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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1985 

                        CHAPTER 294-H.F.No. 264 
           An act relating to animals; providing for a rabies 
          control program; imposing criminal liability on 
          persons who cause the death or substantial bodily harm 
          of another by permitting certain animals to be 
          unconfined or improperly confined; providing for the 
          killing of dangerous animals; imposing penalties; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 609.205; 
          proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
          chapters 346 and 609.  
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  [346.50] [DOGS; IDENTIFICATION.] 
    An owner or custodian of a dog who permits the dog to be 
uncontrolled off the owner's or custodian's premises shall have 
the dog identified in one of the following ways: 
    (1) by a device, tag, or plate attached to the dog by a 
collar, harness, or device giving the name, address, and 
telephone number of the current owner; 
    (2) by an electronically activated identification device 
within or attached to the body of the dog through which the 
owner can be promptly identified; 
    (3) by a number legibly tattooed on the thigh, abdomen, or 
ear of the dog through which the owner can be promptly 
identified using information from official dog registries, city 
or county registries, veterinary hospital registries, or 
driver's license records; 
    (4) by an official license tag of a city or county through 
which the owner can be promptly identified; or 
    (5) by a current rabies vaccination tag or other 
identification device of a city, a county, or a veterinarian 
through which the owner can be promptly identified. 
    Sec. 2.  [346.51] [BITES.] 
    An owner or custodian of a dog which does not have an 
appropriate anti-rabies vaccination and which bites or otherwise 
exposes a person to rabies virus may be penalized under section 
4. 
    Sec. 3.  [346.52] [LOCAL PROGRAMS.] 
    Sections 1 to 5 do not prohibit or restrict a local 
governmental unit from imposing an identification or rabies 
control program with more restrictive provisions or prohibiting 
dogs from running uncontrolled. 
    Sec. 4.  [346.53] [PENALTIES.] 
    Violation of sections 1 and 2 is a petty misdemeanor. 
    Sec. 5.  [346.54] [NOTIFICATION OF OWNERS.] 
    Animal shelter personnel who receive animals shall check 
for identification on each animal, identify the owner by the 
identification whenever possible, and promptly notify the owner 
of the location of the animal by the most expedient means. 
     Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1984, section 609.205, is 
amended to read: 
    609.205 [MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.] 
    Whoever A person who causes the death of another by any of 
the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second 
degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 
seven years or to payment of a fine of not more than $14,000, or 
both: 
    (1) By his culpable negligence whereby he creates an 
unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing 
death or great bodily harm to another; or 
    (2) By shooting another with a firearm or other dangerous 
weapon as a result of negligently believing him to be a deer or 
other animal; or 
    (3) By setting a spring gun, pit fall, deadfall, snare, or 
other like dangerous weapon or device; or 
    (4) By negligently or intentionally permitting any animal, 
known by him the person to have vicious propensities or to have 
caused great or substantial bodily harm in the past, to go at 
large run uncontrolled off the owner's premises, or negligently 
failing to keep it properly confined, and the victim was not at 
fault. 
     If proven by a preponderance of the evidence, it shall be 
an affirmative defense to criminal liability under clause (4) 
that the victim provoked the animal to cause the victim's death. 
     Sec. 7.  [609.226] [HARM CAUSED BY A DOG.] 
    A person who causes great or substantial bodily harm to 
another by negligently or intentionally permitting any dog to 
run uncontrolled off the owner's premises, or negligently 
failing to keep it properly confined is guilty of a petty 
misdemeanor.  A person who is convicted of a second or 
subsequent violation of this section involving the same dog is 
guilty of a gross misdemeanor.  
    If proven by a preponderance of the evidence, it shall be 
an affirmative defense to liability under this section that the 
victim provoked the dog to cause the victim's bodily harm. 
     Sec. 8.  [609.227] [DANGEROUS ANIMALS DESTROYED.] 
     When a person has been convicted of a crime under section 
609.205, clause (4), or of a gross misdemeanor violation of 
section 7, the court may order that the animal which caused the 
death or injury be seized by the appropriate local law 
enforcement agency and killed in a proper and humane manner.  
The owner of the animal shall pay the cost of killing the 
animal.  This section shall not preempt local ordinances with 
more restrictive provisions. 
     Sec. 9.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
     Sections 1 to 5 are effective August 1, 1985.  Sections 6 
to 8 are effective August 1, 1985, and apply to crimes committed 
on or after that date. 
    Approved June 4, 1985