Full Title Name:  Table of 2011 Amendments to Animal Laws

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Rebecca F. Wisch Publish Year:  2012 Place of Publication:  Michigan State University College of Law Primary Citation:  Animal Legal & Historical Center

This table provides a topic overview of laws passed or amended in late 2010/2011. Links to the text of the amended laws are provided.

This table gives a synopsis of state law amendments from late 2010 to 2011 with links to the text of those laws. There are several important new laws or amendments to existing laws that should be noted. First, several states added or changed provisions in their anti-cruelty laws. California added a section to its penal code (597.4) making it unlawful (with exceptions) to sell or give away, as part of a commercial transaction, a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk. Colorado added a section to its main cruelty law creating the crime of cruelty to a service animal that includes restitution for the victim. Connecticut clarified its dog tethering law with more specific details and Florida joined other states that outlaw sexual activities with animals through cruelty laws. Iowa enacted Chapter 717 that focuses on abuse to livestock animals. The Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011 resulted in amendments to the state's cruelty laws. Individuals who intentionally torture, mutilate, maim, burn, starve or disfigure any domesticated dog or cat are guilty of the offense of aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat. Likewise, Wyoming added specific provisions for "household pet animal cruelty" to its operative anti-cruelty law. Not only does a person commit household pet animal cruelty if he or she keeps any household pet in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm to the household pet, but also if he or she keeps the household pet confined in conditions that constitute a public health hazard.

State legislators also enacted changes to dog laws. Maine made significant changes to many different sections after the state banned ownership and sale of wolf-hybrid dogs without a permit after June 1, 2011. Missouri scaled-down its anti-puppy mill law that was passed by voters in late 2010. The Canine Cruelty Prevention Act eliminated a prohibition on a breeder keeping more than 50 dogs that existed the original ballot proposal.

Texas changed its law that prohibits cockfighting (§ 42.105). The new law prohibits the act of participating in a cockfight (a felony), allowing a building to be used for a cockfight (misdemeanor), and being a knowing spectator at a cockfight (a misdemeanor). And finally, Utah addressed a growing community need by enacting provisions for feral cat caretakers in the 2011 "Community Cat Act."

Look at the table below to see what changes your state made in 2011.


StateLaws Amended in Late 2010/2011Summary of Major Animal-Related Amendments in 2011

AL ST § 13A-11-14, Ala. Code 1975 § 13A-11-14

AL ST § 3-1-29, Ala. Code 1975 § 3-1-29

AL ST § 21-7-4, Ala. Code 1975 § 21-7-4

AL ST § 34-29-61, Ala. Code 1975 § 34-29-61

AL ST § 34-29-131, Ala. Code 1975 § 34-29-131





AL ST § 13A-11-14: in 2010, the state legislature rewrote the penalty provision for the cruelty law. While a first offense is still a Class B misdemeanor, it now comes with a specified fine of up to $3,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. A second conviction results minimum fine of $500 up to $3,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment (the previous version only provided a minimum fine of $500 with no mention of jail time). A third or subsequent conviction leads to a minimum fine of $1,000, to a maximum fine of up to $3000, or up to 6 months imprisonment, or both fine and imprisonment (previously, a third conviction had only a minimum fine of $1,000).

Animal Fighting:

AL ST 3-1-29: the state dogfighting law was amended to add subsections (g) and (h) related to the care of dogs confiscated under the law (and renumbering of sections). The added sections allow an entity holding a confiscated dog (e.g., a humane society or rescue group) to apply to the circuit court to obtain costs a bond from the owner of the dog for care of the dog. If after 72 hours of this hearing the dog owner fails to post a bond, the dog is forfeited by operation of law. Additionally, the owner may at any time surrender the dog, which does not serve as an admission of guilt. The amendments also provide a procedure where the entity holding the dog may seek civil forfeiture.

Service Animals:

AL ST 21-7-4 (right of person with a disability to be accompanied by service animal): This law was significantly amended. The law's definition of service animal was changed to "any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability." This broadened the definition, which previously was limited to guide dog, hearing dog, or any dog trained to assist a person with a physical disability. Additionally, the disabilities under which a dog can assist now specifically list "any autism spectrum" diagnosis.

Veterinary Practice:

AL ST § 34-29-61: Alabama also added definitions and provisions for licensed veterinary technicians into its veterinary practice code (see new definitions in sections ((13),(25), (26) of 34-29-61. 

AL ST § 34-29-131: Subsection (e) was added to 34-29-131 on animal euthanasia. This subsection eliminates the use of gas chambers. "By January 31, 2012, any animal shelters operated for the collection and care of stray, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted animals, which operated a gas chamber prior to that date shall have dismantled and removed its gas chamber and shall provide documentation to that effect to the board."


Alaska   No major changes
Arizona   No major changes
Arkansas AR ST § 20-19-103, A.C.A. § 20-19-103


In Arkansas, 20–19–103, a law concerning the sterilization of impounded dogs and cats, amended the law to state that "it shall be unlawful for any pound, shelter, humane organization, or animal rescue group to release any dog or cat which has not been sterilized to a new owner except as provided in subsection (b)." This removed the language that allowed individuals who adopted dogs and cats to enter an agreement with the releasing facility where they promised to sterilize the animal within 30 days.


CA BUS & PROF § 4830.8, West's Ann. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 4830.8

CA PENAL § 597.4, West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597.4

CA PENAL § 597§ 598c, 598d, § 600, West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597§ 598c, 598d, § 600

Veterinary Practice:

A new section was added to California's veterinary practice code: § 4830.8 - rodeos; report of animal injury. Under the new law, an attending or on-call veterinarian at a rodeo event shall, pursuant to Section 596.7 of the Penal Code, report to the board any animal injury at the event requiring veterinary treatment within 48 hours of the conclusion of the rodeo.


SB 917 of 2011 created a  new cruelty law. 597.4 makes is unlawful (with exceptions) to sell or give away, as part of a commercial transaction, a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk. The first violation is an infraction punishable by a fine up to $250. However, if the animal suffers, is injured, or its life or health is endangered, then the person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

SB 917 also revised the punishment for subsections of the some cruelty laws: 597, 597.5, 598c, 598d, and 600. Under the amendments, the offense is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subsection (h) of 1170.


CO ST § 18-9-201, C. R. S. A. § 18-9-201

CO ST § 18-9-202, C. R. S. A. § 18-9-202

CO ST § 12-64-104, C. R. S. A. § 12-64-104

Service Animal:

Colorado amended its definitional section for its cruelty to animals chapter. The definition for "animal" in 18-9-201 was expanded to include a service animal. A new crime of "cruelty to a service animal" was added in 18-9-202. This law provides that:

(c) A person commits cruelty to a service animal if he or she violates the provisions of subsection (1) of this section with respect to a service animal as defined in section 18-1.3-602(3.5), whether the service animal is on duty or not on duty.

Also, restitution is now mandated for such acts:

(d) If a person is convicted of cruelty to a service animal pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (1.5) of this section, he or she shall be ordered to make restitution to the agency or individual owning the animal for any veterinary bills and replacement costs of the animal if it is disabled or killed as a result of the cruelty to animals incident.

Veterinary Practice:

Changes were also made to Colorado's veterinary practice laws. Some highlights include the addition of the practice of animal physical therapy pursuant to section 12-64-104(q)  as a practice that is exempt from the licensed practice of veterinary medicine. New additions to this section (12-64-101 - 124) also clarified the dispensing of prescription drugs to animal patients especially in emergency situations.


