AN ACT TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF DANGEROUS DOGS.
House committee substitute to the 1st edition deletes the previous provisions and instead provides the following.
Recodifies GS 67-4.1(c), regarding procedures of potentially dangerous dog determinations, as its own statute, GS 67-4.1A. Makes the following changes to Article 1A, Dangerous Dogs, of GS Chapter 67.
Amends GS 67-4.1 to remove references to determinations by the designated person or board responsible for animal control from the definitions of dangerous dog and potentially dangerous dog. Modifies severe injury to include physical injury to domestic animals that results in broken bones, disfiguring lacerations, required cosmetic surgery, hospitalization, or an overnight stay at a veterinary facility. Makes technical and clarifying changes.
Amends GS 67-4.1A, as recodified, regarding procedures for determining potentially dangerous dogs. Expands the provisions to also require the county or municipal authority responsible for animal control to designate a person or board to be responsible for determining when a dog is a dangerous dog as well as a separate board for appeals. Specifies that the number of days provided regarding the appeal procedure are business days. Adds a new requirement for the designated person or board to impound a dog that has killed or inflicted serious injury to a person or domestic animal, and determine whether to impound other dogs after notice to the owner of a determination that the dog is dangerous or potentially dangerous. Provides for continued impoundment during pendency of any appeals and until the determination is overturned or the owner satisfies all restraint requirements and relevant local ordinances and has paid or has agreed to pay the impoundment costs. Requires the owner to pay impoundment fees unless the determination is overturned on appeal. If a determination is overturned on appeal, requires prompt return of the dog and releases the owner from liability for impoundment costs. During impoundment, deems the dog relinquished if the owner fails to pay or agrees to pay impoundment costs within a reasonable amount of time upon final determination or the owner fails to provide proper restraints as required by state and local law within a reasonable amount of time. Requires the county or responsible municipal authority to provide notice to the owner regarding the time limitations for the provision of payment and proper restraints, and a second notice regarding the owner's rights and the effective date of relinquishment upon failure of the owner to meet the payment and restraint requirements, at least five business days subsequent to the notice. Permits an owner to voluntarily grant possessory rights upon written documentation. Makes a dangerous or potentially dangerous determination apply statewide.
Amends GS 67-4.2 to make the prohibitions provided regarding precautions against attacks by dangerous dogs and the notice requirements of the owner upon transfer of ownership of dangerous dogs now apply to dangerous dogs or potentially dangerous dogs when a final determination has been made as provided in GS 67-4.1A, as recodified and amended. Makes clarifying changes. Maintains that violations are a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Modifies GS 67-4.3 to make it a Class 1 misdemeanor when the owner of a dog determined to be a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog, upon final determination under GS 67-4.1A, attacks a person and causes physical injuries requiring medical treatment over $100 or attacks and kills a domestic animal under the immediate control of a person (was, limited to dangerous dogs and did not require a final determination; did not include attack and death of a domestic animal).
Makes conforming changes to GS 67-4.4 regarding strict liability of owners.
Modifies GS 67-4.5 to specify that the Article does not affect local authority to impose additional requirements on the control of dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs by local ordinance (previously provided for adopting local programs for the control of dangerous dogs).
Applies to acts occurring on or after October 1, 2019.
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