Full Title Name:  Table of State Law Amendments from 2013

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Rebecca F. Wisch Publish Year:  2015 Place of Publication:  Michigan State University College of Law Primary Citation:  Animal Legal & Historical Center
Summary: This comparative table gives an overview of changes to state law in 2013. Links to the laws are provided as well as a summary of the amendments.

This table summarizes the statutory amendments that occurred in 2013. The table gives a brief description of the changes and links to the actual text of the laws.

Several states enacted changes to their animal cruelty laws. For example, Alabama created a provision for aggravated cruelty of an animal and Florida included a failure to act in its laws on intentional cruelty. Hawaii followed the example of some thirty other states in adopting changes that allows courts to restrain a person convicted of animal cruelty from possessing animals. Nebraska enacted a similar measure. North Dakota became one of the very last states to adopt a felony animal cruelty law in 2013 (previously the state only punished animal cruelty as a misdemeanor).

Several states adopted or changed sections on the reporting of animal cruelty. Maine added a section to its Animal Welfare Act providing that "names of and other identifying information about persons providing information pertaining to criminal or civil cruelty to animals to the department are confidential information and may not be released." Nevada previously had a similar law relating to confidentiality of cruelty reporting. In 2013, that subsection was removed. The new subsection makes any person, including law enforcement and humane agents, who willfully releases data or information concerning the reports or the identity of a person who made the report (except for the purposes of a criminal investigation or prosecution) guilty of a misdemeanor. Washington joined many other states in providing immunity for veterinarians who report suspected animal cruelty to proper authorities.

Pet sales were also a hot topic in 2013. Most notably, Nevada made it a misdemeanor to for a person to sell, offer to sell, or offer to adopt any live animal (except livestock) at a swap meet. The exception occurs when a county has enacted an ordinance that allows the sale of live animals at swap meets. New Jersey and Vermont made several changes to their laws dealing with the sale and importation of companion animals. West Virginia enacted a law defining a commercial dog breeder, which also created a permit process and set forth minimum standards of care for the dogs.

Laws involving the taking and management of wildlife were also changed. California and Hawaii established which methods of trapping are considered illegal under state law. Illinois added section to its "hunter harassment" law that banned the use of remote drones to intentionally interfere with hunters. Michigan legislators declared hunting as an "inherent right" of its citizens and established the authority of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to designate game species.

Beyond changes to cruelty laws, other laws stand out. Colorado became the first state pass a law to help reduce the number of dogs shot by police officers. The new law requires local law enforcement to undergo training in order to prevent the shooting of dogs by local law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Specifically, this statute aims to assist in training officers to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening dog behaviors, as well as to employ non-lethal means whenever possible. Several states modified their service animal laws to conform to the language of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Rhode Island adopted two interesting laws. The first prohibits a property owner or manager from advertising, requiring or refusing to allow tenant occupancy because the tenant or prospective tenant refuses to have his or her animal declawed or devocalized. This new law only applies to properties where animals are otherwise allowed. The second change occurred under Chapter 13 on Dogs. The new provision prohibits the enactment of any rule, regulation or ordinance specific to any breed of dog or cat. Missouri made headlines when it adopted a controversial "ag gag" law that requires almost immediate reporting of suspected animal cruelty.

These are just a few of the many changes. By browsing the table below, major animal law changes can be viewed for each state.

 

 

State

Laws Amended 2013

Summary of Major Animal-Related Amendments

Alabama

 

Ala.Code 1975 § 13A-11-14

Ala.Code 1975 § 13A-11-14.1

Ala.Code 1975 § 13A-11-15 (repealed)

Ala. Code 1975 § 13A–11–260 to 264

 

Cruelty to Animals

This section operates as the state’s cruelty to animals law. Amendments in 2013 changed the mental state requirement from “intentionally or recklessly” to “recklessly or with criminal negligence.” Additionally, the jail term for violation was increased from six months to one year. The first offense was changed from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B misdemeanor. Ala.Code 1975 § 13A-11-14.

The state also added a provision for aggravated cruelty to animals. A person commits the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals if the person intentionally or knowingly violates Section 13A-11-14, and the act of cruelty or neglect involved the infliction of torture to the animal. The new law defines the word "torture" and exempts certain activities such as imminent attack, animal husbandry, hunting, fish and trapping, rodeos, veterinary practice, lawful education research, etc. Aggravated cruelty to animals is a Class C felony.  Ala.Code 1975 § 13A-11-14.1.

Section Ala.Code 1975 § 13A-11-15 relating to killing a dog used by a peace officer was repealed in 2013.

In 2013, Article 11A, "Offenses Relating to Police Animals, Search and Rescue Animals, and Handlers Thereof" was added. This section makes it a crime to interfere with or cause harm to police or search and rescue animals.

Alaska

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Arizona

A. R. S. § 11-1008

A. R. S. § 11-1024

Dog Licensing

Section § 11-1008 related to license fees for dogs added a section that states the board of supervisors of each county may not charge license fees for an individual who has a disability and who uses a service animal or for an individual who uses a search or rescue dog. Search and rescue dog owners must provide "adequate proof satisfactory to the enforcement" and service animal applicants must sign a written statement that the animal is a service dog as defined by law. A person who makes a false statement pursuant to this paragraph is guilty of a petty offense, and a fine that shall not exceed fifty dollars.

Service Animals

Section § 11–1024 related to discrimination against individuals using service animals was amended. The section that prohibits discrimination added work or tasks that service animal perform. However, the amendments state that “[t]he 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.” The definition of “service animal” was amended to “any dog or miniature horse” that is individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Service animal does not include other species of animals, whether wild or domestic or trained or untrained.

Arkansas

A.C.A. § 5-62-106

A.C.A. § 5-62-112

A.C.A. § 5-62-113

A.C.A. § 5-62-123

A.C.A. § 5–62–127

A.C.A. § 16-120-202

 

 

Cruelty to Animals

The state’s anti-cruelty was amended as it concerns the disposition of animals seized under the authority of the chapter. A.C.A. § 5-62-106 added the following:

(g) This section does not prohibit the return of an animal to the rightful owner if the rightful owner is located outside the state and the prosecuting attorney has decided not to charge the rightful owner with an offense under this subchapter.

Several sections were repealed under the cruelty laws. Section § 5-62-112 related to the issuance of search warrants was repealed as was § 5-62-113 related to authority to make arrests. § 5-62-123 related to animal carcass larceny and dismemberment was also repealed.

Section 5-62-102, added a defintion for “appropriate place of custody." This phrase includes places like a nonprofit animal shelter, an animal pound, or private or public animal rescue, among others. In section 5-62-106, an animal seized under this section as the result of a cruelty investigation may be sent to an appropriate place of custody after notice to the owner. However, the following subsection allows return of an animal:

(f) This section does not prohibit the return of an animal to the rightful owner if the rightful owner is located outside the state and the prosecuting attorney has decided not to charge the rightful owner with an offense under this subchapter. A.C.A. § 5–62–106.

A new section was added that makes it a Class C misdemeanor to improperly remove an animal's transmittal device. A.C.A. § 5–62–127.

Equine Activity Liability

The state’s equine activities law was expanded to cover livestock activities. Livestock is now defined in the subchapter to mean swine, bovine, sheep, and goats (16–120–201). Livestock activity means:

(A) Grazing, herding, feeding, branding, milking, or other activity that involves the care or maintenance of livestock;

(B) A livestock show, fair, competition, or auction;

(C) A livestock training or teaching activity;

(D) Boarding livestock; and

(E) Inspecting or evaluating livestock

A.C.A. § 16-120-202.

The liability portion of the chapter (16–120–202) now includes a livestock activity sponsor as well as equine activity sponsor.

California

Cal.Fish & G.Code § 2074.2

Cal.Fish & G.Code § 2074.6

Cal.Fish & G.Code § 3032

Cal.Fish & G.Code § 3960

West's Ann.Cal.Fish & G.Code § 4004

Cal.Fish & G.Code § 4155

Cal.Fish & G.Code § 4801.5

 

 

Bobcats

Section 4155 was also added to the Fish and Game Code as part of the Bobcat Protection Act. The new section prohibits trapping or attempting to trap any bobcat taken in the area surrounding Joshua Tree National Park, with the boundaries defined in the law. The prohibition began January 1, 2014. The law requires the Fish and Game commission to consider whether to prohibit bobcat trapping within, and adjacent to, preserves, state conservancies, and any other public or private conservation areas identified to the commission by the public as warranting protection beginning January 1, 2016. Among other things, the new law prohibits the trapping or attempting to trap any bobcat on any private land not belonging to the trapper without the express written consent of the owner of that property. Cal.Fish & G.Code § 4155.

West's Ann.Cal.Fish & G.Code § 3032 as part of SB 1221 allows the California Fish and Game Commission to establish a hound tag program. "Hound” means a dog used to pursue mammals. The owner must follow all relevant local and state laws pertaining to dogs while the hound is being used to pursue mammals. However, another section that was amended as part of this bill (SB 1221) expressly makes it unlawful to allow any dog to pursue any bear or bobcat at any time. This section does not apply to the use of dogs to pursue bears or bobcats by federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, or their agents or employees, when carrying out official duties as required by law. Cal.Fish & G.Code § 3960.