CT ST § 342, C.G.S.A. § 342

CT ST § 22-350a, C.G.S.A. § 342, § 22-350a


Dog Tethering:

Connecticut amended its dog tethering law (§ 22-350a). Previously, the law just prohibited a person from confining or tethering a dog for "an unreasonable period of time." The 2011 changes now outline with specificity the manner in which a dog cannot be tethered for an unreasonable period of time:

No person shall tether a dog to a stationary object or to a mobile device, including, but not limited to, a trolley or pulley by means of a: (1) Tether that does not allow such dog to walk at least eight feet, excluding the length of such dog as measured from the tip of such dog's nose to the base of such dog's tail, in any one direction, (2) tether that does not have swivels on both ends to prevent twisting and tangling, unless the owner or keeper of such dog is in the presence of such dog, (3) coat hanger, choke collar, prong-type collar, head halter or any other collar, halter or device that is not specifically designed or properly fitted for the restraint of such dog, (4) tether that has weights attached or that contains metal chain links more than one-quarter of an inch thick, or (5) tether that allows such dog to reach an object, including, but not limited to, a window sill, edge of a pool, fence, porch or terrace railing that poses a substantial risk of injury or strangulation to such dog if such dog jumps over such object, unless the owner or keeper of such dog is on the premises.

The amendments also exempt certain practices such as veterinary medicine, exhibitions, and temporary tethering at a camping facility or dog groomer.

Kennels and Pet Shops:

In the state's law on the licensing of commercial kennel, pet shop, training facility or grooming facility, provisions for "animal importers" were added (§ 22-344). “Animal importer” means a person who brings any dog or cat into this state from any other sovereign entity for the purpose of offering such dog or cat to any person for sale, adoption or transfer in exchange for any fee, sale, voluntary contribution, service or any other consideration. “Animal importer” includes any commercial or nonprofit animal rescue or adoption, humane relocation or delivery organization that is not otherwise required to be licensed under the provisions of this chapter. No animal importer shall import any dog or cat into this state until such person registers as an animal importer with the commissioner.

Delaware 11 Del.C. § 1326, DE ST TI 11 § 1326

Animal Fighting:

Delaware amended its section on animal fighting (11 Del.C. § 1326, DE ST TI 11 § 1326).  A person who owns, possesses, keeps, trains, or uses a bull, bear, dog, cock, or other animal or fowl for the purpose of fighting or baiting (or who causes the animals to fight or allows use of his or her premises for a fighting exhibition) is now guilty of a Class E felony. Previously, violation was a Class F felony. Being present as a spectator or gambling on the outcome is now a Class F felony (previously a Class G felony).  Also, a new subsection was added:

(h) In addition to the penalties provided under this section, the court may require a person convicted of violating this section to attend and participate in an appropriate treatment program or to obtain appropriate psychiatric or psychological counseling, or both. The court may impose the costs of any treatment program or counseling upon the person convicted.


D.C.   No major changes

FL ST 828.126, West's F. S. A. 828.126

FL ST § 379.372, West's F. S. A. § 379.372

FL ST § 379.3761, West's F. S. A. § 379.3761

FL ST § 379.4015, West's F. S. A. § 379.4015


Florida added a new section to its chapter on animal cruelty: "828.126 - sexual activities involving animals." Under the law, a person may not:

(a) Knowingly engage in any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal;

(b) Knowingly cause, aid, or abet another person to engage in any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal;

(c) Knowingly permit any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal to be conducted on any premises under his or her charge or control; or

(d) Knowingly organize, promote, conduct, advertise, aid, abet, participate in as an observer, or perform any service in the furtherance of an act involving any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal for a commercial or recreational purpose.

Violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Invasive/Non-Native Species:

Section 379.372 was amended to prohibit the possession of certain non-native species (except for exempted parties):

No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall keep, possess, import into the state, sell, barter, trade, or breed the following species for personal use or for sale for personal use:

1. Burmese or Indian python (Python molurus).

2. Reticulated python (Python reticulatus).

3. Northern African python (Python sebae).

4. Southern African python (Python natalensis).

5. Amethystine or scrub python (Morelia amethystinus).

6. Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus).

7. Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus).

8. Any other reptile designated as a conditional or prohibited species by the commission.

Additionally, under 379.3761, no person, party, firm, association, or corporation may sell any wild animal life designated by commission rule as a conditional or prohibited species, Class I or Class II wildlife, reptile of concern, or venomous reptile in this state, including a sale with delivery made in this state, regardless of the origin of the sale or the location of the initial transaction, unless authorized by the commission.

Under 379.4015, the penalty section, the following penalty provision was added:

(f) In addition to being subject to the penalties under paragraphs (b)-((e), a person who commits a Level Two violation that is a violation of s. 379.372 or rules or orders relating to wild animal life identified as conditional or prohibited shall receive a minimum mandatory fine of $100 and immediately surrender the wildlife for which the violation was issued unless such person lawfully obtains a permit for possession.

Section (6) related to civil penalties was also added to this section. It states in part:

Civil penalty.--

(a) In addition to other applicable penalties, the commission may impose against any person, party, firm, association, or corporation convicted of a criminal violation of any provision of s. 379.231, s. 379.372, s. 379.3761, or s. 379.3762 a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each animal, unless otherwise authorized pursuant to subparagraphs 1.-5. For all related violations attributable to a specific violator, the total civil penalty may not exceed $10,000 for each assessment for each animal.


Georgia   No major changes

HI ST § 195D-4.5, H R S § 195D-4.5

HI ST § 347-2.5, H R S § § 347-2.5

HI ST § 711-1100, H R S § 711-1100

HI ST § 711-1108.5, H R S § 711-1108.5

HI ST § 711-1109, H R S § 711-1109

HI ST § 711-1109.3, H R S § 711-1109.3

HI ST § 711-1109.35, H R S § 711-1109.35

Marine Mammals:

Hawaii added a new law: - "§ 195D-4.5. Taking a monk seal prohibited:"

(a) A person commits the offense of taking a monk seal if the person intentionally or knowingly takes a Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi).

(b) Any person convicted of taking a monk seal shall be guilty of a class C felony; provided that in addition to any other sentence, the court may impose a fine up to $50,000.

Service Animal:

Hawaii added a new section defining "service dog" ([§ 347-2.5]. Service dog, defined):

As used in this chapter, “service dog” 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, intellectual, or other mental disability. A companion or comfort animal is not a service dog unless it meets the requirements of this definition and it accompanies a person for the purpose of performing the work or tasks for which it has been trained.

This change also resulted in amendments to Chapter 347 (Blind, Visually Handicapped, and Other Disabled Persons) and section 143-4 on issuance of dog licenses and tags.


Hawaii amended 711-1100 to add a new definition to its animal cruelty laws:

“Primary pet enclosure” means any kennel, cage, or structure used to restrict only a pet animal as defined in this section to a limited area of space, and does not apply to the confinement of any animals that are raised for food, such as any poultry that is raised for meat or egg production and livestock, rabbits, or pigs that are raised specifically for meat production because these animals are not pets when raised for meat or egg production.

The amendments also changed provisions of "necessary sustenance" to add the following requirements:

(4) An area of confinement that has adequate space necessary for the health of the animal and is kept reasonably clean and free from excess waste or other contaminants that could affect the animal's health; provided that the area of confinement in a primary pet enclosure must:

(A) Provide access to shelter;

(B) Be constructed of safe materials to protect the pet animal from injury;

(C) Enable the pet animal to be clean, dry, and free from excess waste or other contaminants that could affect the pet animal's health;

(D) Provide the pet animal with a solid surface or resting platform that is large enough for the pet animal to lie upon in a normal manner, or, in the case of a caged bird a perch that is large enough for the bird to perch upon in a normal manner;

(E) Provide sufficient space to allow the pet animal to, at minimum, do the following:

(i) Easily stand, sit, lie, turn around, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable manner for the pet animal, without making physical contact with any other animal in the enclosure; and

(ii) Interact safely with other animals within the enclosure; and

(5) Veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering.

Hawaii also amended § 711-1108.5 (cruelty to animals in the first degree). The changes added the term "torture" to the description of offenses and this subsection:

(b) Kills or attempts to kill any pet animal belonging to another person, without first obtaining legal authority or the consent of the pet animal's owner.

