In 2017, two states enacted rather historic animal laws. Alaska and Illinois added provisions in their divorce/marriage dissolution laws that allow court to consider the "best interests" of pets when dividing property among spouses.
Two states, Nevada and Texas, enacted laws on bestiality. Nevada's law makes violation a gross misdemeanor unless the activity causes bodily injury to the animal. Texas makes violation a state jail felony unless the activity was conducted in the presence of a minor under the age of 18; in that case, it becomes a XX degree felony.
States also changed laws on the sale of pets. Illinois enacted the Best Practices and Uniform Standards to Ensure Consumer Protection and Safe Pets Act. This law covers the source of dogs and cats sold in pet shops. Under the law, a pet shop operator is not allowed to obtain a dog or cat from a breeder that is required to be USDA licensed if any certain listed factors apply to the breeder.
The focus of many state amendments was again on anti-cruelty laws. In particular, the changes related to impoundment procedures for animals kept by those suspected of animal cruelty crimes. In Alaksa, Under Sec. 03.55.120 on seizure of animals in cases of suspected cruelty violations, a sentence was added stating that "the notice required in (b) of this section shall be conspicuously posted at the premises from which the animal was seized." For example, in Delaware, language was added relative to owners failing to paying costs associated with care for seized animals: " . . . failure of the animal's owner or custodian to pay these costs within 30 days of delivery of a detailed monthly billing will result in ownership of the animal reverting to the State and the State may determine the final disposition of said animal." Hawaii's amendments allow animals subject to cruel treatment to be impounded prior to the filing of charges. Kansas Section 525.130, "Cruelty to animals in the second degree; exemptions;" was amended in 2017. The amendments added some specific provisions related to equines ) An order that the person pay restitution for damage to the property of others and for costs incurred by others, including reasonable costs, as determined by agreement or by the court after a hearing, incurred in feeding, sheltering, veterinary treatment, and incidental care of any equine that was the subject of the offense resulting in conviction; or (b) An order terminating or imposing conditions on the person's right to possession, title, custody, or care of any equine that was the subject of the offense resulting in conviction.
In other changes to anti-cruelty laws, several states clarified issues of proper care of animals. Alaska clarified that owners have a "legal duty" to provide care for their animals in the criminal negligence law.
Service animals also appeared in many states' amendments. In Wyoming, the state made it a misdemeanor to knowingly and interntionally misrepresent a pet as a service or assistance animal for the purpose of gaining rights or privileges under law. North Dakota went a step further by making it a crime to An individual is guilty of an infraction if the individual, in an attempt to obtain a reasonable housing accommodation under section 47–16–07.5, knowingly makes a false claim of having a disability that requires the use of a service animal or assistance animal or knowingly provides fraudulent supporting documentation in connection with such a claim.Arkansas passed the Patricia Heath Act” that changed some language to § 20-14-304 on the right to be accompanied by service animal. First, the wording was changed to remove the term "physical" preceding "disabilities" so that it becomes more inclusive to disabled individuals. Additionally, the phrase "and to be accompanied by a service dog as defined in Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as it existed on January 1, 2017" was added to reinforce the rights under state law.
Maryland added to the State Government code Section § 9-957, which establishes the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program. A purpose of the Program is to refer eligible veterans who inquire about participation in the Program to one or more nonprofit training entities. New York added a new definition for "therapy dog" in the Agriculture & Markets Laws and Arizona added a law allowing facility/courthouse dogs in courtrooms.
Connecticut mandates that animal shelters register with the commissioner and follow rules concerning care and zoning in the particular municipality. Delaware made some procedural changes to its dangerous and potentially dangerous dog laws.
|No major statutory changes.|
Under Sec. 03.55.120 on seizure of animals in cases of suspected cruelty violations, a sentence was added stating that "the notice required in (b) of this section shall be conspicuously posted at the premises from which the animal was seized."
A.S. § 03.55.120
Under the cruelty to animals law, Section § 11.61.140, the addition of a legal duty to care for the animal was added to the criminal negligence section. Subsection (2) now states, "(2) has a legal duty to care for the animal and, with criminal negligence, fails to care for an animal and, as a result, causes the death of the animal or causes severe physical pain or prolonged suffering to the animal." Prior to amendment, the first clause was not present in the subsection.
A.S. § 11.61.140
Divorce and Custody
Alaska's law on marriage dissolution was amended. In a judgment in an action for divorce or action declaring a marriage void or at any time after judgment, the court may provide "(5) if an animal is owned, for the ownership or joint ownership of the animal, taking into consideration the well-being of the animal."
AS § 25.24.160
The divorce petition may now include a petition filed by both spouses under AS 25.24.200(a). It may provide for the ownership or joint ownership of an animal, taking into consideration the well-being of the animal. § 25.24.210
Highlights include the following excerpts:
(10) grant you possession and use of a vehicle and other essential personal items, including a pet, regardless of the ownership of those items
* * *
(2) “pet” means a vertebrate living creature maintained for companionship or pleasure, but does not include dogs primarily owned for participation in a generally accepted mushing or pulling contest or practice or animals primarily owned for participation in rodeos or stock contests.
A petition filed by both spouses under AS 25.24.200(a) may provide for the ownership or joint ownership of an animal, taking into consideration the well- being of the animal.
* * *
(6) the written agreements between the spouses concerning ownership or joint ownership of an animal take into consideration the well-being of the animal.
The law allowing a victim of domestic violence to seek a protection order was amended in 2017 to allow pets to be part of the order. Pet is defined as "a vertebrate living creature maintained for companionship or pleasure, but does not include dogs primarily owned for participation in a generally accepted mushing or pulling contest or practice or animals primarily owned for participation in rodeos or stock contests." The protection order may now "give the petitioner possession and use of a vehicle and other essential personal items, including a pet, regardless of ownership of the items." Further, the respondent may be required to pay support for the petitioner, "or a pet in the care of the petitioner if there is an independent legal obligation of the respondent to support the petitioner, child, or pet."
Section § 28.23.120 was added to Chapter 23 related to Transportation Network Companies and Drivers. The new laws specifically states that, "[a] transportation network company driver shall comply with all applicable laws relating to accommodation of service animals."
A.S. § 28.23.120
A new was enacted in 2017 that limits veterinarians from prescribing greater than a seven-day supply of opioids initially for a pet.
AS § 08.98.245
A. R. S. 12-558.02
A. R. S. § 8-422 was added concerning facility dogs. It states that a court shall allow a facility dog to accompany a victim who is under 18 while he or she is testifying in court. A party seeking the use of a facility dog must file a notice with the court that includes the certification of the facility dog, the name of the person or entity who certified the dog and evidence that the facility dog is insured. It is discretionary for the court to allow a facility dog for a victim over the age of 18.
A new section was added: 12-558.02. Limited liability; removing minor or confined animal from motor vehicle; definition
In the law concerning the offense of aggravated cruelty to a dog, cat, or equine, the law originally said "horse." In 2017, that word was changed to "equine."
Changes were made to the state's anti-discrimination law. In 2017, Act 652 called the “Patricia Heath Act” was passed. This act changed some language to § 20-14-304 on the right to be accompanied by service animal. First, the wording was changed to remove the term "physical" preceding "disabilities" so that it becomes more inclusive to disabled individuals. Additionally, the phrase "and to be accompanied by a service dog as defined in Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as it existed on January 1, 2017" was added to reinforce the rights under state law.
A new section was added to the veterinary practice laws: § 17-101-316. Livestock embryo transfer or transplant and livestock pregnancy determination
A new section was added in 2017: § 2080.5. Enhancement of survival permit authorizing the taking of endangered or threatened species to establish an experimental population; timing, extent and duration. This law provides that, if any person obtains an enhancement of survival permit from the Secretary of Commerce that authorizes the taking of a listed endangered or threatened species to establish or maintain an experimental population, no further authorization or approval is necessary under this chapter for that person to take that listed species if all of the requirements are met under the law.
Other sections were added, including:
West's Ann.Cal.Penal Code § 868.4 was enacted in 2017 and became effective in January of 2018. The law allows either party in a criminal or juvenile hearing to ask the court for approval to bring a therapy or facility dog for a child witness in a court proceeding involving any serious felony or any other victim who is entitled to a support person. Before a therapy or facility dog may be used, the party seeking its use must file a motion with the court that includes: (1) the training or credentials of the therapy or facility dog; (2) the training of the therapy or facility dog handler; and (3) facts justifying that the presence of the therapy or facility dog may reduce anxiety or otherwise be helpful to the witness while testifying. The court may grant the motion unless it finds the use of the therapy or facility dog would cause undue prejudice or be unduly disruptive to the court. Appropriate measures must be taken to assure that the presence of the therapy or facility dog as unobtrusive and nondisruptive as possible.
