NC and Outer Banks Animal Laws

September 28, 2016

North Carolina and Outer Banks Animal Laws

 

 

The Outer Banks SPCA has made every effort to assure that the laws listed on this page are up to date and accurate. These laws are placed here in order to help visitors and residents remain in compliance with all applicable animal laws of the state of North Carolina as well as the local area served by the Outer Banks SPCA.

Nothing on this page or on the website operated by the Outer Banks SPCA should be considered as legal advice.


Dare County, North Carolina Laws:

§ 91.008 Owner Responsible for the care and behavior of His or Her Animals
The owner is responsible for the care and behavior of His or Her Animals

§ 91.025 Collars and Tags Required
(A) It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to provide his dog with a collar or harness to which current vaccination and identification tags are securely attached.
A collar or harness with attached tags must be worn at all times except when the dog is confined to an enclosure on the owner's premises or during the time when animals are performing at shows, obedience trials, tracking tests, field trials, training schools or other events supervised by a recognized organization.

(B) It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to provide his or her dog with an identification tag or fail to take the action necessary to insure that such identification tag is worn by the dog at all times, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(C) It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to comply with state laws relating to the control of rabies, and it shall be unlawful for any dog owner to fail to provide any dog He or She owns with a suitable collar or harness for the wearing of the rabies tag to be issued upon compliance with state law or fail to take the action as is necessary to see that the tag is worn by the dog at all times, except where otherwise provided in this chapter.

(D) It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any dog to wear a vaccination tag or identification tag issued for another dog.

§ 91.026 Stray Dogs
It shall be unlawful for any person in the county knowingly and intentionally to harbor, feed or keep in possesion by confinement or otherwise any dog which does not belong to him or her, unless he or she has, within 24 hours from the time the dog came into his or her possesion, notified the animal shelter. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to surrender any such stray dog to an authorized representative of the animal shelter upon demand of the representative.

§ 91.027 Behaviors of Dogs Constituting Public Nuisances
It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to allow his dog to habitually or repeatedly chase, snap at, attack or bark at pedestrians, bicyclists or vehicles, turn over garbage pails, damage gardens, flowers or vegetables or conduct itself so as to be a public nuisnace, or to permit a female dog to run at-large during the erotic stage of copulation. 

§ 91.028 Barking Dogs
It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to keep or have within a densely populated area a dog that habitually or repeatedly barks in such a manner or to such an extent that it is a public nuisance.

§ 91.029 Notice of Injuries to Dogs
It shall be unlawful for any person injuring a dog, by running over or into or coming into contact with the same with an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or other vehicle, to fail to notify immediately the owner of the dog, the animal shelter or the Police Department if in a municipality or the Sheriff's Department if in the county.

§ 91.030 Potentially Dangerous Dog
(A) The Dare County Board of Commissioners hereby designates the Health Director to be responsible for determining when a dog is a potentially dangerous dog as defined in G.S. §67-4.1

(B)The Dare County Board of Comissioners in accord with G.S. §67-4.1, designates the Dare County Board of Health, as it may be comprised from time to time, as the seperate Board to hear any appeal from a determination that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog. The Chairperson of the Dare County Board of Health is authorized to appoint, as needed, 3 of its members to sit as the seperate Board to hear the appeals. One of these 3 members shall be the County Commission member.

§ 91.031 Running at Large Prohibited Within Colington Harbour and Martin's Point
(A) Within the area described herein no owner or keeper of any dog shall permit the animal to run at large.

(B) For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

Area of Prohibition-All that land and water shown on the maps or plans of portions of Colington Harbor Subdivision identified on the list attached to Ord. 11-18-1996 and incorporated by reference herein, and all that land and water described as common areas in the Martin's Point Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions, Martin's Homeowners Association, Inc. Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, Regulations and Construction Guidelines, including common areas adjacent to and/or abutting private property.

