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Introduced Version House Bill 2356 History

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hb2356 intr
H. B. 2356


(By Delegates Browning and Staton)
[Introduced February 15, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the Judiciary.]




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 follows:
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 ordinance 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 who permits such a dog or cat to run at large shall be is liable for any damages damage or injury inflicted upon the person or property of another caused by such the dog or cat while so 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 be added.
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