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Kentucky Animal Laws

Cruelty to animals in the first degree

Cruelty to animals in the second degree

Torture of dog or cat

2007 Shelter Standards

Statute Name
KY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes  
These Kentucky statutes represent the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Under the law, animal cruelty in the first-degree (a class D felony) occurs when a person causes four-legged animals to fight for pleasure or profit.  Exclusions under this section include, among others, the killing of animals when hunting, fishing, or trapping; as incident to the processing as food or for other commercial purposes; or for veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes.  
KY - Dangerous - REPEALED - Quarantine of dogs in case of excessive damage to livestock, poultry, or domestic game birds; destruction of dogs in violation of quarantine  
This Kentucky statute provides that, when the inhabitants of any city, or county, have suffered an excessive amount of damage to livestock or poultry or domestic game birds by dogs, a petition may be presented to the commissioner, signed by twenty (20) or more of such inhabitants who are owners of livestock or poultry, alleging such excessive damage and requesting that a quarantine be placed on all dogs within the limits of such city, or county.  It then becomes unlawful for a dog not engaged in hunting to run at large in the quarantine area.  
KY - Dog - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws  
The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.
KY - Dog Laws (also includes cats & ferrets) - Kentucky Consolidated Dog Laws (License, Impound, Bite, etc.)  
These Kentucky statutes comprise the state's Dog Laws, which were amended significantly in 2005.  Included are all vaccination, licensing, animal control provisions, and the relevant dog bite statutes.  Under Section 258.235, any person may kill or seize any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding any livestock, or wounding or killing poultry, or attacking human beings, whether or not such dog bears the license tag required by the provisions of this chapter. There shall be no liability on such person in damages or otherwise for killing, injuring from an attempt to kill, or for seizing the dog.  That same section also comprises the state's new strict liability law for dog bites.  Under Sec. 235(4), any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock, or other property shall be responsible for that damage.
KY - Ecoterrorism - Protection of Animal Facilities  
This chapter concerns the protection of animal enterprise facilities in Kentucky. Prohibited acts include exercising control over a facility or its property without consent of the owner, disruption or destruction of property of a facility, entering a facility with the intent to commit a prohibited act, and entering a facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise and then remaining on the grounds knowing that entry is forbidden. Any person who violates any provision of KRS 437.410 to 437.420 shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not less than 6 months but not more than 1 year, or both, for each violation.  
KY - Endangered Species  
Under Kentucky law, no person shall import, transport, possess for resale or sell any endangered species of wildlife.  The term "endangered species" means any species of wildlife seriously threatened with worldwide extinction or in danger of being extirpated from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Violation of the Act may result in fines or possible imprisonment depending on the statutory section violated, and license sanctions may also result.  
KY - Equine Activity Liability Statute  
This Kentucky statute embodies the the legislative intent to encourage farm animal activities activities by limiting the civil liability of those involved in such activities.  Statutory definitions are provided, including "inherent risks of farm animal activities" and "engages in farm animal activity."  The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.  Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices provided in this section shall prevent a farm animal activity sponsor or farm animal professional from invoking the provisions of KRS 247.401 to 247.4029. 
KY - Horse - 189.510 Horse race on highway prohibited  
This interesting Kentucky law provides that no person shall ride a horse, nor shall the owner of a horse consent to the racing of his horse, in a horse race on a highway.  
KY - Hunting - 150.710 Intentional obstruction of lawful taking of wildlife  
This law comprises Kentucky's hunter harassment law. The law states that no person shall intentionally obstruct or disrupt the right of a person to lawfully take wildlife by hunting, trapping, or fishing. It also provides that the state attorney general or any person directly affected by the unlawful conduct may bring an action to restrain such conduct or to recover damages.  
KY - Impound - 258.215 Seizure, impounding, and destruction of dog lacking rabies tag or other identification; holding period before destruction; notice to owner; reclamation of dog, cat, or ferret; fees; quarantine; exemption of hunting dog  
This Kentucky statute provides that peace officers, dog wardens, or animal control officers shall seize and impound any dog which does not bear a proper license tag or other legible identification which is found running at large.  Interestingly, if an officer after diligent effort to do so, should fail to seize the dog, it is his or her duty to destroy the dog by any reasonable and humane means.  The statute specifically exempts actively engaged hunting dogs from the "loose dog" prohibition.   
KY - Impound - 258.265 Care and control of dog; destruction of dog running at large at night; exemption for hunting dogs  
This Kentucky statute provides that an owner shall exercise proper care and control of his dog to prevent the dog from violating any local government nuisance ordinance. Any peace officer or animal control officer may seize or destroy any dog found running at large between the hours of sunset and sunrise and unaccompanied and not under the control of its owner or handler. A peace officer or animal control officer shall be under a duty to make a fair and reasonable effort to determine whether any dog found at large between sunset and sunrise is a hound or other hunting dog which has become lost temporarily.  
KY - Impound - Confinement and destruction of dog found to have caused loss or damage to livestock, persons, or poultry; harborer of unlicensed dog forfeits rights in livestock fund  
This Kentucky statute provides that the owner of any dog or dogs having caused loss or damage to any livestock or poultry or person is definitely and conclusively shown or if written complaint is filed and if such charge is proven by investigation on the part of the department, the commissioner may notify the owner or keeper of such dog to immediately destroy the dog.  It then becomes unlawful and a violation of this chapter for such owner, or keeper to permit or cause such dog, while alive, to leave or to be removed from such premises.  The destroying of such dogs shall not remove the liability of the owner for such damage done by his dog.  
KY - Ordinances - 258.195 Employment, appointment, or contract with animal control officers; establishment and maintenance of animal shelters; intergovernmental agreements; authority of animal control officers  
This Kentucky statute set up in 1954 the position of county dog warden.  Additionally in 1955, each county was to establish and maintain a dog pound as a means of facilitating and administration of this chapter.  It also provides that cities, urban-county governments, or charter county governments may enter into agreements with the counties for the enforcement of the county's ordinances.  
KY - Ordinances - Georgetown and Lexington-Fayette Animal Control Ordinances  
These ordinances comprise the municipalities of Georgetown and Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky's animal control provisions.  
KY - Ordinances - Other state and local laws not affected  
This Kentucky statute provides that nothing in this chapter related to state regulation of dogs shall be construed to prohibit or limit the right of any city to pass or enforce any ordinance with respect to the regulation of dogs, the provisions of which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.  
KY - Property - 258.245 Dogs with rabies vaccination and identification considered personal property; destruction prohibited  
This Kentucky statute provides that all licensed dogs are personal property and can thus be subject to larceny.  It further states that it is unlawful (except as otherwise provided by law) for anyone, including a peace officer, to kill or attempt to kill a licensed dog.  
KY - Trade - Buying and selling protected wildlife  
Kentucky statute prohibiting the trade in protected wildlife; Kentucky statute prohibiting the hunting of bears; Kentucky statute providing punishment for violation of aforementioned statutes.  
KY - Veterinary - Chapter 321. Veterinarians.  
These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.
KY - Wildlife, Bounty - 150.425 Bounty on beaver  
This Kentucky law provides that, upon a resolution of the fiscal court that finds that beavers pose a threat to farmland, trees, or other property, the fiscal court may request a bounty on beaver. Each beaver tail presented to any conservation officer nets $10 (possibly offset by $1 for the cost of administering the bounty program).  

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