In 2018, two types of animal-related laws were popular in state legislatures: "pets in hot cars" and fraudulent service animals. In fact, five states passed new laws dealing with the rescue of animals in parked cars from dangerous conditions including Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania.
Similarly, "fake" service animals were also a legislative concern. Four states enacted new service animal fraud laws, thereby creating some sort of criminal penalty for passing one's pet off as a trained service animal in public (Arizona, Hawaii, Minnesota, and West Virginia). Several states also addressed the rising concern of fraudulent assistance animals in housing. Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Tennessee adopted laws establishing a process that mirrors the federal for allowing tenants to keep emotional support animals as "reasonable accommodations." This legislation also enabled landlords to evict tenants who fraudulently claim a disability to keep an animal in violation of their leases.
Animal cruelty laws were amended in some states that enhanced or expanded provisions. For example, Pennsylvania gave examples of what "basic needs" of an animal entail. Rhode Island added a definition for "adequate shelter" and tightened its dog tethering laws. Massachusetts added a new law that prohibits putting an animal to death by drowning. A possession ban for those convicted of animal abuse was enacted in Florida. New language was also added to Massachusetts’s anti-cruelty law that prohibits someone convicted of an animal cruelty offense from working with animals. Louisiana now prohibits the tying or tethering of a dog or cat in a manner that exposes the dog or cat to extreme weather conditions in designated emergency areas.
Both Louisiana and Massachusetts revised their old bestiality laws, which previously focused more on the "moral" aspect of the crime. The new laws frame issue as one of sexual assault/abuse of animals with requirements for psychological intervention, bans on ownership, and medical costs for the animal victim as a part of sentencing if convicted.
Enhancing animal fighting laws was a topic in a few states. Oregon added a definition for "source bird" (a hen used to produce one or more chicks intended for eventual use as fighting birds). Mississippi added a law prohibiting possession or ownership of dog fighting paraphernalia and also enhanced penalties for second or subsequent convictions for dogfighting.
Accountability in animal shelters and intake of animals were also hot topics last year. Illinois amended its Animal Welfare Act to require shelters to "report beginning inventory and intake and outcome statistics from the previous calendar year." New York passed a law to help the lost dog crisis. New York shelters must now look for identification or microchips within 24-hours of receiving an impounded animal and engage in reasonable efforts to find the owner in that time. Lost dogs and cats also become an issue during natural disasters in many states. During disaster evacuations in New York, companion animals that are properly restrained and/or contained may be permitted on public transportation so that companion animals do not get left behind. However, "[a]ll passengers on any public transportation or public transportation service shall be provided seating before a domestic companion animal may be placed in a seat." Florida enacted a new section on lost or stray dogs and cats. The legislative statement in the law declares that "natural disasters, such as hurricanes, may result in an increase in owned dogs and cats becoming lost or stray" and that "owners statewide should be afforded the opportunity to quickly and reliably claim their lost pets." As a result, the law declares it public policy that "that animal control agencies and humane organizations shall adopt policies and procedures to help return lost cats or dogs to identified owners."
Several states' dangerous dog laws were amended. In particular, Alabama passed "Emily's Law," which created a process for declaring a dangerous dog. Virginia enacted a law that requires disclosure of a dog's biting history to prospective adopters at animal shelters. Maine created a new category of "nuisance dog" that is a step-down from provisions for "dangerous dogs." Similarly, Illinois created a new category for "reckless dog owner" to its dangerous dog laws.
Virginia passed a law stating that no manufacturer or contract testing facility shall use an animal test method when an alternative test method is available. Four states added laws mandating adoption of suitable animals after their use in biomedical research is completed. These laws, popularly known as "Beagle Freedom Laws" because of the common use of beagle dogs in medical research, were passed in Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island.
A few things were outright banned by states. New Jersey banned the use of wild or exotic animals in travelling animal acts. New York banned the practice of buying dogs or cats on a "lease-to-own" contract. Louisiana banned the possession of feral swine, except for "Uncle Earl's Hog Dog Trials."
Several states enacted facility/courthouse dog laws: Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, and Virginia. These laws allow a witness who is under 18 or who has a developmental disability (as defined) to have a facility dog accompany him or her while testifying in court. Under such laws, a "facility dog" means a dog that is certified and a graduate of an assistance dog organization that is accredited by Assistance Dogs International or a similar internationally recognized organization.
Some unique laws were passed. Indiana became the first state to pass laws allowing a law enforcement officer to be buried with his or her "K-9" dog. California, Michigan, and Mississippi allow police dogs to be transported by ambulance under some circumstances. Ohio and the District of Columbia added laws allowing dogs in outdoor patio areas of restaurants while Virginia added a law allowing dogs in designated areas of distilleries and wineries.
|Ala.Code 1975 § 3-6A-1 - 8|
In 2018, "Emily's Law" was signed into law by the governor. The law sets out a procedure for an investigation by animal control or law enforcement to determine whether a dog is "dangerous." Section § 3-6A-4 allows a person to make a sworn statement "before a city magistrate or sheriff setting forth the name of the dog owner, if known, the location where the dog is being kept in the city or county, and the reason he or she believes the dog to be dangerous."
If the investigation shows that a dog is dangerous, the matter then goes to municipal or district court where the court decides whether humane euthanasia or restrictive ownership is warranted. The court must presume the dog is not dangerous if: (1) the dog was on its owner's property when the attack occurred; or (2) the person attacked was trespassing on any property when the attack occurred. If the dog is returned to its owner after the court hearing, several requirements must be met including spaying/neutering, microchipping, obtaining a secure dog pen as described, payment of an annual $100 dangerous dog fee, and securing of a $100,000 surety bond by the owners. The law also creates criminal offenses if a dog who has been previously declared dangerous and attacks a person. These range from Class A misdemeanor for refusing to surrender a dog to animal control to a Class C felony if the dangerous dog causes serious physical injury or kills a person. Ala.Code 1975 § 3-6A-1 - 8.
|No major statutory changes.|
Arizona added subsection K to its law on service animals and rights of individuals with disabilities. This subsection prohibits falsely claiming a pet as a service animal:
K. A person may not fraudulently misrepresent an animal as a service animal or service animal in training to a person or entity that operates a public place. A court or duly appointed hearing officer may impose on the person misrepresenting the animal in violation of this subsection a civil penalty of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for each violation.
A. R. S. § 11-1024.
Veterinary practice laws:
A new law was added that requires a veterinarian who reasonably suspects or believes that a client or person is trying to obtain controlled substances with an intent other than to treat the patient animal to report the incident to local law enforcement within forty-eight hours after the treatment or examination. A veterinarian who files a report or causes a report to be filed pursuant to this section is immune from civil liability with respect to any report made in good faith. A.R.S. § 32-2239.01.
|No major statutory changes.|
Under the chapter on the regulation of cats, a new paragraph was added to the holding period for cats law. This law allows the immediate release of certain kittens:
(2) A kitten under eight weeks of age that is reasonably believed to be unowned and is impounded in a public or private shelter may, before the euthanasia of that animal, be made immediately available for release to a nonprofit, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, animal rescue or adoption organization if requested by the organization.
West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 31752.
Similar to the change to the cat holding period law, changes were made to the dog holding period law allowing immediate release of certain puppies:
(2) A puppy under eight weeks of age that is reasonably believed to be unowned and is impounded in a public or private shelter may, before the euthanasia of that animal, be made immediately available for release to a nonprofit, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, animal rescue or adoption organization if requested by the organization.
West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 31108.
The laws on societies for prevention of cruelty to animals had a minor amendment last year. The law describing the appointment and duty of humane officers added a paragraph relative to officers carrying wooden clubs:
(5)(A) A humane officer may carry a wooden club or baton if he or she has satisfactorily completed the course of instruction certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training in the carrying and use of the club or baton pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 22295 of the Penal Code.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a humane officer may carry a wooden club or baton only if authorized by, and only under the terms and conditions specified by, his or her appointing society.
West's Ann. Cal. Corp. Code § 14502.
In the law on animals brought into state parks, amendments were added that require parks to maintain a website listing "dog friendly" areas:
(e) No later than July 1, 2020, the department shall establish and maintain on its Internet Web site a comprehensive, up-to-date list of each state park system unit with information on whether the unit or a portion of the unit allows dogs and additional information that may include, but is not limited to, the specific areas of the unit in which dogs are allowed and the total miles of trail in the unit that are open to dogs.
West's Ann. Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 5008.1.
Cruelty to animals:
In 2018, H.B. 18–1041 was passed, which added certified working horses to the crime of cruelty to a service animal or certified police working dog. This resulted in the addition of a definition for “Certified police working horse” in subsection (2.4) of C. R. S. A. § 18-9-201. In addition, the operative anti-cruelty law (Section 18-9-202) added the term "certified police working horse."
Pets in locked cars:
Colorado added a new law C.R.S.A. § 13-21-108.4: "Persons rendering emergency assistance from a locked vehicle--exempt from criminal and civil liability--definitions." This law allows the rescue of animals and "at-risk persons" from locked vehicles under certain conditions. "Animal" defined as cat or dog and specifically excludes livestock. A person is immune from civil or criminal liability for property damage resulting from forcible entry into locked vehicle if all of the following occurs: (1) an animal is present and the person has a reasonable belief that the animal is in imminent danger of death or suffering serious bodily injury; (2) the person determines the vehicle is locked and forcible entry is necessary; (3) the person makes reasonable effort to locate the owner as outlined in the law; (4) the person contacts law enforcement/911/emergency responders prior to forcibly entering vehicle; and he or she remains with vehicle until law enforcement/responders arrive.
Damages for Guide Dogs:
In § 22-357 on damage by dogs to person or property, language was added to the definition for "the amount of such damage" that includes training for a guide or mobility dog: "(3) “The amount of such damage”, with respect to a companion animal, includes expenses of veterinary care, the fair monetary value of the companion animal, including all training expenses for a guide dog owned by a blind person or an assistance dog owned by a deaf or mobility impaired person and burial expenses for the companion animal." C. G. S. A. § 22-357.
