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Michigan

Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated. Chapter 287. Animal Industry. Dog Law of 1919; Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: M.C.L. 287.261 - 395; 324.73101 - 42106

Citation: MI ST 287.261 - 395; 324.73101 - 42106


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2013

Summary:  

The regulation of dogs and cats in Michigan implicates three major issues: licensing and registration of dogs; the regulation of animal control facilities and pet shops; and the ever-present concern of dog bites.  The primary statutory vehicle that regulates the licensing requirements for dogs is the The Dog Law of 1919. Under the dog law, it is unlawful for any person to own a dog six months or older unless the dog is licensed. MCL § 287.262. It is also unlawful for a person to own a dog six months or older that does not wear a collar and tag at all times, except when engaged in hunting activities accompanied by his or her owner. MCL § 287.262. A female dog that is in heat may not go beyond her owner’s premises unless properly held on a leash under this section.



Statute in Full:

Click here to read a new dog bite law - 750.66a. Bites by dog or wolf-dog crosses; persons responsible for actions of animal remaining on scene of bite; penalties and fines; police dog exception

Summary of Michigan Dog Laws

DOG LAW OF 1919

287.261 Short title; definitions.

287.262. Licensing and control of dogs; hunting dogs; female dogs in heat; straying dogs

287.263. Repealed by P.A.1969, No. 195, § 2, Eff. March 20, 1970

287.264. Supervision and enforcement; citation, summons or appearance ticket

287.265 Tags, blanks and license forms.

287.266 Dog license, application, issuance; refund of fees; vaccination of dog

287.267 Dog license; tag, approval; kept on dog.

287.268 Dog license; unlicensed and young dogs; application; fee after certain date.

287.269. Contents of license

287.269a. Proof of valid dog license, production

287.270. Kennel facility; license, issuance, form, fee, metal tags; inspection certificate, contents; rules; inspection; exception

287.270a. Repealed by P.A.1969, No. 195, § 2, Eff. March 20, 1970

287.270b. Kennel licenses, issuance; effect of adoption of kennel licensing ordinance

287.271 Rules governing kennel dogs.

287.272. Tag lost

287.273 License and tag; transferability.

287.274. Township or city treasurer, duties; fees; performance of duties by city clerk

287.274a. Notification of dog owners of availability of microchip implementation and registration and statewide tattoo identification registry

287.275. County treasurer's record; inspection

287.276. Listing of dogs; reports; compensation; animal control officers, appointment, duties

287.277. Comparison of dog lists and license records; killing of unlicensed dogs

287.278. Dogs molesting wildlife; killing

287.279. Dogs pursuing livestock or poultry, attacking persons, or entering livestock or poultry producer's field or enclosure; killing

287.279a. Use of high altitude decompression chamber or electrocution for killing animals, prohibited

287.280. Damage to livestock or poultry by dogs, remedy; complaint, proceedings; liability for damages and costs

287.281. Report of township supervisor on damage caused by dogs

287.282. Fees of justice, inclusion in damages

287.283. Payment by county for damage done by dogs; illegal or unjust claim, investigation

287.284. Reception, audit, determination, and payment of damage claims; board of county auditors

287.285. Saving clause; disposition of dog fund; expense of dog department in cities, payment

287.286. Penalties for certain violations; disposition of fines

287.286a. Order to show cause, killing or confining dog

287.286b. Penalty for stealing or confining licensed dog

287.287 Recovery of value of dog illegally killed.

287.288 Common law liability.

287.289 Dogs imported temporarily.

287.289a. Animal control agency, establishment, employees, jurisdiction; county animal control ordinances, contents

287.289b. County animal control officer, minimum employment standards

287.289c. City, village, or township animal control officers, minimum employment standards

287.290. City, village, or township animal control ordinances, authorization, contents; proof of vaccination for rabies

LEADER DOGS FOR BLIND PERSONS (EXCERPT)

287.291. Guide or leader dogs for blind, hearing dog for deaf or audibly impaired, service dog for physically limited; exempt from licensing fees

REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF DOGS

287.301 Dogs; tattooing of serial number; application, fee.

287.302. Assignment of title; filing; issuance of title to purchaser; fee

287.303 Identification certificate; issuance to owner.

287.304 Record of dog and owner kept by commissioner of agriculture.

287.305 Lost dog; finder entitled to fee for keeping.

287.306 Fees credited to general fund.

287.307 Mutilating of serial number prohibited; penalty.

287.308 Stealing or holding dog in possession; penalty.

DANGEROUS ANIMALS

287.321 Definitions.

287.322. Complaints; retention, destruction of animal; court orders to protect public

287.323. Offenses and penalties

PET SHOPS, DOG POUNDS, AND ANIMAL SHELTERS

287.331 Definitions.

287.332. Promulgation of rules; purpose

287.333. Licensing of pet shops, necessity

287.334. Pet shop licenses; application; fees; duration; renewal; processing

287.335 Inspection of pet shop premises.

287.335a. Prohibited activities for pet shop operators

287.336. Registration of animal control shelters, necessity

287.337. Applications for registration, forms

287.338. Inspection of animal control shelters of animal protection shelters

287.338a. Adoption of a dog, cat, or ferret; contract for alteration required; exceptions, certification from veterinarian; good faith deposit

287.339. Breeders; exemption from licensing and registration; vaccinations and handling requirements; alteration of dog, cat, or ferret

287.339a. Written records of animal control shelter or animal protection shelter

287.339b. Violation of act; notice and hearing; penalties; declaratory judgment; injunction; failure to comply with contract for alteration

287.340. Violations; penalties

LIABILITY OF OWNER FOR DOG BITE

287.351. Injuries by dogs; liability of owners

USE OF DOGS AND CATS FOR RESEARCH

287.381. Definitions

287.382. Licenses; applications; fees, amount, disposition

287.383. Issuance of license, qualifications, good moral character

287.384. Unlawful sale or transportation of animals; dealers' licenses needed

287.385. Promulgation of rules

287.386. Identification of dogs and cats

287.387. Records of purchases, sales, transportation, handling

287.388. Disposal of animals; holding period; notice to owner; records

287.389. Sales by public auction or weight, prohibition; purchases, restrictions; unclaimed dogs and cats, disposal, maximum price

287.390. Suspension or revocation of licenses, grounds, notice; reinstatement

287.391. Bills of sale, necessity, form

287.392. Violations; penalties

287.393. Dealers or facilities, responsibility for acts or omissions of agents or employees

287.394. Effect on other acts

287.395. Repealer

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT

324.73101. Definitions

324.73102. Entry upon lands of another; hunting dog, defined

324.73109. Cause of action by property owner

324.73110. Violations; fines, punishment; license revocation; payment of costs; seizure of property; restitution

324.42101. Dog training areas; application, permit, fees, size, number

324.42102. Use, rules; hunting or possession of firearms prohibited, exception

324.42103. Posting boundary lines; form of notice

324.42104. Establishment of areas and fees

324.42105. Unlawful to wilfully mutilate, injure or destroy boundary fence or poster

324.42106. Violation of part or rule; penalty

 

 

DOG LAW OF 1919

(Act 339 of 1919)

287.261 Short title; definitions.

Sec. 1. (1) This act shall be known and may be cited as the “dog law of 1919”.

(2) For the purpose of this act:

(a) “Livestock” means horses, stallions, colts, geldings, mares, sheep, rams, lambs, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers, cows, calves, mules, jacks, jennets, burros, goats, kids and swine, and fur-bearing animals being raised in captivity.

(b) “Poultry” means all domestic fowl, ornamental birds, and game birds possessed or being reared under authority of a breeder’s license pursuant to part 427 (breeders and dealers) of the natural resources and environmental protection act, Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.42701 to 324.42714 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(c) “Owner” when applied to the proprietorship of a dog means every person having a right of property in the dog, and every person who keeps or harbors the dog or has it in his care, and every person who permits the dog to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.

(d) “Kennel” means any establishment wherein or whereon dogs are kept for the purpose of breeding, sale, or sporting purposes.

(e) “Law enforcement officer” means any person employed or elected by the people of the state, or by any municipality, county, or township, whose duty it is to preserve peace or to make arrests or to enforce the law, and includes conservation officers and members of the state police.

(f) “Hunting” means allowing a dog to range freely within sight or sound of its owner while in the course of hunting legal game or an unprotected animal.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5245;--CL 1948, 287.261;--Am. 1959, Act 42, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960;--Am. 1973, Act 32, Imd. Eff. June 14, 1973;--Am. 1996, Act 63, Imd. Eff. Feb. 26, 1996.

 

287.262 Dogs; licensing, tags, leashes.

Sec. 2. It shall be unlawful for any person to own any dog 6 months old or over, unless the dog is licensed as hereinafter provided, or to own any dog 6 months old or over that does not at all times wear a collar with a tag approved by the director of agriculture, attached as hereinafter provided, except when engaged in lawful hunting accompanied by its owner or custodian; or for any owner of any female dog to permit the female dog to go beyond the premises of such owner when she is in heat, unless the female dog is held properly in leash; or for any person except the owner or authorized agent, to remove any license tag from a dog; or for any owner to allow any dog, except working dogs such as leader dogs, guard dogs, farm dogs, hunting dogs, and other such dogs, when  accompanied by their owner or his authorized agent, while actively engaged in activities for which such dogs are trained, to stray unless held properly in leash.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1925,Act 322, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925;--CL 1929, 5246;--CL 1948, 287.262;--Am. 1951, Act 173, Imd. Eff. June 8, 1951;--Am. 1969, Act 195, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.264 Supervision and enforcement.

Sec. 4. The state livestock sanitary commission shall have the general supervision over the licensing and regulation of dogs and the protection of livestock and poultry from dogs, and may employ all proper means for the enforcement of this act and all police officers of the state, county, municipality or township shall be at its disposal for that purpose. An animal control officer or a law enforcement officer of the state shall issue a citation, summons or appearance ticket for a violation of this act.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5248;--CL 1948, 287.264;--Am. 1969, Act 195, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973.

 

287.265. Tags, blanks and license forms

Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the state live stock sanitary commission to purchase from time to time, as may be necessary, a sufficient number of tags for the state of Michigan, which tags shall be purchased from such commission by the treasurers of the counties as the same may be needed to comply with the provisions of this act. Such tags shall be sold at cost to the said treasurers. The state treasurer is hereby authorized to advance to the said commission, out of any funds of the state, such sum of money as may be necessary from time to time to pay for the tags so purchased by the state live stock sanitary commission, which sum shall be repaid to the state treasurer from the money collected from the county treasurers in payment for the tags. The said commission is hereby authorized to extend 30 days' credit to any county treasurer for tags so purchased. The commission shall also furnish to each county treasurer, on or before November fifteenth of each year, a book containing proper forms for issuing dog licenses required in his county, together with the necessary blanks for the use of the supervisors and assessors of such county; such books and blanks shall be furnished to said commission by the board of state auditors without cost to said commission. The tags required by this act shall be not more than 1 1/2 inches in length and uniform in shape throughout the state, the general shape of which shall be changed from year to year; such tags shall have impressed upon them the calendar year for which they are issued and shall bear the name of the county issuing them and shall be numbered consecutively.

Source:

P.A.1919, No. 339, § 5, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919.
C.L.1929, § 5249.
C.L.1948, § 287.265.
C.L.1970, § 287.265.

 

287.266 Dog licenses; application; resolution; provisions; proof of vaccination.

Sec. 6. (1) The owner of a dog that is 4 or more months old shall apply to the treasurer of the county or, except as provided in section 14, [FN1] the treasurer of the township or city where the owner resides, or to the treasurer's authorized agent, for a license for each dog owned or kept by him or her.

(2) Unless the county board of commissioners adopts a resolution under subsection (3), the owner shall apply for a license annually on or before March 1.

(3) The county board of commissioners of a county may adopt a resolution during the 60-day period before the beginning of the county's fiscal year providing when the owner of a dog that is required to be licensed under subsection (1) must apply for a license. Before adopting the resolution, the county board of commissioners shall obtain the county treasurer's written approval of the resolution. Subject to subsection (4), the resolution shall provide for 1 of the following:

(a) That the owner apply for a license by March 1 every year or every third year, at the owner's option.

(b) That the owner apply for a license by June 1 every year.

