South Carolina Legislature


 

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H*3777
Session 109 (1991-1992) 

H*3777(Rat #0431, Act #0374 of 1992)  General Bill, By J.L.M. Cromer
 A Bill to amend Article 13, Chapter 3, Title 47, Code of Laws of South
 Carolina, 1976, relating to regulation of dangerous dogs, so as to provide for
 the Article to apply to dangerous animals, define terms, revise requirements
 for a pen or run area and for the restraint of a dangerous animal, provide an
 exception to the prohibition against possessing a dangerous animal for sale,
 breeding, or purchase, revise penalties, require registration and tagging of a
 dangerous animal and liability insurance, and provide for this Chapter not to
 abrogate civil penalties; and to amend Section 16-1-10, as amended, relating
 to crimes classified as felonies, so as to include the offense in Article
 13.-amended title

   04/04/91  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-6
   04/04/91  House  Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-6
   06/05/91  House  Recalled from Committee on Judiciary HJ-25
   06/06/91  House  Objection by Rep. Stoddard HJ-33
   01/14/92  House  Debate adjourned until Tuesday, January 21, 1992 HJ-204
   01/21/92  House  Debate adjourned until Tuesday, January 28, 1992 HJ-14
   01/28/92  House  Debate adjourned until Wednesday, January 29,
                     1992 HJ-13
   01/29/92  House  Amended HJ-15
   01/29/92  House  Read second time HJ-19
   01/30/92  House  Read third time and sent to Senate HJ-17
   02/04/92  Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-14
   02/04/92  Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-14
   04/01/92  Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment
                     Judiciary SJ-10
   04/28/92  Senate Read second time SJ-117
   04/28/92  Senate Ordered to third reading with notice of
                     amendments SJ-117
   04/29/92  Senate Amended SJ-306
   04/29/92  Senate Read third time and returned to House with
                     amendments SJ-306
   05/05/92  House  Concurred in Senate amendment and enrolled HJ-42
   05/13/92         Ratified R 431
   05/19/92         Signed By Governor
   05/19/92         Effective date 05/19/92
   05/19/92         Act No. 374
   06/17/92         Copies available



(A374, R431, H3777)

AN ACT TO AMEND ARTICLE 13, CHAPTER 3, TITLE 47, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO REGULATION OF DANGEROUS DOGS, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE ARTICLE TO APPLY TO DANGEROUS ANIMALS, DEFINE TERMS, REVISE REQUIREMENTS FOR A PEN OR RUN AREA AND FOR THE RESTRAINT OF A DANGEROUS ANIMAL, PROVIDE AN EXCEPTION TO THE PROHIBITION AGAINST POSSESSING A DANGEROUS ANIMAL FOR SALE, BREEDING, OR PURCHASE, REVISE PENALTIES, REQUIRE REGISTRATION AND TAGGING OF A DANGEROUS ANIMAL AND LIABILITY INSURANCE, AND PROVIDE FOR THIS CHAPTER NOT TO ABROGATE CIVIL PENALTIES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 16-1-10, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CRIMES CLASSIFIED AS FELONIES, SO AS TO INCLUDE THE OFFENSE IN ARTICLE 13.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Regulation of dangerous animals

SECTION 1. Article 13, Chapter 3, Title 47 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 515 of 1988, is amended to read:

"Article 13

Regulation of Dangerous Animals

Section 47-3-710. (A) As used in this article `dangerous animal' means an animal of the canine or feline family:

(1) which the owner knows or reasonably should know has a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, cause injury, or otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals;

(2) which:

(a) makes an unprovoked attack that causes bodily injury to a human being and the attack occurs in a place other than the place where the animal is confined as required by Section 47-3-720; or

(b) commits unprovoked acts in a place other than the place where the animal is confined as required by Section 47-3-720 and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the animal will attack and cause bodily injury to a human being;

(3) which is owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of fighting or which is trained for fighting.

(B) `Dangerous animal' does not include:

(1) an animal used exclusively for agricultural purposes; or

(2) an animal which attacks a person who is trespassing or who appears to be trespassing. A trespasser is a person who is not lawfully upon the premises of the owner, as set forth in Section 47-3-770(A).

(C) An animal is not a `dangerous animal' solely by virtue of its breed or species.