Rescue of pets in cars:
C. G. S. A. § 52-557u, effective in 2018, gives an affirmative defense to civil or criminal penalties for any person who enters a passenger motor vehicle of another, including entry by force, to remove a child or animal from the passenger motor vehicle provided certain criteria are met. The person must have a reasonable belief that such entry is necessary to remove the child or animal from imminent danger of serious bodily harm and use no more force than necessary under the circumstances. Additionally, the person must report the entry to law enforcement/public safety within a reasonable period of time after entry and must also take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of the child or animal after removing from the vehicle.
In Chapter 45 on Equal Accommodations, the section covering definitions for the chapter had some minor amendment. The definition for "(7) disability" removed this portion of the definition: "Discrimination against a person with a disability includes discrimination against the use of a support animal because of a physical disability of the user. Support animal means any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks to meet the requirements of a person with a physical disability, including, but not limited to, minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items."
A new definition was then added for "service animal" in subsection (16): "'Service animal' means a dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability." 6 Del.C. § 4502.
In addition, under Section 4504, a new subsection related to service animal access was added:
(3) A place of public accommodation must permit service animals as follows:
a. An individual with a disability accompanied by a service animal in any place of public accommodation.
b. An individual training support animals a service animal to be used by persons with disabilities, all trainers and their support animals shall be included within those covered by this subsection. disabilities accompanied by a service animal in any place of public accommodation.
6 Del.C. § 4504.
HB 235 amended Titles 11 and 16 of the Delaware Code.
The preamble of the law recognizes that "sterilization and vaccination programs provide humane methods to limit the number of stray cats, prevent the spread of rabies, and improve the cat's quality of life and are recognized as a beneficial and successful strategy to address the population of unowned cats" and that "numerous Good Samaritans provide care for unowned free-roaming cats without taking custody of the cat." This focus resulted in several changes to existing law.
In Title 11, Section § 1325 dealing with cruelty to animals added some language relative to caretakers of free roaming cats under the definition for "custody:"
(7) “Custody” includes the responsibility for the welfare of an animal subject to one's care and control whether one owns it or not. A person who provides sterilization or care to a free-roaming cat that lacks discernible owner identification is not deemed to have “custody,” “care,” or “control” of the cat for purposes of this section.
In Title 16, Section § 3001F added some new definitions:
(5) “Free-roaming Cat Program” means a program in which visibly healthy cats admitted to a shelter, not placed for adoption, and lacking discernible owner identification, are sterilized, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped, and returned to a safe location where they were found or, if necessary, appropriately relocated. However, no free roaming cat or feral cat shall be relocated to public lands managed for wildlife or outdoor recreation activities, including but not limited to lands owned or managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife or to lands recognized to be located within coastal migratory bird flyways.
(6) Ear-tip” means the removal of approximately a quarter-inch off the tip of a cat's left ear while the cat is anesthetized to help identify the cat as having been sterilized and vaccinated for rabies at the time of ear-tipping.
The law that provides a holding period for impounded animals added language that excludes free-roaming cats from the 72-hour hold period: "The holding period required by this subsection shall not apply to owner-surrendered animals, other cases in which the owner of the animal is known, or to cats that are returned to field as part of a free roaming cat program." 16 Del.C. § 3003F.
In § 3007F, Record keeping and reporting, subsections (11) and (12) were added to the recordkeeping requirement for animal shelters:
(11) Number of cats returned to the field as part of a free-roaming cat program; and
(12) Location and date of return of cats returned to the field as part of a free-roaming cat program.
16 Del.C. § 3007F.
In Section § 3013F for definitions, the "feral cat" definition was changed from this: "An offspring of abandoned domestic cats who reverts to a semi-wild state and lives outside in family groups called colonies. Feral cats have a temperament of extreme fear and resistance to contact with humans," to the new version, which reads: "A cat that (i) is born in the wild or is the offspring of an owned or feral cat and which may not be socialized, or (ii) is a formerly owned cat that has been abandoned and is no longer socialized."
Definitions for "feral cat caretaker" and "keeper" were removed. Instead, a new definition for "free-roaming cat caretaker" now appears as well as one for "ear-tip:"
(h) “Free-roaming cat caretaker”—A person who provides shelter, medical care, or food to one or more feral or free-roaming cats lacking discernible owner identification, and works to reduce colony numbers by working to spay and neuter the animals within their specific colony or colonies. Free-roaming cat caretakers are not owners.
(i) “Ear-tip”—The removal of approximately a quarter-inch off the tip of the cat's left ear while the cat is anesthetized.
16 Del.C. § 3015F.
Minor changes occurred in a few other laws incorporating the new "free-roaming" terminology.
The purpose of this subchapter is to ensure that healthy cats and dogs that are no longer needed for research, education, testing, or other scientific purposes are made available for adoption instead of euthanized and to create a process for adoption through agreements with local shelters or rescue groups. When a research facility no longer needs a cat or dog that does not pose a health or safety risk to the public, the research facility shall either offer the animal to a rescue organization or shelter for adoption or offer it for adoption through private placement. 16 Del.C. § 3090F - 3092F.
|DC CODE § 8-1865.01 - .02|
Dogs in restaurants:
D.C. now permits dogs in outdoor dining areas of food establishments or unenclosed sidewalk cafés. These establishments must post signage outside that states dogs are permitted along with any restrictions on dogs based on size or temperament. They must also provide an entrance that does not require dogs to enter an indoor dining area or an area in which food is being stored or prepared to access the outdoor dining area and provide patrons with waste bags and a means of proper disposal. Patrons must keep their dog in a carrier or on a leash at all times and never leave the dogs unattended.
Cruelty to animals:
Section 828.12, the state's main anti-cruelty law, was amended to add the following paragraph that bans future possession of animals by convicted animal abusers:
(6) In addition to other penalties prescribed by law, a person who is convicted of a violation of this section may be prohibited by the court from owning, possessing, keeping, harboring, or having custody or control over any animal for a period of time determined by the court.
West's F. S. A. § 828.12.
Disaster response teams for animals:
Florida enacted a new law (West's F.S.A. § 252.3569) that designates the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as the lead agency for animal, agricultural, and vector issues in the state and within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a state agricultural response team was created. This response team coordinates the emergency management functions of preparedness, recovery, mitigation, and response. West's F.S.A. § 252.3569.
Lost dogs and cats:
Florida enacted a new section on lost or stray dogs and cats. The legislative statement in the law declares that "natural disasters, such as hurricanes, may result in an increase in owned dogs and cats becoming lost or stray" and that "owners statewide should be afforded the opportunity to quickly and reliably claim their lost pets." As a result, the law declares it public policy that "that animal control agencies and humane organizations shall adopt policies and procedures to help return lost cats or dogs to identified owners."
As part of this, any public or private animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency must adopt written policies that enable owners to reunite quickly with their pets. This includes procedures on screening dogs and cats for identification markers and microchips upon intake. The law directs these agencies to develop procedures so that reasonable efforts exist to notify owners within 48 hours of identification of the lost dog or cat.
In addition, paragraph (a)(9) states, "Temporary extension of local minimum stray hold periods after a disaster is declared by the President of the United States or a state of emergency is declared by the Governor, if deemed necessary by a local government in the area of the declaration." F. S. A. § 823.151.
A new law within the chapter on Fish and Wildlife Conservation establishes certain "priority invasive species." Section 379.2311 defines these as tegu lizards, red lionfish, common lionfish, and other species identified in Section 379.372(2)(a). The law establishes a pilot program to mitigate the impact of priority invasive species on the public lands or waters of this state through "strategically deployed, trained private contractors." The commission directs that animals not destroyed in removal efforts must be captured and disposed of. West's F.S.A. § 379.2311.
|No major statutory changes.|
Hawaii enacted a service animal fraud law in 2018. It shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly misrepresent as a service animal any animal that does not meet the requirements of a service animal as defined. A first-time violation is a fine between $100 and $250. H R S § 347-2.6.
The term "service dog" was changed to "service animal" in several statutes: H R S § 142-5.5, H R S § 347-19, and H R S § 711-1109.4.
The definition for "service animal" was amended in H R S § 347-2.5:
As used in this chapter, “service animal” means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must relate directly to the individual's disability. Neither the potential crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence nor the provision of emotional support, comfort, or companionship by an animal constitutes work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
|I.C. § 56-701A|
To I.C. § 56-701A, the word "mentally" was added to definitions related to disabilities:
(3) “Disabled person” means a hearing, visually, mentally or physically impaired person.
* * *
(9) “Service dog” means a dog that has been specially trained to aid a particular physically or mentally disabled person with a disability other than sight or hearing impairment.
In the Animal Control Act, the duties and powers law was amended in 2018. A new duty was added:
The duty may include return, adoption, transfer to rescues or other animal shelters, and any other means of ensuring live outcomes of homeless dogs and cats and through sterilization, community outreach, impoundment of pets at risk and any other humane means deemed necessary to address strays and ensure live outcomes for dogs and cats that are not a danger to the community or suffering irremediably.
510 I.L.C.S. 5/5.
Under the Animal Control Act, a new law created the category of "reckless dog owner." The law states:
§ 2.18b. Reckless dog owner. “Reckless dog owner” means a person who owns a dog that while anywhere other than upon the property of the owner, and without justification, kills another dog that results in that dog being deemed a dangerous dog under Section 15.1 of this Act and who knowingly allows the dog to violate Section 9 of this Act on 2 occasions within 12 months of the incident for which the dog was deemed dangerous or is involved in another incident that results in the dog being deemed dangerous on a second occasion within 24 months of the original dangerous determination.
510 I.L.C.S. 5/2.18b.
In addition, the amendments establish a procedure to declare someone a "reckless dog owner" in court.
(a) The Administrator, State's Attorney, Director, or any citizen may file a complaint in circuit court to determine whether a person is a reckless dog owner. If an owner is determined to be a reckless dog owner by clear and convincing evidence, the court shall order the immediate impoundment and forfeiture of all dogs the reckless dog owner has a property right in. Forfeiture may be to any licensed shelter, rescue, or sanctuary. The court shall further prohibit the property right ownership of a dog by the person determined to be a reckless dog owner for a period of at least 12 months, but not more than 36 months for the first reckless dog owner determination.
