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North Carolina

West's North Carolina General Statutes Annotated. Chapter 67. Dogs. Article 1. Owner's Liability. Article 1A. Dangerous Dogs. Article 2. License Taxes on Dogs; Chapter 130A. Public Health. Article 6. Communicable Diseases. Part 6. Rabies.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: NC ST 67-1 to 18; NC ST 130A-196, 130A-200

Citation: N.C.G.S.A. 67-1 to 18; N.C.G.S.A. 130A-196, 130A-200


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2013

Summary:   These North Carolina statutes comprise the state's dangerous dog and dog bite laws.  Among the provisions include misdemeanor penalties for an owner if a dangerous dog attacks a person and causes physical injuries requiring medical treatment in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and strict liability in civil damages for any injuries or property damage the dog inflicts upon a person, his property, or another animal.  Another statute provides that any person brought to receive medical treatment for a dog bite must report it to the local health director and the animal must be confined for a ten day observation period.


Statute in Full:

Article 1. Owner's Liability

§ 67-1. Liability for injury to livestock or fowls

§ 67-2. Permitting bitch at large

§ 67-3. Sheep-killing dogs to be killed

§ 67-4. Failing to kill mad dog.

Article 1A. Dangerous Dogs

§ 67-4.1. Definitions and procedures.

§ 67-4.2. Precautions against attacks by dangerous dogs

§ 67-4.3. Penalty for attacks by dangerous dogs

§ 67-4.4. Strict liability

§ 67-4.5. Local ordinances

Article 2. License Taxes on Dogs

 § 67-5. Repealed by Laws 1973, c. 822, § 6

 § 67-11. Repealed by Laws 1973, c. 822, § 6

 § 67-12. Permitting dogs to run at large at night; penalty; liability for damage

 § 67-13. Repealed by Laws 1973, c. 822, § 6

 § 67-14. Mad dogs, dogs killing sheep, etc., may be killed

 § 67-14.1. Dogs injuring deer or bear on wildlife management area may be killed; impounding unmuzzled dogs running at large

 § 67-15. Repealed by Laws 1983, c. 35, § 2

 § 67-16. Failure to discharge duties imposed under this Article

 § 67-17. Deleted

 § 67-18. Application of Article

Chapter 130A. Public Health. Article 6. Communicable Diseases. Part 6. Rabies 

§ 130A-196. Notice and confinement of biting animals

§ 130A-200. Confinement or leashing of vicious animals

 

 

 

Article 1. Owner's Liability

§ 67-1. Liability for injury to livestock or fowls

If any dog, not being at the time on the premises of the owner or person having charge thereof, shall kill or injure any livestock or fowls, the owner or person having such dog in charge shall be liable for damages sustained by the injury, killing, or maiming of any livestock, and costs of suit.

 

§ 67-2. Permitting bitch at large

If any person owning or having any bitch shall knowingly permit her to run at large during the erotic stage of copulation he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 529; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 67-3. Sheep-killing dogs to be killed

If any person owning or having any dog that kills sheep or other domestic animals, or that kills a human being, upon satisfactory evidence of the same being made before any judge of the district court in the county, and the owner duly notified thereof, shall refuse to kill it, and shall permit such dog to go at liberty, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and the dog may be killed by anyone if found going at large.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by Laws 1973, c. 108, § 24; Laws 1977, c. 597; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 530; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 67-4. Failing to kill mad dog.

If the owner of any dog shall know, or have good reason to believe, that his dog, or any dog belonging to any person under his control, has been bitten by a mad dog, and shall neglect or refuse immediately to kill the same, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of fifty dollars ($50.00) to him who will sue therefor; and the offender shall be liable to pay all damages which may be sustained by anyone, in his property or person, by the bite of any such dog, and shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 531; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

Article 1A. Dangerous Dogs

§ 67-4.1. Definitions and procedures.

(a) As used in this Article, unless the context clearly requires otherwise and except as modified in subsection (b) of this section, the term:

(1) "Dangerous dog" means

a. A dog that:

1. Without provocation has killed or inflicted severe injury on a person; or

2. Is determined by the person or Board designated by the county or municipal authority responsible for animal control to be potentially dangerous because the dog has engaged in one or more of the behaviors listed in subdivision (2) of this subsection.

b. Any dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting, or any dog trained for dog fighting.

(2) "Potentially dangerous dog" means a dog that the person or Board designated by the county or municipal authority responsible for animal control determines to have:

a. Inflicted a bite on a person that resulted in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations or required cosmetic surgery or hospitalization; or

b. Killed or inflicted severe injury upon a domestic animal when not on the owner's real property; or

c. Approached a person when not on the owner's property in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack.

