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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

347.51 Dangerous dogs; registration.

Subdivision 1. Requirement. No person may own a dangerous dog in this state unless the dog is registered as provided in this section.

Subd. 2. Registration. A county 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, including a warning symbol to inform children, that there is a dangerous dog on the property; and

(2) a surety bond issued by a surety company authorized to conduct business in this state in a form acceptable to the county in the sum of at least $50,000, 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, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog.

Subd. 2a. Warning symbol. If a county issues a certificate of registration to the owner of a dangerous dog pursuant to subdivision 2, the county 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 uniform and specified 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 and shall charge the county the actual cost of the warning symbols received. The county may charge the registrant a reasonable fee to cover its administrative costs and the cost of the warning symbol.

Subd. 3. Fee. The county 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.

Subd. 4. Law enforcement; exemption. The provisions of this section do not apply to dangerous dogs used by law enforcement officials for police work.

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 who can be shown to have repeatedly, in the past, provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog; or

(3) who was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HIST: 1988 c 711 s 2; 1989 c 37 s 6-10; 1991 c 195 s 1; 1994 c 550 s 2; 1997 c 187 art 3 s 32