(a-5) A dog's history during ownership by a person found to be a reckless dog owner shall not be considered conclusive of the dog's temperament and qualification for adoption or transfer. The dog's temperament shall be independently evaluated by a person qualified to conduct behavioral assessments and, if deemed adoptable, the receiving facility shall make a reasonable attempt to place the dog in another home, transfer the dog to rescue, or place the dog in a sanctuary.
(b) A person who refuses to forfeit a dog under this Section is a violation which carries a public safety fine of $500 for each dog to be deposited into the Pet Population Control Fund. Each day a person fails to comply with a forfeiture or prohibition ordered under this Section shall constitute a separate offense.
510 I.L.C.S. 5/15.5.
To 510 ILCS 70/4, the following language was added:
No person may allow for the adoption, transfer, sale, offer for sale, barter, or give away any animal forfeited or relinquished under Section 3.04 or 3.05 of this Act to the person who forfeited the animal or a person residing in that person's household.
Animal shelters/intake data:
The Animal Welfare Act was amended to require reporting for intake of animals by shelters. Effective on January 1, 2019, Section 225 I.L.C.S. 605/7 now makes it a requirement of licensees to "report beginning inventory and intake and outcome statistics from the previous calendar year."
The report of intake and outcome statistics shall include the following:
(1) The total number of dogs, cats, and other animals, divided into species, taken in by the animal shelter or animal control facility, in the following categories:
(A) surrendered by owner;
(C) impounded other than stray;
(D) confiscated under the Humane Care for Animals Act;
(E) transfer from other licensees within the State;
(F) transferred into or imported from out of the State;
(G) transferred into or imported from outside the country; and
(H) born in shelter or animal control facility.
(2) The disposition of all dogs, cats, and other animals taken in by the animal shelter or animal control facility, divided into species. This data must include dispositions by:
(A) reclamation by owner;
(B) adopted or sold;
(D) euthanized per request of the owner;
(E) died in custody;
(F) transferred to another licensee;
(G) transferred to an out-of-State nonprofit agency;
(H) animals missing, stolen, or escaped;
(I) animals released in field; trapped, neutered, released; and
(J) ending inventory; shelter count at end of the last day of the year.
The amendments also state that "[t]he Department shall not be required to audit or validate the intake and outcome statistics required to be submitted under this Section." 225 I.L.C.S. 605/7.
Section 510 I.L.C.S. 5/11 relating to scanning for microchip by impounding facilities was amended. The new language is as follows: "If a microchip is present, the registered owner or chip purchaser if the purchaser was a nonprofit organization, animal shelter, animal control facility, pet store, breeder, or veterinary office must be notified."
510 I.L.C.S. 5/11.
Illinois enacted the Research Dogs and Cats Adoption Act. Under the act, a research facility shall assess the health of a dog or cat used in research and then make reasonable efforts to offer for adoption a dog or cat determined to be suitable for adoption, either through private placement or through an animal adoption organization. The research facility must have a facility adoption policy that is made available on its website. 510 I.L.C.S. 93/1 - 10.
In 520 ILCS 5/2.36a, the fine amounts for individual protected species representing the fair market value or replacement cost were all doubled. 520 I.L.C.S. 5/2.36a.
Indiana enacted a new chapter (Chapter 7, “Emotional Support Animals in Housing”) in the Article 9 on Civil Rights. The chapter defines what constitutes a "health service provider" for purposes of approving an emotional support animal (ESA), which excludes individuals "whose sole service to the individual is to provide a verification letter for a fee.” One section reiterates that a person must have a "verifiable disability" to have an ESA, although it states that no training of the animal is required. The chapter also makes the presentation of false statements for purposes of making a request or the misrepresentation of a disability or animal as an ESA a Class A infraction.
Law enforcement dogs, burial with owner:
Under a new chapter, the cremated remains of a deceased law enforcement or military animal of a deceased owner to be scattered, placed, or interred with the interment of the remains of the deceased owner. The person owning the deceased animal must consent in writing and give this consent to the cemetery owner. If the deceased owner does not own the animal at the time of the deceased animal's death, the deceased owner may provide written notice in his or her last will, in a written designation to the cemetery, or in a funeral planning declaration.
|No major statutory changes.|
Animals in parked cars:
In 2018, Kansas adopted a law that provides immunity for civil liability for damage to the motor vehicle if a person enters a motor vehicle to remove a vulnerable person or domestic animal. “Domestic animal” means a dog, cat or other animal that is domesticated and may be kept as a household pet, but does not include livestock. Several conditions must be met before a person is granted immunity under the law. K. S. A. 60-5401.
Pet animal facilities:
Kansas' Pet Animal Act experienced some changes in 2018. First, the licensing year was changed so that it ends on September 30th instead of June 30th. In Section 1704, a new subsection was added that exempts those who provide temporary care to animals through an agreement with an animal shelter:
(b) The Kansas department of agriculture shall not require any individual to be licensed who has written and signed an agreement to provide temporary care for one or more dogs or cats owned by an animal shelter. Any such animal shelter shall keep a current list of such individuals who have written and signed an agreement to provide such temporary care.
K. S. A. 47-1704.
Section 1721 relates to fees for licensing of certain animal entities. In 2018, the additions were made to the permit fee structure of subsection (a). The general animal shelter or pound fee was deleted, which previously said:
(6) for a license for an animal shelter or a pound, an amount not to exceed $300; and:
This was replaced with a fee structure based on the size of the city:
(7) for an animal shelter in a second-class city, as defined in K.S.A. 14-101, and amendments thereto, not to exceed $335;
The late fee section (subsection 9) was changed from "45 days late" to a date: " not renewed prior to October 1."
A new subsection was added related to fees for multiple license categories:
(10) for any premises required to be licensed under the Kansas pet animal act under multiple license categories, payment for only the most expensive license and a $50 fee for each additional applicable license. Such premises shall comply with the applicable laws and rules and regulations pertaining to each license category.
This law also covers inspections of pet animal facilities. Subsection (c) was amended to require a $200 fee for a licensee requested inspection of the premises.
(d)(1) Failure by the owner of a premises, a licensee or a permittee, or their designated representative, to make a premises available for inspection within 30 minutes of the arrival of the inspector or the inspector's authorized representative shall be considered a no-contact inspection. Each no-contact inspection shall result in a $200 no-contact fee against the owner of the premises, the licensee or the permittee. The commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative shall make a second or subsequent attempt to inspect the premises.
Finally, the amendments added a fee and procedure for re-inspection of premises that fail to pass an initial inspection:
(2) If a premises fails an inspection, such owner, licensee or permittee shall be required to pay a $200 re-inspection fee for any subsequent inspection. Such payment must be made in advance of the re-inspection, and failure to do so shall result in the revocation of any such licensee's or permittee's license or permit. The owner of the premises shall be required to reapply for any licenses or permits that were revoked pursuant to this subsection and shall be required to:
(A) Pay the fee for the new permit or license application;
K. S. A. 47-1721.
|KRS § 383.085|
Kentucky added a law on assistance animals in housing: "383.085 Assistance animals; reasonable accommodations in dwellings; limitation of liability; penalty for misrepresentation of an assistance animal." The law defines both an assistance animal and "therapeutic relationship" for disabled person and mental health provider. It also adds the crime of the offense of misrepresentation of an assistance animal, with a fine of up to $1,000. KRS § 383.085.
This 2018 Louisiana law allows a witness who is under 18 or who has a developmental disability (as defined) to have a facility dog, if available, accompany him or her while testifying in court. Additionally, the court may allow any witness who does not meet those criteria to have a facility dog, if available, while testifying in court. Under this section, a "facility dog" means a dog that is certified and a graduate of an assistance dog organization that is accredited by Assistance Dogs International or a similar internationally recognized organization whose main purpose is to grant accreditation to assistance dog organizations based on standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training, and placement. LSA-R.S. 15:284.
This 2018 Louisiana law makes it unlawful to transport live feral swine by any person not in possession of proof of registration as a feral swine authorized transporter with the Louisiana Board of Animal Health within the Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than nine hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. Note that a subsection states, "[t]he provisions of this Section shall not apply to “Uncle Earl's Hog Dog Trials”' LSA-R.S. 14:102.28.
Rescue of animal from vehicle:
This 2018 Louisiana law states that there shall be no liability on the part of a person for property damage or trespass to a motor vehicle, if the damage was caused while the person was rescuing an animal in distress. The person must first do the following: (1) make a good-faith attempt to locate the owner before forcibly entering the vehicle (based on the circumstances); (2) contact local law enforcement/911 before forcibly entering; (3) determine the vehicle is locked and has a good-faith belief there is no other reasonable means for the animal to be removed; (4) believe that removal of the animal is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of death; (5) use no more force than necessary to rescue the animal; (6) place a notice on the windshield providing details including contact information and the location of the animal; and (7) remain with the animal in a safe location reasonably close to the vehicle until first responders arrive. For purposes of the law, "animal” means any cat or dog kept for pleasure, companionship, or other purposes that are not purely commercial. LSA-R.S. 37:1738.1.
Sexual assault of animal:
Louisiana previously had a bestiality law that prohibited "crimes against nature." The state updated that law in 2018 so that the reference to sexual activities with animals was removed from paragraph one of LSA-R.S. 14:89 ("The unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same sex or opposite sex or with an animal . . ."). The state then added a new statutory section entitled " § 89.3. Sexual abuse of an animal." A person who engages in sexual abuse of an animal (described as anything from engaging in sexual contact, organizing, or filming such contact, among other acts) shall be fined not more than $2,000, imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than 5 years, or both, with enhanced penalties for second or subsequent convictions. Conviction also results in relinquishment of all animals, a ban on ownership for not less than five years, psychological counseling, and reimbursement to the owner for all medical costs associated with the victimized animal. LSA-R.S. 14:89.3.
