The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 001 : Cruelty to Animals(Cite as: 13 V.S.A. § 355)
§ 355. Interference with or cruelty to a guide dog
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Custody" means the care, control, and maintenance of a dog.
(2) "Guide dog" means a dog, whose status is reasonably identifiable, individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability for purposes of guiding an individual with impaired vision, alerting an individual with impaired hearing to the presence of people or sounds, assisting an individual during a seizure, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving items, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability, and assisting with navigation.
(3) "Notice" means:
(A) a verbal or otherwise communicated warning regarding the behavior of another person and a request that the person stop the behavior; and
(B) a written confirmation submitted to the local law enforcement agency, either by the owner of the guide dog or another person on his or her behalf, which shall include a statement that the warning and request was given and the person's telephone number.
(b) No person shall recklessly injure or cause the death of a guide dog, or recklessly permit a dog he or she owns or has custody of to injure or cause the death of a guide dog. A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both.
(c) No person who has received notice or has knowledge that his or her behavior, or the behavior of a dog he or she owns or has custody of, is interfering with the use of a guide dog shall recklessly continue to interfere with the use of a guide dog, or recklessly allow the dog he or she owns or has custody of to continue to interfere with the use of a guide dog, by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog user or his or her guide dog. A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.
(d) No person shall recklessly interfere with the use of a guide dog, or recklessly permit a dog he or she owns or has custody of to interfere with a guide dog, by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog user or his or her guide dog. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil offense and shall be:
(1) for a first offense, fined not more than $100.00;
(2) for a second or subsequent offense, fined not more than $250.00.
(e) A violation of subsection (d) of this section shall constitute notice as defined in subdivision (a)(3) of this section.
(f) As provided in section 7043 of this title, restitution shall be considered by the court in any sentencing under this section if the victim has suffered any material loss. Material loss for purposes of this section means uninsured:
(1) veterinary medical expenses;
(2) costs of temporary replacement assistance services, whether provided by a person or guide dog;
(3) replacement value of an equally trained guide dog without any differentiation for the age or experience of the dog;
(4) loss of wages; and
(5) costs and expenses incurred by the person as a result of the injury to the guide dog. (Added 2009, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)