TITLE 11. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. PART I. DELAWARE CRIMINAL CODE. CHAPTER 5. SPECIFIC OFFENSES. SUBCHAPTER VII. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, ORDER AND DECENCY. SUBPART A. RIOT, DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES.
§ 1325 Cruelty to animals; class A misdemeanor; class F felony.
§ 1325A The unlawful trade in dog or cat by-products; class B misdemeanor; class A misdemeanor, penalties.
§ 1326 Animals; fighting and baiting prohibited; class F felony.
§ 1327. Maintaining a dangerous animal; class E felony; class F felony; class A misdemeanor
SUBCHAPTER II. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON. SUBPART D. SEXUAL OFFENSES.
§ 775 . Bestiality (formerly § 777)
Title 16. Health and Safety. Part II. Regulatory Provisions Concerning Public Health. Chapter 30F. Animal Welfare. Subchapter I. Shelter Operation
§ 3001f. Definitions
§ 3002f. Shelter Care and Treatment
§ 3003f. Animal Adoption, Recovery, and Rehabilitation
§ 3004f. Euthanasia in Animal Shelters
§ 3005f. Proper Facilities Required
§ 3006f. Violation Constitutes Class a Misdemeanor; Civil Remedy; Jurisdiction of Superior Court
§ 3007f. Record Keeping and Reporting
§ 3008f. Enforcement
CHAPTER 5. SPECIFIC OFFENSES. SUBCHAPTER VII. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, ORDER AND DECENCY. SUBPART A. RIOT, DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES.
(a) For the purpose of this section, the following words and phrases shall include, but not be limited to, the meanings respectively ascribed to them as follows:
(1) “Abandonment” includes completely forsaking or deserting an animal originally under one's custody without making reasonable arrangements for custody of that animal to be assumed by another person.
(2) “Animal” shall not include fish, crustacea or molluska.
(3) “Cruel” includes every act or omission to act whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted.
(4) “Cruel mistreatment” includes any treatment whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted.
(5) “Cruel neglect” includes neglect of an animal, which is under the care and control of the neglector, whereby pain or suffering is caused to the animal or abandonment of any domesticated animal by its owner or custodian. By way of example, cruel neglect shall also include allowing an animal to live in unsanitary conditions, such as keeping an animal where the animal's own excrement is not removed from the animal's living area and/or other living conditions which are injurious to the animal's health.
(6) “Cruelty to animals” includes mistreatment of any animal or neglect of any animal under the care and control of the neglector, whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused. By way of example this includes: Unjustifiable beating of an animal; overworking an animal; tormenting an animal; abandonment of an animal; tethering of any dog for 9 consecutive hours or more in any 24-hour period except on any farm; tethering any dog for any amount of time if the dog is under 4 months of age or is a nursing mother while the offspring are present, except on any farm; and failure to feed properly or give proper shelter or veterinary care to an animal.
(7) “Custody” includes the responsibility for the welfare of an animal subject to one's care and control whether one owns it or not. A person who provides sterilization or care to a free-roaming cat that lacks discernible owner identification is not deemed to have “custody,” “care,” or “control” of the cat for purposes of this section.
(8) “Farm” means any place that meets the 2017 USDA Federal Census of Agriculture definition of farm: “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year”.
(9) “Person” includes any individual, partnership, corporation or association living and/or doing business in the State.
(10) “Proper feed” includes providing each animal with daily food and water of sufficient quality and quantity to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(11) “Proper shelter” includes providing each animal with adequate shelter from the weather elements as required to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(12) “Proper veterinary care” includes providing each animal with veterinary care sufficient to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(13) “Serious injury” shall include any injury to any animal which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes prolonged impairment of health or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
(14) “Tethering” shall include fastening or restraining with a rope, chain, cord, or similar device creating a fixed radius; tethering does not include walking a dog on a leash, regardless of the dog's age.