Endangered Species

The state amended its endangered species provisions as a result of SB 749. Notably, the changes added provisions sections 2074.2, 2074.6, 2074.8, and 2075 of the Fish and Game Code. Collectively, this bill resulted in several changes to the Code. The changes require the department to annually provide an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on the public hunting programs. The amendments also establish an alternate process for the review of a petition for an endangered species, including public hearings and public comment (until January 1, 2017, the sunset provision in the bill). (Cal.Fish & G.Code § 2074.2) Once a petition for consideration of a species is filed, the amendments now require the California  Fish and Game Commission to produce and make publicly available on the department's Internet Web site a final written peer reviewed report (Cal.Fish & G.Code § 2074.6).

Mountain Lions

Under new Section 4801.5 of the Fish and Game Code, nonlethal procedures shall be used when removing or taking any mountain lion that has not been designated as an imminent threat to public health or safety. Cal.Fish & G.Code § 4801.5.

Trapping

California amended its trapping law under the Fish and Game Code. Previously, use of steel-jawed traps were regulated based on the spread of the traps or based on the type of mammal for which it was used. The 2013 amendments made all steel-jawed leghold traps illegal, regardless of species. Additionally, use of a body-gripping trap, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 3003.1, for the purpose of recreation or commerce in fur was outlawed in 2013. Use of conibear traps was further limited by size of the trap and placement. Finally, the following subsection was added:

It is unlawful to do any of the following:

* * *

(g) Kill any trapped mammal in accordance with this section by intentional drowning, injection with any chemical not sold for the purpose of euthanizing animals, or thoracic compression, commonly known as chest crushing. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit the use of lawfully set conibear traps set partially or wholly submerged in water for beaver or muskrat or the use of lawfully set colony traps set in water for muskrat.

West's Ann.Cal.Fish & G.Code § 4004.

Colorado

 

C.R.S.A. § 29-5-112

 

Training of Police Officers

This Colorado statute requires local law enforcement to undergo training in order to prevent the shooting of dogs by local law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Specifically, this statute aims to assist in training officers to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening dog behaviors, as well as to employ non-lethal means whenever possible. In order to do so, the statute creates a dog protection task force—consisting of veterinarians, officers, animal behavior specialists, animal welfare experts and animal control officers—to develop minimum training curricula that local law enforcement must follow. In addition to using the task force's curricula, local law enforcement agencies are required to develop a training program that must be wholly or principally provided or overseen by either a qualified animal behavior expert or licensed veterinarian, either of whom must possess minimum qualifications set out by the dog protection task force. However, nothing in the statute requires live, in-person training be provided to local law enforcement agencies by qualified animal behavior experts or licensed veterinarians. The statute also provides that the training must last for at least 3 hours, but may exceed minimum number of hours or other requirements set forth in the statute. Additionally, the statute also provides provisions to ensure the cost effectiveness of the program such as using volunteers, donated resources, webinars and video-based training. C.R.S.A. § 29-5-112.

Connecticut

C. G. S. A. § 26-40a

C.G.S.A. § 26-55

C. G. S. A. § 22-332

C. G. S. A. § 22-344e

C. G. S. A. § 22-350a

C. G. S. A. § 22-357

 

Cats/Exotic Pets

SB 1018 clarified the exceptions for cats in § 26-40a related to possession of potentially dangerous animals. It removed the following language:

or to a person possessing a Bengal cat certified by an internationally recognized multiple-cat domestic feline breeding association as being without wild parentage for a minimum of four prior generations which cat was registered with the Commissioner of Agriculture on or before October 1, 1996, provided no such cat may be imported into this state after June 6, 1996. In any action taken by any official of the state or any municipality to control rabies, a Bengal cat shall be considered not vaccinated for rabies in accordance with accepted veterinary practice.

The amendments changed the exception for cats to:

any licensed veterinarian for the purpose of treatment and care of such animal, or to any person who possesses a breed of felidae certified by The International Cat Association, the Cat Fanciers Association or the American Cat Fanciers Association.

Cruelty to Animals/Interference with Service Animals:

Penalties were enhanced with several sections. Section 22-351 concerning stealing or unlawfully killing a companion animal now has a penalty of a class E felony (previously violation was a fine not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not less than one year or more than three years or be both fined and imprisoned).

The state's general cruelty law, which prohibits overworking an animal, depriving an animal of necessary sustenance, abandonment, poisoning, intentional torture or killing, training or keeping a fighting animal, and intentionally injuring a search and rescue animal, among other things, is now a class D felony. The previous penalty was a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both.  C. G. S. A. § 53-247.

Damage by Dogs

Two sections concerning damage done by dogs were amended. Section 22-355 concerning damage by dogs to domestic animals or poultry, was amended to allow expenses for veterinary care and burial expenses for the animals or poultry killed by such dogs. C. G. S. A. § 22-355, damage by dogs to person or property, was amended to expand the word “property” to include a companion animal, as defined in section 22–351a. Additionally, the phrase “the amount of such damage," with respect to a companion animal now includes expenses of veterinary care, the fair monetary value of the companion animal and burial expenses for the companion animal. C. G. S. A. § 22-357.

Dog Tethering:

The state’s dog tethering law was changed. Now, the law is not limited to “owner or keeper of such dog” and instead states “a person.” Further, the law now recognizes weather and environmental conditions as factor:

(b) No person shall tether a dog outdoors to a stationery object or to a mobile device, including, but not limited to, a trolley or a pulley, when a weather advisory or warning is issued by local, state or federal authorities or when outdoor environmental conditions, including, but not limited to, extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or hail, pose an adverse risk to the health or safety of such dog based on such dog's breed, age or physical condition, unless tethering is for a duration of not longer than fifteen minutes.

C. G. S. A. § 22-350a.

Invasive species:

C.G.S.A. § 26-55 was amended to add a new section (c) that makes it an infraction to import, introduce, possess or liberate any live fish or aquatic nuisance invertebrates, in violation of the provisions of this section or any regulation. Violation of this new subsection incurs a fine of $85, with each act constituting a separate offense.

Sale and Importation of cats and dogs:

Animal importers for cats and dogs will face additional scrutiny after amendments last year. In 2013, the legislature adding the following subsection to Section 344:

(6) Not later than December 31, 2013, the Commissioner of Agriculture shall prescribe the conditions that constitute the humane treatment of animals that are applicable to animal importers. Such conditions shall include, but not be limited to, the appropriate shelter, availability of food and water and standard of care to be provided by an animal importer to such animals.

Section 22-344e was amended to allow resale of dogs to those who hold pet shop licenses and a person who “resells such dog to a law enforcement agency or military branch of the federal, state or municipal government for the purpose of the performance of law enforcement or security work by such dog.” C. G. S. A. § 22-344e.

Spay and Neuter:

Chapter 435 on Dogs and Other Companion Animals had a few sections amended. Section 332 on license fees added the following: “In addition to the five-dollar [license] fee, any person who purchases a dog as a pet may be charged the cost the municipality incurred, if any, to spay or neuter and vaccinate the dog, provided such charge shall not exceed one hundred fifty dollars.”

Veterinary Practice Code:

The following language was added to the section on grounds for disciplinary actions in the veterinary practice code:

In determining whether the holder of such license has acted with negligence, the board may consider standards of care and guidelines published by the American Veterinary Medical Association including, but not limited to, guidelines for the use, distribution and prescribing of prescription drugs; . . .

This is significant because not every state allows a violation of practice guidelines or published standards of care to constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

 

Delaware

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

D.C.

DC ST § 7-1002

DC CODE § 7-1009

 

Service Animals:

DC ST § 7-1002 underwent some changes in wording for the term "disability." Additionally, a new subsection was added that better reflects federal law:

(d) In making a determination that an individual qualifies under this section, a public accommodation or conveyance may make a reasonable inquiry as to an individual's need for a service animal but shall limit such inquiry to the following:

  1. Whether the animal is required because of the individual's disability;
  2. The function or purpose of the animal, including the task or work the animal has been trained to perform;
  3. Whether the animal meets the definition of a service animal provided in section 8(5); and
  4. Whether the animal is housebroken.

The definition of "service animal" for Chapter 10 "Rights of Blind and Physically Disabled Persons" was amended. Previously, the definition only referred to a dog used to person who is blind or a person with a physical disability. In 2013, this was amended to "an animal, permitted in the District under § 8-1808(h)(1), including a guide dog, that is specially trained to assist a person who meets the definition of persons with physical or mental disabilities, and is one which a person with physical or mental disabilities relies on for disability-related assistance." It also includes a service animal in-training. The new definition also included a limitation: "The term does not encompass an animal whose sole purpose is to serve as a crime deterrent or that serves solely as a companion." DC CODE § 7-1009.

Florida

West's F. S. A. § 828.12

West's F. S. A. § 823.15

West's F. S. A. § 828.27

Cruelty:

Florida's cruelty to animals law was amended in 2013. Most notably was the inclusion of the phrase, "or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act" under the intentional cruelty subsection. As a result of this inclusion, a person can be convicted of felony cruelty for intentionally committing an act as well as one who has custody of the animal and fails to act where it causes the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering. This now is termed "aggravated animal cruelty" under the changes. Additionally, under new subsection 3, a person who commits multiple acts of animal cruelty or aggravated animal cruelty may be charged with a separate offense for each such act. A person who commits animal cruelty or aggravated animal cruelty against more than one animal may be charged with a separate offense for each animal. West's F. S. A. § 828.12.