(c) That the owner apply for a license by June 1 every year or every third year, at the owner's option.

(d) That the owner apply for a license by the last day of the month of the dog's current rabies vaccination, every year.

(e) That the owner apply for a license by the last day of the month of the dog's current rabies vaccination, every third year.

(f) That the owner apply for a license by 1 of the following, at the owner's option:

(i) The last day of the month of the dog's current rabies vaccination every year.

(ii) The last day of the month of the dog's current rabies vaccination, every third year.

(4) A resolution adopted under subsection (3) shall include necessary provisions for conversion to a new licensing schedule. The resolution may extend the effective period of outstanding licenses but shall not shorten the effective period of outstanding licenses or prorate license fees.

(5) The application shall state the breed, sex, age, color, and markings of the dog, and the name and address of the last previous owner. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the application for a license shall be accompanied by a valid certificate of a current vaccination for rabies, with a vaccine licensed by the United States department of agriculture, signed by an accredited veterinarian. The certificate for vaccination for rabies shall state the month and year of expiration for the rabies vaccination, in the veterinarian's opinion. If the application for a license is submitted electronically, the owner of the dog is not required to provide a valid certificate of a current vaccination for rabies if the dog was licensed the previous year and the dog's current rabies vaccination on record with the treasurer of the county or, except as provided in section 14, the treasurer of the township or city where the owner resides, or the treasurer's authorized agent, is still valid. A license shall not be issued under subsection (3)(d), (e), or (f) if the dog's current rabies vaccination will expire more than 1 month before the date on which that license would expire. When applying for a license, the owner shall pay the license fee provided for in the county budget. The county board of commissioners may set license fees in the county budget at a level sufficient to pay all the county's expenses of administering this act as it pertains to dogs. For a spayed or neutered dog, the license fee, if any, shall be set lower than the license fee for a dog that is not spayed or neutered. In addition, the license fee may be set higher for a delinquent application than for a timely application.

(6) If a dog is licensed before it becomes 5 months old and is subsequently spayed or neutered before it becomes 7 months old, the owner of the dog may exchange the license for a license for a spayed or neutered dog and receive a refund for the difference in the cost of the licenses. The owner shall exchange the license before the dog becomes 7 months old.

(7) Subsection (6) applies in a county only if the county board of commissioners adopts a resolution to that effect during the 60-day period before the beginning of the county's fiscal year. Before adopting the resolution, the county board of commissioners shall obtain the county treasurer's written approval of the resolution.

(8) The owner of a dog that is required to be licensed under this section shall keep the dog currently vaccinated against rabies by an accredited veterinarian with a vaccine licensed by the United States department of agriculture.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by P.A.1998, No. 390, Imd. Eff. Nov. 30, 1998; P.A.2000, No. 438, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 2001; P.A.2010, No. 18, Imd. Eff. March 18, 2010.

[FN1] M.C.L.A. § 287.274.

 

287.267 Dog license; tag, approval; kept on dog.

Sec. 7. The county treasurer shall then deliver to said owner a license and also 1 of the tags approved by the director of agriculture, before mentioned, such tag to be affixed to a substantial collar to be furnished by the owner, which with the tag attached, shall at all times be kept on the dog for which the license is issued, except when such dog is engaged in lawful hunting accompanied by its owner or custodian.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5251;--CL 1948, 287.267;--Am. 1951, Act 173, Imd. Eff. June 8, 1951.

 

287.268 Dog license; unlicensed and young dogs; application; fee after certain date.

Sec. 8. A person who becomes owner of a dog that is 4 or more months old and that is not already licensed shall apply for a license within 30 days. A person who owns a dog that will become 4 months old and that is not already licensed shall apply for a license within 30 days after the dog becomes 4 months old. In a county in which section 6(2) or section 6(3)(a) applies, if a person applies for an annual license under this subsection after July 10 of a calendar year, the license fee shall be 1/2 the fee provided for under section 6.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919 ;--Am. 1925, Act 322, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925 ;--CL 1929, 5252 ;--CL 1948, 287.268 ;--Am. 1998, Act 390, Imd. Eff. Nov. 30, 1998 ;--Am. 2000, Act 438, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 2001 .

 

287.269 Dog license; contents.

Sec. 9. Each dog license issued under this act shall display all of the following:

(a) An expiration date. Subject to section 6(4), the expiration date for a license issued under section 6(2) or 6(3)(b) shall be 1 year after the date on or before which the license was required to be obtained under section 6, and for a license issued under section 6(3)(a) or 6(3)(c) shall be 1 year or 3 years after that date.

Subject to section 6(4), the expiration date of a license issued under section 6(3)(d), (e), or (f) shall be the earlier of the following:

(i) One year or 3 years, as applicable, after the date on which the license was required to be obtained.

(ii) The expiration date of the dog’s rabies vaccination.

(b) A serial number corresponding to the number on the metal tag furnished to the owner.

(c) The name of the county issuing the license.

(d) A full description of the dog licensed.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919 ;--CL 1929, 5253 ;--CL 1948, 287.269 ;--Am. 1998, Act 390, Imd. Eff. Nov. 30, 1998 ;--Am. 2000, Act 438, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 2001 .

 

287.269a Production of proof of license.

Sec. 9a. A person who owns or harbors a dog shall produce proof of a valid dog license upon request of a

person who is authorized to enforce this act.

History: Add. 1972, Act 349, Im Eff Jan 9, 1973.

 

287.270 “Kennel” defined; kennel license; fee; tags; certificate; rules; inspection; exception.

Sec. 10. For the purposes of this act, a kennel shall be construed as an establishment wherein or whereon 3 or more dogs are confined and kept for sale, boarding, breeding or training purposes, for remuneration, and a kennel facility shall be so constructed as to prevent the public or stray dogs from obtaining entrance thereto and gaining contact with dogs lodged in the kennel. Any person who keeps or operates a kennel may, in lieu of individual license required under this act, apply to the county treasurer for a kennel license entitling him to keep or operate a kennel. Proof of vaccination of dogs against rabies shall not be required with the application.

The license shall be issued by the county treasurer on a form prepared and supplied by the director of the department of agriculture, and shall entitle the licensee to keep any number of dogs 6 months old or over not at any time exceeding a certain number to be specified in the license. The fee to be paid for a kennel license shall be $10.00 for 10 dogs or less, and $25.00 for more than 10 dogs. A fee of double the original license fee shall be charged for each previously licensed kennel, whose kennel license is applied for after June 1. With each kennel license the county treasurer shall issue a number of metal tags equal to the number of dogs authorized to be kept in the kennel. All the tags shall bear the name of the county issuing it, the number of the kennel license, and shall be readily distinguishable from the individual license tags for the same year.

The county treasurer or county animal control officer shall not issue a kennel license for a new kennel under the provisions of this act unless the applicant furnishes an inspection certificate signed by the director of the department of agriculture, or his authorized representative, stating that the kennel to be covered by the license complies with the reasonable sanitary requirements of the department of agriculture, and that the dogs therein are properly fed and protected from exposure commensurate with the breed of the dog. The director of the department of agriculture shall promulgate reasonable rules with respect to the inspections in the manner prescribed by law. The inspection shall be made not more than 30 days before filing the application for license. The provisions of this act shall not be effective in the counties of this state that are operating under the provisions of section 16 wherein the board of supervisors have appointed a county animal control officer with certain powers and duties, unless the counties by a resolution duly adopted by the board of supervisors accept the provisions of this act.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1925, Act 322, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925;--CL 1929, 5254;--Am. 1933, Act 79, Imd. Eff. May 19, 1933;--Am. 1945, Act 245, Eff. Sept. 6, 1945;--CL 1948, 287.270;--Am. 1953, Act 172, Imd. Eff. June 4, 1953;--Am. 1969, Act 195, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9,  1973. Administrative rules: R 285.129.1 of the Michigan Administrative Code.

 

287.270b Kennel licensing ordinance.

Sec. 10b. Any city, township or village having in its employment a full-time animal control officer may adopt an ordinance providing for the issuance of kennel licenses by the animal control officer on the same terms, conditions and fees as is provided in section 10. Upon the adoption of the ordinance the city, township or village shall be excepted from the provisions of sections 10 and 11 of this act.

History: Add. 1966, Act 132, Eff. Mar. 10, 1967;--Am. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973.

 

287.271 Rules governing kennel dogs.

Sec. 11. The licensee of a kennel shall, at all times, keep 1 of such tags attached to a collar on each dog 4 months old or over kept by him under a kennel license. No dog bearing a kennel tag shall be permitted to stray or be taken anywhere outside the limits of the kennel. This section does not prohibit the taking of dogs having a kennel license outside the limits of the kennel temporarily and in leash, nor does it prohibit the taking of such dogs out of the kennel temporarily for the purpose of hunting, breeding, trial or show.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5255;--CL 1948, 287.271.

 

287.272 Lost tags.

Sec. 12. If any dog tag is lost, it shall be replaced without cost by the county treasurer, upon application by the

owner of the dog, and upon production of such license and a sworn statement of the facts regarding the loss of

such tag.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5256;--CL 1948, 287.272.

 

287.273 License and tag; transferability.

Sec. 13. No license or license tag issued for 1 dog shall be transferable to another dog. Whenever the ownership or possession of any dog is permanently transferred from 1 person to another within the same county, the license of such dog may be likewise transferred, upon notice given to the county treasurer who shall note such transfer upon his record. This act does not require the procurement of a new license, or the transfer of a license already secured, when the possession of a dog is temporarily transferred, for the purpose of hunting game, or for breeding, trial, or show, in the state of Michigan.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5257;--CL 1948, 287.273.

 

287.274 Application for license blanks and tags; issuance of dog licenses and tags; fee; return of unused tags, books, and receipts; contents of receipt; paying over money; resolution providing that clerk perform duties of treasurer.

Sec. 14.

(1) Every township or city treasurer shall, on or before December 1 each year, apply to the county treasurer for necessary license blanks and tags for the ensuing year and shall issue dog licenses and tags in a manner prescribed for issuing licenses by the county treasurer.

Every township or city treasurer shall receive for the services of licensing dogs a reasonable fee at a rate determined by the county board of commissioners for each dog license issued.

(2) Each township or city treasurer shall not later than March 1 each year, or June 1 each year for a county operating under section 6(3)(b) or (c), return to the county treasurer all unused tags, and the book or books from which dog licenses have been issued, containing receipts properly filled out, and showing the name of the person issued each license and the number of each license issued and a full description of each dog licensed. The township or city treasurer shall on or before March 1 each year, or June 1 each year for a county operating under section 6(3)(b) or (c), pay over all money received for issuing licenses less the amount set by the board of commissioners to be retained by the township or village for each license issued.

(3) A city may, by resolution of its legislative body, provide that its clerk shall perform the duties by this act imposed on the treasurer. Upon the adoption of the resolution, the treasurer of a city is not required to issue licenses under this act but the clerk of the city shall perform, in the manner and under the terms and conditions, and with the same compensation, all of the duties imposed upon city treasurers by this act.

(4) A township treasurer, city treasurer, or city clerk may enter an agreement with the county treasurer for the county treasurer to perform the duties of the township treasurer, city treasurer, or city clerk under this act.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919 ;--Am. 1921, Act 310, Eff. Aug. 18, 1921 ;--Am. 1925, Act 322, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925 ;--CL 1929, 5258 ;--Am. 1933, Act 79, Imd. Eff. May 19, 1933 ;--Am. 1947, Act 168, Eff. Oct. 11, 1947 ;--CL 1948, 287.274 ;--Am. 1977, Act 317, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1978 ;--Am. 1998, Act 390, Imd. Eff. Nov. 30, 1998 ;--Am. 2000, Act 438, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 2001.

 

287.274a. Notification of dog owners of availability of microchip implementation and registration and statewide tattoo identification registry

Sec. 14a. (1) When issuing a dog license pursuant to section 14, [FN1] a county treasurer, city clerk, city treasurer, township treasurer, or the authorized agent of a city or township treasurer, including, but not limited to, a licensed veterinarian, an animal control shelter, or an animal protection shelter, shall also provide information to the dog owner regarding both of the following:

(a) The availability of microchip implantation and registration for dogs by a licensed veterinarian, an animal control shelter, or an animal protection shelter.

