☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 340

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1999    bottom

  340.288.  Animal deemed abandoned, when, disposal of — immunity — abandoned defined, effect — necropsy authorized, when, disposal of corpse — owner's financial obligation. — 1.  Any animal placed in the custody of a licensed veterinarian for treatment, boarding or other care, which is unclaimed by its owner or its owner's agent for more than ten days after written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, is sent to the owner or owner's agent at the person's last known address shall be deemed to be abandoned.  Such abandoned animal may be turned over to the nearest humane society or animal shelter, or otherwise disposed of or destroyed by the licensed veterinarian in a humane manner.

  2.  If notice is sent pursuant to subsection 1 of this section, the licensed veterinarian or any custodian of such abandoned animal is relieved of any further liability for disposal.  If a licensed veterinarian follows the procedures of this section, the veterinarian shall not be subject to disciplinary action under sections 340.200 to 340.330 unless such licensed veterinarian fails to provide the proper notification to the owner or owner's agent.

  3.  For the purposes of this section, the term "abandoned" means to forsake entirely, to neglect or refuse to provide or perform legal obligations for the care and support of an animal, or to refuse to pay for treatment or other services without an assertion of good cause.  Such abandonment shall constitute the relinquishment of all rights and claims by the owner to such animal.

  4.  If an animal should die while in the custody of a licensed veterinarian for the purpose of treatment, boarding or other care, the licensed veterinarian may perform necropsy after reasonable attempts to notify the owner and obtain permission have failed.  The licensed veterinarian shall maintain or otherwise store the corpse for a period of at least three days following such death or three days after notification to the owner, whichever is longer, after which time the corpse may be disposed of in any lawful manner.

  5.  The disposal of an abandoned or deceased animal shall not relieve the owner or owner's agent of any financial obligation incurred for treatment, boarding or other care provided by the veterinarian.


(L. 1992 H.B. 878 § 44, A.L. 1999 S.B. 424)

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1999 ----

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