Tying dog or cat out during extreme weather:
The state enacted a new law that prohibits the tying or tethering of a dog or cat in a manner that exposes the dog or cat to extreme weather conditions in designated emergency areas. The law defines those area as during a flood or hurricane in which a disaster or emergency has been declared by the governor or when a local disaster is declared by local authorities due to a flood or hurricane. Violation incurs a fine issued by the local governing authority of up to $75.00. LSA-R.S. 3:2362.
Assistance animals, liability:
The owner, lessor, sublessor, managing agent or other person having the right to sell, rent, lease or manage a dwelling unit or any of their agents is not liable in a civil action for personal injury, death, property damage or other damages resulting from or arising out of an occurrence involving an assistance animal at the dwelling unit. Exceptions exist for gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. 14 M. R. S. A. § 6030-G.
Dogs, law enforcement, search and rescue:
The state enacted a new law: "§ 164-B. Immunity from civil liability for assistance given to law enforcement dogs, search and rescue dogs and service dogs." This law provides that an emergency medical services person, a security services dog handler or a law enforcement officer who voluntarily, without the expectation of monetary or other compensation, renders first aid, emergency treatment or rescue assistance to a law enforcement dog, search and rescue dog or service dog that is unconscious, ill, injured or in need of rescue assistance is not liable for damages for an injury alleged to have been sustained by the dog nor for damages for the death of the dog. Exceptions exist for wilfull, wanton, or reckless conduct or for gross negligence on the part of the emergency medical services person, security services dog handler or law enforcement officer. 14 M. R. S. A. § 164-B.
The state revised its dangerous dog laws. A new category of "nuisance dog" was added.
Section 3907 defines this new phrase "nuisance dog" as:
a dog or wolf hybrid that causes bodily injury, other than serious bodily injury, to an individual or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the dog or wolf hybrid owner's or keeper's premises at the time of the injury; a dog or wolf hybrid that causes a reasonable and prudent person who is not on the dog or wolf hybrid owner's or keeper's premises and is acting in a reasonable and nonaggressive manner to fear bodily injury, other than serious bodily injury, by assaulting or threatening to assault that individual or individual's domesticated animal; or a dog or wolf hybrid that causes damage to property or crops not owned by the dog or wolf hybrid owner or keeper while the dog or wolf hybrid is not on the owner's or keeper's premises.
7 M.R.S.A.§ 3907(20-A). This new definition also resulted new definitions for "bodily injury" and "serious bodily injury."
The definition for "dangerous dog" was changed to add a death or serious bodily injury requirement. Previously, the law only involved a bite by the dog ("a dog or wolf hybrid that bites an individual or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the dog or wolf hybrid owner's or keeper's premises at the time of the bite . . ."). Now, there are differing definitions, procedures, and penalties for dogs based on the severity of the injury (bodily injury for a nuisance dog and severe bodily injury for a dangerous dog).
Exceptions to definitions for "dangerous dog" and "nuisance dog" were also added to each (i.e., state-certified law enforcement dogs, dogs who assault or injure individuals on the owner's premises who were provoked and had no prior attacks, and dogs who assaulted or injured individuals committing crimes against the dogs' owners).
In particular, 7 M.R.S.A.§ 3952, "Keeping a Dangerous Dog," was repealed and a new section entitled, "Keeping a dangerous dog or a nuisance dog," Section 7 M.R.S.A.§ 3952-A. While the provisions for a dangerous dog remain largely unchanged, new provisions for nuisance dog control were added.
3. Nuisance dog finding. If, upon hearing, the court finds that a dog is a nuisance dog, the court shall impose a fine and may impose any of the penalties set forth in subsection 2, paragraphs F to K. A dog may be determined by a court to be a nuisance dog only once. After 2 years from the date of the court order finding that the dog is a nuisance dog, the owner or keeper may petition the court to amend or reduce any of the restrictions placed on the dog. The court may amend or reduce the restrictions placed on the dog if the owner or keeper demonstrates to the satisfaction of the court that the owner or keeper has complied with the court order and the dog no longer poses a risk as a nuisance dog.
7 M.R.S.A.§ 3952-A.
Finally, a new law was added on the training of nuisance or dangerous dogs:
1. Prohibitions. A person may not:
A. Train or encourage a dog that is not directly involved with a protection dog training program recognized by the Department of Public Safety, Bureau of State Police to be aggressive toward or attack another person or domesticated animal;
B. Transfer ownership of a dog determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a dangerous dog without the permission of the court, unless the transfer is to an animal control officer or an animal shelter that has a contract with a municipality to euthanize the dog for the municipality; or
C. Tether a dog determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a dangerous dog or a nuisance dog.
2. Penalty. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a civil violation for which a fine not to exceed $100 may be adjudged in addition to court costs.
7 M.R.S.A.§ 3954.
The state's dog licensing law had a new phrase added to subsection 5 on the form of the dog license:
5. Form of license. The license must state the breed, sex, color and markings of the dog, whether the animal is a dog or wolf hybrid, whether the dog has been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a dangerous dog or a nuisance dog and the name and address of the owner or keeper. If the person applying for a license declares that the dog is a wolf hybrid, the license must state that the dog is a wolf hybrid. The license must be issued in triplicate and the original must be given to the applicant and the remaining 2 copies must be retained by the municipal clerk or dog recorder.
[emphasis added] 7 M.R.S.A.§ 3922. A similar change was made to § 3942 on municipal licensing of dogs (the same phrase "and whether the dogs have been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be dangerous dogs or nuisance dogs" was added to that law).
Likewise on the next section related to license and recording fees, new provisions were added for licensing dangerous and/or nuisance dogs:
5. Dogs determined to be dangerous dogs or nuisance dogs by the court. The owner or keeper of a dog determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a dangerous dog shall pay a fee of $100 to the municipal clerk or a dog licensing agent. The municipal clerk or dog licensing agent shall retain a $1 recording fee, deposit $98 in the municipality's animal welfare account established in accordance with section 3945 and pay the remaining $1 to the department for deposit in the Animal Welfare Fund.
The owner or keeper of a dog determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a nuisance dog shall pay a fee of $30 to the municipal clerk or a dog licensing agent. The municipal clerk or dog licensing agent shall retain a $1 recording fee, deposit $28 in the municipality's animal welfare account established in accordance with section 3945 and pay the remaining $1 to the department for deposit in the Animal Welfare Fund.
A dog determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a dangerous dog or a nuisance dog does not qualify for the exemptions from fees under subsection 3.
An owner or keeper of a dog determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a dangerous dog applying for a license for that dog after January 31st shall pay to the municipal clerk, dog licensing agent or dog recorder a late fee of $150 in addition to the annual license fee paid in accordance with this subsection.
An owner or keeper of a dog determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a nuisance dog applying for a license for that dog after January 31st shall pay to the municipal clerk, dog licensing agent or dog recorder a late fee of $70 in addition to the annual license fee paid in accordance with this subsection.
The clerk, dog licensing agent or dog recorder shall deposit all late fees collected under this subsection into the municipality's animal welfare account established in accordance with section 3945.
7 M.R.S.A.§ 3923-A.
An entirely new law was added that requires implementation of a dog licensing database in the state:
§ 3925. Dog licensing database
The department shall develop and implement a dog licensing database in coordination with any electronic dog licensing project implemented pursuant to section 3923-G. The database must track all dog licensing throughout the State and allow municipalities and animal control officers to reunite lost dogs with owners and track dogs that have been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be dangerous dogs and nuisance dogs pursuant to chapter 727. The department shall provide all municipalities and dog licensing agents with access to the database at no cost.
7 M.R.S.A. § 3925.
Amendments also require animal control to report certain data on animal control incidents and responses:
4. Reporting. By January 31st of each year, a municipality shall report to the animal welfare program of the department all complaints related to animal control incidents for the prior calendar year. The report must include the number and type of animal complaints received and responded to by municipal animal control officers, law enforcement officers or municipal officials and the outcomes of each investigation. The reports must be on forms provided by the department.
7 M.R.S.A. § 3948.
Under the aggravated cruelty law, a slight change was made to subsection (b)(2) by adding a prepositional phrase. The subsection now states that a court can prohibit a defendant from owning, possessing, or residing with an animal for a specified period of time.
That same language was added to the next law on dogfighting (§ 10-607), the following on possession and use of an implement of dogfighting (§ 10-607.1), and the next on entitled "Aggravated cruelty to animals--Cockfight" (§ 10-608).
This new Maryland statute provides that a research facility located in the State in which dogs or cats are used for scientific research purposes shall take reasonable steps to provide for the adoption of a dog or cat after a determination that the animal is no longer needed for research. This shall be done through a private placement process for adoption, establishing a list of animal rescues willing to take in these animals, or offering a dog or cat to the rescues. MD Code, Agriculture, § 15-101.
In the state's anti-cruelty law, new language was added that prohibits someone convicted of an animal cruelty offense from working with animals:
A person convicted of a crime of cruelty to an animal shall be prohibited from working in any capacity that requires such person to be in contact with an animal, including a commercial boarding or training establishment, shelter, animal control facility, pet shop, grooming facility, commercial breeder service, veterinary hospital or clinic or animal welfare society or other nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection and humane treatment of animals.
M.G.L.A. 272 § 77
The penalty part of "§ 80H. Motor vehicles; striking, injuring or killing dogs or cats" was amended in 2018. Previously, violation was a fine of no more than $50. With the 2018 amendments, enhanced penalties were added: "A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 for a first offense or not more 10 days in a house of corrections and a fine of $500 and the cost of medical expenses, not to exceed $2,500, imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 6 months or both such fine and cost and imprisonment for a second and subsequent offense. Nothing in this section shall preclude a civil cause of action including, but not limited to medical expenses, by the aggrieved party." M.G.L.A. 272 § 80H.
The state added a new law that prohibits putting an animal to death by drowning:
Whoever puts an animal to death by drowning shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 7 years in state prison or imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years, by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment for a first offense and punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment for a second or any subsequent offense.
M.G.L.A. 272 § 80E ½.