No major statutory changes.
Under Section § 22-344, "Licensing of commercial kennel, pet shop, training facility or grooming facility," a new subsection on animal shelters was enacted. The new subsection (f) states:
(f) No person shall operate or maintain an animal shelter until he or she registers such animal shelter with the commissioner to operate and maintain such animal shelter under such regulations as the commissioner provides as to sanitation, disease and humane treatment of dogs or cats and the protection of the public safety. Upon written application and payment of a fee of fifty dollars to offset administrative costs of such registrations, the commissioner shall issue such registration to be effective until the second December thirty-first following issuance provided the commissioner finds (A) that such regulations have been complied with, and (B) in the case of each initial application for such registration, that the zoning enforcement official of the municipality wherein such animal shelter is to be operated or maintained has certified that the animal shelter conforms to the municipal zoning regulations. Such registration shall be renewed biennially, not later than December thirty-first, in accordance with the provisions of this section, and may be transferred by the registrant to another premises upon approval of the commissioner. For purposes of this subsection, “animal shelter” means any private entity that operates a building or facility that is used solely to house homeless animals for the purpose of rescue or adoption and that is not operated within a private residence.
C. G. S. A. § 22-344
A new law was added (which is awaiting codification) on the use of facility, or therapy, dogs during testimony: C.G.S.A. P.A. 17-185, § 1, § 1. Information regarding the use of therapy dogs to comfort testifying witnesses [Tentative name line supplied by legal publisher].
Section 20–204a of the state's veterinary practice code concerns allegations of wrongdoing by a veterinarian. This law was amended in 2017 to add a sentence on disclosure of records of the investigation to the owner of the animal at issue. The new language states:
(b) Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the investigation shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure under section 1–210 and no person may disclose knowledge of the investigation to a third party unless the veterinarian requests that the investigation be open. The owner of any animal that is the subject of such an investigation shall not be deemed a third party to such an investigation for purposes of disclosure under this section.
C. G. S. A. § 20-204a [emphasis added]
16 Del.C. § 3035F
Breed specific legislation:
Delaware added a law in 2017 that states, "The municipal governments shall enact no law, ordinance, or regulation relating to dogs, or restrictions on dogs, based on a dog's breed or perceived breed." 22 Del.C. § 116.
Slight changes were made to § 3035F on impoundment of animals subject to cruel mistreatment or cruel neglect. In paragraph (a), officers can now seize animals subjected to cruelty AND animal fighting. In paragraph (c), language was added relative to owners failing to paying costs associated with care for seized animals:
failure of the animal's owner or custodian to pay these costs within 30 days of delivery of a detailed monthly billing will result in ownership of the animal reverting to the State and the State may determine the final disposition of said animal.
[emphasis added] 16 Del.C. § 3035F.
Under § 3073F, "Seizure and impoundment of dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs; notification of dog owner; hearing procedures," a new paragraph (4) was added after subsection (a):
(a) An animal welfare officer shall seize and impound a dog suspected of being dangerous or potentially dangerous when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the dog has engaged in 1 or more of the following:
* * *
(4) Caused physical injury to a domestic animal, provided the domestic animal was on the property of its owner or under the immediate control of its owner, on more than one occasion in a 12 month period. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(4), “physical injury” means impairment of physical condition and substantial pain.
Additionally, a time limit was added to paragraph (c)(2) relating to the right of an owner of an impounded dog suspected of being a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog to request a hearing:
(2) Unless the owner agrees to the proposed conditions, the Department shall file a civil action with the Justice of the Peace Court within 5 business days after impoundment of the dog and identification of the dog's owner and notice to the owner.
16 Del.C. § 3073F
Under the previous version of the law, owners only had 72 hours after receiving notice of the Department's civil action.
Section 3076F on "finding to declare a dog dangerous; duties of owner," was amended. New subsection (4) was added to paragraph (a):
(a) The Justice of the Peace Court may declare a dog to be dangerous if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog has done any of the following:
* * *
(3) Inflicted physical injury upon a domestic animal after the dog has been declared potentially dangerous under § 3077F of this title. under § 3077F. Finding to declare a dog potentially dangerous; duties of owner
16 Del.C. § 3076F
Similarly, in Section 3077F on potentially dangerous dog, subsection (4) was added:
(a) The Justice of the Peace Court may declare a dog to be potentially dangerous if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog has done any of the following:
* * *
(4) Caused physical injury to a domestic animal on more than one occasion in a 12 month period, provided the domestic animal was on the property of its owner or under the immediate control of its owner.
16 Del.C. § 3077F
Under 3078F on costs of impoundment of such dogs, a new sentence was added:
If the owner does not take either action within 10 days after judgement, ownership of the dog reverts to the Department and the Department may dispose of the dog by euthanasia in accordance with subchapter I of this chapter.
16 Del.C. § 3078F
For § 3079F, entitled, "Violations by owners of dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs; penalties," a time limitation was placed throughout the law with respect to subsequent dangerous dog offense. In paragraphs a, b, and c the following language was added:
For a subsequent offense within 3 years of the original court ruling or acceptance of conditions concerning dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs . . .
In addition, a new paragraph (e) was added to § 3079F:
(e) After a dog has been declared potentially dangerous under § 3077F of this title, a dog that inflicts physical injury upon a domestic animal, or a dog that chases or pursues a person, including a person on a bicycle, upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public or private property, other than the dog owner's property, in an apparent attitude of attack, the dog shall be seized and impounded by the Department and the Department may file a civil action for a hearing to determine whether the dog is dangerous.
16 Del.C. § 3079F
Finally, in Section 3081F relating to the disposition of dogs determined to be dangerous or potentially dangerous or nondangerous, the following sentence was added at the end of paragraphs (a) and (b):
The Justice of the Peace Court may order the dog to remain in the custody of the State until all conditions have been met.
16 Del.C. § 3081F
At the end of paragraph (e) on the procedure for appeal of euthanization orders, this provision was added this to end:
. . . and all documents must be submitted to the Court of Common Pleas within 15 days of filing an appeal.
16 Del.C. § 3081F
D.C. passed the "Standard of Care for Animals Amendment Act of 2017." This act will "clarify what constitutes the proper treatment of animals, update prohibited behaviors toward animals, update penalties for violating provisions of the act, and redesignate existing sections for organizational purposes." Highlights to the act include a new definition for "adequate shelter" that specifically considers temperature. DC CODE § 8–1801
The act also makes it clear that an animal cannot be left out during "extreme weather" without human companionship for more than 15 minutes (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
Finally, the act adds restrictions on leaving an animal unattended in a parked vehicle in a way that endangers its life.
No major statutory changes.
Equine activity liability:
Georgia expanded its equine activity liability act to now include livestock activities. ‘Livestock activity’ means any event in which participants are engaged in the grazing, herding, feeding, branding, boarding, milking, inspecting, or evaluating of livestock, or taking part in any other activity that involves the care or maintenance of livestock wherein such participants are not charged a fee for their participation, unless such fees charged are used exclusively for educational, scholarship, or training purposes for participants who are 23 years of age or younger; the care and maintenance of the equipment, tack, or livestock in use during such participation; or for facility overhead costs. In this chapter, there are now separate laws for warning notices for equines, llamas, and livestock activities.
Act 78 amended both § 711–1109.2 and The purpose of this Act is to clarify that an incorporated humane society or incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may petition the court for the forfeiture of an impounded animal prior to the filing or disposition of criminal charges against the owner of the animal that arise from circumstances supporting the impoundment. The language was changed so that instead of prior to final disposition of criminal charge, it now says prior to "filing of, or" final disposition. Subsection (9) was also added by the bill: "An acquittal or dismissal in a criminal proceeding shall not preclude civil proceedings under this chapter.”
A section was added to § 36-1107, "Wild animals and birds damaging property." The addition concerns the taking of depredating grizzly bears:
(d) Control of Depredation of Grizzly Bears. For purposes of this section, “grizzly bear” means any grizzly bear not protected by the federal endangered species act. Grizzly bears may be disposed of by livestock or domestic animal owners, their employees, agents and animal damage control personnel when the same are molesting or attacking livestock or domestic animals and it shall not be necessary to obtain any permit from the department. Grizzly bears so taken shall be reported to the director within seventy-two (72) hours, with additional reasonable time allowed if access to the site where taken is limited. Grizzly bears so taken shall remain the property of the state. Livestock and domestic animal owners may take all nonlethal steps they deem necessary to protect their property.