Finally, subsection (3) was added:

(3) Subsection (1)(b) shall not apply to:

(a) Humane euthanasia of any animal by an animal control officer, duly incorporated humane society, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or duly authorized governmental agency in accordance with American Veterinary Medical Association accepted standards; or

(b) Conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid an imminent harm or evil to the actor, another person, or an animal; provided that the harm or evil sought to be avoided by such conduct is greater than that sought to be prevented by this section and is justifiable as provided in section 703-302 for choice of evils; provided further that, for purposes of this paragraph, as the justification described in section 703-302 shall also apply to conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid an imminent harm or evil to an animal.

In § 711-1109, Cruelty to animals in the second degree, an interesting clarification was made to the subsection that exempts the killing of insects and vermin:

(c) Mutilates, poisons, or kills without need any animal other than insects, vermin, or other pests; provided that the handling or extermination of any insect, vermin, or other pest is conducted in accordance with standard and acceptable pest control practices and all applicable laws and regulations

Animal Fighting:

The state also made a new section: cruelty to animals by fighting dogs in the second degree. The addition of this new section rewrote the existing animal fighting law to divide the crime into two separate sections (first and second degree). The new section (§ 711-1109.35) prohibits wagering on a dog fight, being a knowing spectator at a fight, or possessing any device intended to enhance the dog's fighting ability with the intent that the device be used to train or prepare the dog for a dogfight. Violation is a class C felony. Section § 711-1109.3 (cruelty to animals by fighting dogs in the first degree), which was formerly the only section on dog fighting, now defines first degree violations which are class B felonies.


ID ST § 36-1101, I.C. § 36-1101

ID ST § 25-3502, I.C. § 25-3502

ID ST § 67-5801 - 5807, I.C. § 67-5801 - 5807


In section 36-1101, the legislature made it unlawful for any person to hunt big game from aircraft, subject to exceptions for authorized predator control:

5. Hunt with Aid of Aircraft. Make use of any aircraft to locate any big game animal for the purpose of hunting those animals during the same calendar day those animals were located from the air. Provided however, that nothing in this chapter shall limit or prohibit the lawful control of wolves or predatory or unprotected wildlife through the use of aircraft when such measures are deemed necessary by federal or state agencies in accordance with existing laws or management plans.


Under 25-3502, the definitional section for the animal cruelty laws, the definition for "production animal" was amended to include domestic cervidae (deer), camelidae (camels), and guard and stock dogs.


Under Chapter 58 (which allows the governor to declare natural resource disasters), sections § 67-5805, 5806, and 5807 were added in 2011. Under 5805, the law states: "The Idaho legislature finds and declares that the state's citizens, businesses, hunting, tourism and agricultural industries, private property and wildlife, are immediately and continuously threatened and harmed by the sustained presence and growing population of Canadian gray wolves in the state of Idaho." Section 5806 then declares that a disaster emergency is in existence as a result of the introduction of Canadian gray wolves, "which have caused and continue to threaten vast devastation of Idaho's social culture, economy and natural resources." Section 5807 establishes the criteria under which a disaster emergency can be declared by the governor's order.


IL ST CH 510 § 70/4.03, 510 I.L.C.S. 70/4.03

IL ST CH 510 § 70/4.04, 510 I.L.C.S. 70/4.04

IL ST CH 510 § 5/15, 510 ILCS 5/15

IL ST CH 720 § 5/12-35, 720 I.L.C.S. 5/12-35

IL ST CH 520 § 5/2.2a, 520 I.L.C.S. § 5/2.2a

IL ST CH 225 § 605/3.5, 225 I.L.C.S. 605/3.5

IL ST CH 225 § 605/3.15, 225 I.L.C.S. 605/3.15

IL ST CH 720 § 5/26-5, 720 I.L.C.S. 5/26-5

Dog Laws:

In laws covering service dogs, the term "accelerant detection dog" was added to the list in 510 I.L.C.S. 70/4.03, 510 I.L.C.S. 70/4.04, and 510 I.L.C.S. 5/15.


In the law concerning sexual conduct with an animal, P.A. 96-1551 inserted the term “knowing” in the paragraph defining “sexual conduct” (subsection (i)):

“Sexual conduct” means any knowing touching or fondling by a person, either directly or through clothing, of the sex organs or anus of an animal or any transfer or transmission of semen by the person upon any part of the animal, for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the person. [Emphasis added].

Invasive/Non-Native Species: 

The state added a new law to control invasive and non native species (520 ILCS 5/2.2a):

§ 2.2a. Invasive and exotic wild animals. The Department may prohibit or limit the importation, possession, release into the wild, take, commercialization of take, sale, and propagation of wild mammals, wild birds, and feral livestock that are not defined as protected species in Section 2.2 of this Act, to reduce risks of communicable diseases, nuisances, and damages to wild or domestic species, agricultural crops, property, and environment. The Department shall set forth applicable regulations in an administrative rule. Nothing in this Act shall prohibit bona fide public or State scientific, educational, or zoological institutions from receiving, holding, and displaying unprotected species that were salvaged or legally obtained.

Nothing in this Section shall be construed to criminalize the accidental escape of domestic livestock.

Animal Adoption:

Illinois also added mandatory disclosure to the Animal Welfare Act. Under new section 3.5, an animal shelter or animal control facility must provide to the adopter prior to the time of adoption information such as breed, medical treatment, and whether the dog or cat was returned by an adopter. Also, under new section 3.15, pet shop operators must disclose such things as breed, birth date, details of any inoculation or medical treatment,  any known congenital or hereditary diseases of the parents of the dog or cat, or the parents' other offspring, etc.

Animal Fighting:

Subsection 2.5 was added to Illinois' animal fighting law (720 I.L.C.S. 5/26-5):

(2.5) Any person convicted of violating subsection (f) of this Section is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Any person convicted of violating subsection (f) of this Section in which the site, structure, or facility made available to violate subsection (f) is located within 1,000 feet of a school, public park, playground, child care institution, day care center, part day child care facility, day care home, group day care home, or a facility providing programs or services exclusively directed toward persons under 18 years of age is guilty of a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent violation.


(p) For the purposes of this Section, “school” has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 11-9.3 of this Code; and “public park”, “playground”, “child care institution”, “day care center”, “part day child care facility”, “day care home”, “group day care home”, and “facility providing programs or services exclusively directed toward persons under 18 years of age” have the meanings ascribed to them in Section 11-9.4 of this Code.

Indiana   No major changes
Iowa IA ST § 717.1 - 717.7, I.C.A. § 717.1 - 717.7


Iowa added a new chapter on Chapter 717 - Injury to Livestock. The acts cover both livestock abuse (section 717.1A) and livestock neglect (section 717.2). There is a provision for rescue of neglected livestock and also sections that both set up funding to feed neglected livestock and allow the court to order feeding of neglected stock.

Kansas   No major changes
Kentucky   No major changes

LSA-R.S. 3:2465, LA R.S. 3:2465

LSA-R.S. 3:2475, LA R.S. 3:2475



LA R.S. 3:2465 was amended by adding new subsections (2) and (3) to part C on euthanasia:

(2) Euthanasia by carbon monoxide gas chambers on cats and dogs shall be prohibited beginning on January 1, 2013 and thereafter.

(3) Euthanasia by intracardiac injection on cats and dogs shall be prohibited unless the animal is unconscious or rendered completely unconscious and insensitive to pain through the injection of an anesthetic.


LA R.S. 3:2475, which related to the sterilization requirements for pet overpopulation control and the exception for dog or cat adopters who provide a written agreement that they will care for the adopted dog or cat and all of its offspring was repealed.