Seizure/forfeiture of fighting animals:
Amendments occurred to the law relating to seizure and forfeiture of animals used in fighting enterprises. Previously, the law stated that animals adjudged forfeited by the court must be killed: "The order shall be directed to any officer authorized to serve criminal process and the officer receiving such order shall cause the animals to be killed within 24 hours thereafter. Animals or property seized as hereinbefore provided, which are not adjudged forfeited, shall be delivered to the owner or person entitled to the possession thereof."
After 2018 amendments, the law now states, "A forfeited animal shall be individually assessed by the organization to which it is forfeited to determine the animal's suitability for adoption or the organization shall transfer it to another organization or for another disposition." M.G.L.A. 272 § 91.
Sexual contact with animals:
Massachusetts previously had a general bestiality law that prohibited the "abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast." M.G.L.A. 272 § 34. In 2018, the state enacted a law that prohibits sexual contact with an animal. The new law prohibits a broader range of activities including engaging in sexual abuse of animals, permitting such activities on premises controlled by a person, dissmenating such films or photographs, enticing or inducing a person under 18 or a person with a developmental disability to engage in such conduct, or even organizing, observing, or promoting such activities. Violation is a felony and can also result in a ban on possesion of animals and a ban on working with animals. M.G.L.A. 272 § 77C.
M.C.L.A. 750.59, Repealed by P.A.2018, No. 286, § 1, Imd. Eff. June 29, 2018
In Michigan, an old law relating to the overworking of farm animals was repealed - 750.59. Animals unfit for work, disposition and use (repealed by P.A.2018, No. 286, § 1, Imd. Eff. June 29, 2018). The former text provided:
Sec. 59. Disposition and use of animals permanently unfit for work--Any person who shall offer for sale or sell or trade any horse or mule which by reason of debility, disease, lameness, injury or for any other cause is permanently unfit for work, except to a person or corporation operating a horse hospital, animal retreat farm or other institution or place designed or maintained for the humane keeping, treatment or killing of horses, mules or other live stock, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Any person who shall lead, drive or ride any horse or mule, which by reason of debility, disease, lameness or injury, or for other causes is permanently unfit for work, on any public way for any purpose, except that of conveying such animal to a proper place for its humane keeping, or killing or for medical or surgical treatment shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Emergency transports of police dogs:
A new law was enacted that allows the emergency medical transport of police dogs. This law, effective in March of 2019, states that the provisions of the Emergency Medical Services Act does not prohibit an ambulance from providing emergency transport of a police dog that is injured in the line of duty to a veterinary clinic or similar facility, if the police dog is in need of emergency medical treatment and there are no individuals who require transport or emergency assistance at that time. M.C.L.A. 333.20925.
Michigan added a law that allows "courtroom support dogs" in certain court actions. The court must permit a witness who is called upon to testify to have a courtroom support dog and handler sit with, or be in close proximity to, the witness during his or her testimony. For purposes of this law, "witness" is defined as a person under the age of 16, a person over 16 who has a developmental disability, or a vulnerable adult. This section only applies to certain prosecutions and proceedings under the Michigan penal code. “Courtroom support dog” means a dog that has been trained and evaluated as a support dog pursuant to the Assistance Dogs International Standards for guide or service work and that is repurposed and appropriate for providing emotional support to children and adults within the court or legal system or that has performed the duties of a courtroom support dog prior to September 27, 2018. M.C.L.A. 600.2163a.
Removal of dog's microchip/collar:
An individual other than the owner or the authorized agent of the owner of a dog, or a law enforcement officer, an animal control officer, or an animal protection shelter employee acting in his or her official capacity, shall not willfully or maliciously remove a collar or a microchip from that dog with the intent to remove traceable evidence of the dog's ownership. Violation is a civil infraction with a fine of $1,000 to $2,500. M.C.L.A. 750.70a.
Minnesota added a law that gives a real property owner immunity from liability for assistance animals in 2018. An owner of real property is not liable for any injury or damage caused by an assistance animal if:
(1) the owner believes in good faith that the animal is an assistance animal or the individual using the assistance animal represents that the animal is an assistance animal; and
(2) the injury or damage is not caused by the negligence of the owner of the real property and the owner is not liable under section 347.22.
M.S.A. § 604A.302.
The state enacted a service dog fraud law. A person may not, directly or indirectly intentionally misrepresent an animal in that person's possession as a service animal in any place of public accommodation to obtain any rights or privileges available under state or federal law. Violation is a petty misdemeanor for a first offense. M. S. A. § 609.833.
Changes were made to the state's dogfighting law. Minor language changes clarifies criminal liability under the law. The word "possess" was added after "own" in subsection (1) so that either owning or possessing a fighting dog incurs liability. The term "willfully" was added before the word "intent" in that paragraph as well.
Liability relating to possession or ownership of dog fighting paraphernalia was added:
(1) If any person . . . (e) shall own, possess, buy, sell, transfer, or manufacture paraphernalia for the purpose of engaging in or otherwise promoting or facilitating such fight . . .
Enhanced penalties were added for second or subsequent convictions of dogfighting:
Upon conviction for a second or subsequent offense, the person shall be guilty of a felony and punished by a fine of not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not less than three (3) years, nor more than ten (10) years, or both.
In subsection (3) the word "dogs" was added to the property that can be seized by law enforcement for violations of the section.
As a result of the allowance of forfeiture of the dogs, language was added relating to a hearing on the disposition of seized dogs:
(4) Within ten (10) days of the seizure of dogs under this section, the owner of the dogs may request a hearing to determine the disposition of the dogs. The court shall follow the procedure and guidelines as set out in Section 97-41-2(2) through (8) in conducting the hearing and determining the disposition of the dogs.
Finally, the amendments defined and expanded on "paraphernalia" under the law:
(5) For purposes of this section, the term “paraphernalia” means equipment, products, implements and materials of any kind that are used, intended for use, or designed for use in the training, preparation, conditioning, or furtherance of dog fighting, and includes, but is not limited to, the following: breaking sticks, cat mills, treadmills, fighting pits, spring poles, unprescribed veterinary medicine, or treatment supplies.
In determining whether an object is paraphernalia, a court shall consider any prior convictions under federal or state law relating to animal fighting, the proximity of the object in time and space to the direct violation of this section, direct or circumstantial evidence of the intent of the person to deliver the object to persons whom he or she knows or should reasonably know intends to use the object to facilitate a violation of this section, oral or written instructions provided with or in the vicinity of the object concerning its use, descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use, and any other relevant factors.
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-41-19.
New section in EMT law on police dog transport:
(4) An EMT, EMT–A, EMR, or Paramedic may transport a police dog injured in the line of duty to a veterinary clinic, hospital emergency department or similar facility if there are no persons requiring medical attention or transport at that time. For the purposes of this subsection, “police dog” means a dog owned or used by a law enforcement department or agency in the course of the department or agency's work, including a search and rescue dog, service dog, accelerant detection canine, or other dog that is in use by a county, municipal, or state law enforcement agency.
Miss. Code Ann. § 41-59-35.
Changes were made in 2018 to the Mississippi Support Animals Act. These definitions recognize the varied functions of support animals, especially with regard to psychiatric, neurological, or trauma-based support.
* * *
(c) “Traumatic event” means a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disaster, terrorist incident, serious accident or violent personal assault of a physical or sexual nature that occurred while an individual was on active duty or deployment as a member of the United States Armed Services.
(d) “Post traumatic stress disorder” or PTSD means an anxiety disorder that occurs following the experience of a frightening, distressing or traumatic event or from witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD is also referred to as “post traumatic stress syndrome” or PTSS.
(e) “Support animal” means an animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. The work done or task performed must be directly related to the individual's disability and may include, but not be limited to:
(i) Guiding individuals who are visually impaired or blind;
(ii) Alerting individuals who are hearing impaired or deaf to an intruder or sounds;
(iii) Providing minimal protection or rescue work;
(iv) Pulling a wheelchair;
(v) Fetching dropped items;
(vi) Detecting the onset of a seizure, and alerting and protecting individuals having a seizure;
(vii) Retrieving objects;
(viii) Alerting an individual to the presence of allergens;
(ix) Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability;
(x) Helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors;
(xi) Reminding an individual with mental illness to take prescribed medication;
(xii) Calming an individual with post traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack; or
(xiii) Doing other specific work or performing other special tasks.
The term “support animal” includes service animals, guide animals, seeing-eye animals, hearing-ear animals, therapeutic animals, comfort animals and facility animals. However, the term “support animal” does not mean an animal considered a pet, and is limited to a dog or miniature horse.
(f) “Support animal trainer” means a person who trains or raises support animals for individuals with disabilities, whether the person is a professional trainer, or serving as a volunteer with a professional trainer.
Miss. Code Ann. § 43-6-153.
|No major statutory changes.|
|No major statutory changes.|
Veterinary practice, massage:
The state added new provisions to the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act to define equine, cat, and dog massage practice; to exempt equine, cat, and dog massage practice from licensure and regulation; to harmonize provisions; and to repeal the original sections.
38-3307.02. Equine, cat, and dog massage practice, defined
Equine, cat, and dog massage practice means the application of hands-on massage techniques for the purpose of increasing circulation, relaxing muscle spasms, relieving tension, enhancing muscle tone, and increasing range of motion in equines, cats, and dogs.
Neb.Rev.St. § 38-3307.02.
|No major statutory changes.|
Cruelty to animals:
In New Hampshire's general anti-cruelty law, language was added relative to horses:
III. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor for a first offense, and of a class B felony for a second or subsequent offense, who:
* * *
(f) Has in his or her possession an equine colt that is less than 90 days old that is not being nursed by its dam, unless the colt was born in this state, and its dam has died within this state before the colt became 90 days old;
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 644:8.
N.H. Rev. Stat. § 105:14 to 105:18 were repealed. These sections related to powers of officers to make arrests for anti-cruelty violations and seizure of mistreated animals.
N.J.S.A. 4:22-11.1 to 4:22-11.10 were repealed by L.2017, c. 331, § 35, eff. Aug. 1, 2018
Cruelty laws/disbanding of NJSPCA:
Sections 4:22-11.1 to 4:22-11.10 were repealed by L.2017, c. 331, § 35, eff. Aug. 1, 2018. These sections related to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Governor Christie signed S3558 into law in 2018, which stripped the NJSPCA of its powers and duties. The former laws created "humane law enforcement officers" who were granted the authority to carry firearms while on duty. The laws also established the parent corporation of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals along with provisions for powers and duties of the board of trustees.
