|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 2876 - Dangerous Dogs
The Delete Everything Amendment (SCS2876A-1)
|Author:||Senator Ellen Anderson|
|Prepared by:||Thomas S. Bottern, Senate Counsel (651/296-3810)|
|Date:||March 6, 2008|
This bill clarifies the authority for the administration of dangerous dog laws, provides new and expanded procedures for the administration of dangerous dog laws, and provides new penalties for violations of various sections of the dangerous dog laws.
Section 1 [Provocation.] defines "provocation" for purposes of the dangerous dog laws to mean an act that an adult could reasonably expect may cause a dog to attack or bite.
Section 2 [Registration.] increases the amount of the surety necessary for an owner to maintain a dangerous dog from $50,000 to $300,000.
Section 3 [Warning Symbol.] authorizes an animal control authority (defined as an agency of the state, county, municipality, or other governmental subdivision of the state that is responsible for animal control operations in its jurisdiction) to administer the warning symbol requirements under existing dangerous dog laws.
Section 4 [Fee.] provides authority to the animal control authority for administration of dog licensing fees for dangerous dogs.
Section 5 [Law Enforcement; Exemption.] clarifies that the exemption from the dangerous dog law is applicable only to dangerous dogs that are currently being used for police work.
Section 6 [Tag.] removes a requirement for the Commissioner of Public Safety to provide a design for a tag for dangerous dogs.
Section 7 [Contracted Services.] provides authority for administration of the dangerous dog laws to animal control authorities and includes a technical change to reflect new sections added in this bill.
Section 8 [Dangerous Dogs; Requirements.]
Paragraph (c) requires the owner of a dangerous dog to notify the animal control authority if a dangerous dog is transferred to a new location. Existing law requires notification when the animal dies or is transferred to a new jurisdiction. This section also requires the owner to provide the address where the dog has been relocated.
Paragraph (d) requires an animal control authority to require sterilization of a dangerous dog. Requires the authority to seize the dog and have it sterilized if the owner has not done so within 30 days after notification.
Paragraph (f) makes notification requirements to new owners applicable whenever a dangerous dog is transferred, rather than only when the dog is sold as provided under existing law.
Section 9 [Potentially Dangerous and Dangerous Dogs.] clarifies that local government regulatory authority includes dangerous as well as potentially dangerous dogs. Includes technical amendments to reflect the addition of sections in this legislation.
Section 10 [Seizure.] authorizes the animal control authority to seize a dog if an owner has not complied with sterilization requirements after the animal has been declared dangerous.
Section 11 [Subsequent Offenses.] incorporates a reference to existing microchip identification requirements for dangerous dogs into an existing law that requires the animal control authority to seize a dangerous dog if the person owning the dog is charged with a subsequent violation relating to the same dog. Removes existing requirements for the owner of the dog to reimburse the animal control authority in the event the owner is found not guilty of the violation. Retains authorization for the animal control authority to dispose of the dog if the owner has not reclaimed it within seven days.
Section 12 [Disposition of Seized Animals.] creates a new section of law providing procedures for the disposition of dogs that the animal control authority has declared dangerous.
Subdivision 1 [Hearing.] specifies that the owner of a dog declared dangerous has the right to a hearing before an impartial hearing officer.
Subdivision 2 [Security.] requires the owner of a seized dog to post security to provide for the cost of care and keeping the dog.
Subdivision 3 [Notice.] requires the authority seizing the dog to provide notice to the owner of the dog, including:
(1) a description of the dog and of the circumstances of the seizure;
(2) a statement informing the owner of the dog about the right to request a hearing and the consequences of failure to request a hearing;
(3) a statement to the owner of the dog that if the owner wishes to proceed with an appeal, the owner must immediately comply with the requirement that the owner must properly enclose the dog and notify the animal control authority of any disposition of the dog, including the death of the dog;
(4) notice to the owner that 14 days will be provided after the date the dangerous dog declaration has been affirmed to comply with all of the other requirements applicable to the ownership of a dangerous dog;
(5) a form to request the hearing;
(6) notice to the owner that all the cost of care and keeping of the dog during proceedings under this section are the responsibility of the owner, except if the hearing officer finds that the seizure was not justified.
Subdivision 4 [Right to hearing.] requires that the dangerous dog hearing must be held within 30 days after it is requested, and specifies that the hearing officer must be an impartial employee of local government or an impartial person retained by the local government. Limits actual expenses of the hearing to $1,000 and requires the owner to pay those expenses if the declaration is affirmed by the hearing officer.
Section 13 [Restrictions.] prohibits certain persons from owning dangerous dogs.
Subdivision 1 [Dog ownership prohibited.] prohibits the following individuals from owning a dog:
(1) persons who have been convicted three or more times of failing to comply with dangerous dog registration, microchip identification, and care requirements;
(2) anyone convicted of manslaughter in the second degree by permitting a dangerous animal to run uncontrolled off the owner's premises;
(3) anyone convicted of a gross misdemeanor under criminal statute causing great or substantial bodily harm by permitting a dog to run uncontrolled;
(4) anyone allowing a dangerous dog to cause any harm to a person other than the owner after being convicted of allowing the same dog to cause great or substantial bodily harm in a separate incident; or
(5) anyone who has previously owned a dog that has caused substantial or great bodily harm without provocation and has separately been convicted of one or more violations of the ownership requirements under the dangerous dog statutes, or been convicted of allowing a dog to cause substantial bodily injury to another after a dog has been declared dangerous.
Subdivision 2 [Household members.] prohibits a member of the household where a person who is prohibited from owning a dog under subdivision 1 is living from owning a dog.
Subdivision 3 [Dog ownership prohibition review.] Beginning three years after the initial determination, allows a person to request the animal control authority to review a prohibition on dog ownership imposed under this section. Allows the authority to rescind the prohibition entirely or with limitations, including certain conditions on ownership and completion of dog training or handling courses.
Section 14 [Penalty.] Paragraph (a) includes a reference to the microchip requirements for ownership of dangerous dogs in the misdemeanor provisions.
Paragraph (b) specifies that it is a misdemeanor to fail to notify an animal control authority when a dangerous dog has changed locations.
Paragraph (c) specifies that second or subsequent violations of paragraphs (a) and (b) are gross misdemeanor offenses.
Paragraph (d) creates a gross misdemeanor offense for a person who owns a dangerous dog in violation of a restriction on ownership established under section 347.542, subdivision 1 (enclosure, notification, and disclosure requirements).
Paragraph (e) provides gross misdemeanor penalties for persons who live in the same household together with someone prohibited from owning a dog under this law, who knowingly violates the law by owning a dog themselves.
Section 15 [Destruction of Dog in Certain Circumstances.] extends the authorization for an animal control authority to destroy a dangerous dog to circumstances where:
(1) the dog inflicted substantial or great bodily harm to a human without provocation (already provided in existing law);
(2) the dog inflicted multiple bites on a human without provocation;
(3) the dog bit multiple human victims in the same attack without provocation; or
(4) the dog bit a human without provocation in an attack where there was more than one dog.
Section 16 [Applicability.] requires state and local animal control authorities and law enforcement agencies to enforce the dangerous dog law, regardless of whether the sections have been adopted into local ordinance.
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