Full Title Name:  Table of State Law Amendments from 2014

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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

This table summarizes the statutory amendments that occurred in 2014. The table gives a brief description of the changes and links to the actual text of the laws.

As was the case with the past few years, many animal-related amendments occurred in states' anti-cruelty laws. The most significant of these was the creation of a felony penalty for certain acts of cruelty in South Dakota. The state had previously been the only state without some sort of felony penalty for animal cruelty. Maryland made docking, cropping, and devocalization of cats and dogs illegal unless done by a veterinarian for reasons as specified in the law.

Dangerous dogs also received some attention by state legislators. West Virginia enacted a set of laws that allows for a private cause of action for the humane destruction of dogs that have attacked people. A new section was added to Utah's code. U.C.A. 1953 § 18-1-4 allows the use of arbitration in personal injury from dog attack cases. There are certain requirements concerning notice to the court and the actual arbitration award may not exceed $50,000. A person who elects arbitration waives the right to obtain a judgment against the personal assets of the defendant and limits him or herself to recovery only against available limits of insurance coverage.

In laws related to service animals and public access, a few states amended their laws to conform to federal definitions for terms. In fact, many of those states simply reference the federal definition under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). New Hampshire joined other states that have criminal laws on misrepresenting a pet as a service animal to gain access with that animal.

The sale of pets was also a popular topic. Minnesota passed a section dedicated to the regulation of commercial dog breeders (defined as a person who possesses/owns and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale, and possesses ten or more adult intact animals that produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year). Changes to Connecticut law require that the Commissioner of Agriculture to promulgate regulations on the standards of care for dogs and cats kept by one who keeps ten or more unneutered or unspayed dogs capable of breeding or operates a cattery. A few pet purchaser protection acts were amended in several states giving consumers more time to exercise their remedies by law.

In keeping up with technology, a couple states enacted laws that protect hunters from harassment by unmanned drones (North Carolina and Tennessee). New Jersey added provisions to protect rhinoceros and wildlife with ivory, stating, "The Legislature therefore determines that it is an important public purpose to protect all species of rhinoceros and all species of animals with ivory teeth and tusks by prohibiting the import, sale, purchase, barter, or possession with intent to sell, of any ivory, ivory product, rhinoceros horn, or rhinoceros horn product." New York added a similar law that prohibits the sale, trade, barter, or distribution of ivory article or rhinoceros horn.

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 2014

Summary of Major Animal-Related Amendments

Alabama

   No major statutory changes

Alaska

  No major statutory changes

Arizona

  No major statutory changes

 

Arkansas

   No major statutory changes

California

West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600.2

West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600.5

West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 1834.5

Abandoned Animals

The law on abandoned animals was modified. Previously, an animal that was left with a veterinarian, dog kennel, cat kennel, pet-grooming parlor, animal hospital, or any other animal care facility pursuant to a written or oral agreement for more than 14 days after notice to owner (for at least a ten-day period) could be humanely euthanized or turned over to a pound or public animal shelter. The changes allow the abandoned animal to now be turned over to a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or nonprofit animal rescue group, provided that the shelter or rescue group has been contacted and has agreed to take the animal. West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 1834.5.

Service Animals

Amendments were made to the California laws on harm to service animals. In both Cal. Penal Code § 600.5 and Cal. Penal Code § 600.2, the following language was added in 2014:

The person with the disability may apply for compensation by the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13950) of Part 4 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600.2, West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600.5.


Colorado

C. R. S. A. § 35–80–101 - 117

C. R. S. A. §. A. § 12-64-104

C. R. S. A. § 24-34-301 

C. R. S. A. § 24-34-801 - 804

 

Breeders and Pet Sales:

The Colorado Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act received several amendments. Under the definitions section, the definition for “dog breeder, small scale operation” or “small scale operation dog breeder” was changed from a fixed number of at least 25 dogs to "more than the number of dogs permitted for a canine hobby breeder facility but no more than ninety-nine dogs per year." C. R. S. A. § 35–80–102. The section on the scope of the article added that "any wildlife sanctuary" is not included under the scope of the act. C. R. S. A. § 35–80–103. In the fees section, the application fee for a pet animal facility license was changed from a maximum of $350 to $700. C. R. S. A. § 35–80–105.