Section 4:22-11.11, on the "training course for animal protection law enforcement," was amended. Legislation removed language that said, "in collaboration with the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals," and changed it to, "in collaboration with the Attorney General."
Two new paragraphs were added to that law related to training of "animal protection law enforcement" through the Police Training Commission:
c.(2) The chief law enforcement officer of a municipality, or of a county, as applicable, may request from the Police Training Commission an exemption from applicable animal control parts of the animal protection law enforcement training course on behalf of a current or prospective municipal humane law enforcement officer, humane law enforcement officer of a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or chief humane law enforcement officer or other officer designated pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of section 28 of P.L.2017, c. 331 (C.4:22–14.4) who demonstrates successful completion of an animal control course pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1983, c. 525 (C.4:19–15.16a).
d. The Police Training Commission shall provide for the issuance of a certificate to a person who possesses, or acquires, the training and education required to qualify as a municipal humane law enforcement officer, humane law enforcement officer of a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or chief humane law enforcement officer or other officer designated pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of section 28 of P.L.2017, c. 331 (C.4:22–14.4) and shall provide a copy of the certificate to, as applicable, the municipal humane law enforcement officer and the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality or county, or to the humane law enforcement officer and the county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or to the chief humane law enforcement officer or other officer designated pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of section 28 of P.L.2017, c. 331 (C.4:22–14.4) and the county prosecutor.
In addition, an entirely new section was created: 4:22-14.1. Duties of governing bodies of municipalities regarding designation of municipal humane law enforcement officers, N.J.S.A. 4:22-14.1.
As a result of this law, some other laws were repealed:
The state made it illegal to use wild or exotic animals in traveling circuses: "23:2A-16. Prohibition on use of wild or exotic animals in a traveling animal act; definitions; penalties; exceptions." The new law creates substantial fines and injunctions under the chapter to use a wild or exotic animal in a traveling animal act. A “traveling animal act” means any performance which requires an animal to be transported to or from the location of a performance in a mobile or traveling housing facility. NJSA 23:2A-16.
Hunter harassment law:
A new paragraph was added to the state's hunter harassment law. It now it illegal to:
i. operate as defined in section 1 of P.L.2017, c. 315 (C.2C:40-27) an unmanned aircraft system as defined in section 1 of P.L.2017, c. 315
N. J. S. A. 23:7A-2.
Some organizational name changes occurred in Section 4:19A–16. "Cat Fanciers' Association" was previously mentioned in the law, which was changed to "People for Animals, Inc." in 2018. Further, references to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were removed and changed to "to county societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals in northern" and "southern New Jersey."
This change resulted in the following geographical description being added to the law:
For the purposes of this section, “northern New Jersey” means Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties; and “southern New Jersey” means Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, and Salem counties.
The state added a law in the veterinary practice laws that the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is to "require that the number of credits of continuing veterinary education required of each person licensed as a veterinarian, as a condition of biennial license renewal, include at least one credit of educational programs or topics concerning prescription opioid drugs . . ." N.J. 45:16-9.4c
|No major statutory changes.|
Cats, holding period:
In § 374 of the Agriculture & Markets Law, the previous version of the law established a five-day holding period for animals taken up by animal control or other contracted officials and held at a shelter/pound. In 2018, language was added that shortened that holding period to three days for cats that have no identifying criteria:
Notwithstanding the redemption periods set forth above in this subdivision, any municipality may establish the duration of such periods by local law or ordinance for any cat whose owner cannot be identified by a collar, tag, microchip, tattoo or other identifying mark, provided that no such period shall be less than three days, and provided further that such cat be made available solely for the purposes of adoption and released to an adoptive owner following an examination by a duly-licensed veterinarian, the details of which shall be provided to the adoptive owner.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 374.
S.7112 amended McKinney's Unconsolidated Laws § 6408-e. The new version authorizes domestic companion animals (defined as a companion animal or pet as defined Sec. 350 of the agriculture and markets law and any other domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household, but not farm animals) to be permitted to board any public transportation or public transportation service in the event of a state of emergency and evacuation of a region. The animal must be under the owner's control by use of a leash or tether, or is properly confined in an appropriate container or by other suitable means. The animal can be refused if there is reasonable cause to believe that, due to attendant circumstances, permitting the animal to board would pose a health or safety hazard. All passengers with service animals shall be given priority seating on all means of transportation regulated by this article. Finally, the law states that, "[a]ll passengers on any public transportation or public transportation service shall be provided seating before a domestic companion animal may be placed in a seat."
A slight change was made to McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 109. An amendment in 2018 allows "that in the county of Montgomery, the board of trustees of the village of St. Johnsville may by resolution provide that application for licenses shall be made to the village clerk."
Leasing of pets:
A new law was added prohibiting the lease-to-purchase of dogs and cats:
No contract for the purchase of a dog or a cat or the financing of such purchase shall include any provisions which authorize the use of a dog or a cat as security where such dog or cat may be repossessed by the seller or lender contingent on the purchaser making payments under such contract. Provided, however, nothing in this section shall prohibit the purchase of a dog or cat through an unsecured personal loan, nor be construed to limit the enforcement of other provisions of this article, article twenty-six-a of the agriculture and markets law or other rights or remedies which are otherwise available to all parties under any other law.
McKinney's General Business Law § 753-e.
A new Section 380 of the Agriculture and Markets Law became effective in 2018. The law requires that animals taken in or seized by animal control must be examined within 24-hours to check for all forms of identification, including, but not limited to, tags, microchips, tattoos or licenses. If practicable and if the necessary technology and equipment are available, officials need to place a photo and general description on a website or social media affiliated with the pound/shelter. Finally, no later than 24-hours after taking possession of the animal, reasonable efforts shall be made to identify and provide actual notice to the owner of the animal by any means reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the owner. McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 380.
In the laws on the licensing and identification of dogs, a new law was enacted. The law empowers the commissioner to establish rules and procedures relating to microchip reading at animal shelters:
1. The commissioner may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations that may provide for: standardization of technology used in microchips implanted in companion animals that are dogs or cats; and/or microchip readers so that such readers used by veterinarians, animal shelters, dog control officers, and animal control officers are capable of reading any chip to identify the animals and/or the owner of record; and/or the need for such veterinarians, animal shelters, dog control officers, and animal control officers to possess or have access to a microchip reader capable of reading any commercially available microchip implanted in a cat or dog. Such rules and regulations may also provide for the collection, sharing, and dissemination of chip identification information by entities that possess and manage such information solely to promote timely notification of owners when pets are lost while maintaining privacy protection of personal information and providing for disclosure to such owners of the sharing of such information.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 111-a.
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|No major statutory changes.|
Many changes were made to the commercial dog breeding laws in 2018. Highlights are described below.
In the definitions section, the definition for "Animal rescue for dogs" added limiting language. A person under this category must not "does not sell dogs to a dog broker or pet store."
Four new definitions were added:
“Dog broker” means a person who buys, sells, or offers to sell dogs at wholesale for resale to another or who sells or gives one or more dogs to a pet store annually. “Dog broker” does not include an animal rescue for dogs, an animal shelter for dogs, a humane society, a medical kennel for dogs, a research kennel for dogs, a pet store, or a veterinarian.
“Enrichment” means any modification in the environment of a confined dog that seeks to enhance the dog's physical and psychological well-being by providing stimuli that meets the dog's breed-specific needs.
“Exercise” means activity that allows a dog to extend to full stride, play, and engage in other types of mentally stimulating and social behaviors.
“Thermoneutral zone” means the range of ambient temperature in which a dog is able to maintain normal body temperature without a change in metabolic rate.
The definition for "high volume breeder" was changed. Previously, it meant a person who sells at least 9 litters of puppies in a calendar year and sells 60 or more adult dogs or puppies. Now, the definition states that a high volume breeder is one who maintains 6 or more breeding dogs and does at least one of the following:
(1) In return for a fee or other consideration, sells five or more adult dogs or puppies in any calendar year to dog brokers or pet stores;
(2) In return for a fee or other consideration, sells forty or more puppies in any calendar year to the public; or
(3) Keeps, houses, and maintains, at any given time in a calendar year, more than forty puppies that are under four months of age, that have been bred on the premises of the establishment, and that have been primarily kept, housed, and maintained from birth on the premises of the establishment.
In the law that requires the department of agriculture to promulgate rules, section (1) now provides:
The rules shall include a requirement that a high volume breeder keep and maintain a record of veterinary care for each dog kept, housed, and maintained by the high volume breeder. The rules shall require the records to be kept and maintained for three years after the care is provided by a veterinarian.
New section 956.041 relates to out-of-state and high volume breeders. The new law requires the following:
A dog broker or the owner or operator of a pet store that seeks to purchase a dog from an in-state high volume breeder or out-of-state dog breeder, prior to completing the transaction, shall request the breeder to sign a document prescribed and provided by the director of agriculture. The document shall state that the in-state high volume breeder or out-of-state dog breeder is in compliance with the standards of care established in rules adopted under section 956.03 and in section 956.031 of the Revised Code. The broker or owner or operator shall keep and maintain the signed document. If the in-state high volume breeder or out-of-state dog breeder does not provide the signed document, the broker or owner or operator shall not purchase the dog.
There are many other changes throughout the chapter. Section 956.07 changes the numbering of dogs from litters sold to individual puppies sold in assessment of licensing fees. For example, a high volume breeder used to be charged $150 for 9 to 15 litters of puppies. Now, that breeder is charged $150 for 40 to 60 puppies.
Dogs in restaurants:
This Ohio law, enacted in 2018, allows a retail food establishment or food service operation to allow patrons to bring dogs to outdoor dining area of the establishment or operation in accordance with this section. The establishment who allows dogs must do the following: (1) adopt a policy that requires patrons to control their dog, whether with a leash or otherwise, while the dog is in the outdoor dining area; (2) not allow the person to take the dog into the outdoor dining area through any of the establishment's or operation's indoor areas; and (3) comply with sanitation and other standards of Ohio codes. Dogs brought to outdoor dining areas must be properly vaccinated in accordance with state and local laws. R.C. § 3717.14.