Amendments to Section 828.27 now allow a county to use the $5 surcharge from each civil penalty imposed for violation of an ordinance relating to animal control or cruelty and any carryover or fund balance from such proceeds for animal shelter operating expenses. West's F. S. A. § 828.27.

Spay/Neuter

Florida amended its law dealing with sterilization agreements for dogs and cats released from animal control agencies. Commencing on July 31, 2013, all public or private animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency operated by a humane organization or by a county, municipality, or other incorporated political subdivision, were required to prepare and maintain records on the total number of dogs and cats taken in based on the following categories:

a. Surrendered by owner;

b. Stray;

c. Impounded;

d. Confiscated;

e. Transferred from within Florida;

f. Transferred into or imported from out of the state; and

g. Born in shelter.

The agencies are then required to show data for the disposition categories that include:

a. Adoption;

b. Reclamation by owner;

c. Death in kennel;

d. Euthanasia at the owner's request;

e. Transfer to another public or private animal shelter, humane organization, or animal control agency operated by a humane society or by a county, municipality, or other incorporated political subdivision;

f. Euthanasia;

g. Released in field/Trapped, Neutered, Released (TNR);

h. Lost in care/missing animals or records; and

i. Ending inventory/shelter count at end of the last day of the month.

Perhaps most significantly, these listed entities that "routinely euthanize dogs based on size or breed alone" are required to provide a written statement of such policy. In fact, "[d]ogs euthanized due to breed, temperament, or size must be recorded and included in the calculation of the total euthanasia percentage." West's F. S. A. § 823.15.

Georgia

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Hawaii

H R S § 143-20

H R S § 711-1108.5

H R S § 711-1109

H R S § 711-1109.4

H R S § 711-1110

H R S § 711-1109.37

 

Cruelty Laws

Act No. 209/S.B. 9 stated in its preamble that "[t]he legislature finds that persons who are cruel to one animal may commit cruel acts to other animals and, as such, it is necessary to ensure that persons convicted of cruelty to animals are restricted from owning and possessing additional animals for a period of time." Noting also that more than 30 states have enacted such laws, the Hawaii Legislature made changes to the state's general cruelty laws.

Section 711-1108.5 added language that prevents any person convicted under this section from possessing or owning any pet animal or equine animal for a minimum of five years from the date of conviction. Notably, "person" can mean "any individual; any firm, partnership, joint venture, association, limited liability company, corporation, estate, trust, receiver, or syndicate; or any other legal entity." H R S § 711-1108.5

Cruelty to animals in the second degree also received some minor amendments. Where ten or more pet animals are involved in any one instance, the penalty becomes a class C felony. H R S § 711-1109.

A new section was added to Hawaii's cruelty offense that now makes certain forms of trapping illegal. Under new section 711-1109.37, a person commits the offense of cruelty to animals by trapping if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly uses, sets, or maintains:

(a) A steel-jawed leg-hold trap; or

(b) A snare, conibear trap, or foot- or leg-hold trap in an area zoned as residential or any other area where such snare or trap is prohibited by law or rule except under the situations described in subsection (2).

H R S § 711-1109.37. The types of traps described are defined in the new law. The exceptions relate to employees of state or federal government carrying out certain authorized duties. Cruelty to animals by trapping is a misdemeanor.

Service and Law Enforcement Animals

HRS § 711-1109.4 added the term “law enforcement animal” to its provisions. The section is now titled, “Causing injury or death to a service dog or law enforcement animal.” It also added the phrase “substantial bodily injury” to the description of actions. Exceptions including accepted veterinary practices, scientific research, and cropping or docking as customarily practiced and permitted by law were added by the amendment. Finally, violation was changed to a class C felony instead of the penalty set forth in the former law.

The following section on intentional interference (HRS § 711-1109.5) also added "law enforcement animal" to the title and throughout the section. The same exceptions were added to this statute as well. The term "harms" was changed to more specific terms: strikes, beats, kicks, cuts, stabs, shoots, or administers any type of harmful substance or poison. Finally, a provision for restitution for both service animals and law enforcement dogs was included in the amendments.

Finally, Section 711-1110 defined the phrase “law enforcement animal” to mean “any dog, horse, or other animal used by law enforcement or corrections agencies and trained to work in areas of tracking, suspect apprehension, victim assistance, crowd control, or drug or explosive detection for law enforcement purposes.” H R S § 711-1110.

Trapping

Chapter 143 concerning animals was amended to add a new section. New section 143-20 requires the reporting of any dog or cat captured or killed in any steel-jawed leg-hold trap, snare, conibear trap, or foot- or leg-hold trap in an area zoned as residential. H R S § 143-20.

 

Idaho

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Illinois

510 I.L.C.S. 70/3

720 ILCS  315/0.01, 315/1 (repealed)

720 I.L.C.S. 5/48-3


Anti-Cruelty/Dog Tethering:

The state added a subsection to the "Owner's duties" provision of the Humane Care of Animals Act. The language added a description of "lawful tethering" of a dog. Specifically, the new law states:

(b) To lawfully tether a dog outdoors, an owner must ensure that the dog:

(1) does not suffer from a condition that is known, by that person, to be exacerbated by tethering;

(2) is tethered in a manner that will prevent it from becoming entangled with other tethered dogs;

(3) is not tethered with a lead that (i) exceeds one-eighth of the dog's body weight or (ii) is a tow chain or a log chain;

(4) is tethered with a lead that measures, when rounded to the nearest whole foot, at least 10 feet in length;

(5) is tethered with a properly fitting harness or collar other than the lead or a pinch, prong, or choke-type collar; and

(6) is not tethered in a manner that will allow it to reach within the property of another person, a public walkway, or a road.

Violation of this law is now a Class B misdemeanor. (510 I.L.C.S. 70/3).

Horses

Act 315 of 20— was repealed in 2013. This comprised the Horse Mutilation Act (720 ILCS  315/0.01, 315/1). This law, originally dating back to 1891, prohibited the docking or cutting of a horse’s tail.

Hunter Interference

Act 125, Hunter and Fishermen Interference Prohibition Act was repealed in 2013. A substantially similar law was added under Article 48 that deals with animals. Under the new hunter interference act, a provision was added dealing with drones:

(b) A person commits hunter or fisherman interference when he or she intentionally or knowingly:

* * *

(10) uses a drone in a way that interferes with another person's lawful taking of wildlife or aquatic life. For the purposes of this paragraph (10), “drone” means any aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator.

720 I.L.C.S. 5/48-3

Indiana

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Iowa

I.C.A. § 717F.1  

Dangerous Animals

The exceptions for dangerous animals were amended to exclude hybrid cats. A dangerous wild animals does not include:

(2)(a) The offspring of a domestic cat and another member of the family felidae classified as a bengal with an ancestor classified as an Asian leopard cat which is a member of the species prionailurus bengalensis. The bengal must be the fourth or later filial generation of offspring with the first filial generation being the offspring of a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat, and each subsequent generation being the offspring of a domestic cat.

(b) The offspring of a domestic cat and another member of the family felidae classified as a savannah with an ancestor classified as a serval which is a member of the species leptailurus serval. The savannah must be the fourth or later filial generation of offspring with the first filial generation being the offspring of a domestic cat and a serval, and each subsequent generation being the offspring of a domestic cat.

I.C.A. § 717F.1

Kansas

K.S.A. 47-1701a, 1709a, 1725 (repealed)


 

Kansas repealed several sections of Article 17, the Pet Animal Act. The definitions section (47-1701a) was repealed. This section contained definitions for adequate feeding and watering, animal breeder, and adequate veterinary care, among many others. Section 1709a was also repealed. This section set forth the procedure for inspections and investigations, established the confidentiality of complaints, and outline the training of inspectors and owners of pet animal facilities. Finally, Section 1725a dealing with the duties and powers of the Kansas pet animal advisory board was also repealed.

Kentucky

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Louisiana

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Maine

7 M.R.S.A. § 3907

7 M.R.S.A. § 3909

7 M.R.S.A. § 3919-E

7 M.R.S.A. § 3932–A

7 M.R.S.A. § 4041

19-A M. R.S.A. § 4006

19-A M.R.S.A. § 4007

 

 

Cruelty:

Section 3909 of the Animal Welfare Act added the following provision:

6. Confidential information. The names of and other identifying information about persons providing information pertaining to criminal or civil cruelty to animals to the department are confidential information and may not be released.

7 M.R.S.A. § 3909.

The definition section of the Animal Welfare Act added some new definitions. The new definitions include: abandoned animal, dog licensing agent, humanely trap, population control effort, and small animal. 7 M.R.S.A. § 3907.

In particular, “small animal” is defined as “a bird, reptile or amphibian or a small mammal, other than a cat or dog, commonly kept as a household pet and that is an unrestricted species designated by the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in rules adopted pursuant to Title 12, chapter 915."

Section § 3919–E was then added concerning the disposition of small animals. An animal shelter that accepts a small animal without identification must hold that small animal for at least 48 hours. After the expiration of the 48–hour period, the animal shelter may treat the small animal as homeless and may:

A. Offer the small animal for adoption, sell the small animal, give away the small animal or transfer the small animal to an appropriate facility or rescue group that can provide for that specific type of small animal; or

B. Otherwise dispose of the small animal humanely in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4.

Notably, the new section states that an animal shelter may not sell or give any small animal to a research facility. 7 M.R.S.A. § 3919-E.