The State of Idaho added a law that now assess a renewal fee of $285 for a veterinary license. I.C. § 54-2112A
Animal control funding:
A new section was added to Act 5, the Animal Control Act in 2017:
§ 3.5. County animal population fund use limitation. Funds from the $10 set aside of the differential under Section 3 of this Act that is placed in the county animal population control fund may only be used to (1) spay, neuter, vaccinate, or sterilize adopted dogs or cats; (2) spay, neuter, or vaccinate dogs or cats owned by low income county residents who are eligible for the Food Stamp Program or Social Security Disability Benefits Program; or (3) spay, neuter, and vaccinate feral cats in programs recognized by the county or a municipality. This Section does not apply to a county with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants.
510 I.L.C.S. 5/3.5
In a historic move, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was amended by changing Sections 452, 501, 502, and 503. These changes relate to consideration of animals in petitions for marriage dissolution.
First, amendments to Section 452 on petitions was amended by adding new subsection (k):
The parties to a dissolution proceeding may file a joint petition for simplified dissolution if they certify that all of the following conditions exist when the proceeding is commenced:
* * *
(k) The parties have executed a written agreement allocating ownership of and responsibility for any companion animals owned by the parties. As used in this Section, "companion animal" does not include a service animal as defined in Section 2.01c of the Humane Care for Animals Act.
Additionally, under Sec. 501, "Temporary relief," a new section was added:
(f) Companion animals. Either party may petition or move for the temporary allocation of sole or joint possession of and responsibility for a companion animal jointly owned by the parties. In issuing an order under this subsection, the court shall take into consideration the well-being of the companion animal. As used in this Section, "companion animal" does not include a service animal as defined in Section 2.01c of the Humane Care for Animals Act.
Under Section 502 concerning the agreement between the parties, the following language was added to section (a):
The parties may also enter into an agreement allocating the sole or joint ownership of or responsibility for a companion animal. As used in this Section, "companion animal" does not include a service animal as defined in Section 2.01c of the Humane Care for Animals Act.
Lastly, as to Section 503, "Disposition of property and debts," a final section (n) was added in 2017:
(n) If the court finds that a companion animal of the parties is a marital asset, it shall allocate the sole or joint ownership of and responsibility for a companion animal of the parties. In issuing an order under this subsection, the court shall take into consideration the well-being of the companion animal. As used in this Section, "companion animal" does not include a service animal as defined in Section 2.01c of the Humane Care for Animals Act.
Sales of cats and dogs:
Under Section 605/3.1 in the Animal Welfare Act, a new requirement was added to the list of information a dog dealer or cattery operator must provide for every dog or cat available for sale:
(g) Documentation that indicates that the dog or cat has been microchipped and the microchip has been enrolled in a nationally searchable database.
225 I.L.C.S. 605/3.1
Another entirely new section was also added as part of P.A. 100-322, the "Best Practices and Uniform Standards to Ensure Consumer Protection and Safe Pets Act." This law covers the source of dogs and cats sold in pet shops. Under the law, a pet shop operator is not allowed to obtain a dog or cat from a breeder that is required to be USDA licensed if any of the following applies to the breeder:
Under the new law, there is a presumption of good faith on behalf of the pet shop operator if he or she "conducts a search for inspection reports that are readily available of the breeder on the Animal Care Information System online search tool maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture. If inspection reports are not readily available on the United States Department of Agriculture website, the pet shop operator must obtain the inspection reports from the person or persons . . ."
225 ILCS 605/3.8
In section 3.15, amendments in 2017 added a microchip requirement that every pet shop operator must provide to the consumer prior to sale:
(10) Disclosure that the dog or cat has been microchipped and the microchip has been enrolled in a nationally searchable database. Pet stores must also disclose that the purchaser has the option to list the pet store as a secondary contact on the microchip.
225 ILCS 605/3.15
A previously repealed section was revised to create a new section: 605/4 - "Applicant convictions." This law details the adjudications and convictions that will not be considered in conjunction with an application under Act 605 (i.e., juvenile adjudications and overturned convictions). The law then covers factors that may mitigate a previous felony or misdemeanor conviction in an applicant's application for licensure. The procedure for denial and a requirement for the Department to publish statistical information on licensing is outlined. 225 I.L.C.S. 605/4.
|No major statutory changes.|
|Equine activity liability: |
The state's EALA was amended to bar claims against fairs for damages arising out of the transmission of pathogens from certain animals housed on the fairgrounds. -
This resulted in the addition of two new sections to the chapter:
673.4. Fairs--domesticated animal premises--liability
673.5. Warning sign--notice
I. C. A. § 673.1, I. C. A. § 673.4, and I. C. A. § 673.5.
The state's humane slaughter laws added caprine (goats) to humane slaughter provisions.
I. C. A. § 189A.18
Cruelty and impoundment:
In Section 21-6412 and 21-6414, changes were made to terminology throughout both laws. The phrase "incorporated humane society" was changed in 2017 to "animal shelter." Additionally, when an animal is impounded, notification must now be in writing. More parties than just the animal shelter may now petition the court to transfer ownership of the impounded animal, including law enforcement agency, district attorney's office, county prosecutor, and veterinarian. Previously, the law limited that ability to only animal shelters. Under the amendments last year, “Animal shelter” means the same as such term is defined in K.S.A. 47–1701, and amendments thereto . . ."
Section 525.130, "Cruelty to animals in the second degree; exemptions;" was amended in 2017. The amendments added some specific provisions related to equines:
(5) If a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to an offense under subsection (1) of this section arising from the person's treatment of an equine, the court may impose one (1) or both of the following penalties against the person, in addition to fines and imprisonment:
(a) An order that the person pay restitution for damage to the property of others and for costs incurred by others, including reasonable costs, as determined by agreement or by the court after a hearing, incurred in feeding, sheltering, veterinary treatment, and incidental care of any equine that was the subject of the offense resulting in conviction; or
(b) An order terminating or imposing conditions on the person's right to possession, title, custody, or care of any equine that was the subject of the offense resulting in conviction.
If a person's ownership interest in an equine is terminated by a judicial order under paragraph (b) of this subsection, the court may order the sale, conveyance, or other disposition of the equine that was the subject of the offense resulting in conviction.
KRS § 525.130
Under KRS § 258.095, the definitions section for the Animal Care and Control chapter, the definition for "owner" was amended. Specifically, a new subsection was added that makes an owner "(b) Every person who . . . 4. Permits the dog to remain on or about premises leased and occupied by him."
Hunting of deer and elk:
KRS § 150.390 relates to restrictions on the hunting of deer and elk in the state. A new subsection was added to that law:
(5) The department shall identify areas where deer and elk pose a significant threat to agriculture or to health and human safety from automobile accidents and may take necessary steps to reduce the deer and elk population in those areas. Methods to reduce the deer and elk population may include but are not limited to the following:
(a) Special hunts;
(b) Increasing the doe harvest; and
(c) Working with the Transportation Cabinet to make vegetation along highways unpalatable to deer and elk.
Service animal assault:
Section 525.200 concerning assault on service animal in the first degree was significantly amended. Previously, the law simply provided that a person is guilty of this crime if he or she intentionally and without legal justification "kills or causes physical injury to a service animal to the extent that a service animal becomes physically incapable of ever returning to service." In 2017, the law amended to include three instances that result in this crime, including through the use of a weapon:
(a) He or she intentionally kills or causes serious physical injury to a service animal;
(b) He or she intentionally causes physical injury to a service animal by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
(c) He or she wantonly causes serious physical injury to a service animal by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
Further, the following paragraph was added at the end of the law to make it clear that assistance animal are excluded from the law:
(2) For the purposes of this section, “service animal” has the same meaning as in KRS 525.010, except that “service animal” does not include assistance dogs as defined in KRS 525.010(6)(h).
KRS § 525.200
Abandoned animals/emergency declarations:
Under Chapter 17 on cruelty to animals, Section 2452 on abandoned animals was amended in 2017. a new subsection was added relating to declared emergency situations:
After a declared emergency, an animal shall be considered abandoned when such animal is receiving temporary shelter services in a facility operated by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the owner has not claimed the animal within thirty days of the declared emergency and a reasonable effort has been made to contact the owner.
