2021 Statutory Amendments Table

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Rebecca F. Wisch Publish Year:  2022 Place of Publication:  Michigan State University Primary Citation:  Animal Legal & Historical Center
Summary: This table details the animal-related legislative changes that occurred across all fifty states in 2021. Links are provided to the amended laws and a summary of the change appears in the adjacent column.

This table reflects statutory changes during 2021. As is typical, amendments to animal anti-cruelty laws were the most frequent change with animal-related laws. Arizona became the 39th to add a possession ban to its animal cruelty laws. Under the new law, a first misdemeanor conviction results in at least a five-year ban and a first felony conviction results in at least a ten- year ban on animal ownership. Two states (Arizona and Louisiana) expanded state animal fighting laws to cover possession of animal fighting paraphernalia. Hawaii and Wyoming joined the majority of states in banning animal sexual assault/bestiality, leaving only New Mexico and West Virginia without such laws.

Texas enacted the Safe Outdoor Dog Act, which strengthened its dog tethering law by requiring adequate shelter when a dog is outside and allowing non-complying owners to be immediately cited for violations (previously, animal control officers had to issue a warning and wait 24-hours). Hawaii also enhanced its dog tethering law by outlawing the tethering of dogs by a swivel or trolley-based mechanism as well as tethering dogs under six-months of age (unless actively engaged in activities while supervised by the owner).

Nevada and New York now prohibit discrimination against dog breeds by state insurers through new states laws. Virginia added a law that makes a blanket prohibition on localities enacting breed-specific legislation. Virginia also became the 12th state to adopt a "beagle freedom" law, where an animal testing facility that no longer needs for a dog or cat in its possession must offer the animal for adoption instead of euthanasia.

With the COVID-19 pandemic now in year three, several state veterinary practice codes (Connecticut, Maine, and Oklahoma) adopted provisions that define "telehealth" or "telemedicine" for pets. This may reflect a new trend in veterinary practice.

Both Texas and Virginia revamped their dangerous dog provisions and Washington outlawed the sale of dog and cats at retail pet stores.

On the wild animal side of laws, Maryland became the seventh state to outlaw "killing contests," banning organized events where individuals compete kill animals like coyotes or foxes. In Colorado, voters passed Proposition 114. Per the new law, steps necessary for the reintroduction of gray wolves must begin by December 2023. In 2021, this law was amended to set up specific funding sources for the program, which can include donations, gifts, grants, bequests, etc. per the new amendments. Nevada now allows master falconers to use certain golden eagles in falconry activities. Virginia made it illegal for a wildlife exhibitor to It is a class 3 misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 for any keeper to provide or offer to provide to any member of the public, for free or for a cost, direct contact with a dangerous captive animal.

Finally, there were a few feel-good laws amended or added to animal laws. Both Florida and Oregon now allow injured police dogs to be transported by ambulance (provided no human care is delayed by the transport). Maryland also established a funding source so that injured police dogs can receive appropriate veterinary care. Maryland also added a new law that waives the adoption fee for a dog or cat adopted by a veteran who presents a valid driver's license or identification card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration that includes a notation of veteran status in accordance with § 12-302 of the Transportation Article.

See the table below for all the major changes in 2021.

State

Laws

Summary

Alabama

 No major statutory changes.

Alaska

 No major statutory changes.

Arizona

A.R.S. § 13-2910.10

A.R.S. § 13-2910.11

 

Animal fighting:

Arizona added two new laws related to animal fighting. Section 13-2910.11 makes it unlawful for a person to knowingly own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer or manufacture animal fighting paraphernalia for the purpose of engaging in, promoting or facilitating animal fighting. Violation is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Possession ban:

The state also enacted § 13-2910.11. This law creates a possession ban for those who have been convicted of intentional cruelty, animal fighting, and bestiality. and recklessly engaging in cruel mistreatment. The length of time for the ban is as follows:

1. For a first misdemeanor conviction, at least five years.

2. For a first felony conviction or a second or subsequent misdemeanor conviction, at least ten years.

3. For a second or subsequent felony conviction, for the person's lifetime.

The law outlines a procedure for restoration of animal possession privileges restored after the ban expires.

Arkansas

A.C.A. § 16-43-1002

A.C.A. § 17-101-318

Facility/courthouse dogs:

The law (§ 16-43-1002) allowing the use of certified facility dogs to accompany child witnesses while testifying in court was expanded to allow their use by "vulnerable witnesses." A vulnerable witness is defined as a person testifying in a criminal hearing or trial who has an intellectual and developmental disability or has a significant impairment in cognitive functioning acquired as a direct consequence of a brain injury or resulting from a progressively deteriorating neurological condition, including without limitation Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Veterinary practice laws:

A new law (§ 17-101-318) was added that allows the Veterinary Medical Examining Board to issue a restricted license to a person who has graduated from an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine but has not passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination, or its future equivalent, to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

California

 

No major statutory changes (some changes were made to the veterinary practice law that affects some more technical aspects of practice (West's Ann. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 4800 - 4917))

Colorado

C. R. S. A. § 18-9-209

C. R. S. A. § 18-9-204.5 

C. R. S. A. § 35–80–102

C. R. S. A. § 35-80-106.6

C. R. S. A. 35–80–108

C. R. S. A. § 18-13-107.3

C. R. S. A. § 18-13-107.7

C. R. S. A. § 33–2–105.8

Anti-cruelty:

The law on falsely reporting animal cruelty had a penalty change (C. R. S. A. § 18-9-209). Instead of a violation being a class 3 misdemeanor, it is now a civil infraction.

