cats, not less than 24 hours. After the 24-hour or 48-hour period, the animal shelter may treat the cat as a homeless cat and may:

A. Except as provided in section 3938-A, offer the cat for adoption, sell or give away the cat; or

B. Otherwise dispose of the cat humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4. [FN1]

An animal shelter may not sell or give a cat to a research facility.

3. Owner's claim after 6-day period. An owner may reacquire a cat at any time prior to its disposition under subsection 2 upon payment of any municipal impoundment fee and actual fees incurred for food, shelter and veterinary care and any other reasonable fee imposed by the animal shelter.

4. Euthanasia for severely sick or severely injured cat. A humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter may authorize in writing the immediate euthanasia of a severely sick or severely injured cat upon determining that the following conditions are met:

A. The animal control officer of the municipality where the cat was found has been notified or, if the cat has cat identification, the owner of the cat has been notified; and

B. A veterinarian states in writing that the cat's recovery from its injury or illness, given reasonable time and reasonable care, is doubtful or that the cat presents a danger to the public.

Notwithstanding paragraphs A and B, a veterinarian may authorize immediate euthanasia if, in the veterinarian's judgment, there is no possibility of recovery for a severely injured or severely sick cat.

5. Immunity. A veterinarian, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter, including a person employed by an animal shelter, is not civilly liable to the owner of a cat for the loss of that cat resulting from actions taken in compliance with this section.

Nothing in this subsection grants to an animal shelter or person any immunity from liability arising from the gift, sale or other transference of a cat to a research facility in violation of subsection 2.

CREDIT(S)

2001, c. 363, § 3; 2003, c. 405, § 8; 2007, c. 439, §§ 9, 10; 2009, c. 343, § 11.

[FN1] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1041, et seq.

 

§ 3919-B. Disposition of pet when owner is institutionalized

Notwithstanding sections 3913 and 3919-A and except as provided in Title 17, section 1021, when a person brings a pet to an animal shelter because the owner of that pet is incarcerated or hospitalized, that person shall provide the animal shelter with the name and address of the pet's owner and the name and address of the facility where the person is incarcerated or hospitalized. The person bringing the pet to the shelter shall also provide the shelter with that person's name and address and that person's relationship to the owner or the official capacity in which that person is acting to enforce the animal welfare laws. The animal shelter may accept the pet unless the shelter is in quarantine. An animal shelter accepting a pet under this section shall comply with the provisions of this section.

1. Notice. An animal shelter that accepts a pet under this section shall within 24 hours of receiving the pet send a notice by mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the pet at the owner's last known address. The notice must inform the owner of the provisions of this section.

2. Release of pet. Upon payment of costs incurred for food, shelter and veterinary care, an animal shelter shall release a pet accepted under this section to its owner or to a person who is designated in a letter signed by the owner as acting on the owner's behalf.

3. Transfer of ownership; disposition of pet. If an owner fails to arrange for release of a pet in accordance with subsection 2 within 10 days of the pet's acceptance by the shelter, ownership of the pet is vested with the animal shelter upon expiration of the 10-day period and the animal shelter may:

A. Except for a wolf hybrid, offer the pet for adoption or sell or give away the pet; or

B. Dispose of the pet humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4.

An animal shelter may not sell or give a pet to a research facility. An animal shelter may not sell, give away or offer for adoption a wolf hybrid. Ownership of a wolf hybrid may be transferred only in accordance with section 3921-B, subsection 3.

4. Claims. When an owner does not arrange for the release of a pet under subsection 2, the animal shelter is entitled to receive from the department $4 a day for food and shelter for the pet for a maximum of 10 days.

5. Immunity. A person who brings a pet to an animal shelter in accordance with this section is not civilly liable to the owner for the loss of that pet resulting from the release, transfer or disposition of the pet in accordance with subsection 2 or 3. A veterinarian, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter, including a person employed by an animal shelter, is not civilly liable to the owner for the loss of that pet resulting from the release, transfer or disposition of the pet in accordance with subsection 2 or 3.

Nothing in this subsection grants to an animal shelter or person any immunity from liability arising from the gift, sale or other transfer of a pet to a research facility in violation of subsection 3.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 405, § 9; 2009, c. 343, § 12; 2011, c. 100, § 8, eff. May 19, 2011.

 

§ 3919-C. Animal held pending court decision

When an animal shelter holds an animal at the request or with the approval of the department pending an investigation or disposition by the court of an alleged violation of chapter 739 or Title 17, chapter 42, the shelter is entitled to receive from the department monetary compensation in accordance with this section for the period for which food and shelter are furnished to the animal.

1. Compensation for dogs and cats. Compensation for a dog or cat is $5 a day. Compensation for a female cat or dog with a litter that has not been weaned is $8 a day.

2. Equines. Compensation for an equine is $10 a day.

3. Livestock. Except for equines, fowl and rabbits, compensation for a livestock animal is between $5 and $8 a day as determined by the department based on the size of the animal.

4. Other animals. Compensation for a rabbit is $2 a day. Compensation for a bird, including poultry, is $1 a day. Compensation for other animals is as determined by the department.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 405, § 9; 2007, c. 439, § 11.

 

3919-D. Temporary animal shelter

The department may temporarily impound animals within an enclosure other than a licensed animal shelter, and such an enclosure constitutes a temporary animal shelter. When animals are held at a temporary animal shelter for more than 21 days, the shelter must comply with the standards established by the department for licensed animal shelters.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 702, § 7.

§ 3919-E. Disposition of small animals

1. Small animals. When an animal shelter accepts a small animal under section 3919 and the animal does not have identification, the animal shelter shall hold that small animal for not less than 48 hours. After the expiration of the 48-hour period, the animal shelter may treat the small animal as homeless and may:

A. Offer the small animal for adoption, sell the small animal, give away the small animal or transfer the small animal to an appropriate facility or rescue group that can provide for that specific type of small animal; or

B. Otherwise dispose of the small animal humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4.
An animal shelter may not sell or give any small animal to a research facility.

2. Exceptions. A small animal that is subject to permit requirements of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife under Title 12, chapter 915 may not be adopted or have its ownership transferred without the permission of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Credits
2013, c. 115, § 8, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

Chapter 721. Dog Licenses.

§3921. License necessary

A dog may not be kept within the limits of the State, unless the dog has been licensed by its owner or keeper in accordance with the laws of this State.  [1997, c. 690, §13 (amd).]

Any law enforcement agency within the State, counties or municipalities owning dogs for law enforcement purposes shall be required to license the dogs in the municipality in which they are domiciled, but shall be exempt from any license or recording fee, provided that all other licensing requirements are fulfilled.  [1987, c. 383, §3 (new).]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1995, c. 409, § 3; 1997, c. 690, § 13.  

 

§3921-A. Permanent identification of wolf hybrids

The commissioner shall adopt rules to establish methods of identifying wolf hybrids through tattooing, the placement of a microchip under the animal's skin or any other method determined by the commissioner as adequately providing a permanent means of identification on the body of the animal. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. A person may not own or keep a wolf hybrid under section 3921-B, subsection 2 or under Title 12, section 12152 unless the animal has identification in compliance with the rules adopted under this section.

CREDIT(S)

2001, c. 129, § 2; 2011, c. 100, § 9, eff. May 19, 2011.

 


§ 3921-B. Prohibition on keeping a wolf hybrid; exception

1. Prohibition. Except as provided in subsection 2, a person may not keep a wolf hybrid in the State unless that person holds a valid permit to possess wildlife in captivity issued by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife under Title 12, section 12152.

2. Exception. A person keeping a wolf hybrid as a pet and in compliance with all applicable provisions in this Part on June 1, 2011 may continue to keep that wolf hybrid as long as the following conditions are met:

A. The wolf hybrid has been spayed or neutered; and

B. The owner continues to license the wolf hybrid in accordance with section 3922, subsection 3-B.

3. Restrictions on transfer. A person keeping a wolf hybrid under subsection 2 may transfer ownership of the wolf hybrid to a person:

A. Holding a permit to possess wildlife under Title 12, section 12152 and authorized to accept wolf hybrids in compliance with rules adopted under Title 12, section 12160, subsection 2;

B. Who operates an animal refuge in another state that is licensed to accept wolf hybrids; or

C. Who has had direct contact with the wolf hybrid, is familiar with the wolf hybrid's behavior and has been advised of the reporting requirement under subsection 4 and licensing laws under section 3922.

A person transferring ownership of a wolf hybrid under this subsection shall within 10 days of the transfer notify the department and provide the name and address of the person accepting the transfer.

4. Duty to report death. The owner of a wolf hybrid kept under subsection 2 shall notify the department of the wolf hybrid's death on a form prescribed by the department within 30 days of the wolf hybrid's death.

5. Violation. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $2,500 may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

2011, c. 100, § 10, eff. May 19, 2011.