(b) The availability of a statewide tattoo identification registry for dogs maintained by the state department of agriculture.

(2) As used in this section, "animal control shelter" and "animal protection shelter" mean those terms as defined in section 1 of 1969 PA 287, MCL 287.331, and are facilities registered with the state department of agriculture pursuant to section 6 of 1969 PA 287, MCL 287.336.

CREDIT(S)

P.A.1919, No. 339, § 14a, added by P.A.2006, No. 551, Eff. March 30, 2007.

[FN1] M.C.L.A. § 287.274.

 

287.275 County treasurer’s record; inspection.

Sec. 15. The county treasurer shall keep a record of all dog licenses, and all kennel licenses, issued during the year in each city and township in his or her county. Such record shall contain the name and address of the person to whom each license is issued and the expiration date of each license. For an individual license, the record shall also state the breed, sex, age, color, and markings of the dog licensed; and for a kennel license, it shall state the place where the business is conducted. The record is a public record and shall be open to inspection during business hours. The county treasurer shall also keep an accurate record of all license fees collected by the county treasurer or paid over to him or her by any city or township treasurer.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5259;--CL 1948, 287.275;--Am. 1998, Act 390, Imd. Eff. Nov. 30, 1998.

 

287.276 Listing of dogs; compensation of supervisor; appointment, duties, and compensation of animal control officer.

Sec. 16. The supervisor of each township and the assessor of every city, annually, on taking his assessment of property as required by law, may make diligent inquiry as to the number of dogs owned, harbored or kept by all persons in his assessing district; and on or before June 1, make a complete report to the county treasurer, for his county, on a blank form furnished by the director of agriculture, setting forth the name of every owner, or keeper, of any dog, subject to license under this act, how many of each sex are owned by him, and if a kennel license is maintained such fact shall be also stated. Every supervisor or assessor shall receive for his services in listing such dogs at a rate determined by the board of supervisors for each dog so listed, which sums shall be paid out of the general fund of the county. In any city having a population of 5,000 or more, the county board of supervisors may by resolution appoint for a term of 2 years, an animal control officer, who shall perform in and for the city all the duties which this act prescribes for the supervisors of townships, and who shall receive the same compensation as is herein provided for supervisors.

The board of supervisors of any county may, by resolution, appoint for the county for a term of 2 years an animal control officer whose duties and compensation shall be such as shall be prescribed by the board of supervisors and who may be delegated the duties required by this section to be performed by the supervisors and assessors without extra compensation.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1925, Act 322, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925;--Am. 1925, Act 327, Imd. Eff. May 26, 1925;--CL 1929, 5260;--Am. 1933, Act 79, Imd. Eff. May 19, 1933;--Am. 1941, Act 278, Eff. Jan. 10, 1942;--Am. 1947, Act 168, Eff. Oct. 11, 1947;--CL 1948, 287.276;--Am. 1967, Act 197, Eff. Nov. 2, 1967;--Am. 1968, Act 38, Eff. Jan. 1, 1969;--Am. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973.

 

287.277 Identification and location of unlicensed dogs; public nuisance; list; commencement of proceedings; duties of sheriff; nonfeasance in office.

Sec. 17. The county treasurer may, based on records of the dogs actually licensed in each city or township of the county and any report under section 16, identify and locate all unlicensed dogs. If a dog is required to be licensed under this act but is unlicensed, the dog is a public nuisance. The county treasurer shall immediately list all unlicensed dogs identified by this section and shall deliver copies of the list to the prosecuting attorney of the county and to the director of the department of agriculture. On receiving from the county treasurer the name of any owner of an unlicensed dog, the prosecuting attorney shall at once commence the necessary proceedings against the owner of the dog, as required by this act. The sheriff shall locate and kill, or cause to be killed, all such unlicensed dogs. Failure, refusal, or neglect on the part of a sheriff to carry out the provisions of this section constitutes nonfeasance in office.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1925, Act 322, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925;--CL 1929, 5261;--Am. 1933, Act 79, Imd. Eff. May 19, 1933;--CL 1948, 287.277;--Am. 1967, Act 197, Eff. Nov. 2, 1967;--Am. 1968, Act 38, Eff. Jan. 1, 1969;--Am. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973;--Am. 1998, Act 390, Imd. Eff. Nov. 30, 1998.

 

287.278 Killing of dog molesting wildlife.

Sec. 18. A law enforcement officer may kill a dog determined to be molesting wildlife and not hunting as defined in this act.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1925, Act 322, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925;--CL 1929, 5262;--CL 1948, 287.278;--Am. 1973, Act 32, Imd. Eff. June 14, 1973.

 

287.279 Killing of dog pursuing, worrying, or wounding livestock or poultry, or attacking person; damages for trespass; effect of license tag.

Sec. 19. Any person including a law enforcement officer may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing, worrying, or wounding any livestock or poultry or attacking persons, and there shall be no liability on such person in damages or otherwise, for such killing. Any dog that enters any field or enclosure which is owned by or leased by a person producing livestock or poultry, outside of a city, unaccompanied by his owner or his owner’s agent, shall constitute a trespass, and the owner shall be liable in damages. Except as provided in this section, it shall be unlawful for any person, other than a law enforcement officer, to kill or injure or attempt to kill or injure any dog which bears a license tag for the current year.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5263;--CL 1948, 287.279;--Am. 1959, Act 42, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960;--Am. 1973, Act 32, Imd. Eff. June 14, 1973.

 

287.279a Killing dog or other animal; use of high altitude decompression chamber or electrocution prohibited.

Sec. 19a. An animal control officer or other person killing a dog or other animal pursuant to the laws of this state shall not use a high altitude decompression chamber or electrocution for that killing.

History: Add. 1980, Act 382, Eff. Mar. 31, 1981.

 

287.280 Loss or damage to livestock or poultry caused by dogs; complaint; examination; summons; proceedings; killing of dog; liability of owner or keeper.

Sec. 20. If a person sustains any loss or damage to livestock or poultry that is caused by dogs, or if the livestock of a person is necessarily destroyed because of having been bitten by a dog, the person or his or her agent or attorney may complain to the township supervisor or a township officer or other qualified person designated by the township board of the township in which the damage occurred. The complaint shall be in writing, signed by the person making it, and shall state when, where, what, and how much damage was done, and, if known, by whose dog or dogs. The township supervisor or a township officer or other qualified person designated by the township board shall at once examine the place where the alleged damage was sustained and the livestock or poultry injured or killed, if  practicable. He or she shall also examine under oath, or affirmation, any witness called. After making diligent inquiry in relation to the claim, the township supervisor or a township officer or other person designated by the township board shall determine whether damage has been sustained and the amount of that damage, and, if possible, who was the owner of the dog or dogs that did the damage. If during the course of the proceedings the owner of the dog causing the loss or damage to the livestock becomes known, the township supervisor or a township officer or other person designated by the township board shall request the district court judge to immediately issue a summons against the owner commanding him or her to appear before the township supervisor or township officer or other person  designated by the township board and show cause why the dog should not be killed. The summons may be served anyplace within the county in which the damage occurred, and shall be made returnable not less than 2 nor more than 6 days from the date stated in the summons and shall be served at least 2 days before the time of appearance mentioned in the summons. Upon the return day fixed in the summons the township supervisor or township officer or other person designated by the township board shall proceed to determine whether the loss or damage to the livestock was caused by the dog, and if so he or she shall immediately notify the sheriff or the animal control officer of the county of that fact and upon notification the sheriff or the animal control officer shall kill the dog wherever found. Any owner or keeper of the dog or dogs shall be liable to the county in a civil action for all damages and costs paid by the county on any claim as provided in this section.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5264;--Am. 1937, Act 47, Imd. Eff. May 18, 1937;--CL1948, 287.280;--Am. 1968, Act 38, Eff. Jan. 1, 1969;--Am. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973;--Am. 1989, Act 45, Imd. Eff. June 12, 1989.

 

287.281 Report of examination.

Sec. 21. If after making the examination required in section 20, the township supervisor or other person designated by the township board has determined that damage has been sustained by the complainant, the township supervisor or other person designated by the township board, upon payment to him or her of his or her costs up to that time by the complainant, shall deliver a report of the examination and all papers relating to the case to the county board of commissioners of the county in which the loss was sustained. The report shall be filed in the office of the county board of commissioners.

If the complainant has not paid the costs, the township supervisor or other person designated by the township board shall state that fact in the report and the amount of the unpaid costs.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1929, Act 131, Eff. Aug. 28, 1929;--CL 1929, 5265;--CL 1948, 287.281;--Am. 1980, Act 223, Imd. Eff. July 18, 1980.

 

287.282 Damage to livestock or poultry by dogs; fees of justice, inclusion in damages.

Sec. 22. Justices of the peace, for the services rendered under this act, shall receive $4.00 for each case, and 10 cents per mile for each mile traveled, to be paid by the claimant in each case. In all cases where damages are awarded, the fees paid by claimants shall be included in the amount of such damages.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 266;--CL 1948, 287.282;--Am. 1958, Act 26, Eff. Sept. 13, 1958.

 

287.283 Payment for amount of loss or damage; costs; investigation.

Sec. 23. (1) When the county board of commissioners of the county receives a report of the township supervisor or other person designated by the township board pursuant to section 21, if it appears from the report that a certain amount of damage has been sustained by the claimant, the county board of commissioners shall immediately draw their order on the treasurer of the county in favor of the claimant for the amount of loss or damage which the claimant has sustained, together  with all necessary and proper costs incurred. If the claim filed with the board appears from the report filed to be illegal or unjust, the board may make an investigation of the case and make its award accordingly.

(2) An amount awarded pursuant to this section shall be paid by the county out of its general fund. A payment shall not be made for any item which has already been paid by the owner of the dog or dogs doing the injury.

If a payment is made by the county for any livestock or poultry bitten by a dog or dogs, the payment shall not exceed the amount allowed by the county board of commissioners.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1925, Act 31, Eff. Aug. 27, 1925;--Am. 1927, Act 52, Eff. Sept. 5, 1927;--Am. 1929, Act 131, Eff. Aug. 28, 1929;--CL 1929, 5267;--Am. 1931, Act 286, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931;--Am. 1945, Act 233, Eff. Sept. 6, 1945;--CL 1948, 287.283;--Am. 1980, Act 223, Imd. Eff. July 18, 1980.

 

287.284 Board of county auditors; duties.

Sec. 24. In a county having a board of county auditors, that board shall receive, audit, and determine all claims for damages under this act, and when a claim is found to be legal and just, the board of county auditors shall order its payment out of the general fund of the county.

A township supervisor or other person designated by the township board in a county having a board of county auditors shall deliver the report of investigation under this act to the board of county auditors.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5268;--CL 1948, 287.284;--Am. 1980, Act 223, Imd. Eff. July 18, 1980.

 

287.285 Saving clause; disposition of dog fund; expense of dog department in cities, payment.

Sec. 25. Any valid claims for loss or damage to live stock which have accrued under any general or local laws, prior to the taking effect of this act, shall not abate by reason of the repeal of such laws by the operation of this act, but all such claims, and all claims arising under this act and all expense incurred in any county in enforcing the provisions of this act shall be paid out of the general fund of the county. At the time this act takes effect, all moneys then in the “dog fund” in the hands of township or city treasurers, derived from the taxation of dogs under existing laws, shall be turned into the county general fund: Provided, In all cities having a well regulated dog department, the reasonable expense of maintaining the same, shall be borne by said county, duly audited by the board of supervisors, and in any county having a board of county auditors, said board of county auditors shall audit said reasonable bills, to be paid out of the general fund of the county.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5269;--CL 1948, 287.285.

 

287.286 Penalties; disposition of fines.

Sec. 26. Any person or police officer, violating or failing or refusing to comply with any of the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall pay a fine not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00, or shall be imprisoned in the county jail for not exceeding 3 months, or both such fine and imprisonment. Any person presenting a false claim, knowing it to be false, or receiving any money on such false claim, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, shall pay a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00, or shall be imprisoned in the county jail for not exceeding 3 months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

All fines collected under the provisions of this act shall be paid to the treasurer of the county to be credited to the library fund of the county.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5270;--CL 1948, 287.286;--Am. 1969, Act 195, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.286a Sworn complaint; contents; issuance of summons; hearing; order; penalty for disobedience; costs; audit and payment of claims.