Dangerous dogs:

The penalty for unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog (C. R. S. A. § 18-9-204.5) received a slight change to the penalty portion of the law. Previously, a first offense was a class 3 misdemeanor and any subsequent offenses became a class 2 misdemeanor. As of March 2022, a first violation is now a class 2 misdemeanor. Any owner who violates the subsection and whose dog injures or causes the death of any domestic animal commits a class 2 misdemeanor (previously this was a class 3 misdemeanor).

Pet sales:

In 2021, the State of Colorado enacted the Pet Store Consumer Protection Act within the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA). As part of this change, definitions for "offer for sale," "pet store," and "sale" were added to the definitions section (§ 35–80–102). Then, in Section § 35–80–108.5, the requirements for a pet store to offer to sell cats and dogs were added:

(a) Include on all advertisements, including website postings, the purchase price of the dog or cat and any applicable federal or state license numbers for the breeder of the dog or cat;

(b) Post on the enclosure of each dog or cat the purchase price of the dog or cat and the following information on the dog's or cat's breeder: Full name; kennel name, if applicable; city; state; and any applicable state or federal license numbers; and

(c) Disclose to a prospective consumer in writing, prior to the sale of a dog or cat, the following information about the dog or cat:

(I) The purchase price of the dog or cat;

(II) The interest rate or range associated with any financing or credit card offered to the prospective purchaser; and

(III) Any applicable federal or state license numbers and an unredacted list of all violations of any federal or state law the dog or cat breeder, broker, or transporter received in the previous two years on a federal or state inspection report.

These are the minimum state requirements since subsection (3) states that "[n]othing in this section precludes a statutory or home rule town, city, county, or city and county from enacting laws more stringent than the requirements of this section, including a prohibition on the sale or offer for sale of dogs and cats."

A new statutory section was added to PACFA, C. R. S. A. § 35-80-106.6. This new law outlines duties of care for animal shelters and animal rescues. In particular, the law states that:

(2) Each animal shelter and pet animal rescue shall provide each dog and cat held in its custody with timely veterinary care to address and prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable pain and suffering.

(3) Each animal shelter and pet animal rescue shall address the behavioral needs of each dog and cat held in its custody to ensure that the dog or cat is not housed or kept in a manner that fosters stereotypic or self-mutilating behavior.

Finally, Section 35–80–108 on unlawful acts under the chapter was amended to include the following new subsection (n):

(1) Unless otherwise authorized by law, it is unlawful and a violation of this article 80 for any person or entity:

* * *

(n) To import or cause to be imported any dog or cat for the purpose of sale by a pet animal facility, unless the dog or cat has a certificate of veterinary health and, if the dog or cat is over six months old, proof of a rabies vaccination.

Service animals:

In the law on falsely impersonating a person with a disability (including use of a pet as a service animal), the penalty was changed from a class 3 misdemeanor to a petty offense.

In the following section (18-13-107.3) on intentional misrepresentation of entitlement to an assistance animal, the penalty was changed from class 2 petty offense to a civil infraction with a fine of $25 for a first offense and enhanced fines for subsequent offenses. Similarly, intentional misrepresentation of a service animal (§ 18-13-107.7) was changed from a class 2 petty offense to a petty offense.

Wolves:

In 2020, the state added a new law (§ 33–2–105.8) after Proposition 114 was passed by voters. The measure first recognizes the important historical function wolves have played in Colorado's ecosystem and that the Wildlife Commission must "[d]evelop a plan to restore and manage gray wolves in Colorado, using the best scientific data available." Per the new law, steps necessary for the reintroduction of gray wolves must begin by December 2023. In 2021, this law was amended to set up specific funding sources for the program. Notably, this subsection was added: "The lack of an appropriation from the general fund shall not halt reintroduction of gray wolves as required under subsection (2)(d) of this section." Funding sources can include donations, gifts, grants, bequests, etc. per the new amendments.

Connecticut

C.G.S.A. § 22-344f

C.G.S.A. § 20-197

Animal shelter and animal importation:

The law (C.G.S.A. § 22-344f) on requirements for importation of cats and dogs by animal shelters had a slight change. The fine for violation of the law was reduced from not more than $500 for each animal that is the subject of such violation for a first violation, to $250 for each animal that is the subject of such violation, and for any subsequent violation, $500 for each animal that is the subject of such violation.

Veterinary practice:

In the veterinary practice code, the parameters of what constitutes veterinary practice was amended in 2021. Subsection (b) was added to C.G.S.A. § 20-197 that indicates the criteria for a veterinary-client relationship:

(b) No veterinarian licensed under this chapter may practice veterinary medicine on an animal without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship with the animal and the owner of the animal or person responsible for the care of the animal, except that a veterinarian licensed under this chapter may provide, in good faith, emergency or urgent care to an animal when no veterinarian-client-patient relationship has been established if the owner of the animal or person responsible for the care of such animal cannot be identified. . . .

The paragraph then sets forth guidelines to determine whether such a relationship has been established.

In addition, a section was added that squarely addresses veterinary "telemedicine."

(c) A veterinarian-client-patient relationship may not be established solely through veterinary telemedicine. After a veterinarian-client-patient relationship has been established, such relationship may be maintained through veterinary telemedicine in between medically necessary examinations of the animal by the veterinarian or timely medical visits by the veterinarian to the location where the animal is kept. If there is no veterinarian-client-patient relationship, a veterinarian may only provide general advice using electronic means and shall not provide any specific advice regarding the animal, including, but not limited to, any diagnosis or recommended medical care or treatment of the animal. As used in this subsection, “veterinary telemedicine” means the exchange of medical information regarding the status of an animal's health or the delivery of a medical diagnosis, care or treatment of an animal through electronic means, including, but not limited to, telephone, video, mobile applications or an Internet web site-based platform.

