Cats: Related Statutes

Statute by categorysort ascending Citation Summary
WI - Cats - Question 62 - DEFEATED Wisconsin 2005 Question 62

This controversial measure would have allowed hunters to hunt any cat that was found free roaming, meaning it did not exhibit a collar or other signs of domestic ownership.  At the Monday, April 11, 2005 meeting of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, those in favor of the feral cat hunting proposal  approved the measure by a vote of 6,830 to 5,201.  This approval was then forwarded to the state Natural Resources Board for consideration.  Proponents of the measure suggest feral cats expose domestic animals to disease and endanger native songbirds.  Opponents of the measure counter that such a law would be cruel and archaic, putting domestic cats who have escaped from their homes at risk of death.  On May 25, 2005 at the Natural Resources Board regular spring meeting, a representative of the Congress indicated that the Executive Committee has declined to pursue the issue any further.  (See the official meeting minutes at page 5 at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/nrboard/minutes/M05/0505%20minutes.pdf ).  Feral cat advocates claimed a public relations victory, as the measure gained national and even international criticism.  (See Alley Cat Allies at http://www.alleycat.org/wi.html ).  (For more on the procedural history of this measure, see the "Long Summary" under the "Statute Details" above).   

VA - Rabies - § 3.2-6523. Inoculation for rabies at animal shelters Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6523

This Virginia statute provides that animals at a shelter may be inoculated by a licensed veterinary technician who is under the direct supervision of a veterinarian when an emergency rabies ordinance has been issued by a city or county.

VA - Property - § 3.2-6585. Dogs and cats deemed personal property; rights relating thereto Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6585 This Virginia statute provides that all dogs and cats shall be deemed personal property and may be the subject of larceny and malicious or unlawful trespass.  It further grants authority to animal control officers to seize a stolen dog or cat pending court action.
VA - Ordinance - § 3.2-6587. Unlawful acts; penalties Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6587

This Virginia statute describes the unlawful acts related to pets that will constitute Class 4 misdemeanors.  Included are furnishing a false license application, failing to pay license tax, violating a leash or rabies ordinance, not disposing of dead companion animals per statute, and improperly concealing a pet.  Also, a Class 1 misdemeanor may be imposed for falsely impersonating a humane officer or for falsifying a claim for animal damage.

VA - Licenses - § 3.2-6528. Amount of license tax Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6528 This Virginia statute provides that the governing body of each county or city shall impose by ordinance a license tax on the ownership of dogs within its jurisdiction.  With regard to cats, the governing body of any county, city or town which has adopted an ordinance requiring licensing of cats shall impose by ordinance a license tax on the ownership of cats within its jurisdiction.  The tax amount may vary depending on whether the pet is male or female, and neutered or spayed. 
VA - Licenses - § 3.2-6527. How to obtain license Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6527 This Virginia statute describes the process under which an individual may obtain a dog or cat license.  Generally, it states that any person may obtain a dog license or cat license if required by an ordinance by making oral or written application to the treasurer of the county or city in which such person resides, accompanied by the amount of license tax and current certificate of vaccination as required by this article.
VA - Licenses - § 3.2-6524. Unlicensed dogs prohibited; ordinances for licensing cats Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6524

This Virginia statute provides that it is unlawful for any person to own a dog four months old or older in the state unless such dog is licensed.  With regard to cats, t he governing body of any county, city or town may, by local ordinance, prohibit any person from owning a cat four months or older within such locality unless such cat is licensed.

VA - Fur - § 3.2-6589. Selling garments containing dog or cat fur prohibited; penalty Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6589

This Virginia statute makes it illegal to sell a garment containing the fur of a "domestic" dog or cat.  Violation incurs up to a $10,000 penalty.

UT - Sterilization - Animal Welfare Act. Part 2. Animal Shelter Pet Sterilization Act U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-201 - 208

Under this Utah act, a shelter may not transfer an unsterilized animal for adoption unless the shelter has a written agreement in which the recipient agrees to have the animal sterilized and gives the shelter a sterilization deposit. If a recipient fails to comply with the agreement, the animal may be seized and impounded, and the recipient forfeits the deposit. A first violation may result in a civil penalty of $250.