At Large- Off the premises of the owner or keeper and not under restraint.
Owner or Keeper- Any person or persons or firm, association or corporation, owning, keeping or harboring a dog.
Premises- Land and buildings
Under Restraint- 
(a) Controlled by means of a chain, leash or other like device;
(b) On or within a vehicle being driven or parked; or
(c) Within a secure enclosure which prevents the dog from injuring persons or running at large.

(C) A violation of this section shall be punished as provided in the G.S. § 14-4(a) as a Class 3 misdomenor. The fine shall not exceed $50.00.

§ 91.032 Prohibition of Dogs on County Owned Recreational Areas
(A) It shall be unlawful for any dog owner to permit his or her dog on the premises of any county-owned recreational area, regardles of whether the animal is under restraint or free-roaming. This prohibition does not apply to dogs trained to provide assistance as aid dogs to disabled persons, and dogs used for law enforcement purposes.

(B) A violation of this section shall be punished as provided in G.S. § 14-4(a) as a class 3 misdemeanor.

§ 91.050 Authority to Impound
Any dog or cat which appears to be lost or unwanted, which is found to be not wearing a currently valid identification or which is found to be not wearing a currently valid rabies vaccination tag, as required by state law or this chapter, or which is determined by the Animal Control Officer, based on reasonable cause, to be a vicious animal, stray dog or public nuisance may be apprehended and confined in the animal shelter.


North Carolina State Law:

Rabies
 

§ 130A”‘185.  Vaccination of all dogs and cats.

(a) The owner of every dog and cat over four months of age shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies. The time or times of vaccination shall be established by the Commission. Rabies vaccine shall be administered only by a licensed veterinarian or by a certified rabies vaccinator.

(b) Only animal rabies vaccine licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and approved by the Commission shall be used on animals in this State. (1935, c. 122, s. 1; 1941, c. 259, s. 2; 1953, c. 876, s. 2; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; 1983, c. 891, s. 2.)

§ 130A”‘189.  Rabies vaccination certificates.

A licensed veterinarian or a certified rabies vaccinator who administers rabies vaccine to a dog or cat shall complete a three”‘copy rabies vaccination certificate.  The original rabies vaccination certificate shall be given to the owner of each dog or cat that receives rabies vaccine.  One copy of the rabies vaccination certificate shall be retained by the licensed veterinarian or the certified rabies vaccinator.  The other copy shall be given to the county agency responsible for animal control, provided the information given to the county agency shall not be used for commercial purposes. (1935, c. 122, s. 6; 1941, c. 259, s. 5; 1959, c. 352; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 1993, c. 245.)


§ 130A”‘190.  Rabies vaccination tags.

(a)       A licensed veterinarian or a certified rabies vaccinator who administers rabies vaccine to a dog or cat shall issue a rabies vaccination tag to the owner of the animal. The rabies vaccination tag shall show the year issued, a vaccination number, the words "North Carolina" or the initials "N.C." and the words "rabies vaccine." Dogs and cats shall wear rabies vaccination tags at all times. However, cats may be exempted from wearing the tags by local ordinance.

(b)       Rabies vaccination tags, links and rivets may be obtained from the Department. The Secretary is authorized to establish by rule a fee for the rabies tags, links and rivets. Except as otherwise authorized in this section, the fee shall not exceed the actual cost of the rabies tags, links and rivets, plus transportation costs. The Secretary may increase the fee beyond the actual cost plus transportation, by an amount not to exceed five cents ($.05) per tag, to fund rabies education and prevention programs.

(c)       The Department shall make available a special edition rabies tag to be known as the "I Care" tag. This tag shall be different in shape from the standard tag and shall carry the inscription "I Care" in addition to the information required by subsection (a) of this section. The Secretary is authorized to establish a fee for the "I Care" rabies tag equal to the amount set forth in subsection (b) of this section plus an additional fifty cents ($.50). The additional fifty cents ($.50) shall be credited to the Spay/Neuter Account established in G.S. 19A”‘62. (1935, c. 122, s. 6; 1941, c. 259, s. 5; 1959, c. 352; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 1997”‘69, s. 1; 2000”‘163, s. 2.)
 

§ 130A”‘192.  Dogs and cats not wearing required rabies vaccination tags.