(D) As used in this article `owner' means a person who owns or has custody or control of the animal.

(E) As used in this article, `injury' or `bodily injury' means (1) broken bones, (2) lacerations, (3) punctures of the skin, or (4) any physical injury resulting in death.

Section 47-3-720. No person owning or harboring or having the care or the custody of a dangerous animal may permit the animal to go unconfined on his premises. A dangerous animal is `unconfined' as used in this section if the animal is not confined securely indoors or confined in a securely enclosed fence or securely enclosed and locked pen or run area upon the person's premises. The pen or run area must be clearly marked as containing a dangerous animal and must be designed to prevent the entry of the general public, including children, and to prevent the escape or release of the animal. However, this section does not apply to an animal owned by a licensed security company and on patrol in a confined area.

Section 47-3-730. No person owning or harboring or having the care of a dangerous animal may permit the animal to go beyond his premises unless the animal is safely restrained.

Section 47-3-740. (A) No person may own or harbor an animal for the purpose of fighting or train, torment, badger, bait, or use an animal for the purpose of causing or encouraging the animal to unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.

(B) No person may possess with intent to sell, offer for sale, breed, or buy or attempt to buy a known dangerous animal; however, this subsection does not apply to a person who is licensed to possess and breed an animal under the classifications specified and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act as codified in Title 7 of the United States Code.

Section 47-3-750. (A) If a law enforcement agent has probable cause to believe that a dangerous animal is being harbored or cared for in violation of Section 47-3-720 or 47-3-740 or 47-3-760(E), he may petition the court having jurisdiction to order the seizure and impoundment of the dangerous animal while the trial is pending.

(B) If a law enforcement agent has probable cause to believe that a dangerous animal is being harbored or housed in violation of Section 47-3-730, he may seize and impound the dangerous animal while the trial is pending.

Section 47-3-760. (A) A person who violates Section 47-3-720 or 47-3-730 or subsection (E) of this section or who is the owner of a dangerous animal which attacks and injures a domestic animal is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, for a first offense, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days and, upon conviction of a subsequent offense, must be fined one thousand dollars none of which may be suspended or remitted.

(B) A person who is the owner of a dangerous animal which attacks and injures a human being in violation of Section 47-3-710(A)(2)(a) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, for a first offense, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty-six months and, upon conviction of a subsequent offense, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years.

(C) A dangerous animal which attacks a human being or domestic animal may be ordered destroyed when in the court's judgment the dangerous animal represents a continuing threat of serious harm to human beings or domestic animals.

(D) A person found guilty of violating this article shall pay all expenses, including, but not limited to, shelter, food, veterinary expenses for boarding and veterinary expenses necessitated by the seizure of an animal for the protection of the public, medical expenses incurred by a victim from an attack by a dangerous animal, and other expenses required for the destruction of the animal.

(E) A person owning a dangerous animal shall register the animal with the local law enforcement authority of the county in which the owner resides. The requirements of the registration must be determined by the county governing body. However, the registration application must be accompanied by proof of liability insurance of at least fifty thousand dollars insuring the owner for personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous animal. In addition, the county governing body shall provide to the owner registering the dangerous animal a metal license tag and a certificate. The metal license tag shall at all times be attached to a collar or harness worn by the dangerous animal for which the certificate and tag have been issued.

(F) Nothing in this chapter is designed to abrogate any civil remedies available under statutory or common law.

Section 47-3-770. (A) A person lawfully is upon the premises of the owner within the meaning of this article when he is on the premises in the performance of a duty imposed upon him by the laws of this State, by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, when he is on the premises upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner, or when he is in the performance of a duty relative to public safety, which includes policemen, firemen, or other authorized personnel. A person may ingress to and egress from the premises for a purpose connected with the performance of the public safety duty.

(B) A person who lawfully is on the owner's premises and who is attacked by a dangerous animal or witnesses the attack may use reasonable force to repel the attack. A person is not liable in damages or otherwise for action to repel or action taken to restrain or control an animal from an unprovoked attack."

Offense classified as a felony

SECTION 2. In addition to the crimes classified as felonies in Section 16-1-10 of the 1976 Code, violation of Section 47-3-760(B) of the 1976 Code as amended in Section 1 of this act is a felony.

Time effective

SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Approved the 19th day of May, 1992.




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