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Maine

Maine Revised Statutes Annotated. Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 739. Cruelty to Animals. Title 17. Crimes. Chapter 42. Animal Welfare.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: ME ST Tit. 7 3971 - 4041; ME ST Tit. 17 1011 - 1046

Citation: 7 M.R.S.A. 3971 - 4041; 17 M.R.S.A. 1011-1046


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   These Maine statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  The first section of laws occurs under Title 7, Agriculture and Animals.  Under these laws, a person commits animal cruelty if he or she kills the animal of another person; kills an animal by an inhumane method; injures, overworks, tortures, torments, abandons or cruelly beats or intentionally mutilates an animal; gives drugs to an animal with an intent to harm the animal; gives poison or alcohol to an animal; or exposes a poison with intent that it be taken by an animal.  The neglect component of the statute provides that a person commits cruelty if he or she deprives an animal that the person owns or possesses of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions.  There is a also a provision unique to Maine that states a person commits cruelty if he or she keeps or leaves a domestic animal on an uninhabited or barren island lying off the coast of the State during the month of December, January, February or March without providing necessary sustenance and proper shelter.  A person who violates this chapter commits a civil violation and may receive a civil fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,500 for the first violation, none of which may be suspended, and a civil fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for a 2nd or subsequent violation of section 4011, none of which may be suspended.  These acts are then cross-referenced under the criminal provisions of Title 17, which describes the penalties under § 1031.  Animal fighting is a class D crime under this section.


Statute in Full:

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals.  Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 731. Mistreatment of Animals

§ 3971. Vivisection prohibited in public and private schools

§ 3972. Unlawful use of animals

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 733. Transportation of Animals.

§ 3981. Intrastate transportation of animals

§ 3982. Liens

§ 3983. Possession of animals unlawfully detained

§ 3984. Enforcement of lien

§ 3985. Immunity from liability

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 735. Research Institutions

§ 3991. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 452, § B-22, eff. July 1, 2004

§ 3991-A. Regulation of research institutions

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 737. Calf and Pig Scrambles.

§ 4001. Regulation of calf and pig scrambles

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals.  Part 9. Animal Welfare.  Chapter 739. Cruelty to Animals.

§ 4011. Cruelty to animals

§ 4012. Cruelty to birds

§ 4013. Necessary sustenance

§ 4014. Necessary medical attention

§ 4015. Proper shelter, protection from the weather and humanely clean conditions

§ 4016. Violation

§ 4017. Rules

§ 4018. Report of suspected cruelty

§ 4019. Removal from unattended motor vehicle

§ 4020. Cruel confinement of calves raised for veal and sows during gestation

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 741. Animal Trespass

§ 4041. Animal trespass

Title 17. Crimes. Chapter 42. Animal Welfare. Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 1011. Definitions

§ 1012. Unlawful sale, consignment or rental of diseased horses

§ 1013. Unlawful production of motion pictures

§ 1014. Repealed. Laws 1989, c. 446, § 1

§ 1015. Surcharge imposed

§ 1021. Possession of animals

§ 1022. Prevention of cruelty

§ 1023. Investigation and reporting of cruelty

§ 1024. Impeding the performance of an officer

§ 1025. Handling of animals seized or held

§ 1026. Penalty for violation

§ 1027. Security for seizure and impoundment of animals relating to cruelty to animals or animal fighting

§ 1031. Cruelty to animals

§ 1032. Cruelty to birds

§ 1033. Animal fighting

§ 1034. Application for search warrant

§ 1035. Necessary sustenance

§ 1036. Necessary medical attention

§ 1037. Proper shelter; protection from the weather and humanely clean conditions

§ 1037-A. Affirmative defense

§ 1038. Animals abandoned at animal care facilities

§ 1039. Cruel confinement of calves raised for veal and sows during gestation

§ 1041. Euthanasia by prescribed methods

§ 1042. Euthanasia performed by licensed veterinarian or certified person

§ 1043. Emergency methods

§ 1044. Tranquilizing cats and dogs

§ 1045. Inspection

§ 1046. Penalty for violation

 

 

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 731. Mistreatment of Animals

§ 3971. Vivisection prohibited in public and private schools

1. Use of animals in schools.No live vertebrate, except eggs, may be used in kindergarten and grades one to 12 of any public or private school as part of a scientific experiment or for any other purpose in which the animal is experimentally medicated or drugged in a manner to cause painful reactions or to induce painful or lethal pathological conditions, or in which the animal is injured through any other type of treatment, experiment or procedure, including, but not limited to, anesthetization or electric shock or where the normal health of the animal is interfered with or where pain or distress is caused.

No person may, in the presence of any student in kindergarten and grades one to 12, practice vivisection or exhibit a vivisected animal. Dissection of dead animals or any portions of dead animals in schools shall be confined to the classroom and to the presence of students engaged in the study of dissection and shall not be for the purpose of exhibition.

This subsection shall also apply to any activity associated with or sponsored by the school system.

2. Treatment of animals in general. Live animals used as class pets or for purposes not prohibited in subsection 1 shall be housed and cared for in a safe and humane manner. The animals shall not remain in school over periods when school is not in session, unless adequate care is provided at all times.

3. Standards of treatment. Any animal whose use is permitted under this section shall be treated in accordance with the ethical and humane standards promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to the rule-making provisions of the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, Title 5, chapter 375, [FN1] after consultation with representative groups in the State having an interest or expertise in the field of animal welfare, biology and education.

4. Enforcement. The commissioner shall enforce this section in consultation with the Commissioner of Education.

5. Penalty for violations. Any person who violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $75.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1989, c. 700, § A-34; 1993, c. 468, § 25.

[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

 

§ 3972. Unlawful use of animals

1. Unlawful use of animals. It is unlawful for any person to:

A. Sell, display, raffle, give away or offer for sale within the State any live animals that have been dyed or otherwise artificially colored;

B. Sell, display, raffle, give away or offer for sale to the public any live fowl, turtles or rabbits under 8 weeks of age in lots of less than 6;

C. Use any live animal as a premium, fund-raising device, prize or award or use any live animal in a raffle, contest, game or promotion except as authorized by law or rule;

D. Use any live animal as bait in any racing contest or in the training of animals for racing contests;

E. Tie, tether or restrain any animal in a manner that is inhumane or detrimental to its welfare; or

F. Intentionally cause an equine to fall or lose its balance by any means whatsoever. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “equine” means, but is not limited to, a horse, mare, pony, ass, donkey, burro, mule or hinny. This paragraph does not apply to the lawful laying down of an equine for medical or identification purposes.

2. Violation. Any person who makes unlawful use of animals contrary to this section commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture not to exceed $100 may be adjudged. For the purposes of this section, “animal” does not include lobsters or shellfish.

3. Construction. Nothing in this section may be construed to apply to any animal to be used or raised for agriculture, aquaculture or fishing, to any dog to be used or raised for hunting or exhibition purposes, by persons with proper facilities otherwise authorized by law, or to games using animals in which the participating animal is not caused, directly or indirectly, to perform any act that deviates from the animal's natural behavior provided that the game is conducted by an educational or cultural institution or other nonprofit service organization.

4. Exception. Notwithstanding subsection 1, paragraph C, livestock may be raffled by charitable organizations licensed under Title 17, section 1837, subsection 3 for fund-raising purposes. For the purposes of this section, “charitable organization” has the same meaning as defined in Title 9, section 5003, subsection 1. Proceeds from a raffle under this subsection must be used for charitable purposes.

The animal must be awarded in freezer-ready form.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1989, c. 154, § 1; 1989, c. 342, § 2; 1995, c. 144, §§ 1, 2; 1997, c. 690, §§ 39 to 41; 2009, c. 487, § B-1.

 

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 733. Transportation of Animals.

§ 3981. Intrastate transportation of animals 

1. Period of confinement. No railroad, motor truck, common carrier or its receiver, trustee or lessee which transports animals within the State or other person having the care, custody or charge of animals loaded into any such form of transportation may confine the animals in cars, boats, vehicles or vessels of any description for a period longer than 28 consecutive hours without unloading the animals in a humane manner, by means of a chute or tailgate of sufficient size, into properly equipped pens or other suitable enclosures for rest, water and feeding for a period of at least 5 consecutive hours, unless prevented by storm, accident or other unavoidable cause which cannot be anticipated or avoided by the exercise of due diligence and foresight.

In estimating the time of confinement, the time consumed in loading and unloading shall not be considered, but the time during which the animals have been confined without such rest, food or water in a car, boat, vehicle or vessel shall be included.

2. Extension of time for confinement. Upon the separate written request of the owner or person in custody of the shipment of animals, the time of confinement may be extended to 36 hours.

3. Sheep. A railroad, motor truck, common carrier or its receiver, trustee or lessee, or other person having the care, custody or charge of sheep loaded into any such form of transportation, is not required to unload sheep in the nighttime, but, when the time expires in the nighttime, the sheep may continue in transit to a suitable place of unloading not exceeding the maximum limitation of 36 hours during which they may be confined.

4. Preference of animals as freight. A railroad, motor truck and common carrier within the State shall give cars, boats, vehicles or vessels containing cattle, sheep, swine or other animals a continuous passage in preference to other freight. Cars, boats, vehicles or vessels loaded with animals at any station shall have precedence over all other freight.

5. Conditions of transportation. Cars, boats, vehicles or vessels shall be sufficiently covered or boarded on the sides and ends to afford proper protection to animals in case of storms or severe cold weather and shall be properly ventilated. A greater number of animals shall not be loaded into any car, boat, vehicle or vessel than can stand comfortably within.

No person may transport any animal in or upon any car, boat, vehicle or vessel in a cruel or inhumane manner.

6. Violation. Any person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of not less than $50 nor more than $500 for every such offense may be adjudged.

7. Construction. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to prohibit the use of strike cages for dogs while in the lawful sport of hunting or in training or the movement of livestock or poultry when standards of the industry are followed.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1997, c. 690, § 42.

 

§ 3982. Liens

A railroad, motor truck, common carrier or its receiver, trustee or lessee has a lien on all animals in transit for reimbursement of penalties paid in consequence of the direction or orders of the owner or person in custody of the shipment of animals and for all extra expenses or damages incurred in the care and protection of animals according to this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3.


§ 3983. Possession of animals unlawfully detained

The commissioner, a humane agent, sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, police officer or person authorized to make arrests may take possession of any animals detained in violation of this chapter and may unload the animals and place them in properly equipped pens or other suitable enclosures for rest, water and feeding. The commissioner or any person taking possession pursuant to this section has a lien on the animals detained for expenses incurred for the care given.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25.

 

§ 3984. Enforcement of lien

The commissioner or any person having a lien in accordance with section 3982 or 3983 may enforce the lien in the same manner as enforcements of liens on personal property pursuant to Title 10, chapter 631. [FN1]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25.

[FN1] 10 M.R.S.A. § 4001 et seq.