 

 

§3922. Issuance of license

1. License; January 1st. Each owner or keeper of a dog at the age of 6 months or more, on or before January 1st of each year, shall obtain a license:

A. From the clerk of the municipality where the dog is kept;

B. From the dog recorder in the unorganized territory where the dog is kept or, in the absence of a duly authorized dog recorder, from a dog recorder in the nearest municipality or unorganized territory in the same county where the dog is kept;

C. From a person authorized to issue licenses under section 3923-F; or

D. From the department using the Internet in accordance with section 3923-G.

2. License; after January 1st. The owner or keeper, within 10 days of the conditions of paragraph A or B being met, shall obtain a license, if between January 1st and October 15th of any year:

A. A dog reaches the age of 6 months or more; or

B. A person becomes the owner or keeper of a dog aged 6 months or more.

3. Proof of immunization. A municipal clerk may not issue a license for a dog until the applicant has filed with the clerk proof that the dog has been immunized against rabies in accordance with rules adopted by the Commissioner of Health and Human Services, except that the requirement of immunization may be waived by the clerk under conditions set forth by the Commissioner of Health and Human Services.

The commissioner shall adopt rules that allow the clerk and the commissioner to accept valid proof of immunization against rabies provided by another state.

3-A. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 439, § 13.

3-B. Proof of permanent identification and other restrictions on licensing a wolf hybrid. A municipal clerk may not issue a license for a wolf hybrid until the applicant has filed with the clerk proof that :

A. The wolf hybrid has been permanently identified in accordance with section 3921-A;

B. The wolf hybrid has been spayed or neutered; and

C. The wolf hybrid was licensed in this State in 2011 by:

(1) June 1, 2011 if the wolf hybrid was 6 months old or older on June 1, 2011; or

(2) December 31, 2011 if the wolf hybrid was less than 6 months old on June 1, 2011.

4. Service dogs. If a service dog has not been previously registered or licensed by the municipal clerk to whom the application is being made, the clerk may not register the dog nor issue to its owner or keeper a license and tag that identifies the dog as a service dog unless the applicant presents written evidence to the municipal clerk that the dog meets the definition of “service dog.” For the purpose of this subsection “written evidence” means a service dog certification form approved by the department in consultation with the Maine Human Rights Commission.

5. Form of license. The license must state the breed, sex, color and markings of the dog, whether the animal is a dog or wolf hybrid and the name and address of the owner or keeper. If the person applying for a license declares that the dog is a wolf hybrid, the license must state that the dog is a wolf hybrid. The license must be issued in triplicate and the original must be given to the applicant and the remaining 2 copies must be retained by the municipal clerk or dog recorder.

6. Designation of wolf hybrid. An owner or keeper of a dog declared as a wolf hybrid may not change the license designation. A dog that has been declared a wolf hybrid must be treated as a wolf hybrid in accordance with Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 5. The procedure prescribed under Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 5 for a wolf hybrid suspected of having rabies does not change based on proof that the wolf hybrid has received a rabies vaccination.

Credits
1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 643, § 2, eff. March 25, 1988; 1993, c. 468, § 25; 1993, c. 657, §§ 20, 21; 1995, c. 409, § 4; 1997, c. 690, § 14; 1997, c. 704, §§ 7 to 10; 2001, c. 129, § 3; 2001, c. 422, §§ 6, 7, eff. June 18, 2001; 2003, c. 405, §§ 10 to 12; 2003, c. 689, § B-6; 2007, c. 439, §§ 12 to 14; 2007, c. 664, § 11; 2011, c. 100, § 11, eff. May 19, 2011; 2013, c. 115, § 9, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

 

§3923-A. License and recording fees

Except as provided in subsection 3 and section 3923-C, a dog owner or keeper obtaining a license from a municipal clerk, dog licensing agent or dog recorder shall pay the license and recording fees established in this section. For purposes of this section, “dog licensing agent” means an animal shelter or a veterinarian pursuant to section 3923-F.

1. Dogs capable of producing young. A dog owner or keeper shall pay a fee of $11 to the municipal clerk or dog licensing agent for each dog 6 months of age or older and capable of producing young. A dog is considered capable of producing young unless certification under subsection 2 is provided.

The municipal clerk or dog licensing agent shall retain a $1 recording fee and pay the remaining $10 to the department for deposit in the Animal Welfare Fund.

2. Dogs incapable of producing young. A dog owner shall pay a fee of $6 to the municipal clerk or a dog licensing agent for each dog 6 months of age or older and incapable of producing young. A dog is considered incapable of producing young when the owner provides the following:

A. A written certificate issued by a veterinarian stating that the veterinarian has neutered the dog;

B. A written certificate issued by a veterinarian stating that the veterinarian has examined the dog and determined that the dog is incapable of producing young; or

C. A previous license stating that the dog is incapable of producing young.

The municipal clerk or dog licensing agent shall retain a $1 recording fee, deposit $2 in the municipality's animal welfare account established in accordance with section 3945 and pay the remaining $3 to the department for deposit in the Animal Welfare Fund.

3. Exemption from fees. A municipal clerk or a dog licensing agent shall issue a license upon application and without payment of a license fee required under this section for:

A. A service dog owned or kept by a person with a physical or mental disability;

B. Deleted. Laws 2007, c. 664, § 12.

C. Deleted. Laws 2007, c. 664, § 12.

D. A trained search and rescue dog recognized by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife or by the statewide association of search and rescue that cooperates with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in developing standards for search and rescue or such a dog awaiting training; and

E. A dog certified by the State and used for law enforcement purposes.

4. Late fees. An owner or keeper required to license a dog under section 3922, subsection 1 or section 3923-C, subsection 1 and applying for a license for that dog after January 31st shall pay to the municipal clerk, dog licensing agent or dog recorder a late fee of $25 in addition to the annual license fee paid in accordance with subsection 1 or 2 and section 3923-C, subsection 1. The clerk, dog licensing agent or dog recorder shall deposit all late fees collected under this subsection into the municipality's animal welfare account established in accordance with section 3945.

Credits
1993, c. 468, § 12; 1993, c. 657, §§ 22 to 24; 1995, c. 409, § 5; 1995, c. 557, § 1; 1997, c. 690, § 15; 1999, c. 597, § 1; 2001, c. 422, §§ 8, 9, eff. June 18, 2001; 2003, c. 405, § 13; 2007, c. 439, § 15; 2007, c. 664, § 12; 2009, c. 343, § 13; 2009, c. 548, § 3, eff. March 25, 2010; 2013, c. 115, § 10, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

 

 

§3923-B. Tags

1. Tags. The municipal clerk or dog licensing agent shall provide with each new license issued under section 3923-A a tag indicating the year the license is issued and bearing other information prescribed by the department. The owner or keeper shall make sure that the tag is securely attached to a collar of leather, metal or material of comparable strength and that the collar is worn at all times by the dog for which the license was issued, except as provided in subsection 3.
If the tag is lost or the owner has moved to a different municipality, the owner or keeper of the dog shall obtain a new license and tag. The municipal clerk or dog licensing agent shall issue another license and tag upon presentation of the original license and payment of $1. The clerk or agent shall retain the $1 for a recording fee.

2. Deleted. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 16.

2-A. Rabies tags. An owner shall ensure that a rabies tag obtained from a veterinarian for immunization against rabies is securely attached to a collar of leather, metal or material of comparable strength and that the collar is worn at all times by the dog for which the rabies tag was issued, except as provided in subsection 3.

3. Exceptions. A dog is not required to wear a tag when on the premises of the owner or off the premises of the owner while hunting, in training or in an exhibition. When a dog is hunting, in training or in an exhibition, its owner or keeper shall produce proof of licensure and proof of rabies immunization within 24 hours upon request by a humane agent, animal control officer or law enforcement officer, including a game warden.

Credits
1993, c. 468, § 12; 1993, c. 657, §§ 25, 26; 1995, c. 409, § 6; 1997, c. 690, § 16; 1999, c. 254, §§ 5, 6; 2007, c. 439, § 16; 2013, c. 115, § 11, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

  

§3923-C. Kennel license

1. License necessary. A person having 5 or more dogs for the purposes set forth in section 3907, subsection 17 shall obtain a kennel license from the clerk of the municipality where the dogs are kept and that person is subject to rules adopted by the department. The sex, registered number and description are not required for the dogs covered by a kennel license. The license expires December 31st annually. The kennel license permits the licensee or authorized agent to transport under control and supervision the kennel dogs in or outside the State.

2. Repealed. Laws 1995, c. 490, § 8; Laws 1995, c. 625, § B-1, eff. April 8, 1996.

2-A. License fees. A kennel owner shall pay a fee of $42 to the municipal clerk for each license to keep dogs. A license is needed only for dogs 6 months of age or older. A kennel owner may not keep more than 10 dogs per license. The clerk shall retain $2 as a recording fee and forward $10 to the municipality's animal welfare account established pursuant to section 3945 and $30 to the Animal Welfare Fund.

3. Form of license. The license must be issued in triplicate, the original copy of which is given to the applicant and the remaining 2 copies retained by the municipal clerk. A license covers a maximum of 10 dogs.

4. Kennel tags. Dogs covered by a kennel license must be furnished suitable kennel tags and stickers that must be attached to the back of the tag indicating the year the license is issued and bearing other information as prescribed by the department and are not required to be individually licensed.

