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Minnesota Anti-Cruelty Statutes, Including Dog House Requirements

343.20 DEFINITIONS

Subd. 1 Application.
Except as otherwise indicated by the context, for purposes of sections 343.20 to 343.36, the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them.

Subd. 2 Animal.
“Animal” means every living creature except members of the human race.

Subd. 3 Torture; cruelty.
“Torture” or “cruelty” means every act, omission, or neglect which causes or permits unnecessary or unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death.

Subd. 4 Impure milk.
“Impure and unwholesome milk” means all milk obtained from diseased or unhealthy animals, or from animals fed on any substance which is putrefied or fermented.

Subd. 5 Animal control officer.
“Animal control officer” means an officer employed by or under contract with an agency of the state, county, municipality, or other governmental subdivision of the state which is responsible for animal control operations in its jurisdiction.

Subd. 6 Pet or companion animal.
“Pet or companion animal” includes any animal owned, possessed by, cared for, or controlled by a person for the present or future enjoyment of that person or another as a pet or companion, or any stray pet or stray companion animal.

Subd. 7 Service animal.
“Service animal” means an animal trained to assist a person with a disability.

Subd. 8 Substantial bodily harm.
“Substantial bodily harm” means bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily member to a service animal or a pet or companion animal.

Subd. 9 Great bodily harm.
“Great bodily harm” means bodily injury which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or other serious bodily harm to a service animal or a pet or companion animal.

343.21 Overworking or mistreating animals; penalty

Subd. 1 Torture.
No person shall overdrive, overload, torture, cruelly beat, neglect, or unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate, or kill any animal, or cruelly work any animal when it is unfit for labor, whether it belongs to that person or to another person.

Subd. 2 Nourishment; shelter.
No person shall deprive any animal over which the person has charge or control of necessary food, water, or shelter.

Subd. 3 Enclosure.
No person shall keep any cow or other animal in any enclosure without providing wholesome exercise or change of air.

Subd. 4 Low feed.
No person shall feed any cow on food which produces impure or unwholesome milk.

Subd. 5 Abandonment.
No person shall abandon any animal.

Subd. 6 Temporary abandonment.
No person shall allow any maimed, sick, infirm, or disabled animal to lie in any street, road, or other public place for more than three hours after receiving notice of the animal’s condition.

Subd. 7 Cruelty.
No person shall willfully instigate or in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal or animals, or any act tending to produce cruelty to animals.

Subd. 8 Caging.
No person shall cage any animal for public display purposes unless the display cage is constructed of solid material on three sides to protect the caged animal from the elements and unless the horizontal dimension of each side of the cage is at least four times the length of the caged animal. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to the Minnesota state agricultural society, the Minnesota state fair, or to the county agricultural societies, county fairs, to any agricultural display of caged animals by any political subdivision of the state of Minnesota, or to district, regional or national educational livestock or poultry exhibitions. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to captive wildlife, the exhibition of which is regulated by section 97A.041.

Subd. 8a Harming a service animal.
No person shall intentionally and without justification cause bodily harm to a service animal while it is providing service or while it is in the custody of the person it serves.

Subd. 9 Penalty (a) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a person who fails to comply with any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(a) A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subdivision 1 or 7 within five years of a previous violation of subdivision 1 or 7 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(b) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in substantial bodily harm to a pet or companion animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

(c) A person convicted of violating paragraph (b) within five years of a previous gross misdemeanor or felony conviction for violating this section may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

(d) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in death or great bodily harm to a pet or companion animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

(e) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in substantial bodily harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

(f) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in substantial bodily harm to a pet or companion animal, and the act is done to threaten, intimidate, or terrorize another person, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

(g) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in death or great bodily harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than four years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

(h) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in death or great bodily harm to a pet or companion animal, and the act is done to threaten, intimidate, or terrorize another person, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than four years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

Subd. 10 Restrictions.
If a person is convicted of violating this section, the court shall require that pet or companion animals that have not been seized by a peace officer or agent and are in the custody or control of the person must be turned over to a peace officer or other appropriate officer or agent unless the court determines that the person is able and fit to provide adequately for an animal. If the evidence indicates lack of proper and reasonable care of an animal, the burden is on the person to affirmatively demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the person is able and fit to have custody of and provide adequately for an animal. The court may limit the person’s further possession or custody of pet or companion animals, and may impose other conditions the court considers appropriate, including, but not limited to:

(1) imposing a probation period during which the person may not have ownership, custody, or control of a pet or companion animal;

(2) requiring periodic visits of the person by an animal control officer or agent appointed pursuant to section 343.01, subdivision 1;

(3) requiring performance by the person of community service; and

(4) requiring the person to receive psychological, behavioral, or other counseling.

343.40 Dog Houses

Subd. 1 In general.
A person in charge or control of any dog which is kept outdoors or in an unheated enclosure shall provide the dog with shelter and bedding as prescribed in this section as a minimum.

Subd. 2 Building specifications.
The shelter shall include a moisture-proof and windproof structure of suitable size to accommodate the dog and allow retention of body heat. It shall be made of durable material with a solid, moisture-proof floor or a floor raised at least two inches from the ground. Between November 1 and March 31 the structure must have a windbreak at the entrance. The structure shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of suitable bedding material consisting of hay, straw, cedar shavings, blankets, or the equivalent, to provide insulation and protection against cold and dampness and promote retention of body heat.

Subd. 3 Shade.
Shade from the direct rays of the sun, during the months of June to September, shall be provided.

Subd. 4 Farm dogs.
In lieu of the requirements of subdivisions 2 and 3, a dog kept on a farm may be provided with access to a barn with a sufficient quantity of loose hay or bedding to protect against cold and dampness.

Subd. 5 Zoning.
All shelters required by this section shall be subject to all building or zoning regulations of any city, township, county, or state.

Subd. 6 Penalty.
Whoever violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.


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