With regard to unlawful acts under Section 35-80-108, wording that excluded certain primates was removed ("nor shall they apply to the keeping of a nonhuman primate as a household pet by any person who owned such primate on or before July 1, 1973, or to the keeping by a disabled person of a nonhuman primate specially trained to assist such person"). A significant change was made to § 35–80–110. That section now requires reporting of animal cruelty or animal fighting to a local law enforcement agency or the state bureau of animal protection. The new language provides:

(5)(a) If the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, in the course of an investigation under this article, has reasonable cause to know or suspect that an animal has been subjected to animal cruelty in violation of section 18–9–202, C.R.S., or animal fighting in violation of section 18–9–204, C.R.S., the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall report or cause a report to be made of the animal cruelty or animal fighting to a local law enforcement agency or the state bureau of animal protection created in section 35–42–105. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall not knowingly make a false report.

(b) The mere filing of a complaint does not generate a requirement to report under paragraph (a) of this subsection (5).

(c) A commissioner or a commissioner's designee who willfully violates the provisions of this subsection (5) commits a Class 1 petty offense, punishable as provided in section 18–1.3–503, C.R.S.

(d)(I) If the commissioner or the commissioner's designee in good faith reports a suspected incident of animal cruelty or animal fighting to the proper authorities in accordance with this subsection (5), he or she is immune from liability in any civil or criminal action brought in connection with the report; and

(II) In a civil or criminal action brought in connection with the report, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee is presumed to have acted in good faith.

C. R. S. A. § 35–80–110

In the section on license denial and disciplinary action, wording was added to show that any license revocation applies to associated principals and agents of the facility:

In the case of an entity whose license was revoked under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, the two-year period of ineligibility also applies to a principal, officer, director, manager, or any other person who has substantial control or authority over the daily operations of the entity, whether he or she applies individually or as a principal, officer, director, manager, or other person who has or would have substantial control or authority over the daily operations of the same or a different entity.

C. R. S. A. § 35–80–112

Finally, the sunset provision of the law (previously July 1, 2014) was changed to September 1, 2019. That statutory section also added reporting and other administrative requirements. C. R. S. A. § 35–80–117.

Service Animals

Colorado's laws concerning service animals were greatly modified. A specific definition for "service animal" was added that states the phrase, "has the same meaning as set forth in the implementing regulations of Title II and Title III of the federal “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990”, 42 U.S.C. sec. 12101 et seq." C. R. S. A. § 24–34–301. Additionally, the chapter on civil rights was amended with regard to damages for civil rights violations (§ 24–34–801). The section on the rights of individuals using service animals was also amended. (§ 24–34–803). The damages for harm or interference to a service animal were changed in 804 from a general proof of "economic loss" to treble damages for actual harm and actual damages for harm to a service animal in training. C. R. S. A. § 24–34–804.

Veterinary

Colorado amended its veterinary practice law to define "preveterinary emergency care." According to the legislative declaration, the amendments were enacted because the personnel of some fire districts were providing life-saving, emergency veterinary care to dogs and cats, which violated the Colorado Veterinary Practice Act. The changes to C. R. S. A. § 12-64-104 allow these emergency responders to provide voluntary life-saving care to pets provided he or she is authorized to do so by his or her employer and has received some training. This must be done in response to another emergency call. The law clearly states that there is no obligation to provide this care.

Connecticut

C.G.S.A. § 22-344b

C.G.S.A. § 22-344c

C. G. S. A. § 22-354

Kennels/Breeders

Under Section 344c relating to licensure of breeding facilities by towns, a new subsection was added. This requires the Commissioner of Agriculture to promulgate regulations on the standard of care for dogs and cats kept by one who:

(1) Keeps ten or more unneutered or unspayed dogs capable of breeding

(2) owns or operates a breeding cattery. Such standard of care shall be consistent with the standard of care to be provided by an animal importer, as prescribed pursuant to subdivision (6) of subsection (e) of section 22-344.

C.G.S.A. § 22-344c.

Importation of Dogs and Cats

Under this section, the penalty was changed to a fine of up to $1,000 from the previous of $500 (the option of up to 30 days imprisonment was removed as well). Additionally, the amendments now prevent a pet shop licensee from selling or offering to sell any dog or cat from any breeder:

(A) who is not in possession of a current license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture and any applicable state agency,

(B) was found to have committed a direct violation of pet dealer-related regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture during the two-year period prior to such purchase, or

(C) was found to have committed three or more indirect violations of pet dealer-related regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture during the two-year period prior to such purchase provided such violations pertained to the health or welfare of an animal and were not administrative in nature, or

(D) directly or indirectly, has obtained such dog or cat from a breeder described in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

Violators shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each violation with each violation constituting a separate offense. C. G. S. A. § 22-354.