 

§ 3985. Immunity from liability

Neither the commissioner nor any person having a lien in accordance with section 3982 or 3983 is liable for the detention of animals pursuant to this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25.

 

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 735. Research Institutions

§ 3991. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 452, § B-22, eff. July 1, 2004

 

§ 3991-A. Regulation of research institutions

1. License necessary. A research or teaching institution of higher education may not employ live animals in scientific investigation, experiment or instruction or for the testing of drugs or medicines without first having been issued a license under this section by the commissioner.

2. Application. A research or teaching institution desiring to obtain a license shall make application to the commissioner. On receipt of the application, the commissioner shall investigate as necessary to determine whether the public interest will be served by the issuance of the license. The commissioner may issue the license as long as the research or teaching institution, by reason of its standards, facilities, practices or activities, is a fit and proper institution to receive the license and that its issuance is in the public interest. The standards for licensure are those contained in United States Code, Title 7, Section 2143 and any federal regulations issued pursuant to that law. This chapter may not be construed to be more restrictive than federal law. In the case of conflict between state law and federal law or a mandatory rule, regulation or order of the Federal Government or its agencies, the federal law, rule, regulation or order governs.

3. Fees; license renewal. Before issuance of a license, each research or teaching institution licensed under this chapter shall pay to the commissioner a license fee of $200. A license expires on June 30th next following the date of issue. The commissioner shall annually renew each license upon the application of the licensee, unless, after notice and hearing as provided in this chapter, the commissioner finds that, by reason of the standards, facilities, practices or activities of the licensee, the renewal is not in the public interest. The commissioner, after notice and hearing as provided in this chapter, may modify, fail to renew, suspend or revoke any license if the commissioner finds that, by reason of the standards, facilities, practices or activities of the licensee, the continuation of the license is not in the public interest.

4. Noncompliance. If, in the opinion of the commissioner, there is or may be noncompliance with or a violation of this chapter or of a rule adopted by the commissioner that is of sufficient gravity to warrant further action, the commissioner may request an informal conference with the licensee. The commissioner shall provide the licensee with adequate notice of the conference and the issues to be discussed.

If the commissioner finds that the factual basis of the alleged noncompliance with or violation of this chapter is true and may warrant further action, the commissioner:

A. With the consent of the licensee, may enter into a consent agreement that fixes the period and terms of probation best adapted to protect the health and welfare of animals and to rehabilitate or educate the licensee;

B. In consideration for acceptance of a voluntary surrender of the license, may negotiate stipulations, in a consent decree to be signed by the commissioner, the licensee and the Office of the Attorney General, that ensure protection of the health and welfare of animals and that serve to rehabilitate or educate the licensee;

C. If the commissioner concludes that modification or nonrenewal of the license may be in order, shall hold an adjudicatory hearing in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 4; [FN1] or

D. If the commissioner concludes that suspension or revocation of the license is in order, shall file a complaint in the District Court in accordance with Title 4, chapter 5. [FN2]

5. Grounds for discipline. Grounds for an action to modify, suspend, revoke or refuse to renew the license of a person licensed under this chapter are:

A. The practice of fraud or deceit in obtaining a license under this chapter or in connection with service rendered within the scope of the license issued;

B. A violation of this chapter or a rule adopted by the commissioner; and

C. Conviction of a crime involving cruelty to animals.

6. Violation; penalty. A person may not knowingly violate this chapter or the rules issued pursuant to this chapter. The following penalties apply.

A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $100 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this subsection after having previously violated this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $250 may be adjudged.

7. Rules. The commissioner may adopt rules that are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

8. Inspection. In connection with the granting, continuance or renewal of a license and in connection with an investigation of alleged cruelty or alleged violation of this chapter or the rules issued pursuant to this chapter, the commissioner, at least annually, may visit and inspect the research and teaching institutions or animal research and care facilities of any licensee or of any research or teaching institution that has applied for a license.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 452, § B-23, eff. July 1, 2004.

[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 9051, et seq.

[FN2] 4 M.R.S.A. § 151, et seq.

 

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 737. Calf and Pig Scrambles.

§ 4001. Regulation of calf and pig scrambles

1. Permit required. Any person sponsoring a calf or pig scramble shall obtain a permit from the commissioner for each specific event at least 10 days before the event.

2. Application. Applications for calf or pig scramble permits shall specify the name of the applicant, the type of scramble and the date or dates of the scramble.

3. Fee. A fee of $10 must be submitted with any application for a calf or pig scramble.

4. Rules. Each applicant obtaining a permit under this section is subject to the rules adopted by the commissioner on the weight and size of animals, age of participants, length of event and such other requirements as the commissioner considers necessary.

5. Violation. Any person who violates this chapter or any of the rules issued pursuant to this chapter commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture not to exceed $100 may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25; 1997, c. 690, § 43; 1999, c. 254, § 10.


Title 7. Agriculture and Animals.  Part 9. Animal Welfare.  Chapter 739. Cruelty to Animals.

§ 4011. Cruelty to animals

1. Cruelty to animals. Except as provided in subsection 1-A, a person, including an owner or the owner's agent, is guilty of cruelty to animals if that person:

A. Kills or attempts to kill any animal belonging to another person without the consent of the owner or without legal privilege;

B. Except for a licensed veterinarian or a person certified under Title 17, section 1042, kills or attempts to kill an animal by a method that does not cause instantaneous death;

C. Is a licensed veterinarian or a person certified under Title 17, section 1042 and that person kills or attempts to kill an animal by a method that does not conform to standards adopted by a national association of licensed veterinarians;

D. Injures, overworks, tortures, torments, abandons or cruelly beats or intentionally mutilates an animal; gives drugs to an animal with an intent to harm the animal; gives poison or alcohol to an animal; or exposes a poison with intent that it be taken by an animal. The owner or occupant of property is privileged to use reasonable force to eject a trespassing animal;

E. Deprives an animal that the person owns or possesses of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions;

F. Keeps or leaves a domestic animal on an uninhabited or barren island lying off the coast of the State during the month of December, January, February or March without providing necessary sustenance and proper shelter;

G. Hunts, traps or sells for the purpose of hunting any animal, except as permitted pursuant to chapter 202-A[FN1] and Title 12, Part 13,[FN2] and excluding humane trapping of animals for population control efforts or animal control pursuant to this Part;

H. Injects, inserts or causes ingestion of any substance used solely to enhance the performance of an animal by altering the animal's metabolism to that animal's detriment, including but not limited to excessive levels of sodium bicarbonate in equines used for competition;

I. Kills or tortures an animal to frighten or intimidate a person or forces a person to injure or kill an animal; or

J. Confines an animal in a building, enclosure, car, boat, vehicle or vessel of any kind when extreme heat or extreme cold will be harmful to its health.

1-A. Animal cruelty. Except as provided in paragraphs A and B, a person is guilty of cruelty to animals if that person kills or attempts to kill a cat or dog.

A. A licensed veterinarian or a person certified under Title 17, section 1042 may kill a cat or dog according to the methods of euthanasia under Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter IV.[FN3]

B. A person who owns a cat or dog, or the owner's agent, may kill that owner's cat or dog by shooting with a firearm provided the following conditions are met.

(1) The shooting is performed by a person 18 years of age or older using a weapon and ammunition of suitable caliber and other characteristics to produce instantaneous death by a single shot.

(2) Death is instantaneous.

(3) Maximum precaution is taken to protect the general public, employees and other animals.

(4) Any restraint of the cat or dog during the shooting does not cause undue suffering to the cat or dog.

2. Affirmative defenses. It is an affirmative defense to this section that:

A. The conduct was performed by a licensed veterinarian or was a part of scientific research governed by accepted standards;

B. The conduct was designed to control or eliminate rodents, ants or other common pests on the defendant's own property;

C. The conduct involved the use of live animals as bait or in the training of other animals in accordance with the laws of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Title 12, Part 13; or

D. The animal is kept as part of an agricultural operation and in compliance with best management practices for animal husbandry as determined by the department.

Evidence of proper care of any animal shall not be admissible in the defense of alleged cruelty to other animals.

Credits
1987, c. 383, § 3; 1995, c. 490, §§ 20, 21; 1997, c. 456, §§ 4 to 6; 1997, c. 690, § 44; R.R.1997, c. 2, § 33; 1999, c. 254, §§ 11 to 13; 1999, c. 765, § 9; 2001, c. 425, §§ 1 to 3; 2001, c. 617, § 9; 2003, c. 414, §§ B-14, B-15; 2003, c. 614, § 9, eff. April 12, 2004; 2007, c. 702, §§ 10 to 15; 2013, c. 115, § 15, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 1341 et seq.

[FN2] 12 M.R.S.A. § 10001 et seq.

[FN3] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1041 et seq.

 

§ 4012. Cruelty to birds

1. Cruelty to birds. A person is guilty of cruelty to birds if that person:

A. Keeps or uses any live pigeon, fowl or other bird for a target or to be shot at, either for amusement or as a test of skill in marksmanship;

B. Shoots at any bird or is present as a party, umpire or judge at a shooting; or

C. Rents any building, shed, room, yard, field or premises or knowingly allows the use of the same for the purposes of paragraphs A and B.

2. Construction. This section may not be construed to prohibit the shooting of wild game in its wild state or the shooting of birds at field trials under the supervision of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in accordance with Title 12, chapter 915, subchapter 13. [FN1]

3. Affirmative defense. It is an affirmative defense to this section that the conduct involved the use of live animals in the training of other animals in accordance with the laws of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Title 12, Part 13. [FN2]

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1997, c. 690, § 45; 2003, c. 414, § B-16; 2003, c. 614, § 9.

[FN1] 12 M.R.S.A. § 12051 et seq.

[FN2] 12 M.R.S.A. § 10001 et seq.

 

§ 4013. Necessary sustenance

No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to supply the animal with a sufficient supply of food and water as prescribed in this section.

1. Food. The food shall be of sufficient quantity and quality to maintain all animals in good health.

2. Water. If potable water is not accessible to the animal at all times, it must be provided daily and in sufficient quantity for the health of the animal. Snow or ice is not an adequate water source.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 2003, c. 405, § 23.

 

§ 4014. Necessary medical attention

No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to supply the animal with necessary medical attention when the animal is or has been suffering from illness, injury, disease, excessive parasitism or malformed or overgrown hoof.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3.

 

§ 4015. Proper shelter, protection from the weather and humanely clean conditions

No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to provide the animal with proper shelter, protection from the weather and humanely clean conditions as prescribed in this section.

1. Indoor standards. Minimum indoor standards of shelter shall be as follows.

A. The ambient temperature shall be compatible with the health of the animal.

B. Indoor housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated by natural or mechanical means to provide for the health of the animal at all times.

2. Outdoor standards. Minimum outdoor standards of shelter are as follows.

A. When sunlight is likely to cause heat exhaustion of an animal tied or caged outside, sufficient shade by natural or artificial means must be provided to protect the animal from direct sunlight. As used in this paragraph, “caged” does not include farm fencing used to confine livestock.