(b) A person is guilty of cruelty to animals when the person intentionally or recklessly:
(1) Subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment; or
(2) Subjects any animal in the person's custody to cruel neglect; or
(3) Kills or injures any animal belonging to another person without legal privilege or consent of the owner; or
(4) Cruelly or unnecessarily kills or injures any animal. This section does not apply to the killing of any animal normally or commonly raised as food for human consumption, provided that such killing is not cruel. A person acts unnecessarily if the act is not required to terminate an animal's suffering, to protect the life or property of the actor or another person or if other means of disposing of an animal exist which would not impair the health or well-being of that animal; or,
(5) Captures, detains, transports, removes or delivers any animal known to be a pet or owned or unowned companion animal, or any other animal of scientific, environmental, economic or cultural value, under false pretenses to any public or private animal shelter, veterinary clinic or other facility, or otherwise causes the same through acts of deception or misrepresentation of the circumstances and disposition of any such animal.
(6) Confines an animal unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in which the temperature is either so high or so low as to endanger the health or safety of the animal. A law-enforcement officer, animal welfare officer, or firefighter who has probable cause to believe that an animal is confined in a motor vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death to the animal may use reasonable force to remove the animal left in the vehicle in violation of this provision. A person removing an animal under this section shall use reasonable means to contact the owner. If the person is unable to contact the owner, the person may take the animal to an animal shelter and must leave written notice bearing his or her name and office, and the address of the location where the animal can be claimed. This provision shall not apply to the legal transportation of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, poultry, or other agricultural animals in motor vehicles designed to transport such animals. The owner of the vehicle from which the animal is rescued and the owner of the animal rescued are not liable for injuries suffered by the person rescuing the animal.
Paragraphs (b)(1), (2) and (4) of this section are inapplicable to accepted veterinary practices and activities carried on for scientific research.
Cruelty to animals is a class A misdemeanor, unless the person intentionally kills or causes serious injury to any animal in violation of paragraph (b)(4) of this section or unless the animal is killed or seriously injured as a result of any action prohibited by paragraph (b)(5) of this section, in which case it is a class F felony.
(c) Any person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of this section shall be prohibited from owning or possessing any animal for 5 years after said conviction, except for animals grown, raised or produced within the State for resale, or for sale of a product thereof, where the person has all necessary licenses for such sale or resale, and receives at least 25 percent of the person's annual gross income from such sale or resale. Any person convicted of a second or subsequent misdemeanor violation of this section shall be prohibited from owning or possessing any animal for 5 years after said conviction without exception.
A violation of this subsection is subject to a fine in the amount of $1,000 in any court of competent jurisdiction and to forfeiture of any animal illegally owned in accordance with the provisions of § 3035F of Title 16.
(d) Any person convicted of a felony violation of this section shall be prohibited from owning or possessing any animal for 15 years after said conviction, except for animals grown, raised or produced within the State for resale, or for sale of a product thereof, where the person has all necessary licenses for such sale or resale, and receives at least 25 percent of the person's annual gross income from such sale or resale. Any person convicted of a second or subsequent felony violation of this section shall be prohibited from owning or possessing any animal for 15 years after said conviction without exception.
A violation of this subsection is subject to a fine in the amount of $5,000 in any court of competent jurisdiction and to forfeiture of any animal illegally owned in accordance with the provisions of § 3035F of Title 16.
(e) Any trained and certified animal welfare officer of the Department of Health and Social Service's Office of Animal Welfare or the Department of Agriculture may impound an animal owned or possessed in apparent violation of this section, consistent with § 3035F of Title 16.
(f) This section shall not apply to the lawful hunting or trapping of animals as provided by law.
(g) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, for a first offense misdemeanor violation of this section relating to animals left in motor vehicles or the tethering of dogs, a warning shall be issued.
(h) Exclusive jurisdiction of offenses under this section relating to animals left in motor vehicles or the tethering of dogs shall be in the Superior Court.
58 Laws 1972, ch. 497, § 1. Amended by 62 Laws 1979, ch. 71, §§ 1, 2; 63 Laws 1982, ch. 260, § 1; 64 Laws 1983, ch. 196, §§ 1-3; 67 Laws 1989, ch. 130, § 8; 69 Laws 1994, ch. 280, §§ 1, 2; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 60, § 1, eff. June 12, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 19, 1995; 72 Laws 1999, ch. 75, § 1, eff. June 28, 1999; 73 Laws 2001, ch. 182, §§ 1, 2, eff. July 12, 2001; 73 Laws 2002, ch. 238, §§ 1, 2, eff. March 27, 2002; 78 Laws 2012, ch. 390, §§ 1, 2, eff. Aug. 3, 2012; 80 Laws 2015, ch. 156, §§ 1, 2, eff. Aug. 11, 2015; 80 Laws 2016, ch. 200, § 3, eff. Feb. 3, 2016; 80 Laws 2016, ch. 248, § 2, eff. May 25, 2016; 81 Laws 2018, ch. 450, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2018; 82 Laws 2020, ch. 238, § 3, eff. March 11, 2020.