UT - Impound - Chapter 46. Animal Welfare Act. Part 1. General Provisions U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-101 - 103

Under this act, animal control officers must hold stray animals in safe and humane custody for a minimum of 5 business days prior to making any final disposition of the animal. A stray animal may be euthanized prior to the completion of the 5-day period to prevent unnecessary suffering due to serious injury or disease.

UT - Impound - (Repealed) § 77-24-1.5. Safekeeping by officer pending disposition--Records required U.C.A. 1953 § 77-24-1.5 (§§ 77-24-1 to 77-24-5. Repealed by Laws 2013, c. 394, § 40, eff. July 1, 2013)

§§ 77-24-1 to 77-24-5. Repealed by Laws 2013, c. 394, § 40, eff. July 1, 2013 (Formerly: this Utah statute, amended in 2011, states that each peace officer shall hold all "property" in safe custody until it is received into evidence or disposed of as provided in this chapter. He or she must also maintain a record that identifies it. Note that the provisions related to specifically to animal impoundment/euthanasia were removed.)

UT - Cats - Chapter 46. Animal Welfare Act. Part 3. Community Cat Act U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-301 to 304

A shelter may release a cat prior to the 5-day holding period to a sponsor operating a community cat program. Such a cat is exempt from licensing requirements and feeding bans.  Community cat sponsors or caretakers do not have custody of any cat, and sterilization and vaccination records must be kept for three years.

US - Fur, dog and cat fur products - Chapter 4. Tariff Act of 1930. 19 U.S.C.A. § 1308

This federal statute prohibits commerce in dog or cat fur.  Specifically, the statute forbids import into, or export from, the United States of any dog or cat fur product; or the introduction into interstate commerce, manufacture for introduction into interstate commerce, sell, trade, or advertise in interstate commerce, offer to sell, or transport or distribute in interstate commerce in the United States, any dog or cat fur product.  The exception under the act is for the importation, exportation, or transportation, for noncommercial purposes, of a personal pet that is deceased, including a pet preserved through taxidermy.

TX - Rabies - § 826.045. Area Rabies Quarantine. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.045

This Texas statute outlines the parameters under which a rabies quarantine area may be adopted.  If this occurs, it may call for the restraint of carnivorous animals and the transportation of carnivorous animals into and out of the quarantine area.  While the quarantine is in effect, the rules adopted by the board supersede all other applicable ordinances or rules applying to the quarantine area.

TX - Rabies - § 826.022. Vaccination; Criminal Penalty. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.022

This Texas statute provides that a person commits an offense (Class C misdemeanor) if the person fails or refuses to have each dog or cat owned by the person vaccinated against rabies and the animal is required to be vaccinated under applicable state law or local ordinance.

TX - Ordinances - § 826.034. Restraint; Criminal Penalty. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.034

This Texas statute provides that a person commits an offense (Class C misdemeanor) if the person fails or refuses to restrain a dog or cat owned by the person and  the animal is required to be restrained under the ordinances or rules adopted under this chapter.

TX - Licenses - § 826.032. Registration; Criminal Penalty V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.032

This Texas statute provides that a person commits an offense (Class C misdemeanor) if he or she fails to  or refuses to register or present for registration a dog or cat owned by the person as required by state law or local ordinance.

TX - Licenses - § 826.031. Registration of Dogs and Cats by Local Governments. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.031

This Texas statute provides that the governing body of a municipality and the commissioners court of a county may adopt ordinances or rules requiring the registration of each dog and cat within the jurisdiction of the municipality or county.  Fees may be collected pursuant to such ordinances to defray costs.

TX - Impound - § 826.033. Restraint, Impoundment, and Disposition of Dogs and Cats. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 826.033

This Texas statute provides that a municipality or county may adopt ordinances or rules to require that each dog or cat be restrained by its owner and that any  stray dog or cat be declared a public nuisance.  Further, it can declare that each unrestrained dog or cat be detained or impounded by the local rabies control authority.  Each  stray dog or cat be impounded for a period set by ordinance or rule and a humane disposition be made of each unclaimed stray dog or cat upon its expiration.