B. Except as provided in subsections 5, 5-A and 6, shelter from inclement weather must be as follows.

(1) An artificial shelter, with a minimum of 3 sides and a waterproof roof, appropriate to the local climatic conditions and for the species and breed of the animal must be provided as necessary for the health of the animal.

(2) If a dog is tied or confined unattended outdoors under weather conditions that adversely affect the health of the dog, a shelter must be provided in accordance with subsection 6, paragraph A to accommodate the dog and protect it from the weather and, in particular, from severe cold. Inadequate shelter may be indicated by the shivering of the dog due to cold weather for a continuous period of 10 minutes or by symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia. A metal barrel is not adequate shelter for a dog.

C. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 702, § 16.

3. Space standards. Minimum space requirements for both indoor and outdoor enclosures shall include the following.

A. The housing facilities shall be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the animal from injury and to contain the animal.

B. Enclosures shall be constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space to allow each animal adequate freedom of movement. Inadequate space may be indicated by evidence of overcrowding, debility, stress or abnormal behavior patterns.

4. Humanely clean conditions. Minimum standards of sanitation necessary to provide humanely clean conditions for both indoor and outdoor enclosures shall include periodic cleanings to remove excretions and other waste materials, dirt and trash to minimize health hazards.

5. Livestock. Livestock must be provided with shelter suitable for the health of the animal. Except as provided in subsection 5-A, livestock must have access to a constructed or natural shelter that is large enough to accommodate all livestock comfortably at one time. The shelter should be well drained and protect the livestock from direct sun, rain, wind and other inclement weather. Notwithstanding this subsection, shelter for equines must be provided in accordance with subsection 2, paragraph B, subparagraph (1). For purposes of this subsection, “livestock” includes large game as defined in section 1341, subsection 5 kept at a licensed commercial large game shooting area as defined in section 1341, subsection 1.

5-A. Livestock maintained under a rotational grazing system. Notwithstanding subsection 5, a person is not required to provide shelter for livestock while the animals are maintained under a rotational grazing system as long as the animals do not have injuries or infirmities that prevent them from accessing food and water and are in good body condition. For the purposes of this subsection, “rotational grazing system” means the practice of dividing up available pasture into multiple smaller areas during grazing season when pasture is available to meet the dietary requirements of the animals and subsequently moving the animals from one area to another after a number of days or weeks as determined by forage production and quality.

6. Dogs confined by tethering for long time periods. In addition to the requirements of subsection 2, paragraph B, subparagraph (2), when tethering is the primary means of confinement for a dog, the standards for shelter and tethering are as follows:

A. A shelter must be provided that is fully enclosed except for a portal. The portal must be of a sufficient size to allow the dog unimpeded passage into and out of the structure. For dogs other than arctic breeds, the portal must be constructed with a baffle or other means of keeping wind and precipitation out of the interior. The shelter must be constructed of materials with a thermal resistance factor of 0.9 or greater and must contain clean bedding material sufficient to retain the dog's normal body heat; and

B. The chain or tether must be attached to both the dog and the anchor using swivels or similar devices that prevent the chain or tether from becoming entangled or twisted. The chain or tether must be attached to a well-fitted collar or harness on the dog. For dogs other than dogs kept as sled dogs or dogs used in competition, the chain or tether must be at least 5 times the length of the dog measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail. For dogs kept as sled dogs or dogs used in competition, the chain or tether must be:

(1) At least 2.5 times the length of the dog measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail if the anchor is stationary; or

(2) At least 1.5 times the length of the dog measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail if the anchor is a pivot point allowing a 360° area of movement.

For the purposes of this subsection, “primary means of confinement” means the method used to confine a dog for periods of time that exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period. For the purposes of this subsection, “arctic breeds” means Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and other dogs with a double-layered coat and bred to live in an arctic climate and “dogs kept as sled dogs or dogs used in competition” means dogs regularly and consistently used in training or participation in competitive or recreational sled dog activities or other competition canine events.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1997, c. 456, §§ 7 to 9; 1999, c. 765, § 10; 2005, c. 340, §§ 1, 2; 2007, c. 439, §§ 27, 28; 2007, c. 702, § 16; 2009, c. 343, § 23; 2011, c. 76, §§ 1 to 3.

2011 Legislation

Laws 2011, c. 76, § 1, in subsec. 2, in par. B, in the introductory paragraph, inserted “, 5-A”.

Laws 2011, c. 76, § 2, in subsec. 5, in the second sentence, inserted “Except as provided in subsection 5-A,”.

Laws 2011, c. 76, § 3, inserted subsec. 5-A.

 

§ 4016. Violation

1. Penalty. A person who violates this chapter commits a civil violation.

A. The court shall adjudge a civil fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,500 for the first violation, none of which may be suspended, and a civil fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for a 2nd or subsequent violation of section 4011, none of which may be suspended.

B. The court may order a person adjudicated as having violated the laws against cruelty to animals to pay the costs of the care, housing and veterinary medical treatment for the animal.

C. The court, as part of the judgment, may prohibit a person adjudicated as having violated the laws against cruelty to animals from owning, possessing or having on the defendant's premises an animal for a period of time up to and including permanent relinquishment.

D. The court, as part of the judgment, may order that the defendant submit to and complete a psychological evaluation for in camera review by the court.

2. Criminal or civil prosecution. A person may be arrested or detained for the crime of cruelty to animals under Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter III in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure. A person may not be arrested or detained for the civil violation of cruelty to animals. The attorney for the State may elect to charge a defendant with either the crime of cruelty to animals under Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter III or the civil violation of cruelty to animals under this chapter. In making this election, the attorney for the State shall consider the severity of the cruelty displayed, the number of animals involved, any prior convictions or adjudications of animal cruelty entered against the defendant and such other factors as may be relevant to a determination of whether criminal or civil sanctions will best accomplish the goals of the animal welfare laws in the particular case before the attorney for the State. The election and determination required by this subsection are not subject to judicial review. The factors involved in the election and determination are not elements of the criminal offense or civil violation of animal cruelty and are not subject to proof or disproof as prerequisites or conditions for conviction under Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter III or adjudication under this chapter.

3. Affirmative defenses. It is an affirmative defense to alleged violations of this chapter that the animal was kept as part of an agricultural operation and in compliance with best management practices for animal husbandry as determined by the department.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 81, § 1; 1997, c. 170, § 1; 1999, c. 254, § 14; 1999, c; 597, § 2; 2001, c. 425, § 4; 2007, c. 702, § 17.

 

§ 4017. Rules

The commissioner may adopt any rules necessary or useful to carry out this chapter pursuant to the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, Title 5, chapter 375. [FN1]

[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 8001 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 3; 1993, c. 468, § 25; 1997, c. 690, § 46.

 

§ 4018. Report of suspected cruelty

1. Report by veterinarian. Except as provided in subsection 1-A, [FN1] a veterinarian licensed in accordance with Title 32, chapter 71-A who, while acting in a professional capacity, has reasonable cause to suspect that an animal is the subject of cruelty or neglect in violation of this chapter or Title 17, chapter 42 [FN2] may report the suspected violation to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. A veterinarian making a report under this section may appear and testify in a judicial or administrative proceeding concerning the condition or care of the animal.

1-A. Report by veterinarian required. A veterinarian licensed in accordance with Title 32, chapter 71-A who, while acting in a professional capacity, has reasonable cause to suspect that an animal is the subject of aggravated cruelty under Title 17, section 1031, subsection 1-B shall report the suspected violation to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. A veterinarian making a report under this section may appear and testify in a judicial or administrative proceeding concerning the condition or care of the animal.

2. Immunity. A veterinarian reporting or testifying under this section is immune from criminal or civil liability or professional disciplinary action that might otherwise result from these actions. The immunity from liability for releasing confidential information applies only to the release of information to the court or to the department, an animal control officer, attorney for the State or law enforcement agency involved in the investigation.

CREDIT(S)

2001, c. 422, § 11, eff. June 18, 2001; 2007, c. 702, §§ 18, 19.

[FN1] 32 M.R.S.A. § 4851 et seq.

[FN2] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1011 et seq.

 

§ 4019. Removal from unattended motor vehicle

1. Removal authorized. A law enforcement officer, humane agent, animal control officer, firefighter as defined in Title 26, section 2101, first responder as defined in Title 32, section 83, subsection 13-A or security guard licensed under Title 32, chapter 93, referred to in this section as “authorized persons,” may take all steps that are reasonably necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if the animal's safety, health or well-being appears to be in immediate danger from heat, cold or lack of adequate ventilation and the conditions could reasonably be expected to cause extreme suffering or death.

2. Notice required. A law enforcement officer, humane agent or animal control officer who removes an animal in accordance with subsection 1 shall, in a secure and conspicuous location on or within the motor vehicle, leave written notice bearing the officer's or agent's name and office and the address of the location where the animal may be claimed. A firefighter, first responder or security guard who removes an animal in accordance with subsection 1 shall, in a secure and conspicuous location on or within the motor vehicle, leave written notice bearing the person's name and the address of the location where the animal may be claimed. The owner may claim the animal only after payment of all charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment and impoundment of the animal.

3. Immunity. An authorized person who removes an animal from a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection 1 is immune from criminal or civil liability that might otherwise result from the removal.

Credits
2007, c. 702, § 20; 2011, c. 288, § 1.

 

§ 4020. Cruel confinement of calves raised for veal and sows during gestation

1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Calf raised for veal” means a calf of the bovine species kept for the purpose of producing the food product referred to as veal.

B. “Covered animal” means a sow during gestation or calf raised for veal that is kept on a farm.

C. “Enclosure” means a cage, crate or other structure used to confine a covered animal, including, but not limited to, what is commonly described as a “gestation crate” for sows or a “veal crate” for calves.

D. “Farm” has the same meaning as in section 152.

E. “Fully extending the animal's limbs” means fully extending all limbs without touching the side of an enclosure.

F. “Sow during gestation” means a pregnant pig of the porcine species kept for the primary purpose of breeding.

G. “Turning around freely” means turning in a complete circle without any impediment, including a tether, and without touching the side of an enclosure.

2. Prohibition. A person may not tether or confine a covered animal for all or the majority of a day in a manner that prevents the animal from:

A. Lying down, standing up and fully extending the animal's limbs; and

B. Turning around freely.

3. Exceptions. Subsection 2 does not apply:

A. To an animal while it is the subject of scientific or agricultural research;

B. During examination, testing, individual treatment of or operation on an animal for veterinary purposes;

C. To an animal being transported;

D. To an animal at a rodeo exhibition or state or county fair exhibition;

E. To an animal at a 4-H event or similar exhibition;

F. To the slaughter of an animal in accordance with Title 22, chapter 562-A, subchapter 4 [FN1] and rules pertaining to the slaughter of animals; and

G. To a sow during the 7-day period prior to the sow's expected date of giving birth and until the sow's litter is weaned.

