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CHAPTER 343. PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Table of Sections
SectionHeadnote

HUMANE SOCIETIES

343.01PURPOSES; POWERS; COUNTY ORGANIZATION.
343.02Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5; 1977 c 332 s 17
343.03Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5; 1977 c 332 s 17
343.04Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5
343.05Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5
343.06PURPOSE OF FEDERATION.
343.07Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5
343.08Repealed, 1987 c 394 s 14
343.09Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5
343.10COUNTY AND DISTRICT SOCIETIES.
343.11ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY, APPROPRIATIONS.
343.12DUTIES OF PEACE OFFICERS.

CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

343.20DEFINITIONS.
343.21OVERWORKING OR MISTREATING ANIMALS; PENALTY.
343.22INVESTIGATION OF CRUELTY COMPLAINTS.
343.23EXPENSES OF INVESTIGATION.
343.235DISPOSITION OF SEIZED ANIMALS.
343.24CRUELTY IN TRANSPORTATION.
343.25DOCKING HORSES; PENALTY.
343.26CLIPPED ANIMALS; PENALTY.
343.27POISONING ANIMALS.
343.28ANIMAL WITH INFECTIOUS DISEASE.
343.29EXPOSURE OF ANIMALS; DUTY OF OFFICERS.
343.30INJURY TO BIRDS.
343.31ANIMAL FIGHTS AND POSSESSION OF FIGHTING ANIMALS.
343.315LIVE LURE GREYHOUND TRAINING OR RACING.
343.32ARTIFICIALLY COLORED ANIMALS; SALE.
343.33USE AS ADVERTISING DEVICES.
343.34CARE OF ANIMALS USED AS ADVERTISING DEVICES.
343.35VIOLATIONS.
343.36GREASED PIG CONTESTS AND TURKEY SCRAMBLES.
343.37DECOMPRESSION CHAMBERS PROHIBITED.
343.40DOG HOUSES.

HUMANE SOCIETIES

343.01 PURPOSES; POWERS; COUNTY ORGANIZATION.
    Subdivision 1. Formation authorized. A state federation of county and district societies for
the prevention of cruelty to animals may be created as a corporation under chapter 317A for the
purpose provided in section 343.06. The federation may appoint representatives in any county
where no active county or district society exists for the purpose of receiving and accounting
for funds from any source, and may also appoint agents at large to carry out the work of the
federation throughout the state. The federation and all county and district societies may appoint
agents for the purpose of investigating or otherwise assisting lawfully empowered officials in
the prosecution of persons charged with cruelty to animals. Appointed agents must have training
and experience in activities relating to prevention of cruelty to animals or enforcement of laws
relating to cruelty to animals. The federation may make bylaws as are necessary to implement its
authority under this chapter and under chapter 317A.
    Subd. 1a. Minnesota Humane Society; continuation confirmed. The Minnesota Humane
Society, also known as the Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Cruelty, is confirmed and
continued as a nonprofit organization under chapter 317A.
    Subd. 1b. Independent organizations; powers of the federated humane societies. (a)
The Minnesota Humane Society, also known as the Minnesota Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty, and the Minnesota federated humane societies are not affiliated with each other or with
the state of Minnesota.
(b) The Minnesota federated humane societies have the powers given to it under this chapter.
    Subd. 2. Unauthorized use of names prohibited. It is unlawful for any organization,
association, firm or corporation not named in this chapter to refer to itself as or in any way to use
the names Minnesota federated humane societies, Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Cruelty,
the Minnesota Humane Society, or any combination of words or phrases using the above names
which would imply that it represents, acts in behalf or is a branch of the society or the federation.
    Subd. 3. Powers and duties. The federation and the society must each be governed by
a board of directors designated in accordance with chapter 317A. The powers, duties, and
organization of the federation and the society and other matters for the conduct of the business of
the federation and the society are as provided in chapter 317A and in the articles of incorporation
and bylaws of each organization.