ME ST T. 5 § 4553, 5 M. R. S. A. § 4553

ME ST T.7 §3907, 7 M.R.S.A. §3907

ME ST T.7 §3911-A, 7 M.R.S.A. §3911-A

ME ST T.7 §3911-B, 7 M.R.S.A. §3911-B

ME ST T.7 §3914, 7 M.R.S.A. §3914

ME ST T.7 §3919-B, 7 M.R.S.A. §3919-B

ME ST T.7 §3921-B/7 M.R.S.A. §3921-B

ME ST T.7 §3922, 7 M.R.S.A. §3922

§ 3931-B. Wolf hybrid kennel - § 3931-B. Repealed. Laws 2011, c. 100, § 13, eff. May 19, 2011

ME ST T. 7 § 3952, 7 M. R. S. A. § 3952

ME ST Tit. 7 § 4041, 7 M.R.S.A. § 4041

ME ST T. 12 § 12160, 12 M. R. S. A. § 12160

Animal Trespass:

Maine amended its law on "animal trespass" (ME ST Tit. 7 § 4041):

  • the phrase "authorized employee of the department" was added to mean a humane agent or any other employee of the department designated by the commissioner to assist with compliance and enforcement of this section.
  • in part 3 concerning a civil violation, the phrase "private or public property" was added to part 3 on civil violation: "[a] person commits a civil violation if an animal owned or kept by that person is found trespassing and that person fails to remove the animal within 12 hours, or immediately if public safety or private or public property is threatened, after having been personally notified by an animal control officer, authorized employee of the department or law enforcement officer that the animal was trespassing" [emphasis added].
  • Part C was also added to this subsection on Civil Penalty: "C. That person owns an animal or animals that have been found trespassing on 5 or more days within a 30-day period or 3 or more days within a 7-day period."
  • the statute's definition for "animal" states that it does not include cats.

Dangerous Dog:

Maine's law on "keeping a dangerous dog" (ME ST T. 7 § 3952), was amended to with regard to what a court must do after it has found a dog to be dangerous. In paragraph A, once a court has ordered confinement in a secure enclosure, the following language was added:

The court shall specify the length of the period of confinement and may order permanent confinement

To paragraph B, the following sentence was added at the end:

Order the dog to be euthanized if it has killed, maimed or inflicted serious bodily injury upon a person or has a history of a prior assault or a prior finding by the court of being a dangerous dog; or [emphasis added]

Finally, a new paragraph C was added that specified muzzling the off-property leash requirements:

C. Order the dog to be securely muzzled, restricted by a tether not more than 3 feet in length with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and under the direct control of the dog's owner or keeper whenever the dog is off the owner's or keeper's premises.

Service Animal:

To ME ST T. 5 § 4553, definitions for the the Human Rights Act, the section defining a service animal was changed to conform with federal law:

9-E. Service animal. “Service animal” means:

A. For the purposes of subchapter 4:

(1) An animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker; or

(2) An animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or mental disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to intruders or sounds, providing reasonable protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items; and

B. For the purposes of subchapter 5, a 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 be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting an individual who is totally or partially blind with navigation and other tasks, alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or a telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability and helping a person with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

Wolf-Hybrid Dogs:

In 2011, S.P. 26/L.D. 11, an act to regulate the keeping of wolf-hybrid dogs, resulted in changes several laws.

First, ME ST T. 7 § 3931-B on wolf hybrid kennels was repealed.

The biggest change was the addition of ME ST T.7 §3921-B. The law made it unlawful to keep a wolf-hybrid unless the person possesses a state permit and met all the requirements as of June 1, 2011:

1. Prohibition. Except as provided in subsection 2, a person may not keep a wolf hybrid in the State unless that person holds a valid permit to possess wildlife in captivity issued by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife under Title 12, section 12152.

2. Exception. A person keeping a wolf hybrid as a pet and in compliance with all applicable provisions in this Part on June 1, 2011 may continue to keep that wolf hybrid as long as the following conditions are met:

A. The wolf hybrid has been spayed or neutered; and

B. The owner continues to license the wolf hybrid in accordance with section 3922, subsection 3-B.

3. Restrictions on transfer. A person keeping a wolf hybrid under subsection 2 may transfer ownership of the wolf hybrid to a person:

A. Holding a permit to possess wildlife under Title 12, section 12152 and authorized to accept wolf hybrids in compliance with rules adopted under Title 12, section 12160, subsection 2;

B. Who operates an animal refuge in another state that is licensed to accept wolf hybrids; or

C. Who has had direct contact with the wolf hybrid, is familiar with the wolf hybrid's behavior and has been advised of the reporting requirement under subsection 4 and licensing laws under section 3922.

A person transferring ownership of a wolf hybrid under this subsection shall within 10 days of the transfer notify the department and provide the name and address of the person accepting the transfer.

4. Duty to report death. The owner of a wolf hybrid kept under subsection 2 shall notify the department of the wolf hybrid's death on a form prescribed by the department within 30 days of the wolf hybrid's death.

5. Violation. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $2,500 may be adjudged.

Section 3922 now requires proof of permanent identification, sterilization, and state permit to license any wolf hybrid.

  • in ME ST T.7 §3907, the definitional section for the state animal welfare act, the term "wolf-hybrid" was removed from the definition for "breeding kennel"
  •  the definition of dangerous dog was expanded to also list "wolf-hybrid (paragraph 12-D)
  •  the definition for "kennel" (paragraph 17) removed the term "wolf-hybrid")
  •  in §3911-A, "abandonment of wolf hybrid," a distinction was made between licensed and unlicensed wolf-hybrids. Also, the following was added: "A person who abandons a wolf hybrid not licensed under section 3922 commits a civil violation for which a fine of $1,000 must be adjudged and may also be subject to a penalty under Title 12, section 12153."

Additionally, a new law was added concerning wolf-hybrids at large:

§ 3911-B. Disposition of wolf hybrid at large

The owner or keeper of a wolf hybrid found at large commits a civil violation. An animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall seize, impound or restrain a wolf hybrid found at large and proceed under this section.

1. Owner of wolf hybrid located. If a wolf hybrid at large is licensed under section 3922, subsection 3-B or its owner can otherwise be identified and located, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall take the wolf hybrid to its owner and issue citations for violations of this Part.

2. Unable to locate owner. If an animal at large is permanently identified as a wolf hybrid in accordance with section 3921-A but the owner of record cannot be located, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall take the wolf hybrid to the animal shelter designated by the respective municipality in which the wolf hybrid was found.

An animal shelter that accepts a wolf hybrid under this subsection is entitled to receive from the department the sum of $4 a day for the period for which food and shelter are furnished, not to exceed 6 days. The animal shelter's responsibilities and the procedure for filing claims and calculating fees established under section 3913, subsection 3 apply to wolf hybrids accepted under this subsection. Upon expiration of the 6-day period, ownership of the wolf hybrid is vested in the animal shelter. The animal shelter shall:

A. Transfer ownership of the wolf hybrid to a person holding a permit to possess wildlife under Title 12, section 12152 and authorized to accept wolf hybrids in compliance with rules adopted under Title 12, section 12160, subsection 2;

B. Transfer ownership of the wolf hybrid to a person who operates an animal refuge in another state and is licensed to accept wolf hybrids; or

C. After keeping the wolf hybrid for 8 days, euthanize the wolf hybrid humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4.

3. Owner unknown. If an animal suspected of being a wolf hybrid is found at large and that animal is not licensed under section 3922 and does not bear any identification of the owner, an animal control officer or person acting in that capacity shall notify the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and request assistance in the capture and disposition of the animal under Title 12, section 12160.

4. Euthanasia for severely sick, severely injured or extremely vicious wolf hybrid. Notwithstanding subsections 1, 2 and 3, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter within the State may authorize in writing immediate euthanasia of a severely sick, severely injured or extremely vicious wolf hybrid upon determining that the following conditions are met:

A. The clerk, dog recorder or animal control officer of the respective municipality where the wolf hybrid was found has been notified of the animal's presence and the owner of the wolf hybrid, if known, has been notified; and

B. A veterinarian states in writing that the wolf hybrid's recovery from its injury or illness, given reasonable time and reasonable care, is doubtful or that the wolf hybrid presents a danger to the public.