Delaware

 No major statutory changes.

D.C.

  No major statutory changes.

Florida

West's F.S.A. § 828.27

West's F. S. A. § 401.254

Anti-cruelty and cross-reporting:

An additional training requirement was added to the law on requirements for animal control officers: "[c]ounty-employed and municipally-employed animal control officers must successfully complete the 1-hour training course developed by the Department of Children and Families . . ." This requirement relates to cross-reporting of child welfare issues.

Transport of injured police dogs:

Section West's F. S. A. § 401.254 was added in 2021 that allows a licensed professional may transport a police canine injured in the line of duty to a veterinary or similar clinic if there is no individual awaiting medical transport. In addition, a paramedic or EMT may provide emergency medical care to a police canine injured in the line of duty while at the scene of the emergency or while the police canine is being transported to a veterinary clinic or similar facility. A paramedic or an emergency medical technician who acts in good faith to provide emergency medical care to an injured police canine is immune from criminal or civil liability.

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann., § 4-11-3

Pet dealer and kennel license fees, use of:

The use of dealer, kennel, and other licenses fees collected under this law were changed in 2021. Under the amendment, the "Local Government Companion Animal Trust Fund" was established. The department shall accept applications from qualified local governments (as defined in the law) for reimbursement of expenses incurred by such local governments impounding more than 29 dogs or cats or more than 9 equines as part of certain anti-cruelty investigation. The department shall provide reimbursement to such local governments of such expenses as it deems reasonably and appropriately incurred. The fund is subject to limitations in the amount of funds collected as described in the preceding paragraph.

Hawaii

H R S § 143-2.2

HRS § 711-1109.8

HRS § 711-1109

Animal sexual assault:

In 2021, Hawaii enacted a law (HRS § 711-1109.8) outlawing sexual assault of an animal. This crime is a misdemeanor for the first offense. It becomes a Class C felony for the second or subsequent offense unless the offense subjected a minor to sexual contact with an animal or was committed in the presence of a minor, sexual assault of an animal is a class B felony. Upon conviction, the assailant is required to surrender any animals possessed, obtain psychological counseling/treatment, and reimburse for costs of care (and the animal's owner, if relevant). Constraints on future ownership of animals is also built into the legislation.

Microchipping:

Hawaii became the first state to mandate microchipping of all pets in the state. "An owner shall have a microchip implanted in the owner's dog or cat, and the owner shall register the microchip number and the owner's contact information with a microchip registration company." H R S § 143-2.2. Transfers of ownership of pets now require that owners provide the contact information of the microchip registration company. Rescues and animal shelters are also required to implant microchips in all stray dogs and cats in their custody.

Tethering/cruelty:

The state's second-degree animal cruelty law (HRS § 711-1109) received an amendment concerning the tethering of dogs. Under the changes, subsection (g) concerning tying a dog to a stationary object was expanded to outlaw using "a trolley, trolley with swivels, pulley, cable, running line, or trolley lacking swivels at each end that is designed to attach a dog to two stationary objects in a configuration that endangers the dog, including preventing the dog from obtaining necessary sustenance." In addition, tethering a dog under six months of age was banned unless the dog is "engaged in an activity supervised by its owner or an agent of its owner," as is tethering a dog by a tow or log chain.

Idaho

  No major statutory changes.

Illinois

IL ST CH 510 § 70/3.04

Possession ban:

The state expanded its possession ban for those convicted of cruelty to animals under the Humane Care for Animals Act. The new paragraph states:

(d) In addition to any other penalty, the court may order that a person and persons dwelling in the same household may not own, harbor, or have custody or control of any other animal if the person has been convicted of 2 or more of the following offenses:

(1) a violation of Section 3.02 of this Act;

(2) a violation of Section 4.01 of this Act; or

(3) a violation of Section 48–1 of the Criminal Code of 2012.

Indiana

  No major statutory changes.

Iowa

I. C. A. § 169.21

Veterinary practice:

Iowa added a new section to its veterinary practice laws (§ 169.21). The new section creates a two-year statute of limitation for negligence actions against licensed vets. "Any action for professional negligence against an individual licensed under this chapter resulting in damage to property shall not be brought more than two years after the date on which the claimant knew, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known, or received notice in writing of the existence of, the injury for which damages were sought in the action, whichever of the dates occurs first."

Kansas

  No major statutory changes.

Kentucky

  No major statutory changes.

Louisiana

LSA-R.S. 14:102.29

Animal fighting:

The state added a new section to its anti-cruelty laws related to animal fighting (LSA-R.S. 14:102.29). It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, purchase, sell, transfer, or manufacture animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to engage in, promote, or facilitate animal fighting. This includes items like:

(1) Breaking sticks.

(2) Cat mills.

(3) Treadmills.

(4) Fighting pits.

(5) Spring poles.

(6) Unprescribed veterinary medicine.

(7) Veterinary treatment supplies.

Implements related to cockfighting like spurs, gaffs, knives, leather training spur covers, slashers, heels, or any other sharp implement designed to be attached in place of the natural spur of a cock or game fowl, are also restricted. However, the following paragraph includes an exception for older spurs and gaffs: "This paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the possessing, buying, selling, or trading of any spurs, gaffs, knives, leather training spur covers, or any other items normally used in cockfighting that are at least five years old and have historical value."

Maine

 

22 M.R.S.A. § 2163

7 M.R.S.A.§ 3916 

32 M. R. S. A. § 4879

Horsemeat:

The previous law on sale of horsemeat (22 M.R.S.A. § 2163) banned the sale of horsemeat unless the product was "plainly and conspicuously labeled, marked, branded and tagged 'horsemeat.'" Changes to the law in 2021 made it a blanket ban on selling horsemeat regardless of labeling. Any person or entity that receives or sells horsemeat faces a fine of $100 for the first offense and a fine of not more than $200 for each subsequent offense.