History: (7927) RL s 3125; 1971 c 85 s 1; 1975 c 369 s 1; 1977 c 264 s 1; 1983 c 293 s 97;
1985 c 285 s 47; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 394 s 3; 1989 c 304 s 137; 1994 c 634 art 1 s 18-21
343.02 [Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5; 1977 c 332 s 17]
343.03 [Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5; 1977 c 332 s 17]
343.04 [Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5]
343.05 [Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5]
343.06 PURPOSE OF FEDERATION.
It shall be the purpose of the state federation of county and district humane societies to
assist in the enforcement of the laws for the prevention of wrongs to animals; to assist in the
organization of district and county societies and give them representation in the state federation;
to aid such societies and agents in the enforcement of the laws for the prevention of wrongs to
animals which may now or hereafter exist, and to promote the growth of education and sentiment
favorable to the protection of animals.
History: (7930) 1905 c 274 s 3; 1975 c 369 s 4; 1977 c 264 s 2; 1987 c 394 s 4
343.07 [Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5]
343.08 [Repealed, 1987 c 394 s 14]
343.09 [Repealed, 1977 c 264 s 5]
343.10 COUNTY AND DISTRICT SOCIETIES.
A county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may be formed in any county
and a district society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may be formed in any group of
two or more contiguous or noncontiguous counties or parts of counties by not less than seven
incorporators. County and district societies shall be created as corporations under chapter 317A
and as provided in the bylaws of the state federation.
History: (7934) RL s 3126; 1975 c 369 s 7; 1987 c 394 s 5; 1989 c 304 s 137
343.11 ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY, APPROPRIATIONS.
Every county and district society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may acquire,
by purchase, gift, grant, or devise, and hold, use, or convey, real estate and personal property,
and lease, mortgage, sell, or use the same in any manner conducive to its interest, to the same
extent as natural persons. The county board of any county, or the council of any city, in which
such societies exist, may, in its discretion, appropriate for the maintenance and support of such
societies in the transaction of the work for which they are organized, any sums of money not
otherwise appropriated, not to exceed in any one year the sum of $4,800 or the sum of $1 per
capita based upon the county's or city's population as of the most recent federal census, whichever
is greater; provided, that no part of the appropriation shall be expended for the payment of the
salary of any officer of the society.
History: RL s 3127; 1913 c 31 s 1; 1955 c 366 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1973 c 187 s 1;
1975 c 369 s 8; 1985 c 69 s 1; 1987 c 394 s 6; 2005 c 152 art 1 s 5
343.12 DUTIES OF PEACE OFFICERS.
Upon application of any agent appointed by the federation or a county or district society,
it shall be the duty of, any sheriff or the agent's deputy or any police officer to investigate any
alleged violation of the law relative to cruelty to animals, and to arrest any person found violating
those laws. It shall also be the duty of those officers to take possession of any animals in their
respective jurisdictions which have been cruelly treated, and deliver the same to the proper
officers of the county or district for custody and care.
History: (7936) RL s 3128; 1975 c 369 s 9; 1977 c 332 s 15; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 394 s 7

CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

343.20 DEFINITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Application. Except as otherwise indicated by the context, for purposes of
sections 343.20 to 343.36, the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them.
    Subd. 2. Animal. "Animal" means every living creature except members of the human race.
    Subd. 3. Torture; cruelty. "Torture" or "cruelty" means every act, omission, or neglect
which causes or permits unnecessary or unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death.
    Subd. 4. Impure milk. "Impure and unwholesome milk" means all milk obtained from
diseased or unhealthy animals, or from animals fed on any substance which is putrefied or
fermented.
    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.
    Subd. 6. Pet or companion animal. "Pet or companion animal" includes any animal owned,
possessed by, cared for, or controlled by a person for the present or future enjoyment of that
person or another as a pet or companion, or any stray pet or stray companion animal.
    Subd. 7. Service animal. "Service animal" means an animal trained to assist a person with a
disability.
    Subd. 8. Substantial bodily harm. "Substantial bodily harm" means bodily injury which
involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial
loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which causes a fracture of
any bodily member to a service animal or a pet or companion animal.
    Subd. 9. Great bodily harm. "Great bodily harm" means bodily injury which creates a
high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a
permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or
other serious bodily harm to a service animal or a pet or companion animal.