(a)(1) A person is guilty of the unlawful trade in dog or cat by-products in the 2nd degree if the person knowingly or recklessly sells, barters or offers for sale or barter, the fur or hair of a domestic dog or cat or any product made in whole or in part from the fur or hair of a domestic dog or cat.
(2) This subsection shall not apply to the sale or barter, or offering for sale or barter, of the fur or hair of a domestic dog or cat which has been cut at a commercial grooming establishment, or at a veterinary office or clinic, or for scientific research purposes.
(3) The unlawful trade in dog or cat by-products in the 2nd degree is a class B misdemeanor.
(b)(1) A person is guilty of the unlawful trade in dog or cat by-products in the 1st degree if the person knowingly or recklessly sells, barters or offers for sale or barter, the flesh of a domestic dog or cat or any product made in whole or in part from the flesh of a domestic dog or cat.
(2) The unlawful trade in dog or cat by-products in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor.
(c) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be:
(1) Prohibited from owning or possessing any domestic dog or cat for 15 years after said conviction, except for those grown, raised or produced within the State for resale, where the person has all necessary licenses for such sale or resale, and receives at least 25 percent of the person's annual gross income from such sale or resale;
(2) Subject to a fine in the amount of $2,500 in any court of competent jurisdiction; and
(3) Required to forfeit any domestic dog or cat illegally owned in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 79 of Title 3.
(d) For the purposes of this section, the term “domestic dog or cat” means a dog (Canis familiaris) or cat (Felis catus or Felis domesticus) that is generally recognized in the United States as being a household pet and shall not include coyote, fox, lynx, bobcat or any other wild or commercially raised canine or feline species the fur or hair of which is recognized for use in warm clothing and outer wear by the United States Department of Agriculture and which species is not recognized as an endangered or threatened species by the United States Fish and Wild Life Service or the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
72 Laws 2000, ch. 391, § 1, eff. June 30, 2000.
(a) A person who owns, possesses, keeps, trains, or uses a bull, bear, dog, cock, or other animal or fowl for the purpose of fighting or baiting; or a person who is a party to or who causes the fighting or baiting of a bull, bear, dog, cock, or other animal or fowl; or a person who rents or otherwise obtains the use of a building, shed, room, yard, ground, or premises for the purpose of fighting or baiting an animal or fowl; or a person who knowingly suffers or permits the use of a building, shed, room, yard, ground, or premises belonging to the person, or that is under the person’s control, for any of the purposes described in this section, is guilty of a class E felony.
(b) A person who is present at a building, shed, room, yard, ground, or premises where preparations are being made for an exhibition prohibited by subsection (a) of this section, and who knows that the exhibition is taking place or is about to take place, is guilty of a class F felony.
(c) A person who gambles on the outcome of an exhibition prohibited by subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a class F felony.
(d) All animals, equipment, devices, and money involved in a violation of this section must be forfeited to the State. Animals so forfeited must be evaluated by a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, an authorized state agency, or a duly incorporated humane society in charge of animals for eligibility for adoption. After evaluation, animals may also be transferred to a rescue organization. Animals forfeited may be adopted to individuals other than the convicted person or person dwelling in the same household, who conspired, aided or abetted in the unlawful act which was the basis of the conviction, or who knew or should have known of the unlawful act, or humanely disposed of according to the provisions of Chapter 80, Title 3.
(e) Prosecution for any offense under this section may not be commenced after 5 years from the commission of the offense.
(f) A person convicted of a violation of this section is prohibited from owning or possessing any animal or fowl for 15 years after conviction.
(g) A fine issued as a result of a violation of this section may not be suspended.
(h) In addition to the penalties provided under this section, the court may require a person convicted of violating this section to attend and participate in an appropriate treatment program or to obtain appropriate psychiatric or psychological counseling, or both. The court may impose the costs of any treatment program or counseling upon the person convicted.
