Dog Laws

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them herein, unless the text clearly indicates otherwise:

Dangerous Dog

Any dog that according to the records of the appropriate authority has inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property, or, has killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner's property, or, has been previously found to be potentially dangerous; the owner having received notice of such and the dog aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of human or domestic animals.


All animals of canine species, both male and female.

Farm Animal

A domesticated animal intentionally kept, maintained and/or reared in an agricultural setting for produce, such as food or fibre, or for its labor. As an example only and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, it means any poultry, ungulate, species of cattle, sheep, swine, goats, llamas, equine, or other fur-bearing animal raised for commercial or subsistence purposes.


Any person, corporation or society, other than the owner, harboring or having in his possession any dog.


Any person or persons, firm, association or corporation owning, keeping or harboring a dog as herein defined.


A place where one or more packs or a collection of dogs is maintained on a single premises, whether maintained for breeding, boarding, sale, training, hunting or other purposes, and includes any shop where any number of dogs are for sale. It also includes every pack or collection of four or more dogs, six months of age or older, owned or kept by a person on a single premises, regardless of the purpose for which they are maintained. A veterinary hospital does not constitute a kennel unless it sells or boards dogs unrelated to the medical service it provides to the dogs. If it does sell or board dogs, for other than medical reasons, it must obtain a commercial kennel license.

Kennel, Commercial

A kennel maintained for the boarding or in-residence training of dogs; a kennel where 10 or more dogs are kept; or any kennel maintained for commercial purposes.

Kennel, Residential

A kennel maintained with a minimum of four and a maximum of nine dogs in or on residential premises but not for commercial purposes. Any person having four or more dogs on a single premises or on adjacent premises is maintaining a kennel.

Potentially Dangerous Dogs

Any dog that when unprovoked, inflicts bites on a human or domestic animal either on public or private property; chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack; or any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked; to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.

Public Nuisance

Any dog shall be deemed a public nuisance when attacking persons or domestic animals while such dog is on property other than that of such dog's owner, when destroying property, when on a public school ground and when not under restraint, if it shall persistently chase moving vehicles, or if it shall persistently and prolongedly bark or howl between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am in any one day. Each twenty-four hour period thereafter shall constitute a separate violation.

Further, any unspayed female dog in season, shall be deemed a public nuisance when not confined indoors by the owner thereof, or housed in a veterinary hospital or registered kennel.


Under the control of the owner or keeper by (a) means of a collar and leash or chain or (b) confinement on the owner's or keeper's property.


Free of restraint and permitted to wander on private or public ways at will.

Severe Injury

Any injury that requires a physician's attention.

(January 8, 1973, § 1; 12-14-87; 9-23-91; 7-8-96, § 1; 8-12-96, § 1.)