S.B. 64 relating to animal shelters, added some requirements for Louisiana in 2017. Under § 2463, "General shelter standards," a subsection on inspection and subsequent training was added:
(2) The parish shall notify the director of the animal control agency or shelter of the inspector's name in writing. Each individual authorized to conduct shelter inspections for the parish shall annually attend training offered by an organization that provides accredited continuing education courses regarding shelter safety, animal welfare, and state compliance procedures, such as the Louisiana Animal Control Association. The training requirement shall apply only if an online training option is available. All training required by this Paragraph shall be approved by the state veterinarian.
Further, "[s]helter personnel shall annually attend training offered by an organization that provides accredited continuing education courses regarding shelter safety, animal welfare, and state compliance procedures, such as the Louisiana Animal Control Association . . ." However, subsection E notes that, "The training requirement shall apply only if an online training option is available. All training required by this Subsection shall be approved by the state veterinarian."
Finally, under § 2465, "Operating procedures," the following amendment was added:
E. Any animal shelter that maintains a social media account or a website may post pictures of every animal that enters the shelter upon intake and again prior to euthanasia of the animal.
The term "social media account" is previously defined under amendments to § 2462.
(6) “Social media account” means an Internet-based service that allows individuals to do the following:
(a) Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system created by the service.
(b) Create a list of other users with whom they share a connection within the system.
(c) View and navigate their list of connections and those made by others within the system.
Maine amended § 12152, "Permit to possess wildlife in captivity" in 2017. The change added a whole new subsection on escaped wildlife (subsection 7). A person may not allow captive wildlife to escape the person's possession or control due to a violation of state rules or the conditions or requirements of the permits. If the wildlife escapes, violations are as follows:
(1) A Class E crime if the wildlife is permitted in accordance with this section and the permit holder does not immediately notify a law enforcement officer that the wildlife has escaped;
(2) A Class E crime if the wildlife is not permitted in accordance with this section and the person immediately notifies a law enforcement officer that the wildlife has escaped; or
(3) A Class D crime if the wildlife is not permitted in accordance with this section and the person does not immediately notify a law enforcement officer that the wildlife has escaped.
12 M. R. S. A. § 12152
Section 12159 added a fee for a "Commercial Amphibian Permit."
The fee for a permit issued under this subsection is $27. The permit expires one year from the date of issuance.
12 M. R. S. A. § 12159
The state's chapter on animal shelters that was originally enacted in 2016 was amended slightly in 2017. To MD Code, Agriculture, § 2-1704, subsection (b) was added that states: "(b) An animal shelter shall follow its written protocol for reclaiming animals." Changes were made to the next section that relates to those protocols. Previously, MD Code, Agriculture, § 2-1705, the section that describes the protocol was very specific and included things like the holding period time, the hours of the shelter, the fees, any identification that must be presented, and a summary of intake data. Now, after 2017, the law relies on outside guidelines and states the following:
(a) On or before January 1, 2018, the Department shall adopt minimum standards of care for dogs and cats in animal shelters that are consistent with:
(1) The most recent Association of Shelter Veterinarians' Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters; and
(2) The most recent guidelines for standards of care in animal shelters prepared by the Professional Animal Workers of Maryland.
(b) An animal shelter shall follow the minimum standards of care adopted by the Department.
MD Code, Agriculture, § 2-1705
In 2017, Section § 10-604 on the abuse or neglect of animal was amended to add the word "proper" to duties under animal cruelty law: (iii) proper drink; (iv) proper air; (v) proper space; (vi) proper shelter; or (vii) proper protection from the weather.
A new law was added that establishes § 10-626: the Animal Abuse Emergency Compensation Fund. As stated in the law:
(c) The purpose of the Fund is to assist in paying costs associated with the removal and care of animals impounded under this subtitle.
* * *
(g) The Fund may be used only to defray the reasonable costs incurred by an animal control unit or animal welfare organization in caring for an animal from the time of seizure until the outcome of the criminal case including: (1) impound; (2) transportation; (3) medical care; (4) food; (5) routine care; and (6) sheltering.
Kennel license requirements:
Section 13-108 of the Local Government Code relates to kennel licenses for breeders. In 2017, the law changed so that the requirement to obtain license went from a person who owns or has custody of 15 dogs to a person who owns or has custody of only 6 dogs.
MD Code, Local Government, § 13-108
Section 11-110 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings code was amended. This section relates to damages for injuries or death caused to pets. The maximum amount recoverable was changed from $7,500 to $10,000 in 2017. MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 11-110.
A new law was added to the State Government code in 2017. Section § 9-957 establishes the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program. A purpose of the Program is to refer eligible veterans who inquire about participation in the Program to one or more nonprofit training entities. The Department shall select at least one qualified nonprofit training entity to implement a training protocol that will teach each Program participant methodologies, strategies, and techniques for partnering with service dogs or support dogs. This entity will also help select and facilitate training of service or support dogs. The Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program Fund is also established to fund the Program.
Veterinary emergency care:
Section § 5-614 was amended in 2017 relating to civil immunity for emergency and gratuitous care of animals. Previously, the section only related to veterinarians and vet students who provide free emergency veterinary care to animals. In 2017, the law was expanded to include six categories of individuals who have civil immunity for emergency care of animals:
(1) An individual licensed by the State to provide veterinary care, a student of veterinary medicine who works under the responsible direct supervision of a veterinary practitioner as defined by § 2–301(c) of the Agriculture Article, or a veterinary technician registered by the State under § 2–309 of the Agriculture Article;
(2) An individual who is licensed by this State to provide medical care;
(3) A member of any State, county, municipal, or volunteer fire department, ambulance and rescue squad, or law enforcement agency, or a corporate fire department;
(4) A volunteer fire department or ambulance and rescue squad whose members have immunity;
(5) A corporation when its fire department personnel are immune under item (3) of this subsection; and
(6) An individual employed or designated by a local government as an animal control officer while responding in the individual's official capacity to a call in the community.
Those listed persons are not civilly liable for any act or omission in giving any veterinary aid, care, or assistance to an animal where the owner or custodian of the animal is not available to grant permission provided: there is no gross negligence; the assistance is given without compensation; and the care is given as the scene of an emergency, in transit to a veterinary facility, or through communication with a licensed veterinarian. MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-614
Veterinary reporting of cruelty:
A reporting requirement added to the veterinary practice laws. A veterinary practitioner who has reason to believe that an animal that has been treated by the veterinary practitioner has been subjected to cruelty or fighting shall report the suspected animal cruelty or animal fighting to the appropriate law enforcement agency or county animal control agency in a timely manner.
|No major statutory changes.|
|No major statutory changes.|
|M. S. A. § 97A.338|
Endangered species violations:
Under the Fish and Game laws, there is a section dealing with "gross overlimits" - a law that prohibits the taking of wild animals over the legal limit for the species, without a valid hunting license, or out of season. Violation of this law is a gross misdemeanor. To this law, a new paragraph was added in 2017:
(b) If a wild animal involved in a gross overlimit violation is listed as a threatened or endangered wild animal, the penalty in paragraph (a) does not apply unless more than one animal is taken, possessed, or transported in violation of the game and fish laws.
M. S. A. § 97A.338
|No major statutory changes.|
|V.A.M.S. § 340.285|| |
340.285. Actions against veterinarians, limitations
All actions against veterinarians treating animals and any other entity providing veterinary services for animals, and all employees of any of the foregoing acting in the course and scope of their employment, for damages for malpractice, negligence, error, or mistake related to the veterinary care of animals shall be brought within two years from the date of occurrence of the act of neglect complained of, except that:
(1) In cases in which the act of neglect complained of is introducing and negligently permitting any foreign object to remain within the body of a living animal, the action shall be brought within two years from the date of the discovery of such alleged negligence or from the date on which the owner of an animal in the exercise of ordinary care should have discovered such alleged negligence, whichever date occurs first; and
(2) In cases in which the act of neglect complained of is the negligent failure to inform, the action shall be brought within two years from the date of the discovery of such alleged negligent failure to inform or from the date on which the owner of the animal in the exercise of ordinary care should have discovered such alleged negligent failure to inform, whichever date first occurs; except that, no such action shall be brought for any negligent failure to inform about the results of medical tests performed more than two years before August 28, 2017. For purposes of this subdivision, the act of neglect based on the negligent failure to inform the owner of the animal of the results of medical tests shall not include the act of informing the owner of the animal of erroneous test results.
|No major statutory changes.|
|No major statutory changes.|
Nevada's governor signed AB 391, § 1 relating to bestiality on May 23, 2017. This new law states the following:
1. A person commits the crime of bestiality if the person knowingly and intentionally:
(a) Engages in sexual conduct with an animal;
(b) Causes another person to engage in sexual conduct with an animal or aids or abets another person in engaging in sexual conduct with an animal;
(c) Permits any sexual conduct with an animal to be conducted on any premises under the control of the person;
(d) Engages in, organizes, promotes, conducts, advertises, aids, abets, participates in and is physically present as an observer, or performs any service in the furtherance of an act involving any sexual conduct with an animal; or
(e) Photographs or films, for purposes of his or her sexual gratification or the sexual gratification of another person, a person engaged in sexual conduct with an animal.