The amendments also allow the issuance of both conditional boarding kennel license and conditional animal shelter license. The conditional licenses remain in effect until the entities meet the requirements for a license under section 3936. If they pass inspection under section 3936 and meet all other conditions of licensure, the conditional license must be changed to standard license. However, if minimum standards are not met within 6 months after initial inspection, the conditional license may be revoked or suspended by the department pending an administrative proceeding. 7 M.R.S.A. § 3932–A.

Domestic Violence

Section 4006 of Title 19A-1 on Domestic Relations added subsection 5-A, which allows a court to make an order for interim relief before a hearing. The court may make an order concerning the care, custody or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household and may enjoin the defendant from injuring or threatening to injure any such animal. 19-A M.R.S.A. § 4006.

Under the following section on what relief a court can grant, a new subsection allows courts to add companion animals to protection orders in cases of domestic violence added the following subsection:

E-1. Directing the defendant to refrain from injuring or threatening to injure any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household;

19-A M.R.S.A. § 4007.

 

Trespass by animals

7 M.R.S.A.§ 4041 on animal trespass added fines to the law. Violation of the law now leads to the following fines:

A. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 must be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this section after having been adjudicated as having committed a violation of this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $1,000 must be adjudged.

C. A person who violates this section after having been adjudicated as having committed 2 or more violations of this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $2,500 must be adjudged.

7 M.R.S.A. § 4041.

Maryland

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-607

MD Code, Local Government, § 13-112 - 134

 

Dogfighting

The term “baiting” was added to § 10-607, which defines dogfights as aggravated cruelty. Baiting is defined as “using a dog to train a fighting dog or to test the fighting or killing instinct of another dog.” This activity is now illegal under the section.

Dog Laws

The state revamped its dog laws so that each county is specifically authorized to issue licenses and control dogs at large. Now counties from A to Z have statutory sections. MD Code, Local Government, § 13-112 - 134

Massachusetts

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Michigan

M. C. L. A. 287.1102

M. C. L. A. 324.40103

M. C. L. A. 324.40109a

M. C. L. A. 324.40110

M. C. L. A. 324.40113a

 

Hunting

Part 402 on Wildlife Conservation added a section to the law that summarizes the state’s wildlife management policy. The section now contains this legislative finding:

(3) The legislature declares that hunting, fishing, and the taking of game are a valued part of the cultural heritage of this state and should be forever preserved. The legislature further declares that these activities play an important part in the state's economy and in the conservation, preservation, and management of the state's natural resources. Therefore, the legislature declares that the citizens of this state have a right to hunt, fish, and take game, subject to the regulations and restrictions prescribed by subsection (2) and law.

M. C. L. A. 324.40113a.

A new section was added to the chapter that states an individual shall not be punished or prosecuted in this state for:

(a) Lawfully taking game in another state.

(b) Lawfully engaging in a hunt in another state.

(c) Possessing game that was lawfully taken in another state or this state if that game is possessed in compliance with this act and with orders issued under this act.

M. C. L. A. 324.40109a.

The Virginia Rail (is a small waterbird, of the family Rallidae) was added to the state law that designates game animals. M. C. L. A. 324.40103.

Under Section 324.40110, amendments now allow either the legislature or the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to designate game species. The commission can designate game species by issuing orders. Critics contend that this change occurred after a ballot proposal was introduced to stop Michigan's new wolf hunt. However, the commission is prohibited from designating any of the following as game under this subsection:

(a) A domestic animal.

(b) Livestock.

(c) Any species added to the game list by a public act that is rejected by a referendum before the effective date of the 2013 amendatory act that amended this section.

Those terms were then defined in the section under the amendments. M. C. L. A. 324.40110.

Large Carnivores

Michigan’s Large Carnivore Act received some amendments related to bears. The act was purportedly amended because the US Fish and Wildlife Service began to enforce the act at Oswald's Bear Ranch in Newberry, Michigan in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Under the act, the owners were prevented from allowing the public to take pictures with the bear cubs. Legislators added section (4) to the act, which exempted contact with certain bears. The new language states:

(4) This act does not apply to a person who allows a patron to come into contact with a large carnivore under subsection (3)(d)(i) or (ii) if the large carnivore is a bear less than 36 weeks of age or a bear weighing 90 pounds or less if the person otherwise meets the requirements of subsection (3) and satisfies 1 of the following:

(a) The person was in possession of a bear on the effective date of the 2013 amendatory act that amended this section.

(b) The person acquired a business described in subsection (3)(a) from a person who was in possession of a bear on the effective date of the 2013 amendatory act that amended this section.

M. C. L. A. 287.1102.

Minnesota

M. S. A. § 363A.19  

Service Animals

Section 363.19 relating to discriminatory practices eliminated phrasing that the service dog be from a “properly identified as being from a recognized program which trains service animals.” Further, the term “service animal” is now as defined by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. M. S. A. § 363A.19.

Mississippi

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Missouri

V. A. M. S. 578.011

V. A. M. S. 578.013

V.A.M.S. 209.200

 

Animal Trespass

A new section was added on animal trespass. The law provides:

1. A person is guilty of animal trespass if a person having ownership or custody of an animal knowingly fails to provide adequate control for a period equal to or exceeding twelve hours.

2. Animal trespass is an infraction upon first conviction and for each offense punishable by a fine not to exceed two hundred dollars, and a class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment or a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars, or both, upon the second and all subsequent convictions. All fines for a first conviction of animal trespass may be waived by the court provided that the person found guilty of animal trespass shows that adequate, permanent remedies for trespass have been made. Reasonable costs incurred for the care and maintenance of trespassing animals may not be waived. This section shall not apply to the provisions of section 578.007 or sections 272.010 to 272.370.

V. A. M. S. 578.011.

"Ag gag" Law

In 2012, the legislature added a section that some critics contend is an effort to stop undercover animal abuse documentaries (often known as "ag gag laws"). This law requires any farm animal professional to submit videotape or digital recordings of what he or she believes to depict  farm animal abuse or neglect to a law enforcement agency within twenty-four hours of the recording. An intentional violation of any provision of this section is a class A misdemeanor. V. A. M. S. 578.013.

Service Animals

Chapter 209 on rights of individuals with disabilities added some new definitions in 2013. The terms "professional therapy dog," "search and rescue dog," and "service dog team" were added. V.A.M.S. 209.200.

Montana

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. St. § 28–1005

Neb. Rev. St. § 28–1005.01

Neb. Rev. St. § 28-1009

Neb. Rev. St. § 28–1010

Neb. Rev. St. § 28-1019

Neb. Rev. St. § 54–902

Neb. Rev. St. § 54–906
 

Cruelty

In 2013, L.B. 329 was enacted allowing other animals cruelty violations to be subject to section 28–1019. Section 28-1019 allows a sentencing court to  order a person to not to own, possess, or reside with any animal for at least five years after the date of conviction (not exceeding fifteen years). These additional sections include § 28–1005 (dog fighting),  § 28–1005.01 (animal fighting paraphernalia), § 28–1009 (cruel neglect/abandonment), and  § 28–1010 (indecency with an animal).

Provisions of the Livestock Animal Welfare Act were amended. The definition section (§ 54–902) added a definition for the term "owner." Section § 54–906 dealing with the authority of a law enforcement officer to issue citations and seize animals, was changed in several ways. First, a law enforcement officer may now specify in a custody agreement the terms and conditions by which the owner or custodian may maintain custody of the livestock animal to provide care for such animal at the expense of the owner or custodian. A violation of the custody agreement may result in the seizure of the livestock animal. Even an animal subject to cruelty under 903 or "indecency" under 904 may be kept by the law enforcement officer on the property of the owner or custodian of such livestock animal. Additionally, a new subsection allows a law enforcement officer to euthanize a livestock animal seized or kept in accordance with this section if the animal is severely emaciated, injured, disabled, or diseased past recovery for any useful purpose. Finally, the act set forth a procedure for when a livestock animal has been seized under the section. Within seven days after the date of seizure, the agency that took custody of the animal must file a complaint with the district court in the county in which the animal was seized for a hearing to determine the disposition and the cost for the care of the livestock animal. Notice must be provided to the owner and/or person with a security interest in the animal. If the court finds that probable cause exists that the livestock animal has been abandoned or cruelly neglected or mistreated, it can order immediate forfeiture of the livestock animal to the agency that took custody or issue an order to the owner. This may require the owner to post bond to cover the care of the seized livestock animal.

Nevada

N. R. S. 202.500

N. R. S. 574.053

N. R. S. 574.060

N. R. S. 574.070

N. R. S. 574.100

N.R.S. 574.550

 

Animal Fighting

Changes were made to several laws dealing with animal fighting. First, the penalty for keeping a house, apartment, pit or place kept or used for baiting or fighting any bird or animal was changed from a gross misdemeanor to a class E felony for the first offense. A second or subsequent was changed from a category E felony to a category D felony. N. R. S. 574.060.

Section 574.070 on instigating or witnessing animal fights was also amended. A first offense for owning or selling a fighting animal or is now category E felony instead of a gross misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense is now a class D felony.

A section was added to prohibit the following:

(b) Manufacture, own, possess, purchase, sell, barter or exchange, or advertise for sale, barter or exchange, any gaff, spur or other sharp implement designed for attachment to a cock or other bird with the intent that the implement be used in fighting another cock or other bird.