Rabies vaccination for dogs:

In the previous law, vaccination for rabies was required for a dog within 30 days after a dog attained 6 months of age. Under changes to 7 M.R.S.A.§ 3916 in 2021, vaccination is now required within 30 days of the dog attaining 3 months of age. The changes also specified that a first booster vaccination is due within one year of the initial vaccination.

Veterinary practice:

Maine adopted a new law (32 M. R. S. A. § 4879) in its veterinary practice code. The section allows veterinary telehealth services "as long as the licensee acts within the scope of practice of the licensee's license, in accordance with any requirements and restrictions imposed by this section and in accordance with standards of practice." The Board is also directed to rules governing telehealth services by persons licensed under this chapter.

Maryland

MD Code, Local Government, § 1-1315

MD Code, Local Government, § 1-1314

MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 9-501

MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-427

MD Code, Public Safety, § 3-526

MD Code, Business Regulation, § 19-701

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-626

 

Adoption fee waiver:

A new law added in 2021 waives the adoption fee for a dog or cat adopted by a veteran who presents a valid driver's license or identification card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration that includes a notation of veteran status in accordance with § 12-302 of the Transportation Article (MD Code, Local Government, § 1-1315).

Animal control officer training:

Under new law MD Code, Local Government, § 1-1314, within the first 12 months of employment, a new officer of a humane society or animal control shall satisfactorily complete at least 80 hours of training for animal care and control professionals that is approved by the appropriate unit of a county or municipality. The new law lists the nine categories that must be covered in the training. Annually, a humane society or animal control officer must satisfactorily complete at least 6 hours of continuing education approved by the appropriate unit of a county or municipality.

Facility dog:

In 2020, Maryland enacted a Court Dog Program for Maryland for participating counties (MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 9-501). The program functions in a circuit court that participates in the Program and provides a facility dog or therapy dog to a child witness in the circuit court proceeding or other related court process, meeting, or interview in the State. In 2021, language was added to allow use of facility dogs in a circuit court or District Court that offers a veterans treatment court program. A dog or therapy dog is available now to a veteran participating in a veteran treatment court proceeding or other related court process or meeting in the State.

Killing contests:

Maryland outlawed "killing contests" in 2021 by enacting MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-427. A person may not sponsor, conduct, or participate in a contest organized in the State that has the objective of killing a coyote, fox, or raccoon for prizes or monetary rewards. A person is subject to a fine of $50 for each coyote, fox, or raccoon killed in violation of the new law.

Police dogs:

A State or local law enforcement agency that removes from duty a dog used in law enforcement work must reimburse an individual who, under a written agreement with the law enforcement agency, takes possession of the dog on or after October 1, 2020, for reasonable and necessary veterinary treatment provided to the dog. Expenses may not exceed $2,500 during a calendar year and $10,000 over the life of the dog. Funding is provided through the new "K-9 Compassionate Care Fund," administered through the Department of State Police and funded through several sources including public donations, money appropriated in the State budget to the Fund, interest earnings, and any other money from any other source accepted for the benefit of the Fund.

Retail pet stores:

In Subtitle 7 on Retail Pet Stores, amendments in 2021 added "cats" the definitions for "breeder" and "broker."

Service animal:

In 2021, the state added a harm to service animal law (MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-626). The law outlaws the willful and malicious killing, injuring, or interference with a service animal. Killing or injuring a service animal results in a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both. Interfering with a service animal results in a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both. As a condition of sentencing, the court may order a defendant convicted of violating this section to pay, in addition to fines and costs, full restitution for all damages arising out of the offense.

Massachusetts

  No major statutory changes.

Michigan

MCLA 333.18817

Veterinary practice:

A new law in Michigan's veterinary practice laws allows a veterinarian to consult with an owner on the use of marihuana or industrial hemp on an animal of the owner.

 

Minnesota

M.S.A. § 504B.113

M.S.A. § 156.12

Assistance animals in housing:

The state added a new law to its landlord and tenant laws. The new law, M.S.A. § 504B.113, mirrors the federal guidance on requests for service or assistance/support animals in rental housing. The law states that a landlord "may require a tenant to provide supporting documentation for each service or support animal for which the tenant requests a reasonable accommodation under any provision of law. A landlord must not require supporting documentation from a tenant if the tenant's disability or disability-related need for a service or support animal is readily apparent or already known to the landlord." A tenant must not, directly or indirectly through statements or conduct, knowingly: (1) misrepresent themselves as a person with a disability that requires the use of a service or support animal; or (2) provide fraudulent supporting documentation under this section.

Veterinary practice:

A short but important subsection was added to Minnesota's law on what constitutes veterinary practice (M.S.A. § 156.12). Under new subsection (k), veterinary practice does NOT include "a person certified by the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board under chapter 144E from providing emergency medical care to a police dog wounded in the line of duty." Thus, an EMT can provide emergency services to a wounded K-9 without offending the law on veterinary practice without a license.

Mississippi

 No major statutory changes.

Missouri

 No major statutory changes.

Montana

MCA 87-5-301

MCA 87-4-801 to 87-4-808

MCA 87-1-901

 

Grizzly bears:

Under the state's law on grizzly bear management (MCA 87-5-301), a paragraph was added that regulates how the department of fish and game can relocate a grizzly bear:

(3)(a) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), the department may not relocate a grizzly bear listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531, et seq., except to a release site previously approved by the commission for relocation of grizzly bears.