The Animal Control Officer shall canvass the county to determine if there are any dogs or cats not wearing the required rabies vaccination tag. If a dog or cat is found not wearing the required tag, the Animal Control Officer shall check to see if the owner's identification can be found on the animal. If the animal is wearing an owner identification tag, or if the Animal Control Officer  otherwise knows who the owner is, the Animal Control Officer shall notify the owner in writing to have the animal vaccinated against rabies and to produce the required rabies vaccination certificate to the Animal Control Officer within three days of the notification. If the animal is not wearing an owner identification tag and the Animal Control Officer does not otherwise know who the owner is, the Animal Control Officer may impound the animal. The duration of the impoundment of these animals shall be established by the county board  of commissioners, but the duration shall not be less than 72 hours. During the impoundment period, the Animal Control Officer shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of the animal. If the animal is not reclaimed by its owner during the impoundment period, the animal shall be disposed of in one of the following manners: returned to the owner; adopted as a pet by a new owner; sold to institutions within this State registered by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the Federal Animal Welfare Act, as amended; or put to death by a procedure approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society of the United States or of the American Humane Association. The Animal Control Officer shall maintain a record of all animals impounded under this section which shall include the date of impoundment, the length of impoundment, the method of disposal of the animal and the name of the person or institution to whom any animal has been released. (1935, c. 122, s. 8; 1983, c. 891, s. 2.)

 

§ 130A”‘193.  Vaccination and confinement of dogs and cats brought into this State.

(a)       A dog or cat brought into this State shall immediately be securely confined and shall be vaccinated against rabies within one week after entry. The animal shall remain confined for two weeks after vaccination.

(b)       The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

(1)       A dog or cat brought into this State for exhibition purposes if the animal is confined and not permitted to run at large; or

(2)       A dog or cat brought into this State accompanied by a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog or cat is apparently free from and has not been exposed to rabies and that the dog or cat has received rabies vaccine within the past year.
 

§ 130A”‘196.  Confinement of all biting dogs and cats; notice to local health director; reports by physicians; certain dogs exempt.

When a person has been bitten by a dog or cat, the person or parent, guardian or person standing in loco parentis of the person, and the person owning the animal or in control or possession of the animal shall notify the local health director immediately and give the name and address of the person bitten and the owner of the animal.  All dogs and cats that bite a person shall be immediately confined for 10 days in a place designated by the local health director.  However, the local health director may authorize a dog trained and used by a law enforcement agency to be released from confinement to perform official duties upon submission of proof that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies in compliance with this Part.  After reviewing the circumstances of the particular case, the local health director may allow the owner to confine the animal on the owner's property.  An owner who fails to confine his animal in accordance with the instructions of the local health director shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.  If the owner or the person who controls or possesses a dog or cat that has bitten a person refuses to confine the animal as required by this section, the local health director may order seizure of the animal and its confinement for 10 days at the expense of the owner.  A physician who attends a person bitten by an animal known to be a potential carrier of rabies shall report within 24 hours to the local health director the name, age and sex of that person. (1935, c. 122, s. 17; 1941, c. 259, s. 11; 1953, c. 876, s. 13; 1957, c. 1357, s. 9; 1977, c. 628; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 1985, c. 674; 1989, c. 298; 1993, c. 539, s. 950; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
 

§ 130A”‘197.  Infected dogs and cats to be destroyed; protection of vaccinated dogs and cats.

When the local health director reasonably suspects that a dog or cat has been exposed to the saliva or nervous tissue of a proven rabid animal or animal reasonably suspected of having rabies that is not available for laboratory diagnosis, the dog or cat shall be considered to have been exposed to rabies. A dog or cat exposed to rabies shall be destroyed immediately by its owner, the county Animal Control Officer or a peace officer unless the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies in accordance with this Part and the rules of the Commission more than three weeks prior to being exposed, and is given a booster dose of rabies vaccine within three days of the exposure. As an alternative to destruction, the dog or cat may be quarantined at a facility approved by the local health director for a period up to six months, and under reasonable conditions imposed by the local health director. (1935, c. 122, s. 14; 1953, c. 876, s. 10; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 2000”‘163, s. 4.)