Engaging in this conduct or knowingly attending an animal fighting exhibition is now a gross misdemeanor for the first offense. A second or subsequent offense is a class E felony. N. R. S. 574.070.

Sale of animals at swap meets

The state enacted a new law that makes it a misdemeanor for a person to sell, offer to sell, or offer to adopt any live animal (except livestock) at a swap meet. The exception occurs when a county has enacted an ordinance that allows the sale of live animals at swap meets. N.R.S. 574.550.

Cruelty

Under previous Nevada law, a report made by any person who has reasonable cause to believe an animal has been subjected to an act of cruelty in violation of NRS 574.100 was confidential. In 2013, that subsection was removed. The new subsection makes any person, including law enforcement and humane agents, who willfully releases data or information concerning the reports or the identity of a person who made the report (except for the purposes of a criminal investigation or prosecution) guilty of a misdemeanor. N. R. S. 574.053.

Nevada amended its cruelty law to add "horse tripping" to the list of prohibited activities. "Horse tripping" means the roping of the legs of or otherwise using a wire, pole, stick, rope or other object to intentionally trip or intentionally cause a horse, mule, burro, ass or other animal of the equine species to fall. Under new subsection (5), a person shall not:

(a) Intentionally engage in horse tripping for sport, entertainment, competition or practice; or

(b) Knowingly organize, sponsor, promote, oversee or receive money for the admission of any person to a charreada or rodeo that includes horse tripping.

An exemption is provided for tripping an animal for medical or other health care for the animal. A second exemption is provided for "[c]atching such an animal by the legs and then releasing it as part of a horse roping event for which a permit has been issued by the local government where the event is conducted." N. R. S. 574.100.

Dangerous dogs/Breed Specific Legislation

Amendments to Nevada's dangerous and vicious dog law added language stating that a dog may not be found dangerous or vicious "[b]ased solely on the breed of the dog." Additionally, subsection (6) states that no local authority shall adopt or enforce an ordinance or regulation that deems a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of the dog. N. R. S. 202.500.

New Hampshire


N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437:8

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437.12 (repealed)

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437:13-a

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 466:6-a (repealed)

Sale of Pets:

The state passed H.B. 328 changing some laws relating to the sale of pets.

Inspection provisions under NH ST § 437:8 were changed slightly. Previously, inspections were to occur "at reasonable times, but in no case less frequently than every 6 months." Now the language states: "[e]ach licensee's facilities shall be inspected by a employee of the department or by a person appointed by the department at reasonable times determined by the department and no less frequently that once a year with the possibility of additional random inspections."

Section 437:13-a was changed from "Health Certificates for Cats" to "Health Certificate for Dogs, Cats, Birds, and Ferrets." References to "cat" in the previous version were changed to “dog, cat, bird, or ferret.”

Section 437.12 stating that no license shall be suspended or revoked until a hearing is held before the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food was repealed. However, the same language now appears earlier in the chapter under new Section 437:9-a.

Section 466:6-a on breeders' health certificates was repealed. The former language stated that no dog shall be transferred in the state or out of the state by a breeder without first being inoculated against infectious canine diseases using a vaccine approved by the state veterinarian and unless accompanied by an official health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 14 days.

New Jersey

N. J. S. A. 4:22-15

N. J. S. A. 4:22-17

N. J. S. A. 2C:29-3.1

 

Assistance Animals:

A new state law proclaims the following:

Wednesday of the second week of August each year is designated “Assistance Animal Recognition Day” in the State of New Jersey in order to highlight the important role that assistance animals play in the lives of persons with disabilities and to promote awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and their assistance animals.

N. J. S. A. 36:2-213.

Cruelty

New Jersey added several new definitions to its chapter on prevention of cruelty to animals. These new terms are:

“Bodily injury” means physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition.

“Necessary care” means care sufficient to preserve the health and well-being of an animal, and includes, but is not limited to: food of sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal growth or maintenance of body weight; adequate access to water in sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy the animal's needs; access to adequate protection from the weather; and veterinary care to alleviate suffering and maintain health.

“Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

N. J. S. A. 4:22-15.

The state's main anti-cruelty law also received some changes. Language was clarified throughout the section. The amendments make it a crime to fail to provide a living animal or creature with necessary care. This results in a violation with a sum of not less than $500 nor more than $2,000. If that act causes "bodily injury" as defined in the amendments to the definitional section, the fine increases to not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000. NJSA 4:22-17.

Law Enforcement Animals

Section 2C:29-3.1 dealing with purposeful infliction of harm on animal owned or used by law enforcement added a new subsection. This change was entitled, "Dano and Vader's Law." The section reads:

c. Any person who purposely threatens to kill, maim or otherwise inflict harm upon a dog, horse or other animal owned or used by a law enforcement agency or a search and rescue dog, under circumstances reasonably causing the person to whom the threat is made to believe that it is likely that it will be carried out, shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

N. J. S. A. 2C:29-3.1.

New Mexico

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-3

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-5

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-6

 

Service animals

Changes were made to the new "Service Animal Act" in 2013. Previously, the act was entitled the "Assistance Animal Act." The definitions formerly related to "assistance animal," "guide dog," "hearing dog," and "service dog." The amendments revised the definitions. There are now definitions for:

  • emotional support animal
  • qualified service animal, which includes both dogs and miniature horses
  • qualified service dog
  • and qualified service miniature horse

In Section 28-11-3 regarding the admittance of qualified service animals, the term "assistance animal" was changed to "qualified service animal." The phrase "person with a disability" was added so that the law only applies to individuals with disabilities using service animals. This mirrors federal law. Additionally, the following paragraph was added:

This section does not require a public accommodation or common carrier to permit an owner, trainer or handler using a qualified service animal to have access to a public accommodation or common carrier in circumstances in which the individual's use of the qualified service animal poses a direct threat of significant harm to the health or safety of others.

NMSA 1978, § 28-11-3.

The penalty for interference with a qualified service animal was also amended. Before, the law stated that damages included, "restitution, including the cost of veterinary bills and replacement and training costs of a qualified assistance animal, if such costs are incurred as a result of the violation." Now, the law simply states that "[a] person convicted under this section may be ordered to pay restitution, including, but not limited to, actual damages." NMSA 1978, § 28-11-5.

Finally, a new section was added to the act, "§ 28-11-6. Prohibition of false presentation of animal as a qualified service animal." It is now a misdemeanor to "knowingly present as a qualified service animal any animal that does not meet a definition of 'qualified service animal'." NMSA 1978, § 28-11-6.

New York

McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0514

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 404

McKinney's Public Health Law § 2140

McKinney's General Business Law § 753

Invasive Species

New York added a law that prohibits the knowing importation or breeding of Eurasian boars in the state. The ban goes into effect September 1, 2015. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0514.

Pet Dealers

The penalty for violation of Article 26-A, Care of Animals by Pet Dealers, was increased to $100 from $50 in 2013. This article relates to minimum standard of care and licensing for pet dealers.

Section 404 of this article was also amended. Language was added that allows a license revocation if a licensee has failed three critical inspections. The preceding part of the law makes it appear that deficiencies can be continuously corrected without danger of suspension or revocation of a licensee. The amendments add greater consequences for three critical failures. The new wording states:

Where a licensee has three consecutive inspections in which the licensee has failed to correct deficiencies of a critical nature, pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall hold a hearing to consider the suspension or revocation of the pet dealer license. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the commissioner from taking additional actions as otherwise permitted by this section regarding such licenses prior to the occurrence of three consecutive inspections in which the licensee has failed to correct deficiencies of a critical nature.

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 404.

Rabies Law

Under Section 2140, amendments in 2013 added the following exemption for police dogs for “confinement and observation” under the rabies chapter:

If a police work dog bites an individual in the course of such dog's official duty the police department may apply for a waiver from confinement from the local department of health. As part of such application for a waiver, the police department shall provide the local health department with records of such dog's past vaccination for rabies and proof that such dog's rabies vaccinations are up-to-date.

McKinney's Public Health Law § 2140.

Sale of Pets

Article 35-D on the “Sale of Dogs and Cats,” received some amendments in 2013. This article contains the laws commonly known as the “puppy lemon laws” or “pet purchaser protection act.” The changes to 753-b put a time limitation on recovery for a congenital malformation. Previously, the law included a congenital malformation in the 14-day time period after examination by a licensed veterinarian. Now, the law expands the time frame for pet purchasers to 180 days from purchase or receipt of the animal:

or if, within one hundred eighty calendar days following such sale or receipt, whichever occurred last, a licensed veterinarian certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital malformation which adversely affects the health of the animal,

McKinney's General Business Law § 753.

Additionally, the penalty for any violations of the article was raised from $50 to $100 in 2013.

North Carolina

N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-1.1

N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-23

N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–1

N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–2

N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–6

N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–7

N.C.G.S.A. § 130A–192

N.C.G.S.A. § 19A–32.1

Cruelty

Under the chapter on Civil Remedy for Protection of Animals, a subsection was added to N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-1.1 on exemptions for the chapter:

This Article shall not apply to the following:

* * *

(7) The taking and holding in captivity of a wild animal by a licensed sportsman for use or display in an annual, seasonal, or cultural event, so long as the animal is captured from the wild and returned to the wild at or near the area where it was captured.