Sec. 26a. (1) A district court magistrate or the district or common pleas court shall issue a summons similar to the summons provided for in section 20 to show cause why a dog should not be killed, upon a sworn complaint that any of the following exist:

(a) After January 10 and before June 15 in each year a dog over 6 months old is running at large unaccompanied by its owner or is engaged in lawful hunting and is not under the reasonable control of its owner without a license attached to the collar of the dog.

(b) A dog, licensed or unlicensed, has destroyed property or habitually causes damage by trespassing on the property of a person who is not the owner.

(c) A dog, licensed or unlicensed, has attacked or bitten a person.

(d) A dog has shown vicious habits or has molested a person when lawfully on the public highway.

(e) A dog duly licensed and wearing a license tag has run at large contrary to this act.

(2) After a hearing the district court magistrate or the district or common pleas court may either order the dog killed, or confined to the premises of the owner.

If the owner disobeys this order the owner may be punished under section 26. Costs as in a civil case shall be taxed against the owner of the dog, and collected by the county. The county board of commissioners shall audit and pay claims for services of officers rendered pursuant to this section, unless the claims are paid by the owner of the dog.

History: Add. 1927, Act 114, Eff. Sept. 5, 1927;--CL 1929, 5271;--CL 1948, 287.286a;--Am. 1977, Act 261, Imd. Eff. Dec. 8, 1977.

 

287.286b Penalty for stealing or confining licensed dog.

Sec. 26b. Any person who shall steal, or confine and secrete any dog licensed under this act or kept under a kennel license, unless legally authorized to do so, or unless such confining be justifiable in the protection of person, property or game, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine of not less than 50.00 nor more than $100.00, or imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 60 nor more than 90 days, or both in the discretion of the court.

History: Add. 1939, Act 17, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.286b.

 

287.287 Recovery of value of dog illegally killed.

Sec. 27. Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent the owner of a licensed dog from recovery, by action at law, from any police officer or other person, the value of any dog illegally killed by such police officer or other person.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5272;--CL 1948, 287.287.

 

287.288 Common law liability.

Sec. 28. Nothing in this act contained shall be construed as limiting the common law liability of the owner of a dog for damages committed by it.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5273;--CL 1948, 287.288.

 

287.289 Dogs imported temporarily.

Sec. 29. None of the provisions of this act shall be construed to require the licensing of any dog imported into this state, for a period not exceeding 30 days, for show, trial, breeding or hunting purposes.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--CL 1929, 5274;--CL 1948, 287.289.

 

287.289a Animal control agency; establishment; employees; jurisdiction; contents of animal control ordinance.

Sec. 29a. The board of county commissioners by ordinance may establish an animal control agency which shall employ at least 1 animal control officer. The board of county commissioners may assign the animal control agency to any existing county department. The animal control agency shall have jurisdiction to enforce this act in any city, village or township which does not have an animal control ordinance. The county’s animal control ordinance shall provide for animal control programs, facilities, personnel and necessary expenses incurred in animal control. The ordinance is subject to sections 6 and 30.

History: Add. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973.

 

287.289b County animal control officers; employment standards.

Sec. 29b. (1) The board of county commissioners shall adopt minimum employment standards relative to the recruitment, selection and appointment of animal control officers. The minimum standards shall include:

(a) Requirements for physical, educational, mental and moral fitness.

(b) A minimum course of study of not less than 100 instructional hours as prescribed by the department of agriculture.

(2) Subdivision (b) shall not apply if the animal control officer is a police officer or has served at least 3 years as an animal control officer.

History: Add. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973.

 

287.289c Municipal animal control officers; employment standards.

Sec. 29c. Any city, village or township adopting or having adopted an animal control ordinance shall provide in the ordinance that the minimum employment standards relative to the recruitment, selection and appointment of animal control officers shall at least equal the minimum standards set forth in section 29b.

History: Add. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973.

 

287.290 Municipal animal control ordinances; certificate of vaccination.

Sec. 30. A city, village or township by action of its governing body may adopt an animal control ordinance to regulate the licensing, payment of claims and providing for the enforcement thereof. A city, village, county or township adopting a dog licensing ordinance or ordinances shall also require that such application for a license, except kennel licenses, shall be accompanied by proof of vaccination of the dog for rabies by a valid certificate of vaccination for rabies, with a vaccine licensed by the United States department of agriculture, signed by an accredited veterinarian.

History: 1919, Act 339, Eff. Aug. 14, 1919;--Am. 1921, Act 310, Eff. Aug. 18, 1921;--Am. 1929, Act 329, Eff. Aug. 28, 1929;--CL 1929, 5275;--Am. 1933, Act 189, Imd. Eff. June 28, 1933;--Am. 1941, Act 288, Eff. Jan. 10, 1942;--Am. 1943, Act 209, Imd. Eff. Apr. 17, 1943;--CL 1948, 287.290;--Am. 1949, Act 22, Eff. Sept. 23, 1949;--Am. 1952, Act 125, Eff. Sept. 18, 1952;--Am.1953, Act 172, Imd. Eff. June 4, 1953;--Am. 1959, Act 211, Eff. Mar. 19, 1960;--Am. 1969, Act 195, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1971, Act 229, Eff. Mar. 30, 1972;--Am. 1972, Act 349, Imd. Eff. Jan. 9, 1973.

 

LEADER DOGS FOR BLIND PERSONS

Act 207 of 1970

287.291 Guide, leader, hearing, or service dogs not subject to licensing fee; definitions.

Sec. 1.

(1) Notwithstanding any law or ordinance to the contrary, a dog is not subject to any fee for licensing if either of the following applies:

(a) The dog is used as a guide or leader dog for a blind person, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired person, or a service dog for a physically limited person.

(b) The dog is owned by a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that trains dogs for use as guide or leader dogs for blind persons, hearing dogs for deaf or audibly impaired persons, or service dogs for physically limited persons.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) “Audibly impaired” means audibly impaired as defined in section 1 of 1981 PA 82, MCL 752.61.

(b) “Blind person” means a blind person as defined in section 1 of 1978 PA 260, MCL 393.351.

(c) “Deaf person” means a deaf person as defined in section 1 of 1981 PA 82, MCL 752.61.

(d) “Physically limited” means physically limited as defined in section 1 of 1966 PA 1, MCL 125.1351.

History: 1970, Act 207, Imd. Eff. Aug. 25, 1970 ;--Am.1981, Act 74, Imd. Eff. June 30, 1981 ;--Am. 1984, Act 112, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1984 ;--Am. 2000, Act 4, Imd. Eff. Feb. 22, 2000 .

 

REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF DOGS

(Act 309 of 1939)

287.301 Dogs; tattooing of serial number; application, fee.

Sec. 1. From and after the first day of January, 1940, any person may have any dog tattooed with a registration number, as hereinafter provided. The owner of any such dog shall apply to the commissioner of agriculture, on blanks furnished by such commissioner, for the registration of any such dog. Upon satisfying the commissioner of agriculture that the applicant is the owner of such dog, the commissioner of agriculture shall assign a specific number (which shall not permit duplication) of the ownership of such dog, such number to be tattooed on and through the ear of the animal and on the inside and through the skin of a rear leg,--such tattooing to be done by such persons as shall be designated by the commissioner of agriculture, and shall be made by the use of permanent tattoo ink, such person so tattooing any dog to receive such fee therefor as shall be designated by the commissioner of agriculture. The  application for registration shall be accompanied by a fee of $1.00.

History: 1939, Act 309, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.301. Cited in other sections: Section 287.301 et seq. is cited in S 287.322.

 

287.302 Dogs; assignment of title; filing; issuance of title to purchaser.

Sec. 2. The specific number of ownership assigned to such dog shall constitute a title to the owner of such dog and upon the sale of such dog by such owner he shall make an assignment of title and the purchaser shall immediately cause such assignment to be transmitted to the commissioner of agriculture, who shall issue a title in the name of the purchaser of such assignment, to be accompanied by a fee of $1.00.

History: 1939, Act 309, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.302.

 

287.303 Identification certificate; issuance to owner.

Sec. 3. Upon the registration or assignment of title the commissioner of agriculture shall issue to the owner of such dog an identification certificate.

History: 1939, Act 309, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.303.

 

287.304 Record of dog and owner kept by commissioner of agriculture.

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the commissioner of agriculture to keep a permanent record of the name and address of the owner of every dog so registered, the title number, name, breed, sex and color of each dog so registered, and furnish any law-enforcing agency a true copy of such records upon request.

History: 1939, Act 309, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.304.

 

287.305 Lost dog; finder entitled to fee for keeping.

Sec. 5. Any person finding a dog registered under the provisions of this act shall be entitled to the sum of 25 cents per day for boarding such dog, such board to be paid by the owner. The commissioner of agriculture shall furnish such finder with the name and address of the owner, upon request.

History: 1939, Act 309, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.305.

 

287.306 Fees credited to general fund.

Sec. 6. All fees received by the department of agriculture under the provisions of this act for the registration or assignment of titles of such dogs shall be paid to the commissioner of agriculture and by the commissioner of agriculture turned into the state treasury and any accumulated balance as of June 30, 1949, shall be credited to the general fund.

History: 1939, Act 309, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.306;--Am. 1949, Act 132, Imd. Eff. May 20, 1949.

 

287.307 Mutilating of serial number prohibited; penalty.

Sec. 7. No person, corporation, club or organization shall tattoo any number over or upon the number tattooed on any dog by the authorized agent of the commissioner of agriculture so as to deface the same and prevent identification by the owner of such dog, nor shall such person, corporation, club or organization duplicate any number used by the commissioner of agriculture. Upon proof of such mutilation of such number, such person, corporation, club or organization shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished in accordance with the laws of the state.

History: 1939, Act 309, Eff. Sept. 29, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.307.

 

287.308 Stealing or holding dog in possession; penalty.

Sec. 8. Any person who shall steal or take without the consent of the owner and without lawful authority, any dog registered under the provisions of this act, or any person excepting dog wardens who shall harbor or hold in his possession any stray dog of which he is not the owner and does not report such possession to the sheriff of the county or the police department of the city in which he is holding such dog within 48 hours after such person came in possession of said dog, where the value of such dog shall not be in excess of $100.00, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and where the value of such dog shall be in excess of $100.00, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 1 year, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.

History: Add. 1943, Act 146, Eff. July 30, 1943;--Am. 1945, Act 11, Eff. Sept. 6, 1945;--CL 1948, 287.308.

 

DANGEROUS ANIMALS

(Act 426 of 1988)

287.321 Definitions.

Sec. 1. As used in this act:

(a) “Dangerous animal” means a dog or other animal that bites or attacks a person, or a dog that bites or attacks and causes serious injury or death to another dog while the other dog is on the property or under the control of its owner. However, a dangerous animal does not include any of the following:

(i) An animal that bites or attacks a person who is knowingly trespassing on the property of the animal’s owner.

(ii) An animal that bites or attacks a person who provokes or torments the animal.

(iii) An animal that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person if that person is engaged in a lawful activity or is the subject of an assault.

(iv) Livestock.

(b) “Livestock” means animals used for human food and fiber or animals used for service to human beings. Livestock includes, but is not limited to, cattle, swine, sheep, llamas, goats, bison, equine, poultry, and rabbits.

Livestock does not include animals that are human companions, such as dogs and cats.

(c) “Owner” means a person who owns or harbors a dog or other animal.

(d) “Provoke” means to perform a willful act or omission that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude is likely to precipitate the bite or attack by an ordinary dog or animal.

(e) “Serious injury” means permanent, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of a bodily function of a person.

(f) “Torment” means an act or omission that causes unjustifiable pain, suffering, and distress to an animal, or causes mental and emotional anguish in the animal as evidenced by its altered behavior, for a purpose such as sadistic pleasure, coercion, or punishment that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude is likely to precipitate the bite or attack.

History: 1988, Act 426, Eff. Mar. 30, 1989.

 

287.322 Sworn complaint; summons; surrender of animal; expense; rabies vaccination and license required; destruction of animal; notification of animal control authority; ordering owner of animals to take certain actions.