History: (10442) RL s 5151; 1981 c 53 s 1; 1989 c 37 s 1; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 8 s 5-8
343.21 OVERWORKING OR MISTREATING ANIMALS; PENALTY.
    Subdivision 1. Torture. No person shall overdrive, overload, torture, cruelly beat, neglect, or
unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate, or kill any animal, or cruelly work any animal when it is unfit
for labor, whether it belongs to that person or to another person.
    Subd. 2. Nourishment; shelter. No person shall deprive any animal over which the person
has charge or control of necessary food, water, or shelter.
    Subd. 3. Enclosure. No person shall keep any cow or other animal in any enclosure without
providing wholesome exercise and change of air.
    Subd. 4. Low feed. No person shall feed any cow on food which produces impure or
unwholesome milk.
    Subd. 5. Abandonment. No person shall abandon any animal.
    Subd. 6. Temporary abandonment. No person shall allow any maimed, sick, infirm, or
disabled animal to lie in any street, road, or other public place for more than three hours after
receiving notice of the animal's condition.
    Subd. 7. Cruelty. No person shall willfully instigate or in any way further any act of cruelty
to any animal or animals, or any act tending to produce cruelty to animals.
    Subd. 8. Caging. No person shall cage any animal for public display purposes unless the
display cage is constructed of solid material on three sides to protect the caged animal from the
elements and unless the horizontal dimension of each side of the cage is at least four times the
length of the caged animal. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to the Minnesota State
Agricultural Society, the Minnesota State Fair, or to the county agricultural societies, county
fairs, to any agricultural display of caged animals by any political subdivision of the state of
Minnesota, or to district, regional or national educational livestock or poultry exhibitions. The
provisions of this subdivision do not apply to captive wildlife, the exhibition of which is regulated
by section 97A.041.
    Subd. 8a. Harming a service animal. No person shall intentionally and without justification
cause bodily harm to a service animal while it is providing service or while it is in the custody of
the person it serves.
    Subd. 9. Penalty. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a person who fails to
comply with any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person convicted of a
second or subsequent violation of subdivision 1 or 7 within five years of a previous violation of
subdivision 1 or 7 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(b) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in
substantial bodily harm to a pet or companion animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not
more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.
(c) A person convicted of violating paragraph (b) within five years of a previous gross
misdemeanor or felony conviction for violating this section may be sentenced to imprisonment
for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(d) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in death
or great bodily harm to a pet or companion animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not
more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(e) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in substantial bodily
harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(f) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in
substantial bodily harm to a pet or companion animal, and the act is done to threaten, intimidate,
or terrorize another person, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(g) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in death or great bodily
harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than four years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
(h) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in death
or great bodily harm to a pet or companion animal, and the act is done to threaten, intimidate, or
terrorize another person, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than four years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
    Subd. 10. Restrictions. If a person is convicted of violating this section, the court shall
require that pet or companion animals that have not been seized by a peace officer or agent and are
in the custody or control of the person must be turned over to a peace officer or other appropriate
officer or agent unless the court determines that the person is able and fit to provide adequately for
an animal. If the evidence indicates lack of proper and reasonable care of an animal, the burden
is on the person to affirmatively demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the person
is able and fit to have custody of and provide adequately for an animal. The court may limit
the person's further possession or custody of pet or companion animals, and may impose other
conditions the court considers appropriate, including, but not limited to:
(1) imposing a probation period during which the person may not have ownership, custody,
or control of a pet or companion animal;
(2) requiring periodic visits of the person by an animal control officer or agent appointed
pursuant to section 343.01, subdivision 1;
(3) requiring performance by the person of community service; and
(4) requiring the person to receive psychological, behavioral, or other counseling.