TX - Breeder - Chapter 802. Dog or Cat Breeders. V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 802.001 - 251

Under the Texas Dog or Cat Breeders Act, a person may not act as a dog or cat breeder without a license. Facilities must be inspected at least once every 18-months, and inspectors must notify the law enforcement if they discover evidence of animal cruelty or neglect. This Act also establishes a dog or cat breeder training and enforcement account that can be used for promoting consumer awareness of this chapter, and supporting education, training, and enforcement efforts.

TN - State animal - § 4-1-337. Official state pet T. C. A. § 4-1-337

In 2014, Tennessee enacted a law that makes dogs and cats adopted from Tennessee animal shelters and rescues the official state pet.

TN - Rabies - Chapter 8. Rabies T. C. A. § 68-8-101 - 115

This chapter reflects the Tennessee Anti-Rabies Law. It is unlawful for any person to own, keep or harbor any dog or cat six (6) months of age or older that has not been vaccinated against rabies as required by this chapter. Ferrets, certain livestock, hybrid animals and other animals may be vaccinated for rabies if a vaccine is legally available for that species.

TN - Ordinances - § 5-1-120. Dogs and cats; licenses, shelters and other animal control facilities T. C. A. § 5-1-120

This Tennessee statute outlines the broad police power counties have with respect to dog and cats.  It provides that counties, by resolution of their respective legislative bodies, may license and regulate dogs and cats, establish and operate shelters and other animal control facilities, and regulate, capture, impound and dispose of stray dogs, stray cats and other stray animals.

TN - Breeder -Part 7. Commercial Breeder Act T. C. A. § 44-17-701 - 715 (expired June 30, 2014)

(Expired June 30, 2014). In 2009, Tennessee enacted its Commercial Breeder Act. The act defines a commercial breeder as means any person who possesses or maintains, under the person’s immediate control, twenty (20) or more unsterilized adult female dogs or cats in this state for the purpose of selling the offspring as companion animals. Commercial breeders must maintain and display licenses to operate in accordance with the act. Further, the act requires commercial breeders to keep on file at all times the number of dogs and cats in their possession and how many were sold during the reporting period. Inspections may occur under the act, but are not mandatory.

SC - Impound - § 47-3-40. Impoundment or quarantine of cat or dog running at large; release to owner. Code 1976 § 47-3-40

This South Carolina statute provides that the county or municipal animal shelter or animal control officers shall pick up and impound or quarantine any dog running at large. To obtain release of a dog or cat, an owner must prove that the dog or cat is currently inoculated against rabies and also pay an impound or quarantine fee determined by the governing body of the county or municipality.

RI - Cats - Chapter 22. Cat Identification Program and Chapter 24. Permit Program for Cats Gen.Laws 1956, § 4-22-1 - 10; § 4-24-1 - 13

These Rhode Island section is entitled the "Cat Identification Program."  Under this law, cats are required to display some form of identification (tag, tattoo, etc.) in an effort to reduce the feral/stray cat problem.  The law reduces the retention period for cats impounded without some form of identification.

PA - Sterilization - § 459-910-A. Construction of article (sterilization of dogs & cats) 3 P.S. § 459-910-A

This Pennsylvania statute relates to statutory mandatory sterilization of impounded dogs and cats.  It provides that a municipal ordinance, which meets or exceeds the state sterilization requirements, shall not be affected by this article.

OR - Pet Dealers - 609.520. Inspection of records; procedure for obtaining animal held by dealer; O. R. S. § 609.520

This Oregon statute sets out the right of a person to inspect a pet dealer's business for the purpose of finding a lost companion animal.  The statute also outlines acceptable methods to prove ownership and the procedure for resolving a dispute of ownership.