5. Kennel inspection and quarantine. Except for a kennel inspected by the department in accordance with chapter 723, an animal control officer must inspect annually a kennel prior to the municipality issuing a kennel license. In addition to the annual inspection required under this subsection, an animal control officer, at any reasonable time, escorted by the kennel owner or the kennel owner's agent, may inspect the kennel. Inspections must be conducted in accordance with the sanitation and health rules established by the department for compliance with laws and rules. In conducting inspections, an animal control officer must use measures established by the department through rulemaking to prevent the spread of infectious and contagious diseases. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are major substantive rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. [FN1]

A veterinarian employed by the State or any licensed veterinarian may quarantine the kennel in person or by registered mail and the quarantine must be maintained as long as the veterinarian determines necessary. The decision and order for this quarantine is not considered a licensing or an adjudicatory proceeding as defined by the Maine Administrative Procedure Act. [FN2]

6. Late fees. A late fee of $25 in addition to the annual fee must be paid by a person who fails to obtain a municipal kennel license by January 31st of each year as required in this section. The late fee must be deposited in the municipality's animal welfare account established pursuant to section 3945.

CREDIT(S)

1993, c. 657, § 27; 1995, c. 409, § 7; 1995, c. 490, §§ 8, 9; 1995, c. 625, §§ B-1, B-2, eff. April 8, 1996; 1997, c. 690, §§ 17 to 21; 2003, c. 405, § 14; 2003, c. 536, § 4; 2005, c. 422, § 7; 2009, c. 403, § 2.

[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8071 et seq.
[FN2] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

 

§3923-D. Temporary licenses

An animal shelter may issue a temporary dog license when transferring ownership vested in the animal shelter under section 3913, subsection 4 to a person buying or otherwise accepting ownership. The department shall provide animal shelters with temporary license forms. The animal shelter shall complete all information prescribed on the form, provide the owner with the original temporary license and submit the copy for the municipal clerk and the animal control officer to the appropriate municipal clerk. The animal shelter may retain a copy of the temporary license to comply with section 3914. A temporary license is valid for a period of 10 days beginning on the date of issuance. An animal shelter may charge $1 for issuing a temporary license.

CREDIT(S)

1993, c. 657, § 27; 1995, c. 409, § 7; 1997, c. 690, § 22.

 

§3923-E. Monthly report

Municipal clerks or dog recorders shall receive the license fees in accordance with sections 3923-A and 3923-C, pay them to the department and make a monthly report to the department on a department-approved form of all licenses issued and fees received. 

CREDIT(S)

1993, c. 657, § 27. 

 

§3923-F. Veterinarian serving as dog licensing agent

The commissioner may authorize an animal shelter licensed in accordance with chapter 723 and a veterinarian licensed in accordance with Title 32, chapter 71-A to issue dog licenses under section 3923-A. The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this section. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. The rules must provide a process for identifying animal shelters and veterinarians who are willing to serve as dog licensing agents for distributing license blanks, tags and stickers, and for the collection, distribution and deposit of license fees into the appropriate state accounts.
Credits
2001, c. 422, § 10, eff. June 18, 2001; 2009, c. 343, § 14; 2013, c. 115, § 12, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

§3923-G. Internet licensing project

1. Procedure developed; municipality participation. The commissioner may develop and implement a procedure by which a dog owner can electronically apply for and be issued a dog license using a publicly accessible site on the Internet. A municipality may choose to participate in the electronic dog licensing project by contacting and working with the commissioner. Electronic licensing is available only to residents of a municipality that requests and is accepted by the commissioner to participate in the electronic licensing project. The commissioner may limit the number of municipalities that participate in the project.

2. Forms; verification of rabies immunization. The commissioner shall develop a form to be used for electronic licensing under this section. The commissioner shall consult with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to establish the information needed to verify rabies immunization.

3. Payment of licensing fee. The commissioner shall establish a mechanism for accepting payment of license fees by credit card. An owner or keeper who applies for a dog license using the publicly accessible site on the Internet developed pursuant to subsection 1 shall pay the fee required under section 3923-A and an additional service fee of $1 for each license to cover administrative costs and pay the Internet service provider.

4. Distribution of licensing fee. The commissioner shall deposit all fees received under this section into the Animal Welfare Fund. The commissioner shall establish procedures for participating municipalities to periodically receive the appropriate credit or payment for license fees collected by the department under this section. A municipality is entitled to a payment or credit of $3 for each dog licensed under this section. All payments or credits received by a municipality must be deposited or credited to the municipality's animal welfare account established in accordance with section 3945.

5. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 439, § 17.

6. Exclusion of wolf hybrids. This section does not apply to the licensing of a wolf hybrid. A person owning a wolf hybrid shall obtain a license from the municipal clerk or the dog recorder for the municipality, plantation or unorganized territory in which the person owning the wolf hybrid resides.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 405, § 15; 2007, c. 439, § 17; 2011, c. 100, § 12, eff. May 19, 2011.

 

 

§3924. Violation

1. Civil violation. Any person who violates any section of this chapter commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture not to exceed $100 may be adjudged.

2. Unlawful use of collar or tag. A person who removes a tag or who places a tag on a dog for which the license was not issued commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not more than $100 may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1995, c. 409, § 8; 1997, c. 690, § 23.

 

Chapter 723. Facility Licenses

§ 3931-A. Breeding kennels

1. License necessary. A person maintaining a breeding kennel, as defined in section 3907, must obtain a license from the department and is subject to rules adopted by the department. The license expires 12 months after the date of issuance. An applicant for a breeding kennel license shall state in the application the number of female dogs or cats capable of breeding that are maintained at the breeding kennel. The department shall issue a license or a conditional license under subsection 6 in one of the 3 categories described in paragraphs A, B and C and collect a fee in accordance with subsection 2.

A. A breeding kennel that maintains at least 5 but no more than 10 female dogs or cats capable of breeding is a Category 1 breeding kennel.

B. A breeding kennel that maintains at least 11 but no more than 20 female dogs or cats capable of breeding is a Category 2 breeding kennel.

C. A breeding kennel that maintains 21 or more female dogs or cats capable of breeding is a Category 3 breeding kennel.

2. License fees. The license fee is $75 for a Category 1 breeding kennel, $100 for a Category 2 breeding kennel and $150 for a Category 3 breeding kennel.

3. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 468, § 13.

4. Repealed. Laws 2005, c. 510, § 7.

5. License number requirements. A breeding kennel shall prominently display in any advertising the state-issued kennel license number.

The breeding kennel shall provide its license number to a person purchasing or receiving an animal from the breeding kennel.

6. Conditional breeding kennel license. Upon receiving an application for a breeding kennel that does not at the time of application hold a valid license under this section, the department shall issue a conditional breeding kennel license. The conditional license remains in effect until the breeding kennel passes an inspection under section 3936. If a breeding kennel cannot meet minimum standards within 6 months after the initial inspection, the conditional breeding kennel license may be revoked or suspended by the department pending an administrative proceeding held in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 5. [FN1]

CREDIT(S)

1991, c. 779, § 29, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 468, § 13; 1993, c. 657, § 30; 1995, c. 490, § 10; 2003, c. 405, § 16; 2005, c. 281, § 6; 2005, c. 510, § 7; 2007, c. 702, § 8; 2009, c. 403, §§ 3 to 6.


[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A § 10001 et seq.

 

§ 3931-B. Wolf hybrid kennel - § 3931-B. Repealed. Laws 2011, c. 100, § 13, eff. May 19, 2011

 

§ 3932. Boarding kennels

1. License necessary. A person maintaining a boarding kennel, as defined in section 3907, shall obtain a license from the department and is subject to rules adopted by the department. The license expires December 31st annually or in a manner consistent with the license provisions of the Maine Administrative Procedure Act,1 whichever is later.

2. License fees. The fee for a boarding kennel license is $75.

3. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 32.

4. Advertising. A boarding kennel shall prominently display the state-issued kennel license number in any form of print advertising.
The license number must be provided to a person boarding an animal at a boarding kennel.

5. Notice of fees and services. A person maintaining a boarding kennel shall post upon the premises and provide upon request a written notice of fees charged for boarding and for any other services offered at the boarding kennel. The notice must indicate the hours during which the owner of the boarding kennel or a person responsible to the owner of the boarding kennel is on the premises.

6. Conditional boarding kennel license. Upon receiving a license application for a boarding kennel that does not at the time of application hold a valid license under this section, the department shall issue a conditional boarding kennel license to an applicant who pays the required fees and is not prohibited from obtaining a license under section 3935. The conditional license remains in effect until the boarding kennel meets the requirements for a license under section 3936. If a boarding kennel passes an inspection under section 3936 and meets all other conditions of licensure, the conditional license must be changed to a standard license. If a boarding kennel cannot meet minimum standards within 6 months after the initial inspection, the conditional license may be revoked or suspended by the department pending an administrative proceeding held in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 5.

Credits
1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 30, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 657, §§ 31, 32; 2003, c. 405, § 17; 2007, c. 439, § 18; 2009, c. 343, § 15; 2013, c. 115, § 13, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 


[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

 

§ 3932-A. Animal shelters

1. License necessary. A person operating an animal shelter as defined in section 3907 shall obtain a license from the department and is subject to rules adopted by the department. The license expires December 31st annually or in a manner consistent with the license provisions of the Maine Administrative Procedure Act,[FN1] whichever is later.

2. License fee. The license fee for an animal shelter is $100.

3. Temporary placement. Facilities where animals are temporarily placed by the department are exempt from licensing requirements.

