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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

CHAPTER 325--S.F.No. 2876

An act

relating to animals; changing provisions regulating dangerous dogs; providing for certain cities to authorize certain outdoor food and beverage establishments to allow dogs to accompany patrons;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 347.50, by adding a subdivision; 347.51, subdivisions 2, 2a, 3, 7, 9; 347.52; 347.53; 347.54, subdivisions 1, 3; 347.55; 347.56; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 157; 347.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[157.175] DOGS; OUTDOOR FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS.

Subdivision 1.

Municipal authorization.

A statutory or home rule charter city may adopt an ordinance to permit food and beverage service establishments to allow dogs to accompany persons patronizing designated outdoor areas of food and beverage establishments.

Subd. 2.

Dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs.

The ordinance must prohibit dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs, as defined in section 347.50, from accompanying patrons to food and beverage establishments.

Subd. 3.

Banning dogs.

The ordinance may not prohibit a food and beverage establishment from banning dogs. A person accompanied by a dog who remains at an establishment knowing that the operator of the establishment or its agent has posted a sign banning dogs or otherwise informed the person that dogs are not permitted in the establishment may be ordered to leave the premises.

Subd. 4.

Permit process.

(a) The ordinance must require participating establishments to apply for and receive a permit from the city before allowing patrons' dogs on their premises. The city shall require from the applicant such information as the local government deems reasonably necessary, but shall require, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) the name, location, and mailing address of the establishment;

(2) the name, mailing address, and telephone contact information of the permit applicant;

(3) a description of the designated outdoor areas in which the permit applicant intends to allow dogs; and

(4) a description of the days of the week and hours of operation that patrons' dogs will be permitted in the designated outdoor areas.

(b) A permit issued pursuant to the authority granted in this section must not be transferred to a subsequent owner upon the sale of a food and beverage establishment but must expire automatically upon the sale of the establishment. The subsequent owner shall be required to reapply for a permit pursuant to this section if the subsequent owner wishes to continue to accommodate patrons' dogs.

(c) A city may incorporate the permit requirements of this section into a permit or license issued under an existing ordinance if the city ensures that current and future permit and license holders comply with the requirements of this section. A city may exempt current permit and license holders from reapplying for a permit, if the current permit or license holder provides the city with the information required in paragraph (a) and any other information that the city requests.

Subd. 5.

Minimum requirements.

The ordinance must include such regulations and limitations as the local government deems reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, but must require, at a minimum, the following requirements, which must be clearly printed on a sign or signs posted on premises in a manner and place that are conspicuous to employees and patrons:

(1) employees must be prohibited from touching, petting, or otherwise handling dogs;

(2) employees and patrons must not allow dogs to come into contact with serving dishes, utensils, tableware, linens, paper products, or any other items involved in food service operations;

(3) patrons must keep their dogs on a leash at all times and must keep their dogs under reasonable control;

(4) dogs must not be allowed on chairs, tables, or other furnishings; and

(5) dog waste must be cleaned immediately and the area sanitized.

Subd. 6.

Service animals.

Nothing in this statute, or an ordinance adopted pursuant to this statute, shall be construed to limit:

(1) the right of a person with disabilities to access places of public accommodation while accompanied by a service animal as provided in sections 256C.02 and 363A.19; or

(2) the lawful use of a service animal by a licensed peace officer.

Subd. 7.

Designated outdoor area.

The ordinance must include a definition of "designated outdoor area" that is consistent with applicable rules adopted by the commissioner of health.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.50, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 8.

Provocation.

"Provocation" means an act that an adult could reasonably expect may cause a dog to attack or bite.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.51, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Registration.

An animal control authority shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner of a dangerous dog if the owner presents sufficient evidence that:

(1) a proper enclosure exists for the dangerous dog and a posting on the premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property, including a warning symbol to inform children, that there is a dangerous dog on the property;

(2) a surety bond issued by a surety company authorized to conduct business in this state in a form acceptable to the animal control authority in the sum of at least $50,000 $300,000, payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog, or a policy of liability insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to conduct business in this state in the amount of at least $50,000 $300,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog;

(3) the owner has paid an annual fee of not more than $500, in addition to any regular dog licensing fees, to obtain a certificate of registration for a dangerous dog under this section; and

(4) the owner has had microchip identification implanted in the dangerous dog as required under section 347.515.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.51, subdivision 2a, is amended to read:

Subd. 2a.

Warning symbol.