The Animal Welfare Act (Article 3), added two new definitions:

(5a) “Approved foster care provider” means an individual, nonprofit corporation, or association that cares for stray animals that has been favorably assessed by the operator of the animal shelter through the application of written standards.

(5b) “Approved rescue organization” means a nonprofit corporation or association that cares for stray animals that has been favorably assessed by the operator of the animal shelter through the application of written standards.

N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-23

Equine Activity Liability

The Equine Activity Liability Act was amended to become the “Equine and Farm Animal Activity Liability.” Under the definition for "equine activity sponsor," the following sentence was added: "[a] landowner who allows equine recreation on the landowner's property shall not be considered an equine activity sponsor."

The phrase "equine recreation" was defined under the amendments:

(5a) “Equine recreation” means use of a landowner's property for an equine activity (i) where the landowner is neither the equine activity sponsor nor the equine professional and (ii) when the landowner permits use of the property without charge. For purposes of this subdivision, “charge” has the meaning set forth in G.S. 38A–2 and G.S. 38A–3.

N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–1

Under N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–2 on "Liability," the following clause was added:

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to conflict with or render ineffectual a liability release, indemnification, assumption, or acknowledgment of risk agreement between a participant and an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional.

Part 2 of the chapter added provisions for Farm Activity Liability.

(1) “Engage in a farm animal activity” means participate in a farm animal activity, assist a participant in a farm animal activity, or assist a farm animal activity sponsor or farm animal activity professional. The term “engage in a farm animal activity” does not include being a spectator at a farm animal activity, except in cases in which the spectator voluntarily places himself or herself in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to the farm animal activity.

N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–6 then provides the immunity from liability for a farm animal activity sponsor. Those described in the law shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of farm animal activities. However, N.C.G.S.A. § 99E–7 does state that a standard warning similar to equine activity is required.

Impoundment of companion animals

Section N.C.G.S.A. § 130A–192 concerning animals not wearing required rabies vaccination tags was amended to reflect the enactment of § 19A–32.1. Any mention of minimum holding periods in that law were removed. Minimum holding period for animals in animal shelters are now provided in Section 19A-32.1. That new section states that except as otherwise provided, all animals received by an animal shelter or by an agent of an animal shelter shall be held for a minimum holding period of 72 hours, or for any longer minimum period established by a board of county commissioners, prior to being euthanized or otherwise disposed of. Additionally, public viewing is required for animals prior to euthanasia. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a person who comes to an animal shelter attempting to locate a lost pet is entitled to view every animal held at the shelter, subject to rules providing for such viewing during at least four hours a day, three days a week. Other provisions for viewing apply if the animal has been placed in foster care. Animal shelters must maintain a record of all animals impounded at the shelter, for a period of at least three years from the date of impoundment, and shall make those records available for inspection during regular inspections under this Article or upon the request of a representative of the Animal Welfare Section. These records shall contain, at a minimum:

(1) The date of impoundment.

(2) The length of impoundment.

(3) The disposition of each animal

North Dakota

NDCC, § 36–21.2–01 et seq.

NDCC, 36-01-34

NDCC, 36-01-35

 

Cruelty

In 2013, North Dakota became one of the last state to enact a felony-level penalty for animal cruelty. In doing so, the chapter that housed the previous cruelty provisions (CHAPTER 36-21.1. HUMANE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS) repealed a number of laws (§ 36-21.1-01 providing definitions, § 36-21.1-02, prohibiting overworking, mistreating, or abandoning animals, § 36-21.1-03, prohibiting cruelty in transportation, § 36-21.1-03.1, prohibiting unattended dogs or cats in motor vehicles in perilous situations, and § 36-21.1-04, prohibiting poisoning of domestic animals, § 36-21.1-06, relating to the authority of officers dealing with exposure of animals to the elements or to hunger and thirst, § 36-21.1-12, relating to duties of the board and commissioner, § 36-21.1-13, relating to assumption of custody of abandoned animals). The new sections are located at NDCC, § 36–21.2–01 et seq.

Exotic Pets

Under the chapter outlining the power and authority of the State Board of Animal Health, a new section was added that gives the board the power to restrict the importation and the sale of any domestic animal and any animal that is wild by nature, if the board has reason to believe that the animal may pose a threat to the health and well-being of this state's human or animal population. The board may also exempt from that list animals used in bona fide scientific purposes, educational purposes, or temporary exhibitions. NDCC, 36-01-34.

Veterinarians

Section NDCC, 36-01-35 was added in 2013 making the state board of animal health responsible for maintaining and making available to any law enforcement agency a list of veterinarians who are licensed in this state and trained to provide assistance in any criminal investigation pertaining to this state's animal laws.

 

Ohio

R.C. § 956.01 – 18

R.C. § 955.121

 

Commercial Breeders

Ohio enacted chapter 956 on dog breeding kennels and dog retailers in 2012, which became effective in March of 2013. The chapter defines a “high volume breeder” as "an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult breeding dogs that produce at least nine litters of puppies in any given calendar year and, in return for a fee or other consideration, sells sixty or more adult dogs or puppies per calendar year." A high volume breeder must obtain a license from the director of agriculture. The director of agriculture must inspect high volume breeder facilities at least once annually and may also do so upon receipt of a public complaint. The section requires the director of agriculture to adopt rules related to licensing, recordkeeping, background investigations, dog retailer procedures, and special requirements for high volume breeders related to insurance, housing, nutrition, exercise, and other general care standards. The director of agriculture may assess a civil penalty against a person who violates this chapter or request that the attorney general issue an injunction. The chapter also establishes a commercial dog breeding advisory board. R.C. § 956.01 – 18.

Dogs

In Chapter 955 on dogs, a new section was added in 2013. This section concerns the appointment of county sheriff as county dog warden. Under the new law, a board of county commissioners may appoint the county sheriff to enforce sections of the dog law in lieu of appointing a county dog warden and deputies under section 955.12. The law sets forth the requirements of this two-year appointment. R.C. § 955.121.

Oklahoma

4 Okl.St.Ann. § 30.1 - 30.16

2 Okl. St. Ann. § 6-192

4 Okl.St.Ann. § 41

 

Commercial Breeders:

The Commercial Pet Breeders Act of 2012 was amended in 2013 to become the “Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act.” The amendments added animal shelters under the ambit of the act. Animal shelters, like commercial breeders, must now be licensed. For purposes of the act, animal shelters include both governmental and private operators:

"Animal shelter” means any nongovernmental facility that maintains ten or more dogs and cats operated by or under contract for the state, a county, a municipal corporation, or any other political subdivision of the state for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned or unwanted dogs or cats; and any facility that maintains ten or more dogs and cats operated, owned, or maintained by any person or organization for such purpose, but not including any facility that does not house or harbor dogs or cats on the premises and only operates through a system of fostering in private homes . . .

4 Okl.St.Ann. § 30.1 - 30.16

Dogs Chasing Livestock

In Chapter 3, Dogs and Cats, Section 41 on dogs chasing livestock was amended. Previously, the act only covered the extent of liability of the owner of a dog or cat that chases livestock and the conditions under which the animal would be killed. Now, the law describes a procedure to seize what is defined as a “potentially dangerous dog.” A “potentially dangerous dog” means “any dog that, while the dog was allowed to run at large off the property of the owner, when unprovoked, on more than one occasion, was found to be chasing or aggressively creating a substantial threat to the health, safety and welfare of livestock or persons.” The law allows for seizure of the offending animal by the appropriate animal control authority until terms and conditions of release necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of livestock and persons are established by the supervisor of the animal control authority or a court of competent jurisdiction and agreed to by the owner. A potentially dangerous dog can become a “dangerous dog” if (a) when unprovoked, the dog kills or injures livestock, or (b) the dog has been previously found to be a potentially dangerous dog and continues to be found to be chasing livestock. 4 Okl.St.Ann. § 41.

Horsemeat

The Horsemeat for human consumption was repealed in November 2013. The former act made it is unlawful to sell horsemeat for human consumption or to possess horsemeat with the intent to sell it for human consumption.  It is also was unlawful to transfer horsemeat when the person transferring the horsemeat knows or reasonably should know that the person receiving the meat intends to sell the meat for human consumption. However, it appears that a similar section was added to the Oklahoma Meat Inspection Act (Article 6). 2 Okl. St. Ann. § 6-192.

Oregon

O. R. S. § 167.305

O. R. S. § 167.310

O. R. S. § 167.332

O. R. S. § 167.343

O. R. S. § 167.347

O. R. S. § 167.348

O. R. S. § 167.383

O. R. S. § 659A.143

 

Animal Rescue

Under Chapter 609 on Dogs, a new subsection was added to regulate Animal Rescues. An "animal rescue entity” defined as an individual or organization, including but not limited to an animal control agency, humane society, animal shelter, animal sanctuary or boarding kennel, must now comply with certain record-keeping requirements. These requirements include such things as date of birth for the animal, date of acquisition, number of offspring produced while in possession of the animal rescue entity, the source of acquisition, and a photograph. The animal rescue entity must comply with licensing requirements and permit inspection of records. It is also subject to inspection under the new law. O. R. S. § 609.415.

A subsequent section gives an authorized representative of an enforcing agency who is advised or has reason to believe that an animal rescue entity is operating without a license, the right to conduct an on-site investigation of the premises of the animal rescue entity. O. R. S. § 609.420.