Pet Sales

The state's pet purchaser protection laws were amended in 2014. The remedies under Section 22-344b were amended such that a consumer may seek the actual value of veterinary services and medication due to treatment of illness or congenital defect. Previously, the law limited this to $500. However, "such reimbursement shall not exceed (I) the full purchase price of such dog or cat for any dog or cat purchased for five hundred dollars or more, and (II) five hundred dollars for any dog or cat purchased for less than five hundred dollars." Additionally, statutory changes now enable an affected consumer to seek the assistance of the Commissioner of Agriculture in the event that the licensee fails to reimburse such consumer in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. C.G.S.A. § 22-344b.

In the next section on signage required by pet shops under the act, a new requirement was added. The signs must now include the following:

(c) Each licensee shall post the United States Department of Agriculture inspection from the prior two-year period reports for the breeder of any dog offered for sale in a pet shop. Such inspection reports shall be posted next to or near the cage of each dog that was purchased from the breeder that is the subject of such inspection reports and made available to any patron regardless of whether such patron purchases said dog.

The fine for violating this section was reduced from civil penalty of not more than $500 to now a fine of not more than $250. C.G.S.A. § 22-344b.

Veterinary

A new section was added to the veterinary practice laws that require euthanasia to be performed humanely by a licensed veterinarian unless the listed excepted circumstances provide. C. G. S. A. § 20-205b

Delaware

 11 Del.C. § 1326

Animal Fighting

Delaware's animal fighting law was amended to allow animals forfeited under the law to be evaluated by a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, an authorized state agency, or a duly incorporated humane society in charge of animals for eligibility for adoption. Previously, the law stated that  forfeited animals must be disposed of in a humane manner. 11 Del.C. § 1326.

D.C.

   No major statutory changes

Florida

West's F. S. A. § 585.611

Florida added a new law in Chapter 585, Animal Industry. The new provision exempts personal identifying information of a person employed by, under contract with, or volunteering for a public research facility, including a state university, that conducts animal research or is engaged in activities related to animal research from public records disclosure laws. West's F. S. A. § 585.611.

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann., § 16-12-4

Ga. Code Ann., § 4-8-23

Cruelty

Georgia's main animal cruelty law (Ga. Code Ann., § 16-12-4) was amended in 2014. A new definition for the term "malice" was added.

(2) ‘Malice’ means:

(A) An actual intent, which may be shown by the circumstances connected to the act, to cause the particular harm produced without justification or excuse; or

(B) The wanton and willful doing of an act with an awareness of a plain and strong likelihood that a particular harm may result.

Ga. Code Ann., § 16-12-4(2). The phrase "willful neglect" was removed and instead, cruelty to animals can also include when a person:

(2) Having intentionally exercised custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal, fails to provide to such animal adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, or ventilation that is consistent with what a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would believe is the normal requirement and feeding habit for such animal's size, species, breed, age, and physical condition.

Ga. Code Ann., § 16-12-4(b)(2). Under the revisions, any "prior adjudication of guilt for the offense of cruelty to animals or aggravated cruelty to animals" in any state or territory of the U.S. including those "of any foreign nation recognized by the United States, which would constitute the offense of cruelty" as well as "an adjudication of a juvenile" can be used as the basis for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. This replaces the former general phrase of "a second or subsequent violation of this subsection which results in the death of an animal." Ga. Code Ann., § 16-12-4(c)(2). Finally, the crime of aggravated cruelty now incorporates the term "maliciously" that was added to the definitional portion of the law.

Dangerous Dog

In § 4-8-23, probate courts were given authority to hear dangerous dog hearings. Additionally, the amendments to that section allow the court to release a suspected impounded dog to an animal shelter or humanely euthanize the dog if the owner cannot be located within ten days of a dog control officer's determination that a dog is subject to classification as a dangerous dog or vicious dog.

Hawaii

 

No major statutory changes

 

Idaho

   No major statutory changes

Illinois

 

No major statutory changes.

 

Indiana

   No major statutory changes

Iowa

   No major statutory changes

Kansas

 


 No major statutory changes

Kentucky

   No major statutory changes

Louisiana

LSA-R.S. 14:102.23

Cockfighting

Louisiana's cockfighting law was amended in 2014. A new paragraph was added that made possessing, selling, or manufacturing of paraphernalia such as spurs, gaffs, knives, leather training spur covers, and other items or substances normally used in cockfighting with the intent that they shall be used in a cockfight is now a crime. Violation results in a fine of not more than $500, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Two other subsections were also added to this law:

E. For the purposes of this Section, when more than one chicken is subject to an act that would constitute cockfighting, each chicken involved shall constitute a separate offense.

