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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 19 - 20 - 8 §19-20-8. Impounding and disposition of dogs; costs and fees.
(a) All dogs seized and impounded as provided in this article, except dogs taken into custody under section two of this article, shall be kept housed and fed in the county or municipal shelter for five days after notice of seizure and impounding has been given or posted as required by this article, at the expiration of which time all dogs which have not previously been redeemed by their owners as provided in this article, shall be sold or humanely destroyed. No dog sold as provided in this section may be discharged from the county or municipal shelter until the dog has been registered and provided with a valid registration tag.

(b) (1) The term "humanely destroyed" as used in this section means:

(A) Humane euthanasia of an animal by hypodermic injection by a licensed veterinarian or by an animal euthanasia technician certified in accordance with the provisions of article ten-a, chapter thirty of this code; or

(B) Any other humane euthanasia procedure approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society of the United States or the American Humane Association.

(2) The term "humanely destroyed" does not include euthanizing a dog or cat by means of a gas chamber: Provided, That any county which has a gas chamber in operation as of the effective date of this section may continue to operate the gas chamber subject to the following: (1) The gas chamber shall be operated by an animal euthanasia technician certified pursuant to article ten-a, chapter thirty of this code; and (2) the gas chamber shall have been manufactured and installed by a person who regularly manufactures and installs gas chambers. The Board of Veterinary Medicine shall promulgate emergency rules regarding the inspection of gas chambers, pursuant to section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

(c) In an emergency or in a situation in which a dog cannot be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, a dog may be destroyed by shooting if:

(1) The shooting is performed by someone trained in the use of firearms with a weapon and ammunition of suitable caliber and other characteristics designed to produce instantaneous death by a single shot; and

(2) Maximum precaution is taken to minimize the dog's suffering and to protect other persons and animals.

(d) The owner, keeper or harborer of any dog seized and impounded under the provisions of this article may, at any time prior to the expiration of five days from the time that notice of the seizure and impounding of the dog has been given or posted as required by this article, redeem the dog by paying to the dog warden or his or her authorized agent or deputy all of the costs assessed against the dog and by providing a valid certificate of registration and registration tag for the dog.

(e) Reasonable costs and fees, in an amount to be determined, from time to time, by the county commission, shall be assessed against every dog seized and impounded under the provisions of this article, except dogs taken into custody under section two of this article. The cost shall be a valid claim in favor of the county against the owner, keeper or harborer of any dog seized and impounded under the provisions of this article and not redeemed or sold as provided in this section and the costs shall be recovered by the sheriff in a civil action against the owner, keeper or harborer.

(f) A record of all dogs impounded, the disposition of the dogs and a statement of costs assessed against each dog shall be kept by the dog warden and a transcript thereof shall be furnished to the sheriff quarterly.

(g) All persons or entities in the state performing euthanasia under this article shall register with the Board of Veterinary Medicine by December 31, 2009, in a manner to be prescribed by the board. The Board of Veterinary Medicine shall promulgate emergency rules relating to the registration of those performing animal euthanasia, pursuant to section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.

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