Notwithstanding paragraphs A and B, a veterinarian may authorize immediate euthanasia if, in the veterinarian's judgment, the wolf hybrid is severely injured or sick and has no possibility of recovery.

5. Immunity from civil liability. A veterinarian, a humane agent, an animal control officer or an animal shelter is not civilly liable to any party for authorization made in accordance with subsection 4 nor is any person performing euthanasia under that authorization.

Under §3914, "Purchase and sale of animals," a new paragraph was added:

A wolf hybrid may not be sold or exchanged for value. Ownership of a wolf hybrid may be transferred only in accordance with section 3911-B or section 3921-B, subsection 3.

In § 3919-B, "Disposition of pet when owner is institutionalized," added language limiting an animal shelter in adopting out wolf-hybrids:

An animal shelter may not sell, give away or offer for adoption a wolf hybrid. Ownership of a wolf hybrid may be transferred only in accordance with section 3921-B, subsection 3.

In the chapter concerning the sale of cats and dogs, the bill changed section 4153 to provide that a seller may not sell a wolf hybrid.

Finally, 12 M. R. S. A. § 12160 was added that outlined the procedure for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in issuing permits for wolf hybrids:

§ 12160. Disposition of wolf hybrids

1. Determination of species. The department shall respond to requests under Title 7, section 3911-B, subsection 3 for assistance in capturing and disposing of an animal suspected of being a wolf hybrid. The department may presume that the animal is a wolf hybrid if:

A. Licensure as a dog under Title 7, section 3922 cannot be confirmed;

B. The animal bears no identification indicating ownership; and

C. The animal has distinct wolflike characteristics.

The department may pursue genetic testing to determine if the animal is a wolf or wolf hybrid.

2. Rulemaking. The department shall adopt rules establishing procedures for disposing of animals determined to be wolf hybrids under subsection 1. For the purposes of this section, “disposing” includes, but is not limited to, transferring the animal to a person holding a permit under section 12152 or euthanasia in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4. Rules adopted under this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.



MD CRIM LAW § 10-604, MD Code, Criminal Law § 10-604

MD CRIM LAW § 10-606, MD Code, Criminal Law § 10-606

MD FAMILY § 4-501, 504.1, MD Code, Family Law, § 4-501, 504.1

MD CODE, Art. 24, § 11-501, MD Code, Art. 24, § 11-501


Maryland added the following aspect to the penalty description in both § 10-604 (abuse or neglect of animal) and § 10-606 ("Aggravated cruelty to animals--In general"):

(3) As a condition of probation, the court may prohibit a defendant from owning, possessing, or residing with an animal.

Domestic Violence:

Also, MD FAMILY § 4-501 and 504.1 were amended in 2011 to allow an interim protective order to award temporary possession of any pet (defined in § 4-501 as a domesticated animal except livestock) to the person eligible for relief or the respondent).

Dog Breeders:

MD CODE, Art. 24, § 11-501 on dog and kennel licenses and fees was amended to include dog breeders of 15 or more dogs who sells 6 or more litters per year:

(a-1)(1) This subsection applies in all counties.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, a person shall obtain a kennel license from the local licensing agency if the person:

(i) Owns or has custody of 15 or more unspayed female dogs over the age of 6 months kept for the purpose of breeding the dogs and selling their offspring; and

(ii) Sells dogs from six or more litters in a year.

(3) Each county shall collect and maintain a record of the following information for each kennel license issued in the county:

(i) Name of the licensee;

(ii) Address of the licensee;

(iii) Number of dogs maintained by the licensee; and

(iv) Number of puppies sold by the licensee in the preceding year.

(4) On or before January 15 of each year, each county shall report to the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation the information collected under paragraph (3) of this subsection for the preceding year.

(5) A county may establish additional kennel license fees to cover the cost of collecting, maintaining, and submitting the records and reports required by paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection.

(6) This section may not be construed to prohibit a county from enacting more stringent kennel licensing ordinances.

Massachusetts   No major changes
Michigan MCL 324.40110a


The state enacted MCL 324.40110a, which established the first open season for hunting moose in late 2010.

Minnesota   No major changes

MS ST § 97-41-1, Miss. Code Ann. § 97-41-1

MS ST § 97-41-16, Miss. Code Ann. § 97-41-16


The Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011 resulted in amendments to the state's cruelty laws. The pertinent anti-cruelty law, § 97-41-1, now states that any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, torments, unjustifiably injures, deprives of necessary sustenance, food, or drink, cruelly beats, or needlessly mutilates any living creature, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Other amendments in 2011 make it clear that § 97-41-3 through § 97-41-9 concern only living creatures other than cats or dogs. The cat and dog cruelty provision, § 97-41-16, was significantly amended in 2011. Aggravated cruelty occurs when a person with malice intentionally tortures, mutilates, maims, burns, starves or disfigures any domesticated dog or cat. A first offense of aggravated cruelty carries a possible fine of $2,500 and up to six month in jail, or both. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense of aggravated cruelty faces a felony with a fine of up to $5000 and a jail sentence of not less than 1 year to 5 years. Upon conviction, the court may order the offender to reimburse the costs of taking care of the cat or dog, and may also order psychiatric or psychological evaluation and counseling or treatment.


MO ST 578.600 - 578.625, V.A.M.S. 578.600 - 578.625

MO ST 273.345, V. A. M. S. 273.345

MO ST 273.347, V. A. M. S. 273.347

MO ST 273.347.1, V. A. M. S. 273.347.1

MO ST 273.349, V. A. M. S. 273.349

Exotic Pets:

In 2010, Missouri enacted MO ST 578.600 - 578.625, the Large Carnivore Act. The Act prohibits ownership, possession, breeding, and transportation of large carnivores (with some exceptions). Any person who owns or possesses a large carnivore is civilly liable for the death or injury of a human and for property damage, including the death or injury of another animal. Violations may result in a class A misdemeanor or a class D felony conviction, as well as community service work, the loss of privileges to own or possess any animal, and forfeiture of a large carnivore.

Invasive/Non-Native Species:

Missouri also added laws pertaining to the release of feral swine:

  • 270.260. Release of swine on unfenced land, misdemeanor, felony
  • 270.270. Possession or transportation of wild swine on public land, misdemeanor
  • 270.400. Feral hogs, taking or killing--permit, application--animal health fund, creation of--violations, penalties

Dog Breeding:

After a ballot proposal in 2010 resulted in state adopting a law targeted at puppy mill cruelty, the state amended some of those provisions in 2011.

The new law, known now as the "Canine Cruelty Prevention Act" first eliminated the phrase "puppy mill" in the law and changed it to "dogs bred in large operations."

  • The law eliminated the portion of the initiative that limited the number of dogs by a breeder to no more than 50 dogs.
  • "Adequate rest between breeding cycles" was redefined to mean "female dogs are not bred to produce more litters in any given period than what is recommended by a licensed veterinarian as appropriate for the species, age, and health of the dog." Previously, this definition limited it to no more than two litters in an 18 month period.
  • "Necessary veterinary care" was amended to require "at least two personal visual inspections annually by a licensed veterinarian, guidance from a licensed veterinarian on preventative care. . ." Previously, the law required "at minimum, examination at least once yearly by a licensed veterinarian" and "prompt treatment of any illness or injury by a licensed veterinarian, and where needed, humane euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian using lawful techniques deemed acceptable by the American Veterinary Medical Association."
  • "Regular exercise" was also amended. “Regular exercise” means "the type and amount of exercise sufficient to comply with an exercise plan that has been approved by a licensed veterinarian, developed in accordance with regulations regarding exercise promulgated by the Missouri department of agriculture, and where such plan affords the dog maximum opportunity for outdoor exercise as weather permits." Previously, it meant "constant and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area that is composed of a solid ground-level surface with adequate drainage, provides some protection against sun, wind, rain, and snow, and provides each dog at least twice the square footage of the indoor floor space provided to that dog."
  • "Sufficient water" was changed from "access to appropriate nutritious food at least once a day sufficient to maintain good health, and continuous access to potable water that is not frozen and is free of debris, feces, algae, and other contaminants" to more specific requirements.
  •  “Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements” means the continuous provision of a sanitary facility, the provision of a solid surface on which to lie in a recumbent position, protection from the extremes of weather conditions, proper ventilation, and appropriate space depending on the species of animal as required by regulations of the Missouri department of agriculture. Previously, sufficient housing was defined as "constant and unfettered access to an indoor enclosure that has a solid floor, is not stacked or otherwise placed on top of or below another animal's enclosure, is cleaned of waste at least once a day while the dog is outside the enclosure, and does not fall below forty-five degrees Fahrenheit, or rise above eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit."
  • “Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs” now means appropriate space depending on the species of the animal, as specified in regulations by the Missouri department of agriculture, as revised. This removed the specific "head to tail" measurements of the previous law.
  • A provision concerning the retention of veterinary records was added:

5. Any person subject to the provisions of this section shall maintain all veterinary records and sales records for the most recent previous two years. These records shall be made available to the state veterinarian, a state or local animal welfare official, or a law enforcement agent upon request.

  • Also, this language was removed by the amendments: "This section shall not apply to any retail pet store, animal shelter as defined in section 273.325, hobby or show breeders who have custody of no more than ten female covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those dogs and selling any offspring for use as a pet, or dog trainer who does not breed and sell any dogs for use as a pet."
  • Two new sections were also added:

273.347. Past violations not corrected--canine cruelty

273.349. Stacked cages require impervious barrier between levels

Montana MT ST 81-9-240, MCA 81-9-240

Horse Slaughter:

In late 2009, Montana added section 81-9-240 titled, "Equine slaughter or processing facilities--no injunction to stop--damages allowed for delay." The statute limits the ability of a court to issue an injunction aimed at delaying or stopping the construction of an equine slaughter or processing facility. Additionally, the law provides that if a person files an action against the operation of an equine slaughter or processing facility and does not prevail, the person is liable for all financial losses the facility suffers if the court issues an injunction that halts operations while the action is pending.

Nebraska   No major changes
Nevada   No major changes
New Hampshire NH ST § 332-B:20, N.H. Rev. Stat. § 332-B:20

Veterinary Practice:

New Hampshire added the following law to its veterinary practice code: 332-B:20 Animal Physical Therapy Certification.

New Jersey NJ ST 2C:29-3.1, N. J. S. A. 2C:29-3.1

Service Animal:

The section 2C:29-3.1 (purposeful infliction of harm on animal owned or used by law enforcement agency or interference with law enforcement officer using such animal; "search and rescue dog" defined) was amended to add the following language:

Any person who purposely kills a dog, horse or other animal owned or used by a law enforcement agency or a search and rescue dog shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree, and shall be sentenced by the court to a term of imprisonment. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at five years, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. In addition, the court shall impose a fine of $15,000. [emphasis added]

This bill that amended this law, known as “Schultz's Law,” enhances the penalty for killing a police dog or a dog engaged in search and rescue efforts. According to the bill, "Schultz was a Gloucester Township K–9 who, while in the process of chasing an alleged perpetrator, was tragically killed. The incident has brought to light the constant sacrifice given by K–9 officers. This bill is to be named “Schultz's Law” in memory of all K–9 officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty."

New Mexico   No major changes
New York

NY AGRI & MKTS § 107, McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 107

NY AGRI & MKTS § 108, McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 108

NY AGRI & MKTS § 109, McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 109

NY AGRI & MKTS §§ 110 - 126, McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law §§ 110 - 126

Dog Control and Licensing:

An appropriations bill in 2010 (A 9709-C) revamped many of the state's licensing and dog control laws effective in 2011.

NY AGRI & MKTS § 107:

  • subsection 1 removed the language that provisions of the article related to animal population control are applicable across the entire state
  • subsection 4 removed language stating that a dealer under the federal AWA must obtain a "certificate of exemption"
  • subsection 6 was added: "Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prohibit a county from administering a dog licensing program for the municipalities within its jurisdiction."

NY AGRI & MKTS § 108:

- the major change in this law was that identification tags issued by the municipality must contain the following: an identification number, together with the name of the municipality, the state of New York, contact information, including telephone number, for the municipality and such other information as the licensing municipality deems appropriate.

NY AGRI & MKTS § 109:

  • under the licensing requirement for dogs (subsection 1(a)), the following language in bold was added: "No license shall be required for any dog which is under the age of four months and which is not at large, or that is residing in a pound or shelter maintained by or under contract or agreement with the state or any county, city, town or village, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated dog protective association." [emphasis added]
  • language was changed as to how municipalities provide and retain license information
  • the process by which a "purebred license" was issued was deleted. Instead, the following language was added: "3. Municipalities may provide for the establishment and issuance of purebred licenses and, in the event they do so, shall provide for the assessment of a surcharge of at least three dollars for the purposes of carrying out animal population control efforts as provided in section one hundred seventeen-a of this article."

NY AGRI & MKTS §§ 110 - 126 were repealed and rewritten. The changes were mainly due to renumbering of these laws and minor language changes.


The section on state funded spay and neuter programs was significantly amended. In "§ 117-a. Animal population control program," the language of the previous law provided that the department must establish and implement an animal population control program. The 2011 change state that non-profit entities (such as rescue organizations, non-profit spay-neuter clinics, duly incorporated animal protective associations, and other related IRS 501(c)(3) organizations) can submit requests to administer such a program:

The commissioner shall submit a request for proposals from not-for-profit entities as described herein for the purpose of administering a state animal population control program. The entity chosen to administer such program shall enter into a contract with the state for a term of five years, which may be renewed subject to the approval of the commissioner. . .Upon approving a plan submitted for approval and funding of all other spay-neuter programs, the administrative entity shall award grants for the ongoing administration of low-cost spay-neuter services.

The law then outlines the reporting and administrative requirements of the new spay-neuter program.

North Carolina NC ST § 19A-1-24, N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-1-24


In North Carolina's Animal Welfare Act, section § 19A-24 relating to the powers of Board of Agriculture, added some provisions concerning certified euthanasia technicians. In particular, the law states that the Board of Agriculture shall deny, suspend, or revoke the certification of euthanasia technicians who:

a. Violate any provision of this Article or rules adopted pursuant to this Article;

b. Have been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to:

1. Any felony;

2. Any misdemeanor or infraction involving animal abuse or neglect; or

3. Any other offense related to animal euthanasia, the duties or responsibilities of a euthanasia technician, or a euthanasia technician's fitness for certification;

c. Make any false statement, give false information, or omit material information in connection with an application for certification or for renewal or reinstatement of certification as a euthanasia technician;

d. Otherwise are or become ineligible for certification.

North Dakota   No major changes
Ohio   No major changes
Oklahoma   No major changes

OR ST § 609.040,  O. R. S. § 609.040 - Repealed by Laws 2011, c. 607, § 18, eff. Jan. 1, 2012

OR ST § 609.090,  O. R. S. § 609.090

OR ST § 609.990,  O. R. S. § 609.990

OR ST § 609.994,  O. R. S. § 609.994

Dog Laws:

Oregon repealed section 609.040, "County and city elections for or against dogs may running at large," effective Jan. 1, 2012. A legislative note states that:

Oregon Laws 2011 (Enrolled House Bill 2256), do not invalidate any dog control program formed by one or more precincts prior to the effective date of chapter 607, Oregon Laws 2011 (Enrolled House Bill 2256). Precincts that formed dog control programs prior to the effective date of chapter 607, Oregon Laws 2011 (Enrolled House Bill 2256) may continue to administer and enforce those programs on and after the effective date of chapter 607, Oregon Laws 2011 (Enrolled House Bill 2256) in the same manner as a city dog control program.