4. Relation to other laws. The provisions of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other laws protecting animal welfare. This section may not be construed to limit any state law or rules protecting the welfare of animals or to prevent a local governing body from adopting and enforcing its own animal welfare laws and regulations.

The affirmative defense provisions in section 4016, subsection 3 do not apply to this section. It is not an affirmative defense to alleged violations of this section that the calf or sow was kept as part of an agricultural operation and in compliance with best management practices for animal husbandry.

CREDIT(S)

2009, c. 127, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.

[FN1] 22 M.R.S.A. § 2521 et seq.

 

 

Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 741. Animal Trespass

§ 4041. Animal trespass

1. Deleted. Laws 1999, c. 254, § 15.

1-A. Trespass. An owner or keeper of an animal may not allow that animal to enter onto or remain on the property of another or unattended on any local, county or state road or highway after the owner or keeper has been informed by a law enforcement officer, authorized employee of the department or animal control officer that that animal was found on that property or on that local, county or state road or highway.

2. Removal. The owner or keeper of an animal is responsible, at the owner's or keeper's expense, for removing any animal found trespassing. An animal control officer, authorized employee of the department or law enforcement officer may, at the owner's or keeper's expense, remove and control an animal found trespassing if:

A. The owner or keeper fails to remove the animal after having been notified by an animal control officer, authorized employee of the department or law enforcement officer that the animal was trespassing; or

B. The animal is an immediate danger to itself, persons or another's property.

3. Civil violation. A person commits a civil violation if an animal owned or kept by that person is found trespassing and:

A. That person fails to remove the animal within 12 hours, or immediately if public safety or private or public property is threatened, after having been personally notified by an animal control officer, authorized employee of the department or law enforcement officer that the animal was trespassing; or

B. Deleted. Laws 1999, c. 254, § 15.

C. That person owns an animal or animals that have been found trespassing on 5 or more days within a 30-day period or 3 or more days within a 7-day period.

4. Fines. A person who violates this section is subject to the following fines.

A. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 must be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this section after having been adjudicated as having committed a violation of this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $1,000 must be adjudged.

C. A person who violates this section after having been adjudicated as having committed 2 or more violations of this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of $2,500 must be adjudged.

4-A. Restitution; court costs and fees. In addition to fines, the court may as part of the sentencing include an order of restitution for costs incurred in removing and controlling the animal. When appropriate, the court may order restitution to the property owner based on damage done and financial loss. Any restitution ordered and paid must be deducted from the amount of any judgment awarded in a civil action brought by the property owner against the owner or keeper of the animal based on the same facts. When an owner or keeper violates this section 3 or more times within a 90-day period, the court shall order restitution of all costs incurred by the department in responding to a violation of this section or assisting an animal control officer or law enforcement officer responding to a violation of this section. Upon application of the department, municipality or law enforcement agency enforcing this section, the owner or keeper of the animal must also pay reasonable court costs and attorney's fees of the department, municipality or law enforcement agency if the department, municipality or law enforcement agency is the prevailing party in any court proceeding.

4-B. Forfeiture. If the department, a municipality or a law enforcement agency determines that a repeated violation of this section by an owner or keeper of an animal jeopardizes the public health, welfare or safety of the community, the department, municipality or law enforcement agency may bring a forfeiture action in the county in which the violations occurred under Title 14, section 506. In an action brought under this subsection, the burden of proof is on the department, municipality or law enforcement agency. If a court determines that a repeated violation of this section jeopardizes the public health, welfare or safety of the community, the court may order any animal that is the subject of the violation sold in a commercially reasonable manner and apply the proceeds to any fine, fee, restitution or cost owed by the owner or keeper under this section with any remaining balance returned to the owner or keeper of the animal.

5. Exemption. A person is not liable under this section if, at the time of the alleged trespass, that person was licensed or privileged to allow the animal to be on the property.

6. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Animal” does not include cats.

B. “Authorized employee of the department” means a humane agent or any other employee of the department designated by the commissioner to assist with compliance and enforcement of this section.

Credits
1989, c. 91, eff. May 3, 1989; 1995, c. 351, § 5; 1997, c. 104, § 1; 1997, c. 690, §§ 47 to 49; 1999, c. 254, § 15; 2001, c. 15, § 1; 2007, c. 439, §§ 29, 30; 2009, c. 548, §§ 4, 5, eff. March 25, 2010; 2011, c. 18, § 1, eff. April 1, 2011; 2013, c. 348, §§ 1, 2, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

 

 

Title 17. Crimes. Chapter 42. Animal Welfare. Subchapter I. General Provisions.

§ 1011. Definitions

As used in this chapter, and in every law relating to or affecting animals, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Act. “Act” means the Animal Welfare Act.

2. Animal. “Animal” means every living, sentient creature not a human being.

3. Animal control. “Animal control” means control of dogs, cats, domesticated or undomesticated animals which may be a problem in the community and which are not controlled by any other law.

4. Animal control officer. “Animal control officer” means the person appointed periodically by municipal officers pursuant to Title 7, chapter 725. [FN1]

5. Repealed. Laws 1993, c. 657, § 43.

5-A. Animal shelter. “Animal shelter” means a facility that houses animals and operates for the purpose of providing stray, abandoned, abused or owner-surrendered animals with sanctuary or finding the animals temporary or permanent adoptive homes.

6. At large. “At large” means off the premises of the owner and not under the control of any person whose personal presence and attention would reasonably control the conduct of the dog.

7. Repealed. Laws 1999, c. 254, § 18.

8. Boarding kennel. “Boarding kennel” means any place, building, tract of land, abode or vehicle in or on which privately owned dogs or other pets, or both, are kept for their owners in return for a fee.

8-A. Breeding kennel. “Breeding kennel” means a location where 5 or more adult dogs or cats capable of breeding are kept and some or all of the offspring are offered for sale, sold or exchanged for value or a location where more than 16 dogs or cats raised on the premises are sold to the public in a 12-month period. “Breeding kennel” does not include a kennel licensed by a municipality under Title 7, section 3923-C when the dogs are kept primarily for hunting, show, training, sledding, competition, field trials or exhibition purposes and not more than 16 dogs are offered for sale, sold or exchanged for value within a 12-month period.

9. Business day. “Business day” means any day of the calendar year other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

10. Clerk; municipal clerk. “Clerk” or “municipal clerk” means the clerk of a municipality, the deputy clerk or assistant clerk, where directed by the clerk, carrying out the duties of this chapter.

11. Commissioner. “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources or his duly authorized agent.

12. Constable. “Constable” means a law enforcement officer appointed by municipal officers pursuant to law.

12-A. Equine facility. “Equine facility” means a boarding stable or commercial riding facility.

12-B. Dog. “Dog” means a member of the genus and species known as canis familiaris or any canine, regardless of generation, resulting from the interbreeding of a member of canis familiaris with a wolf hybrid as defined in subsection 30.

13. Service dog kept for breeding purposes. “Service dog kept for breeding purposes” means a male or female dog owned by a nonprofit organization for the purpose of producing puppies to be trained as service dogs and living with a resident of the State.

14. Service dog kept prior to training. “Service dog kept prior to training” means a dog under 18 months of age, owned by a nonprofit organization for the purpose of training as a service dog and living temporarily with a resident of the State prior to training.

15. Humane agent. “Humane agent” means an employee of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources who assists in enforcing this chapter.

15-A. Humane society. “Humane society” means a nonprofit group or organization incorporated for the purpose of providing physical service directly to abused and abandoned animals, improving the conditions of animals, providing education concerning animals or fund-raising to promote animal welfare.

15-B. Humanely clean conditions. “Humanely clean conditions” means that both indoor areas and outdoor enclosures are cleaned on a periodic basis to remove excretions and other waste materials, dirt and trash with sufficient frequency to minimize health hazards and to provide adequately clean living conditions for the species of animal.

16. Keeper. “Keeper” means a person in possession or control of a dog or other animal. A person becomes the keeper of a stray domesticated animal, other than a dog or livestock, if the person feeds that animal for at least 10 consecutive days.

17. Kennel. “Kennel” means 5 or more dogs kept in a single location under one ownership for breeding, hunting, show, training, field trials, sledding, competition or exhibition purposes. The sale or exchange of one litter of puppies within a 12-month period alone does not constitute the operation of a kennel.

18. Law enforcement officer. “Law enforcement officer” means any person who, by virtue of his public employment, is vested by law with a duty to maintain public order, enforce any law of this State establishing a civil violation, prosecute offenders or make arrests for crimes, whether that duty extends to all crimes or is limited to specific crimes.

18-A. Livestock. “Livestock” means cattle; equines; sheep; goats; swine; domesticated cervids, fowl and rabbits; members of the family Camelidae, genus lama and genus vicugna; bison; and ratites.

19. Municipality. “Municipality” means a city, town or plantation.

20. Mutilate. “Mutilate” means to injure or disfigure by irreparably damaging body parts. “Mutilate” does not include conduct performed by a licensed veterinarian or conduct that conforms to accepted veterinary practices.

21. Owner. “Owner” means any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation owning, keeping or harboring a dog or other animal.

22. Person. “Person” means an individual, corporation, partnership, association or any other legal entity.

22-A. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 58.

23. Pet shop. “Pet shop” means a place or vehicle in or on which any dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles, fish, pet birds, exotic birds or exotic animals not born and raised on those premises are kept for the purpose of sale to the public.

24. Respective municipality. “Respective municipality” means, in the case of towns and cities, the municipality where the dog is found or in the case of unorganized townships, the municipality near or adjacent to the unorganized township where the dog is found or the designee of that municipality.

24-A. Service dog. “Service dog” means a dog that meets the definition of “service animal” set forth in Title 5, section 4553, subsection 9-E, paragraph A or B.

25. Shelter. “Shelter” means any building or physical structure or part of any building or structure, other than a private dwelling, housing dogs or other animals and not used for agricultural purposes or as a laboratory, research facility, medical facility or educational institution.

26. Torment, torture and cruelty. “Torment, torture and cruelty” means every act, omission or neglect, whether by the owner or any other person, where unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted.

27. Vertebrate. “Vertebrate” means a subphylum of chordate animals comprising those having a brain enclosed in a skull or cranium and a segmented spinal column, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

28. Warrant. “Warrant” means an order of municipal officers directing a police officer, constable, sheriff or animal control officer to enter a complaint and summons against the owners or keepers of unlicensed dogs following notice of and noncompliance with a violation of law.

29. Well cared for. “Well cared for” means that the animal is receiving necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather and humanely clean conditions and that the animal has not been nor is being injured, overworked, tormented, tortured, abandoned, poisoned, beaten, mutilated or exposed to a poison with the intent that it be taken by the animal.