(b) The department may respond to a grizzly bear listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531, et seq., that is causing conflict outside of a federal recovery zone. If the bear is to be relocated, the department may not relocate the bear.

Wildlife sanctuaries:

In Part 8 dealing with "Menageries and Zoos," amendments added the category of "wildlife sanctuaries" to the entities regulated by the law. Under MCA 87-4-801, a wildlife sanctuary is now defined as a "a facility organized as a Montana nonprofit corporation pursuant to Title 35, chapter 2, or in good standing with and accredited by the American sanctuary association or the global federation of animal sanctuaries for the purpose of providing homes for nonreleasable wild animals. Accreditation and good standing must be proven with a copy of an accreditation report completed as required by the accrediting organization." These sanctuaries now fall under the ambit of Part 8 and must go through the permitting and inspection process listed for Part 8.

Wolves:

Montana's law on gray wolf management (MCA 87-1-901) was amended in 2021. Under the amendments, the wildlife commission is now authorized to enact regulations "with the intent to reduce the wolf population in this state to a sustainable level, but not less than the number of wolves necessary to support at least 15 breeding pairs." In addition, the commission had additional management techniques added to the law that it may authorize:

(c) the harvest of an unlimited number of wolves by the holder of a single wolf hunting or wolf trapping license;

(d) during the wolf trapping season, the use of bait while hunting or trapping wolves as long as no trap or snare trap is set within 30 feet of exposed bait visible from above; and

(e) the hunting of wolves on private lands outside of daylight hours with the use of artificial light or night vision scopes.

Nebraska

  No major statutory changes.

Nevada

SB 103

N. R. S. 503.610

Breed of dog and insurance:

The Governor of Nevada signed SB 103 into law, making it so an insurer may not refuse to issue, cancel, refuse to renew, or increase a premium or rate for a policy of insurance based solely on the specific breed or mixture of breeds of a dog that is harbored or owned on an applicable property. An insurer may not ask or inquire about the specific breed or mixture of breeds of a dog which is harbored or owned on an applicable property except to ask if the dog is known to be dangerous or vicious or has been declared to be dangerous or vicious in accordance with NRS 202.500.

Eagles:

The state law on bald and golden eagles received significant changes (N. R. S. 503.610). The amendments added "take or remove from the wild" in the list of prohibited activities. Then, a new subsection was added that allows a person who is licensed as a master falconer by the Department pursuant to NRS 503.583 and who meets the conditions set forth in 50 C.F.R. § 21.29 to possess a golden eagle that is obtained from the wild provided the eagle is:

(a) Is obtained for the rehabilitation of the golden eagle in accordance with federal law;

(b) Is obtained in another state in accordance with federal law, including, without limitation, the federal depredation permit lottery system, and the laws of that state;

(c) Is legally possessed by a master falconer in another state and that master falconer moves to this State; or

(d) Is transferred to the master falconer from another falconer who is licensed in this State or another state. Such a transfer may only occur if it is authorized by the Department in the manner set forth in any regulations adopted by the Commission pursuant to subsection 6, if applicable.

The law also gives authority for the Wildlife Commission in the state to adopt regulations for this activity.

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:42-a

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 264:31

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 212-A:16

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437:8

Dog stealing:

The law on stealing dogs (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:42-a) was amended in 2021. In the previous version, wrongfully removing a collar or stealing a licensed dog was a misdemeanor. Under the new law effective in January of 2022, stealing a dog is a misdemeanor for a first and second offense, but becomes a class B felony for each subsequent offense. In addition, in the old version of the law, distribution or exposure of a poisonous substance with intent that it is eaten by any dog is a misdemeanor and perpetrators were liable to the dog's owner for its value. Under the changes to the law, this is now a class B felony. The new law also prohibits the tampering with collar, tracking collar, electronic device, or microchip placed on a dog. Violation of this provision is a misdemeanor.

Driver hitting pet:

New Hampshire amended its law on drivers hitting dogs (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 264:31). Previously, the law required drivers who knowingly hit dogs to report the injury to a dog's owner/custodian or local police as soon as possible. Under changes in 2021, the state added "cat" to this law so that drivers must report hitting both dogs and cats.

Endangered species:

A new law (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 212-A:16) was enacted in the Endangered Species Conservation Act that establishes the "threatened and endangered species compensatory mitigation fund." "The fund shall be non-lapsing and continually appropriated to the department, for the purpose of funding projects that facilitate a net conservation benefit to threatened and endangered species, including, but not limited to critical habitat creation or restoration and the monitoring and maintenance of such areas."

Health certificates:

The chapter on health certificates for transfer of pets by sale or adoption from shelters (N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437:8) received some changes in 2021. All dogs, cats, or ferrets transferred out of an animal shelter facility must have a form of positive identification, including, but not limited to a tattoo, collar, microchip, ear tag, or any other permanent form of identification approved by the commissioner. Additionally, all dogs, cats, or ferrets 3 months of age or older shall be vaccinated against rabies before transfer, if proof of rabies vaccination is not available. Also, in new subsection (d), registered owners/agents of an impounded animal must be contacted as soon as possible, not to exceed 72 hours. If listed owners or agents cannot be located or refuse to reclaim possession of the animal, every effort shall be made to contact the secondary owner listed by microchip registries as soon as possible, not to exceed 72 hours.

New Jersey

N.J.S.A. 4:22-24.1

Anti-cruelty:

New Jersey added a new law directed at "trunk fighting." It is unlawful to engage in, facilitate, or provide the means to engage in, trunk fighting: the practice of enclosing two or more animals in the trunk or any part of a motor vehicle for the purpose of the animals attacking each other, and possibly fighting until one or more of the animals are dead. A violation is a crime of the third degree.