Sec. 2. (1) Upon a sworn complaint that an animal is a dangerous animal and the animal has caused serious injury or death to a person or has caused serious injury or death to a dog, a district court magistrate, district court, or a municipal court shall issue a summons to the owner ordering him or her to appear to show cause why the animal should not be destroyed.

(2) Upon the filing of a sworn complaint as provided in subsection (1), the court or magistrate shall order the owner to immediately turn the animal over to a proper animal control authority, an incorporated humane society, a licensed veterinarian, or a boarding kennel, at the owner’s option, to be retained by them until a hearing is held and a decision is made for the disposition of the animal. The owner shall notify the person who retains the animal under this section of the complaint and order. The expense of the boarding and retention of the animal is to be borne by the owner. The animal shall not be returned to the owner until it has a current rabies vaccination and a license as required by law.

(3) After a hearing, the magistrate or court shall order the destruction of the animal, at the expense of the owner, if the animal is found to be a dangerous animal that caused serious injury or death to a person or a dog.

After a hearing, the court may order the destruction of the animal, at the expense of the owner, if the court finds that the animal is a dangerous animal that did not cause serious injury or death to a person but is likely in the future to cause serious injury or death to a person or in the past has been adjudicated a dangerous animal.

(4) If the court or magistrate finds that an animal is a dangerous animal but has not caused serious injury or death to a person, the court or magistrate shall notify the animal control authority for the county in which the complaint was filed of the finding of the court, the name of the owner of the dangerous animal, and the address at which the animal was kept at the time of the finding of the court. In addition, the court or magistrate shall order the owner of that animal to do 1 or more of the following:

(a) If the animal that has been found to be a dangerous animal is of the canis familiaris species, have an identification number tattooed upon the animal, at the owner’s expense, by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The identification number shall be assigned to the animal by the Michigan department of agriculture and shall be noted in its records pursuant to Act No. 309 of the Public Acts of 1939, being sections 287.301 to 287.308 of the Michigan Compiled Laws. The identification number shall be tattooed on the upper inner left rear thigh of the animal by means of indelible or permanent ink.

(b) Take specific steps, such as escape proof fencing or enclosure, including a top or roof, to ensure that the animal cannot escape or nonauthorized individuals cannot enter the premises.

(c) Have the animal sterilized.

(d) Obtain and maintain liability insurance coverage sufficient to protect the public from any damage or harm caused by the animal.

(e) Take any other action appropriate to protect the public.

History: 1988, Act 426, Eff. Mar. 30, 1989.

 

287.323 Owner guilty of involuntary manslaughter, felony, or misdemeanor; penalty; costs.

Sec. 3. (1) The owner of an animal that meets the definition of a dangerous animal in section 1(a) that causes the death of a person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, punishable under section 321 of the Michigan penal code, Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being section 750.321 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(2) If an animal that meets the definition of a dangerous animal in section 1(a) attacks a person and causes serious injury other than death, the owner of the animal is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years, a fine of not less than $2,000.00, or community service work for not less than 500 hours, or any combination of these penalties.

(3) If an animal previously adjudicated to be a dangerous animal attacks or bites a person and causes an injury that is not a serious injury, the owner of the animal is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, a fine of not less than $250.00 nor more than $500.00, or community service work for not less than 240 hours, or any combination of these penalties.

(4) If the owner of an animal that is previously adjudicated to be a dangerous animal allows the animal to run at large, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, a fine of not less than $250.00 nor more than $500.00, or community service work for not less than 240 hours, or any combination of these penalties.

(5) The court may order a person convicted under this section to pay the costs of the prosecution.

History: 1988, Act 426, Eff. Mar. 30, 1989.

 

PET SHOPS, DOG POUNDS, AND ANIMAL SHELTERS

(Act 287 of 1969)

287.331 Definitions.

Sec. 1. As used in this act:

(a) “Adoption” means a transfer of ownership, with or without remuneration, of a dog, cat, or ferret from an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter to an individual for the purpose of being a companion animal for that individual. As used in this sub-division, a companion animal includes but is not limited to a dog that is used for hunting or as a guard dog.

(b) “Alteration” means a professional sterilization procedure performed by a veterinarian that renders a dog, cat, or ferret incapable of reproducing.

(c) “Altered”, in reference to a dog, cat, or ferret, means having undergone alteration.

(d) “Animal” means a mammal except livestock as defined in 1937 PA 284, MCL 287.121 to 287.131, and rodents.

(e) “Animal control shelter” means a facility operated by a municipality for the impoundment and care of animals that are found in the streets or at large, animals that are otherwise held due to the violation of a municipal ordinance or state law, or animals that are surrendered to the animal control shelter.

(f) “Animal protection shelter” means a facility operated by a person, humane society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other nonprofit organization for the care of homeless animals.

(g) “Cat” means a domestic cat of any age of the species felis catus.

(h) “Department” means the state department of agriculture.

(I) “Director” means the director of the department or his or her authorized representative.

(j) “Dog” means a domestic dog of any age of the species canis familiaris.

(k) “Ferret” means an animal of any age of the species mustela furo.

(l) “Health certificate” means a certificate in a form prescribed by the department in which a veterinarian attests to the age, sex, breed, and description of an animal, and to the fact that at the time of preparation of the certificate, the  veterinarian examined the animal and found the animal free from visual evidence of communicable disease.

(m) “Municipality” means a county, city, village, or township.

(n) “Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity.

(o) “Pet shop” means a place where animals are sold or offered for sale, exchange, or transfer.

(p) “Veterinarian” means a person licensed to practice veterinary medicine under article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1980, Act 214, Imd. Eff. July 18, 1980;--Am. 1997, Act 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

 

287.332 Rules; promulgation.

Sec. 2. The agriculture department shall issue rules to accomplish the purposes of this act and to establish minimum standards for housing, care and handling of animals to insure the humane care and handling of animals.

The rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 88 of the Public Acts of 1943, as amended, being sections 24.71 to 24.80 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, and subject to Act No. 197 of the Public Acts of 1952, as amended, being sections 24.101 to 24.110 of the Compiled Laws of 1948.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

Administrative rules: R 285.151.1 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code.

 

287.333 License required.

Sec. 3. No person shall operate a pet shop unless he has first received a license from the department of agriculture under the provisions of this act.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.334 Pet shop licenses; application; fees; duration; renewal; processing

Sec. 4. (1) Applications for pet shop licenses shall be on a form as provided or made available by the director. Beginning October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2012, the director shall issue pet shop licenses for a term of 1 year beginning January 1 of each year. After September 30, 2012, the director shall issue a pet shop license upon application and payment of a license fee of $150.00.

(2) Subject to subsection (6) and until September 30, 2012, the department shall charge a fee of $200.00 for an initial application for a pet shop license and a fee of $100.00 for renewal of a pet shop license.

(3) Until September 30, 2012 and except as otherwise provided for in this section, a pet shop license is renewable by submission of a completed renewal application provided or made available by the department and payment of the renewal fee described in subsection (2).

(4) The department shall deposit all license fees, inspection fees, other noncriminal fines or fees, and administrative fines received pursuant to this act into the agriculture licensing and inspection fees fund created in section 9 of the insect pest and plant disease act, 1931 PA 189, MCL 286.209, to be used, pursuant to appropriation, by the director in administering and carrying out those duties required by law under this act.

(5) Beginning July 23, 2004, the department shall issue an initial or renewal pet shop license not later than 90 days after the applicant files a completed application. Receipt of the application is considered the date the application is received by any agency or department of the state of Michigan. If the application is considered incomplete by the department, the department shall notify the applicant in writing, or make the information electronically available, within 30 days after receipt of the incomplete application, describing the deficiency and requesting the additional information. The 90- day period is tolled upon notification by the department of a deficiency until the date the requested information is received by the department. The determination of the completeness of an application does not operate as an approval of the application for the license and does not confer eligibility of an applicant determined otherwise ineligible for issuance of a license.

(6) If the department fails to issue or deny a license within the time required by this section, the department shall return the license fee and shall reduce the license fee for the applicant's next renewal application, if any, by 15%. The failure to issue a license within the time required under this subsection does not allow the department to otherwise delay the processing of the application, and that application, upon completion, shall be placed in sequence with other completed applications received at that same time. The department shall not discriminate against an applicant in the processing of the application based upon the fact that the license fee was refunded or discounted under this subsection.

(7) Beginning October 1, 2005, the director of the department shall submit a report by December 1 of each year to the standing committees and appropriations subcommittees of the senate and house of representatives concerned with agriculture issues. The director shall include all of the following information in the report concerning the preceding fiscal year:

(a) The number of initial and renewal applications the department received and completed within the 90-day time period described in subsection (5).

(b) The number of applications denied.

(c) The number of applicants not issued a license within the 90-day time period and the amount of money returned to licensees and registrants under subsection (6).

(8) As used in this section, "completed application" means an application complete on its face and submitted with any applicable licensing fees as well as any other information, records, approval, security, or similar item required by law or rule from a local unit of government, a federal agency, or a private entity but not from another department or agency of the state of Michigan. In the case of an initial application, completed application includes the completion of construction or renovation of any facility and the passing of a satisfactory inspection.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by P.A.2003, No. 83, Imd. Eff. July 23, 2003; P.A.2004, No. 280, Imd. Eff. July 23, 2004; P.A.2007, No. 79, Imd. Eff. Sept. 30, 2007.

 

287.335 Inspection of pet shop premises.

Sec. 5. The director of agriculture shall not issue a license to operate a pet shop until he has inspected the premises to assure that it complies with the provisions of this act and the rules of the department of agriculture.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.335a. Prohibited activities for pet shop operators

Sec. 5a. A person who operates a pet shop shall not do any of the following:

(a) Import or cause to be imported into this state, or offer for sale or resale, a dog or cat less than 8 weeks old.

(b) Import or cause to be imported into this state, or offer for sale or resale, a dog or cat unless the dog or cat has deciduous (baby) teeth visibly present.

(c) Sell or offer for sale a dog, unless the dog has been inoculated against distemper, hepatitis, and leptospirosis, para influenza and, if indicated, has been treated for external and internal parasites, not less than 7 days before the dog’s entry into this state. The dog shall be accompanied by a health certificate signed by a veterinarian, including records of the dog’s medication and immunization.

(d) Sell or offer for sale a cat, unless the cat has been inoculated against feline panleukopenia (cat distemper), rinotraecheitis and calici viruses and, if indicated, has been treated for external and internal parasites, not less than 7 days prior to the cat’s entry into this state. The cat shall be accompanied by a health certificate signed by a veterinarian, including records of the cat’s medication and immunization.

(e) Sell or deliver a dog or cat without providing to the purchaser a health certificate signed by a veterinarian licensed by this state, for the dog or cat. The certificate shall include a health record indicating the date and type of vaccinations which have been given to the dog or cat.

History: Add. 1980, Act 214, Imd. Eff. July 18, 1980.

 

287.336 Animal control shelter; registration.

Sec. 6. A municipality shall not operate an animal control shelter unless the animal control shelter is registered with the department. A society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other person, shall not operate an animal protection shelter unless the shelter is registered with the department.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1997, Act 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

 

287.337 Animal control shelter or animal protection shelter; registration application; forms.

Sec. 7. Application for registration of an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter shall be on forms approved by the department.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1997, Act 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

 

287.338 Animal control shelter or animal protection shelter; inspection; compliance.

Sec. 8. The department shall not register an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter unless the department first inspects it to ensure that it complies with this act and the rules promulgated under this act.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1997, Act 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

 

287.338a Animal control shelter or animal protection shelter; alteration of dog, cat, or ferret.

Sec. 8a. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter shall not permit a person to adopt a dog, cat, or ferret that has not been altered, unless that person has entered into a contract for the alteration of the dog, cat, or ferret with the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter. The contract shall state that the adopting person agrees to have an alteration performed on the dog, cat, or ferret and shall otherwise comply with this section.

(2) A contract with an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter entered into pursuant to subsection

(1) shall require the adopting person to have an alteration performed on the dog, cat, or ferret within 4 weeks after the adoption date if at the time of adoption the dog, cat, or ferret is 6 months of age or older. If the dog, cat, or ferret to be adopted is under 6 months of age at the time of adoption, the contract shall contain the date upon which the dog, cat, or ferret will be 6 months of age, and shall require the person adopting the dog, cat, or ferret to have an alteration performed on the dog, cat, or ferret within 4 weeks after that date. This section does not prevent a veterinarian from performing an alteration on a dog, cat, or ferret that is under 6 months of age.

