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West Virginia

West's Annotated Code of West Virginia. Chapter 19. Agriculture. Article 20. Dogs and Cats. 19-20-9a. Dogs, cats, etc.; rabies observation; 19-20-20. Keeping vicious dogs; humane officers may kill such dogs; 19-20-21. License fee for keeping vicious or dangerous dog.

Statute Details
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Citation: W. Va. Code, 19-20-9a; 19-20-20 - 21

Citation: WV ST 19-20-9a; 19-20-20 - 21


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 10/2013

Summary:   These West Virginia statutes provide that any person who owns or harbors any dog, cat or other domesticated animal, whether licensed or unlicensed, which bites any person, shall confine and quarantine the animal for a period of ten days for rabies observation.  The state apparently has a prohibition against owning a dangerous dog, such that no person shall own, keep or harbor any dog known by him to be vicious, dangerous, or in the habit of biting or attacking other persons, whether or not such dog wears a tag or muzzle.  However, another section provides that any person who keeps a dog which is generally considered to be vicious, for the purpose of protection, shall acquire a special license therefor from the county assessor and then keep the dog restrained/enclosed.


Statute in Full:

 

§ 19-20-9a. Dogs, cats, etc.; rabies observation

§ 19-20-20. Keeping vicious dogs; humane officers may kill such dogs

§ 19-20-21. License fee for keeping vicious or dangerous dog

 

§ 19-20-9a. Dogs, cats, etc.; rabies observation

(a) Any person who owns or harbors any dog, cat or other domesticated animal, whether licensed or unlicensed, which bites any person, shall forthwith confine and quarantine the animal for a period of ten days for rabies observation.

(b) If any unvaccinated domesticated animal is bitten by a rabid animal, the owner shall confine the bitten animal for a period of six months. The animal shall be vaccinated or revaccinated after five months.

(c) If the animal is not confined and quarantined as directed in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the humane officer, dog warden or sheriff may cause the animal to be placed in the custody and care of a licensed veterinarian for that purpose at the owner's expense. The penalty for any violation of this section is a fine of fifty dollars or confinement in the county or regional jail for a period of no less than two nor more than three days.

Acts 1981, c. 70; Acts 1984, c. 8; Acts 1996, c. 5, eff. 90 days after March 8, 1996; Acts 1999, c. 6, eff. 90 days after March 13, 1999.

 

§ 19-20-20. Keeping vicious dogs; humane officers may kill such dogs

Except as provided in section twenty-one of this article, no person shall own, keep or harbor any dog known by him to be vicious, dangerous, or in the habit of biting or attacking other persons, whether or not such dog wears a tag or muzzle. Upon satisfactory proof before a circuit court or magistrate that such dog is vicious, dangerous, or in the habit of biting or attacking other persons or other dogs or animals, the judge may authorize the humane officer to cause such dog to be killed.

Acts 1981, c. 70.

 

§ 19-20-21. License fee for keeping vicious or dangerous dog

Any person who keeps a dog which is generally considered to be vicious, for the purpose of protection, shall acquire a special license therefor from the county assessor. The assessor shall charge ten dollars for such license. Such license shall be required in addition to the license required under section two of this article. The keeper or owner shall properly secure such dog in such a manner so as to prevent injury to a person who lawfully passes through or enters upon the property of the keeper or owner. Nothing contained in this section shall constitute a defense to any action for personal injury, wrongful death or damage to property.

Acts 1981, c. 70.

 



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