The state added a new law to the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Section § 113.2 covers assistance animals and use of them as reasonable accommodations. The law first defines "assistance animal” as 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. It also states that a person with a disability may submit a request to a landlord for such accommodation and, if the disability or disability-related need for an assistance animal that is not readily apparent, the landlord may request reliable supporting documentation. Subsection C states that a "landlord shall not be liable for injuries by a person's assistance animal permitted on the landlord's property as a reasonable accommodation . . ." Finally, subsection D penalizes fraudulent requests:
D. If a person obtains a reasonable housing accommodation under this section by knowingly making a false claim of having a disability that requires the use of an assistance animal or by knowingly providing fraudulent supporting documentation in connection with such claim, the landlord may remedy the person's noncompliance by the procedures authorized pursuant to the Oklahoma Residential Landlord and Tenant Act in Section 132 of Title 41 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Additionally, a prevailing landlord in an eviction action under this section may be awarded court costs and fees, plus damages not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) from the tenant.
41 Okl. St. Ann. § 113.2.
The state's law on cockfighting were amended. In the definitions section, a new definition was added:
(6) “Source bird” means:
(a) A hen used to produce one or more chicks intended for eventual use as fighting birds; or
(b) A chick being reared with the intent that the chick eventually be used as a fighting bird or as a hen described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
O. R. S. § 167.426.
Under the main law that prohibits cockfighting (O. R. S. § 167.428), the provisions for manufacturing, buying, selling, bartering, exchanging, possessing, advertising, or otherwise offer to sell a gaff, slasher or other sharp implement designed for attachment to a fighting bird with the intent that the gaff, slasher or other sharp implement be used in cockfighting were removed. These prohibitions now appear in the law that makes it a crime participate in cockfighting (O. R. S. § 167.431).
Endangered species laws:
The penalty section for Oregon's endangered and threatened species law had some changes. A new subsection (12) was added related to payment of fines for violation of wildlife laws. The new section provides:
(12)(a) If a court imposes a fine as penalty for an offense under the wildlife laws that involves the unlawful taking or killing of wildlife listed under ORS 496.705 (2), the court shall order that the defendant pay all or a portion of the fine separately to the clerk of the court for paying over to the State Fish and Wildlife Commission. The clerk shall pay over to the commission the amount that the court ordered the defendant to pay separately for that purpose. The amount that the court orders to be paid separately to the clerk for paying over to the commission shall be the lesser of:
(A) The amount of the fine imposed; or
(B) The amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing.
(b) If the amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing of wildlife is more than the maximum fine established for the offense under ORS 153.018, 161.625 or 161.635 or a specific fine statute, notwithstanding ORS 153.018, 161.625 or 161.635 or any specific fine statute, the maximum fine for the offense is the amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing.
(c) If an amount paid over to the commission under this subsection is less than the amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing of wildlife, payment of the amount does not prevent the commission from bringing an action under ORS 496.705 (2) to recover damages for the unlawful taking or killing. However, notwithstanding ORS 496.705, the amount recoverable under ORS 496.705 (2) by the commission as damages for the unlawful taking or killing shall be reduced by the amount paid to the commission under this subsection from a fine imposed for the unlawful taking or killing.
O. R. S. § 496.992.
Law enforcement dogs:
Oregon added a new law related to liability for law enforcement dog incidents:
(2) A seller or lessor of a law enforcement dog is not liable under ORS 30.920 for physical harm or damage to property caused by the law enforcement dog if the law enforcement agency to which the dog was sold or leased has begun or completed training the dog using a training program approved by the law enforcement agency or an accredited and recognized animal handling organization.
O. R. S. § 30.815.
Assistance and service animals:
Pennsylvania enacted Chapter 8A, the Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act. The Act defines both "assistance animal" and "service animal" for purposes of the law. It then gives landlords the right to request documentation if he or she receives a request to make an exception to the policy prohibiting animals or limiting the size, weight, breed or number of animals on the landlord's property because the person requires the use of an assistance animal or service animal. The law states that this right occurs only if the disability or disability-related need is not readily apparent or known to the landlord.
Any request must meet the law's minimum standards:
(1) Be in writing.
(2) Be reliable and based on direct knowledge of the person's disability and disability-related need for the assistance animal or service animal.
(3) Describe the person's disability-related need for the assistance animal or service animal.
The chapter also creates two new offenses: (1) misrepresentation of entitlement to assistance animal or service animal; and (2) misrepresentation of animal as assistance animal or service animal.
68 P.S. § 405.1 - 405.7.
In the definitions section for the state's animal cruelty laws, a new definition was added:
“Service, guide or support dog.” A dog that is trained or is being trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability consistent with Federal and State law related to service animals.
18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531.
Some wording was added to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5532. This law covers neglect of an animal. The phrase "the basic needs of" was added and then the list of what that may cover was preceded by the phrase "including any of the following." The law now reads:
(a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if the person fails to provide for the basic needs of each animal to which the person has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, including any of the following:
(1) Necessary sustenance and potable water.
(2) Access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the weather. The shelter must be sufficient to permit the animal to retain body heat and keep the animal dry.
(3) Necessary veterinary care.
[emphasis added]. 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531.
Finally, the legislation changed "§ 5535. Attack of guide service, guide or support dog" to "§ 5535. Attack of service, guide or support dog" and modified language within that law by deleting, "a guide dog of an individual who is blind, a hearing dog of an individual who is deaf or audibly impaired or a service dog of an individual who is physically limited" and changing it to "service, guide or support dog of an individual with a disability." 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5535.
Dogs chasing big game:
A new exception was added to this law: "§ 2383. Dogs pursuing, injuring or killing big game." It is lawful to engage in this new exception:
(2) Make use of a leashed tracking dog to track a white-tailed deer, bear or elk in an attempt to recover an animal which has been legally killed or wounded during any open season for white-tailed deer, bear or elk.
34 Pa.C.S.A. § 2383.
Rescue of cat or dog from vehicle:
The state added a new law in 2018 on the rescue of a dog or cat from a motor vehicle. Under the new law, no law enforcement officer, animal control officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder, or the employer of a law enforcement officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder, shall be liable for damage to a motor vehicle or the contents thereof caused by entry into the motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a dog or cat, if the law enforcement officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder follows steps under the statute. These steps include making sure the cat or dog is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle, attempting to locate the owner prior to entry, taking reasonable steps to ensure the animal's safety, using no more force than necessary, and leaving a note for the owner. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8340.3.
Under the Animal Care Act, the definition for "kennel" was amended. Kennel now includes a "veterinary hospital that is housing animals during their treatment." However, language was added to exclude small residential-based animal boarding arrangements:
This definition shall not apply to the sheltering, feeding, and watering, in return for a fee, in a residential setting, of no more than four (4) animals, not owned by the proprietor, subject to any applicable municipal ordinance, that may be more restrictive.
Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-2.
Section § 4-19-6 on "public auction and kennel licenses" was amended to address the small-scale residential boarding arrangements. These amendments remove such residential boarding situations from state licensing requirements, but still make them subject to inspection if complaints arise:
(c) Pursuant to § 4–19–2(19), any person who provides the sheltering, feeding, and watering in return for a fee in a residential setting of no more than four (4) animals not owned by the proprietor is:
(1) Exempt from licensure as a kennel under this chapter; and
(2) Subject to inspection by an authorized agent of the department of environmental management (hereinafter “the department”) upon the department receiving a written complaint against the person. Only complaints related to animal care, animal health, and animal welfare may initiate an inspection. Any inspection that is conducted by the department shall be conducted during the hours of eight o'clock a.m. (8:00 a.m.) through five o'clock p.m. (5:00 p.m.), unless the person who is the subject of the complaint agrees to an inspection at another time; and
(3) Required to be compliant with the rules and regulations governing animal care facilities, RICR 250–RICR–40–05–4, §§ 4.7 and 4.8.A 1 through 8 (excluding the sanitation log requirements of § 4.8.A.3). Any inspection conducted by an authorized agent of the department shall be limited to the aforementioned sections and shall be limited to areas to which the animals being cared for have access. Any violations of these sections are punishable in accordance with § 4.12 of the rules and regulations governing animal care facilities and any appeal for any enforcement action shall be made in accordance with § 4.11.B of those rules; and
(4) Any person who is subject to inspection pursuant to the conditions set forth in subsection (c)(2), who denies access to authorized inspectors from the department, is subject to a civil fine of three hundred fifty dollars ($350). Each day that access is denied shall constitute a separate punishable offense.
Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-6.
In Chapter 13 related to dogs in the state, a new definition was added in 2018 for "adequate shelter:"
(1) “Adequate shelter” means the provision of and access to shelter that is suitable for the species, age, condition, size, and type of each dog; provides sufficient space for the dog to maintain comfortable rest, normal posture, and range of movement; and is safe to protect each dog from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, direct sunlight, the adverse effects of heat or cold, physical suffering, and impairment of health. Shelters with wire grid or slat floors that permit the dog's feet to pass through the openings, sag under the dog's weight, or otherwise do not protect the dog's feet from injury, are not considered adequate shelter.
Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-1.2.
In the same chapter, the statute on "care of dogs" added some provisions in 2018. Under subsection (2) on collars, it is now a violation to use a "head collar" and "[t]he weight of any chain or tether shall not exceed one-eighth ( ⅛ ) of the dog's total body weight." The length of time a dog may be tethered was changed. A person may not tether a dog "more than ten (10) hours during a twenty-four-hour (24) period, if the area is not greater than that which is required under the most recently adopted version of the department of environmental management's rules and regulations governing animal care facilities." Also, a person may not "[t]ether a dog anytime from the hours of ten o'clock p.m. (10:00 p.m.) to six o'clock a.m. (6:00 a.m.), except for a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes."
Subsection (c) was amended to simply state the following:
(c) Exposing any dog to adverse weather conditions strictly for the purpose of conditioning shall be prohibited.