30. Wolf hybrid. “Wolf hybrid” means a mammal that is the offspring of the reproduction between any species of wild canid or wild canid hybrid and a domestic dog or wild canid hybrid. “Wolf hybrid” includes a mammal that is represented by its owner to be a wolf hybrid, coyote hybrid, coydog or any other kind of wild canid hybrid.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1991, c. 779, §§ 42 to 45, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 657, §§ 43, 44; 1995, c. 490, § 22; 1997, c. 456, §§ 11, 12; 1997, c. 690, §§ 56 to 60; 1999, c. 254, §§ 17, 18; 1999, c. 498, § 7; 2001, c. 422, § 12, eff. June 18, 2001; 2003, c. 334, § 3; 2005, c. 510, §§ 8, 9; 2007, c. 439, § 35; 2007, c. 664, §§ 14 to 16; 2007, c. 702, §§ 38 to 40; 2009, c. 343, § 25; 2009, c. 403, § 11; 2011, c. 100, §§ 17, 18, eff. May 19, 2011; 2011, c. 369, § 5.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 3941 et seq.

2011 Legislation

Laws 2011, c. 100, § 17, in subsec. 8-A, in the first sentence, deleted “, wolf hybrids” following “adult dogs”.

Laws 2011, c. 100, § 18, in subsec. 18, in the first sentence, deleted “or wolf hybrids” following “more dogs”.

Laws 2011, c. 369, § 5, rewrote subsec. 24-A, which formerly read:

“24-A. Service dog. ‘Service dog’ means a dog that meets the definition of ‘service animal’ set forth in Title 5, section 4553, subsection 9-D.”

 

§ 1012. Unlawful sale, consignment or rental of diseased horses

1. Unlawful sale, consignment or rental of diseased horses. A person is guilty of unlawful sale, consignment or rental of diseased horses if that person receives, offers for sale or sells at private sale or public auction, consigns or rents any horse which, by reason of debility, disease or lameness or for other cause could not be worked in the State without violating the laws against cruelty to animals.

2. Penalty. Unlawful sale, consignment or rental of diseased horses is a Class E crime.

3. Violation. Any licensed auctioneer violating this section may be punished by loss of license in addition to other penalties provided by law.

4. Exception. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the sale to or the purchase of horses by humane societies.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1989, c. 129.

 

§ 1013. Unlawful production of motion pictures

1. Unlawful production of motion pictures. A person, including an owner or the owner's agent, is guilty of unlawful production of motion pictures if that person knowingly or intentionally prepares, manufactures, makes or participates in the preparation, manufacture or making of any motion picture film or videotape production involving cruelty to animals during the course of preparation, manufacture, making or exhibition of the motion picture film or videotape production.

2. Penalty. Unlawful production of motion pictures is a Class E crime.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1997, c. 690, § 61.

 

§ 1014. Repealed. Laws 1989, c. 446, § 1

 

§ 1015. Surcharge imposed

A surcharge of 10% must be added to every fine or penalty imposed by any court in this State for a violation of this chapter. The surcharge, for the purposes of collection and collection procedures, is considered a part of the fine or penalty. All funds collected as a result of this surcharge must be deposited monthly in the Animal Welfare Fund established under Title 7, section 3906-B, subsection 2.

CREDIT(S)

2001, c. 617, § 10.

 

§ 1021. Possession of animals

1. Possession. A state veterinarian, humane agent, sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, police officer, animal control officer, person authorized to make arrests or the commissioner may apply to the District Court or the Superior Court for authorization:

A. To take possession of any maimed, disabled, diseased, dehydrated, malnourished or injured animal or any animal whose owner has abandoned or cruelly treated it and turn over the animal to the applicant or other suitable person; or

B. To cause the animal to be disposed of humanely.

2. Notice to owner. If the owner is known, a copy of the application must be served upon the owner with an order of court to appear at a stated time and place to show cause why the animal should not be taken and turned over to the applicant or other suitable person or disposed of humanely.

If the owner can not be found by reasonable diligence, or is out of state although a resident of this State, a copy of the application and order of court must be left at the owner's last and usual place of abode.

If the owner is not known, then the court shall order a notice to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the animal was found, stating the case and circumstances and giving 48 hours notice of the hearing.

3. Hearing. If it appears at the hearing that the animal has been cruelly abandoned or cruelly treated by its owner or the animal is maimed, disabled, diseased, dehydrated, malnourished or injured, the court shall:

A. Direct the applicant or other suitable person to take possession of and provide for the animal, order its sale, adoption or placement;

B. Order the animal to be disposed of humanely if, given reasonable time and care, the animal's recovery is doubtful; or

C. If appropriate, allow the animal to be returned to its owner.

4. Ex parte order. An ex parte order shall be as follows.

A. A state veterinarian, humane agent, sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, police officer, animal control officer, person authorized to make arrests or the commissioner may apply to the District Court, Superior Court or a justice of the peace for an ex parte order for authorization to take possession of any maimed, disabled, diseased, dehydrated, malnourished or injured animal or any animal whose owner has abandoned or cruelly treated it and turn it over to the applicant or any other suitable person.

An order may be entered ex parte upon findings by the court or justice of the peace that there is a reasonable likelihood that:

(1) The defendant is not subject to the jurisdiction of the court for the purposes of a hearing or the owner cannot be found by reasonable diligence or is out-of-state although a resident of this State, and there is a danger that unless immediate action is taken:

(a) The condition of an injured, overworked, tormented, tortured, abandoned, poisoned or mutilated animal, or animal deprived of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter or protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions will be substantially impaired or worsened;

(b) The animal's life will be jeopardized; or

(c) A great degree of medical attention will be necessary to restore the animal to a normal, healthy condition;

(2) There is a clear danger that if the owner or the owner's agent is notified in advance of the issuance of the order of court, as provided in subsection 3, the owner or the owner's agent may remove the animal from the State, conceal it or otherwise make it unavailable;

(3) There is immediate danger that the owner or the owner's agent will kill or injure the animal; or

(4) An animal is being or has been injured, overworked, tormented, tortured, abandoned, poisoned, mutilated, or deprived of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter or protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions and, unless an ex parte order issues allowing the applicant to take possession of the animal, the animal will die, its condition will be substantially impaired or worsened or medical attention will be necessary to restore the animal to a normal, healthy condition.

B. This subsection does not apply to animals currently being well cared for when euthanasia is necessary due to old age or to a person's conduct designed to control or eliminate rodents, ants or other common pests.

C. On 2 days' notice or such shorter period as the court may prescribe, the applicant who obtained the ex parte order or the owner whose animal has been possessed pursuant to an ex parte order may appear in the District Court or Superior Court and move the dissolution or modification of the ex parte order.

The court shall hear and determine the motion as expeditiously as justice requires.

The moving party shall submit an affidavit setting forth specific facts to substantiate such findings as would serve to modify or dissolve the order. The opposing party shall have the burden of presenting evidence to substantiate the original findings.

5. Seizure for observation and examination. Seizure of animals for observation and examination is as follows.

A. Whenever a humane agent, a state veterinarian or a person authorized to make arrests has reason to believe that an animal may be disabled, diseased, dehydrated or malnourished, humane agent, state veterinarian or person shall apply to the District Court or Superior Court for authorization to take possession of the animal and turn it over to the applicant or other suitable person for examination and observation for a 30-day period. At the end of 30 days, the court must receive a report from the person in possession of the animal and either dissolve the possession order or set the matter for hearing within 30 days.

B. If the owner is known, the owner must be advised of the time and place of hearing and asked to show cause why the animal should not be seized permanently or disposed of humanely.

C. If the court finds at the hearing that the animal is disabled, diseased, dehydrated or malnourished, the court shall:

(1) Declare the animal forfeited and order its sale, adoption or donation; or

(2) Order the animal to be disposed of humanely if, given reasonable time and care, the animal's recovery is doubtful.

5-A. Seizure by state humane agent or state veterinarian without court order. A state humane agent or a state veterinarian who has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of section 1031 or 1032 has taken place or is taking place may take possession of and retain the cruelly treated animal. Upon taking possession of an animal under this section, the humane agent or the state veterinarian shall present the owner with a notice that:

A. States the reason for seizure;

B. Gives the name, address and phone number of the humane agent or the state veterinarian to contact for information regarding the animal; and

C. Advises the owner of the ensuing court procedure.

If the owner can not be found, the humane agent or the state veterinarian shall send a copy of the notice to the owner at the owner's last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the owner is not known or can not be located, the humane agent or the state veterinarian shall contact the animal shelter or shelters used by the municipality in which the animal was found. The humane agent or the state veterinarian shall provide the shelter with a description of the animal, the date of seizure and the name of a person to contact for more information.

Within 3 working days of possession of the animal, the humane agent or the state veterinarian shall apply to the court for a possession order. Upon good cause shown, the court shall expedite the case and schedule a prehearing conference to take place within 7 days of the seizure. The court shall set a hearing date and that hearing date must be within 21 days of the date the animal was seized. The humane agent or the state veterinarian shall arrange care for the animal, including medical treatment, if necessary, pending the hearing.

The humane agent or the state veterinarian shall notify the owner, if located, of the time and place of the hearing. If the owner has not been located, the court shall order a notice to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the animal was found stating the case and circumstances and giving 48 hours notice of the hearing.

It is the owner's responsibility at the hearing to show cause why the animal should not be seized permanently or disposed of humanely. If it appears at the hearing that the animal has been abandoned or cruelly treated by its owner, the court shall declare the animal forfeited and order its sale, adoption or donation or order the animal to be disposed of humanely if a veterinarian determines that the animal is diseased or disabled beyond recovery. In the case of an expedited hearing, the court shall issue a writ of possession or return the animal to its owner within 30 days of the seizure.

For an expedited hearing, the State, prior to the prehearing conference, shall submit all veterinary records, reports by investigating officers and other relevant records in the State's possession to the court and shall mail or deliver copies of these same reports and records to the owner of the animal.

All veterinary records, seizure reports prepared by humane agents, police reports, witness statements or other written documents are admissible as evidence when the authors of these documents are available for cross-examination at a possession hearing. Oral statements of a witness included in a police report are only admissible if the witness is present at the possession hearing.

6. Attachment and enforcement of lien. Attachment and enforcement of liens shall be as follows.

A. Any person taking possession of an animal as provided in this subchapter shall have a lien for expenses as provided in this subsection unless the complaint is dismissed for lack of merit. If the complaint is dismissed for lack of merit, the board and the municipality where the possession occurred may share in paying the lienor's expenses.

B. Expenses covered by this subsection include expenses reasonably incident to taking an animal into custody such as transportation, food, shelter, veterinary care and expenses of disposing of an animal taken into custody.

C. The lienor may enforce the lien in the same manner as enforcements of liens on personal property pursuant to Title 10, chapter 631. [FN1] In giving judgment for the lien, the court shall include expenses as set forth in paragraph B, incurred by the lienor from the date of commencement of proceedings to the entry of judgment or final disposition of the animal as ordered by the court.

In the event of the sale of the animal, all expenses incurred in transporting, taking, keeping and caring for the animal shall be deducted from the sale price and the balance, if any, turned over to the owner.