66 Laws 1988, ch. 369, § 2; 67 Laws 1989, ch. 130, § 8; 67 Laws 1990, ch. 350, §§ 34, 35; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 72 Laws 2000 (2nd Sp. Sess.), ch. 417, § 1, eff. July 13, 2000; 73 Laws 2002, ch. 238, §§ 3-5, eff. March 27, 2002; 73 Laws 2002, ch. 411, § 1, eff. July 10, 2002; 76 Laws 2008, ch. 259, §§ 1-3, eff. June 26, 2008; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 264, § 1, eff. May 18, 2010; 79 Laws 2014, ch. 374, § 3, eff. July 31, 2014.
(a) A person is guilty of maintaining a dangerous animal when such person knowingly or recklessly owns, controls or has custody over any dangerous animal which causes death, serious physical injury or physical injury to another person or which causes death or serious injury to another animal.
(b) For the purposes of this section, “dangerous animal” means any dog or other animal which:
(1) Had been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous by the Justice of the Peace Court pursuant to subchapter V of Chapter 30F of Title 16;
(2) Had been trained for animal fighting, or that has been used primarily or occasionally for animal fighting;
(3) Had been intentionally trained so as to increase its viciousness, dangerousness or potential for unprovoked attacks upon human beings or other animals; or
(4) Has an individualized and known propensity, tendency or disposition, specific to the individual dog, for viciousness, dangerousness or unprovoked attacks upon human beings or other animals.
(c) No dog shall be considered dangerous or potentially dangerous solely because of the dog's breed or perceived breed.
(d) Maintaining a dangerous animal shall be punished as follows:
(1) When a dangerous animal causes the death of a person, maintaining a dangerous animal is a class E felony;
(2) When a dangerous animal causes serious physical injury to a person, maintaining a dangerous animal is a class F felony;
(3) When a dangerous animal causes physical injury to a person or when a dangerous animal causes death or physical injury to another animal, maintaining a dangerous animal is a class A misdemeanor.
(e) This section shall not apply to any dog or other animal trained or owned or used by any law-enforcement agency or any person, company, agency or entity licensed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 24.
(f) In any prosecution under this section it shall be an affirmative defense that at the time of the attack during which physical injury, serious physical injury or death was inflicted upon a person:
(1) The victim of the attack was in the course of committing criminal trespass or any violent felony as set forth in this title or was attempting to commit criminal trespass or said violent felony;
(2) The victim had provoked the attack by committing cruelty to animals as defined in § 1325 of this title upon said dangerous animal or by inflicting physical injury upon said dangerous animal; or
(3) The owner or custodian of the dangerous animal was in full compliance with the applicable provisions of subchapter III of Chapter 17 of Title 7, including the requirements pertaining to confinement, restraint and muzzling.
(g) In any prosecution under this section it shall be an affirmative defense that at the time of the attack during which physical injury or death was inflicted upon an animal:
(1) The animal which was injured or killed had entered onto the real property of the owner or custodian of the dangerous animal without permission;
(2) The animal which was injured or killed had provoked the attack by menacing, biting or attacking the dangerous animal or its owner or custodian; or
(3) The owner or custodian of the dangerous animal was in full compliance with the applicable provisions of subchapter V of Chapter 30F of Title 16, including the requirements pertaining to confinement, restraint and muzzling.
73 Laws 2002, ch. 411, § 2, eff. July 10, 2002; 81 Laws 2017, ch. 31, § 1, eff. June 2, 2017; 81 Laws 2017, ch. 96, § 5, eff. July 21, 2017.
CHAPTER 5. SPECIFIC OFFENSES. SUBCHAPTER II. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON. SUBPART D. SEXUAL OFFENSES.
§ 775. Bestiality ( formerly § 777 )
A person is guilty of bestiality when the person intentionally engages in any sexual act involving sexual contact, penetration or intercourse with the genitalia of an animal or intentionally causes another person to engage in any such sexual act with an animal for purposes of sexual gratification.
Bestiality is a class D felony.
69 Laws 1993, ch. 91, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995. Redesignated from 11 Del.C. § 777 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 318, § 6, eff. June 30, 2010.