History: (10443) RL s 5152; 1959 c 571 s 1-2; 1974 c 3 s 2; 1981 c 53 s 2; 1986 c 386 art 4 s
24; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 387 s 1; 1990 c 612 s 2; 1993 c 326 art 4 s 10,11; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 8 s 9-11
343.22 INVESTIGATION OF CRUELTY COMPLAINTS.
    Subdivision 1. Reporting. Any person who has reason to believe that a violation of this
chapter has taken place or is taking place may apply to any court having jurisdiction over actions
alleging violation of that section for a warrant and for investigation. The court shall examine
under oath the person so applying and any witnesses the applicant produces and the court shall
take their affidavits in writing. The affidavits must set forth facts tending to establish the grounds
for believing a violation of this chapter has occurred or is occurring, or probable cause to believe
that a violation exists. If the court is satisfied of the existence of the grounds of the application, or
that there is probable cause to believe a violation exists, it shall issue a signed search warrant and
order for investigation to a peace officer in the county. The order shall command the officer to
proceed promptly to the location of the alleged violation. The order may command that a doctor
of veterinary medicine accompany the officer.
    Subd. 2. Police investigation. The peace officer shall search the place designated in the
warrant and, together with the veterinary doctor, shall conduct an investigation of the facts
surrounding the alleged violation. The peace officer may retain in custody, subject to the order of
the court, any property or things which are specified in the warrant, including any animal if the
warrant so specifies. The warrant shall contain the names of the persons presenting affidavits in
support of the application and the grounds for its issuance. Service shall be made in accordance
with the provisions of sections 626.13, 626.14, and 626.16. The warrant must be executed and
returned to the court which issued the warrant within ten days after its date; after the expiration of
that time the warrant, unless executed, is void. The officer executing the warrant shall promptly
return the warrant to the court, and deliver to it a written inventory of the property or things
taken, verified by the certificate of the officer. The warrant and order for investigation issued
pursuant to this section and section 343.23 shall have the same force as a warrant issued pursuant
to chapter 626.
    Subd. 3. Disposal of animals. Upon a proper determination by a licensed doctor of veterinary
medicine, any animal taken into custody pursuant to this section may be immediately disposed
of when the animal is suffering and is beyond cure through reasonable care and treatment. All
other animals shall be disposed of as provided in section 343.235. The authority taking custody of
the animals may recover all costs incurred under this section.
History: 1971 c 647 s 1; 1974 c 299 s 1; 1981 c 53 s 3; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 394 s 8; 1991 c
122 s 1,2
343.23 EXPENSES OF INVESTIGATION.
The expenses of the investigation authorized by section 343.22, including the fee of
the doctor of veterinary medicine, the expenses of keeping or disposing of any animal taken
into custody pursuant to an investigation, and all other expenses reasonably incident to the
investigation shall be paid by the county treasurer from the general fund of the county. If the
person alleged to have violated section 343.21 is found guilty of the violation, the county shall
have judgment against the guilty person for the amount of the expenses.
History: 1971 c 647 s 2; 1977 c 332 s 16; 1981 c 53 s 4
343.235 DISPOSITION OF SEIZED ANIMALS.
    Subdivision 1. General rule. An animal taken into custody under section 343.12, 343.22,
343.29, or 343.31 may be humanely disposed of at the discretion of the jurisdiction having
custody of the animal ten days after the animal is taken into custody, provided that the procedures
in subdivision 3 are followed. An animal raised for food or fiber products may not be seized or
disposed of without prior examination by a licensed veterinarian pursuant to a warrant issued
by a judge.
    Subd. 2. Security. A person claiming an interest in an animal in custody under subdivision 1
may prevent disposition of the animal by posting security in an amount sufficient to provide for
the animal's actual costs of care and keeping. The security must be posted within ten days of the
seizure inclusive of the date of the seizure.
    Subd. 3. Notice; right to hearing. (a) The authority taking custody of an animal under
section 343.12, 343.22, 343.29, or 343.31 shall give notice of this section by delivering or mailing
it to a person claiming an interest in the animal or by posting a copy of it at the place where
the animal is taken into custody or by delivering it to a person residing on the property, and
telephoning, if possible. The notice must include:
(1) a description of the animal seized; the authority and purpose for the seizure; the time,
place, and circumstances under which the animal was seized; and the location, address, telephone
number, and contact person where the animal is kept;
(2) a statement that a person claiming an interest in the animal may post security to prevent
disposition of the animal and may request a hearing concerning the seizure or impoundment
and that failure to do so within ten days of the date of the notice will result in disposition of
the animal; and
(3) a statement that all actual costs of the care, keeping, and disposal of the animal are the
responsibility of the person claiming an interest in the animal, except to the extent that a court or
hearing officer finds that the seizure or impoundment was not substantially justified by law.