F. The provisions of this Section shall not be construed to prohibit the raising of any chicken, rooster, or gamefowl for the purposes of personal enjoyment, exhibition, or agricultural pursuits as long as the purpose of such pursuits are legal.

LSA-R.S. 14:102.23.

Maine

   No major statutory changes

Maryland

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 621

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-624

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-625

Cruelty

In 2014, Maryland added some new provisions to its chapter on animal cruelty. Section 10-624 prohibits a person from cropping the ears of a dog, docking or cutting the tail of a dog, cutting off the dewclaw of a dog, or surgically birthing a dog. Those procedures may only be performed under by a licensed veterinarian using anesthesia when appropriate on the animal. Violation is a misdemeanor. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-624. Additionally, the state passed a law that prohibits dog or cat devocalizing except by a licensed veterinary when it is medically necessary. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-625.

Dangerous/Exotic Animals

The law on importation and possession of certain live animals was amended and the provisions re-arranged. The most significant change to the law was the restriction on what species can be possessed in the state. Certain Class C AWA exhibitors are exempt from the ban on possession such as:

  • research institutions
  • persons who have also licenses from the state's DNR
  • animal sanctuaries (as defined)
  • animal control officers
  • certain veterinarians
  • a person who is not a resident of the State and is in the State for 10 days or less for the purpose of traveling between locations outside of the State
  • certain circuses

However, except as provided, the holder of a Class C Exhibitor's License under the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq., may not possess a nonhuman primate, bear, lion, tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, snow leopard, jaguar, cheetah, or cougar or a hybrid of one of these animals that was not owned by the holder of the license on June 30, 2014.

The exception provides that the holder of a Class C Exhibitor's License under the AWA may acquire or breed a nonhuman primate, bear, lion, tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, snow leopard, jaguar, cheetah, or cougar or a hybrid of one of these animals if the holder:

1. maintains a liability insurance policy of at least $1,000,000;

2. has a paid full-time director;

3. has at least one paid full-time staff member trained in the care of each species that the holder keeps;

4. has an animal disposition policy that provides for the placement of animals in appropriate facilities if the holder's facility closes; and

5. maintains and implements a training plan regarding zoonotic disease risk and prevention.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 621.

Massachusetts

 M.G.L.A. 112 § 58B

The state's law on reporting of suspected animal cruelty by veterinarians received an amendment. The new law (effective in November of 2014) makes reporting mandatory for veterinarians. The exact language now states:

A veterinarian who, while in the normal course of business, observes an animal whom such veterinarian knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of animal cruelty prohibited under sections 77 or 94 of chapter 272 shall report said suspected animal cruelty to a police officer or special state police officer appointed under section 57 of chapter 22C.

[emphasis added]. M.G.L.A. 112 § 58B. The law goes onto to state that:

Any veterinarian who fails to report such an act of animal cruelty shall be reported to the board of registration in veterinary medicine.

M.G.L.A. 112 § 58B. The immunity from civil and criminal liability remains the same in the law.

Michigan

   No major statutory changes

Minnesota

M. S. A. § 347.57 to 64

M.S.A. § 135A.191

M. S. A. § 97B.646

M. S. A. § 97B.648

Breeders

Minnesota enacted the Commercial Breeders Act in 2014. “Commercial breeder” means a person who possesses/owns and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale; possesses 10 or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than 5 total litters of puppies or kittens per year.

Beginning July 1, 2015, a commercial breeder must obtain an annual license for each facility it owns or operates. The initial prelicense inspection fee and the annual license fee is $10 per adult intact animal, but each fee must not exceed $250.

The board must perform an announced initial prelicense inspection within 60 days from the date of receiving a license application. Additionally, the board must inspect each licensed facility at least annually.

There are standards of care provided in the new law.

M. S. A. § 347.57 to 64.

Research Animals

Minnesota enacted a new law concerning research cats and dogs. A higher education research facility that receives public money or a facility that provides research in collaboration with a higher education facility that confines dogs or cats for science, education, or research purposes and plans on euthanizing a dog or cat for other than science, education, or research purposes must first offer the dog or cat to an animal rescue organization.

M.S.A. § 135A.191

Wolves

Under the Wolf Management Law, a new paragraph was added stating the following:

(b) The commissioner shall compile a list that is updated quarterly on known wolf deaths, based on reporting by conservation officers. The list must specify the date and location of each wolf death and must be available on the department Web site.

M. S. A. § 97B.646. Additionally, a new law was added on the unlawful taking of wolves:

A person who unlawfully takes, transports, or possesses a wolf in violation of the game and fish laws, and has one or more prior convictions involving the taking of wolves, is liable for a civil penalty equal to the restitution value for the wolf.