D. The defendant may appeal as in a civil action, but before appeal is allowed, the defendant shall give sufficient security to satisfy the applicant or person taking custody of the animal that he will pay all expenses for its care and support pending appeal.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1987, c. 736, § 27, eff. July 1, 1988; 1991, c. 779, §§ 46 to 48, eff. March 31, 1992; 1993, c. 468, §§ 21, 22; 1993, c. 657, §§ 45, 46; 1995, c. 490, §§ 23, 24; 1997, c. 690, §§ 62 to 64; 2007, c. 702, §§ 41 to 44; 2009, c. 573, § 1.

[FN1] 10 M.R.S.A. § 4001 et seq.


 

§ 1022. Prevention of cruelty

The commissioner or any person authorized to make arrests may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon an animal in that person's presence.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1991, c. 779, § 49, eff. March 31, 1992; 1997, c. 690, § 65.

 

§ 1023. Investigation and reporting of cruelty

1. Investigations; reports. Law enforcement officers, animal control officers and humane agents shall investigate alleged violations of Title 7, chapter 739 and this chapter. The commissioner shall maintain a record of each alleged case of cruelty to animals investigated by a humane agent. The commissioner shall report annually on the disposition of cases as required under Title 7, section 3906-B.

A law enforcement officer or animal control officer who investigates a case of alleged cruelty to animals and pursues a civil or criminal action based on that investigation shall report to the commissioner on the final disposition of the case.

2. Repealed. Laws 1997, c. 690, § 67.

3. Cooperation between agencies. For the purposes of this section, law enforcement officers, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, humane agents, a state veterinarian and certified animal control officers may exchange information and reports pertaining to an investigation of cruelty to animals pursuant to subsection 4 and Title 7, section 3909, subsection 6.

4. Confidential information. The names of and other identifying information about persons providing information pertaining to criminal or civil cruelty to animals to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are confidential information and may not be released.

Credits
1987, c. 383, § 4; 1989, c. 701, § 5; 1991, c. 779, § 50, eff. March 31, 1992; 1997, c. 690, §§ 66, 67; 2001, c. 422, § 13, eff. June 18, 2001; 2013, c. 267, §§ B-11, C-2, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1989, c. 701, § 5; 1991, c. 779, § 50, eff. March 31, 1992; 1997, c. 690, §§ 66, 67; 2001, c. 422, § 13, eff. June 18, 2001.

 

§ 1024. Impeding the performance of an officer

It is unlawful for a person to assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate or interfere with a person engaged in or on account of the performance of that person's official duties under this subchapter.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1997, c. 690, § 68.

 

§ 1025. Handling of animals seized or held

1. Handling of animals. No humane agent, animal control officer, animal shelter, pound, animal care center, humane society or veterinarian and anyone acting under their authority and having possession of any animal by reason of his office may:

A. Provide or supply dealers, commercial kennels or laboratories with the animal; or

B. Give, release, sell, trade, loan, transfer or otherwise provide any live animal to any individual, firm, association, corporation, educational institution, laboratory, medical facility or anyone else for purposes of experimentation or vivisection.

2. Livestock. Livestock to be sold at public auction is exempt from this section.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4.

 

§ 1026. Penalty for violation

Any person found in violation of sections 1024 and 1025 is guilty of a Class E crime.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4.

 

§ 1027. Security for seizure and impoundment of animals relating to cruelty to animals or animal fighting

1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Authority” means the commissioner or a state veterinarian, humane agent, sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, police officer or animal control officer that seizes or impounds an animal pursuant to section 1021.

2. Show cause hearing. When an animal is lawfully seized or impounded pursuant to section 1021 or 1034, if the owner, custodian or person claiming an interest in the animal wishes to contest the order, the owner, custodian or person claiming an interest must petition the court for a show cause hearing. The petition must be filed within 10 days of the date the seizure occurred or the search warrant was executed. If the owner fails to petition the court for a hearing within 10 days, the animal is ordered forfeited to the State.

Upon petition by the owner, custodian or person claiming an interest in the animal in accordance with this subsection, the court shall hold a hearing within 10 days of receipt of the petition. Upon a showing of good cause, the court may extend the time needed to hold the hearing.

3. Post security. If an animal is lawfully seized and impounded, the authority may file a petition with the court requesting that the person from whom an animal is seized or a person claiming an interest in the seized animal be ordered to post a security. The authority shall serve a copy of the petition on the person from whom the animal was seized or, if the person cannot be found, by posting of copy at the place where the animal was taken into custody. The authority shall also serve a copy of the petition on the district attorney. The court may order the person from whom an animal is seized or a person claiming an interest in the seized animal to post a security.

4. Payment of expenses. The security must be in an amount sufficient to secure payment for all reasonable expenses to be incurred by the authority having custody of the seized animal for a period of at least 30 days. The court upon the recommendation of the authority shall determine the amount of the security. Reasonable expenses include, but are not limited to, estimated medical care, shelter and board.

5. Draw actual reasonable costs. When security is posted in accordance with this section, the authority may draw from the security the actual reasonable costs incurred for medical care, shelter, board and record keeping.

6. Post with clerk. If the court orders the posting of security, the security must be posted with the clerk within 10 business days of the show cause hearing. The court shall order the immediate forfeiture of the seized animal to the authority if the person fails to post security as ordered. The court may waive the security requirement or reduce the amount of the security for good cause shown.

7. Disposition of animal. Posting of the security does not prevent the authority from disposing of the seized or impounded animal before the expiration of the period covered by the security, if the court rules in favor of the authority.

8. Order denied. The authority may humanely dispose of the animal at the end of the period for which expenses are covered by the security, if the court orders the disposition. If the disposition order is denied, the court may require the owner or custodian or any other person claiming interest in the animal to provide additional security to secure payment of reasonable expenses and to extend the period of time pending adjudication by the court of the charges against the person from whom the animal was seized.

9. Recover damages. The owner or custodian of an animal humanely killed pursuant to this section is not entitled to recover damages or the actual value of the animal if the owner or custodian failed to post security.

10. Refund. The court may direct a refund to the person who posted the security in whole or in part for expenses not incurred by the authority. The court may direct a refund to the person who posted security upon acquittal of the charges.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 439, § 36.

 

§ 1031. Cruelty to animals

1. Cruelty to animals. Except as provided in subsections 1-D and 1-E, a person, including an owner or the owner's agent, is guilty of cruelty to animals if that person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

A. Kills or attempts to kill any animal belonging to another person without the consent of the owner or without legal privilege. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

A-1. Violates paragraph A and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

B. Except for a licensed veterinarian or a person certified under section 1042, kills or attempts to kill an animal by a method that does not cause instantaneous death. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

B-1. Violates paragraph B and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

C. If that person is a licensed veterinarian or a person certified under section 1042, kills or attempts to kill an animal by a method that does not conform to standards adopted by a national association of licensed veterinarians. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

C-1. Violates paragraph C and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

D. Injures, overworks, tortures, torments, abandons or cruelly beats or intentionally mutilates an animal; gives drugs to an animal with an intent to harm the animal; gives poison or alcohol to an animal; or exposes a poison with intent that it be taken by an animal. The owner or occupant of property is privileged to use reasonable force to eject a trespassing animal. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

D-1. Violates paragraph D and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

D-2. Abandons an animal in violation of paragraph D and that animal dies as a result. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

E. Deprives an animal that the person owns or possesses of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

E-1. Violates paragraph E and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

F. Keeps or leaves a domestic animal on an uninhabited or barren island lying off the coast of the State during the month of December, January, February or March without providing necessary sustenance and proper shelter. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

F-1. Violates paragraph F and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

G. Hunts, traps or sells for the purpose of hunting any animal, except as permitted pursuant to Title 7, chapter 202-A[FN1] and Title 12, Part 13[FN2], and excluding humane trapping of animals for population control efforts or animal control under Title 7, Part 9. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

G-1. Violates paragraph G and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

H. Injects, inserts or causes ingestion of any substance used solely to enhance the performance of an animal by altering the animal's metabolism to that animal's detriment, including but not limited to excessive levels of sodium bicarbonate in equines used for competition. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

H-1. Violates paragraph H and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

I. Commits bestiality on an animal. For purposes of this paragraph, “commits bestiality” means that a person:

(1) Engages in a sexual act with an animal for the purpose of that person's sexual gratification;

(2) Coerces anyone to engage in a sexual act with an animal;

(3) Engages in a sexual act with an animal in the presence of a minor;

(4) Uses any part of the person's body or an object to sexually stimulate an animal;

(5) Videotapes a person engaging in a sexual act with an animal; or

(6) For the purpose of that person's sexual gratification, kills or physically abuses an animal.

For purposes of this paragraph, “sexual act” means any act between a person and an animal involving direct physical contact between the genitals of one and the mouth or anus of the other, or direct physical contact between the genitals of one and the genitals of the other. A sexual act may be proved without allegation or proof of penetration.

This paragraph may not be construed to prohibit normal and accepted practices of animal husbandry.

Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

I-1. Violates paragraph I and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

J. Kills or tortures an animal to frighten or intimidate a person or forces a person to injure or kill an animal. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

J-1. Violates paragraph J and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime; or

K. Confines an animal in a building, enclosure, car, boat, vehicle or vessel of any kind when extreme heat or extreme cold will be harmful to its health. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime.

1-A. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 452, § I-14, eff. July 1, 2004.

1-B. Aggravated cruelty to animals. A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals if that person, in a manner manifesting a depraved indifference to animal life or suffering, intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

A. Causes extreme physical pain to an animal;

B. Causes the death of an animal; or

C. Physically tortures an animal.

Violation of this subsection is a Class C crime. Notwithstanding Title 17-A, section 1301, the court shall impose a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000 for a first or subsequent violation of this subsection. The sentencing provisions in subsection 3-B also apply to a person convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals.

1-C. Cat or dog; exceptions. Except as provided in subsections 1-D and 1-E, a person is guilty of cruelty to animals if that person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

A. Kills or attempts to kill a cat or dog. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or

B. Violates paragraph A and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more convictions for violations of this section, section 1032 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime.

1-D. Licensed veterinarian. A licensed veterinarian or a person certified under section 1042 may kill a cat or dog according to the methods of euthanasia under subchapter 4. [FN3]

1-E. Owner or owner's agent. A person who owns a cat or dog, or the owner's agent, may kill that owner's cat or dog by shooting it with a firearm if the following conditions are met:

A. The shooting is performed by a person 18 years of age or older using a weapon and ammunition of suitable caliber and other characteristics to produce instantaneous death by a single shot;

B. Death is instantaneous;

C. Maximum precaution is taken to protect the general public, employees and other animals; and

D. Any restraint of the cat or dog during the shooting does not cause undue suffering.

2. Affirmative defense. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:

A. The defendant's conduct conformed to accepted veterinary practice or was a part of scientific research governed by accepted standards;

B. The defendant's conduct or that of the defendant's agent was designed to control or eliminate rodents, ants or other common pests on the defendant's own property;

C. The defendant's conduct involved the use of live animals as bait or in the training of other animals in accordance with the laws of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Title 12, Part 13; or

D. The animal is kept as part of an agricultural operation and in compliance with best management practices for animal husbandry as determined by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources.