4. Conditional animal shelter license. Upon receiving a license application for an animal shelter that does not at the time of application hold a valid license under this section, the department shall issue a conditional animal shelter license to an applicant who pays the required fees and is not prohibited from obtaining a license under section 3935. The conditional license remains in effect until the animal shelter meets the requirements for a license under section 3936. If the animal shelter passes an inspection under section 3936 and meets all other conditions of licensure, the conditional license must be changed to a standard license. If an animal shelter cannot meet minimum standards within 6 months after the initial inspection, the conditional license may be revoked or suspended by the department pending an administrative proceeding held in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 5.

Credits
1993, c. 657, § 33; 2003, c. 405, § 18; 2007, c. 439, § 19; 2013, c. 115, § 14, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

 

§ 3933. Pet shops

1. License necessary. A person maintaining a pet shop, as defined in section 3907, shall obtain a license from the department and is subject to rules adopted by the department. The license expires December 31st annually or in a manner consistent with the license provisions of the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, [FN1] whichever is later.

2. License fees. The fee for a pet shop license is $150.

3. Records. A person maintaining a pet shop, as defined in section 3907, shall keep a record of each animal received by the pet shop, except for mice and fish. The record must include the name and address of the person or company from whom the animal was received and the name and address of the person buying or otherwise acquiring the animal from the pet shop. The record must be kept on file for a period of 2 years following the sale or other disposition of the animal by the pet shop and must be made available to the department within 24 hours of the request of the department.

4. Surcharge on sale of dogs and cats that have not been neutered. A person maintaining a pet shop shall collect a surcharge of $25 on each cat or dog sold that has not been neutered and forward the entire surcharge to the department for deposit in the Companion Animal Sterilization Fund established under section 3910-B.

5. Advertising. A pet shop license holder advertising to the public the availability of a dog or cat for sale or in any way exchanging a dog or cat for value shall prominently display the state-issued pet shop license number in any publication in which the pet shop license holder advertises. The pet shop license number must be provided to a person adopting or purchasing an animal from the pet shop.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 31, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 657, § 34; 2003, c. 350, § 1, eff. May 30, 2003; 2003, c. 405, § 19; 2005, c. 281, § 7; 2007, c. 439, § 20; 2009, c. 343, § 16.


[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

 

§ 3934. Repealed. Laws 1991, c. 779, § 32, eff. March 31, 1992

 

§ 3935. License prohibited

The department may not issue a license to maintain a boarding kennel, breeding kennel, animal shelter or pet shop to a person who, within the 10 years previous to the application for the license, has been convicted of murder, a Class A or Class B offense, a violation under Title 17-A, chapter 9, 11, 12 or 13 or a criminal violation under Title 17, chapter 42 [FN1] or under a criminal law involving cruelty to animals that is no longer in effect or, within 10 years previous to the application for the license, has been adjudicated of a civil violation for cruelty to animals under chapter 739 [FN2] or has been convicted or adjudicated in any other state, provincial or federal court of a violation similar to those specified in this section.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 14; 1993, c. 657, § 35; 2005, c. 422, § 8; 2007, c. 439, § 21; 2009, c. 343, § 17.


[FN1] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1011 et seq.
[FN2] 7 M.R.S.A. § 4011 et seq.

 

§ 3935-A. Late fees

A person maintaining a facility required to be licensed under this chapter shall pay a late fee equal to 50% of the required license fee if that person fails to renew a license within 30 days of that license's expiration date. The late fee must be deposited in the Animal Welfare Fund established in section 3906-B.

CREDIT(S)

2005, c. 422, § 9.

 

§ 3936. Inspection and quarantine

1. Inspection and quarantine. The commissioner, a state humane agent, a veterinarian employed by the State or a licensed veterinarian at the direction of the commissioner may, at any reasonable time, enter an animal shelter, kennel, boarding kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop and make examinations and conduct any recognized tests for the existence of contagious or infectious diseases or conditions. If the animal shelter, kennel, boarding kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop is also used for human habitation, the person authorized to make examinations and conduct tests must be escorted by the owner, or the owner's agent, of the animal shelter, kennel, boarding kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop and the examinations and tests may be made only in those portions of the premises used as an animal shelter, kennel, boarding kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop. The commissioner may inspect animal shelters, kennels, boarding kennels, breeding kennels and pet shops in accordance with the sanitation and health rules established by the department and for compliance with laws and rules, including licensing and permitting requirements, of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife pertaining to wildlife importation and possession. In conducting inspections, measures established by the department through rulemaking must be used to prevent the spread of infectious and contagious diseases. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are major substantive rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. [FN1] A veterinarian employed by the State or any licensed veterinarian may quarantine the animal shelter, kennel, boarding kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop, in person or by registered mail, and the quarantine must be maintained as long as the department determines necessary. The decision and order for this quarantine is not considered a licensing or an adjudicatory proceeding as defined by the Maine Administrative Procedure Act. [FN2] The commissioner shall promptly notify the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife of violations.

2. Suspension of license. The department may, in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 5, revoke or suspend a kennel, boarding kennel, breeding kennel, animal shelter or pet shop license if a person maintaining the kennel, boarding kennel, breeding kennel, animal shelter or pet shop violates any quarantine or maintains animals contrary to the rules adopted by the department, fails to keep records required by the department or violates any provision of the laws or rules of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife pertaining to wildlife importation and possession.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 33, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 89, § 1; 1995, c. 490, § 11; 1997, c. 690, § 24; 1999, c. 547, § B-78, eff. March 15, 2001; 2009, c. 343, § 18; 2009, c. 403, § 7.


[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8071 et seq.
[FN2] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

 

§ 3936-A. Noncompliance; subsequent inspection required

If, upon inspection under section 3936, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee finds a facility licensed under this chapter to be in violation of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall issue a written notice describing the violation, the required corrective action to be taken and the date by which the correction must be made. No fee is charged for the first follow-up inspection. If the corrective action has not been taken within the specified period and 2 or more follow-up inspections are needed in any calendar year, the department shall charge the licensee a fee equal to 50% of the original license fee for each follow-up inspection. The original notice of a violation must inform the licensee of the fee charged for follow-up inspections.

If the person operating the facility fails to complete corrective actions by the date noted in the original notice or a subsequent date specified by the department, the department may revoke, suspend or refuse to renew a license issued under this chapter pending an administrative proceeding held in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 5.
 
CREDIT(S)
2009, c. 403, § 8.

[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 10001 et seq.

 

§ 3937. Investigation

Upon written complaint made to the commissioner by any person alleging violation of this chapter, or any of the rules of the chapter by any licensee, the commissioner shall cause an investigation to be made upon matters related in the complaint.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25.

 

§ 3938. Violation

A person maintaining an animal shelter, boarding kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop without having obtained a license, or after a license has been revoked or suspended, commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not less than $50 nor more than $200 a day may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 14; 1993, c. 657, § 36.

 

§ 3938-A. Minimum age of transfer for cats and dogs

A person or an animal shelter, boarding kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop that sells, gives away or otherwise transfers ownership of a dog or cat before it has reached its 56th day of life commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200 may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 439, § 22.

 

§ 3939. Dog licenses

Nothing in this chapter may be construed to exempt licensed facilities from the license requirements of chapter 721. [FN1]

CREDIT(S)

1993, c. 657, § 37.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3921 et seq.

 

§ 3939-A. Spay; neuter of dogs and cats

1. Spay; neuter. Except as otherwise provided in subsections 2 and 3, an animal shelter or rescue group may not place with a new owner a dog or cat that has not been spayed or neutered unless an appointment has been made with a licensed veterinarian to spay or neuter the animal within 30 days of accepting ownership. A person who accepts ownership of a dog or cat that is unaltered shall, in addition to any other charges or other fees, make a deposit equal to 100% of the cost of the scheduled surgery with the animal shelter or rescue group and shall sign a spay-neuter agreement. The animal shelter or rescue group must refund the deposit upon receiving proof of sterilization.

For purposes of this section, “place” means to sell, give away or otherwise transfer possession of a cat or dog.

2. Detrimental to health. If a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician as defined in Title 32, section 4853 determines that a dog or cat is too sick or injured or that it would otherwise be detrimental to the health of the dog or cat to be spayed or neutered within 30 days of placement, the animal shelter or rescue group shall collect a deposit of not less than $50 and not more than $150 at the time of sale or placement. The animal shelter or rescue group shall determine the amount of the deposit based on the cost of spaying or neutering within the geographic area served by the animal shelter or rescue group. A person accepting ownership of the dog or cat under this subsection shall sign an agreement to have the animal sterilized as soon as it is medically advisable.

Upon receipt of proof of sterilization, the animal shelter or rescue group shall immediately and fully refund the deposit.

3. Extension. Notwithstanding subsection 1, an animal shelter or rescue group may extend the date by which spaying or neutering is to be completed at its discretion for good cause. An extension must be in writing.

4. Reimbursement of deposit. If a dog or cat dies prior to spaying or neutering and within the agreement period, the owner is entitled to reimbursement of the deposit paid under subsection 1. If a dog or cat dies prior to spaying or neutering and within 120 days of signing an agreement under subsection 2, the owner is entitled to reimbursement of the deposit paid under subsection 2. To receive reimbursement under this subsection, the owner must provide the animal shelter or rescue group with a letter signed by a licensed veterinarian stating that the cat or dog has died and providing a description of the animal.