(3) Upon certification by a veterinarian in writing that a dog, cat, or ferret has a serious, permanent medical or health problem that prevents an alteration, the dog, cat, or ferret adopted is not required to be altered. Upon certification by a veterinarian in writing that an alteration poses a serious, temporary medical or health problem, the alteration may be postponed. The person adopting the dog, cat, or ferret shall have it reevaluated by a veterinarian at intervals not to exceed 14 days and shall have the alteration performed no later than 7 days after a veterinarian determines that the temporary problem is resolved.

(4) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7), a contract entered into pursuant to subsection (1) shall require the adopting person to leave with the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, or a designee of the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, a good faith deposit of at least $25.00 that indicates the person’s intention to have the adopted dog, cat, or ferret altered within the time provided pursuant to subsection (2). If the person fails to comply with the terms of the contract, the deposit is forfeited. The good faith deposit shall be returned to the adopting person if the adopting person submits written certification from a veterinarian of either of the following:

(a) The dog, cat, or ferret died within the time period in which the alteration was required under subsection (2).

(b) The dog, cat, or ferret has a serious, permanent medical or health problem that prevents an alteration.

(5) Money forfeited under subsection (4) shall be used by the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter to finance alterations, for public education regarding the value of having dogs, cats, and ferrets altered, or to otherwise ensure compliance with this section.

(6) If the adopting person complies with the terms of a contract entered into under subsection (1), the good faith deposit of at least $25.00 shall be refunded by the animal control shelter, animal protection shelter, or a designee of the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, upon submission by the adopting person of written certification by a veterinarian that the adopted dog, cat, or ferret was altered. The certificate shall include the date of alteration,  the name of the owner of the dog, cat, or ferret, the description of the dog, cat, or ferret, and the signature of the veterinarian who performed the alteration.

(7) The good faith deposit under subsection (4) is not required if 1 or more of the following apply:

(a) A dog is transferred to a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency.

(b) A dog is transferred to an organization or trainer that trains guide or leader dogs for blind persons, hearing dogs for deaf or audibly impaired persons, or service dogs for physically limited persons.

(c) A dog, cat, or ferret is transferred to another animal control shelter or animal protection shelter or is transferred to a person who will transfer the animal to another animal control shelter or animal protection shelter. Before the first animal control shelter or animal protection shelter releases the animal, it shall obtain from the person to whom the animal is to be released a written statement by the second animal control shelter or animal protection shelter that it is willing to accept the animal for purposes of adoption or humane euthanasia. Promptly after receipt of the animal by the second animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, the person to whom the animal was released shall provide the first animal control shelter or animal protection shelter with a written statement by the second animal control shelter or animal protection shelter containing a description of the dog, cat, or ferret and acknowledging its receipt on a date specified in the statement.

(8) A contract entered into pursuant to subsection (1) shall include a statement that if the terms of the contract are breached because a person adopting a dog, cat, or ferret fails to have the animal altered as required in the contract, then the person agrees to pay liquidated damages of the greater of $100.00 or actual reasonable costs incurred by the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter to enforce the contract. Immediately before a person signs the contract, a representative of the animal control shelter or animal protection shelter shall verbally direct the person’s attention to the liquidated damages agreement in the contract.

History: Add. 1997, Act 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

 

287.339 Animal breeders and animal researchers; applicability of act.

Sec. 9. (1) The licensing and registration requirements of this act do not apply to a person who breeds his or her own animals or to a person subject to 1969 PA 224, MCL 287.381 to 287.395.

(2) Subsection (1) does not create an exemption from vaccination and licensing requirements under the dog law of 1919, 1919 PA 339, MCL 287.261 to 287.290, or from vaccination and handling requirements under 1994 PA 358, MCL 287.891 to 287.901.

(3) This act does not require the alteration of a dog, cat, or ferret being reclaimed from an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter by its owner unless a local governmental ordinance requires the alteration.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1997, Act 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

 

287.339a Animal control shelter or animal protection shelter; maintenance of records.

Sec. 9a. An animal control shelter or animal protection shelter shall maintain written records on the total number of dogs, cats, and ferrets under 6 months of age, the total number of dogs, cats, and ferrets 6 months of age and older, and all other animals received, returned to owners, adopted to new owners, sold, or transferred with or without remuneration to any person, the number of adopted dogs, cats, and ferrets that were altered, the number of adopted dogs, cats, and ferrets that were not altered, and the number of dogs, cats, and ferrets euthanized annually, and shall annually provide a copy of these statistics to the department, by March 31 of the year following the year for which the statistics were compiled.

History: Add. 1997, Act 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

 

287.339b Violation of act; notice and hearing; penalties; declaratory judgment; injunction; failure to comply with contract for alteration

Sec. 9b. (1) If a person violates this act or a rule promulgated under this act, the director, after notice and an opportunity for an evidentiary hearing under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24. 201 to 24.328, may do either or both of the following:

(a) Suspend or revoke a license or registration issued to the person under this act.

(b) Impose an administrative fine of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation. The director shall advise the attorney general of the failure of a person to pay an administrative fine under this section. The attorney general shall bring a civil action to recover the administrative fine and costs and fees. The administrative fine shall be deposited in the agriculture licensing and inspection fees fund created in section 9 of the insect pest and plant disease act, 1931 PA 189, MCL 286.209.

(2) In addition to any other action authorized by this act, the director may bring an action to do 1 or more of the following:

(a) Obtain a declaratory judgment that a method, act, or practice is in violation of this act.

(b) Obtain an injunction against a person who is engaging, or about to engage, in a method, act, or practice that violates this act.

(3) If a person fails to comply with a contract for the alteration of a dog, cat, or ferret as required under section 8a, a court with appropriate jurisdiction may order transfer of ownership of the adopted animal only to 1 of the following:

(a) The facility from which the animal was adopted.

(b) A veterinarian, animal control shelter, or animal protection shelter willing to accept the animal and either humanely euthanize the animal or adopt the animal to an owner who agrees to have the animal altered.

CREDIT(S)

P.A.1969, No. 287, § 9b, added by P.A.1997, No. 7, Eff. Jan. 1, 1998. Amended by P.A.2007, No. 79, Imd. Eff. Sept. 30, 2007.

 

287.340 Violations; penalty.

Sec. 10. Any person who violates the provisions of this act or any rule of the department of agriculture promulgated under the provisions of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor.

History: 1969, Act 287, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

LIABILITY OF OWNER FOR DOG BITE

(Act 73 of 1939)

287.351 Person bitten by dog; liability of owner.

Sec. 1. (1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner’s property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner’s property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

History: 1939, Act 73, Imd. Eff. May 4, 1939;--CL 1948, 287.351;--Am. 1988, Act 142, Eff. Mar. 30, 1989.

 

USE OF DOGS AND CATS FOR RESEARCH

(Act 224 of 1969)

287.381 Regulation of dealers and facilities using animals in research; definitions.

Sec. 1. When used in this act:

(a) “Person” includes any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

(b) “Director” means the director of the department of agriculture.

(c) “Cat” means any live domestic cat (felis catus) for use or intended to be used for research, tests or experiments at research facilities.

(d) “Dog” means any live dog of the species canis familiaris for use or intended to be used for research tests or experiments at research facilities.

(e) “Research facility” means any school, hospital, laboratory, institution, organization or person that uses or intends to use dogs or cats in research, tests or experiments, and that (1) purchases or transports such animals, or (2) receives any funds from the state or local government or any agency or instrumentality thereof to finance its operations by means of grants, loans or otherwise.

(f) “Dealer” means any person who for compensation or profit delivers for transportation, transports, boards, buys or sells dogs or cats for research purposes and does not mean a person who breeds or raises dogs or cats for sale to a research facility.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.382 License; application, fee.

Sec. 2. An application for a license shall be accompanied by a $25.00 fee to be deposited by the director into the general fund.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.383 License; issuance; qualifications; “good moral character” defined.

Sec. 3. (1) The director shall issue a license to an applicant after determining:

(a) The applicant or the officers and directors thereof are of good moral character.

(b) The applicant or any officer or director thereof has never been convicted of cruelty to animals or a violation of this act.

(c) An inspection has been made of the premises and the premises conform to this act and the rules of the agriculture commission, and are a suitable place in which to conduct the business.

(d) The business is to be conducted in a permanent structure or building.

(2) As used in subsection (1), “good moral character” means good moral character as defined and determined under Act No. 381 of the Public Acts of 1974, as amended, being sections 338.41 to 338.47 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1978, Act 303, Imd. Eff. July 10, 1978.

 

287.384 Unlawful sale or transportation of animals; dealers’ licenses needed.

Sec. 4. It shall be unlawful for any dealer to sell or offer to sell or to transport to any research facility any dog or cat, or to buy, sell, offer to buy or sell, transport or offer for transportation to another dealer under this act any such animal, unless and until such dealer shall have obtained a license from the director in accordance with this act and such rules as the director may prescribe pursuant to this act, and such license shall not have been suspended or revoked.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.385 Rules; promulgation.

Sec. 5. The director is authorized to promulgate rules in accordance with Act No. 88 of the Public Acts of 1943, as amended, being sections 24.71 to 24.80 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, and subject to Act No. 197 of the Public Acts of 1952, as amended, being sections 24.101 to 24.110 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, as are necessary to govern the handling of dogs and cats by dealers and research facilities, to promote their health, well-being and safety.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970. Administrative rules: R 285.150.1 et seq. of the Michigan Administrative Code.

 

287.386 Identification or marking of dogs and cats.

Sec. 6. All dogs and cats delivered for transportation, transported, purchased or sold to research facilities shall be marked or identified in such manner as the director may prescribe.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.387 Records of purchases, sales, transportation.

Sec. 7. Research facilities and dealers shall make and keep such records with respect to their purchase, sale, transportation and handling of dogs and cats, as the director may prescribe.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.388 Disposition of dogs or cats; time; notice; record; exceptions.

Sec. 8. A dealer, a county, city, village, or township operating a dog pound or animal shelter shall not sell or otherwise dispose of a dog or cat within 4 days after its acquisition. If the dog or cat has a collar, license, or other evidence of ownership, the operator of the pound or shelter shall notify the owner in writing and disposition of the animal shall not be made within 7 days from the date of mailing the notice. Each operator of a pound or shelter shall be required to maintain a record on each identifiable dog or cat acquired, indicating a basic description of the animal, the date it was acquired and under what circumstances. The record shall also indicate the date of notice sent to the owner of an animal and subsequent disposition.

This section does not apply to animals which are sick or injured to the extent that the holding period would cause undue suffering, or to animals whose owners request immediate disposal.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970;--Am. 1973, Act 31, Imd. Eff. June 14, 1973;--Am. 1974, Act 132, Imd. Eff. May 29, 1974.

 

287.389 Sales by public auction or by weight; disposal of unclaimed dogs and cats, maximum price.

Sec. 9. Dogs and cats shall not be offered for sale or sold to a research facility at public auction or by weight; or purchased by a research facility at public auction or by weight. A research facility shall not purchase any dogs or cats except from a licensed dealer, public dog pound, humane society, or from a person who breeds or raises dogs or cats for sale. Any county, city, village or township operating a dog pound or animal shelter may sell for an amount not to exceed $10.00 per animal or otherwise dispose of unclaimed or unwanted dogs and cats to a Michigan research facility.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.390 License; suspension or revocation; grounds, notice, reinstatement.

Sec. 10. (1) The license may be suspended or revoked by the director of agriculture for any of the following reasons:

(a) The incompetence or untrustworthiness of the holder.

(b) Wilful falsification of any matter or statement contained in the application.

(c) The licensee or any director or officer thereof has been convicted of cruelty to animals or a violation of the provisions of this act.

(d) The licensee does not conform to the provisions of this act or the rules of the agriculture commission.

(2) Written notice of the suspension or revocation shall be given by the director of agriculture within 10 days to the licensee.

(3) A person whose license has been suspended may apply, after 90 days from the date of the suspension, for reinstatement of the license.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.391 Bill of sale; form.