M. S. A. § 97B.648.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 91-8-408 Pet Trust:

In 2014, Mississippi became the 49th state to add a "pet trust" law. The law allows a trust to be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one (1) animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal.

Miss. Code Ann. § 91-8-408

Missouri

   No major statutory changes

Montana

   No major statutory changes

Nebraska

   No major statutory changes

Nevada

   No major statutory changes

New Hampshire


N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:8

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:10

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 4:13-s

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437:10

Pet Import/Health Certificates

Birds were deleted from the list of animals that required a health certificate in N.H. Rev. Stat. § 437:10 (the law now just says dog, cat, or ferret).

Service Animals

A new provision was added to the law concerning prohibited acts in the chapter on service and search and rescue animals. This paragraph makes it a crime for a person to misrepresent him or herself to have a disability with a service animal:

IV. It is unlawful for any person to represent that such person has a disability or is a service animal trainer for the purpose of acquiring a service animal unless said person has a disability or is a service animal trainer and to impersonate, by word or action, a person with a disability for the purpose of receiving service dog accommodations or service animal accessories such as a collar, leash, vest, sign, harness, or service animal tag, which represents that the animal is a service animal or to acquire a service animal tag issued under RSA 466:8.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:8. Additionally, the penalties under the chapter were clarified. Willfully injuring a service animal is now a Class A misdemeanor with restitution required. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167-D:10.

The state also added a special day to recognize "canine veterans." The law states:

In recognition of the service given by the dogs who, night and day, serve the people of this country and the state, and inviting the governments, communities, and people of this state to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, the governor shall proclaim March 13th of each year as Canine Veterans Day in honor of the dogs who have bled, suffered, and died while serving in all of our wars and those still serving; as well as police canine units, customs canine units, border patrol canine units, secret service canine units, search and rescue canine units, airport police canine units, federal bureau of investigation canine units, and the local police and fire canine units who protect our neighborhoods should be honored accordingly.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 4:13-s

New Jersey

N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.1

N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.2

N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.3

N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.4

Wildlife Trafficking

A new section was added to the state's wildlife code concerning ivory trafficking. In the law stating the legislative declaration, the law states:

The Legislature therefore determines that it is an important public purpose to protect all species of rhinoceros and all species of animals with ivory teeth and tusks by prohibiting the import, sale, purchase, barter, or possession with intent to sell, of any ivory, ivory product, rhinoceros horn, or rhinoceros horn product.

N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.1. The following section then added ivory-related definitions. N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.2. The new laws make it unlawful for any person to import, sell, offer for sale, purchase, barter, or possess with intent to sell, any ivory, ivory product, rhinoceros horn, or rhinoceros horn product, except as provided pursuant to this section. N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.3. Penalties are as follow:

(1) for a first offense, a disorderly persons offense and, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, shall be fined not less than $1,000 or an amount equal to two times the total value of the ivory, ivory products, rhinoceros horn, and rhinoceros horn products involved in the offense, whichever is greater; and

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, a crime of the fourth degree and, notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, shall be fined not less than $5,000 or an amount equal to two times the total value of the ivory, ivory products, rhinoceros horn, and rhinoceros horn products involved in the offense, whichever is greater.

N. J. S. A. 23:2A-13.4.

New Mexico

   No major statutory changes

New York

McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 366

McKinney's General Business Law § 753

McKinney's Public Health Law § 506

McKinney's ECL § 11-0535-a

Pets, generally

The section that used to be called "dog stealing" was changed to "companion animal" stealing to include more species. McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 366.

Pet Sales

New York's pet purchaser protection act was amended so that consumers who purchase a dog with a genetic defect are given more time to receive a remedy. The new language specifically states:

. . . 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 . . .

the consumer has the right to the listed options. Previously, this was just included in the same part of the 10-day time limit for both illnesses and congenital defects. McKinney's General Business Law § 753.

The amendments also added cats to the pets covered (that law states that "[w]ithin five business days of receipt, but prior to the sale of any dog or cat, the pet dealer shall have a duly licensed veterinarian conduct an examination and tests appropriate to the breed and age to determine if the animal has any medical conditions apparent at the time of the examination that adversely affect the health of the animal.") McKinney's General Business Law § 753-a.

Research

New York added a new law that allows an agency to deny access to records concerning biomedical research or biomedical teaching conducted at an institution of higher education authorized by the state education department that, if disclosed, could endanger the life or safety of any person or would be reasonably likely to endanger the security of such biomedical research laboratory. McKinney's Public Health Law § 506.