5. Unclaimed deposits. Except as provided in subsections 2, 3 and 4, deposits received under subsection 1 or 2 that are unclaimed within 120 days of the date the spay-neuter agreement was signed must be:

A. Used to subsidize spaying or neutering of dogs and cats offered for placement by the animal shelter or rescue group receiving the deposits; or

B. Remitted to the department for deposit in the Companion Animal Sterilization Fund established under section 3910-B.

When extensions are granted under subsection 3 and the deposits are unclaimed 120 days after the extended date for spaying or neutering, those deposits must be disposed of under paragraphs A and B.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 439, § 23.

 

§ 3939-B. Violations

1. Noncompliance by new owner. If a person receiving a dog or cat from an animal shelter or rescue group fails to comply with section 3939-A, that person forfeits the sterilization deposit and commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200 per animal may be adjudged.

2. Noncompliance by animal shelter or rescue group. If an animal shelter or rescue group fails to require a spay-neuter agreement or fails to collect a deposit as required under section 3939-A, that animal shelter or rescue group commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200 per animal may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 439, § 24.

 

Chapter 725. Municipal Duties.

§ 3941. Posting of law

Municipal clerks, annually, at least 20 days before January 1st, shall post copies of chapter 721 [FN1] and this chapter in the municipal offices.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1997, c. 690, § 25; 2007, c. 439, § 25.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3921 et seq.

 

§ 3942. Issuance of dog licenses

Municipal clerks shall issue dog licenses in accordance with chapter 721, [FN1] receive the license fees and pay to the department $9 for dogs capable of producing young and $3 from each license fee received for dogs incapable of producing young. The clerks shall keep a record of all licenses issued by them, with the names of the owners or keepers of dogs licensed and the sex, registered numbers and description of all dogs except those covered by a kennel license. The clerks shall make a monthly report to the department on a department-approved form of all dog licenses issued and fees received.

The clerk shall retain $1 from each license fee as a recording fee. The clerk shall deposit $2 from each license for a dog incapable of producing young in the municipality's animal welfare account established in accordance with section 3945.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 622, § FF-17; 1991, c. 779, § 34, eff. March 31, 1992; 1991, c. 779, § 52; 1999, c. 254, § 7; 2001, c. 617, § 7; 2003, c. 405, § 20.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3921 et seq.

 

§ 3943. Repealed. Laws 2009, c. 343, § 19

 

 

§ 3944. Issuance of kennel licenses

Municipal clerks and dog recorders shall issue kennel licenses to kennel owners or operators in accordance with section 3923-C.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 37, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 657, § 38; 1997, c. 690, § 27.

 

§ 3945. Use of license fees and court fines retained by municipalities

Except for the $1 recording fee pursuant to section 3942 retained by the municipal clerk, all fees and court fines retained by municipalities must be kept in a separate account and must be used for the salaries and costs of animal control, enforcement of licensing laws, care of stray animals that are injured or abandoned and the support of one or more approved animal shelters. Any money not expended for these purposes in a municipality's fiscal year does not lapse, but must be carried over to the next fiscal year.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 657, § 39; 1995, c. 490, § 14; 2001, c. 617, § 8.

 

§ 3946. Dog recorders in unorganized territories

Dog recorders appointed by the commissioner in unorganized territories shall issue dog licenses, receive the license fees and pay them to the department. The recorders shall keep the clerk's copy of all licenses issued by them and make reports to the department on a form approved by the department of all licenses issued and fees received. The recorders shall report following each month in which licenses are actually issued and fees are actually collected.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 38, eff. March 31, 1992; 1995, c. 490, § 15.

 

§ 3947. Animal control officers

Each municipality shall appoint one or more animal control officers whose duties are enforcement of sections 3911, 3912, 3916, 3921, 3924, 3948, 3950, 3950-A, 3952 and 4041 and Title 17, section 1023, responding to reports of animals suspected of having rabies in accordance with Title 22, sections 1313 and 1313-A and any other duties to control animals as the municipality may require. A municipality may appoint an employee of an animal shelter as an animal control officer as long as the person meets the qualifications and training requirements of this section.

A municipality may not appoint a person to the position of animal control officer who has been convicted of murder, a Class A or Class B offense or a violation of Title 17-A, chapter 9, 11, 12 or 13 or has been convicted of a criminal violation under Title 17, chapter 42 [FN1] or has been adjudicated of a civil violation for cruelty to animals under chapter 739 [FN2] or who has been convicted or adjudicated in any other state, provincial or federal court of a violation similar to those specified in this section.

Animal control officers must be certified in accordance with section 3906-B, subsection 4. Upon initial appointment, an animal control officer must complete basic training and be certified by the commissioner within 6 months of appointment.

An animal control officer must attend advanced training programs as described under section 3906-B, subsection 4 to maintain certification. An animal control officer must have a minimum of 8 hours of training each year.

Upon appointment of an animal control officer, municipal clerks shall notify the commissioner of the name, address and telephone number of the animal control officer within 10 business days. In the event the position is vacant upon termination or resignation of the animal control officer, the municipal clerk shall notify the commissioner within 10 business days of the vacancy.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 643, § 3, eff. March 25, 1988; 1991, c. 779, § 39, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 468, § 15; 1995, c. 490, § 16; 1997, c. 690, § 28; 2007, c. 439, § 26; 2009, c. 177, § 1; 2009, c. 343, § 20.

[FN1] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1011 et seq.
[FN2] 7 M.R.S.A. § 4011 et seq.

 

§ 3948. Animal control

1. Control. Municipalities shall control dogs running at large.
 
2. Medical attention. Law enforcement officers and animal control officers shall take a stray animal to its owner, if known, or, if the owner is unknown, shall ensure that any injured companion animal that is at large or in a public way is given proper medical attention.
 
3. Domesticated and undomesticated animals. A municipality shall control domesticated animals that are a cause of complaint in the community. A municipality shall control animals that pose a threat to public health or safety. A municipality may control undomesticated animals in matters on which no other department is charged by law to regulate.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 643, § 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; 1993, c. 468, § 16; 1995, c. 490, § 17; 1997, c. 690, §§ 29 to 31; 2009, c. 343, § 21.

 

§ 3949. Animal shelter designation

Municipal clerks, annually, on or before April 1st, shall certify to the commissioner the name and location of the animal shelter with which the municipality has entered into a contract to accept stray animals or have an arrangement for an animal shelter that will accept stray animals. Animal shelters designated by the municipality under this section must comply with commissioner rules.
 
A municipality may contract with an animal shelter licensed under section 3932-A for other animal control services. A municipality may not contract with a shelter for the performance of the duties of an animal control officer as specified in section 3947 unless an employee of that shelter is the appointed animal control officer for that municipality and the duties of an animal control officer are performed by the person so appointed.
 
CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25; 1993, c. 657, § 40; 1997, c. 690, § 32; 2009, c. 177, § 2.

 

§ 3950. Local regulations

Each municipality is empowered to adopt or retain more stringent ordinances, laws or regulations dealing with the subject matter of this chapter, except that municipalities may not adopt breed-specific ordinances, laws or regulations. Any less restrictive municipal ordinances, laws or regulations are invalid and of no force and effect.

1. [FN1] Certain agricultural working dogs exempt from barking dog ordinances. A municipal ordinance, law or regulation that prohibits or limits barking dogs does not apply to dogs engaged in herding livestock or to agricultural guard dogs engaged in protecting livestock or warning the owners of danger to the livestock. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “livestock” has the same meaning as in section 3907, subsection 18-A.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1991, c. 779, § 40, eff. March 31, 1992; 2005, c. 138, § 1.

[FN1]So in enrolled bill; there is no 2.

 

§ 3950-A. Official refusal or neglect of duty

1. Violation. A mayor, municipal officer, clerk, town or city manager, administrative assistant to the mayor, town or city councilor, dog recorder of unorganized territories, constable, police officer, sheriff or animal control officer commits a civil violation if that person refuses or intentionally fails to perform the duties imposed by:

A. This chapter;

B. Chapter 719; [FN1]

C. Chapter 720; [FN2]

D. Chapter 721; [FN3]

E. Chapter 725; [FN4] or

F. Chapter 727. [FN5]

2. Penalty. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $500 and costs may be adjudged.

3. Investigation. The commissioner, at the commissioner's own instance or upon written complaint made to the commissioner by another person, shall investigate an alleged refusal or neglect of duty by a municipal officer.

4. Prosecution. The commissioner shall direct proceedings, actions and prosecutions to be instituted to enforce all laws relating to animals and to the liability of municipal officers and their agents for failure, neglect or refusal to comply with the laws relating to animals.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25; 1995, c. 490, § 18; 1995, c. 557, § 2; 1997, c. 690, § 33; 2003, c. 452, § B-21, eff. July 1, 2004; 2009, c. 343, § 22.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3911 et seq.
[FN2] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3916 et seq.
[FN3] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3921 et seq.
[FN4] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3941 et seq.
[FN5] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3951 et seq.

 

Chapter 727. Dangerous Dogs.

§ 3951. Killing for assault permitted

Any person may lawfully kill a dog if necessary to protect that person, another person or a domesticated animal during the course of a sudden, unprovoked assault.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1997, c. 690, § 34.

 

§ 3952. Keeping a dangerous dog

A person who owns or keeps a dangerous dog commits a civil violation for which the court shall adjudge a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $1,000, plus costs, none of which may be suspended.