Title 16. Health and Safety. Part II. Regulatory Provisions Concerning Public Health. Chapter 30F. Animal Welfare. Subchapter I. Shelter Operation
For purposes of this subchapter:
(1) “Animal shelter” means a public or private facility which includes a physical structure that provides temporary or permanent shelter to stray, abandoned, abused, or owner-surrendered animals and that is operated, owned, or maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, or other nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals. “Animal shelter” shall not include individuals providing temporary foster care to animals in their home or to animal rescue groups sheltering animals on an individual's private property.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Health and Social Services or its duly authorized representatives.
(3) “Ear-tip” means the removal of approximately a quarter-inch off the tip of a cat's left ear while the cat is anesthetized to help identify the cat as having been sterilized and vaccinated for rabies at the time of ear-tipping.
(4) “Free-roaming cat program” means a program in which visibly healthy cats admitted to a shelter, not placed for adoption, and lacking discernible owner identification, are sterilized, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped, and returned to a safe location where they were found or, if necessary, appropriately relocated. However, no free roaming cat or feral cat shall be relocated to public lands managed for wildlife or outdoor recreation activities, including but not limited to lands owned or managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife or to lands recognized to be located within coastal migratory bird flyways.
(5) “Licensed veterinarian” means a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine pursuant to Title 24.
(6) “Licensed veterinary technician” means an individual licensed as a veterinary technician pursuant to Title 24.
Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, § 2, eff. July 23, 2010. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8001 and amended by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014; 81 Laws 2018, ch. 450, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2018.
Codifications: 3 Del.C. 1974, § 8001
(a) Animal shelters shall be advised by a licensed veterinarian and shall adhere to a written veterinary care protocol developed with a licensed veterinarian, which protocol shall include appropriate evaluation and testing of newly impounded animals, disease control and prevention, and adequate veterinary care. The protocol shall be updated as needed.
(b) Animal shelters shall vaccinate all dogs against canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, and bordetella bronticeptica and all cats against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and the panleukopenia virus before or upon entering the shelter or holding facility to reduce the spread of disease. Such vaccinations must be administered as soon as possible and no more than 8 hours after entering the shelter. This provision shall not apply to animals in quarantine for rabies observation or to animals having injuries, illness or temperament that make administration of the vaccinations unsafe.
(c) An examination of animals entering an animal shelter shall be performed within 72 hours of entry.
(d) Animal shelters shall ensure that animals requiring veterinary care are seen by a licensed veterinarian within a reasonable amount of time based on the condition of the animal, and that urgent medical care is provided as needed. Animal shelters shall comply with treatment plans developed by a licensed veterinarian for animals at the shelter requiring treatment.
(e) Animal shelters shall include a designated treatment area and isolation and/or quarantine areas. Animals suspected of carrying a contagious deadly disease will be moved to isolation or quarantine and remain there until they are no longer a threat to susceptible animals.
65 Laws 1985, ch. 136, § 1; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, § 2, eff. July 23, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2011. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8002 by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014.
Codifications: 3 Del.C. § 8002
(a) Animal shelters shall be open to the public after normal business hours, including evenings and weekends, to increase access for the purpose of adoption.
(b) Animal shelters shall provide a minimum holding period of 72 hours for animals in their care, to allow reclamation by their owners. If an adoptable animal is not reclaimed, the animal may be transferred to another animal shelter or rescue for adoption, or adopted as a companion in a suitable home. The holding period required by this subsection shall not apply to owner-surrendered animals, other cases in which the owner of the animal is known, or to cats that are returned to field as part of a free roaming cat program. Wild animals may be disposed of by rehabilitation to their natural habitat.
(c) Animal recovery.--
(1) Animal shelters shall take appropriate action to ensure that all animals brought to the shelter are checked for all currently acceptable methods of identification, including microchips, identification tags, tattoos, and licenses.
(2) Animal shelters shall maintain updated lists of animals reported lost, and attempt to match these lost reports with animals reported found and animals in the shelter, and shall also post all stray animals on the Internet with sufficient detail to allow them to be recognized and claimed by their owners.