Amendments to 609.090, "Notice by publication of election result; dogs running at large prohibited; violations," changed the language from "is guilty of a violation" to "commits a Class B violation" if the dog is found running at large after such a measure has passed.

Under 609.990, on penalties for the chapter, the violation for "maintaining a public nuisance in violation of ORS 609.095 (2) or (3)" was reworded from "a fine of not more than $250" to "a Class B violation."

Likewise the penalty described under 609.994(1) was changed from "a fine of not less than $500, nor more than $50,000" to this: "Violation of ORS 609.510, 609.515 or 609.520 is a specific fine violation punishable by a fine of not more than $50,000." Thus, the lower limit of the fine was removed.

Pennsylvania   No major changes
Rhode Island

RI ST § 4-1-40, Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-40

RI ST § 4-13-1, Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-1

RI ST § 4-13-15, Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13-15


A new section was added to Rhode Island's chapter on cruelty to animals. Under § 4-1-40 on possession of animals:

(a) In addition to any other penalty imposed by law, a person convicted of, or who entered a plea of nolo contendere to, any misdemeanor violation under the provisions of this chapter may, based on the discretion of the sentencing judge, not possess or reside with any animal for a period of up to five (5) years following entry of the conviction or upon acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere by the court. Any offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment for a term not more than one year, or both, and forfeiture of the animal(s).

(b) In addition to any other penalty imposed by law, a person convicted of, or who entered a plea of nolo contendere to, any felony violation under the provisions of this chapter may, based on the discretion of the sentencing judge, not possess or reside with any animal for a period of up to fifteen (15) years following entry of the conviction or upon acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere by the court. Any offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment for a term not more than one year, or both, and forfeiture of the animal(s).

Dog Laws:

In § 4-13-1 and § 4-13-15, the ordinance powers for the town council of Richmond were amended.

South Carolina   No major changes
South Dakota   No major changes

TN ST §§ 70-4-409, T. C. A. §§ 70-4-409

TN ST § 44-21-101 - 104, T. C. A. § 44-21-101 - 104

Exotic Pets:

The chapter on Exotic Animals added the following section to 70-4-409 ("Inspections and inspectors"):

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) to the contrary, in Roane County the executive director or any officer or employee of the agency may be accompanied on such inspections of animals, facilities and records relating to such animals by the county executive or the county executive's designee from the office of the county sheriff or the county office of emergency management.

Farm Animals:

Tennessee also added Chapter 21 entitled, "Liability of Bovine Owners." This chapter operates similarly to equine activity liability laws and provides that a bovine owner shall not be liable for any injury, loss, damage, or death of a person resulting from the inherent risks of bovine activities. The section also requires the posting of warning signs alerting visitors to bovine activities that the owner or operator is not liable.


TX PENAL § 42.105, V. T. C. A., Penal Code § 42.105

TX HEALTH & S § 821.021, V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.021

TX HEALTH & S § 821.023, V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.023

TX HEALTH & S § 821.026, V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 821.026

TX OCC § 801.002, V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 801.002

Animal Fighting:

In 2011, Texas added a law to its cruelty section that prohibits cockfighting (§ 42.105). The law prohibits the act of participating in a cockfight (a felony), allowing a building to be used for a cockfight (misdemeanor), and being a knowing spectator at a cockfight (a misdemeanor). 


Under Chapter 821 on the treatment and disposition of animals (e.g., the animal cruelty chapter), new definitions were added to § 821.021:

(2) “Nonprofit animal welfare organization” means a nonprofit organization that has as its purpose:

(A) the prevention of cruelty to animals; or

(B) the sheltering of, caring for, and providing homes for lost, stray, and abandoned animals.

(3) “Owner” includes a person who owns or has custody or control of an animal.

Under 821.023 concerning the hearing to determine the disposition of seized animals, subsection (e)(2) added that a defendant found guilty of cruel treatment is also responsible for "the costs incurred by a municipal or county animal shelter or a nonprofit animal welfare organization." Also, the following was added:

(e-1) After a court finds that an animal's owner has cruelly treated the animal, the court shall determine the estimated costs likely to be incurred by a municipal or county animal shelter or a nonprofit animal welfare organization to house and care for the impounded animal during the appeal process.

(e-2) After making the determination under Subsection (e-1), the court at the time of entering the judgment shall set the amount of bond for an appeal equal to the sum of:

(1) the amount of the court costs ordered under Subsection (e); and

(2) the amount of the estimated costs determined under Subsection (e-1).

(e-3) A court may not require a person to provide a bond in an amount greater than or in addition to the amount determined by the court under Subsection (e-2) to perfect an appeal under Section 821.025.

(e-4) Notwithstanding any other law, the amount of court costs that a court may order under Subsection (e) and the amount of bond that a court determines under Subsection (e-2) are excluded in determining the court's jurisdiction under Subtitle A, Title 2, Government Code.

(Other minor language changes were made to other sections of the chapter.)

Finally, section "§ 821.026 - Conflict of Laws" was added:

In the event of a conflict between this subchapter and another provision of any other law relating to an appeal of a disposition regarding a cruelly treated animal, including the bond required for that appeal, this subchapter controls.

Veterinary Practice:

In Chapter 801 on Veterinarians, the definition "equine dentistry" was added to § 801.002:

(3-a) “Equine dentistry” means any diagnosis, treatment, or surgical procedure performed on the head or oral cavity of an equine animal.

Several provisions in that chapter were amended to reflect the addition of this subcategory of veterinary practice (see Chapter 801).


UT ST § 62A-5b-102, U.C.A. 1953 § 62A-5b-102

UT ST § 11–46–301 to 304, U.C.A. 1953 § 11–46–301 to 304

UT ST § 11–46–101- 103, U.C.A. 1953 § 11–46–101- 103

UT ST § 11–46–201- 207, U.C.A. 1953 § § 11–46–201- 207

UT ST § 4-40-101 - 102, U.C.A. 1953 § 4-40-101 - 102

UT ST § 10-17-101 - 107 - repealed


In 2010, the state passed the "Wolf Management Act" (§ 23-29-101 to 202).  Under section 201, the following is stated:

(1) The division shall contact the service upon discovering a wolf in any area of the state where wolves are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and request immediate removal of the animal from the state.

(2) The division shall manage wolves to prevent the establishment of a viable pack in all areas of the state where the wolf is not listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act until the wolf is completely delisted under the act and removed from federal control in the entire state. 

Service Animal:

Utah amended its definition of "service animal" in § 62A-5b-102 to the follow the federal definition. The previous definition described both a "guide dog" and "signal dog" with the typical tasks such a dog performs. The 2011 amendment now states that it is any dog trained as a "service animal" and lists the typical functions, which also includes "helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors." The new definition also specifically excludes an animal other than a dog AND an animal used solely to provide:

  • a crime deterrent
  • emotional support
  • well-being
  • comfort or companionship

Feral Cats:

In 2011, Utah passed S.B. 57:

This bill:

  • defines terms;
  • defines a sponsor of a cat colony as a person who actively traps cats in a colony for the purpose of sterilizing, vaccinating, and ear-tipping before returning the cat to its original location;
  • exempts community cats from the five-day mandatory hold requirement;
  • allows a city or county to set up a permitting process for cat colonies and provide notice to adjacent property owners; and
  • allows a shelter that receives a feral cat to release it to a sponsor that operates a community cat program.

This bill changed several laws in the code. In § 77-24-1.5, the law that previously outline the impoundment procedure and holding periods for stray animals, all the language relating to unclaimed or stray animals was removed (the law now solely relates to custody of evidence held by peace officers).

The bill added "Part 3 - Community Cat Act," which comprises sections § 11–46–301 to 304. The Act defines a 'Community cat” as a "feral or free-roaming cat that is without visibly discernible or microchip owner identification of any kind, and has been sterilized, vaccinated, and ear-tipped." It also defines a "community cat caretaker" and "community cat program" for those cats. This exempts those cats in such programs from licensing requirements and feeding bans. It also allows municipalities to create permitting processes for community cat programs.