Sec. 11. The purchase of any dog or cat by the licensee or research facility shall be evidenced by a bill of sale signed by the seller. The bill of sale shall be a form approved by the director of agriculture and shall certify that the seller is the lawful owner of the dog or cat and that ownership is transferred to the licensee or research facility.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.392 Violations, penalty.

Sec. 12. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.393 Dealers or facilities; responsible for acts of agents or employees.

Sec. 13. When construing or enforcing the provisions of this act, the act, omission or failure of any individual acting for or employed by a research facility or a dealer within the scope of his employment or office shall be deemed the act, omission or failure of such research facility or dealer as well as of such individual.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.394 Effect on other acts.

Sec. 14. The provisions of this act shall be in addition to and not in contravention of the provisions of Act No. 339 of the Public Acts of 1919, as amended, being sections 287.261 to 287.290 of the Compiled Laws of 1948.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

287.395 Repeal.

Sec. 15. Act No. 282 of the Public Acts of 1966, being sections 287.361 to 287.375 of the Compiled Laws of 1948, is repealed.

History: 1969, Act 224, Eff. Mar. 20, 1970.

 

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT

(Act 451 of 1994)

324.73101 Definitions; F to P.

Sec. 73101. As used in this part:

(a) “Farm product” means that term as defined in section 2 of the Michigan right to farm act, 1981 PA 93, MCL 286.472.

(b) “Farm property” means land used in the production of a farm product and all lands contained within the farm.

(c) “Fish” means game fish or nongame fish as those terms are defined in section 48701.

(d) “Fur-bearing animal” means that term as defined in section 43503.

(e) “Game” means that term as defined in section 40103.

(f) “Hunting dog” means a dog allowed to range freely to engage in or aid in hunting on the day the dog enters the property of another person.

(g) “License” means a hunting, fishing, or fur harvester’s license or, in the discretion of the court, any combination of such licenses. License does not mean a certificate, license, or permit under part 445 or 473.

(h) “Protected animal” means that term as defined in section 40103.

History: Add. 1995, Act 58, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995;--Am. 1998, Act 546, Eff. Mar. 23, 1999.

 

324.73102 Entering or remaining on property of another; consent; exceptions.

Sec. 73102. (1) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person shall not enter or remain upon the property of another person, other than farm property or a wooded area connected to farm property, to engage in any recreational activity or trapping on that property without the consent of the owner or his or her lessee or agent, if either of the following circumstances exists:

(a) The property is fenced or enclosed and is maintained in such a manner as to exclude intruders.

(b) The property is posted in a conspicuous manner against entry. The minimum letter height on the posting signs shall be 1 inch. Each posting sign shall be not less than 50 square inches, and the signs shall be spaced to enable a person to observe not less than 1 sign at any point of entry upon the property.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person shall not enter or remain upon farm property or a wooded area connected to farm property for any recreational activity or trapping without the consent of the owner or his or her lessee or agent, whether or not the farm property or wooded area connected to farm property is fenced, enclosed, or posted.

(3) On fenced or posted property or farm property, a fisherman wading or floating a navigable public stream may, without written or oral consent, enter upon property within the clearly defined banks of the stream or, without damaging farm products, walk a route as closely proximate to the clearly defined bank as possible when necessary to avoid a natural or artificial hazard or obstruction, including, but not limited to, a dam, deep hole, or a fence or other exercise of ownership by the riparian owner.

(4) A person other than a person possessing a firearm may, unless previously prohibited in writing or orally by the property owner or his or her lessee or agent, enter on foot upon the property of another person for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog. The person shall not remain on the property beyond the reasonable time necessary to retrieve the dog. In an action under section 73109 or 73110, the burden of showing that the property owner or his or her lessee or agent previously prohibited entry under this subsection is on the plaintiff or prosecuting attorney, respectively.

(5) Consent to enter or remain upon the property of another person pursuant to this section may be given orally or in writing. The consent may establish conditions for entering or remaining upon that property.

Unless prohibited in the written consent, a written consent may be amended or revoked orally. If the owner or his or her lessee or agent requires all persons entering or remaining upon the property to have written consent, the presence of the person on the property without written consent is prima facie evidence of unlawful entry.

History: Add. 1995, Act 58, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995;--Am. 1998, Act 546, Eff. Mar. 23, 1999.

 

324.73109 Violation of part; cause of action by property owner.

Sec. 73109. The owner of property on which a violation of this part is committed, or his or her lessee, may bring a cause of action against a person who violates this part for $250.00 or actual property damages, whichever is greater, and actual and reasonable attorney fees.

History: Add. 1995, Act 58, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995;--Am. 1998, Act 546, Eff. Mar. 23, 1999.

 

324.73110 Violation as misdemeanor; penalties.

Sec. 73110. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who violates this part is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not less than $100.00 or more than $500.00, or both.

(2) A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this part occurring within 3 years of a previous violation of this part shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not less than $250.00 or more than $1,000.00, or both. In addition, the court shall order the person’s license revoked if the person is licensed to hunt, fish, or trap in this state, and shall order the person not to seek or possess a license for the remainder of the calendar year in which the person is convicted and during at least 1 succeeding calendar year. This subsection does not apply after September 30, 2001.

(3) This subsection applies beginning October 1, 2001. A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this part occurring within 3 years of a previous violation of this part shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not less than $100.00 or more than $1,000.00, or both. In addition, the court may order the person’s license revoked if the person is licensed to hunt, fish, or trap in this state, and may order the person not to seek or possess a license for not more than 3 succeeding calendar years.

(4) The court may order a person convicted of violating this part to pay the costs of prosecution.

(5) The following may be seized and forfeited in the same manner as provided in chapter 47 of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.4701 to 600.4709:

(a) A protected animal, a fur-bearing animal, game, or fish taken while committing any violation of this part.

(b) Property in the possession of the defendant while committing a second or subsequent violation of this part occurring within 3 years of a previous violation of this part. This subdivision does not apply to either of the following:

(i) Electronic hunting-dog-retrieval equipment.

(ii) A living or dead animal of any kind not described in subdivision (a).

(6) The court shall order a person convicted of violating this part to make restitution for any damage arising out of the violation, including, but not limited to, reimbursing this state for the value of any protected animal, fur-bearing animal, game, or fish taken while violating this part as provided in section 40119. However, the value of fish shall be determined as provided in section 48740.

History: Add. 1995, Act 58, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995;-- Am. 1998, Act 546, Eff. Mar. 23, 1999.

 

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT

(Act 451 of 1994)

324.42101 Dog training areas; application, permit, fees, size, number

Sec. 42101. Upon application of any club or organization having 10 or more members who are citizens of this state, or upon the application of 10 or more citizens of this state, and the payment of a registration fee of $5.00, the department, pursuant to part 13, [FN1] may issue a permit authorizing the establishment and maintenance by the club, organization, or citizens on land owned by them, or over which they have legal control, of a special dog training area where dogs may be trained at any time during the year. A dog training area shall not be less than 40 acres or more than 240 acres, and permits shall not be issued for more than 6 special dog training areas in any 1 county. In counties having a population of 100,000 or more, the department may issue additional permits as the department considers to be in the public interest.

CREDIT(S)

P.A.1994, No. 451, § 42101, added by P.A.1995, No. 57, § 1, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995. Amended by P.A.2004, No. 325, Imd. Eff. Sept. 10, 2004.

[FN1] M.C.L.A. § 324.1301 et seq.

 

324.42102 Training dogs; conditions; rules; prohibitions.

Sec. 42102. Permit holders may at any time during the year train their own dogs or the dogs of other persons on land described in section 42101 or permit others to do so under conditions that are mutually agreed upon and under rules as may be considered expedient by the department. Hunting or the carrying or possession of firearms other than a pistol or revolver with blank cartridges at any time of year on lands described in section 42101 is unlawful.

History: Add. 1995, Act 57, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995.

 

324.42103 Dog training areas; posting boundary lines; notice; contents.

Sec. 42103. The boundary lines of each such special dog training area described in section 42101 shall be kept plainly and conspicuously posted by the permit holder with legible notices at least 10 inches by 12 inches in size placed not more than 100 yards apart which shall bear the following warning:

Special Dog Training Area Hunting is Unlawful

This Land is Set Aside under Special Permit For the Training of Dogs

Entering Hereon for the Purpose of Hunting or Permitting Dogs to Enter without Proper Authorization is Punishable

by Fine and/or Imprisonment

____________________________________

(Name and address of permit holder to be printed here)

 

History: Add. 1995, Act 57, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995.

 

324.42104 Area for field dog trials and dog training on state-owned lands; establishment; closing areas; fee; bond; care and maintenance of areas.

Sec. 42104. The department may establish areas that include the Gladwin, Brighton, Highland, Waterloo, Ionia, Escanaba state forest, and White Cloud areas for field dog trials and dog training on state owned lands or lands under the department’s jurisdiction or control and may promulgate rules governing the operation and control of the areas as it considers desirable or expedient. The department may close the areas for any period to the hunting, trapping, or both, of any or all species of wild birds and wild animals or to dog training. The department may establish a fee for the use of the areas established by this section or may require a performance bond to insure cleanup measures and other factors, or may establish and require both a fee and a bond. Fees collected for the use of the areas, subject to annual appropriations by the legislature, shall be used in the care and maintenance of the areas.

History: Add. 1995, Act 57, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995.

 

324.42105 Dog training areas; boundary fence or poster; mutilation, injury, or destruction prohibited.

Sec. 42105. A person shall not willfully, negligently, or maliciously cut, remove, cover up, deface, or otherwise mutilate, injure, or destroy any special dog training area boundary fence or wire or poster placed in accordance with this part.

History: Add. 1995, Act 57, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995.

 

324.42106 Violation as misdemeanor; penalty.

Sec. 42106. A person who violates this part or any rule promulgated under section 42102 or 42104, upon conviction, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $100.00 and costs of prosecution, or both.

History: Add. 1995, Act 57, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995.

 

Summary of Dog Laws:

The regulation of dogs and cats in Michigan implicates three major issues: licensing and registration of dogs; the regulation of animal control facilities and pet shops; and the ever-present concern of dog bites.  Much of the litigation surrounding dogs obviously stems from the latter category. However, licensing and control of companion animals concerns all pet owners in Michigan.

The primary statutory vehicle that regulates the licensing requirements for dogs is the The Dog Law of 1919. Under the dog law, it is unlawful for any person to own a dog six months or older unless the dog is licensed. MCL § 287.262. It is also unlawful for a person to own a dog six months or older that does not wear a collar and tag at all times, except when engaged in hunting activities accompanied by his or her owner. MCL § 287.262. A female dog that is in heat may not go beyond her owner’s premises unless properly held on a leash under this section.

The main thrust of the act is to establish a dog licensing system. The act requires that the owner of any dog four months or older must apply for a license to the treasurer of the township or county in which he or she resides (note that MCL § 287.262 mandates that a dog six months or older wears a license, but MCL § 287.266 requires that a person apply for a dog license when the dog is only four months old). MCL for a dog license when the dog is only four months old). MCL § 287.266(1). The local county board of commissioners may adopt a resolution that specifies when during the calendar year an owner must apply for a license. MCL § 287.266(3). The application must state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of the dog and must be accompanied by a valid certificate of current rabies vaccination. MCL § 287.266(5). Upon acquiring a new dog, or when a dog reaches four months of age, an owner has 30 days from the date of acquisition or age to apply for a license. MCL § 287.268.

The Dog Law sets out separate requirements for licensing of dogs at kennels, with kennels being defined as those establishments where three or more dogs are kept for sale, boarding, breeding, or training. MCL § 287.270.

Owners should also be aware that under Michigan law, lost dog tags shall be replaced by the county treasurer without cost upon production of such licenses and a sworn statement of the facts. MCL § 287.272. Licenses and tags, however, are not transferable between dogs; a dog who permanently moves to another county may simply transfer the current license. MCL § 287.283. Notwithstanding any contrary law or ordinance, a dog used as a guide or leader dog is generally not subject to license fees. MCL § 287.291.

For a comparison of state and local dogs laws, please see the Dog Laws Topic Area at the Animal Legal & Historical Center website at http://animallaw.info/topics/spusdoglaws.htm.