New Mexico

 No major statutory changes.

New York

McKinney's Insurance Law § 3421

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 382 

Breed of dog and insurance:

A new law (McKinney's Insurance Law § 3421), effective January 28, 2022, states that no insurer shall refuse to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium or rate for such policy or contract based solely upon harboring or owning any dog of a specific breed or mixture of breeds. This does not prevent insurance companies from denying coverage or raising rates for dangerous dogs. "The provisions of this section shall not prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue or renew or from canceling any such contract or policy, nor from imposing a reasonably increased premium or rate for such a policy or contract based upon the designation of a dog of any breed or mixture of breeds as a dangerous dog pursuant to section one hundred twenty-three of the agriculture and markets law, based on sound underwriting and actuarial principles . . ."

Horse slaughter:

A new law was added to the state's anti-cruelty laws (McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 382). This section makes it unlawful for any person, corporation, association, or other entity to slaughter or have another person, corporation, association, or other entity slaughter a horse for a commercial purpose that such person, corporation, association or other entity knows to have been a race horse or race horse breeding stock. It also prohibits transfer for slaughter. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 per each race horse or race horse breeding stock for an individual person and up to $2,500 per each race horse or race horse breeding stock for a corporation, association or other entity, for the first violation. Any subsequent violation shall be punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 per each race horse or race horse breeding stock for an individual person and up to $5,000 per each race horse or race horse breeding stock for a corporation, association, or other entity.

North Carolina

  No major statutory changes.

North Dakota

  No major statutory changes.

Ohio

R.C. § 955.151

R.C. § 4741.50 - 57

Chemical capture of companion animals:

Chapter 955 on dogs added a new law on chemical capture of companion animals. "A certified officer appointed or employed by an animal shelter or county dog warden that holds a chemical capture classification granted under section 4729.533 of the Revised Code may, in accordance with that section and rules adopted under it, chemically capture a companion animal to limit injury to the officer, the animal or another animal, or the public." R.C. § 955.151.

Veterinary practice:

In Chapter 4741 on veterinary practice, a new set of laws on Veterinarian Student Debt Assistance Program was added (R.C. § 4741.50 - 57). The aim of this new law is to repay all or part of any educational loans taken out by a veterinarian for educational expenses. The rules operate on a lottery-based system depending on the calendar year and with a showing that a veterinarian has "performed charitable veterinarian services in accordance with rules adopted."

Oklahoma

59 Okl. St. Ann. § 698.2

Veterinary practice:

To the definitional section, a new definition for "telehealth" was added and means "means the practice of veterinary medicine including diagnosis, consultation, evaluation, treatment, transfer of medical data or exchange of information by means of a two-way, real-time interactive communication between a client or patient and a veterinarian with access to and reviewing the patient's relevant information prior to the telemedicine visit . . . A veterinarian shall be licensed, or under the jurisdiction of, the veterinary board of the jurisdiction where the patient is located. The practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time telehealth technologies are used."

Oregon

O.R.S. § 682.410

Police dog emergency transport:

Under a new law (O.R.S. § 682.410), an emergency medical services provider may provide emergency transportation for treatment to a police dog that is injured in the line of duty, provided that such transportation for treatment does not delay or otherwise interfere with the emergency transportation for treatment of any human.

Pennsylvania

  No major statutory changes.

Rhode Island

  No major statutory changes.

South Carolina

  No major statutory changes.

South Dakota

  No major statutory changes.

Tennessee

T. C. A. § 39-14-212

Anti-cruelty:

Tennessee's aggravated cruelty law was amended in 2021. The change to paragraph (a) expanded and detailed circumstances under which aggravated cruelty occurs. Before the amendment, the law stated that "[a] person commits aggravated cruelty to animals when, with aggravated cruelty and with no justifiable purpose, the person intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal." After July of 2021, a person commits aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, the person intentionally or knowingly:

(1) Kills, maims, tortures, crushes, burns, drowns, suffocates, mutilates, starves, or otherwise causes serious physical injury, a substantial risk of death, or death to a companion animal; or

(2) Fails to provide food or water to the companion animal resulting in a substantial risk of death or death.

This change eliminated paragraph (b)(1) that had a more subjective standard: "(1) “Aggravated cruelty” means conduct which is done or carried out in a depraved and sadistic manner and which tortures or maims an animal, including the failure to provide food and water to a companion animal resulting in a substantial risk of death or death. . ."

Texas

V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.042

V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 823.004

V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.101 - 104

V. T. C. A., Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 91B.002

Dangerous dogs:

The law related to the requirements for an owner who possesses a dangerous dog (V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.042) had a slight amendment. New subsection e-1 was added that creates a stay for orders of destruction of dangerous dogs for 10 days during which an owner can file an appeal. A court, including a justice court, may not order the destruction of a dog during the pendency of an appeal under Section 822.0424.

Microchipping:

A new law (V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 823.004) requires that, as soon as practicable, an animal shelter or a releasing agency, including an animal rescue organization, must scan an animal placed in its custody to determine whether a microchip is implanted in the animal.

Restraint/tethering of dogs:

Texas enacted the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act in 2021. The previous dog restraint laws (V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code §§ 821.076 to 821.081) outlawed tying a dog out at night, when the dog is located 500 feet from a school, when the temperature is below 32 degrees or during a heat advisory, during a weather emergency, with a pinch. prong, or choke collar, or by a tie-out less than 5X the length of the dog or less than 10 feet. Exceptions existed for dogs on a trolley-type line, when outside with owners, or for periods of three hours or less.