The act repealed the former Chapter 17. Municipal Animal Shelter Pet Sterilization Act (§§ 10-17-101 to 10-17-107) and added the "Animal Welfare Act" (§ 11–46–101 to 103). This act mandates that each municipal or county animal control officer hold any unidentified or unclaimed stray animal in safe and humane custody for a minimum of five business days after the time of impound and prior to making any final disposition of the animal. It also set forth record requirements related to the disposition of such animals.

S.B. 57 also created the Animal Shelter Pet Sterilization Act. This act renumbers and amends the repealed Chapter 17, and creates sections § 11–46–201 to 207. The substantive portions of the act stayed the same in terms of requirements for sterilization of animals. However, a provision was added that allows a shelter to waive the sterilization deposit and release any unsterilized animal to a "sponsor," as defined in Section 11–46–302. "Sponsor" means any person or organization that traps feral cats, sterilizes, vaccinates against rabies, and ear-tips them before returning them to the location where they were trapped. The sponsor must be a non-profit organization that qualifies as being tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that provides proof of sterilization within 30 days.

Utah also added the “Cat and Dog Community Spay and Neuter Program Restricted Account Act" (§ 4-40-101 to 102). This Act creates a restricted account for funds derived from spay and neuter programs.

Vermont VT ST T. 20 § 3815, 20 V.S.A. § 3815


Vermont amended § 3815 and § 3816 relating to the state-funded dog, cat, and wolf-hybrid spaying and neutering program. The amendments indicated that the program is administered through the agency of human services as of July 2010.


VA ST § 3.2-6500, VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6500

VA ST § 3.2-6503.1, VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6503.1

VA ST § 3.2-6569, VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6569



Section § 3.2-6500 added the term "farming activity" to the set of definitions for the chapter on "Comprehensive Animal Care."

Under Article 2 on "Animal Welfare," a new law was added: § 3.2-6503.1 - care of agricultural animals by owner; penalty. This law states that each owner shall provide for his or her agricultural animals (subject to the law's exceptions). Violation of this section is a Class 4 misdemeanor. Care includes:

  • feed to prevent malnourishment
  • water to prevent dehydration; and
  • veterinary treatment as needed to address impairment of health or bodily function when such impairment cannot be otherwise addressed through animal husbandry, including humane destruction

Certain terms in the impounding procedure for agricultural animals were amended in § 3.2-6569.


WA ST 16.52.011, West's RCWA 16.52.011

WA ST 16.52.085, West's RCWA 16.52.085

WA ST 16.52.200, West's RCWA 16.52.200

WA ST 16.52.320, West's RCWA 16.52.320


Under "16.52.011. Definitions--Principles of liability," several key definitions were added or amended:

  • Subsection (f) was added to define the term "food" which means food or feed appropriate to the species for which it is intended.
  • Subsection(i) defined the term "livestock" as including, but not limited to, horses, mules, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and bison.
  • Subsection (k) was added: "'Necessary water' means water that is in sufficient quantity and of appropriate quality for the species for which it is intended and that is accessible to the animal.
  • The definition of “similar animal” in subsection (n) was refined: '"(i)For a mammal, another animal that is in the same taxonomic order; or (ii) for an animal that is not a mammal, another animal that is in the same taxonomic class."

In "16.52.085. Removal of animals for feeding and care--Examination--Notice--Euthanasia," instead of the terms "owns or possesses," the legislature expanded the phrasing to "a person [who] owns, cares for, or resides with an animal." [Emphasis added.]

Similarly, in "16.52.200. Sentences--Forfeiture of animals--Liability for costs--Penalty--Education, counseling," the restraints on ownership of animals by a person convicted of animal cruelty was expanded to include residing with similar animals. Now, "[a]ny person convicted of animal cruelty shall be prohibited from owning, caring for, or residing with any similar animals . . ." [Emphasis added]. In addition, the amendments also added penalties for violating the prohibition on owning, caring for, or residing with similar animals once prohibited (see section 8(a), (b), and (c)).

The new section of  "16.52.320. Maliciously killing or causing substantial bodily harm to livestock belonging to another--Penalty" was added in 2011. The law states:

(1) It is unlawful for a person to, with malice, kill or cause substantial bodily harm to livestock belonging to another person.

(2) A violation of this section constitutes a class C felony.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “malice” has the same meaning as provided in RCW 9A.04.110, but applied to acts against livestock.


West Virginia   No major changes

WI ST 951.015, W.S.A. 951.015

WI ST 951.02, W. S. A. 951.02

WI ST 951.06, W. S. A. 951.06


Under Wisconsin's cruelty laws, the term "bona fide experiments carried on for scientific research" was deleted from 951.02, the operative cruelty law. Instead, under 951.015, the section entitled "Construction and application," the following part was added:

(3) This chapter does not apply to:

(a) Teaching, research, or experimentation conducted pursuant to a protocol or procedure approved by an educational or research institution, and related incidental animal care activities, at facilities that are regulated under 7 USC 2131 to 2159 or 42 USC 289d.

(b) Bona fide scientific research involving species unregulated by federal law. [Emphasis added.]

Note that the phrase "bona fide experiments carried on for scientific research" was also deleted from Section 951.06 (use of poisonous and controlled substances).


WY ST § 11-29-101, W. S. 1977 § 11-29-101

WY ST § 11-29-103, W. S. 1977 § 11-29-103

WY ST § 11-29-115, W. S. 1977 § 11-29-115

WY ST § 6-3-203, W. S. 1977 § 6-3-203

WY ST § 33-30-203, W. S. 1977 § 33-30-203


In Wyoming, the term "livestock animal" was added to § 11-29-101 in the definitional section for Chapter 29 on protection of livestock animals:

(vi) “Livestock animal” means:

(A) Any bovine, including domestic bison, equine, swine, sheep, goat, domesticated camelid animal, ratite bird, rabbit or poultry; or

(B) Any animal used or harvested for any good and proper purpose including but not limited to food, fiber, fur, leather, medical research and byproducts; or

(C) Any animal used or trained for work, sport, exhibit or entertainment.

This changed other provisions in Chapter 29. In section 103, the penalty for failing to provide a livestock animal during confinement a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water was changed from a maximum 6 month/$500 misdemeanor to a "high misdemeanor" with a maximum 1 year imprisonment/$5000 penalty.

Finally, the chapter added § 11-29-115 - use of agricultural and livestock management practices:

(a) Nothing in this chapter prohibits:

(i) The use of Wyoming industry accepted agricultural or livestock management practices or any other commonly practiced animal husbandry procedure used on livestock animals, as defined by W.S. 11-29-101(a)(vi);

(ii) A Wyoming licensed veterinarian from treating a livestock animal as authorized by the Wyoming Veterinary Medical Practice Act;

(iii) Any rodeo event employing animal care practices generally accepted within the rodeo industry, whether the event is performed in a rodeo, jackpot or similar arena;

(iv) A person from humanely destroying a livestock animal. 

Finally, in the main cruelty law (§ 6-3-203), a new provision was added for "household pet cruelty":

(p) A person commits household pet animal cruelty if he:

(i) Keeps any household pet in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm to the household pet; or

(ii) Keeps the household pet confined in conditions which constitute a public health hazard. 

Veterinary Practice:

Under the state's veterinary practice laws, an immunity provision was added to dded to § 33-30-203 on licensing provisions and exceptions:

(xii) Any person who, without expectation of compensation, provides emergency veterinary care at the site in an emergency or disaster situation;

(xiii) The state veterinarian from deputizing licensed veterinarians to assist as deputy state veterinarians in case of an emergency as provided in W.S. 11-18-103(a)(ii). The state veterinarian may request the assistance of licensed veterinarians from other states as needed in emergency situations without requiring Wyoming licensure.

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