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H.348

Introduced by Representatives Ancel of Calais, Chen of Mendon, Louras of Rutland City and McFaun of Barre Town

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Safety; vicious dogs; right to control

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to provide municipalities with mechanisms to prevent injury to humans, in addition to other animals, by vicious domestic dogs.

AN ACT RELATING TO PREVENTING INJURY TO HUMANS BY VICIOUS DOMESTIC DOGS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A. § 3546 is amended to read:

§ 3546.  INVESTIGATION OF VICIOUS DOMESTIC PETS OR

              WOLF‑HYBRIDS; ORDER

(a)  When a domestic pet or wolf-hybrid has bitten or threatened to bite a person while the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is off the premises of the owner or keeper, and the person bitten requires medical attention for the attack, such person may file a written complaint with the legislative body of the municipality.  The complaint shall contain the time, date, and place where the attack or threat occurred, the name and address of the victim or victims, and any other facts that may assist the legislative body in conducting its to conduct an investigation required by subsection (b) of this section.

(b)  The legislative body, within seven days from receipt of the complaint, shall investigate the charges and hold a hearing on the matter.  If the owner of the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid which that is the subject of the complaint can be ascertained with due diligence, said that owner shall be provided with a written notice of the time, date, and place of hearing and the facts of the complaint.

(c)  If the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is found to have bitten the victim without provocation or sufficiently threatened the victim such that bodily harm was likely, the municipal officials shall make such order for the protection of persons as the facts and circumstances of the case may require, including, without limitation, that the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is be disposed of in a humane way, muzzled, chained, or confined.  The order shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.  A person who, after receiving notice, fails to comply with the terms of the order shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 3550 of this chapter.

(d)  The procedures provided in this section shall only apply if the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is not a rabies suspect.  If a member of the legislative body or a municipal official designated by the legislative body determines that the animal is a rabies suspect, the provisions of subchapter 5 of this chapter and the rules of the department of health shall apply.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us