(1) Peace officers or animal control officers shall seize and impound any dog which does not bear a valid rabies tag or other legible identification which is found running at large. Any dog which an officer or animal control officer seizes shall be impounded in the designated animal shelter of the county and confined in a humane manner. If, after a reasonable effort, the seizure of an unrestrained dog cannot be made, or the dog presents a hazard to public safety or property or has an injury or physical condition which causes the dog to suffer, the animal control officer or peace officer may immediately destroy the dog by the most reasonable and humane means then available.
(2) (a) Impounded dogs shall be kept for not less than five (5) days, unless reclaimed by their owners. Dogs not reclaimed and those not placed in suitable new homes may be humanely euthanized after the five (5) day holding period, unless the dog has an injury or physical condition which causes it to suffer. In those cases the animal shelter may immediately euthanize the dog, and if a human being has been bitten by the dog, the dog shall be tested for rabies.
(b) If an owner is identified, the impounding agency shall immediately notify the owner of the impoundment by the most expedient means available.
(c) Any animal shelter, public or private, which takes in stray animals and does not have regular hours for public access, shall post semimonthly either in a local newspaper or the newspaper with the highest circulation in the county, the shelter location, hours of operation, the period that impounded animals shall be held, and a contact number.
(3) Upon reclaiming an impounded dog, cat, or ferret, the owner shall show proof of a valid rabies vaccination. If proof of the vaccination cannot be provided, the owner shall purchase a vaccination voucher from the animal shelter. The voucher shall be valid for ten (10) days from the date of issuance and shall be used in the prescribed time period. The animal shelter shall reimburse the veterinarian for the amount of the voucher upon presentation to the shelter by the administering veterinarian.
(4) The owner of an impounded animal is responsible for all fees associated with the impoundment of the animal. If the owner can be identified, the fees are due even if the owner does not reclaim the animal.
(5) Dogs, cats, or ferrets which have bitten a person shall be maintained in quarantine by the owner for ten (10) days from the date of the bite. Owners who fail to properly quarantine their animals shall be subject to a citation for violation of this subsection and the dog, cat, or ferret shall be removed to the animal shelter for the remainder of the quarantine period. The owner shall be responsible for all associated fees of the quarantine and impoundment.
(6) A hound or other hunting dog which has been released from confinement for hunting purposes shall be deemed to be under reasonable control of its owner or handler while engaged in or returning from hunting, and, if a hunting dog becomes temporarily lost from a pack or wanders from actual control or sight of its owner or handler, the owner or handler shall not be deemed to be in violation of the provisions of this section as a result of the dog's having become temporarily lost or having wandered from immediate control or sight of the owner or handler.
HISTORY: 2004 c 189, § 16, eff. 7-13-04; 2000 c 179, § 5, eff. 7-14- 00; 1998 c 440, § 3, eff. 7-15-98; 1954 c 119, § 24, eff. 6-17-54