Cruelty

The definitions for the Offenses Against Animals chapter were amended as a result of H.B. 2783. The legislation added the following new definitions for the chapter:

Adequate bedding

Adequate shelter

Tethering

O. R. S. § 167.310.

Under Section 167.320 and 167.322, animal abuse in the first degree and aggravated animal abuse in the first degree, the following provision was added: "the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission shall classify the offense as crime category 6 of the sentencing guidelines grid." O. R. S. § 167.320.

Under 167.325, animal neglect in the second degree, language was added for a felony provision. A person commits a Class C felony if:

  • He or she has been previously convicted of two or more offenses under this section or 167.330 (animal neglect in the first degree);
  • The offense was part of a criminal episode involving 11 or more animals; or
  • The person knowingly commits the offense in the immediate presence of a minor child and the person has one or more previous convictions for an offense involving domestic violence.

Under these changes, animal neglect in the second degree is now considered a category 6 if 11 to 40 animals were subject to neglect or category 7 if more than 40 animals were the subject of the neglect or if the offense is a felony. O. R. S. § 167.325.

The same sentence enhancements apply to Section 167.330, animal neglect in the first degree. The only major difference is that it becomes a felony if only 10 animals were involved instead of 11. O. R. S. § 167.330.

Equine Tripping

The state added a new law prohibiting equine tripping. A person commits the offense of equine tripping if, for purposes of a rodeo, contest, exhibition, entertainment or sport or as practice for a rodeo, contest, exhibition, entertainment or sport, the person intentionally ropes or lassos the legs of an equine, intentionally causing the equine to trip or fall. Violation is a Class B misdemeanor. O. R. S. § 167.383.

Impounded and Forfeited Animals

S.B. 6 of 2013 created changes in laws that cover the care of impounded animals. Notably, a new section entitled “Legislative findings and declarations” was enacted:

The Legislative Assembly finds and declares that:

(1) Animals are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain, stress and fear;

(2) Animals should be cared for in ways that minimize pain, stress, fear and suffering;

(3) The suffering of animals can be mitigated by expediting the disposition of abused animals that would otherwise languish in cages while their defendant owners await trial;

(4) The suffering of animals at the hands of unlicensed animal rescue organizations that are unable to provide sufficient food and care for the animals can be reduced by requiring such organizations to comply with regulations;

(5) The State of Oregon has an interest in facilitating the mitigation of costs of care incurred by persons and government agencies that provide treatment for impounded animals;

(6) Use of preconviction civil remedies is not an affront to the presumption of innocence; and

(7) Amendments to current law are needed to ensure that interested parties are afforded adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard and thus cannot unduly delay or impede animal lien foreclosure and preconviction forfeiture processes through unfounded due process claims.

O. R. S. § 167.305.

Under Section 167.332, “Possession of animals by violator,” the ability of a court to limit possession of animal for a person convicted of a cruelty offense was expanded. Previously, the law stated that a person may not possess a "domestic animal." After 2013 amendments, that was expanded to "a domestic animal or any animal of the same genus against which the crime was committed."

A new subsection was added to that law concerning the possession of livestock.

(3) The animal possession prohibition described in subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person's first conviction if the person is the owner of a commercial livestock operation and the underlying violation of ORS 167.315, 167.320, 167.322, 167.325, 167.330, 167.333, 167.340, 167.355, 167.365 or 167.428 was committed against livestock.

In addition, a person subject to an animal possession prohibition may now file a motion with the sentencing court requesting a waiver of the prohibition. The person must file a sworn affidavit in support of the motion that contains details outlined in the new law. O. R. S. § 167.332.

Within 30 days of impoundment of any animal or animals as is authorized under ORS 167.345, any person who has an ownership interest in any impounded animal may file a written petition, verified under oath, demanding a hearing before the circuit court.

Upon receipt of a petition in compliance with this subsection, the circuit court shall hold the hearing within 14 days, or as soon as practicable, wherein the respondents shall demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that impoundment of the animal was based on probable cause and that the lien amount claimed accurately reflects the reasonable charges authorized and accruing under subsection (1) of this section. O. R. S. § 167.347.

In the section on placing an animal forfeited in a cruelty prosecution, a sentence was added that limits with whom the animal can be placed. “The agency may not, however, place the animal with family members or friends of the former owner who aided or abetted the criminal conduct underlying the forfeiture or had knowledge of the criminal conduct and failed to intervene.” O. R. S. § 167.348.

 Service Animals

Oregon repealed its Assistance Dogs for Persons Who Are Blind or Deaf (Sections 346.610 to 346.660) and Assistance Animals for Persons with Physical Impairment (Sections 346.680 to 346.690). Additionally, Section 346.687 related to theft of an assistance animal was renumbered to Chapter 659A related to unlawful discrimination.

The repeal of the sections resulted in a new provision being created in Chapter 659A. The new section prohibits a place of public accommodation from:

(a) Ask an individual about the nature or extent of a disability that the individual has or may have;

(b) Require an individual to provide documentation proving that an animal is an assistance animal or an assistance animal trainee; or

(c) Notwithstanding any fee or admission charge imposed for pets, require that a person with a disability or an assistance animal trainer pay a fee or admission charge for an assistance animal or assistance animal trainee.

However, a place of public accommodation may inquire if the animal is required due to a disability, and the nature of the tasks it is trained or being trained to do. Other provisions are described related to when a place of public accommodation can reasonably exclude an assistance animal. O. R. S. § 659A.143. These changes align state law with federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Tethering

Oregon added the offense of unlawful tethering. A person commits the offense of unlawful tethering if the person tethers a domestic animal in the person's custody or control:

(a) With a tether that is not a reasonable length given the size of the domestic animal and available space and that allows the domestic animal to become entangled in a manner that risks the health or safety of the domestic animal;

(b) With a collar that pinches or chokes the domestic animal when pulled;

(c) For more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period; or

(d) For more than 15 hours in a 24-hour period if the tether is attached to a running line, pulley or trolley system.

There are exceptions under the law such as when the dog is in the physical presence of its handler, camping, transport, herding, protecting livestock, or dogsledding. Unlawful tethering is a Class B violation.  O. R. S. § 167.343.

Pennsylvania

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Rhode Island

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-1

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-3

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-13.1-16

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-16

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 5-25-11

 

 

Cruelty

Rhode Island added a new provision to its general cruelty laws. Section 4-1-41 prohibits a property owner or manager from advertising, requiring or refusing to allow a tenant occupancy because the tenant or prospective tenant refuses to have his or her animal declawed or devocalized. This new law only applies to properties where animals are otherwise allowed. Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-1

Additionally, the cruelty chapter also added a definition. The phrase “adequate living conditions” for non-livestock means “a sanitary environment which is dry and free of accumulated feces and free of debris and garbage that may clutter the environment, pose a danger or entangle the animal.” § 4–1–1. The size must either meet federal regulatory or recognized professional standards, or must otherwise be of sufficient size so as not to inhibit comfortable rest, normal posture or range of movement, and suitable to maintain the animal in a good state of health.

For livestock, the standards are yet to be developed. They will eventually mean best management practices established, no later than July 1, 2014, by the Rhode Island livestock welfare and care standards advisory council.

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-3. The need to define the phrase “adequate living conditions” results from the addition of that requirement to the general cruelty law. Unnecessary cruelty now includes a failure to provide an animal with adequate living conditions. This law also added further terms of intent to the cruelty law: “or willfully, intentionally, maliciously, recklessly, and/or knowingly authorizes or permits that animal to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind . . . “ This addition clarifies the necessary mental intent for this part of the cruelty law.

Finally, the law also added a subsection that exempts University, college or hospital research facilities licensed and/or inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Public Health Service of the department of health and human services from the main cruelty provision of section a. The entities must be in good standing with the federal agency responsible for licensing or assurance of the facility. Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-16.

Spay/Neuter Laws

Under Chapter 19, Animal Care, the spay/neuter laws were amended. The law concerning the mandatory spaying or neutering of a cat or dog adopted from a releasing agency were changed. Previously, the party adopting the animal was required to put down a $20 to $40 deposit and sign an agreement that, once the animal was sterilized, the deposit would be returned. Now, the agency retains possession of the non-sterilized animal until the animal is spayed or neutered. The releasing agency retains an amount equal to the cost required to spay or neuter the animal. The agency then transfers custody of the dog or cat to the adopting party after spaying or neutering (and when medically ready). If these prospective owners do not return to take custody of the dog or cat within 10 days, the agreement is void and the agency can adopt out the animal to another party. There are exceptions to this requirement where the dog or cat is medically unable to undergo surgery or is sexually immature.

In the section that provides penalties for violation of such agreements (§ 4–19–18), the following provision was added:

Licensed releasing agencies must notify the animal control officer or police officer in the city or town in which the adopting party resides, in writing, within fourteen (14) days of any violation of the provisions of § 4–19–16.

Prohibition on Breed-Specific Laws

Under Chapter 13 on Dogs, laws were enacted that prohibit the enactment of any rule, regulation or ordinance specific to any breed of dog or cat. This is true for general regulation of dogs under § 4–13–43 and the regulation of vicious dogs under § 4-13.1-16.

Veterinary Practice

The law relating to the licensing of veterinarians added a provision that allows a veterinarian who is properly and currently licensed or credentialed in another state may practice, without written examination or other qualification, in the state of Rhode Island during an emergency or natural disaster as determined by the Rhode Island state veterinarian or the director of the division of agriculture. Gen. Laws, 1956, § 5-25-11.