(3) "Owner" means any person or legal entity that has a possessory property right in a dog.

(4) "Owner's real property" means any real property owned or leased by the owner of the dog, but does not include any public right-of-way or a common area of a condominium, apartment complex, or townhouse development.

(5) "Severe injury" means any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations or required cosmetic surgery or hospitalization.

(b) The provisions of this Article do not apply to:

(1) A dog being used by a law enforcement officer to carry out the law enforcement officer's official duties;

(2) A dog being used in a lawful hunt;

(3) A dog where the injury or damage inflicted by the dog was sustained by a domestic animal while the dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog on the property of, or under the control of, its owner or keeper, and the damage or injury was to a species or type of domestic animal appropriate to the work of the dog; or

(4) A dog where the injury inflicted by the dog was sustained by a person who, at the time of the injury, was committing a willful trespass or other tort, was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog, had tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

(c) The county or municipal authority responsible for animal control shall designate a person or a Board to be responsible for determining when a dog is a "potentially dangerous dog" and shall designate a separate Board to hear any appeal. The person or Board making the determination that a dog is a "potentially dangerous dog" must notify the owner in writing, giving the reasons for the determination, before the dog may be considered potentially dangerous under this Article. The owner may appeal the determination by filing written objections with the appellate Board within three days. The appellate Board shall schedule a hearing within 10 days of the filing of the objections. Any appeal from the final decision of such appellate Board shall be taken to the superior court by filing notice of appeal and a petition for review within 10 days of the final decision of the appellate Board. Appeals from rulings of the appellate Board shall be heard in the superior court division. The appeal shall be heard de novo before a superior court judge sitting in the county in which the appellate Board whose ruling is being appealed is located.

Added by Laws 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1023, § 1.

 

§ 67-4.2. Precautions against attacks by dangerous dogs

(a) It is unlawful for an owner to:

(1) Leave a dangerous dog unattended on the owner's real property unless the dog is confined indoors, in a securely enclosed and locked pen, or in another structure designed to restrain the dog;

(2) Permit a dangerous dog to go beyond the owner's real property unless the dog is leashed and muzzled or is otherwise securely restrained and muzzled.

(b) If the owner of a dangerous dog transfers ownership or possession of the dog to another person (as defined in G.S. 12-3(6)), the owner shall provide written notice to:

(1) The authority that made the determination under this Article, stating the name and address of the new owner or possessor of the dog; and

(2) The person taking ownership or possession of the dog, specifying the dog's dangerous behavior and the authority's determination.

(c) Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Added by Laws 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1023, § 1. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 532; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 67-4.3. Penalty for attacks by dangerous dogs

The owner of a dangerous dog that attacks a person and causes physical injuries requiring medical treatment in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00) shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Added by Laws 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1023, § 1. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 533; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 67-4.4. Strict liability

The owner of a dangerous dog shall be strictly liable in civil damages for any injuries or property damage the dog inflicts upon a person, his property, or another animal. 

Added by Laws 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1023, § 1.

 

§ 67-4.5. Local ordinances

Nothing in this Article shall be construed to prevent a city or county from adopting or enforcing its own program for control of dangerous dogs. 

Added by Laws 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1023, § 1.

 

Article 2. License Taxes on Dogs

§§ 67-5 to 67-11. Repealed by Laws 1973, c. 822, § 6

 

 

§ 67-12. Permitting dogs to run at large at night; penalty; liability for damage

No person shall allow his dog over six months old to run at large in the nighttime unaccompanied by the owner or by some member of the owner's family, or some other person by the owner's permission. Any person intentionally, knowingly, and willfully violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and shall also be liable in damages to any person injured or suffering loss to his property or chattels.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 534; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c). eff. March 26, 1994.

 

 

§ 67-13. Repealed by Laws 1973, c. 822, § 6

 

§ 67-14. Mad dogs, dogs killing sheep, etc., may be killed

Any person may kill any mad dog, and also any dog if he is killing sheep, cattle, hogs, goats, or poultry.

 

 

§ 67-14.1. Dogs injuring deer or bear on wildlife management area may be killed; impounding unmuzzled dogs running at large

(a) Any dog which trails, runs, injures or kills any deer or bear on any wildlife refuge, sanctuary or management area, now or hereafter so designated and managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission, during the closed season for hunting with dogs on such refuge or management area, is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and any wildlife protector or other duly authorized agent or employee of the Wildlife Resources Commission may destroy, by humane method, any dog discovered trailing, running, injuring or killing any deer or bear in any such area during the closed season therein for hunting such game with dogs, without incurring liability by reason of his act in conformity with this section.