Evidence of proper care of any animal is not admissible in the defense of alleged cruelty to other animals.

3. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 452, § I-18, eff. July 1, 2004.

3-A. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 452, § I-19, eff. July 1, 2004.

3-B. Penalties. The following apply to violations of this section.

A. In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall impose a fine of not less than $500 for each violation of this section. The court may order the defendant to pay the costs of the care, housing and veterinary medical treatment for the animal including the costs of relocating the animal.

B. The court, as part of the sentence for a violation of this section, may prohibit the defendant from owning, possessing or having on the defendant's premises an animal or animals as determined by the court for a period of time, up to and including permanent relinquishment, as determined by the court. A person placed on probation for a violation of this section with a condition that prohibits owning, possessing or having an animal or animals on the probationer's premises is subject to revocation of probation and removal of the animal or animals at the probationer's expense if this condition is violated. The court as part of the sentence may order, as a condition of probation, that the defendant be evaluated to determine the need for psychiatric or psychological counseling and, if it is determined appropriate by the court, to receive psychiatric or psychological counseling at the defendant's expense.

C. Title 17-A, section 9-A governs the use of prior convictions when determining a sentence.

4. Criminal or civil prosecution. A person may be arrested or detained for the crime of cruelty to animals in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure. A person may not be arrested or detained for the civil violation of cruelty to animals. The attorney for the State shall elect to charge a defendant with the crime of cruelty to animals under this section or the civil violation of cruelty to animals under Title 7, section 4011. In making this election, the attorney for the State shall consider the severity of the cruelty displayed, the number of animals involved, any prior convictions or adjudications of animal cruelty entered against the defendant and such other factors as may be relevant to a determination of whether criminal or civil sanctions will best accomplish the goals of the animal welfare laws in the particular case before the attorney for the State. The election and determination required by this subsection are not subject to judicial review. The factors involved in such election and determination are not elements of the criminal offense or civil violation of animal cruelty and are not subject to proof or disproof as prerequisites or conditions for conviction under this subsection or adjudication under Title 7, section 4011.

5. Exception. This section may not be construed to prohibit the shooting of wild game in its wild state. This section may not be construed to prohibit the disposal of farm animals using an acceptable animal husbandry practice.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1989, c. 195; 1993, c. 81, § 2; 1995, c. 490, §§ 25, 26; 1997, c. 456, §§ 13 to 16; 1997, c. 690, §§ 69, 70; 1999, c. 254, §§ 19 to 21; 1999, c. 481, § 1; 1999, c. 765, § 11; 2001, c. 414, §§ 1 to 3; 2001, c. 425, §§ 5 to 11; R.R.2001, c. 1, §§ 18 to 20, eff. Oct. 1, 2001; 2001, c. 617, § 11; 2003, c. 405, § 24; 2003, c. 414, §§ B-30, B-31; 2003, c. 452, §§ I-13 to I-20, eff. July 1, 2004; 2005, c. 281, § 8; 2005, c. 397, § F-1, eff. June 17, 2005; 2005, c. 422, § 10; 2007, c. 439, § 37; 2007, c. 702, §§ 45 to 48; 2009, c. 573, § 2; 2013, c. 115, § 16, eff. Oct. 9, 2013.

[FN1] 7 M.R.S.A. § 1341 et seq.
[FN2] 12 M.R.S.A. § 10001 et seq.
[FN3] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1041 et seq.

 

§ 1032. Cruelty to birds

1. Cruelty to birds. A person is guilty of cruelty to birds if that person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

A. Keeps or uses any live pigeon, fowl or other bird for a target or to be shot at, either for amusement or as a test of skill in marksmanship. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

A-1. Violates paragraph A and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1031 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

B. Shoots at any bird or is present as a party, umpire or judge at such shooting. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;

B-1. Violates paragraph B and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1031 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;

C. Rents any building, shed, room, yard, field or premises or knowingly suffers the use of the building, shed, room, yard, field or premises for any of the purposes described in paragraphs A and B. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or

C-1. Violates paragraph C and, at the time of the offense, has 2 or more prior convictions for violations of this section, section 1031 or essentially similar crimes in other jurisdictions. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime.

2. Penalty. The following apply to violations of this section.

A. In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall impose a fine of not less than $100 for each violation of this section.

B. Title 17-A, section 9-A governs the use of prior convictions when determining a sentence.

3. Exception. Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit the shooting of wild game in its wild state or the shooting of birds at field trials under the supervision of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in accordance with Title 12, chapter 915, subchapter 13. [FN1]

4. Criminal or civil prosecution. A person may not be arrested or detained for cruelty to birds. The attorney for the State shall elect to charge a defendant with the crime of cruelty to birds under this section or the civil violation of cruelty to birds under Title 7, section 4012. In making this election, the attorney for the State shall consider the severity of the cruelty displayed, the number of birds involved, any prior convictions or adjudications of bird cruelty entered against the defendant and such other factors as may be relevant to a determination of whether criminal or civil sanctions will best accomplish the goals of the animal welfare laws in the particular case before the attorney for the State. The election and determination required by this subsection is not subject to judicial review. The factors involved in such election and determination are not elements of the criminal offense or civil violation of bird cruelty and are not subject to proof or disproof as prerequisites or conditions for conviction under this subsection or adjudication under Title 7, section 4012.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1997, c. 690, § 71; 1999, c. 481, § 2; 2003, c. 414, § B-32; 2003, c. 452, §§ I-21, I-22, eff. July 1, 2004.

[FN1] 12 M.R.S.A. § 12051, et seq.

 

§ 1033. Animal fighting

1. Animal fighting. A person is guilty of animal fighting if that person knowingly:

A. Owns, possesses, keeps or trains any animal with the intent that the animal engage in an exhibition of fighting with another animal;

B. For amusement or gain, causes any animal to fight with another animal or causes any animals to injure each other; or

C. Permits any act in violation of paragraph A or B to be done on any premises under that person's charge or control.

1-A. Penalty. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a Class C crime. In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall impose a fine of not less than $500 for each violation of subsection 1.

2. Viewing animal fighting. A person is guilty of viewing animal fighting if that person knowingly is present at any place or building where preparations are being made for an exhibition of the fighting of animals or is present at such an exhibition.

2-A. Penalty. A person who violates subsection 2 commits a Class D crime.

3. Affirmative defense. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under subsections 1 and 2 that the activity charged involves the possession, training, exhibition or use of an animal in the otherwise lawful sport of animal hunting and the training or use of hunting dogs. It is also an affirmative defense that the defendant's conduct involved the use of live animals as bait or in the training of other animals in accordance with the laws of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Title 12, Part 13. [FN1]

4. Exception. Activity involving the possession, training, exhibition or use of an animal in the otherwise lawful pursuits of hunting, farming and security services is exempt from subsections 1 and 2.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1997, c. 690, § 72; 2003, c. 414, § B-33; 2003, c. 452, §§ I-23 to I-26, eff. July 1, 2004.

[FN1] 12 M.R.S.A. § 10001 et seq.

 

§ 1034. Application for search warrant

A law enforcement officer or humane agent, having probable cause to believe that a violation of section 1031, 1032 or 1033 has taken place or is taking place, shall enter the premises where the animal is kept with the consent of the owner or shall make application for a search warrant. If the judge or justice of the peace is satisfied that probable cause exists, he shall issue a search warrant directing a law enforcement officer or humane agent in the county to proceed immediately to the location of the alleged violation and directing the law enforcement officer or humane agent to search the place designated in the warrant, retaining in his custody, subject to the order of the court, such property or things as specified in the warrant, including any animal.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1987, c. 736, § 28, eff. July 1, 1988.

 

§ 1035. Necessary sustenance

No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to supply the animal with a sufficient supply of food and water as prescribed in this section.

1. Food. The food shall be of sufficient quantity and quality to maintain all animals in good health.

2. Water. If potable water is not accessible to the animal at all times, it must be provided daily and in sufficient quantity for the health of the animal. Snow or ice is not an adequate water source.

3. Penalty. Failure to provide a sufficient supply of food or water is a Class D crime.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1999, c. 254, §§ 22, 23.

 

§ 1036. Necessary medical attention

A person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may not fail to supply the animal with necessary medical attention when the animal is or has been suffering from illness, injury, disease, excessive parasitism or malformed or overgrown hoof. Failure to provide necessary medical attention is a Class D crime.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1999, c. 254, § 24.

 

§ 1037. Proper shelter; protection from the weather and humanely clean conditions

No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal may fail to provide the animal with proper shelter, protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions as prescribed in this section.

1. Indoor standards. Minimum indoor standards of shelter shall be as follows.

A. The ambient temperature shall be compatible with the health of the animal.

B. Indoor housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated by natural or mechanical means to provide for the health of the animal at all times.

2. Outdoor standards. Minimum outdoor standards of shelter shall be as follows.

A. When sunlight is likely to cause heat exhaustion of an animal tied or caged outside, sufficient shade by natural or artificial means shall be provided to protect the animal from direct sunlight. As used in this paragraph, “caged” does not include farm fencing used to confine farm animals.

B. Except as provided in subsections 5, 5-A and 7, shelter from inclement weather must be provided according to this paragraph.

(1) An artificial shelter, with a minimum of 3 sides and a waterproof roof, appropriate to the local climatic conditions for the species and breed of the animal must be provided as necessary for the health of the animal.

(2) If a dog is tied or confined unattended outdoors under weather conditions that adversely affect the health of the dog, a shelter must be provided in accordance with subsection 7, paragraph A to accommodate the dog and protect it from the weather and, in particular, from severe cold. Inadequate shelter may be indicated by the shivering of the dog due to cold weather for a continuous period of 10 minutes or by symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia. A metal barrel is not adequate shelter for a dog.

C. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 702, § 50.

3. Space standards. Minimum space requirements for both indoor and outdoor enclosures shall include the following.

A. The housing facilities shall be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the animal from injury and to contain the animal.

B. Enclosures shall be constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space to allow each animal adequate freedom of movement. Inadequate space may be indicated by evidence of overcrowding, debility, stress or abnormal behavior patterns.

4. Humanely clean conditions. Minimum standards of sanitation necessary to provide humanely clean conditions for both indoor and outdoor enclosures shall include periodic cleanings to remove excretions and other waste materials, dirt and trash to minimize health hazards.

5. Livestock. Livestock must be provided with shelter suitable for the health of the animal. Except as provided in subsection 5-A, livestock must have access to a constructed or natural shelter that is large enough to accommodate all livestock comfortably at one time. The shelter should be well drained and protect the livestock from direct sun, rain, wind and other inclement weather. Notwithstanding this subsection, shelter for equines must be provided in accordance with subsection 2, paragraph B, subparagraph (1). For purposes of this subsection, “livestock” includes large game as defined in Title 7, section 1341, subsection 5 kept at a licensed commercial large game shooting area as defined in Title 7, section 1341, subsection 1.

