HOUSE CONSUMER AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
HOUSE BILL 667
49th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2009
RELATING TO ANIMALS; BROADENING THE DEFINITION OF "DANGEROUS DOG"; ADDING NEW REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE DANGEROUS DOG ACT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
Section 1. Section 77-1A-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 61, Section 2) is amended to read:
"77-1A-2. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Dangerous Dog Act:
A. "animal control authority" means an entity authorized to enforce the animal control laws of a city, county or state, whether acting alone or in concert with other governmental authorities. In those areas not served by an animal control authority, the sheriff or municipal law enforcement shall carry out the duties of the animal control authority under the Dangerous Dog Act;
B. "dangerous dog" means a dog that caused the death of or a serious injury to a person or domestic animal;
C. "owner" means a person who possesses, harbors, keeps or has control or custody of a dog or, if that person is under the age of eighteen, that person's parent or guardian;
D. "potentially dangerous dog" means a dog that may reasonably be assumed to pose a threat to public safety as demonstrated by the following behaviors:
(1) causing an injury to a person or domestic animal that is less severe than a serious injury;
(2) chasing or menacing a person or domestic animal in an aggressive manner and without provocation; or
(3) acting in a highly [aggressively] aggressive manner within a fenced yard or enclosure and appearing able to jump out of the yard or enclosure;
E. "proper enclosure" means secure confinement indoors or outdoors, such as in a fenced yard, locked pen or other structure, that is designed to prevent the animal from escaping the confined area and young children from entering the confined area but does not include an electronic collar, an invisible fence or confinement by chaining, restraining or otherwise affixing the animal to a stationary object; and
F. "serious injury" means a physical injury that results in protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ, broken bones, multiple bites or disfiguring lacerations requiring sutures or reconstructive surgery."
Section 2. Section 77-1A-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 61, Section 5) is amended to read:
"77-1A-5. REGISTRATION AND HANDLING REQUIREMENTS FOR DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOGS.--
A. An animal control authority shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner of a potentially dangerous dog if the owner establishes that:
(1) the owner is able to keep the dog under control at all times;
(2) a license, if applicable, has been issued pursuant to the requirements of the jurisdiction;
(3) the dog has a current rabies vaccination;
(4) the owner has a proper enclosure for the dog;
(5) the owner has paid an annual fee, if applicable, established by the animal control authority to register a potentially dangerous dog;
(6) the dog has been spayed or neutered;
(7) the dog has been implanted with a microchip containing owner identification information that is also provided to the animal control authority; and
(8) the owner has entered the dog in a socialization and behavior program approved or offered by the animal control authority.
B. If a dog previously determined to be potentially dangerous has not exhibited any of the behaviors specified in Subsection D of Section [2 of the Dangerous Dog Act] 77-1A-2 NMSA 1978 for thirty-six consecutive months, the owner may request the animal control authority in the jurisdiction to lift the requirements for registration pursuant to this section. If the animal control authority has no reasonable basis to believe that the dog has exhibited the behaviors specified, it shall relieve the owner of the requirements of this section.
C. An animal control authority shall issue a certificate of registration to the owner of a dangerous dog if the owner, in addition to the requirements of Subsection A of this section, establishes that:
(1) the owner has paid an annual fee, if applicable, established by the animal control authority to register a dangerous dog;
(2) the owner has written permission of the property owner or homeowner's association where the dangerous dog will be kept, if applicable;
(3) the dangerous dog will be maintained exclusively on the owner's property except for medical treatment or examination;
(4) when the dangerous dog is removed from the owner's property, the dog shall be caged or muzzled and restrained with a lead no longer than four feet, and the dog shall be under complete control of a person eighteen years of age or older at all times;
(5) the dangerous dog will not be transported in a vehicle that might allow the dog to escape or gain access to any person or animal outside the vehicle; [and]
(6) a clearly visible warning sign with a conspicuous warning symbol indicating that there is a dangerous dog on the premises is posted where the dog is kept and is visible from a public roadway or from fifty feet, whichever is less;
(7) the owner will submit to the photographing or permanent marking of the dangerous dog for purposes of identification;
(8) the owner has obtained and will maintain liability insurance in the amount of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) and will furnish a certificate or proof of insurance upon demand of the animal control authority; and
(9) the owner will notify the animal control authority at least thirty calendar days before the cancellation or nonrenewal of the liability insurance policy.
D. An animal control authority may order the immediate impoundment or humane destruction of a dog previously determined to be a dangerous dog if the owner fails to abide by the conditions for registration, confinement or handling set forth in this section."
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