1. Procedure. Any person who is assaulted or threatened with imminent bodily injury by a dog or any person witnessing an assault or threatened assault against a person or domesticated animal or a person with knowledge of an assault or threatened assault against a minor, within 30 days of the assault or threatened assault, may make written complaint to the sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer that the dog is a dangerous dog. For the purposes of this chapter, “domesticated animal” includes, but is not limited to, livestock as defined in section 3907, subsection 18-A.

Upon investigation of the complaint, the sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer may issue a civil violation summons for keeping a dangerous dog.

If, upon hearing, the court finds that the dog is a dangerous dog as defined in section 3907, subsection 12-D, the court shall impose a fine and shall:

A. Order the dog confined in a secure enclosure except as provided in paragraph C or subsection 8. For the purposes of this paragraph, “secure enclosure” means a fence or structure of at least 6 feet in height forming or making an enclosure suitable to prevent the entry of young children and suitable to confine a dangerous dog in conjunction with other measures that may be taken by the owner or keeper, such as tethering the dangerous dog. The secure enclosure must be locked, be designed with secure top, bottom and sides and be designed to prevent the animal from escaping from the enclosure. The court shall specify the length of the period of confinement and may order permanent confinement;

B. Order the dog to be euthanized if it has killed, maimed or inflicted serious bodily injury upon a person or has a history of a prior assault or a prior finding by the court of being a dangerous dog; or

C. Order the dog to be securely muzzled, restricted by a tether not more than 3 feet in length with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and under the direct control of the dog's owner or keeper whenever the dog is off the owner's or keeper's premises.

The court may order restitution in accordance with Title 17-A, chapter 54 for any damages inflicted upon a person or a person's property.

1-A. Identification and confinement of dogs. In addition to orders imposed under subsection 1, the court may order that the owner or keeper of a dangerous dog:

A. Provide the animal control officer in the municipality where the dangerous dog is kept with photographs and descriptions of dogs kept by that owner or keeper including the sex, breed, age and identifying markings of each dog;

B. Have dogs kept by that owner or keeper permanently identified by tattooing, microchip placement or other means directed by the court; or

C. Confine other dogs kept on the owner's or keeper's premises as provided in subsection 1, paragraph A and subsection 8.

2. Failure to abide by court order. If the court order in subsection 1, paragraph B, is not complied with within the time set by the court, the court may, upon application by the complainant or other person, issue a warrant to the county sheriff or any of the sheriff's deputies or to a police officer or constable in the municipality where the dog is found, commanding the officer to kill the dog immediately and make a return of the warrant to the court within 14 days from the date of the warrant.

The owner or keeper must be ordered to pay all costs of supplementary proceedings and all reasonable costs for seizure and euthanasia of the dog.

3. Dogs presenting immediate threat to public. After issuing a summons and before hearing, if the dog poses an immediate or continuing threat to the public, a sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer shall order the owner or keeper of the dog to muzzle, restrain or confine the dog to the owner's premises or to have the dog confined at the owner's expense at a place determined by the sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer. If the owner or keeper fails to comply, the sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer may apply to District Court, Superior Court or a justice of the peace for an ex parte order for authorization to take possession of the dog that poses an immediate or continuing threat to the public and turn the dog over to the applicant or other suitable person.

4. Deleted. Laws 1999, c. 350, § 2.

4-A. Ex parte. An order may be entered ex parte upon findings by the court or justice of the peace when:

A. The dog has inflicted a serious bodily injury as defined in Title 17-A, section 2, subsection 23; or

B. There is a reasonable likelihood that the dog is dangerous or vicious and:

(1) Its owner has failed to muzzle, restrain or confine the dog; and

(2) That failure poses an immediate threat of harm to the public.

4-B. Modify order. An order may be modified by the court.

A. Upon 2 days' notice or a shorter period the court may prescribe, the owner whose animal has been possessed pursuant to an ex parte order may appear in the District Court or Superior Court and move the dissolution or modification of the ex parte order.

B. The court shall hear and determine the motion as expeditiously as possible.

C. The owner shall submit an affidavit setting forth specific facts to substantiate the modification or dissolution of the order. The applicant has the burden of presenting evidence to substantiate the original findings.

5. Lien. Any person taking possession of a dog as provided in this section has a lien on that dog in accordance with Title 17, section 1021, subsection 6.

6. Treble damages. If a dog whose owner or keeper refuses or neglects to comply with the order wounds any person by a sudden assault or wounds or kills any domestic animal, the owner or keeper shall pay the person injured treble damages and costs to be recovered by a civil action.

7. Class D crime. If the owner refuses or neglects to comply with an order issued under subsection 1, 1-A or 4-A, the owner commits a Class D crime. The court, as part of the judgment, may prohibit a person convicted under this subsection from owning or possessing a dog or having a dog on that person's premises for a period of time. The prohibition may be permanent.

8. Restriction of movement outside of a secure enclosure. An owner or keeper of a dog confined to a secure enclosure by a court under subsection 1, paragraph A or subsection 1-A, paragraph C may not allow the dog outside of the secure enclosure unless:

A. It is necessary to obtain veterinary care for the dog or to comply with orders of the court; and

B. The dog is securely muzzled, restrained by a tether not more than 3 feet in length with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and under the direct control of the dog's owner or keeper.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1987, c. 736, § 6, eff. July 1, 1988; 1989, c. 212; 1997, c. 690, §§ 35, 36; 1999, c. 350, § 2; 2001, c. 399, § 5, eff. June 13, 2001; 2003, c. 71, § 1; 2007, c. 170, §§ 1 to 4, eff. May 25, 2007; 2007, c. 702, § 9; R.R.2009, c. 1, § 9, eff. Oct. 1, 2009; 2011, c. 82, §§ 1, 2.

 

§ 3953. Stealing, injuring or killing dogs

Except as provided in section 3951 and Title 12, section 12404, and unless the killing is justified to protect persons or property, a person who steals, confines or secretes, willfully or negligently injures or willfully or negligently kills a dog is liable in damages to the dog's owner in a civil action.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1997, c. 690, § 37; 2003, c. 414, § B-13; 2003, c. 614, § 9.

 

Chapter 729. Damage by Animals.

§ 3961. Reimbursement for damage done by animals

1. Injuries and damages by animal. When an animal damages a person or that person's property due to negligence of the animal's owner or keeper, the owner or keeper of that animal is liable in a civil action to the person injured for the amount of damage done if the damage was not occasioned through the fault of the person injured.

2. Injuries by dog. Notwithstanding subsection 1, when a dog injures a person who is not on the owner's or keeper's premises at the time of the injury, the owner or keeper of the dog is liable in a civil action to the person injured for the amount of the damages. Any fault on the part of the person injured may not reduce the damages recovered for physical injury to that person unless the court determines that the fault of the person injured exceeded the fault of the dog's keeper or owner.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1999, c. 254, § 8; 2001, c. 220, § 1.

 

§ 3961-A. Attack on service dog

A person who owns or keeps a dog that attacks, injures or kills a service animal while the service animal is in discharge of its duties commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not more than $1,000 may be adjudged.

When a person is adjudicated of a violation of this section, the court shall order the person to make restitution to the owner of the service animal for any veterinary bills and necessary retraining costs or replacement costs of the service animal if it is disabled or killed.

For the purposes of this section, “service animal” has the same meaning as set forth in Title 5, section 4553, subsection 9-E, paragraph A or B.

CREDIT(S)

2001, c. 220, § 2; 2007, c. 664, § 13; 2011, c. 369, § 4.

 

§ 3962. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 468, § 18

 

§ 3962-A. Penalty for damage to livestock or pets by animals

1. Violation. Except as provided in subsection 3, the owner or keeper of an animal that due to negligence of the animal's owner or keeper kills or injures livestock, poultry, domestic rabbits or pets commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture not to exceed $100 may be adjudged in addition to costs.

2. Additional remedy. A person who suffers damage as a result of a violation of subsection 1 may also pursue a civil action against the owner or keeper of the animal pursuant to section 3961.

3. Exception. If the owner or keeper of an animal that kills or injures another animal establishes that the animal that was killed or injured provoked the killing or injury or that the animal that committed the killing or injury was leashed or controlled on the owner's or keeper's property at the time of the killing or injury, then the owner or keeper is not liable under this section or section 3961.

CREDIT(S)

1993, c. 468, § 19; 1995, c. 351, § 2; 1999, c. 254, § 9.

 

§ 3963. Joint and several liability

If any properly enclosed livestock, poultry , domestic rabbits or pets are killed or injured by 2 or more dogs at the same time and the dogs are kept by 2 or more owners or keepers, the owners or keepers are jointly and severally liable for the damage.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1995, c. 351, § 3.

 

§ 3964. Repealed. Laws 1995, c. 351, § 4

 

§§ 3966 to 3970. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 38.


 

Chapter 741. Animal Trespass.

§ 4041. Animal trespass

1. Deleted. Laws 1999, c. 254, § 15.

1-A. Trespass. An owner or keeper of an animal may not allow that animal to enter onto or remain on the property of another or unattended on any local, county or state road or highway after the owner or keeper has been informed by a law enforcement officer, authorized employee of the department or animal control officer that that animal was found on that property or on that local, county or state road or highway.

