State sets $100 license fee for dangerous dogs

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LIVERMORE — A new state law will require owners of dangerous dogs to pay $100 for a license and get a special tag after Aug. 1, Town Clerk Renda Guild told selectpersons Monday night.

“This is one of the first changes I’ve seen in the over 20 years I’ve been here,” Guild said. “The increases may help pay for the animal control officer’s time.”

The state license fees are $6 for neutered dogs and $12 for non-neutered dogs, Administrative Assistant Amy Byron said.

The new state regulations are included in An Act to Strengthen the Law Regarding Dangerous Dogs and Nuisance Dogs passed by the Legislature.

According to a notice from the state Animal Welfare Program, licensing a dog deemed dangerous by a court after Aug. 1 will cost $100 and require a special tag. The dog must be registered annually, but will only receive a new tag if the old one is missing or damaged.

The municipality will keep $98 for its animal welfare account, the licensing agent retains $1 and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will get $1 for the Animal Welfare Fund.

The definition of a dangerous dog, according to the law, is:

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes the death of or inflicts serious bodily injury on an individual or a domesticated animal that is not trespassing on the owner’s or keeper’s premises at the time of the injury or death.

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes a reasonable person who is not on the owner’s or keeper’s premises and is acting in a reasonable and nonaggressive manner to fear imminent serious bodily injury by assaulting or threatening to assault that individual or the individual’s domesticated animal.

• A dog or wolf hybrid that inflicts bodily injury on an individual or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the owner’s or keeper’s premises at the time of the injury and has previously been determined by a court to be a nuisance dog.

For a dog declared a nuisance by a court after Aug. 1, the license will cost $30 and the dog must have a regular tag. 

The municipality will receive $28, the licensing agent $1 and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry $1 for the Animal Welfare Fund.

If the court determines a dog is no longer a nuisance, the owner should provide documentation to the municipality and a regular license will be issued.

According to the state law, the definition of a nuisance dog is:

 • A dog or wolf hybrid that causes bodily injury, other than serious bodily injury, to an individual or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the owner’s or keeper’s premises at the time of the injury.

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes a reasonable person who is not on the owner’s or keeper’s premises and is acting in a reasonable and nonaggressive manner to fear bodily injury, other than serious bodily injury, by assaulting or threatening to assault that individual or individual’s domesticated animal.

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes damage to property or crops not owned by the animal’s owner or keeper while the animal is not on the owner’s or keeper’s premises.

For more information, contact the Animal Welfare Program at 207-287-3846, or see https://tinyurl.com/y923g4d4.

[email protected]

(AP file photo)

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