Wildlife

The state added a new law that prohibits the sale, trade, barter, or distribution of ivory article or rhinoceros horn. Permits can be issued, if not in violation of federal law, for antiques, historical musical instruments, and educational/scientific research. McKinney's ECL § 11-0535-a.

North Carolina

N.C.G.S.A. § 113-295

Hunting

The state's hunter harassment law was amended to cover the use of unmanned drones:

(a1) It is unlawful to use an unmanned aircraft system, as defined in G.S. 15A-300.1, to violate subsection (a) of this section. Violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

N.C.G.S.A. § 113-295.

North Dakota

   No major statutory changes

Ohio

 R.C. § 935.12

Exotic Animals

Under the care and housing requirements law for the chapter entitled, "Dangerous Wild Animals and Restricted Snakes," specific care and enclosure requirements were added for snakes. Individuals who have been issued restricted snake possession or restricted snake propagation permits under this chapter must follow very specific requirements concerning light, temperature regulation, substrate, and enclosures. R.C. § 935.12.

Oklahoma

   No major statutory changes

Oregon

   

Pennsylvania

3 P.S. § 459-602

Cruelty

The law that prohibits the torture of law enforcement dogs was amended to change the penalty from a third degree felony to a second degree felony. 3 P.S. § 459-602.

Rhode Island

Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-42

Cruelty

The state added a new section to its cruelty chapter. The law allows the director of environmental management, or any veterinarian employed by the department of environmental management, to lawfully take charge of any animal found abandoned or neglected or that is sick or otherwise requires care. Every owner, guardian, or agent, upon conviction who enters a plea of cruelty or nolo contendre for a cruelty or abandonment conviction  forfeits the right to ownership or control of that animal to the department. That owner, guardian, or agent is responsible for reasonable expenses for the care and treatment of the animal(s) while in the custody of the department. Further, the department has the authority to commence a civil action for damages against the owner or his or her agent 30 days after written demand for payment. Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-1-42.

South Carolina

   No major statutory changes

South Dakota

SDCL § 40-1-1

SDCL § 40-1-2.3

SDCL § 40-1-2.4

SDCL 40-1-2.5, 40-1-2.6. Repealed by SL 2014, ch 194, §§ 5, 6

SDCL § 40-1-10.1

SDCL § 40-1-17

S D C L § 40-34-16

 

Breed-Specific Legislation

The state added a new section that prohibits local governments from enacting, maintaining, or enforcing any ordinance, policy, resolution, or other enactment that is specific as to the breed or perceived breed of a dog. However, the  section does not impair the right of any local government unit to enact, maintain, or enforce any form of regulation that applies to all dogs. S D C L § 40-34-16.

Cruelty

The state's cruelty code underwent major changes in 2014. The primary revision was the addition of a felony penalty for certain acts of animal cruelty: "No person may subject an animal to cruelty. A violation of this section is a Class 6 felony." (this revised § 40–1–2.4). That addition changed the definition of "cruelty" under § 40–1–1:

(4) “Cruelty,” to intentionally, willfully, and maliciously inflict gross physical abuse on an animal that causes prolonged pain, that causes serious physical injury, or that results in the death of the animal;

S D C L § 40–1–1. This change created a distinction between felony cruelty and misdemeanor cruelty in the state's laws. Misdemeanor cruelty is now outlined in § 40–1–2.3:

No person owning or responsible for the care of an animal may neglect, abandon, or mistreat the animal. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

SDCL § 40–1–2.3. "Neglect" is now defined in definitional section as:

“Neglect,” to fail to provide food, water, protection from the elements, adequate sanitation, adequate facilities, or care generally considered to be standard and accepted for an animal's health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, physical condition, and type of animal;

SDCL § 40–1–1.

The section defining a "dangerous animal" (§ 40–1–2.5) was repealed since the definition itself was transferred to § 40–1–1 as was the case with § 40–1–2.6 for "proper enclosure."

The separate sections relating to animal fighting (§ 40–1–9 and § 40–1–10) were repealed and consolidated in § 40–1–10.1. The language of § 40–1–10.1 was broadened from "dog" to "animal," and a new sentence was added:

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to be present at any violation of subdivision (2) of this section as a spectator.

SDCL § 40–1–10.1.

The exceptions to the cruelty provisions were expanded and clarified in § 40–1–17, with a new addition related to exceptions for the "humane killing" of animals.