2. Removal. The owner or keeper of an animal is responsible, at the owner's or keeper's expense, for removing any animal found trespassing. An animal control officer, authorized employee of the department or law enforcement officer may, at the owner's or keeper's expense, remove and control an animal found trespassing if:

A. The owner or keeper fails to remove the animal after having been notified by an animal control officer, authorized employee of the department or law enforcement officer that the animal was trespassing; or

B. The animal is an immediate danger to itself, persons or another's property.

3. Civil violation. A person commits a civil violation if an animal owned or kept by that person is found trespassing and:

A. That person fails to remove the animal within 12 hours, or immediately if public safety or private or public property is threatened, after having been personally notified by an animal control officer, authorized employee of the department or law enforcement officer that the animal was trespassing; or

B. Deleted. Laws 1999, c. 254, § 15.

C. That person owns an animal or animals that have been found trespassing on 5 or more days within a 30-day period or 3 or more days within a 7-day period.

4. Fines. A person who violates this section is subject to the following fines.

A. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 must be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this section after having been adjudicated as having committed a violation of this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $1,000 must be adjudged.

C. A person who violates this section after having been adjudicated as having committed 2 or more violations of this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $2,500 must be adjudged.

4-A. Restitution; court costs and fees. In addition to fines, the court may as part of the sentencing include an order of restitution for costs incurred in removing and controlling the animal. When appropriate, the court may order restitution to the property owner based on damage done and financial loss. Any restitution ordered and paid must be deducted from the amount of any judgment awarded in a civil action brought by the property owner against the owner or keeper of the animal based on the same facts. When an owner or keeper violates this section 3 or more times within a 90-day period, the court shall order restitution of all costs incurred by the department in responding to a violation of this section or assisting an animal control officer or law enforcement officer responding to a violation of this section. Upon application of the department, municipality or law enforcement agency enforcing this section, the owner or keeper of the animal must also pay reasonable court costs and attorney's fees of the department, municipality or law enforcement agency if the department, municipality or law enforcement agency is the prevailing party in any court proceeding.

4-B. Forfeiture. If the department, a municipality or a law enforcement agency determines that a repeated violation of this section by an owner or keeper of an animal jeopardizes the public health, welfare or safety of the community, the department, municipality or law enforcement agency may bring a forfeiture action in the county in which the violations occurred under Title 14, section 506. In an action brought under this subsection, the burden of proof is on the department, municipality or law enforcement agency. If a court determines that a repeated violation of this section jeopardizes the public health, welfare or safety of the community, the court may order any animal that is the subject of the violation sold in a commercially reasonable manner and apply the proceeds to any fine, fee, restitution or cost owed by the owner or keeper under this section with any remaining balance returned to the owner or keeper of the animal.

5. Exemption. A person is not liable under this section if, at the time of the alleged trespass, that person was licensed or privileged to allow the animal to be on the property.

6. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Animal” does not include cats.

B. “Authorized employee of the department” means a humane agent or any other employee of the department designated by the commissioner to assist with compliance and enforcement of this section.

Credits
1989, c. 91, eff. May 3, 1989; 1995, c. 351, § 5; 1997, c. 104, § 1; 1997, c. 690, §§ 47 to 49; 1999, c. 254, § 15; 2001, c. 15, § 1; 2007, c. 439, §§ 29, 30; 2009, c. 548, §§ 4, 5, eff. March 25, 2010; 2011, c. 18, § 1, eff. April 1, 2011; 2013, c. 348, §§ 1, 2, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

 

Chapter 745. Sale of Dogs and Cats.

§4151. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Animal. “Animal” means a dog, wholly of the species canis familiaris, or a cat, wholly or in part of the species felis domesticus.

2. Breeder. “Breeder” means a person, firm, partnership, corporation or association that breeds animals for direct or indirect sale to the public.

3. Health problem. “Health problem” means any disease, illness or any congenital or hereditary condition that would impair the health or function of an animal.

4. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 702, § 21.

4-A. Seller. “Seller” means the owner or operator of a breeding kennel as defined in section 3907, subsection 8-A or the owner or operator of a pet shop as defined in section 3907, subsection 23. “Seller” includes animal dealers required to be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. “Seller” does not include humane societies, nonprofit organizations performing the functions of humane societies or animal shelters licensed in accordance with section 3932-A.

5. Veterinarian. “Veterinarian” means a person licensed as a veterinarian in any state.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 1997, c. 690, § 50; 2007, c. 439, § 31; 2007, c. 702, §§ 21, 22; 2011, c. 100, § 14, eff. May 19, 2011.
 

 

§4152. Disclosure

1. Required disclosure. A seller shall deliver to a purchaser of an animal a written disclosure containing the following:

A. An animal history that includes:

(1) For sellers licensed with the United States Department of Agriculture, the name, address and United States Department of Agriculture license number of the breeder and any broker who has had possession of the animal. For sellers licensed with the State, the name, address of the seller and the license number issued under section 3931-A, 3933 or 4163;

(2) The date of the animal's birth;

(3) The date the seller received the animal if the animal was not born on the seller's premises;

(4) The breed, sex, color and identifying marks of the animal. If the breed is unknown or mixed, that fact must be stated;

(5) The individual identifying tag, tattoo, microchip identification number or collar number;

(6) For pure bred animals that are advertised as eligible for registration, the name and registration number of the sire and dam and, if available, the litter number; and

(7) A record of inoculations, internal or external parasite treatments, medication or any veterinarian examination or treatment received by the animal while in the possession of the seller;

B. A statement signed by the seller that the animal at time of delivery has no known health problem or a statement disclosing any known health problem.

The statement must include the date at which the seller is aware that the animal was last seen by a veterinarian;

C. A seller who represents an animal as eligible for registration with an animal pedigree organization shall provide the retail purchaser with a notice stating that pedigree registration does not assure health or quality of an animal; and

D. The seller shall indicate whether or not, to the seller's knowledge, the animal or its sire or dam is registered with, and whether the animal is certified by any organization that maintains a registry pertaining to congenital or hereditary problems and explain the meaning of these terms.

2. Optional disclosure. The seller may provide the purchaser with a list of congenital or hereditary problems that are known to affect the breed being purchased and a list of any health problems for which the seller does not warranty the animal.

3. Disclosure procedures. The following disclosure procedures must be followed.

A. The disclosure required by subsection 1 must be made part of the statement of consumer rights set forth in section 4160.

B. The written disclosure made pursuant to this section must be signed by both the seller certifying the accuracy of the statement and by the purchaser of the animal acknowledging receipt of the statement.

C. The seller shall make a prospective purchaser aware that the purchaser may see this information prior to purchase.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 1997, c. 690, § 51; 2007, c. 702, § 23; 2009, c. 403, § 9.

 

§ 4152-A. Documents necessary for breed registration

1. Requirement to provide. A seller who states, promises or represents that an animal is registered or capable of registration with an animal pedigree organization shall provide the purchaser with the documents necessary for registration at the time of sale or within 90 days of the sale unless specified otherwise in a contractual agreement signed by the purchaser.
 
2. Process to acquire documentation. If the purchaser does not receive the necessary documents within the time period specified in subsection 1, the purchaser may send a written request for the documents to the seller via certified mail. Within 60 days of receiving the request, the seller must deliver the documents directly or send them by certified mail to the purchaser.
 
3. Failure to provide documentation; resolution. If the seller fails to provide the necessary documents in accordance with subsection 2, the purchaser is entitled to a partial refund of 50% of the purchase price. Upon payment of the refund, a seller is absolved of the requirement to provide the documents necessary for breed registration. Acceptance of the registration papers by the purchaser outside of the required time period waives the purchaser's right to a partial refund.
 
CREDIT(S)

2009, c. 403, § 10. 

 

§4153. Sale prohibited

Notwithstanding section 4152, a seller may not sell an animal that has any obvious clinical sign of infectious, contagious, parasitic or communicable disease or abnormality or has any disease, illness or condition that requires hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures.

A seller may not sell a wolf hybrid.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 2007, c. 702, § 24; 2011, c. 100, § 15, eff. May 19, 2011.

 

§ 4154. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 52.


 

§4155. Rights of the purchaser

1. Unfit for sale. If, within 10 days after receipt of the animal by the purchaser, a veterinarian states in writing that the animal has a health problem that existed in the animal at the time of delivery or if, within one year after receipt of the animal by the purchaser, a veterinarian states in writing that due to a hereditary or congenital defect the animal has died or has a condition that will shorten its life or will require constant treatment during its life, the animal is considered to have been unfit for sale at the time of sale.

2. Death; remedies. When an animal dies due to a health problem that would have rendered the animal unfit for sale pursuant to subsection 1, and that health problem existed in the animal at the time of delivery to the purchaser but was not disclosed under the provisions of section 4152, the seller shall provide the purchaser with one of the following remedies selected by the purchaser:

A. An animal of equal value, if available; or
 
B. A refund of the full purchase price of the animal.

3. Health problem; remedies. When an animal has a health problem that renders the animal unfit for sale pursuant to subsection 1, and that health problem existed in the animal at the time of delivery to the purchaser but was not disclosed under the provisions of section 4152, the seller shall provide the purchaser with one of the following remedies selected by the purchaser:
 
A. Return of the animal to the seller for a refund of the full purchase price of the animal;

B. Exchange of the animal for an animal of the purchaser's choice of equivalent value, providing a replacement is available; or

C. Retainment of the animal and reimbursement for 1/2 of the reasonable veterinary fees not to exceed 1/2 of the original purchase price of the animal.