South Carolina

Code 1976 § 23–23–140

Code 1976 § 47-3-110

 

Dog Bite

The state amended its strict liability for dog bite law, Section 47–3–110 of the 1976 Code, to remove liability for provocation and law enforcement dogs in certain situations. Previously, Section 47-3-110 had a sentence at the end that stated, “If a person provokes a dog into attacking him then the owner of the dog is not liable.” Now, the law has added an entire subsection B that explicitly states that the law does not apply when:

(1) the person who was attacked provoked or harassed the dog and that provocation was the proximate cause of the attack; or

(2) the dog was working in a law enforcement capacity with a governmental agency and in the performance of the dog's official duties provided certain conditions are met.

This same bill (S.B.8) added § 23–23–140. This section adds a provision for “patrol canine teams” meaning a certified officer and a specific patrol canine controlled by the handler working together in the performance of law enforcement or correctional duties. “Patrol canine teams” does not refer to canines used exclusively for tracking or specific detection. The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy must verify that these teams have been certified by a nationally recognized police dog association or similar organization. However, no law enforcement agency may utilize patrol canine teams after July 1, 2014, unless the patrol canine teams have met all certification requirements.

South Dakota

S D C L § 41-8-15  

Hunting with Dogs

South Dakota clarified its section on hunting big game with dogs. Section 41-8-15 affirmatively recognizes that dogs may be used in the hunting of mountain lions subject to state rules. It also now provides that a dog that is leashed and under the control of a handler may be used to track and retrieve any big game animal that is wounded or presumed dead, if the handler complies with the conditions and restrictions prescribed in this chapter and the rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

Tennessee

T. C. A. § 39-14-210

 

Cruelty

Section T. C. A. § 39-14-210 relating to the powers of humane societies with respect to animal cruelty investigations was amended. Subsection (g) concerning the posting of security when a “victimized animal” is seized removed the language that allowed a court to suspend the posting of security if a defendant is deemed indigent. Now, the amount of security is be determined by the court “after taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances of the case.” The rewritten subsection also changed the time frame for posting security from 15 to 10 days, after which a seized animal is considered forfeited to animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee. This time period remains 15 days where the owner is not the person from whom the animal was seized. 

Texas

V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 437.023

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002\P121.003gr121.004, and 121.006

 

 

Service Animals

Texas Chapter 437 titled, “Regulation of Food Service Establishments, Retail Food Stores, Mobile Food Units, and Roadside Food Vendors,” added a new law for service animals. Section § 437.023 states that a food service establishment, retail food store, or other entity regulated under this chapter may not deny a service animal admittance into an area of the establishment or store or of the physical space occupied by the entity that is open to customers and is not used to prepare food if the service animal is accompanied by a person with a disability or controlled by an approved trainer. This new section also reflects the federal ADA by stating that such establishments may only inquire as to:

1) whether the service animal is required because the person has a disability; and

2) what type of work the service animal is trained to perform.

Interestingly, the section defines “service animal” as a canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and not an animal that provides only comfort or emotional support to a person. This may reflect the present confusion between the two types of animals that provide assistance to individuals. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 437.023.

In addition, the Texas Human Resources Code also made some clarification to service animal laws. The definitional part removed the broader term “animal” and replaced it with “canine.” The training requirement was removed to better reflect federal law. More accurate phrasing for mental and intellectual disorders was used and post-traumatic stress syndrome was added to the definition of “person with a disability.” V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002. As with Section 437.023, the scope of inquiry was limited in V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.003 to whether the service animal is required due to a disability and what type of work has the service animal been trained to perform. Finally, the penalties for unlawful discrimination were expanded to include a requirement beyond the fine of no more than $300 for community service “for a governmental entity or nonprofit organization that primarily serves persons with visual impairments or other disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than one year.” V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.004. Likewise, the penalty for unlawfully or fraudulently using a service animal harness or leash of the type commonly used by persons with disabilities who use trained animals, in order to represent that his or her animal is a specially trained service animal also includes this community service requirement. V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.006.

Utah

 U.C.A. 1953 § 18-2-101  

Breed Specific Legislation

Utah enacted a new law (effective in 2015) that prohibits a municipality from adopting breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs. Any breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs is void.

Vermont

20 V.S.A. § 3541

20 V.S.A. § 3541a

20 V.S.A. § 3681

20 V.S.A. § 3682

20 V.S.A. § 3901

20 V.S.A. § 3901a

20 V.S.A. § 3921

10 V.S.A. § 5001

Pet Sales

2013 Vermont Laws No. 30 (H.50) modified laws concerning the importation of pets. In doing so, VT ST T. 20 § 3541, the definitional section, created this new definition:

(10) “Pet dealer” means any person who sells or exchanges or who offers to sell or exchange cats, dogs, or wolf-hybrids, or any combination thereof, from three or more litters of cats, dogs, or wolf-hybrids in any 12–month period. This definition shall not apply to pet shops, animal shelters, or rescue organizations as those terms are defined in section 3901 of this title.

Additionally, the part of that section excusing responsibility to a person who has a feral animal take up residence in his or her residence was moved to a separate statutory section (now 20 V.S.A. § 3541a).

To reflect the addition of the new category of “pet dealer,” the former Kennel Permits section as changed. Section 3681 now refers to Pet Dealer Permits and changed the permit cost from $10 to $25. When receiving a permit from the municipal clerk, the pet dealer must now receive a copy fo the Animal Welfare Regulations adopted by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets relating to cats, dogs, and wolf-hybrids.

Section 3682 on inspections of now pet dealer premises was amended significantly. Previously, the law provided that the premises “may be inspected at any reasonable time . . .” Now the law provides more specificity and a penalty should the premises fail inspection. Inspections are still discretionary (“The pet dealer's premises may be inspected upon the issuance of the pet dealer permit or at any time the pet dealer permit is in effect.”). The section further states that a violation and assessment of an administrative penalty after a failed inspection does not preclude a criminal prosecution.

Chapter 194 on Animal Welfare and the Sale of Animals contained several amendments. First, in the definitional section (3901), the definition for “animal” was repealed. A subsequent section (3901a) limited the scope of the chapter to only companion animals by stating that “this chapter [does] not apply to horses or livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and domestic fowl.” The definitions for both “pet dealer” and “pet shop” were clarified to reflect this limitation. Other changes in subchapter 2 on animal welfare were ministerial related to agency name changes.

Subchapter 3 was renamed to the “Sale of cats, dogs, and wolf-hybrids.” Section 3921 added a new law that created protection for purchasers of pets that moved the existing pet purchaser protection law from the now-repealed Chapter 199. Under the new law, a consumer is given certain remedies when buying a pet from a pet dealer or pet shop if a veterinarian certifies:

(1) the cat, dog, or wolf-hybrid to be unfit for purchase due to illness or the presence of signs of contagious or infectious disease within seven days of purchase; or

(2) if within one year the veterinarian certifies the existence of congenital malformation or hereditary disease. These remedies generally include a right to return the animal and seek a refund, exchange the animal for a different one, or retain the animal and receive reasonable veterinary service for the purpose of curing or attempting to cure the cat, dog, or wolf-hybrid so long as that cost does not exceed the purchase price. Following sections allow a challenge by a pet dealer or pet shop, allow for administrative to be issued in such cases, and exempt most non-profit shelters or rescues from the provisions.

Hunting with Dogs

Finally, 10 V.S.A. § 5001 relating to the training of hunting dogs added a paragraph that allows a person training a hunting dog to possess a handgun while training the hunting dog, provided that the person does not take game by any method while training the hunting dog.

Virginia

   

No major animal-related statutory changes.

Washington

West's RCWA 16.52.0001

 

Veterinary Reporting

Washington joined approximately 29 other states that give a licensed veterinarian immunity from civil or criminal liability for reporting suspected animal cruelty to proper authorities. West's RCWA 16.52.0001.

West Virginia

W. Va. Code, § 19-20-26

W. Va. Code, §§ 19-20B-1 - 6

 

Dog Breeding

This new section relating to commercial dog breeding operations was added. Under the new law, a commercial dog breeder is someone who maintains eleven or more unsterilized dogs for breeding purposes. Commercial dog breeders must obtain a permit (Class I or Class II depending on the number of unsterilized dogs). The law also imposes minimum standards of care and creates a misdemeanor penalty for any violation that may be dismissed if a judge grants an “improvement period.” W. Va. Code, § 19-20-26.

Spay Neuter Assistance Program

The state also established Article 20B, the West Virginia Spay Neuter Assistance Program. This program is designed to provide grants to nonprofit spay neuter organizations and programs in the state in an effort to reduce shelter populations and costs, euthanasia rates and threats to public health and safety from rabies and other problems posed by the growing population of stray, feral and abandoned dogs and cats. W. Va. Code, §§ 19-20B-1 - 6.

Wisconsin

 

 No major animal-related statutory changes.

Wyoming

W.S.1977 § 23-1-101  

Predatory Animals

Under (a)(viii)(B), the definition of “predatory animal” was further clarified for wolves to mean only gray wolves “ . . . within areas of the state where the state of Wyoming has jurisdiction for wildlife management.” W.S.1977 § 23-1-101.

Trophy Animals

The specific boundary areas for gray wolves designated as “trophy animals” was changed.

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