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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                         CHAPTER 37-S.F.No. 382 
           An act relating to animals; clarifying regulations 
          pertaining to dangerous dogs; granting certain powers 
          to animal control officers; prohibiting local 
          ordinances that define specific breeds of dogs as 
          dangerous; amending Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 
          343.20, by adding a subdivision; 343.29, subdivision 
          1; 347.50, subdivisions 4, 5, and by adding a 
          subdivision; 347.51, subdivisions 5 and 6, and by 
          adding subdivisions; 347.53; 347.54; and 609.226, 
          subdivision 1.  
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 343.20, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER.] "Animal control officer"
means an officer employed by or under contract with an agency of 
the state, county, municipality, or other governmental 
subdivision of the state which is responsible for animal control 
operations in its jurisdiction. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 343.29, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [DELIVERY TO SHELTER.] Any peace officer, 
animal control officer, or any agent of the federation or county 
or district societies for the prevention of cruelty, may remove, 
shelter, and care for any animal which is not properly sheltered 
from cold, hot, or inclement weather or any animal not properly 
fed and watered, or provided with suitable food and drink.  When 
necessary, a peace officer, animal control officer, or agent may 
deliver the animal to another person to be sheltered and cared 
for, and furnished with suitable food and drink.  In all cases, 
the owner, if known, shall be immediately notified, and the 
person having possession of the animal, shall have a lien 
thereon for its care and keeping, the reasonable value of the 
food and drink furnished, and the expenses of the notice.  If 
the owner or custodian is unknown and cannot by reasonable 
effort be ascertained, or does not, within five days after 
notice, redeem the animal by paying the expenses authorized by 
this subdivision, the animal may be treated as an estray. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.50, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [PROPER ENCLOSURE.] "Proper enclosure" means 
securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked 
pen or structure suitable to prevent the animal from escaping 
and providing protection from the elements for the dog.  A 
proper enclosure does not include a porch, patio, or any part of 
a house, garage, or other structure that would allow the dog to 
exit of its own volition, or any house or structure in which 
windows are open or in which door or window screens are the only 
obstacles that prevent the dog from exiting.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.50, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [OWNER.] "Owner" means any person, firm, 
corporation, organization, or department possessing, harboring, 
keeping, having an interest in, or having care, custody, or 
control of a dog.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.50, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [ANIMAL CONTROL AUTHORITY.] "Animal control 
authority" means an agency of the state, county, municipality, 
or other governmental subdivision of the state which is 
responsible for animal control operations in its jurisdiction. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.51, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [EXEMPTION.] Dogs may not be declared dangerous 
if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person: 
    (1) who was committing, at the time, a willful trespass or 
other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog; 
    (2) who was provoking, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting 
the dog or has who can be shown to have repeatedly, in the past, 
been observed or reported to have provoked, tormented, abused, 
or assaulted the dog; or 
    (3) who was committing or attempting to commit a crime. 
     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.51, 
subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 6.  [COUNTIES WITHOUT LICENSING SYSTEMS.] If an owner 
of a dangerous dog resides in a county that does not license 
dogs under sections 347.08 to 347.21, the owner shall obtain a 
certificate as required under this section from the county 
auditor or other person designated by the county board in the 
county where the owner resides. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.51, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [TAG.] A dangerous dog registered under this 
section must have a standardized, easily identifiable tag 
identifying the dog as dangerous affixed to the dog's collar at 
all times.  
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.51, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 8.  [LOCAL ORDINANCES.] A statutory or home rule 
charter city, or a county, may not adopt an ordinance regulating 
dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs based solely on the 
specific breed of the dog.  Ordinances inconsistent with this 
subdivision are void.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.51, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read:  
    Subd. 9.  [CONTRACTED SERVICES.] A county may contract with 
another political subdivision or other person to provide the 
services required under sections 347.50 to 347.54. 
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.53, is 
amended to read: 
    347.53 [POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOGS.] 
    Any statutory or home rule charter city, or any county, may 
regulate potentially dangerous dogs.  Except as provided in 
section 347.51, subdivision 8, nothing in sections 347.50 to 
347.54 limits any restrictions the local jurisdictions may place 
on owners of potentially dangerous dogs. 
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 347.54, is 
amended to read: 
    347.54 [CONFISCATION.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DANGEROUS DOGS SEIZURE.] (a) The county 
animal control authority having jurisdiction shall 
immediately confiscate seize any dangerous dog if: 
    (1) after 14 days after the owner has notice that the dog 
is dangerous, the dog is not validly registered under section 
347.51; 
    (2) after 14 days after the owner has notice that the dog 
is dangerous, the owner does not secure the proper liability 
insurance or surety coverage as required under section 347.51, 
subdivision 2; 
    (3) the dog is not maintained in the proper enclosure; or 
    (4) the dog is outside the proper enclosure and not under 
physical restraint of a responsible person as required under 
section 347.52. 
    (b) If an owner of a dog is convicted of a crime for which 
the dog was originally seized, the court may order that the dog 
be confiscated and destroyed in a proper and humane manner, and 
that the owner pay the costs incurred in confiscating, 
confining, and destroying the dog. 
    Subd. 2.  [RECLAIMED.] A dangerous dog seized under 
subdivision 1 may be reclaimed by the owner of the dog upon 
payment of impounding and boarding fees, and presenting proof to 
the appropriate animal control authority that the requirements 
of sections 347.51 and 347.52 will be met.  A dog not reclaimed 
under this subdivision within seven days may be disposed of as 
provided under section 35.71, subdivision 3, and the owner is 
liable to the animal control authority for costs incurred in 
confining and disposing of the dog. 
    Subd. 3.  [SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES; SEIZURE.] If a person has 
been convicted of a misdemeanor for violating a provision of 
section 347.51 or 347.52, and the person is charged with a 
subsequent violation relating to the same dog, the dog must be 
seized by the animal control authority having jurisdiction.  If 
the owner is convicted of the crime for which the dog was 
seized, the court shall order that the dog be destroyed in a 
proper and humane manner and the owner pay the cost of confining 
and destroying the animal.  If the person is not convicted of 
the crime for which the dog was seized, the owner may reclaim 
the dog upon payment to the animal control authority of a fee 
for the care and boarding of the dog.  If the dog is not 
reclaimed by the owner within seven days after the owner has 
been notified that the dog may be reclaimed, the dog may be 
disposed of as provided under section 35.71, subdivision 3, and 
the owner is liable to the animal control authority for the 
costs incurred in confining, impounding, and disposing of the 
dog. 
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 609.226, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [GREAT OR SUBSTANTIAL BODILY HARM.] 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.  
    Sec. 14.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 12 are effective the day following final 
enactment.  Section 13 is effective August 1, 1989, and applies 
to crimes committed on or after that date. 
    Presented to the governor April 14, 1989 
    Signed by the governor April 17, 1989, 5:01 p.m.