Violation is a gross misdemeanor unless the act causes the death or serious bodily injury to the animal, in which case it becomes a category D felony.
Other components of the law include restraints on ownership of animals upon conviction and psychological assessment ordered by the court.
Dog or cat in parked car:
The section, "574.195. Allowing cat or dog to remain unattended in motor vehicle during period of extreme heat or cold unlawful; removal of animal; exceptions; immunity from liability; penalty" was repealed and reorganized under a new section in the Motor Vehicle Code.
In Section 574.100, S.B. 411 added some changes. The previous version of the law prohibited a person from abandoning an animal, without limitation or exception. The amendments in 2017 provide an exception for release of a feral cat that has been caught to provide vaccination, spaying/neutering, and then released. To subparagraph (f) the following text was added:
The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to a feral cat that has been caught to provide vaccination, spaying or neutering and released back to the location where the feral cat was caught after providing the vaccination, spaying or neutering. As used in this paragraph, “feral cat” means a cat that has no apparent owner or identification and appears to be unsocialized to humans and unmanageable or otherwise demonstrates characteristics normally associated with a wild or undomesticated animal.
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 427:33
N.H. Rev. Stat. 437:1 to 13
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 644:8g
In Section 427:33 relating to definition of terms, paragraph III(b) substituted the phrase, “in accordance with the ritual requirements of any religious faith that prescribes a method of slaughter” for “required by the ritual of the Jewish faith” in 2017.
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 427:33
Sale of pets:
Chapter 437 on the "Sale of Pets and Disposition of Unclaimed Animals," several amendments occurred in 2017, some of which reorganized the sections of the chapter.
In terms of substantive amendments, in the Definitions section, definitions for "pet shop" and "broker" were more or less consolidated into a new definition for "pet vendor:"
IV. “Pet vendor” means any person, firm, corporation, or other entity engaged in the business of transferring live animals or birds customarily used as household pets to the public, with or without a fee or donation required, and whether or not a physical facility is owned by the licensee in New Hampshire, when transfer to the final owner occurs within New Hampshire.
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437:1
Sexual assault of animals:
The state added a bestiality law:
I. A person commits bestiality by knowingly committing any of the following acts:
(a) Engaging in sexual contact or sexual penetration with an animal for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.
(b) Offering or accepting the offer of an animal for consideration with the intent that it be subject to sexual contact or sexual penetration by a human.
(c) Photographing or filming or distributing such photographs or films, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, of a person engaged in sexual contact or sexual penetration with an animal.
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 644:8g.
Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class B felony for a second or subsequent offense.
Dogs, tethering and necessary care:
The new laws relate to requirements for tethering or confining a dog. It also prohibits tethering under certain circumstances such as when temperatures are 32 degrees F or lower or 90 degrees F or higher). The new law requires the owner or other person with custody or control over the dog to provide it with continuous access to proper shelter when a dog is left outdoors for more than 30 minutes during adverse weather conditions. Section 4:22–17.3 prohibits tethers that use a halter or harness and tethering between 11PM and 5AM. However, subsequent paragraphs in that section specifically provides that such actions are not violations if the owner is outdoors with the dog.
Procedures by law enforcement may seize a dog kept in violation of the bill are outlined. Violations of the tethering restrictions and failure to provide necessary care were also added in new Section 4:22-17.8. Proper shelter for dogs and other domestic companion animals are outlined in 4:22-17.5. Interestingly, 4:22-17.6 provides that the Department of Health and municipalities must provide information about these new provisions and requirements in writing and on websites.
The law on housing accommodations in the civil rights chapter added language allowing persons with disabilities to keep retired service dogs:
. . . . or who retains their former service or guide dog as a pet after its retirement from service, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations and shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such service or guide dog or retired pet, but shall be liable for any damages done to the premises by such dog. Any provision in any lease or rental agreement prohibiting maintenance of a pet or pets on or in the premises shall not be applicable to a working service or guide dog, or a retired service or guide dog, owned by a tenant who is a person with a disability.
N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.2
In 2017, Assembly Number 4081 entitled, "Charlie's Law," was added to Chapter 5 - the Law Against Discrimination. Charlie's Law added a new statutory section:
a. Any person who interferes with or denies the access of a person with a disability accompanied by a service or guide dog to any public facility in violation of section 1 of P.L.1971, c. 130 (C.10:5-29) shall, in addition to any other relief or affirmative action provided by law, be liable to a civil penalty of not less than:
(1) $250 for the first violation;
(2) $500 for the second violation; and
(3) $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation.
b. The penalty shall be collected pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c. 274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.), in a summary proceeding before the municipal court having jurisdiction. A law enforcement officer having enforcement authority in that municipality shall issue a summons for a violation of the provisions of subsection a. of this section, and shall serve and execute all process with respect to the enforcement of this section consistent with the Rules of Court.
The issuance of a summons pursuant to this subsection shall not prohibit an aggrieved party from filing a complaint or action with the Division on Civil Rights or in the Superior Court of New Jersey alleging a violation of the “Law Against Discrimination,” P.L.1945, c. 169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.), based on the same incident or conduct. In any instance where an aggrieved party files a complaint or action with the Division on Civil Rights or in the Superior Court of New Jersey alleging a violation of the “Law Against Discrimination” based on the same incident or conduct for which a civil penalty has been imposed pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the Division on Civil Rights or Superior Court of New Jersey, as the case may be, shall make a de novo ruling and any adjudication by the municipal court shall not constitute res judicata for the complaint or action filed with the Division on Civil Rights or in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
c. The penalties assessed under this section shall be payable to the State Treasurer and shall be appropriated to the Department of Law and Public Safety to fund educational programs for law enforcement officers on the right of a person with a disability to have a service or guide dog in a place of public accommodation.
d. The Attorney General shall establish a public awareness campaign to inform the public about the provisions of this act.
N. J. S. A. 10:5-29.11
No major statutory changes.
In 2017, S.5599 changed some parts of Article 26-a, "Care of Animals by Pet Dealers." In particular, Section 400 of McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law was amended by adding more exclusions to the definition of "pet dealer." Now, the definition of pet dealer does not include:
(b) Any municipal pound or shelter dedicated to the care of unwanted animals which makes such animals available for adoption whether or not a fee for such adoption is charged, established and maintained pursuant to subdivision one of section one hundred fourteen of this chapter; and
(c) Any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society, duly incorporated animal protective association or other duly incorporated animal adoption or animal rescue organization dedicated to the care of unwanted animals which makes such animals available for adoption whether or not a fee for such adoption is charged that is exempt from taxes pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the federal Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 501, or any subsequent corresponding sections of the federal Internal Revenue Code, as from time to time amended, that is registered with the department pursuant to section four hundred eight of this article.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 400. Similar exemption language also was added to similar changes to McKinney's General Business Law § 752.
In addition, that bill added a whole new section, "§ 408. Exemption of certain entities from the definition of pet dealer; registration required." Essentially, this new section provides a process to exempt a person or entity from the pet dealer requirements. This registration process is renewable annually and must be accompanied by a fee of one hundred dollars.
Application for this exemption registration must be made to the commissioner of agriculture and includes the following information:
(a) Proof of the applicant's tax exempt designation pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the federal Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 501, or any subsequent corresponding sections of the federal Internal Revenue Code, as from time to time amended;
(b) Proof of the applicant's incorporation as a not-for-profit organization in this state pursuant to the not-for-profit corporation law, provided further that such organization is in good standing with the attorney general and the department of state;
(c) Proof of the applicant's registration with the attorney general pursuant to article seven-A of the executive law;
(d) The name of the applicant and the name or names under which the applicant offers its services to the public, any name under which the applicant has offered its services to the public during the past five years, and whether the applicant has ever held a license issued pursuant to this article;
(e) The address and telephone number of the applicant and for any other premise owned or leased by such applicant's organization to carry out the purposes for which it was incorporated and by which it may be eligible for a licensing exemption pursuant to this section;
(f) The website and email address of the applicant;
(g) The number of animals taken in, adopted, placed into permanent or temporary homes, or otherwise transferred into, out of, or within the state by the applicant during the prior calendar year;
(h) The number of animals currently harbored by the applicant;
(i) The species of animal the applicant typically harbors for adoption, placement or transfer;
(j) A description of facilities by which the applicant carries out the purposes for which it was incorporated, including a statement regarding whether the applicant harbors the animals in its care in its own physical animal shelter or utilizes foster homes, commercial boarding kennels or other arrangements; and
(k) A sworn statement, signed by the applicant, declaring eligibility for a pet dealer licensing exemption pursuant to subdivision four of section four hundred of this article.
