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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 20 : Internal Security and Public Safety

Chapter 193 : Domestic Pet or Wolf-Hybrid Control

Subchapter 001 : General Provisions

(Cite as: 20 V.S.A. § 3546)
  • § 3546. Investigation of vicious domestic pets or wolf-hybrids; order

    (a) When a domestic pet or wolf-hybrid has bitten a person while the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is off the premises of the owner or keeper, and the person bitten requires medical attention for the attack, the person may file a written complaint with the legislative body of the municipality. The complaint shall contain the time, date, and place where the attack occurred, the name and address of the victim or victims, and any other facts that may assist the legislative body in conducting its investigation required by subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) The legislative body, within seven days from receipt of the complaint, shall investigate the charges and hold a hearing on the matter. If the owner of the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid that is the subject of the complaint can be ascertained with due diligence, the owner shall be provided with a written notice of the time, date, and place of hearing and the facts of the complaint.

    (c) If the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is found to have bitten the victim without provocation, the municipal officials shall make such order for the protection of persons as the facts and circumstances of the case may require, including that the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is disposed of in a humane way, muzzled, chained, or confined. The order shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. A person who, after receiving notice, fails to comply with the terms of the order shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 3550 of this chapter.

    (d) The procedures provided in this section shall apply if the domestic pet or wolf-hybrid is not a rabies suspect. If a member of the legislative body or a municipal official designated by the legislative body determines that the animal is a rabies suspect, the provisions of subchapter 5 of this chapter and the rules of the Department of Health shall apply.

    (e) The procedures provided in this section shall not apply if the voters of a municipality, at a special or annual meeting duly warned for the purpose, have authorized the legislative body of the municipality to regulate domestic pets or wolf-hybrids by ordinances that are inconsistent with this section, in which case those ordinances shall apply. (Amended 1977, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 12, 1978; 1993, No. 213 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. June 15, 1994; 2007, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2021, No. 20, § 197.)