4. Veterinary service; fees. The fee for veterinary service is reasonable if the service is appropriate for the diagnosis and treatment of the health problem and the fee for the service is comparable to fees charged by other veterinarians who are in proximity to the treating veterinarian.

5. Sellers not exempt. Sellers may not, contractually or otherwise, exempt themselves from the remedies provided by this section for deaths or health problems caused by infectious, contagious, parasitic or communicable disease.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 2007, c. 439, § 32; 2007, c. 702, §§ 25 to 27.



 

§4156. Responsibilities of purchaser

To obtain the remedies provided in section 4155, the purchaser has the following responsibilities with respect to an animal with a health problem.

1. Veterinary diagnosis. The purchaser must notify the seller, within 2 business days, of the diagnosis by a veterinarian of a health problem and provide the seller with the name and telephone number of the veterinarian and a copy of the veterinarian report on the animal.

2. Refund. If the purchaser wishes to receive a full refund for the animal, the purchaser must return the animal no later than 2 business days after receipt of a written statement from a veterinarian indicating that the animal is unfit due to a health problem. With respect to a dead animal, the purchaser must provide the seller with a written statement from a veterinarian indicating that the animal died from a health problem that existed on or before the receipt of the animal by the purchaser.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 2007, c. 702, §§ 28, 29.
 

 

§4157. Rights of pet dealer

1. Refusal to sell. A seller may refuse to sell an animal to a potential purchaser who appears not to accept or understand the provisions of this chapter.

2. Exemption from purchaser remedies. A refund, replacement or reimbursement of veterinary fees is not required if any one or more of the following conditions are met.

A. The health problem or death of the animal resulted from maltreatment, neglect or a disease contracted while in the possession of the purchaser or from an injury sustained subsequent to receipt of the animal by the purchaser.

B. A disclosure statement was provided to the purchaser pursuant to section 4152 that disclosed the health problem for which the purchaser seeks to return the animal.

C. The health problem is a hereditary or congenital one covered by section 4152.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 2007, c. 439, § 33; 2007, c. 702, § 30.
 

 

§4158. Contest

1. Demand for remedy; contest. When a seller wishes to contest a demand for the remedy specified in section 4155, the seller may require the purchaser to produce all the veterinarian's records and the animal for examination or autopsy by a veterinarian designated by the seller. The veterinarian designated by the seller must be practicing at a veterinary clinic within 100 miles of the purchaser's residence. The seller shall pay the cost of this examination or autopsy. The seller has a right of recovery against the purchaser if the seller is not obligated to provide a remedy under section 4155.

2. Right to court action. If the seller does not provide the remedy selected by the purchaser set forth in section 4155, the purchaser may initiate a court action. The prevailing party in the court action has the right to recover costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 1997, c. 690, § 53; 2007, c. 702, §§ 31, 32.

 

§4159. Posted notice

A seller whose facility has public access shall post, in a prominent location in the area to which a prospective purchaser would have access, a notice printed in a minimum of 48-point, bold-faced type and containing the following language:

“YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A STATEMENT OF CONSUMER RIGHTS AND DISCLOSURE OF YOUR ANIMAL'S HEALTH HISTORY AND THE WARRANTY ON YOUR ANIMAL. YOU MAY ASK TO SEE THESE ITEMS PRIOR TO PURCHASE. MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE THESE ITEMS AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE.”

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 2007, c. 702, § 33.

 

§4160. Notice of consumer rights

1. Written notice. A seller shall provide the purchaser a written notice of rights, signed by the seller, certifying the accuracy of the information contained in the notice. The notice must be signed by the purchaser, acknowledging that the purchaser has reviewed and understood the written notice. A signed copy must be retained by the seller and one copy given to the purchaser. The notice must be in a minimum of 16-point, bold-faced type and must state the following:

“A STATEMENT OF MAINE LAW GOVERNING THE SALE OF DOGS AND CATS:
 
The sale of dogs and cats is subject to consumer protection regulations. Maine law also provides safeguards to protect sellers and animal purchasers. Attached is a copy of the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, chapter 745. Contained in this law is a statement of your consumer rights and remedies. Also attached is your pet's health history and specific warranty information.”

2. Oral notice. In addition, all medical information required to be disclosed pursuant to this section must be orally disclosed to the purchaser by the seller prior to purchase.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 2007, c. 702, §§ 34, 35
.
 

 

§4161. Limitation

This chapter does not limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a purchaser under any other law. 

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 1997, c. 690, § 54.

 

§4162. Additional penalties

1. Civil violation. A person who fails to meet a requirement of this chapter commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 or more than $500 per violation may be adjudged.

2. Action against pet shops and breeding kennels. The department may, in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 5, revoke or suspend the license of a pet shop or breeding kennel that violates any provision of this chapter or rules adopted under section 3906-B, subsection 10 to implement this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 589, § 1; 1997, c. 690, § 55; 1999, c. 547, § B-78, eff. March 15, 2001; 2009, c. 343, § 24.

 

§ 4163. Dog or cat vendor's license

A person may not advertise for sale, sell or exchange for value more than one cat or dog under the age of 6 months in a 12-month period unless that person has a valid animal shelter, kennel, breeding kennel or pet shop license or a valid vendor's license issued under this section.

1. Vendor's license; fee. A person may apply for a vendor's license by completing and submitting to the department an application form provided by the department. Upon receipt of a completed application, the department shall issue a vendor's license and an identifying license number that is valid for a period of 90 days from the date of issuance. A person is entitled to one vendor's license in a 12-month period at no charge. A fee of $25 must be submitted with each additional application for a vendor's license within a 12-month period.

2. Advertising. A person possessing a vendor's license issued under this section must include that vendor's license number in any form of advertising, brochure or sign that announces the availability of a dog or cat for sale or exchange. The vendor's name and license number must be provided to a person purchasing or otherwise receiving a dog or cat from the vendor.

3. Violation. A person who fails to comply with this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200 may be adjudged, none of which may be suspended.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 439, § 34; 2007, c. 702, §§ 36, 37.


 
Title 12. Conservation. Part 13. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Subpart 4. Fish and Wildlife. Chapter 925. Fish and Wildlife Management and Research. Subchapter 1. Wildlife Management and Research.

§ 12707. Unlawful activity in wildlife sanctuary; general prohibitions and exceptions

Except to the extent permitted by the commissioner under section 12701, activities listed in this section are prohibited in a wildlife sanctuary.

1. Deleted. Laws 2003, c. 655, § B-294, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.

1-A. Unlawful activity in wildlife sanctuary. Except as provided in subsection 2, the following activities are prohibited.

A. A person may not trap or hunt any wild animal or wild bird at any time within a wildlife sanctuary as designated in section 12706.

(1) A person who violates this paragraph commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

(2) A person who violates this paragraph after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

B. A person may not possess any wild animal or wild bird taken in violation of paragraph A.

(1) A person who violates this paragraph commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

(2) A person who violates this paragraph after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

2. Exceptions. The following exceptions apply to the prohibitions in subsection 1-A.

A. Subsection 1-A does not apply to crows and skunks in the Willow Water Game Sanctuary.

B. A person residing within the limits of the York Game Sanctuary in the County of Franklin may kill any wild bird, except grouse, or any wild animal, except beaver, when found destroying that person's property.

C. A person residing within the limits of Prout's Neck, Richmond's Island and Cape Elizabeth Sanctuary may kill any wild bird, except ruffed grouse or Hungarian partridge, or any wild animal, when found destroying that person's property.

D. A person may trap any wild animal except moose and deer within Fairfield Sanctuary, Narragansett Game Sanctuary and Prout's Neck, Richmond's Island and Cape Elizabeth Sanctuary in accordance with the general laws of the State.

E. Repealed. Laws 2013, c. 138, § 2, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

F. The Augusta Water District may use Carleton Pond in the Readfield and Winthrop Sanctuary as it determines necessary.

G. Within the Readfield and Winthrop Sanctuary, subsection 1-A applies only to fenced lands.

H. The use of firearms on Megunticook Lake and Vicinity Sanctuary is prohibited only from the first day of April of each year to the 30th day of September following.

3. Using motorboat within Merrymeeting Bay Game Sanctuary. A person may not use a motorboat within Merrymeeting Bay Game Sanctuary, except that motorboats may be used between the Woolwich shore on the east and a line on the west designated by a series of red markers adjacent to the edge of the grassy marsh area from Kelly's Point to the southern boundary of the Merrymeeting Bay Game Sanctuary.

A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

4. Carrying loaded firearm on bounds of Limington, Hollis and Waterboro Sanctuary. A person may not carry a loaded firearm on any of the roads bounding the Limington, Hollis and Waterboro Sanctuary.

A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

5. Carrying loaded firearm on bounds of Standish Sanctuary. A person may not carry a loaded firearm on any road or on the Maine Central Railroad right-of-way that bounds the Standish Game Sanctuary.

A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

6. Fishing in Carleton Pond. A person may not fish in Carleton Pond in the Readfield and Winthrop Sanctuary.

A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-294, eff. Aug. 31, 2004; 2013, c. 138, § 2, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 



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