The notice must also include a form that can be used by a person claiming an interest in the
animal for requesting a hearing under this subdivision.
(b) Upon request of a person claiming an interest in the animal, which request must be
made within ten days of the date of seizure, a hearing must be held within five business days
of the request, to determine the validity of the seizure and impoundment. If the seizure was
done pursuant to a warrant under section 343.22, the hearing must be conducted by the judge
who issued the warrant. If the seizure was done under section 343.12, 343.29, or 343.31, the
municipality taking custody of the animal or, in the case of a humane society, the municipality
from which the animal was seized, may either (1) authorize a licensed veterinarian with no
financial interest in the matter or professional association with either party or (2) use the services
of a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. A person claiming an interest in the animal who
is aggrieved by a decision of a hearing officer under this subdivision may seek a court order
governing the seizure or impoundment within five days of notice of the order.
(c) The judge or hearing officer may authorize the return of the animal, if the judge or
hearing officer finds that:
(1) the animal is physically fit; and
(2) the person claiming an interest in the animal can and will provide the care required
by law for the animal.
(d) The person claiming an interest in the animal is liable for all actual costs of care, keeping,
and disposal of the animal, except to the extent that a court or hearing officer finds that the seizure
or impoundment was not substantially justified by law. The costs must be paid in full or a mutually
satisfactory arrangement for payment must be made between the municipality and the person
claiming an interest in the animal before return of the animal to the person.
History: 1991 c 122 s 4; 1995 c 244 s 7; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 8 s 12,13
343.24 CRUELTY IN TRANSPORTATION.
    Subdivision 1. Penalty. Any person who does any of the following is guilty of a
misdemeanor:
(a) carries or causes to be carried, any live animals upon any vehicle or otherwise, without
providing suitable racks, cars, crates, or cages in which the animals can both stand and lie down
during transportation and while awaiting slaughter;
(b) except as provided in subdivision 2, paragraph (a), carries or causes to be carried, upon a
vehicle or otherwise, any live animal having feet or legs tied together, or in any other cruel
or inhumane manner;
(c) transports or detains livestock in cars or compartments for more than 28 consecutive
hours without unloading the livestock in a humane manner into properly equipped pens for rest,
water, and feeding for a period of at least five consecutive hours, unless requested to do so as
provided in subdivision 2, paragraph (b), or unless prevented by storm or unavoidable causes
which cannot be anticipated or avoided by the exercise of due diligence and foresight; or
(d) permits livestock to be crowded together without sufficient space to stand, or so as
to overlie, crush, wound, or kill each other.
    Subd. 2. Exceptions. (a) A person may carry or cause to be carried, upon a vehicle or
otherwise, a cloven-hoofed animal having legs tied together, if:
(1) the person transporting the animal is the animal's owner or an employee or agent of
the owner;
(2) the animal weighs 250 pounds or less;
(3) the tying is done in a humane manner and is necessary for the animal's safe transport; and
(4) the animal's legs are tied for no longer than one-half hour.
(b) A person or corporation engaged in transporting livestock may confine livestock for 36
consecutive hours if the owner or person with custody of that particular shipment of livestock
requests in writing that an extension be allowed. That written request shall be separate from any
printed bill of lading or other railroad form.
History: (10444) RL s 5153; 1921 c 186 s 1; 1981 c 53 s 5; 1998 c 402 s 1
343.25 DOCKING HORSES; PENALTY.
A person who cuts the bony part of a horse's tail for the purpose of docking it, or who causes
or knowingly permits the same to be done upon premises of which the person is owner, lessee,
or user, or who assists in the cutting is guilty of a misdemeanor. When a horse is found so cut,
upon the premises or in the custody of any person, and the wound resulting is unhealed, that fact
shall constitute prima facie evidence that the offense was committed by the person. All fines
resulting from complaint made by an officer or agent of any society of this state for the prevention
of cruelty to animals for any offense specified in this section shall be paid to the society whose
officer or agent made the complaint.
