A person who owns or keeps a dangerous dog commits a civil violation for which the
court shall adjudge a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $1,000, plus costs,
none of which may be suspended. [2003, c. 71, §1 (AMD).]
Any person who is assaulted or threatened with imminent bodily injury by a dog or
any person witnessing an assault or threatened assault against a person or domesticated
animal or a person with knowledge of an assault or threatened assault against a minor,
within 30 days of the assault or threatened assault, may make written complaint to
the sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer that the dog
is a dangerous dog. For the purposes of this chapter, "domesticated animal" includes,
but is not limited to, livestock as defined in section 3907, subsection 18-A.
Upon investigation of the complaint, the sheriff, local law enforcement officer or
animal control officer may issue a civil violation summons for keeping a dangerous
If, upon hearing, the court finds that the dog is a dangerous dog as defined in section
3907, subsection 12-D, the court shall impose a fine and shall:
A. Order the dog confined in a secure enclosure except as provided in paragraph C or subsection 8. For the purposes of this paragraph, "secure enclosure" means a fence
or structure of at least 6 feet in height forming or making an enclosure suitable
to prevent the entry of young children and suitable to confine a dangerous dog in
conjunction with other measures that may be taken by the owner or keeper, such as
tethering the dangerous dog. The secure enclosure must be locked, be designed with
secure top, bottom and sides and be designed to prevent the animal from escaping from
the enclosure. The court shall specify the length of the period of confinement and may order permanent
confinement; [2011, c. 82, §1 (AMD).]
B. Order the dog to be euthanized if it has killed, maimed or inflicted serious bodily
injury upon a person or has a history of a prior assault or a prior finding by the court of being a dangerous dog; or [2011, c. 82, §1 (AMD).]
C. Order the dog to be securely muzzled, restricted by a tether not more than 3 feet
in length with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and under the direct control
of the dog’s owner or keeper whenever the dog is off the owner's or keeper's premises. [2011, c. 82, §1 (NEW).]
The court may order restitution in accordance with Title 17-A, chapter 54 for any
damages inflicted upon a person or a person's property.
2011, c. 82, §1 (AMD)
1-A.Identification and confinement of dogs.
In addition to orders imposed under subsection 1, the court may order that the owner
or keeper of a dangerous dog:
A. Provide the animal control officer in the municipality where the dangerous dog is
kept with photographs and descriptions of dogs kept by that owner or keeper including
the sex, breed, age and identifying markings of each dog; [2007, c. 170, §2 (NEW).]
B. Have dogs kept by that owner or keeper permanently identified by tattooing, microchip
placement or other means directed by the court; or [2007, c. 170, §2 (NEW).]
C. Confine other dogs kept on the owner's or keeper's premises as provided in subsection
1, paragraph A and subsection 8. [2007, c. 170, §2 (NEW).]
2007, c. 170, §2 (NEW)
2.Failure to abide by court order.
If the court order in subsection 1, paragraph B, is not complied with within the
time set by the court, the court may, upon application by the complainant or other
person, issue a warrant to the county sheriff or any of the sheriff's deputies or
to a police officer or constable in the municipality where the dog is found, commanding
the officer to kill the dog immediately and make a return of the warrant to the court
within 14 days from the date of the warrant.
The owner or keeper must be ordered to pay all costs of supplementary proceedings
and all reasonable costs for seizure and euthanasia of the dog.
1999, c. 350, §2 (AMD)
3.Dogs presenting immediate threat to public.
After issuing a summons and before hearing, if the dog poses an immediate or continuing
threat to the public, a sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer
shall order the owner or keeper of the dog to muzzle, restrain or confine the dog
to the owner's premises or to have the dog confined at the owner's expense at a place
determined by the sheriff, local law enforcement officer or animal control officer.
If the owner or keeper fails to comply, the sheriff, local law enforcement officer
or animal control officer may apply to District Court, Superior Court or a justice
of the peace for an ex parte order for authorization to take possession of the dog
that poses an immediate or continuing threat to the public and turn the dog over to
the applicant or other suitable person.
1999, c. 350, §2 (AMD)
4.Court action; ex parte.
1999, c. 350, §2 (RP)
An order may be entered ex parte upon findings by the court or justice of the peace
A. The dog has inflicted a serious bodily injury as defined in Title 17-A, section
2, subsection 23; or [1999, c. 350, §2 (NEW).]
B. There is a reasonable likelihood that the dog is dangerous or vicious and:
(1) Its owner has failed to muzzle, restrain or confine the dog; and
(2) That failure poses an immediate threat of harm to the public. [1999, c. 350, §2 (NEW).]
1999, c. 350, §2 (NEW)
An order may be modified by the court.
A. Upon 2 days' notice or a shorter period the court may prescribe, the owner whose
animal has been possessed pursuant to an ex parte order may appear in the District
Court or Superior Court and move the dissolution or modification of the ex parte order. [1999, c. 350, §2 (NEW).]
B. The court shall hear and determine the motion, and the hearing may be advanced on the docket and receive priority over other cases
when the court determines that the interests of justice so require. [2011, c. 559, Pt. A, §4 (AMD).]
C. The owner shall submit an affidavit setting forth specific facts to substantiate
the modification or dissolution of the order. The applicant has the burden of presenting
evidence to substantiate the original findings. [1999, c. 350, §2 (NEW).]
2011, c. 559, Pt. A, §4 (AMD)
Any person taking possession of a dog as provided in this section has a lien on that
dog in accordance with Title 17, section 1021, subsection 6.
1999, c. 350, §2 (AMD)
If a dog whose owner or keeper refuses or neglects to comply with the order wounds
any person by a sudden assault or wounds or kills any domestic animal, the owner or
keeper shall pay the person injured treble damages and costs to be recovered by a
1999, c. 350, §2 (AMD)
7.Class D crime.
If the owner refuses or neglects to comply with an order issued under subsection
1, 1-A or 4-A, the owner commits a Class D crime. The court, as part of the judgment, may prohibit a person convicted under this subsection
from owning or possessing a dog or having a dog on that person's premises for a period
of time. The prohibition may be permanent.
2007, c. 170, §3 (AMD)
8.Restriction of movement outside of a secure enclosure.
An owner or keeper of a dog confined to a secure enclosure by a court under subsection
1, paragraph A or subsection 1-A, paragraph C may not allow the dog outside of the secure enclosure unless:
A. It is necessary to obtain veterinary care for the dog or to comply with orders of
the court; and [2007, c. 170, §4 (NEW).]
B. The dog is securely muzzled, restrained by a tether not more than 3 feet in length
with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and under the direct control of the
dog's owner or keeper. [2007, c. 170, §4 (NEW).]
2011, c. 82, §2 (AMD)
1987, c. 383, §3 (NEW).
1987, c. 736, §6 (AMD).
1989, c. 212, (AMD).
1997, c. 690, §§35,36 (AMD).
1999, c. 350, §2 (AMD).
2001, c. 399, §5 (AMD).
2003, c. 71, §1 (AMD).
2007, c. 170, §§1-4 (AMD).
2007, c. 702, §9 (AMD).
RR 2009, c. 1, §9 (COR).
2011, c. 82, §§1, 2 (AMD).
2011, c. 559, Pt. A, §4 (AMD).
Data for this page extracted on 12/03/2013 11:50:35.
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