(b) Any unmuzzled dog running at large upon any wildlife refuge, sanctuary, or management area, when unaccompanied by any person having such dog in charge, shall be seized and impounded by any wildlife protector, or other duly authorized agent or employee of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(c) The person impounding such dog shall cause a notice to be published at least once a week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published in the county wherein the dog was taken, or if none is published therein, in some newspaper having general circulation in the county. Such notice shall set forth a description of the dog, the place where it is impounded, and that the dog will be destroyed if not claimed and payment made for the advertisement, a catch fee of one dollar ($1.00) and the boarding, computed at the rate of fifty cents (50¢) per day, while impounded, by a certain date which date shall be not less than 15 days after the publication of the first notice. A similar notice shall be posted at the courthouse door.

(d) The owner of the dog, or his agent, may recover such dog upon payment of the cost of the publication of the notices hereinbefore described together with a catch fee of one dollar ($1.00) and the expense, computed at the rate of fifty cents (50¢) per day, incurred while impounding and boarding the dog.

(e) If any impounded dog is not recovered by the owner within 15 days after the publication of the first notice of the impounding, the dog may be destroyed in a humane manner by any wildlife protector or other duly authorized agent or employee of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and no liability shall attach to any person acting in accordance with this section.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1951, c. 1021, § 1.

 

 

§ 67-15. Repealed by Laws 1983, c. 35, § 2


 

§ 67-16. Failure to discharge duties imposed under this Article

Any person failing to discharge any duty imposed upon him under this Article shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 535; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.


 

§ 67-17. Deleted

 

§ 67-18. Application of Article

This Article, G.S. 67-5 to 67-18, inclusive, is hereby made applicable to every county in the State of North Carolina, notwithstanding any provisions in local, special or private acts exempting any county or any township or municipality from the provisions of the same enacted at any General Assembly commencing at the General Assembly of 1919 and going through the General Assembly of 1929.

 

Chapter 130A. Public Health. Article 6. Communicable Diseases. Part 6. Rabies

§ 130A-196. Confinement of all biting dogs and cats; notice to local health director; reports by physicians; certain dogs exempt.

(a) Notice.--When a person has been bitten by an animal required to be vaccinated under this Part, the person or parent, guardian or person standing in loco parentis of the person, and the person owning the animal or in control or possession of the animal shall notify the local health director immediately and give the name and address of the person bitten and the owner of the animal. If the animal that bites a person is a stray or feral animal, the local agency responsible for animal control shall make a reasonable attempt to locate the owner of the animal. If the owner cannot be identified within 72 hours of the event, the local health director may authorize the animal be euthanized, and the head of the animal shall be immediately sent to the State Laboratory of Public Health for rabies diagnosis. If the event occurs on a weekend or State holiday the time period for owner identification shall be extended 24 hours.


A physician who attends a person bitten by an animal known to be a potential carrier of rabies shall report the incident within 24 hours to the local health director. The report must include the name, age, and sex of the person.


(b) Confinement.--When an animal required to be vaccinated under this Part bites a person, the animal shall be immediately confined for 10 days in a place designated by the local health director. The local health director may authorize a dog trained and used by a law enforcement agency to be released from confinement to perform official duties upon submission of proof that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies in compliance with this Part. After reviewing the circumstances of the particular case, the local health director may allow the owner to confine the animal on the owner's property. An owner who fails to confine an animal in accordance with the instructions of the local health director shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. If the owner or the person who controls or possesses the animal that has bitten a person refuses to confine the animal as required by this subsection, the local health director may order seizure of the animal and its confinement for 10 days at the expense of the owner.


CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1983, c. 891, § 2. Amended by Laws 1985, c. 674, § 1; Laws 1989, c. 298; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 950; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c); S.L. 2009-327, § 11, eff. Oct. 1, 2009.

 

§ 130A-200. Confinement or leashing of vicious animals

A local health director may declare an animal to be vicious and a menace to the public health when the animal has attacked a person causing bodily harm without being teased, molested, provoked, beaten, tortured or otherwise harmed. When an animal has been declared to be vicious and a menace to the public health, the local health director shall order the animal to be confined to its owner's property. However, the animal may be permitted to leave its owner's property when accompanied by a responsible adult and restrained on a leash.

Added by Laws 1983, c. 891, § 2.

 

 



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