Tennessee

T. C. A. § 70-4-301

T. C. A. § 70-4-302

Hunting

The state's "hunter harassment" provision was amended to add a definition for a drone and language that prohibits a person who "[u]ses a drone with the intent to conduct video surveillance of private citizens who are lawfully hunting or fishing without obtaining the written consent of the persons being surveilled prior to conducting the surveillance." T. C. A. § 70-4-302.

Texas

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.004

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.006

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.008

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

Service Animals

Several section of Texas law were amended with respect to service animals.

Sections 121.002 of the Human Resources Code was amended such that the definition of "assistance animal" added the term "service animal." The new definition limits those terms to a canine that is specially trained to help a person with a disability and that is used by a person with a disability. The second part (former B, providing "has been trained by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide animals with training of this type.") was removed. This aligns more closely with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. Additionally, that same section added to its definition for "person with a disability" the phrases "intellectual or developmental disability" and "post-traumatic stress disorder." V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002.

The following law in the chapter that assures public access for those persons with disabilities using public transportation or common carriers or entering public buildings was amended. Section 121.003 now specifically states the limited inquiry a person may make for purposes of admittance to a public facility except to determine the basic type of assistance provided by the service animal to a person with a disability. Similar to federal regulations, a person may only inquire:

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

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

V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.002.

In the sections that provide the penalty and damages for discrimination against a disabled person, the following punishment was added (in addition to limiting the fine of up to $300):

30 hours of community service to be performed 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. This same paragraph was also added to the penalty part of the law that prohibits fraudulent representation of a pet as a service animal. V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.006. Finally, under Section 121.008 concerning the awareness of persons with disabilities, the governor must "issue a proclamation each year taking suitable public notice of October 15 as White Cane Safety and Service Animal Recognition Day." The amendments added the service animal portion and makes it a mandatory requirement. V. T. C. A., Human Resources Code § 121.008.

A new law was added to the Texas Health and Safety Code. 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:

(1) the service animal is accompanied and controlled by a person with a disability; or

(2) the service animal is in training and is accompanied and controlled by an approved trainer.

Again, the new law mirrors the federal law in terms of what inquiry can be made and how a service animal is defined. Interestingly, the law makes explicitly clear that "[a]n animal that provides only comfort or emotional support to a person is not a service animal under this section." V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 437.023.

Utah

U.C.A. 1953 § 18-1-4 A new section was added to Utah's code. U.C.A. 1953 § 18-1-4 allows the use of arbitration in personal injury from dog attack cases. There are certain requirements concerning notice to the court and the actual arbitration award may not exceed $50,000. A person who elects arbitration waives the right to obtain a judgment against the personal assets of the defendant and limits him or herself to recovery only against available limits of insurance coverage. The section details the time limits for election and rescinding election as well as how the process is conducted.

Vermont

 13 V.S.A. § 354

Cruelty/Forfeiture

13 V.S.A. § 354 was amended to require an animal seized under the authority of the cruelty provisions that is not euthanized to have medical care. Additionally, the civil forfeiture procedure was changed. The amendments state that the civil forfeiture proceeding is intended to run independently from any criminal prosecution and shall not be delayed pending disposition of any criminal proceeding. A preliminary hearing shall be held within 21 days of institution of the civil forfeiture proceeding. If the defendant requests a hearing on the merits, the Court shall schedule a final hearing on the merits to be held within 21 days of the date of the preliminary hearing. Notably, the amendments added this subsection:

(3) No testimony or other information presented by the defendant in connection with a forfeiture proceeding under this section or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information may be used for any purpose, including impeachment and cross-examination, against the defendant in any criminal case, except a prosecution for perjury or giving a false statement.

 13 V.S.A. § 354

 

Virginia

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6512

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6514

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6515

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6553

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6584

Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-521

Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-568

Va. Code Ann. § 54.1-3800

Va. Code Ann. § 51.5-40.1

Dogs

The compensation available by law for livestock killed by dogs was increased from $400 to a maximum fair market value of $750. VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6553.

Endangered Species


Under the law that allows the state wildlife board to take endangered or threatened species, a change was made that clarifies when a person can possess, breed, sell, or transport such species. Essentially, when federal or state does not prohibit such actions with endangered or threatened species, Virginia now allows it:

Any person may, in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws, possess, breed, sell, and transport any nonnative wildlife included on any list of threatened or endangered species published by the United States Secretary of the Interior pursuant to provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P.L. 93–205), as amended, when (i) the federal designation does not specifically prohibit such possession, breeding, selling, or transporting and (ii) the nonnative wildlife is not included on the list of predatory or undesirable animals specified by regulations of the Board adopted pursuant to § 29.1–542.

VA Code Ann. § 29.1-568.