History: (10445) RL s 5154; 1981 c 53 s 6; 1986 c 444
343.26 CLIPPED ANIMALS; PENALTY.
No person who has custody of any animal which has had its hair removed by clipping or
shearing shall cause or permit the animal to stand on a road, street, or other unsheltered place
between November 1 and May 1 within 60 days after the clipping or shearing, unless the animal is
blanketed. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
History: (10446) RL s 5155; 1981 c 53 s 7
343.27 POISONING ANIMALS.
Any person who unjustifiably administers any poisonous, or noxious drug or substance to
any animal, or procures or permits it to be done, or unjustifiably exposes that drug or substance
with intent that the drug be taken by any animal, whether the animal is the property of the person
or another, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
History: (10448) RL s 5157; 1979 c 102 s 13; 1981 c 53 s 8; 1986 c 444
343.28 ANIMAL WITH INFECTIOUS DISEASE.
An owner or person having charge of any animal who knows the animal has any infectious or
contagious disease, or knows the animal has recently been exposed to an infectious or contagious
disease, who sells or barters the animal, or knowingly permits the animal to run at large or come
into contact with any other animal, or with another person without that person's knowledge and
permission shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
History: (10450) RL s 5159; 1980 c 467 s 36; 1981 c 53 s 9
343.29 EXPOSURE OF ANIMALS; DUTY OF OFFICERS.
    Subdivision 1. Delivery to shelter. Any peace officer, animal control officer, or 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 in circumstances
that threaten the life of the animal. 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 as
provided in section 343.235, subdivision 3, and the person having possession of the animal, shall
have a lien thereon for its actual costs of care and keeping and the expenses of the notice. If the
owner or custodian is unknown and cannot by reasonable effort be ascertained, or does not, within
ten days after notice, redeem the animal by paying the expenses authorized by this subdivision,
the animal may be disposed of as provided in section 343.235.
    Subd. 2. Disposal of animals. Upon a proper determination by a licensed doctor of veterinary
medicine, any animal taken into custody pursuant to subdivision 1 may be immediately disposed
of when the animal is suffering and is beyond cure through reasonable care and treatment. The
expenses of disposal shall be subject to the provisions of section 343.23.
History: (10451) RL s 5160; 1907 c 398 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1974 c 299 s 2; 1981 c 53
s 10; 1987 c 394 s 9; 1989 c 37 s 2; 1991 c 122 s 3; 1995 c 244 s 8
343.30 INJURY TO BIRDS.
A person who in any manner maliciously maims, kills, or destroys any bird designated as
unprotected by section 97A.015, subdivision 52, or who maliciously destroys the nests or eggs of
any such bird shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
History: (10447) RL s 5156; 1981 c 53 s 11; 1986 c 386 art 4 s 25
343.31 ANIMAL FIGHTS AND POSSESSION OF FIGHTING ANIMALS.
    Subdivision 1. Penalty for animal fighting; attending animal fight. A person who:
(1) promotes, engages in, or is employed in the activity of cockfighting, dogfighting, or
violent pitting of one domestic animal against another of the same or a different kind;
(2) receives money for the admission of a person to a place used, or about to be used, for
that activity;
(3) willfully permits a person to enter or use for that activity premises of which the permitter
is the owner, agent, or occupant; or
(4) uses, trains, or possesses a dog or other animal for the purpose of participating in,
engaging in, or promoting that activity
is guilty of a felony. A person who purchases a ticket of admission or otherwise gains admission
to that activity is guilty of a misdemeanor.
    Subd. 2. Presumption of training a fighting dog. There is a rebuttable presumption that a
dog has been trained or is being trained to fight if:
(1) the dog exhibits fresh wounds, scarring, or other indications that the dog has been or
will be used for fighting; and
(2) the person possesses training apparatus, paraphernalia, or drugs known to be used to
prepare dogs to be fought.
This presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
    Subd. 3. Presumption of training fighting birds. There is a rebuttable presumption that a
bird has been trained or is being trained to fight if:
(1) the bird exhibits fresh wounds, scarring, or other indications that the bird has been or
will be used for fighting; or
(2) the person possesses training apparatus, paraphernalia, or drugs known to be used to
prepare birds to be fought.
This presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
    Subd. 4. Peace officer duties. Animals described in subdivisions 2 and 3 are dangerous
weapons and constitute an immediate danger to the safety of humans. A peace officer or animal
control authority may remove, shelter, and care for an animal found in the circumstances
described in subdivision 2 or 3. If necessary, a peace officer or animal control authority may
deliver the animal to another person to be sheltered and cared for. In all cases, the peace officer or
animal control authority must immediately notify the owner, if known, as provided in subdivision
5. The peace officer, animal control authority, or other person assuming care of the animal shall
have a lien on it for the actual cost of care and keeping of the animal. If the owner or custodian
is unknown and cannot by reasonable effort be ascertained, or does not, within ten days after
notice, redeem the animal by paying the expenses authorized by this subdivision, the animal may
be disposed of as provided in subdivision 5.
    Subd. 5. Disposition. (a) An animal taken into custody under subdivision 4 may be humanely
disposed of at the discretion of the jurisdiction having custody of the animal ten days after the
animal is taken into custody, if the procedures in paragraph (c) are followed.
(b) The owner of an animal taken into custody under subdivision 4 may prevent disposition
of the animal by posting security in an amount sufficient to provide for the actual costs of care and
keeping of the animal. The security must be posted within ten days of the seizure inclusive of the
date of the seizure. If, however, a hearing is scheduled within ten days of the seizure, the security
amount must be posted prior to the hearing.
(c)(1) The authority taking custody of an animal under subdivision 4 must give notice of this
section by delivering or mailing it to the owner of the animal, posting a copy of it at the place
where the animal is taken into custody, or delivering it to a person residing on the property and
telephoning, if possible. The notice must include:
(i) a description of the animal seized; the authority and purpose for the seizure; the time,
place, and circumstances under which the animal was seized; and the location, address, and
telephone number of a contact person who knows where the animal is kept;
(ii) a statement that the owner of the animal may post security to prevent disposition of the
animal and may request a hearing concerning the seizure and impoundment and that failure to do
so within ten days of the date of the notice will result in disposition of the animal; and
(iii) a statement that all actual costs of the care, keeping, and disposal of the animal are the
responsibility of the owner of the animal, except to the extent that a court or hearing officer finds
that the seizure or impoundment was not substantially justified by law. The notice must also
include a form that can be used by a person claiming an interest in the animal for requesting
a hearing.
(2) The owner may request a hearing within ten days of the date of the seizure. If requested,
a hearing must be held within five business days of the request to determine the validity of the
impoundment. The municipality taking custody of the animal or the municipality from which the
animal was seized may either (i) authorize a licensed veterinarian with no financial interest in the
matter or professional association with either party, or (ii) use the services of a hearing officer
to conduct the hearing. An owner may appeal the hearing officer's decision to the district court
within five days of the notice of the decision.
(3) The judge or hearing officer may authorize the return of the animal if the judge or hearing
officer finds that (i) the animal is physically fit, (ii) the person claiming an interest in the animal
can and will provide the care required by law for the animal, and (iii) the animal has not been
used for violent pitting or fighting.
(4) The person claiming an interest in the animal is liable for all actual costs of care, keeping,
and disposal of the animal, except to the extent that a court or hearing officer finds that the seizure
or impoundment was not substantially justified by law. The costs must be paid in full or a mutually
satisfactory arrangement for payment must be made between the municipality and the person
claiming an interest in the animal before the return of the animal to the person.
    Subd. 6. Photographs. (a) Photographs of animals seized during an investigation are
competent evidence if the photographs are admissible into evidence under all the rules of law
governing the admissibility of photographs into evidence. A satisfactorily identified photographic
record is as admissible in evidence as the animal itself.
(b) A photograph must be accompanied by a written description of the animals seized, the
name of the owner of the animals seized, the date of the photograph, and the name, address,
organization, and signature of the photographer.
    Subd. 7. Veterinary investigative report. (a) A report completed by a Minnesota licensed
veterinarian following an examination of an animal seized during an investigation is competent
evidence. A satisfactorily identified veterinary investigative report is as admissible in evidence
as the animal itself.