The authority to tether a dog in a manner that violates the law was substantially changed. That section now states:
(2) If tethering or confinement is authorized in writing by an animal control officer, or duly sworn police officer assigned to the animal control division, for the purposes, including, but not limited to, hunting dogs, dogs protecting livestock, and sled dogs. Written authorization must be renewed annually. The written authorization issued by an animal control officer or duly sworn police officer assigned to the animal control division in the political subdivision of the state where the dogs are kept shall be considered valid in every other political subdivision of the state. The written authorization issued by an animal control officer or duly sworn police officer assigned to the animal control division in the political subdivision of the state where the dogs are kept is revocable by that animal control officer or police officer if there are any conditions present that warrant revocation. The conditions include, but are not limited to, changes in the number or type of dogs, changes in the facility structure or safety, and changes in the health of the dog;
(3) To any entity licensed by the state pursuant to chapter 19 of title 4, or any veterinary facility; or
(4) [Deleted by P.L. 2018, ch. 118, § 1 and P.L. 2018, ch. 198, § 1];
(5) [Deleted by P.L. 2018, ch. 118, § 1 and P.L. 2018, ch. 198, § 1];
(6) To an exhibitor holding a class C license under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2133) that are temporarily in the state, if authorized by the department of environmental management (DEM);
(7) [Deleted by P.L. 2018, ch. 118, § 1 and P.L. 2018, ch. 198, § 1].
Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-42
Finally, a new law was added entitled, "§ 4-13-44. Minimum maturity level for sale of dogs." This new law makes it a crime, punishable by imprisonment up to 12 months and/or $1,000 fine to physically transfer any dogs that are not fully weaned (unless such transfer is approved by a licensed Rhode Island veterinarian). The section also excludes dogs in "foster care." Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-44.
Rhode Island adopted the “Research Animal Retirement Act" in 2018. A higher education research facility that receives public money must assess the health of a cat or dog to determine whether it is suitable for adoption once any testing or research on the animal has been completed. The facility must then make reasonable efforts to place those suitable dogs or cats through private adoption or adoption through a shelter or rescue. These efforts shall be made prior to euthanizing the dog or cat. Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-27-1 - 2.
|No major statutory changes.|
|No major statutory changes.|
Under Tennessee's Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a new section was added to § 66-28-505 (tenant noncompliance) related to assistance animals:
(f) It is deemed to be material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement, if the tenant pretends to have a disability-related need for an assistance animal in order to obtain an exception to a provision in a rental agreement that prohibits pets or establishes limits on the types of pets that tenants may possess on residential rental property. As used in this subsection (f), “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 (1) or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability.
The state has a ban on the importation, possession, or selling of live skunks. A new subsection was added to that law allowing wildlife rehabilitators to possess skunks:
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a person who possesses a valid wildlife rehabilitation permit issued by the agency may receive skunks from the wild for the purposes of rehabilitation and release only.
T. C. A. § 70-4-208.
The Tennessee Veterinary Practice Act was amended in 2018 to add Part 2, Animal Massage Therapists. Under § 63-12-201, "animal massage therapy" is defined as "the manipulation of the soft tissues of the animal body with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the animal." No person shall use the title “certified animal massage therapist” or “registered animal massage therapist” unless the person meets the requirements of this part. Requirements are set out in § 63-12-203 and include minimum hours of training, certification, and examination. T. C. A. § 63-12-201 - 204.
|No major statutory changes.|
Cruelty to animals:
In U.C.A. 1953 § 76–9–306, references to horses were removed. The entire section now only relates to injury or interference to police service canines.
Section § 76-9-308 is a new section that was added in 2017 entitled, "Harassment of livestock." Under the law, a person (other than the livestock owner or his or her employee/agent) is guilty of harassment of livestock if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly chases, with the intent of causing distress, or harms livestock through the use of:
(a) a motorized vehicle or all-terrain vehicle;
(b) a dog; or
(c) an unmanned aircraft system.
Violation is a misdemeanor.
Possessing wild animals:
U.C.A. 1953 § 4-23-111, the law that makes it illegal to hold a raccoon or coyote in captivity, was amended so that the penalty for violation was changed from a class B misdemeanor to an infraction.
20 V.S.A. § 3382, Repealed by 2017, Adj. Sess., No. 130, § 9, eff. July 1, 2018
Section 3903 of the Animal Welfare laws was amended in 2018. This law details obligations of animal shelters and rescues with respect to intake of and records for those animals. A new paragraph was added that immunizes these organizations from liability related caring for animals involved or seized in suspected animal cruelty or neglect investigations:
(d) Immunity from liability. Notwithstanding section 3901a of this title, any animal shelter or rescue organization assisting law enforcement in an animal cruelty investigation or seizure that, in good faith, provides care and treatment to an animal involved in the investigation or seizure shall not be held liable for civil damages by the owner of the animal unless the actions of the shelter or organization constitute gross negligence.
20 V.S.A. § 3903.
In the state's anti-cruelty law, the term "beats" was changed to "harm." Now, in subsection (a)(5), a person violates section by "cruelly harming" instead of "cruelly beating" an animal. The same change in language occurred in 13 V.S.A. § 352(2). 13 V.S.A. § 353.
In 2018, Vermont repealed a law that stated, "[i]f a town, for the term of six months at one time, is without such pound, it shall be fined $30.00." 20 V.S.A. § 3382.
A new law is effective in 2019, which states:
A person who incidentally traps a dog or cat shall notify a fish and wildlife warden or the Department within 24 hours after discovery of the trapped dog or cat. The Department shall maintain records of all reports of incidentally trapped dogs or cats submitted under this section, and the reports shall include the disposition of each incidentally trapped dog or cat.
10 V.S.A. § 4254c.
Abandonment of animal:
In the Comprehensive Animal Care Act, the penalty for abandonment of an animal was changed from a Class 3 misdemeanor to a Class 1 misdemeanor. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2–6504.
Animal Care Act:
Changes were made to the definitions section of the Comprehensive Animal Care Act.
In the definition for "abandon," the period of time of failing to provide the elements of basic care to an animal was changed from five consecutive days to four consecutive days.
The definition for "boarding establishment" had the following sentence added at the end: "'Boarding establishment' shall not include any private residential dwelling that shelters, feeds, and waters fewer than five companion animals not owned by the proprietor." Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6500.
Bites from animals:
A new law was added that requires disclosure of animal bites by releasing agencies like animal shelters or pounds:
§ 3.2-6509.1. Disclosure of animal bite history; penalties
B. Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6509.1.
Dogs in distilleries:
This Virginia law states that no animal shall be permitted in any area used for the manufacture or storage of food products. However, a dog may be allowed in designated areas of a distillery, winery, or brewery as defined in the law. VA Code Ann. § 3.2-5115.
Equine activity liability:
Virginia amended its equine activity liability law related to the execution of a waiver for a minor participant by a parent or guardian:
For purposes of this section, in the case of a minor participant, the execution of a waiver by a duly authorized representative of the parent or guardian designated in writing by the parent or guardian shall constitute a valid and knowing execution of a waiver by the parent or guardian.
Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6202
A new law allows either party in a criminal proceeding to apply for an order from the court allowing a certified facility dog to be present with a witness testifying before the court through in-person testimony or testimony televised by two-way closed-circuit television. A court may allow if it several factors are found by a preponderance of the evidence. In this section, a “certified facility dog” means a dog that (i) has completed training and been certified by a program accredited by Assistance Dogs International or by another assistance dog organization that is a member of an organization whose main purpose is to improve training, placement, and utilization of assistance dogs and (ii) is accompanied by a duly trained handler. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-67.9:1.
In Section § 3.2-6546 related to county or city public animal shelters, language was added to subsection C that allows the shelters to administer vaccines to impounded dogs:
During the time that an animal is confined pursuant to this subsection, the operator or custodian of the public animal shelter may vaccinate the animal to prevent the risk of communicable diseases, provided that (i) all vaccines are administered in accordance with a protocol approved by a licensed veterinarian and (ii) rabies vaccines are administered by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician under the immediate direction and supervision of a licensed veterinarian in accordance with § 3.2–6521.
Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6546.
The state enacted a new section to its Comprehensive Animal Care Laws: "§ 3.2-6513.1. Pet shops; posting of information about dogs." Under this new law, pet shops must place signs on the cages of the dogs that read: "USDA APHIS Inspection Reports Available Prior to Purchase.” Further, the pet shop must maintain a written record for each dog with information like the dog's breed, age, and date of birth; identifying marks and color of the dog; documentation of medical treatment; and breeder or animal shelter origin information. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6513.1.
A new law states that a local community may require a pet shop that offers imported dogs to furnish a cash bond:
The governing body of any locality may, by ordinance, require any pet shop offering for sale dogs procured from outside of the Commonwealth to furnish a cash bond, cash equivalent bond, or acceptable letter of credit of not less than $5,000 for a pet shop maintaining for sale an average of 50 or fewer dogs per year and not more than $30,000 for a pet shop maintaining for sale an average of 51 or more dogs per year. A locality may reduce or waive such bond requirement at its discretion.
Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6537.1.
In the law on "Rabid Animals," a new subsection E was added:
When determining whether a dog that has bitten a person shall be so confined, the health director shall weigh any proof that the dog has current certificates for both (i) rabies vaccination and (ii) special training for police work, military work, or work as a first responder.
Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6522.
Virginia enacted a new set of laws related to animal research. The section states that no manufacturer or contract testing facility shall use an animal test method when an alternative test method is available. The Attorney General may bring a civil action in the appropriate circuit court for injunctive relief to enforce the provisions of this article. Any person violating these provisions may result in a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 and any court costs and attorney fees. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6591 - 6593.
|No major statutory changes.|
|W. Va. Code, § 5-15-9|
Service animal fraud:
In 2018, West Virginia enacted a law that prohibits any person from falsely representing that an animal is a service animal in order to obtain any right or privilege. Such person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $200 or confined in jail for not more than 10 days, or both fined and confined. W. Va. Code, § 5-15-9.
|No major statutory changes.|
|No major statutory changes.|