The process for denial of registration is also provided in the law as well as the penalties for violation of the law, which can result in an injunction and civil penalty of $100 - $1,000.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 408
The state added a new definition for "therapy dog" in the Agriculture & Markets Laws.
“Therapy dog” means any dog that is trained to aid the emotional and physical health of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes and other settings and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose, and does not qualify under federal or state law or regulations as a service dog.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 108
|No major statutory changes.|
NDCC 20.1-04-05 (repealed)
To the law on providing disability documentation for service or assistance animal in rental dwelling, additional phrasing was added to this sentence:
Reliable supporting documentation may be provided by a physician or medical professional who does not operate in this state solely to provide certification for service or assistance animals.
A new law following that section was also added in 2017:
§ 47–16–07.6. Service animals—Housing—Penalties for furnishing fraudulent disability documentation
1. An individual is guilty of an infraction if the individual, in an attempt to obtain a reasonable housing accommodation under section 47–16–07.5, knowingly makes a false claim of having a disability that requires the use of a service animal or assistance animal or knowingly provides fraudulent supporting documentation in connection with such a claim.
2. If the individual pleads guilty or is convicted of an offense under subsection 1, a lessor may evict a lessee and the lessor is entitled to a damage fee, not to exceed one thousand dollars, from a lessee if the lessee provides fraudulent disability documentation indicating a disability requiring the use of a service animal or assistance animal.
NDCC 20.1-04-05, which related to protections for bald and golden eagles, was repealed in 2017.
R.C. § 935.26 - repealed
Dangerous wild animals act:
Section 935.26 Dangerous and restricted animals advisory board" was repealed in 2017. This law, enacted in 2012 as part of the chapter on Dangerous Wild Animals and Restricted Snakes, created an advisory board of 15 members reflecting both state departments and members of the public. The purpose of the board was to help create rules to implement the 2012 act.
Dog breeding kennels and retailers:
Significant changes were made to Chapter 956 on Dog Breeding Kennels and Dog Retailers. In Section 956.01 related to definitions under the chapter, a definition for "accredited veterinarian" was added (meaning a veterinarian accredited by the United States department of agriculture).
Additionally, the definition of "pet store" was changed from "a retail store that sells dogs to the public" to the following:
“Pet store” means an individual retail store to which both of the following apply: the store sells dogs to the public; and with regard to the sale of a dog from the store, the sales person, the buyer of a dog, and the dog for sale are physically present during the sales transaction so that the buyer may personally observe the dog and help ensure its health prior to taking custody. “Pet store” does not include an animal rescue for dogs, an animal shelter for dogs, a humane society, a medical kennel for dogs, or a research kennel for dogs.
R.C. § 956.01
Section 956.03 concerns adoption of rules by the director of agriculture. New rule requirements were added in 2017:
(11) Requirements and procedures governing pet stores, including requirements and procedures governing the initial licensing of pet stores and the renewal of pet store licenses;
(12) The application form for a license issued under division (A) of section 956.21 of the Revised Code and the information that is required to be submitted in the application;
(13) Requirements governing permanent implanted identification microchips for dogs to be sold at a pet store and by a dog retailer . . .
That law was also reorganized in terms of alpha-numerical designation.
An entirely new law was enacted: Section 956.051. This law provides:
(A) No dog retailer shall negligently sell, deliver, barter, auction, broker, give away, or transfer a live dog to a pet store in this state unless the dog was obtained from one of the following sources:
(1) An animal rescue for dogs;
(2) An animal shelter for dogs;
(3) A humane society;
(4) A qualified breeder as defined in section 956.19 of the Revised Code.
A dog retailer is also prohibited from doing "negligently" selling, delivering, bartering, auctioning, transferring or giving away to a pet store:
(1) A dog less than eight weeks old;
(2) A dog without a certificate of veterinarian inspection signed by an accredited veterinarian;
(3) A dog that does not have a permanent implanted identification microchip;
(4) A dog to a person who is younger than eighteen years of age as verified by valid photo identification;
(5) A dog acquired from a qualified breeder as defined unless the dog retailer provides to the person written certification with required listed information.
It should be noted that paragraph (D) states that "[t]his section does not apply to any dog that is being sold, delivered, bartered, auctioned, given away, brokered, or transferred from the premises where the dog was bred and reared."
Section 956.13 deals with penalties under this chapter. Effective in 2017, the penalty was changed from a maximum civil penalty of $100 to now "a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for a first violation, not more than two thousand five hundred dollars for a second violation, and not more than ten thousand dollars for a third or subsequent violation."
Further, a new subsection indicated where the funds from fees are placed:
(D) Any person assessed a civil penalty under this section shall pay the amount prescribed to the department of agriculture. The department shall remit all money collected under this section to the treasurer of state for deposit in the high volume breeder kennel control license fund created under section 956.18 of the Revised Code. A new section OH ST 956.181 deals with this fund.
Section 956.19 now creates a definition for "qualified breeder."
(A) A breeder that keeps, houses, and maintains female adult dogs that is not a high volume breeder as defined in section 956.01 of the Revised Code.
(B) A high volume breeder located in or out of this state that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The breeder is licensed by the United States department of agriculture under 7 U.S.C. 2133 and, if applicable, a state agency.
(2) The breeder has not been issued a report of a direct noncompliance violation by the United States department of agriculture under the federal animal welfare act, as defined in section 959.131 of the Revised Code, for a period of three years prior to offering for sale, delivering, bartering, auctioning, brokering, giving away, transferring, or selling a dog.
(3) The breeder has not had three or more noncompliance violations documented in any report issued by the United States department of agriculture under the federal animal welfare act, as defined in section 959.131 of the Revised Code, for a period of twelve months prior to offering for sale, delivering, bartering, auctioning, brokering, giving away, transferring, or selling a dog.
(4) The breeder has been issued a dog retailer license under section 956.05 of the Revised Code.
Other changes include the following:
Finally, the penalty section of the chapter, Section 956.99, states that: Whoever violates division (A), (B), or (C) of section 956.051 of the Revised Code, division (A), (B), or (C) of section 956.20 of the Revised Code, or division (E) of section 956.21 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
|No major statutory changes.|
In 2017, H.B. 3283 made some changes to the chapter on anti-cruelty. In Section 167.305, relating to legislative findings and declarations, the following subsection was added:
(6) A government agency, a humane investigation agency or its agent or a person that provides care and treatment for impounded or seized animals:
(a) Has an interest in mitigating the costs of the care and treatment in order to ensure the swift and thorough rehabilitation of the animals; and
(b) May mitigate the costs of the care and treatment through funding that is separate from, and in addition to, any recovery of reasonable costs that a court orders a defendant to pay while a forfeiture proceeding is pending or subsequent to a conviction . . .
The bill also made one small change to Section 167.310 on definitions under the chapter. Under the definition for "livestock," an exemption for psittacines (parrots) was added in 2017:
(8)(a) “Livestock,” except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, has the meaning provided in ORS 609.125.
(b) “Livestock” does not include psittacines.
Under Section 167.332 on restrictions for animal ownership of those convicted under the chapter, some minor word changes appeared. However, a larger change was the addition of a sentence on subsection (1)(b):
(b) In addition to any other penalty imposed by law, a person convicted of violating ORS 167.322, 167.333, 167.365 or 167.428 or of a felony under ORS 167.320, 167.325 or 167.330 may not possess any animal of the same genus against which the crime was committed or any domestic animal for a period of 15 years following entry of the conviction. However, the sentencing court may reduce the prohibition period if the person successfully completes mental health treatment approved by the court.
HB 2625 amended Section 167.347. The amendment added (b) to subsection (1) which states:
(b) A petition may be filed in the criminal action under paragraph (a) of this subsection concerning any animal impounded under ORS 167.345 and held pending the outcome of the criminal action, regardless of whether the specific animal is the subject of a criminal charge, or named in the charging instrument, in the criminal action.
