(a) A board of county commissioners may declare the running at large of any specified animals in unincorporated areas within the county limits a public nuisance.
(b) Notice of such a declaration shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county and notices may be placed in appropriate locations. The notice shall specify any regulations necessary and convenient for animal control and shall state that:
(i) It is a public nuisance for one (1) or more specified animals to be running at large in unincorporated areas;
(ii) A fine shall be imposed on the owner of such animal and restitution for any damages to person or property caused by the animal shall be made by the owner;
(iii) Dogs or other animals, whose ownership cannot be determined, may be destroyed.
(c) Upon the filing of any complaint, the county sheriff may arrest or issue a summons to the owner of any animal which is running at large or has attacked a person. A first conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00). Each subsequent conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00).
(d) A dog injuring or killing livestock may be killed by the owner of the livestock or his agent or any peace officer.
(e) Any animal attacking any person in a vicious manner or that bites any person may be impounded by the county sheriff or animal control officer and held in quarantine for at least ten (10) days or as long as necessary as determined by the Wyoming state health officer after the attack to determine whether the animal has any disease which may be communicated to humans. Home quarantine may be allowed as determined by the animal control officer or the county sheriff if the animal's owner or custodian presents a valid rabies vaccination certificate showing the animal has been vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The costs of impoundment, quarantine and testing shall be paid by the owner or custodian of the animal. Any animal which attacks any person in a vicious manner may be destroyed or the owner or custodian of the animal may be fined not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00), or both. Proof of the fact that the animal has bitten or attacked any person at any place where a person is legally entitled to be is evidence that the animal is vicious within the meaning of this section. A copy of any animal control officer report regarding the animal bite shall be submitted to the state health officer.
(f) Upon the declaration of a public nuisance, the county sheriff may dispose of any unlicensed animals, the ownership of which cannot be determined.
(g) A board of county commissioners may enact regulations relative to dogs running at large, vicious dogs, dogs running wild game or livestock or acts by other animals which shall carry out the purposes of this section. The county sheriff shall and a county animal control officer or any other peace officer may enforce these regulations to protect persons and property.
(h) A board of county commissioners may require an annual county license or tag for animals within their jurisdiction upon payment of a fee of not more than ten dollars ($10.00). Funds collected pursuant to this subsection may be used for animal control or for the maintenance of animal control centers for either purpose.
(j) A board of county commissioners may establish and provide for the operation of animal control districts which may encompass all or parts of the unincorporated area of the county and may cooperate with municipalities in a joint animal control program. Joint animal control programs may employ joint animal control officers who have the authority to enforce the animal control regulations and ordinances of each of the participating entities.
(k) As used in W.S. 11-31-301 “animal” means a dog or cat.
(m) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section regarding impounding an animal to determine disease status, nothing in this section shall apply to any livestock guarding animal which is actively engaged in protecting livestock. Except in the case of gross or willful negligence, no liability shall accrue to the owner, or his agent, of any livestock guarding animal for any injury to any person or animal received from any livestock guarding animal which was actively engaged in protecting livestock.
Laws 1979, ch. 124, § 1; Laws 1981, ch. 73, § 1; Laws 1983, ch. 123, § 1; Laws 1984, ch. 37, § 1; Laws 2002, Sp. & Bud. Sess., ch. 41, § 1, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2009, ch. 173, § 1, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2018, ch. 108, § 1, eff. July 1, 2018.