If a county an animal control authority issues a certificate of registration to the owner of a dangerous dog pursuant to subdivision 2, the county animal control authority must provide, for posting on the owner's property, a copy of a warning symbol to inform children that there is a dangerous dog on the property. The design of the warning symbol must be the uniform and specified symbol provided by the commissioner of public safety, after consultation with animal control professionals. The commissioner shall provide the number of copies of the warning symbol requested by each county the animal control authority and shall charge the county animal control authority the actual cost of the warning symbols received. The county animal control authority may charge the registrant a reasonable fee to cover its administrative costs and the cost of the warning symbol.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.51, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Fee.

The county animal control authority may charge the owner an annual fee, in addition to any regular dog licensing fees, to obtain a certificate of registration for a dangerous dog under this section.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.51, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Tag.

A dangerous dog registered under this section must have a standardized, easily identifiable tag identifying the dog as dangerous and containing the uniform dangerous dog symbol, affixed to the dog's collar at all times. The commissioner of public safety, after consultation with animal control professionals, shall provide by rule for the design of the tag.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.51, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

Subd. 9.

Contracted services.

A county An animal control authority may contract with another political subdivision or other person to provide the services required under sections 347.50 to 347.54 347.565. Notwithstanding any contract entered into under this subdivision, all fees collected under sections 347.50 to 347.54 shall be paid to the county animal control authority and all certificates of registration must be issued in the name of the county animal control authority.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.52, is amended to read:

347.52 DANGEROUS DOGS; REQUIREMENTS.

(a) An owner of a dangerous dog shall keep the dog, while on the owner's property, in a proper enclosure. If the dog is outside the proper enclosure, the dog must be muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under the physical restraint of a responsible person. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will prevent the dog from biting any person or animal but that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration.

(b) An owner of a dangerous dog must renew the registration of the dog annually until the dog is deceased. If the dog is removed from the jurisdiction, it must be registered as a dangerous dog in its new jurisdiction.

(c) An owner of a dangerous dog must notify the animal control authority in writing of the death of the dog or its transfer to a new jurisdiction location where the dog will reside within 30 days of the death or transfer, and must, if requested by the animal control authority, execute an affidavit under oath setting forth either the circumstances of the dog's death and disposition or the complete name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom the dog has been transferred or the address where the dog has been relocated.

(d) An animal control authority may shall require a dangerous dog to be sterilized at the owner's expense. If the owner does not have the animal sterilized within 30 days, the animal control authority may shall seize the dog and have the animal it sterilized at the owner's expense.

(e) A person who owns a dangerous dog and who rents property from another where the dog will reside must disclose to the property owner prior to entering the lease agreement and at the time of any lease renewal that the person owns a dangerous dog that will reside at the property.

(f) A person who sells transfers ownership of a dangerous dog must notify the purchaser new owner that the animal control authority has identified the dog as dangerous. The seller current owner must also notify the animal control authority in writing of the sale transfer of ownership and provide the animal control authority with the new owner's name, address, and telephone number.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.53, is amended to read:

347.53 POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS AND DANGEROUS DOGS.

Any statutory or home rule charter city, or any county, may regulate potentially dangerous and dangerous dogs. Except as provided in section 347.51, subdivision 8, nothing in sections 347.50 to 347.54 347.565 limits any restrictions that the local jurisdictions may place on owners of potentially dangerous or dangerous dogs.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.54, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Seizure.

(a) The animal control authority having jurisdiction shall immediately 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; or

(5) the dog is not sterilized within 30 days, pursuant to section 347.52, paragraph (d).

(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.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.54, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Subsequent offenses; seizure.

If a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor for violating a provision of section 347.51, 347.515, 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 owner is not convicted and 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. 12.

[347.541] DISPOSITION OF SEIZED ANIMALS.

Subdivision 1.

Hearing.

The owner of any dog declared dangerous has the right to a hearing by an impartial hearing officer.

Subd. 2.

Security.

A person claiming an interest in a seized dog may prevent disposition of the dog by posting security in an amount sufficient to provide for the dog's actual cost of care and keeping. The security must be posted within seven days of the seizure inclusive of the date of the seizure.

Subd. 3.

Notice.

The authority declaring the dog dangerous shall give notice of this section by delivering or mailing it to the owner of the dog, or by posting a copy of it at the place where the dog is kept, or by delivering it to a person residing on the property, and telephoning, if possible. The notice must include:

(1) a description of the seized dog; the authority for and purpose of the dangerous dog declaration and seizure; the time, place, and circumstances under which the dog was declared dangerous; and the telephone number and contact person where the dog is kept;

(2) a statement that the owner of the dog may request a hearing concerning the dangerous dog declaration and, if applicable, prior potentially dangerous dog declarations for the dog, and that failure to do so within 14 days of the date of the notice will terminate the owner's right to a hearing under this section;

(3) a statement that if an appeal request is made within 14 days of the notice, the owner must immediately comply with the requirements of section 347.52, paragraphs (a) and (c), and until such time as the hearing officer issues an opinion;

(4) a statement that if the hearing officer affirms the dangerous dog declaration, the owner will have 14 days from receipt of that decision to comply with all other requirements of sections 347.51, 347.515, and 347.52;

(5) a form to request a hearing under this subdivision; and

(6) a statement that all actual costs of the care, keeping, and disposition of the dog are the responsibility of the person claiming an interest in the dog, except to the extent that a court or hearing officer finds that the seizure or impoundment was not substantially justified by law.