The new restraint laws state that a dog owner may not leave a dog outside and unattended unless the dog has adequate shelter, potable water, shade from direct sunlight, and an area that is free of standing water and waste. Owners may not use chains or weighted lines and the tie-out must again be at least 5x the length of the dog or 10-feet. The collar or harness must be "properly fitted" according to the new law. Many of the terms are specifically defined in the definitions section (§ 821.101). An owner who violates this section commits an offense for each restraint that violates the section. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class B misdemeanor if the person has previously been convicted under this section. The previous law allowed an owner to comply with the law within a 24-hour period after being issued a written warning. The amendments eliminated that waiting period. Section 821.103 outlines seven exceptions under the new restraint laws.

Veterinary immunity for voluntary care:

A new law (V. T. C. A., Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 91B.002) gives a certified veterinary assistant, licensed veterinary technician, or veterinarian who in good faith and as a volunteer who provides veterinary care or treatment to an injured animal immunity from civil liability for an act or omission that occurs in providing that care or treatment. The care or treatment must be:

(1) in response to an incident that is a man-made or natural disaster that injures, endangers, or threatens to endanger the animal;

(2) at the request of the owner of the animal or an authorized representative of a local, state, or federal agency, including a fire department, a police department, an emergency management agency, or a disaster response agency; and

(3) within the scope of practice authorized and level of supervision required under Chapter 801, Occupations Code.

Utah

U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-301

U.C.A. 1953 § 18–1–1

U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-104

U.C.A. 1953 § 53G-9-211

Animal cruelty:

The state's primary cruelty to animals law (U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-301) added a new definition for "livestock guardian dog" within the definition for "livestock." This is important because "livestock" are excluded from the definition of "animal" under this law provided the "the care provided to the creature, is in accordance with accepted animal husbandry practices or customary farming practices."

Dog bite:

The state's strict liability law for dog bites was amended in 2021. The amendments added some exclusions to the law:

(3) A person who owns or keeps a dog is not liable for an injury or death caused by the dog if:

(a) the injury or death is to another animal;

(b) the injury or death occurs:

(i) on the person's private property; and

(ii) while the dog is reasonably secured within a fence or other enclosure; and

(c) the animal described in Subsection (3)(a) entered the person's private property without consent.

Impound laws:

In the laws on impound and hold for lost or stray animals, a new law was added (U.C.A. 1953 § 11-46-104). By this law, a legislative body in a county may levy annually a tax not to exceed .0002 of taxable value of taxable property in the county to provide services described in the chapter.  The county that collects this revenue must deposit it into a fund known as the county animal welfare fund.

Therapy animals:

The state added a new law (U.C.A. 1953 § 53G-9-211) on "animal-assisted intervention" within public education settings. If a school within a local education agency provides animal-assisted interventions through therapy animals, the local education agency shall adopt a policy for proper handling of a therapy animal on school grounds.

Vermont

20 V.S.A. § 2365b

Humane officer training:

Laws dealing with training for humane officers were amended in 2021. Specifically, training used to involve completion of a certification program established by the he Animal Cruelty Investigation Advisory Board. Now, training is set forth in 20 V.S.A. § 2365b:

(b) On or before December 31, 2023, humane officers as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 351(4)(B) shall complete an animal cruelty response training as developed and approved by the Animal Cruelty Investigation Advisory Board and approved and administered by the Vermont Criminal Justice Council. The Council shall provide the training only to designated humane society employees, animal control officers appointed by the legislative body of a municipality, and other humane officers as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 351(4). The trainings shall be conducted on a periodic basis by qualified instructors as determined by the Animal Cruelty Investigation Advisory Board.

The Board may also require a refresher course per subsection (c) of this law.

Virginia

VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6593.1

VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6541.1

VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6594 - 6596

VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6542.1

VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6542.2

VA Code Ann. § 3.2–6511.1, § 3.2–6511.2

"Beagle freedom" law":

A new law (VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6593.1) states that any animal testing facility that no longer has need for a dog or cat in its possession that does not pose a health or safety risk to the public or welfare of the animal shall (i) offer for release such dog or cat to a releasing agency for eventual adoption or for adoption through a private placement or (ii) in the case of a testing facility operated by an agency or institution of higher education, develop its own adoption program.

Breed-specific legislation:

The state added a new law (VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6541.1) that prohibits enactment of breed-specific legislation by localities. The law states that "[n]o locality shall prohibit the ownership of a particular breed of dog." This is in addition to prohibitions in the dangerous dog laws on declaring a dog dangerous based solely on the dog's breed.

Dangerous captive animals:

The state enacted new Dangerous Captive Animal Exhibits laws (VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6594 - 6596). Under the new laws, a “dangerous captive animal” means any bear, cougar, jaguar, leopard, lion, nonhuman primate, or tiger, or any hybrid of any such animal. “Dangerous captive animal” does not include a clouded leopard. It is a class 3 misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 for any keeper to provide or offer to provide to any member of the public, for free or for a cost, direct contact with a dangerous captive animal.

Dangerous dogs:

In the law on investigation of dangerous dogs (§ 3.2–6540) the law was reorganized but the substantive portions of the law remained the same. However, this new paragraph was added:

D. A law-enforcement officer or animal control officer who applies for a summons pursuant to subsection B shall provide the owner with written notice of such application. For 30 days following such provision of written notice, the owner shall not dispose of the animal other than by surrender to the animal control officer or by euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian. Following such provision of written notice, an owner who elects to euthanize a dog that is the subject of a dangerous dog investigation shall provide documentation of such euthanasia to the animal control officer.