(3) If a possible owner is identified, the animal shelter shall make every reasonable attempt to reunite the animal with its owner. Upon the owner's or caretaker's initiative of recovery procedures, the animal shelter shall retain custody of the animal for a 5-day period to allow for completion of the recovery process. The owner or custodian of the animal may be held responsible for reasonable housing and boarding costs once the owner or custodian has been notified of the animal's location, provided that the owner or custodian has been advised of such costs prior to the costs being incurred.
(d) Animal shelters shall establish and maintain a registry of organizations willing to accept animals for the purpose of adoption, including breed specific rescues, or to provide the animals with long-term placements. The registry shall include the types and breeds of animals about which the organization wishes to be contacted. Animal shelters shall have the right to inspect the facilities of any adoption organization taking animals from the shelter.
(e) Animal shelters shall make best efforts to prioritize acceptance of animals from within the State of Delaware before accepting dog or cat intakes from outside of Delaware. Animals accepted from shelters outside the State of Delaware must have a current health certification.
Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, § 2, eff. July 23, 2010. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8003 by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014; 81 Laws 2018, ch. 450, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2018.
Codifications: 3 Del.C. 1974, § 8003
(a) Any dog, cat or other animal held by or in the custody of an animal shelter and not adopted, transferred to another shelter or animal rescue group, placed into a free-roaming cat program, or reclaimed by the owner within 5 days may be euthanized, provided that no reasonable alternatives are available and the requirements of subsections (b) and (c) of this section are met.
(b) Animal shelters shall ensure that the following conditions are met before an animal is euthanized:
(1) The holding period for the animal required by this subchapter is expired;
(2) There are no empty cages, kennels, or other living environments in the shelter that are suitable for the animal;
(3) The animal cannot share a cage or kennel with appropriately-sized primary living space with another animal;
(4) A foster home is not available;
(5) Organizations on the registry developed pursuant to § 3003F(d) of this title are not willing to accept the animal;
(6) A visibly healthy cat whose source of origin can be identified and it can be returned to the field; and
(7) The animal care/control manager certifies that the above conditions are met and that such manager has no other reasonable alternative.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, an animal may be euthanized immediately if necessary to alleviate undue suffering or to protect shelter staff and/or other sheltered animals from an animal's severe aggression or contagious deadly health condition. The determination of whether euthanasia is necessary pursuant to this subsection shall be made by a licensed veterinarian or, in cases of extreme emergency occurring after regular business hours in circumstances under which a licensed veterinarian is not available, by other appropriately trained staff.
(d) Euthanasia method and procedure.--
(1) The Department shall promulgate regulations regarding acceptable methods of euthanasia in animal shelters and regarding sanitation and ventilation of euthanasia areas. The methods included shall be approved or conditionally approved by the most recent American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia.
(2) Under no circumstances shall carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide be used as a method of euthanasia.
(3) Any animal shelter performing euthanasia shall have a current policy and procedure manual regarding euthanasia. The policy and procedure manual shall set forth the shelter's equipment, process, and the procedures for individual separation of animals.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 33 of Title 24, euthanasia must be performed by:
a. A licensed veterinarian;
b. A nationally certified euthanasia technician; or
c. A licensed veterinary technician; or
d. A person certified by a licensed veterinarian, after passing both a written and practical examination, as proficient to perform euthanasia. Training and certification requirements shall be established by Department regulation in consultation with the Delaware Board of Veterinary Medicine.
(5) If euthanasia is by injection, animals in an animal shelter that are amenable to being controlled shall be lowered to the surface on which they are being held and shall not be permitted to drop or otherwise collapse without support.
(6) The trained staff member performing the euthanasia in animal shelters shall remain in attendance between the time procedures to euthanize the animal are commenced and the time death occurs, and shall verify death has occurred using methods to be determined by regulation.
(7) Sodium pentobarbital may be obtained by an animal shelter with required federal and state permits.
65 Laws 1985, ch. 136, § 1; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, § 3, eff. July 23, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2011. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8004 and amended by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014; 81 Laws 2018, ch. 450, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2018.
Codifications: 3 Del.C. 1974, § 8004
Any municipality that does not have proper facilities and trained personnel shall transport in a humane manner any animals which are to be euthanized to the nearest private or public shelter or agency which has proper facilities and trained personnel or contract for euthanasia of such animals by a licensed veterinarian.
65 Laws 1985, ch. 136, § 1. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8004 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, § 3, eff. July 23, 2010; redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8005 by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014.