Animal Cruelty

§ 14”‘360.  Cruelty to animals; construction of section.

(a)       If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b)       If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class I felony. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to increase the penalty for cockfighting provided for in G.S. 14”‘362.

(c)       As used in this section, the words "torture", "torment", and "cruelly" include or refer to any act, omission, or neglect causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death. As used in this section, the word "intentionally" refers to an act committed knowingly and without justifiable excuse, while the word "maliciously" means an act committed intentionally and with malice or bad motive. As used in this section, the term "animal" includes every living vertebrate in the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings. However, this section shall not apply to the following activities:

(1)       The lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission, except that this section shall apply to those birds exempted by the Wildlife Resources Commission from its definition of "wild birds" pursuant to G.S. 113”‘129(15a).

(2)       Lawful activities conducted for purposes of biomedical research or training or for purposes of production of livestock, poultry, or aquatic species.

(2a)     Lawful activities conducted for the primary purpose of providing food for human or animal consumption.

(3)       Activities conducted for lawful veterinary purposes.

(4)       The lawful destruction of any animal for the purposes of protecting the public, other animals, property, or the public health. (1881, c. 34, s. 1; c. 368, ss. 1, 15; Code, ss. 2482, 2490; 1891, c. 65; Rev., s. 3299; 1907, c. 42; C.S., s. 4483; 1969, c. 1224, s. 2; 1979, c. 641; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, s. 1; 1989, c. 670, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 239; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1998”‘212, s. 17.16(c); 1999”‘209, s. 8.)
 

§ 14”‘361.  Instigating or promoting cruelty to animals.

If any person shall willfully set on foot, or instigate, or move to, carry on, or promote, or engage in, or do any act towards the furtherance of any act of cruelty to any animal, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1881, c. 368, s. 6; Code, s. 2487; 1891, c. 65; Rev., s. 3300; C.S., s. 4484; 1953, c. 857, s. 1; 1969, c. 1224, s. 3; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, s. 1; 1989, c. 670, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 240; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
 

§ 14”‘361.1.  Abandonment of animals.

Any person being the owner or possessor, or having charge or custody of an animal, who willfully and without justifiable excuse abandons the animal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1979, c. 687; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, s. 2; 1989, c. 670, s. 3; 1993, c. 539, s. 241; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
 

§ 14”‘362.  Cockfighting.

A person who instigates, promotes, conducts, is employed at, allows property under his ownership or control to be used for, participates as a spectator at, or profits from an exhibition featuring the fighting of a cock is guilty of a Class I felony. A lease of property that is used or is intended to be used for an exhibition featuring the fighting of a cock is void, and a lessor who knows this use is made or is intended to be made of his property is under a duty to evict the lessee immediately. (1881, c. 368, s. 2; Code, s. 2483; 1891, c. 65; Rev., s. 3301; C.S., s. 4485; 1953, c. 857, s. 2; 1969, c. 1224, s. 3; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, s. 3; 1993, c. 539, s. 242; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2005”‘437, s. 1.)

§ 14”‘362.1.  Animal fights and baiting, other than cock fights, dog fights and dog baiting.

(a)       A person who instigates, promotes, conducts, is employed at, provides an animal for, allows property under his ownership or control to be used for, or profits from an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of an animal, other than a cock or a dog, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. A lease of property that is used or is intended to be used for an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of an animal, other than a cock or a dog, is void, and a lessor who knows this use is made or is intended to be made of his property is under a duty to evict the lessee immediately.

(b)       A person who owns, possesses, or trains an animal, other than a cock or a dog, with the intent that the animal be used in an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of that animal or any other animal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(c)       A person who participates as a spectator at an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of an animal, other than a cock or a dog, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(d)       A person who commits an offense under subsection (a) within three years after being convicted of an offense under this section is guilty of a Class I felony.