(b) The veterinary investigative report may contain a written description of the animal
seized, the medical evaluation of the physical findings, the prognosis for recovery, and the date
of the examination and must contain the name, address, veterinary clinic, and signature of the
veterinarian performing the examination.
History: (10449) RL s 5158; 1981 c 22 s 1; 1986 c 444; 2005 c 136 art 17 s 4
343.315 LIVE LURE GREYHOUND TRAINING OR RACING.
No person may train a greyhound for racing using a live lure or live bait or conduct a
greyhound race using a live lure or live bait.
History: 1991 c 74 s 1
343.32 ARTIFICIALLY COLORED ANIMALS; SALE.
No chick, duckling, gosling, or rabbit that has been dyed or otherwise colored artificially
may be sold or offered for sale; raffled; offered or given as a prize, premium, or advertising
device; or displayed in any store, shop, carnival, or other public place.
History: 1965 c 620 s 1
343.33 USE AS ADVERTISING DEVICES.
Chicks, ducklings, and goslings younger than four weeks of age shall not be sold or offered
for sale; raffled; or offered or given as a prize, premium, or advertising device, in quantity
of fewer than 12 birds to an individual person unless sold by a person, firm, partnership or
corporation engaged in the business of selling chicks, ducklings, and goslings for agricultural
or wildlife purposes.
History: 1965 c 620 s 2; 1981 c 53 s 12
343.34 CARE OF ANIMALS USED AS ADVERTISING DEVICES.
Stores, shops, vendors, and others offering chicks, ducklings, or goslings for sale; raffle;
or as a prize, premium, or advertising device; or displaying chicks, ducklings, or goslings to the
public; shall provide and operate brooders or other heating devices that may be necessary to
maintain the chicks, ducklings, or goslings in good health, and shall keep adequate food and water
available to the birds at all times.
History: 1965 c 620 s 3; 1981 c 53 s 13
343.35 VIOLATIONS.
A violation of sections 343.32 to 343.34 is a petty misdemeanor; provided that, after any
violation has been called to the attention of the violator by any law enforcement officer, each day
on which the violation continues or is repeated constitutes a separate offense.
History: 1965 c 620 s 4; 1981 c 53 s 14
343.36 GREASED PIG CONTESTS AND TURKEY SCRAMBLES.
No person shall operate, run or participate in a contest, game, or other like activity, in which
a pig, greased, oiled or otherwise, is released and wherein the object is the capture of the pig, or in
which a chicken or turkey is released or thrown into the air and wherein the object is the capture
of the chicken or turkey. Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
History: 1971 c 649 s 1; 1981 c 53 s 15
343.37 DECOMPRESSION CHAMBERS PROHIBITED.
A person may not use a decompression chamber to destroy an animal. A violation of this
section is a misdemeanor.
History: 1985 c 270 s 1
343.40 DOG HOUSES.
    Subdivision 1. In general. A person in charge or control of any dog which is kept outdoors
or in an unheated enclosure shall provide the dog with shelter and bedding as prescribed in
this section as a minimum.
    Subd. 2. Building specifications. The shelter shall include a moistureproof and windproof
structure of suitable size to accommodate the dog and allow retention of body heat. It shall be
made of durable material with a solid, moisture-proof floor or a floor raised at least two inches
from the ground. Between November 1 and March 31 the structure must have a windbreak at the
entrance. The structure shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of suitable bedding material
consisting of hay, straw, cedar shavings, blankets, or the equivalent, to provide insulation and
protection against cold and dampness and promote retention of body heat.
    Subd. 3. Shade. Shade from the direct rays of the sun, during the months of May to October
shall be provided.
    Subd. 4. Farm dogs. In lieu of the requirements of subdivisions 2 and 3, a dog kept on a
farm may be provided with access to a barn with a sufficient quantity of loose hay or bedding to
protect against cold and dampness.
    Subd. 5. Zoning. All shelters required by this section shall be subject to all building or
zoning regulations of any city, township, county, or state.
    Subd. 6. Penalty. Whoever violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a petty
misdemeanor.
History: 1959 c 571 s 2; 1965 c 764 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1981 c 53 s 16; 1998 c
402 s 2; 2005 c 10 art 1 s 69