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Rabies, dog bites, dog cruelty and dog chains

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What are the dog laws in Kansas? Does Kansas Have Dog Laws? If you live in this state, you may be wondering what the law says about issues like rabies vaccination, dog bites, dog cruelty, and dog chains.

Read on for more information on dog laws in Kansas.

What dog vaccines are required by law in Kansas?

Surprisingly, there is no statewide requirement for rabies vaccination in Kansas. However, many cities and some counties have a rabies vaccination ordinance or resolution in effect. There are at least 194 municipalities that require vaccination of dogs and 184 that require vaccination of cats.

If an unvaccinated dog bites a person, it will be considered a potential carrier of rabies. They will be quarantined for 10 days. If there are no rabies symptoms, they can go home after vaccination. If they show signs of rabies, they will be euthanized for testing. If the dog is returned home, the owner must pay the cost of the 10-day impound.

What are the dog bite laws in Kansas?

Kansas is a “one-bite” state. This means that on a dog’s first innocent bite, the owner is usually not held accountable under the assumption that he or she was unaware of the dog’s aggressive behavior. There are exceptions in these cases. For example, a serious attack or mauling is likely subject to prosecution even if the dog in question was not previously aggressive. Also, if there was reason to suspect the dog was dangerous — past behavior like snapping, growling, and so on — the owner could still be held liable.

There are instances where dogs will not be considered aggressors in attacks, even if they have previously been shown to be dangerous. Dog owners are not responsible for attacks where the dog was provoked or to protect the owner. This could include yelling, hitting or throwing things at the dog. Also, if you were trespassing on private property and then were attacked by an otherwise contained dog, the dog owner would not be liable.

Also, in some cases, there may be a “common sense” prohibition against holding a dog owner accountable. For example, most people know to leave a dog eating or a mother with puppies alone. Annoying an animal when you might expect aggressive behavior will not always result in responsibility for the owner.

A dangerous dog, especially a repeat offender, may be euthanized if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the community’s safety. After a documented bite, a dog is considered vicious in the state of Kansas. This means that subsequent bites can lead to euthanasia. Additionally, an attack serious enough could cause the court to rule that euthanasia is the best course of action even for a first offender.

What Are Kansas’ Dog Abandonment Laws?

What is considered animal abandonment in Kansas?

Second 21-6412. Cruelty to animals, abandoning animals is illegal. The law notes that “Cruelty to animals is: (2) knowingly abandoning any animal in any place without providing for its proper care.” This means that it is illegal to simply let an unwanted pet go instead of finding new keepers. Animal abandonment is always dangerous for the animals and for the people who may encounter them. It’s always best to deliver a pet to a shelter or rescue it if you can’t keep it.

What is the punishment for abandoning animals in Kansas?

21-6412 sets out the severe penalties for abandoning an animal in Kansas. Offenders are guilty of a “Class A non-personal misdemeanour, except as provided in subsection (b)(2)(B); and (B) non-personal misdemeanor on the second or subsequent conviction for animal cruelty as defined in subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), or (a)(5). Upon such conviction, a person shall be sentenced to no less than five days or more than one year in prison and be fined no less than $500 nor more than $2,500. The convicted person is not eligible for release on probation, suspended or reduced sentence or parole until the person has served the mandatory minimum sentence as provided herein. Since animal abandonment falls under (a)(2), you could be guilty of a felony in a first offense and a felony in a second offense.

Who pays for the veterinary care of an abandoned dog in Kansas?

Anyone accused of animal abandonment may be liable to pay for the veterinary care, food and board of the previously owned animal, and any additional expenses incurred during the trial. This has to be court ordered, so in some cases the landlord may not be held financially responsible.

What are the Kansas dog cruelty laws?

What is considered dog cruelty in Kansas?

Kansas has a wide range of defined actions that are viewed as animal cruelty. According to Kansas Law 21-6412, cruelty to animals is defined as any of the following:

  • Knowingly and maliciously kill, injure, maim, torture, burn or mutilate any animal.
  • Knowingly abandoning any animal in any place without providing for its proper care.
  • Have physical custody of any animal and knowingly fail to provide food, clean water, protection from the elements, exercise opportunities, and other care necessary for the health or welfare of that type of animal.
  • Intentionally using a wire, post, stick, rope, or any other object to cause an equine to fall or lose its balance, for sporting or entertainment purposes.
  • Knowingly, but not intentionally killing or injuring any animal.
  • Knowingly and maliciously administering any poison to any pet.
  • What is the punishment for dog cruelty in Kansas?

    21-6412 states that:

    “Subsection (a)(1) or (a)(6) is a non-personal crime. If convicted under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(6), a person shall be sentenced to not less than 30 days or more than one year in prison and shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $5,000. The convicted person is not eligible for probation, suspended or reduced sentence, or parole until the person has served the mandatory minimum sentence as provided herein. During the 30 days of mandatory confinement, the offender must have a psychological evaluation prepared for the court to assist the court in determining the conditions of probation. Such conditions should include, but not be limited to, completion of an anger management program.

    Subsections 2-5 are considered a class A non-personal misdemeanor. The punishment, once convicted, is “not less than five days or more than one year’s imprisonment and a fine not less than $500 nor more than $2,500. The convicted person is not eligible for release on probation, suspended or reduced sentence or parole until the person has served the mandatory minimum sentence as provided herein.

    Essentially, what it boils down to is that most animal cruelty offenses are a Class A felony in the state of Kansas. More serious crimes, such as gross cruelty leading to death or disfigurement, would be charged with a misdemeanor.

    What is the punishment for dog fighting in Kansas?

    As in the other 49 states, aerial combat is a crime in Kansas. This doesn’t just apply to those who fight their animals directly. Charges may also occur for those who wager on or participate in dogfights in Kansas. It’s also illegal to train dogs with the intent to fight, even if you’re not directly participating in dogfights.

    What are Kansas dog chain laws?

    Tying or chaining a dog is legal in Kansas. Somewhat controversially, Kansas has no restrictions on bonded dogs. This can lead to negligent situations that are not technically deemed illegal. However, improper tethering can still be prosecuted as animal cruelty. For example, a pain leash that is too heavy for the dog could be seen as damage, leading to a charge of animal cruelty. Keep in mind that many individual counties may have specific tethering ordinances, so research your specific area. As a general rule, if you tether your dog, provide him with at least three times his body length for space, keep the area clean and free of debris, harness him safely without a choke collar, and provide shelter, food and water.

    How does Kansas’ dog law rank compared to other states?

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund ranks Kansas number 22 out of all 50 US states for animal protection laws. This makes Kansas a “middle tier” state by their standards. There are some things to love about Kansas’ animal defense laws. For example, giving offenders mandatory psychological evaluations can help prevent future crimes. However, there is also a lot to improve, such as a complete lack of tethering laws and ill-defined animal cruelty laws that leave room for abuse.

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