That subsection makes it clear that animals impounded as part of a criminal charge may be subject to care petition, whether or not they were impounded for abuse.
The state revamped and amended its anti-cruelty laws. This resulted in the laws being amended and recodified under different sections. Previously, the operative anti-cruelty laws were limited to just a few sections. Now, the chapter includes over twenty separate sections. The main change includes the new offense relating to neglect, with a penalty going from a summary offense to a misdemeanor of the third degree if the violation causes bodily injury or imminent risk of serious bodily injury. The penalty for cruelty now goes from a summary offense to a misdemeanor of the second degree the violation causes bodily injury or imminent risk of serious bodily injury. Aggravated cruelty is now graded as a felony of the third degree.
The amendments also add certain civil immunities for licensed doctors of veterinary medicine, veterinarian technicians and assistants, and humane society police officers.
Pennsylvania also passed a stricter dog tethering law. 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5536. This section creates legal presumptions with regard to tethering of a dog that relate to the length of time tethered, the type of collar/tether, and even the outside temperature (both low and high temperatures).
Animal care and control:
A new law was added to chapter 4-19 on Animal Care. Section § 4-19-22 concerns animal control officers. It states that, "no municipality shall employ any animal control officer who has not received certification to be an animal control officer from the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) or other equivalent organization as determined by the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. All new hires will have a period of twelve (12) months from date of hire to receive certification. All existing personnel employed as animal control officers shall obtain their certification by January 1, 2019."
Sections 4–19–1, 4–19–2, 4–19–8, 4–19–9 and 4–19–12 of the General Laws in Chapter 4–19 on “Animal Care” were amended. First, the phrase "breeding facilities" was added in Section 4-19-1 that deals with the purpose of the Act ("(3) To ensure that animals confined in pet shops, kennels, animal shelters, auction markets, breeding facilities, and pounds are provided humane care and treatment;"). In Section 4-19-2, in the definition for "Hobby breeder," the phrase "pet shop" was changed to "breeder;" ("(17) “Hobby breeder” means those persons whose regular occupation is not the breeding and raising of dogs and cats and whose method of sale is at retail only. A hobby breeder shall not exceed the limits set forth in § 4–25–1(4). Any person who sells at retail a number in excess of the limits in the aforementioned section shall be considered a breeder."). Similarly, in Section 4-19-8 and 4-19-9, the term "breeder" was added throughout the listings of entities covered in those sections. Finally, an entirely new section was added:\
§ 4–19–5.1. Breeder licenses.
To § 4–13–42 "Care of dogs," the following paragraph was added:
(a) It shall be a violation of this section for an owner or keeper to:
* * *
(4) Keep any dog outside either tethered, penned, caged, fenced, or otherwise confined without access to an outdoor housing facility when the ambient temperature is beyond the industry standard for the weather safety scale as set forth in the most recent adopted version of the Tufts Animal Care and Condition Weather Safety Scale (TACC) if the dog is showing signs of poor health due to the weather conditions.
Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-42
An interesting provision was added to the veterinary practice laws. Under Section § 5-25-7 that defines the practice of veterinary medicine, the following subsection was added:
(c) Upon the determination by the attending zoo veterinarian that there is no available licensed Rhode Island veterinarian with specialized skills to provide the necessary treatment, assistance can be sought from a licensed human medical practitioner to provide treatment to an animal that is part of the zoological collection. The licensed veterinarian shall maintain responsibility for the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
Gen. Laws, 1956, § 5-25-7
Exotic pets/large carnivores:
Effective January 1, 2018, South Carolina has made "it is unlawful for a person to import into, possess, keep, purchase, have custody or control of, breed, or sell within this State, by any means, a large wild cat, non-native bear, or great ape, including transactions conducted via the Internet." person in legal possession of a large wild cat, non-native bear, or great ape prior to January 1, 2018, and who is the legal possessor of the animal, may keep possession of the animal for the remainder of the animal's life, subject to strict conditions (i.e., permits, paperwork, payment of a fee, compliance with basic housing and care standards, submission of contingency plans to first responders for escape, agreement to assume liability for costs of escape and/or disposition of the animal, and proof of possession before January 1st). Animal control is authorized under the chapter to confiscate animals under certain circumstances. Violation of the chapter results in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or jail up to 30 days for a first offense, with up to $5,000 and/or jail up to 90 days for a second offense. Cities or counties may also adopt more restrictive ordinances than this chapter. A person who violates this chapter must be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days for a first offense, and must be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days for a second offense. Exempted entities include certain non-profit animal protection organizations, university research labs holding Class R registration under the AWA, any person who possesses a valid USDA Class A, B, or C license in good standing, and circuses that are incorporated and hold a Class C license under the AWA that are temporarily in this State, among others.
As a result of this chapter being enacted, Code 1976 § 47-5-50 which prohibits the sale of wild carnivores that are not domesticated, was also amended to prohibit the sale, purchase, donation, or transfer of ownership to private individuals in this State. Code 1976 § 47-5-50
Section 40-1-41 - "Inspection of commercial breeding operation for dogs and cats," was repealed by SL 2017, ch 182, § 1. The law formerly stated:
A veterinarian licensed in the State of South Dakota shall be in attendance during any portion of an investigation of a commercial breeding operation that is conducted on the premises of the commercial breeding operation. For purposes of this section the term, commercial breeding operation, means any person engaged in the business of breeding dogs or cats who sells, exchanges, or leases dogs or cats in return for consideration or who offers to do so, whether or not the dogs or cats are bred, raised, trained, groomed, or boarded by the person. Any person who owns or harbors three or fewer unaltered dogs or cats for breeding purposes that are at least six months of age is not a commercial breeding operation. Any person who sells, exchanges, or leases thirty or fewer dogs or cats in a twelve-month period is not a commercial breeding operation if all such dogs or cats are sold, exchanged, or leased to a final owner rather than for later retail sale or brokered trading. Any person knowingly selling, exchanging, or leasing any dogs or cats for later retail sale or for brokered trading is a commercial breeding operation.
Source: SL 2006, ch 211, § 7.
In 2017 through H.B. 1103, the Legislature added the following paragraph to § 39–14–210 on Humane Societies, which relates to the minimum 72-hour holding period for found or abandoned animals:
If the animal bears any notification information on an identification tag or collar, or on a chip, if the agent or officer of the society has the use of a chip reader, the reasonable effort to locate and notify the animal's owners must be made within forty-eight (48) hours of the time that the society takes custody of the animal or, if the animal is taken into custody on a Friday, within two (2) business days of the date that the society takes custody of the animal.
T. C. A. § 39-14-210
Additionally, this same legislation added language to Section 39–14–215(b)(2)(B)(i) indicated in bolded italics:
(B) Taking reasonable steps to locate the owner of such animal includes:
(i) Attempting to contact the owner using any notification information located on the animal's identification tag, collar, or chip within forty-eight (48) hours of the time that the person takes custody of the animal or, if the animal is taken into custody on a Friday, within two (2) business days of the date that the person takes custody of the animal . . .
[emphasis added] T. C. A. § 39-14-215.
Finally, that bill amended § 44–17–304 in the chapter on Dogs and Cats. The following paragraph was added to the law entitled, "Three day holding period for stray animals:
(c) A public or private agency, animal shelter, or other facility that knows or should know that a non-livestock animal has an owner under subsection (a) must make a reasonable effort to locate and notify the animal's owners within forty-eight (48) hours of the time that the public or private agency, animal shelter, or other facility takes custody of the animal or, if the animal is taken into custody on a Friday, within two (2) business days of the date that the public or private agency, animal shelter, or other facility takes custody of the animal.
T. C. A.§ 44–17–304
|Bestiality and cruelty:|
Texas added a new section on bestiality (V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 21.09). A person commits this offense if he or she engages in listed contact with an animal. Additionally, a person violates this law if he or she: possesses or provides an animal for such purpose; organizes, promotes or participates in such conduct; permits such conduct at premises under his or her control; engages in conduct listed described in the presence of a child younger than 18 years of age; or advertises, offers, or accepts the offer of an animal with the intent that the animal be used in this state for conduct described. Violation is a state jail felony unless the conduct is done in the presence of a child younger than 18 or the conduct results in serious bodily injury or death of the animal; the offense is a felony of the second degree in those cases.
As a result of that new law, V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.021 was amended to add a reference to the new section:
(1) “Cruelly treated” includes tortured, seriously overworked, unreasonably abandoned, unreasonably deprived of necessary food, care, or shelter, cruelly confined, caused to fight with another animal, or subjected to conduct prohibited by Section 21.09, Penal Code.
