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Title XXXVIII CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT; PEACE OFFICERS AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS

Chapter 578

Effective - 01 Jan 2017, 2 histories, see footnote bottom

  578.024.  Keeping a dangerous dog — penalties. — 1.  A person commits the offense of keeping a dangerous dog if he or she owns or possesses a dog that has previously bitten a person or a domestic animal without provocation and that dog bites any person on a subsequent occasion.

  2.  The offense of keeping a dangerous dog is a class B misdemeanor, unless such attack:

  (1)  Results in serious injury to any person, in which case, it is a class A misdemeanor; or

  (2)  Results in serious injury to any person and any previous attack also resulted in serious injury to any person, in which case, it is a class E felony; or

  (3)  Results in the death of any person, in which case, it is a class D felony.

  3.  In addition to the penalty included in subsection 2 of this section, if any dog that has previously bitten a person or a domestic animal without provocation bites any person on a subsequent occasion or if a dog that has not previously bitten a person attacks and causes serious injury to or the death of any human, the dog shall be seized immediately by an animal control authority or by the county sheriff.  The dog shall be impounded and held for ten business days after the owner or possessor is given written notification and thereafter destroyed.

  4.  The owner or possessor of the dog that has been impounded may file a written appeal to the circuit court to contest the impoundment and destruction of such dog.  The owner or possessor shall provide notice of the filing of the appeal to the animal control authority or county sheriff who seized the dog.  If the owner or possessor files such an appeal and provides proper notice, the dog shall remain impounded and shall not be destroyed while such appeal is pending and until the court issues an order for the destruction of the dog.  The court shall hold a disposition hearing within thirty days of the filing of the appeal to determine whether such dog shall be humanely destroyed.  The court may order the owner or possessor of the dog to pay the costs associated with the animal's keeping and care during the pending appeal.

  5.  Notwithstanding any provision of sections 273.033 and 273.036, section 578.022 and this section to the contrary, if a dog attacks or bites a person who is engaged in or attempting to engage in a criminal activity at the time of the attack, the owner or possessor is not guilty of any crime specified under this section or section 273.036, and is not civilly liable under this section or section 273.036, nor shall such dog be destroyed as provided in subsection 3 of this section, nor shall such person engaged in or attempting to engage in a criminal activity at the time of the attack be entitled to the defenses set forth in section 273.033.  For purposes of this section "criminal activity" shall not include the act of trespass upon private property under section 569.150 as long as the trespasser does not otherwise engage in, attempt to engage in, or have intent to engage in other criminal activity nor shall it include any trespass upon private property by a person under the age of twelve under section 569.140.

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(L. 2009 H.B. 62, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17


---- end of effective   01 Jan 2017 ----

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Effective End
578.024 1/1/2017
578.024 8/28/2009 1/1/2017

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