5-A. Livestock maintained under a rotational grazing system. Notwithstanding subsection 5, a person is not required to provide shelter for livestock while the animals are maintained under a rotational grazing system as long as the animals do not have injuries or infirmities that prevent them from accessing food and water and are in good body condition. For the purposes of this subsection, “rotational grazing system” means the practice of dividing up available pasture into multiple smaller areas during grazing season when pasture is available to meet the dietary requirements of the animals and subsequently moving the animals from one area to another after a number of days or weeks as determined by forage production and quality.

6. Penalty. Failure to provide shelter in accordance with this section is a Class D crime.

7. Dogs confined by tethering for long time periods. In addition to the requirements of subsection 2, paragraph B, subparagraph (2), when tethering is the primary means of confinement for a dog, the standards for shelter and tethering are as follows:

A. A shelter must be provided that is fully enclosed except for a portal. The portal must be of a sufficient size to allow the dog unimpeded passage into and out of the structure. For dogs other than arctic breeds, the portal must be constructed with a baffle or other means of keeping wind and precipitation out of the interior. The shelter must be constructed of materials with a thermal resistance factor of 0.9 or greater and must contain clean bedding material sufficient to retain the dog's normal body heat; and

B. The chain or tether must be attached to both the dog and the anchor using swivels or similar devices that prevent the chain or tether from becoming entangled or twisted. The chain or tether must be attached to a well-fitted collar or harness on the dog. For dogs other than dogs kept as sled dogs or dogs used in competition, the chain or tether must be at least 5 times the length of the dog measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail. For dogs kept as sled dogs or dogs used in competition, the chain or tether must be:

(1) At least 2.5 times the length of the dog measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail if the anchor is stationary; or

(2) At least 1.5 times the length of the dog measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail if the anchor is a pivot point allowing a 360° area of movement.

For the purposes of this subsection, “primary means of confinement” means the method used to confine a dog for periods of time that exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period. For the purposes of this subsection, “arctic breeds” means Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and other dogs with a double-layered coat and bred to live in an arctic climate and “dogs kept as sled dogs or dogs used in competition” means dogs regularly and consistently used in training or participation in competitive or recreational sled dog activities or other competition canine events.

For the purposes of this subsection, “primary means of confinement” means the method used to confine a dog for periods of time that exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period. For the purposes of this subsection, “arctic breeds” means Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and other dogs with a double-layered coat and bred to live in an arctic climate.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1997, c. 456, §§ 17 to 19; 1999, c. 254, § 25; 1999, c. 765, § 12; 2005, c. 340, §§ 3, 4; 2007, c. 702, §§ 49, 50; 2009, c. 343, § 26; 2011, c. 76, §§ 4 to 6.

2011 Legislation

Laws 2011, c. 76, § 4, in subsec. 2, in par. B, in the introductory paragraph, inserted “, 5-A”.

Laws 2011, c. 76, § 5, in subsec. 5, in the second sentence, inserted “Except as provided in subsection 5-A,”.

Laws 2011, c. 76, § 6, inserted subsec. 5-A.

 

§ 1037-A. Affirmative defense

It is an affirmative defense to alleged violations of sections 1035, 1036 and 1037 that the animal is kept as part of an agricultural operation and in compliance with best management practices for animal husbandry as determined by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 702, § 51.
 

§ 1038. Animals abandoned at animal care facilities

Abandoning an animal at a veterinarian's office, boarding kennel, animal grooming facility or animal day-care facility is a Class D crime.

1. Determination of abandonment. There is a rebuttable presumption of abandonment if an owner:

A. Places an animal in the custody of a licensed veterinarian for treatment, boarding or other care, or in a boarding kennel, animal grooming facility or animal day-care facility for services offered by that facility; and

B. Fails to claim the animal within 10 days after written notice is sent in accordance with subsection 2.

2. Notice requirement. Before any animal may be considered abandoned under this section, a veterinarian's office, boarding kennel, animal grooming facility or animal day-care facility shall send written notice, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner or keeper at the owner's or keeper's last known address. Proof of attempted delivery constitutes sufficient notice.

3. Ownership of abandoned animal. When an owner or keeper fails to claim an animal within 10 days of a notice being sent under subsection 2, the veterinarian, kennel, facility or individual who has custody and control of the animal is considered the owner of the animal and shall arrange for its care, including, but not limited to, its adoption, sale or placement with a licensed animal shelter.

4. Financial obligation. The disposal of an abandoned animal under this section does not relieve the owner or keeper of the animal of any financial obligation, including, but not limited to, costs incurred for veterinary treatment, boarding, grooming or other care.

5. Penalty. In addition to the penalties provided in Title 17-A for a Class D crime, the penalties in section 1031, subsection 3-B also apply.

CREDIT(S)

2005, c. 422, § 11.

 

§ 1039. Cruel confinement of calves raised for veal and sows during gestation

1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Calf raised for veal” means a calf of the bovine species kept for the purpose of producing the food product referred to as veal.

B. “Covered animal” means a sow during gestation or calf raised for veal that is kept on a farm.

C. “Enclosure” means a cage, crate or other structure used to confine a covered animal, including, but not limited to, what is commonly described as a “gestation crate” for sows or a “veal crate” for calves.

D. “Farm” has the same meaning as in section 152.

E. “Fully extending the animal's limbs” means fully extending all limbs without touching the side of an enclosure.

F. “Sow during gestation” means a pregnant pig of the porcine species kept for the primary purpose of breeding.

G. “Turning around freely” means turning in a complete circle without any impediment, including a tether, and without touching the side of an enclosure.

2. Prohibition. A person may not tether or confine a covered animal for all or the majority of a day in a manner that prevents the animal from:

A. Lying down, standing up and fully extending the animal's limbs; and

B. Turning around freely.

3. Exceptions. Subsection 2 does not apply:

A. To an animal while it is the subject of scientific or agricultural research;

B. During examination, testing, individual treatment of or operation on an animal for veterinary purposes;

C. To an animal being transported;

D. To an animal at a rodeo exhibition or state or county fair exhibition;

E. To an animal at a 4-H event or similar exhibition;

F. To the slaughter of an animal in accordance with Title 22, chapter 562-A, subchapter 4 [FN1] and rules pertaining to the slaughter of animals; and

G. To a sow during the 7-day period prior to the sow's expected date of giving birth and until the sow's litter is weaned.

4. Relation to other laws. The provisions of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other laws protecting animal welfare. This section may not be construed to limit any state law or rules protecting the welfare of animals or to prevent a local governing body from adopting and enforcing its own animal welfare laws and regulations.

5. Penalty. A violation of subsection 2 is a Class D crime.

6. Criminal or civil prosecution. A person may be arrested or detained for a violation of subsection 2 in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure. A person may not be arrested or detained for the civil violation of cruel confinement under Title 7, section 1039. The attorney for the State may elect to charge a defendant with a criminal violation under this section or a civil violation under Title 7, section 4020. In making this election, the attorney for the State shall consider the severity of the cruelty displayed, the number of animals involved, any prior convictions or adjudications of animal cruelty entered against the defendant and such other factors as may be relevant to a determination of whether criminal or civil sanctions will best accomplish the goals of the animal welfare laws in the particular case before the attorney for the State. The election and determination required by this subsection are not subject to judicial review. The factors involved in the election and determination are not elements of the criminal offense or civil violation of cruel confinement and are not subject to proof or disproof as prerequisites or conditions for conviction under this section or adjudication under Title 7, section 4020.

It is not an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the sow or calf is kept as part of an agricultural operation and in compliance with best management practices for animal husbandry.

CREDIT(S)

2009, c. 127, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.

[FN1] 22 M.R.S.A. § 2521 et seq.

 

§ 1041. Euthanasia by prescribed methods

A cat or dog may not be destroyed by any method, agent or device except as described in this subchapter, subchapter III [FN1] and Title 7, chapter 739. [FN2]

[FN1] 17 M.R.S.A. § 1031 et seq.

[FN2] 7 M.R.S.A. § 4011 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1995, c. 490, § 27.

 

§ 1042. Euthanasia performed by licensed veterinarian or certified person

The mandatory method of euthanasia of cats and dogs when conducted by a licensed veterinarian or a person certified under subsection 3 must be the administration of a barbiturate overdose. The mandatory method of euthanasia must be implemented according to the following methods and under the following conditions.

1. Intravenous, intraperitoneal, intrathoracic or intracardial injection. Intravenous, intraperitoneal, intrathoracic or intracardial injection of a lethal solution may be used.

2. Use of undamaged hypodermic needle. An undamaged hypodermic needle of a size suitable for the size and species of animal must be used.

3. Administration by a licensed veterinarian. Administration may only be by a licensed veterinarian or by a person trained for this purpose who is certified by the commissioner and subject to regular observation concerning continued efficiency. A person certified under this subsection may only euthanize animals that are vested to an animal shelter. A person certified to perform euthanasia may not euthanize an animal if, by performing that euthanasia, the person is in violation of Title 32, chapter 71-A. [FN1]

4. Euthanasia solution. A licensed animal shelter having both a consulting veterinarian and a certified euthanasia technician may purchase, store and administer euthanasia solution for the euthanasia of cats, dogs and ferrets that are vested to the shelter, provided the purchase, storage and administration is in accordance with federal requirements. The director of the licensed animal shelter, as a veterinarian, a certified euthanasia technician or an agent of the certified euthanasia technician, is the only person with the authority to purchase euthanasia solution.

[FN1] 32 M.R.S.A. § 4851 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1995, c. 490, § 27.

 

§ 1043. Emergency methods

The following methods shall be used only in an emergency situation in which the safety of people or other animal life is threatened or in a situation in which the mandatory method of euthanasia of cats and dogs cannot be implemented expeditiously and will cause undue suffering. The following methods shall not be used as a substitute for the mandatory method.

1. Shooting. The animal may be destroyed by shooting, provided that:

A. The animal is restrained in a humane manner;

B. Shooting is performed by highly skilled and trained personnel utilizing a weapon and ammunition of suitable caliber and other characteristics to produce instantaneous death by a single shot; and

C. Maximum precaution is taken to protect the general public, employees and other animals.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4.

 

§ 1044. Tranquilizing cats and dogs

Prior to the euthanasia of cats and dogs, sedatives may be administered to these animals. Curariform immobilizers shall not be used on cats and dogs prior to euthanasia, except by veterinarians in extreme circumstances.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4.

 

§ 1045. Inspection

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources may inspect or investigate any facility in which cats or dogs are destroyed.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4; 1991, c. 779, § 51, eff. March 31, 1992.

 

§ 1046. Penalty for violation

Any person, firm or corporation found in violation of this subchapter is guilty of a Class E crime.

CREDIT(S)

1987, c. 383, § 4.

 



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