Hunting

The wildlife section that outlines unlawful hunting activities was amended to make it unlawful " . . . to hunt or kill any deer or bear with a gun, firearm, or other weapon with the aid or assistance of dogs, on Sunday." VA Code Ann. § 29.1-521.

Hybrid Canine (Wolf-Dog Cross)

Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6582 was amended allowing municipalities to create ordinances dealing with hybrid canines. The compensation for livestock killed by a hybrid canine was increased from $400 to $750. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6584.

Pet Sales

Under Virginia's pet purchaser protection act, the following provision was added:

A pet shop operating in the Commonwealth shall post in a conspicuous place on or near the cage of any dog or cat available for sale the breeder's name, city, state, and USDA license number. A pet shop or a USDA licensed dealer who advertises any dog or cat for sale in the Commonwealth, including by Internet advertisement, shall provide prior to the time of sale the breeder's name, city, state, and USDA license number.

VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6512. Additionally, the remedies and timeframe under the Act were amended. Previously, the law had a limitation to "an animal described as being registered or capable of being registered with any animal pedigree organization and subject to this chapter." That language was removed. The previous version also had a 10 day time period for both congenital defects and an infectious disease. That time limitation was expanded to 14 "following the receipt of an animal a licensed veterinarian certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to being infected with parvovirus."

As to remedies, additional language was added for an animal that died following veterinary certification. Now, a consumer has the right to return and receive a refund or return and exchange the animal, "in the case of an animal that has died, to present the veterinary certification, within three business days of certification." The following remedy was also added:


3. In the case of an animal purchased from a pet shop or a USDA licensed dealer, the right to retain the animal and to receive the reimbursement of veterinary fees in an amount up to the purchase price of the animal, including sales tax and the cost of the veterinary certification, incurred up to the time the consumer notifies the pet dealer of the intent to keep the animal. Such notification shall occur within three business days of certification. Veterinary costs incurred by the consumer after such notification shall be the responsibility of the consumer.

VA Code Ann. § 3.2-6514.

The next statutory section on notice to the consumer(§ 3.2–6515) was amended to include those changes above.

Service Animals

Virginia added a definition for "service animal" in VA Code Ann. § 51.5-40.1 that reflects the federal definition in the regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Before this addition, the state had only included a definition for "hearing dog" in the section.

Veterinary Medicine

In the law defining the practice of veterinary medicine, the following was added:

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit persons permitted or authorized by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to do so from providing care for wildlife as defined in § 29.1-100, provided that the Department determines that such persons are in compliance with its regulations and permit conditions.


Va. Code Ann. § 54.1-3800.

Washington


 

 No major statutory changes

West Virginia

W. Va. Code, § 19-20D-1

W. Va. Code, § 19-20D-2

W. Va. Code, § 19-20D-3

W. Va. Code, § 19-34-1 to 9

W. Va. Code, § 5-11A-3

Dangerous Dog

West Virginia added a new subchapter (20d) entitled, "Private Cause of Action for the Humane Destruction of a Dog." According to the purpose of the law, its aim is ". . . to protect the public by providing a private cause of action seeking euthanasia of a dog in magistrate court to a person who has been attacked by a dog resulting in personal injuries requiring medical treatment which cost $2,000 or more, or who has been attacked by the dog and the dog had attacked a person causing personal injury which required medical treatment within the previous twelve months." W. Va. Code, § 19-20D-1. The following section outlines the procedure and notice requirements for commencing an action. Notably, the section requires proof of the allegations in the petition by clear and convincing evidence. W. Va. Code, § 19-20D-2. The final part requires that the magistrate set forth a written order detailing his or her findings of fact and conclusions of law. W. Va. Code, § 19-20D-3.

Exotic Pets:

The State of West Virginia found the possession of dangerous wild animals to present a serious public health and safety concern. Because of this, the state prohibits a person from possessing a dangerous wild animal unless the animal was owned prior to June 1, 2015 and the owner obtained a permit. Under this statute, a “Dangerous wild animal” means a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or aquatic animal, including a hybrid that is dangerous to humans, other animals or the environment due to its inherent nature and capability to do significant harm. W. Va. Code, § 19-34-1 to 9.

Service/Assistance Animals:

In 2014, the West Virginia Fair Housing Act added a definition for the term "assistance animal." The new definition states:

(p) “Assistance animal” means any service, therapy or support animal, weighing less than one hundred fifty pounds, with or without specific training or certification, that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability.

W. Va. Code, § 5-11A-3

Wisconsin

 

 No major changes 

Wyoming

   No major changes
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