Once a summons is issued, an animal control officer now "may" confine the animal until the evidence can be heard (previously, the law stated that an officer "shall" confine the animal unless there was a determination that the dog can be safely confined). Further, new language added states that, "[u]pon being served with a summons for a dangerous dog, the owner shall not dispose of the animal, other than by euthanasia, until the case has been adjudicated." The owner must "provide documentation that it has been, or will be within three business days, implanted with electronic identification registered to the owner. The owner shall provide the registration information to the animal control officer."

Finally, the procedure and determination were amended:

H. Unless good cause is determined by the court, the evidentiary hearing pursuant to the dangerous dog summons shall be held not more than 30 days from the issuance of the summons. The procedure for appeal and trial shall be the same as provided by law for misdemeanors. Trial by jury shall be as provided in Article 4 (§ 19.2–260 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 19.2. The Commonwealth shall be required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The court shall determine that the animal is a dangerous dog if the evidence shows that it (i) killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat or inflicted serious injury on a companion animal that is a dog or cat, including a serious impairment of health or bodily function that requires significant medical attention, a serious disfigurement, any injury that has a reasonable potential to cause death, or any injury other than a sprain or strain or (ii) directly caused serious injury to a person, including laceration, broken bone, or substantial puncture of skin by teeth. Unless good cause is determined by the court, the appeal of a dangerous dog finding shall be heard within 30 days.

The insurance and confinement requirements for dangerous dogs that largely existed in Section 6540 were moved into a separate law: § 3.2-6540.01.

Under new section § 3.2–6540.02, any releasing agency transferring or releasing for adoption within the Commonwealth an animal found to be a dangerous dog pursuant to § 3.2–6540 shall notify in writing the receiving party of the requirements of this section. Any owner of an animal found to be a dangerous dog in another state shall, upon bringing such animal to reside within the Commonwealth, notify the animal control officer of the jurisdiction in which the owner resides that the animal has been so adjudicated. Finally, any owner who disposes by surrender to a releasing agency, gift, sale, transfer, or trade of an animal found to be a dangerous dog pursuant to § 3.2–6540 shall notify the receiver in writing that the animal has been so adjudicated. A violation of this subsection is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Sections 3.2–6540.03 and § 3.2–6540.04 now contain the provisions for when an owner violates the dangerous dog laws by not complying with the provisions and what happens with subsequent attacks or bites by a dangerous dog. Notably, § 3.2–6540.04 states that "a person convicted under this section shall be prohibited from owning, possessing, or residing on the same property with a dog."

New § 3.2-6542.1 requires that, until the animal is deceased, the owner of an animal found to be a dangerous dog pursuant to § 3.2–6540 shall update and renew the dangerous dog registration certificate for a fee of $85 in the same manner as the initial certificate was obtained. Prior to the renewal date of a dangerous dog registration each year, a local animal control officer shall conduct an inspection of the dangerous dog and the premises on which it is kept, and no certificate of renewal shall be issued without such inspection. The animal control officer shall post registration information on the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry established by § 3.2–6542.

Per new § 3.2-6542.2, fees collected by a locality (less the costs incurred by the animal control officer in producing and distributing any certificate or tag) and any fees due to the Department for maintenance of the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry shall be paid into a special dedicated fund in the treasury of the locality for the purpose of paying the expenses of any training course required under § 3.2-6556.

Pet shops:

In 2020, a law was added that disallowed dealers or commercial breeders who have received direct/critical or two or more consecutive violations of the AWA from importing or selling dogs (§ 3.2–6511.2). Now, in addition to those restrictions, amendments in 2021 made it so no person can serve as an owner, director, officer, manager, operator, member of staff, or animal caregiver for a dealer or commercial dog breeder if such person has been convicted of a violation of § 3.2-6570, the state's main anti-cruelty law. A similar provision was added to § 3.2–6511.1 concerning pet shops.

Washington

West's RCWA 16.52.360

Pet sales:

Washington outlawed the sale of dogs and cats at retail pet stores in 2021. The only exception is that a retail pet store that sold or offered for sale any dog prior to July 25, 2021, may sell or offer for sale a dog.

West Virginia

 No major statutory changes

Wisconsin

 No major statutory changes

Wyoming

W.S.1977 § 6-3-1002

W.S.1977 § 6-4-601 

Anti-cruelty laws:

Wyoming's anti-cruelty law (W.S.1977 § 6-3-1002) received an overhaul in 2021. Under the new laws, a person commits cruelty to animals if the person knowingly overrides an animal or drives an animal when overloaded; intentionally or knowingly, unnecessarily injures or beats an animal; or knowingly carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or death. Additionally, a person has the charge or custody of any animal under circumstances that manifest "extreme indifference" to the animal's safety, health or life, and fails to provide it with listed necessities, abandons the animal, fails to provide the animal with appropriate care in the case of immediate and obvious serious injury or illness also commits cruelty to animals. Other prohibitions include animal fighting, shooting or poisoning livestock or domestic animals on property where the animal is authorized to be. A first offense of cruelty to animals or of a violation of W.S. 6-3-1003 is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750.00, or both, with enhanced penalties for subsequent convictions. Felony cruelty to animals occurs when a person commits cruelty to animals as defined in W.S. 6-3-1002(a)(v) through (ix), that results in the death or required euthanasia of the animal; or (ii) knowingly, and with intent to cause death or undue suffering, beats with cruelty, tortures, torments or mutilates an animal. Such acts incur permanent forfeiture of the animal at issue and imprisonment for not more than two years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. With either misdemeanor or felony convictions, the court may order forfeiture of the animals involved, payment of reasonable costs of animal impoundment, and restraints on future ownership of animals.

Bestiality/animal sexual assault:

A bestiality law (W.S.1977 § 6-4-601) was also enacted in 2021 that prohibits actors from engaging in sexual acts with animals. Violation is a misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

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