Subd. 4.

Right to hearing.

Any hearing must be held within 14 days of the request to determine the validity of the dangerous dog declaration. The hearing officer must be an impartial employee of the local government or an impartial person retained by the local government to conduct the hearing. In the event that the dangerous dog declaration is upheld by the hearing officer, actual expenses of the hearing up to a maximum of $1,000 will be the responsibility of the dog's owner. The hearing officer shall issue a decision on the matter within ten days after the hearing. The decision must be delivered to the dog's owner by hand delivery or registered mail as soon as practical and a copy must be provided to the animal control authority.

Sec. 13.

[347.542] RESTRICTIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Dog ownership prohibited.

Except as provided in subdivision 3, no person may own a dog if the person has:

(1) been convicted of a third or subsequent violation of section 347.51, 347.515, or 347.52;

(2) been convicted of a violation under section 609.205, clause (4);

(3) been convicted of a gross misdemeanor under section 609.226, subdivision 1;

(4) been convicted of a violation under section 609.226, subdivision 2; or

(5) had a dog ordered destroyed under section 347.56 and been convicted of one or more violations of section 347.51, 346.515, 347.52, or 609.226, subdivision 2.

Subd. 2.

Household members.

If any member of a household is prohibited from owning a dog in subdivision 1, unless specifically approved with or without restrictions by an animal control authority, no person in the household is permitted to own a dog.

Subd. 3.

Dog ownership prohibition review.

Beginning three years after a conviction under subdivision 1 that prohibits a person from owning a dog, and annually thereafter, the person may request that the animal control authority review the prohibition. The animal control authority may consider such facts as the seriousness of the violation or violations that led to the prohibition, any criminal convictions, or other facts that the animal control authority deems appropriate. The animal control authority may rescind the prohibition entirely or rescind it with limitations. The animal control authority also may establish conditions a person must meet before the prohibition is rescinded, including, but not limited to, successfully completing dog training or dog handling courses. If the animal control authority rescinds a person's prohibition and the person subsequently fails to comply with any limitations imposed by the animal control authority or the person is convicted of any animal violation involving unprovoked bites or dog attacks, the animal control authority may permanently prohibit the person from owning a dog in this state.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.55, is amended to read:

347.55 PENALTY.

(a) Any A person who violates any a provision of section 347.51, 347.515, or 347.52 is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) It is a misdemeanor to remove a microchip from a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog, to fail to renew the registration of a dangerous dog, to fail to account for a dangerous dog's death or removal from the jurisdiction change of location where the dog will reside, to sign a false affidavit with respect to a dangerous dog's death or removal from the jurisdiction change of location where the dog will reside, or to fail to disclose ownership of a dangerous dog to a property owner from whom the person rents property.

(c) A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of paragraph (a) or (b) is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(d) An owner who violates section 347.542, subdivision 1, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(e) Any household member who knowingly violates section 347.542, subdivision 2, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 347.56, is amended to read:

347.56 DESTRUCTION OF DOG IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

Subdivision 1.

Circumstances.

Notwithstanding sections 347.51 to 347.55, a dog that inflicted substantial or great bodily harm on a human being on public or private property without provocation may be destroyed in a proper and humane manner by the animal control authority. The animal control authority may not destroy the dog until the dog owner has had the opportunity for a hearing before an impartial decision maker. may be destroyed in a proper and humane manner by the animal control authority if the dog:

(1) inflicted substantial or great bodily harm on a human on public or private property without provocation;

(2) inflicted multiple bites on a human on public or private property without provocation;

(3) bit multiple human victims on public or private property in the same attack without provocation; or

(4) bit a human on public or private property without provocation in an attack where more than one dog participated in the attack.

Subd. 2.

Hearing.

The animal control authority may not destroy the dog until the dog owner has had the opportunity for a hearing before an impartial decision maker. The definitions in section 347.50 and the exemptions under section 347.51, subdivision 5, apply to this section.

Sec. 16.

[347.565] APPLICABILITY.

Sections 347.50 to 347.56 must be enforced by animal control authorities or law enforcement agencies, whether or not these sections have been adopted into local ordinance.

Presented to the governor May 12, 2008

Signed by the governor May 15, 2008, 2:50 p.m.