OR - Fur - 167.390. Commerce in fur of domestic cats and dogs O. R. S. § 167.390

In Oregon, a person may not take, buy, sell, barter or otherwise exchange for commerce in fur purposes the raw fur or products that include the fur of a domestic cat or dog if the fur is obtained through a process that kills or maims the cat or dog. Violation is a Class A misdemeanor when the offense is committed with a culpable mental state as defined in ORS 161.085.

OH - Emergency - 4765.52 Provision of emergency medical services to dog or cat R.C. § 4765.52

This Ohio statute specifies the emergency treatment that a medical technician or first responder could provide, prior to a dog or cat being transferred to a veterinarian for further treatment. The statute also highlights the immunities that medical responders, directors, and emergency medical service organizations have under the statute, unless they engage in an act or omission while providing medical services to a dog or cat, that constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. The statute also makes clear that a veterinarian who acts in good faith is not liable for any act or omission that occurred prior to the veterinarian providing services to the cat or dog.

NY - Research animals - § 239-b. Research dogs and cats McKinney's Education Law § 239-b

This New York law, effective in 2016, provides that a publicly-funded higher education research facility must assess the health of the dog or cat and determine whether it is suitable for adoption after the research and testing on the animal is completed. That research facility must then make reasonable efforts to offer for adoption the dog or cat determined to be suitable for adoption, either through private placement or through an animal rescue/organization.

NV - Research - 574.205. Requirement to offer dog or cat for adoption before euthanization; immunity from civil liability N. R. S. 574.205 This Nevada law, enacted in 2015, mandates that a research facility that intends to euthanize a dog or cat for any purpose other than scientific, medical or educational research shall, before euthanizing the dog or cat, offer the dog or cat for adoption if the dog or cat is appropriate for adoption. This adoption may be completed through an adoption program of the research facility or through a collaborative agreement with an animal rescue organization.
NV - Pet Sales - Title 50. Animals. Chapter 574. Cruelty to Animals: Prevention and Penalties N. R. S. 574.450 to 574.510

This Nevada statutory section comprises the state's pet sale laws.  The law protects purchasers of pets by ensuring minimum standards of care at retail pet stores and allows purchasers to return "defective" pets within ten days of purchase.

NV - Damages, pet - 41.740. Damages for which person who kills or injures pet N.R.S. 41.740 This Nevada law provides that if a "natural person" intentionally, willfully, recklessly or negligently injures or kills the pet of another natural person, the person is liable for (a) the cost of veterinary care incurred because of the injury or death of the pet; (b) any reduction in market value of the pet caused by the injury; (c) the market value and reasonable burial expenses if the pet is killed; and (d) reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in bringing an action under this section. All the damages must not exceed $5,000 per pet. There are several exceptions under the law. A pet is defined as any domesticated dog or cat normally maintained in or near the household of its owner.
NM - Property - Chapter 77. Animals and Livestock. NMSA 1978, § 77-1-1

Dogs, cats and domestic birds are considered personal property in New Mexico.

NM - Impound - Chapter 77. Animals and Livestock. NMSA 1978, § 77-1-17

This New Mexico statute provides that the owner or operator of a veterinary clinic or hospital, a doctor of veterinary medicine, a kennel, grooming parlor or other animal care facility is not liable for disposing of abandoned animals after proper notice has been sent to the owner of record.

NM - Dangerous Animal - Chapter 77. Animals and Livestock. NMSA 1978, § 77-1-10

This New Mexico statute provides that it is unlawful for any person to keep any animal known to be vicious and liable to attack or injure human beings unless such animal is securely kept to prevent injury to any person.  It is also unlawful to keep any unvaccinated dog or cat or any animal with any symptom of rabies or to fail or to refuse to destroy vicious animals or unvaccinated dogs or cats with symptoms of rabies.

NJ - Pet Sales - Pet Purchase Protection Act N. J. S. A. 56:8-92 to 56:8-97

This New Jersey Act protects pet purchasers who receive "defective" companion animals.  A purchaser of a defective pet must have his or her pet examined by a veterinarian within 14 days of purchase to receive a refund or exchange.  Alternatively, a buyer may retain the pet and be reimbursed for veterinary bills up to two times the cost of the dog or cat.