Killing of Dogs

A county uses the license records of dogs to keep a count of the dogs in each county. Under MCL § 287.276, the supervisor of each township or city assessor may make a diligent inquiry as to the number of dogs owned. Theoretically, under both of these methods, the county treasurer can identify and locate all unlicensed dogs. This is significant because, under Michigan law, any unlicensed dog is declared a public nuisance. MCL § 287.277. Most likely, such an inquiry into unlicensed dogs is not undertaken in Michigan counties, as assessors do not usually go into people’s homes to make personal property assessments. If this were done, however, the county treasurer may then forward this list of unlicensed dogs to the prosecuting attorney who can then commence proceedings against the owners of the unlicensed dogs. The statute then provides that, “[t]he sheriff shall locate and kill, or cause to be killed, all such unlicensed dogs.  Failure refusal, or neglect on the part of a sheriff to carry out the provisions of this section constitutes nonfeasance in office.” MCL § 287.277.

Other statutory provisions either mandate or allow dogs to be killed. Under MCL § 287.278, a law enforcement officer may kill a dog that is molesting wildlife when not hunting with its owner. Further, any person including a law enforcement officer may kill any dog that is in the act of pursuing, worrying, or wounding livestock or poultry. MCL § 287.279. It should be noted that while both livestock and poultry are defined broadly under the statute (MCL§ 287.261) to mean any fur-bearing animal or bird being raised in captivity, it does not include other dogs. The issue of what constitutes livestock was raised in People v. Bugaiski, 568 N.W.2d 391; 224 Mich.App. 241 (1997). In 568 N.W.2d 391; 224 Mich.App. 241 (1997). In Bugaiski Bugaiski, the defendant was charged with willfully the defendant was charged with willfully Bugaiski and maliciously killing an animal after he shot and killed his neighbor’s dogs, who were attacking the defendant’s own dogs. Defendant claimed that he was justified in his actions under the Dog Law that states, “[a]ny person…may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing, worrying, or wounding any livestock….and there shall be no liability on such person, in damages or otherwise, for such killing.”

MCL § 287.279. Defendant argued that his dogs should be considered “livestock” under the provision. The court, however, determined that domestic dogs are not livestock within the meaning of the Dog Law. The Dangerous Animals section (MCL § 287.321 et seq.) appears to provide recourse for the killing of a dog by another dog.

A person whose livestock has been killed by a dog under MCL § 287.279 and sustained damage to his or her livestock may submit a claim for damages to the township supervisor. MCL § 287.280. An examination and inquiry process then determines the extent and amount of damages as well as the owner of the dogs who did the damage. If the owner’s dog is found responsible, then the owner or keeper is civilly liable to the county for the costs paid by the county for the claim (under MCL § 287.283 payment for the loss comes directly from the county’s general fund). The owner is summoned before the township officer to show cause as to why his or her dog should not be killed; no other alternatives are specified in the statute. What is interesting about the above provision is that the procedure for declaring an animal “dangerous” after it has bitten or attacked a person or dog without causing serious injury or death provides other alternatives including sterilization and enclosing the animal. (See infra, “Dangerous Animals,” which discusses MCL § 287.321(a-e)). It is unclear when, if ever, this procedure is actually utilized.

Dogs Running at Large

In addition to chasing livestock, unlicensed dogs over six months of age that are running at large may also be killed. MCL § 287.286a provides a list of circumstances under which a district court magistrate shall issue a summons to an owner requiring them to show cause why his or her dog should not be killed. Owners should be aware that the following circumstances may place their dogs in jeopardy of euthanization:

• Running at large while not under the reasonable control of its owner and unlicensed.

• Destroying property or habitually causing damage by trespassing whether unlicensed or licensed.

• Showing vicious habits or molesting a person on a public highway.

• Running at large in violation of this act while duly licensed.

In the era of many claims against law enforcement agencies for the unlawful killing of dogs, owners and attorneys should be aware that MCL § 287.287 states that nothing in the Dog Law shall be construed to prevent an owner of a licensed dog from recovery under law for the value of a dog illegal killed by a police officer or other person.

It should be noted that in nearly all state jurisdictions, including Michigan, the killing of unlicensed dogs is considered a valid exercise of state police power. As early as 1922, the court interpreted this legal tenet under the Dog Law. In Finley v. Barker, 219 Mich. 442; 189 NW 197 (1922), the court found that dogs are 219 Mich. 442; 189 NW 197 (1922), the court found that dogs are Barker a proper subject for legislative regulation under the police power, and the Legislature can authorize, as it did by Pub.Acts 1919, No. 339, the killing of unlicensed dogs without depriving the owner of his or her property without due process of law. There is a general proposition that destruction of unlicensed dogs pursuant to specific statutory requirement is not in violation of the owner’s constitutional property protection, but rather reflects the legitimate regulation over the use of property by the Legislature deemed reasonable and practical to the public interest.

In contrast to state authorized impoundment or execution, dog stealing is a crime in Michigan. The law provides that any person who steals or takes a licensed dog without the owner’s consent or lawful authority is guilty of a misdemeanor. MCL § 287.308. Any person who holds a stray dog in his or her possession also falls under this penalty if he or she does not report the possession of the dog to proper law enforcement officials within 48 hours.

Dangerous Animals

A dangerous animal in Michigan is defined as a dog or other animal that bites or attacks a person, or a dog that attacks and causes serious injury or death to another dog while that dog is on its owner’s property. MCL § 287.321(a). However, an animal that bites a person who is knowingly trespassing or one who attacks a person that is provoking or tormenting the animal is not dangerous under the statute.

MCL § 287.321(a)(i) and (ii). Also, an animal that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person who is subject to an assault is also excluded.  MCL § 287.321(a)(iii).

Upon the filling of a complaint for a dangerous animal, a district court magistrate shall order a summons to the owner to show why the dog should not be destroyed. At this point, the court orders the dog to be turned over to the animal control authority where it is held pending the hearing to determine the animal’s disposition. MCL § 287.322(2). An animal shall be ordered destroyed if it is found that it has caused serous injury or death to a person or a dog. The court may order destruction if the animal has not caused serious order destruction if the animal has not caused serious injury or death, but is likely to do so in the future, or in the past has been adjudicated a dangerous animal. MCL § 287.321(3). If the court finds that the animal is dangerous but has not caused serious injury or death to a person, the court may alternatively order that the animal be tattooed and registered with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, be enclosed on the owner’s premises, be sterilized, have the owner obtain and maintain liability insurance, or “take any other action appropriate to protect the public.” MCL § 287.322(a-e).

In the case of a human death caused by a dangerous animal, not only does the dog face euthanization, but the owner may face involuntary manslaughter. Under MCL § 287.323, the owner faces a four year/$25,000 felony or community service of not less than 500 hours, or any combination thereof, if the dangerous animal causes serious injury other than death. MCL § 287.323(2). Lesser charges of 90 day misdemeanors follow for non-serious injuries or allowing a previously adjudicated dog to run at large. MCL § 287.323(3-4).

Dog Bites

Not only can a dog be declared dangerous under Michigan law, but an owner can be separately civilly liable under the state’s dog bite law. Michigan has strict liability for dog bites. Put simply, an owner is liable for his or her dog’s bite if the person bitten was lawfully at the location and did not provoke the dog. MCL § 287.351. There is no requirement that the owner has any knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or the dog demonstrates such viciousness. The person bitten must be lawfully in a public place or on private property, including the owner’s property. This includes those performing a state or federal function and those in an invitee or licensee status. The only exclusion under this provision relates to those who have gained entry to the owner’s premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act. MCL § 287.351(2).

The dog bite provision does not apply to service animals used for law enforcement purposes. In Tate v. City of Grand Rapids, 2003 WL 21242850, the court concluded that at the time of the accident in which a police dog bit the plaintiff in the shoulder, the defendant’s police officers were investigating a felonious assault; for that reason, they were engaged in a governmental function. Consequently, the plaintiff ’s claim is barred under the Governmental Tort Liability Act, which provides immunity for government agents.

Further, provocation is a legitimate bar to recovery under the statute. In Bradacs v. Jiacobone, 244 Mich.App. 263; 625 N.W.2d 108, (2001), the court observed that under the statute, where an injured party provokes a dog, the owner is not liable for the injury that results from the bite. Provocation is factually dependent. In Bradacs, the court found that the plaintiff ’s action in reaching down and picking up a ball that she had dropped near where the defendant’s dog was eating did not constitute “provocation” sufficient enough to relieve the defendant of liability.

In contrast, the fact that the dog bite victim was only two years old and did not intend to provoke dog when victim attempted to hug dog on dog owner’s property did not preclude an owner’s provocation defense to liability under Michigan’s dog-bite statute. Palloni v. Smith, 167 Mich.App. 393; 421 NW2d 699 (1988). The focus must be on the injured party’s act rather than his intent, and whether that act was sufficient to provoke rather than his intent, and whether that act was sufficient to provoke the dog’s attack.

The issue of ownership and control of a dog also depends on the facts of each case, especially concerning the liability of landlords. In Szkodzinski v. Griff n, 171 Mich.App. 711; 431 N.W.2d 51 (1988), the plaintiff sued the landlord of a house that was being rented out to the owner of the dog that bit the plaintiff ’s son. The court found that the Wayne County ordinance which stated that “any person owning, possessing or harboring any dog shall be responsible for and shall be held accountable for any and all acts or actions of such dog,” did not apply to the landlord because he had no knowledge of the dog’s vicious nature; rather, the liability belongs solely to the owner of the dog.

For more on the liability of landlords for tenants’ dangerous animals, please visit the Landlord Tenant Topic area at http://animallaw.info/topics/spuslandlordtenant.htm.

For more on dog bites in general, please see http://animallaw.info/topics/spusdogbite.htm.

Animal Shelters, Adoption, and Pet Shops

In Michigan, an animal shelter or dog pound must wait four days before selling or otherwise disposing of a dog or cat. MCL § 287.388. If the dog or cat has a collar, the owner must be notified in writing and disposition shall not be made until seven days from the mailing of the notice. (For an overview of state dog laws, including those laws governing impoundment, see Detailed Discussion of Dog Impound Laws at www.animallawinfo/articles/ddusdogimpound.htm). While dogs and cats are deemed personal property in Michigan, the term “adoption” has a specific meaning. Adoption means a transfer of ownership, with or without remuneration, of a dog, cat or ferret from an animal control shelter . . . for the purpose of being a companion animal for that individual.” MCL § 287.331. An animal control shelter shall require the adopting person to have the dog, cat, or ferret sterilized (“altered”) within four weeks after adoption (unless a medical condition prevents it). MCL § 287.338a. The statute provides a good faith deposit provision of $25.00 to ensure compliance. MCL § 287.338a(6).

Pet shops are also regulated under this act. Pet shop is actually broadly defined, and means a place where animals are sold or offered for sale, exchange, or transfer. MCL § 287.331(o). A pet shop must obtain a license to operate by paying a fee of $150.00. MCL §§ 287.333 and 334.

Use of Dogs and Cats in Research

A research facility in Michigan can mean anything from a hospital or laboratory that uses dogs or cats in research to a person who tests or experiments with dogs or cats. MCL § 287.381(c). A license to use dogs and cats in research will be issued provided the $25.00 application fee is paid and the applicant is of “good moral character,” has never been convicted of animal cruelty, and inspection has been made of the premises where research is to be done. MCL § 287.383(a-d). Again, there is a four to seven day waiting period before dogs or cats may be sold to research facilities under MCL § 287.388. Violation of the provisions of this act incurs only an unspecified misdemeanor. MCL § 287.392. In Youngblood v. County of Jackson, 28 Mich.App. 361; 184 N.W.2d 290 (1970), the court found that Jackson County has authority to operate a dog pound and to sell impounded and unlicensed dogs to the University of Michigan for experimental purposes. It should be noted that this is one of the only cases to examine the animal research statute in Michigan.

Dogs and Hunting

Many of the licensing requirements in Michigan exempt dogs engaged in the legitimate act of hunting.  Any club or organization may apply for a permit to create a dog training area for hunting purposes. MCL § 324.42101 et seq. The area may be demarked with signs that warn of punishment for unauthorized entry into the area. Further, certain state forest lands may be used by private individuals for dog training, provided a fee is paid and regulations are followed. Violation of these provisions, including the willful or even negligent injuring of the special dog training boundary fence, results in a misdemeanor. MCL § 324.42106.

 



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