(e)       This section does not prohibit the lawful taking or training of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, s. 5; 1993, c. 539, ss. 243, 1236; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997”‘78, s. 2.)
 

§ 14”‘362.2.  Dog fighting and baiting.

(a)       A person who instigates, promotes, conducts, is employed at, provides a dog for, allows property under the person's ownership or control to be used for, gambles on, or profits from an exhibition featuring the baiting of a dog or the fighting of a dog with another dog or with another animal is guilty of a Class H felony. A lease of property that is used or is intended to be used for an exhibition featuring the baiting of a dog or the fighting of a dog with another dog or with another animal is void, and a lessor who knows this use is made or is intended to be made of the lessor's property is under a duty to evict the lessee immediately.

(b)       A person who owns, possesses, or trains a dog with the intent that the dog be used in an exhibition featuring the baiting of that dog or the fighting of that dog with another dog or with another animal is guilty of a Class H felony.

(c)       A person who participates as a spectator at an exhibition featuring the baiting of a dog or the fighting of a dog with another dog or with another animal is guilty of a Class H felony.

(d)       This section does not prohibit the use of dogs in the lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission. (1997”‘78, s. 1; 2006”‘113, s. 3.1; 2006”‘259, s. 37.)

§ 14”‘362.3.  Restraining dogs in a cruel manner.

A person who maliciously restrains a dog using a chain or wire grossly in excess of the size necessary to restrain the dog safely is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For purposes of this section, "maliciously" means the person imposed the restraint intentionally and with malice or bad motive. (2001”‘411, s. 2.)

 

§ 14”‘363.  Conveying animals in a cruel manner.

If any person shall carry or cause to be carried in or upon any vehicle or other conveyance, any animal in a cruel or inhuman manner, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.  Whenever an offender shall be taken into custody therefor by any officer, the officer may take charge of such vehicle or other conveyance and its contents, and deposit the same in some safe place of custody.  The necessary expenses which may be incurred for taking charge of and keeping and sustaining the vehicle or other conveyance shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can be lawfully reclaimed; or the said expenses, or any part thereof remaining unpaid, may be recovered by the person incurring the same of the owner of such animal in an action therefor. (1881, c. 368, s. 5; Code, s. 2486; 1891, c. 65; Rev., s. 3302; C.S., s. 4486; 1953, c. 857, s. 3; 1969, c. 1224, s. 4; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, s. 1; 1989, c. 670, s. 4; 1993, c. 539, s. 244; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
 

§ 14”‘363.1.  Living baby chicks or other fowl, or rabbits under eight weeks of age; disposing of as pets or novelties forbidden.

If any person, firm or corporation shall sell, or offer for sale, barter or give away as premiums living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits under eight weeks of age as pets or novelties, such person, firm or corporation shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.  Provided, that nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the sale of nondomesticated species of chicks, ducklings, or other fowl, or of other fowl from proper brooder facilities by hatcheries or stores engaged in the business of selling them for purposes other than for pets or novelties. (1973, c. 466, s. 1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, s. 4; 1993, c. 539, s. 245; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
 

§ 14”‘363.2.  Confiscation of cruelly treated animals.

Conviction of any offense contained in this Article may result in confiscation of cruelly treated animals belonging to the accused and it shall be proper for the court in its discretion to order a final determination of the custody of the confiscated animals. (1979, c. 640.)
 

§ 14”‘401.17.  Unlawful removal or destruction of electronic dog collars.

(a)       It is unlawful to intentionally remove or destroy an electronic collar or other electronic device placed on a dog by its owner to maintain control of the dog.

(b)       A first conviction for a violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(c)       This act is enforceable by officers of the Wildlife Resources Commission, by sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, and peace officers with general subject matter jurisdiction.

(d)       Repealed by Session Laws 2005”‘94, s. 1, effective December 1, 2005, and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 699, s. 1”‘4; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996) c. 682; 1997”‘150; 1998”‘6, s. 1; 1999”‘51, s. 1; 2000”‘12, s. 1; 2004”‘60, s. 3; 2005”‘94, s. 1; 2005”‘305, s. 4.)

 

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