NH - Kennel - CHAPTER 466. DOGS AND CATS. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:6

This New Hampshire statute outlines the provisions of dog group licenses (i.e., kennel licenses).

NE - Impound - CHAPTER 71. PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE Neb. Rev. St. § 71-4408

This Nebraska statute provides that any dog found outside the owner's premises whose owner does not possess a valid certificate of rabies vaccination and valid rabies vaccination tag for such dog shall be impounded for not less than 72 hours.  If an impounded domestic animal is unclaimed at the end of five days, the authorities may dispose of it in accordance with applicable laws or rules and regulations.

ND - Rabies - Chapter 23-36. Rabies Control. NDCC 23-36-03

This North Dakota statute provides that the appropriate health department may promptly seize and humanely kill, impound at the owner's expense, or quarantine any animal if the state health officer has probable cause to believe the animal presents clinical symptoms of rabies or determines the animal is a threat to human life or safety due to the possible exposure of an individual to rabies.

NC - Rabies - § 130A-195. Destroying stray or feral animals in quarantine districts N.C.G.S.A. § 130A-195

This North Carolina statute provides that when quarantine has been declared and dogs and cats continue to run uncontrolled in the area, any peace officer or Animal Control Officer shall have the right, after reasonable effort has been made to apprehend the animals, to destroy the uncontrolled dogs and cats and properly dispose of their bodies.

NC - Licenses - § 130A-192. Animals not wearing required rabies vaccination tags N.C.G.S.A. § 130A-192

This North Carolina statute provides that the Animal Control Officer shall canvass the county to determine if there are any dogs or cats not wearing the required rabies vaccination tag.  If the animal is wearing an owner identification tag, or if the Animal Control Officer otherwise knows who the owner is, the Animal Control Officer shall notify the owner in writing to have the animal vaccinated against rabies and to produce the required rabies vaccination certificate within three days.  If the animal is not wearing an owner identification tag and the Animal Control Officer does not otherwise know who the owner is, the Animal Control Officer may impound the animal.  The duration of the impoundment of these animals shall be established by the county board of commissioners, but the duration shall not be less than 72 hours.  During the impoundment period, the Animal Control Officer shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of the animal.

MO - Pet Shop - Animal Care and Facilities Licensing and Regulation (Chapter 273) V.A.M.S. 273.325 - 359

Under these Missouri statutes, a license is required to operate animal boarding facilities, pet shops, pounds, dealers and commercial breeders. The canine cruelty prevention act makes it the crime of canine cruelty if the person poses a substantial risk to the health and welfare of animals in the person's custody. A violation is a misdemeanor.

MN - Research animals - 135A.191. Research dogs and cats M.S.A. § 135A.191

This Minnesota law states that a publicly-funded higher education facility that confines dogs or cats for science, education, or research purposes and plans on euthanizing a dog or cat for other than science, education, or research purposes must first offer the dog or cat to an animal rescue organization.

MN - Ordinances - Chapter 347. Dogs and Cats. Dogs. M. S. A. § 347.21

This Minnesota statute provides that state dog control laws are supplemental to local provisions enacted by ordinance and shall not be construed as to modify, repeal, or prevent municipalities from prohibiting, licensing, or regulating the running at large of dogs.

MI - Impound - Chapter 287. Animal Industry. Use of Dogs and Cats for Research. MCL 287.388

This Michigan statute provides that 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.

ME - Cat - Consolidated Cat Laws 7 M. R. S. A. § 3916 - 3919C; 1 M. R. S. A. § 217

These statutes comprise Maine's cat laws.  Among the provisions include rabies vaccination requirements, stray cat procedures, and the designation of the "state cat."

MD - Cat - Title 13. Emblems; Commemorative Days; Manual. MD Code, State Government, § 13-317 - Repealed by Acts 2014, c. 94, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2014

(Repealed). The calico cat is the Maryland state cat.

MA - Exotic Pets - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 77A Massachusetts bans hybrid animals, those offspring of mating between a domestic animal and its wild counterpart, usually wolves and dogs. No individual may possess or own a hybrid as a pet.

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