V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.021.
Section § 821.023 also added language that references the new law:
(a-1) A finding in a court of competent jurisdiction that a person is guilty of an offense under Section 21.09, Penal Code, is prima facie evidence at a hearing authorized by Section 821.022 that any animal in the person's possession has been cruelly treated, regardless of whether the animal was subjected to conduct prohibited by Section 21.09, Penal Code.
V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.023.
To the anti-cruelty laws, V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 42.092, subsection c-1 was added and provides:
(c-1) An offense under Subsection (b)(1) or (2) is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the person has previously been convicted under Subsection (b)(1), (2), (7), or (8) or under Section 42.09.
Dangerous dogs and animal control:
New law was added to Subchapter A on General Provisions; Dogs that Attack Persons or Are a Danger to Persons:
§ 822.0012. Animal Control Authority in Certain Municipalities
(a) This section applies only to an incorporated municipality that has a population of more than 1,000 and that is the county seat of a county with a population of less than 1,600.
(b) Notwithstanding the definition in Section 822.001(1), for purposes of this subchapter the police department of a municipality described by Subsection (a) is the animal control authority for the municipality in all areas in which a dog is kept and that are subject to the authority of the police department.
V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.0012
And a similar law in Subchapter D on Dangerous Dogs:
§ 822.0411. Animal Control Authority in Certain Municipalities
(a) This section applies only to an incorporated municipality that has a population of more than 1,000 and that is the county seat of a county with a population of less than 1,600.
(b) Notwithstanding the definition in Section 822.041(1), for purposes of this subchapter the police department of a municipality described by Subsection (a) is the animal control authority for the municipality in all areas in which a dog is kept and that are subject to the authority of the police department.
V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.0411
To the veterinary practice law, the following exception was added to V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 801.004 on practices that do not fall under the chapter:
(10) a licensed health care professional who, without expectation of compensation and under the direct supervision of a veterinarian on staff, provides treatment or care to an animal owned by or in the possession, control, or custody of an entity accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or one of the following organizations that has a veterinarian on staff:
(A) the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries; or
(B) the Zoological Association of America.
Additionally, the complaint review process was amended substantially for veterinarians (V. T. C. A., Occupations Code §§ 801.2055, 207, 208, 209). The schedule of sanctions that can be exercised by the board against a veterinarian was also amended (V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 801.411).
|U.C.A. 1953 § 4-23-111|
Wild animals possession:
In Section 4–23–111, "Holding a raccoon or coyote in captivity prohibited—Penalty," the following portion of the law was removed:
(4) This section does not prohibit a person from continuing to keep a raccoon or coyote that he owns as of the effective date of this act
[The entire chapter was also renumbered, but this was the main substantive change.]
The state passed a law prohibiting bestiality and increased penalties for aggravated cruelty (13 V.S.A. § 352 - 353).
Section 5410 - the law that makes the location of endangered or threatened species sites confidential - added a subsection:
(b) When the Secretary issues a permit under this chapter to take a threatened or endangered species or destroy or adversely impact critical habitat and when the Secretary designates critical habitat by rule under section 5402a of this title, the Secretary shall disclose only the municipality and general location where the threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat is located. When the Secretary designates critical habitat under section 5402a of this title, the Secretary shall notify the municipality in which the critical habitat is located and shall disclose the general location of the designated critical habitat.
10 V.S.A. § 5410
The law concerning registration of animal shelters was changed in 2016. Paragraph (a) of the law previously stated that a person must obtain a certificate of registration prior to operating an animal shelter or rescue organization. That paragraph was repealed in 2016.
20 V.S.A. § 3903
Fair housing/assistance animals:
Amendments were made to the Virginia Fair Housing Law with respect to assistance animals in 2017.
A definition for "assistance animal” was established, which provides it is:
an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Assistance animals perform many disability-related functions, including guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, providing protection or rescue assistance, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items, alerting persons to impending seizures, or providing emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability-related need for such support. An assistance animal is not required to be individually trained or certified. While dogs are the most common type of assistance animal, other animals can also be assistance animals. An assistance animal is not a pet.
Other new definitions include "major life activities" and "physical or mental impairment."
Two new sections entitled, "§ 36–96.3:1 Rights and responsibilities with respect to the use of an assistance animal in a dwelling" and "§ 36–96.3:2. Reasonable accommodations; interactive process" were enacted. Section § 36–96.3:1 states that a person with a disability who keeps an assistance animal "shall comply with the rental agreement or any rules and regulations of the property owner applicable to all residents that do not interfere with an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling and any common areas of the premises." The law also notes that residents with assistance animals shall not pay pet fees, but are responsible for any physical damages to the dwelling if residents who maintain pets are responsible for such damages.
The law mirrors federal requirements on requesting an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation. If the disability-related need is not readily apparent or known, the person receiving the request may ask for additional verification to evaluate the requester's disability-related need. The person receiving the request may ask the requester to provide reliable documentation of the disability and the disability-related need for an assistance animal, including documentation from any person with whom the person with a disability has or has had a therapeutic relationship. That phrase is defined under the new law.
Section 36–96.3:2 states that a request for a reasonable shall be granted where there is a disability-related need and that request does not impose (i) an undue financial and administrative burden or (ii) a fundamental alteration to the nature of the operations of the person receiving the request. In the event the request does create an undue burden, the law requires that the "the person receiving the request shall offer to engage in a good-faith interactive process to determine if there is an alternative accommodation that would effectively address the disability-related needs of the requester." Finally, subsection (c) affirms that each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and outlines when a request need not be granted, such as where the person seeking the accommodation is not disabled or the accommodation imposes an undue burden. The law ends with this statement: "In addition, as determined by the person receiving the request, the requested assistance animal shall not pose a clear and present threat of substantial harm to others or to the dwelling itself that is not solely based on breed, size, or type or cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation." Va. Code Ann. § 36-96.1.1 - 3.2
In RCWA 16.52.011, definitions were added for:
(e) “Dog” means an animal of the species Canis lupus familiaris.
(m) “Necessary shelter” means a structure sufficient to protect a dog from wind, rain, snow, cold, heat, or sun that has bedding to permit a dog to remain dry and reasonably clean and maintain a normal body temperature.
(s) “Tether” means: (i) To restrain an animal by tying or securing the animal to any object or structure; and (ii) a device including, but not limited to, a chain, rope, cable, cord, tie-out, pulley, or trolley system for restraining an animal.
Washington adopted a law that limits dog tethering: 16.52.350. Dog tethering--Penalties
To RCWA 9.91.170, "Interfering with dog guide or service animal," the phrases "or in training" were added to definitions for "dog guide" or "service animal."
No major statutory changes.
No major statutory changes.
Terminology in the law on service and assistance animals was revised. In Section § 35–13–201, subsection (c) on prohibiting discrimination in residential housing changed the phrase "service dog" to "assistance animal," and the section specifically references the federal Fair Housing Act. In addition, this paragraph was added:
(d) A public accommodation, or any agent or employee thereof, that permits a service animal or an animal believed in good faith to be a service animal in its place of public accommodation is not liable for any damage or injury caused by the animal.
In following § 35–13–203, a section was added last year that makes it a misdemeanor to falsely claim a pet is a service animal or assistance animal:
(b) Any person who knowingly and intentionally misrepresents that an animal is a service animal or an assistance animal for the purpose of obtaining any of the rights or privileges set forth in this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00).
Finally, definitions were added to clarify the differences between assistance animals and service animals:
(iv) “Assistance animal” means an animal that works, provides assistance or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability;
(v) “Place of public accommodation” means as defined in 28 C.F.R. 36.104;
(vi) “Public accommodation” means as defined in 28 C.F.R. 36.104;
(vii) “Public entity” means as defined in 28 C.F.R. 35.104;
(viii) “Service animal” means as defined in 28 C.F.R. 35.104 and 28 C.F.R. 36.104 and includes service miniature horses pursuant to 28 C.F.R. 35.136 and 28 C.F.R. 36.302(c).
Cruelty to animals:
In § 6–3–203. Cruelty to animals; penalties; limitation on manner of destruction, added new subsection (vii) to the aggravated cruelty law:
(c) A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals if he:
* * *
(vii) Shoots, poisons or otherwise intentionally acts to seriously injure or destroy any livestock or domesticated animal owned by another person while the animal is on property where the animal is authorized to be present.