H. B. 2356
(By Delegates Browning and Staton)
[Introduced February 15, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the
A BILL to amend and reenact §19-20-13 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a
new section, designated §19-20-8b, all relating to authorizing
county commissions to enact ordinances prohibiting cats from
running at large and authorizing county dog wardens or others
to seize and impound cats under authority of the ordinance;
requiring the giving of notice to owners of impounded cats;
and providing owners of cats who cause damage while running
loose are liable for the damage.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §19-20-13 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding
thereto a new section, designated §19-20-8b, all to read as
ARTICLE 20. DOGS AND CATS.
§19-20-8b. County commissions authorized to provide for ordinances
to control cats running at large.
(a) Any county commission may promulgate and enforce
ordinances and rules not inconsistent with the provisions of this
article, as is considered necessary or convenient for the control
and management of all cats in the county, or any portion of the
county. The county commission may provide in the ordinance for the
seizure and impounding of cats running at large as well as for the
arrest, conviction and punishment of any owner who allows a cat to
run at large in spite of the implementation of an
prohibiting cats to run at large.
(b) In the event a cat is seized under the provisions of any
lawful ordinance or rule authorized by this section, the county dog
warden or other person designated with responsibility for the
impoundment of the seized cat shall forthwith give notice to the
owner, if the owner is known, that the cat has been impounded and
that it will be sold or destroyed if not redeemed within a
reasonable period of time: Provided,
That no such time period is
considered reasonable unless it allows five days for the owner to
claim the animal after notice is given. If the owner is not known,
notice shall be posted in the county courthouse. The notice shall
describe the cat and the place where it was seized and it shall
advise the unknown owner, if any, that the cat will be sold or
destroyed if not redeemed within five or more days.
§19-20-13. Dog or cat running at large; liability of owner.
Any owner or keeper of any dog or cat
to run at large
shall be is
any damages damage or
injury inflicted upon the person or property of another caused
dog or cat
running at large.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize county
commissions to enact ordinances prohibiting cats from running at
large. The bill also authorizes county dog wardens or others to
seize and impound cats under authority of an ordinance while
requiring the giving of notice to owners of impounded cats.
Finally, the bill provides owners of cats who cause damage while
running loose are liable for the damage.
§19-20-8b is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring
have been omitted.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would