Codifications: 3 Del.C. §§ 8004, 8005
(a) Failure by any person employed by, volunteering at or an agent of any private or public animal shelter to comply with § 3004F(d) of this title regarding euthanizing animals shall constitute a class A misdemeanor and shall be punishable as provided by law.
(b) Any person may maintain a civil action to enjoin the continuance of the violation of § 3004F(d) of this title. If the acts sought to be enjoined are determined by the courts to violate § 3004F(d) of this title, a permanent injunction against such acts shall be granted. The violation may also be abated by any public body or officer authorized to do so by law.
(c) The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of misdemeanor offenses under this section.
65 Laws 1985, ch. 136, § 1. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8005 by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, § 3, eff. July 23, 2010. Amended by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, §§ 4-6, eff. July 23, 2010. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8006 by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014.
Codifications: 3 Del.C. §§ 8005, 8006
Animal shelters shall maintain records regarding the following information:
(1) Intake rate;
(2) Euthanasia rate including age (infant, juvenile, and adult), by animal;
(3) Number of adoptions;
(4) Number reclaimed by owner or free-roaming cat caretaker;
(5) Number transferred to other agencies for adoption;
(6) Number of spay/neuters;
(7) Number of animals in the shelter;
(8) Records showing the number of animals that died or were lost/stolen;
(9) Records showing compliance with vaccination requirements;
(10) Records regarding medical treatment provided;
(11) Number of cats returned to the field as part of a free-roaming cat program; and
(12) Location and date of return of cats returned to the field as part of a free-roaming cat program.
The information in paragraphs (1) through (7) and (11) of this section shall be posted to the shelter's website on a quarterly basis. The information in paragraphs (4), (9), (10) and (12) of this section shall be made available upon request by appropriate authorities.
Added by 77 Laws 2010, ch. 418, § 7, eff. July 23, 2010. Redesignated from 3 Del.C. § 8007 by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014; 81 Laws 2018, ch. 450, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2018.
Codifications: 3 Del.C. 1974, § 8007
(a) The Department shall adopt rules and regulations as may be necessary for the protection and care of companion animals in animal shelters, as defined in this subchapter.
(b) The Department will conduct at least annual inspection of every animal shelter.
(c) The Department or its duly authorized representative(s) shall have the power to enter at all reasonable times, during ordinary business hours, upon any private or public animal shelter for the purpose of determining whether or not there is compliance with or violations of this subchapter, rules, and regulations thereunder.
(d) Upon request of the Department, animal shelters shall make available records concerning the requirements of this subchapter.
(e) All findings will be documented in writing and a copy provided to the animal shelter within 30 days. Once provided to the animal shelter, the documentation will also be posted on the Department Web site. Deficiencies must be corrected within the timeframe established by the Department.
(f) The Department shall have the power to issue orders to correct deficiencies and to impose penalties pursuant to § 107(a) of this title.
(g) The animal shelter management has the right to appeal the results of the inspection. If the opinion of the animal shelter management is in conflict with the inspection, the animal shelter management may request a review of the inspection by the Department. The appeal will be made in writing and submitted within 30 days after publication of the findings. After receipt of the appeal, the Department will have 60 days to respond in writing.
(h) The Department shall conduct an investigation upon receipt of a complaint of alleged violations of this subchapter.
(1) Anyone desiring to file a complaint against any animal shelter shall file a written complaint with the Department. All complaints shall be reviewed and complaints concerning violations of this chapter will be investigated by the Department or its designee. The Department shall notify the animal shelter of the complaint within 30 days of receipt of said complaint. The Department shall be responsible for issuing a final written report of violations of this subchapter to the animal shelter. Once the final report is issued to the animal shelter, the report will also be posted to the Department Web site at the conclusion of the proceedings.
(2) The animal shelter management may, in writing to the Department, request a hearing if they wish to contest the findings of the investigation. The appeal will be made in writing and submitted within 30 days after publication of the findings. Within 30 days of receipt of the request for public hearing, the Department shall set a time and place to conduct a hearing on the complaint. Notice of the hearing shall be given and the hearing conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29, and the Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 100 of Title 29.
Added by 79 Laws 2014, ch. 377, § 1, eff. July 31, 2014.