Learn Your State's DOG LAWS


Sees What You Did There
11 Years
May 24, 2008
Central Arkansas
I found this great website after reading another thread: http://www.animallaw.info/

can search animal laws by state, and I've been poking around on it for a few hours (home w/sick hubby today). It's fascinating! Whether you are a dog owner or a chicken owner or both, there are laws that apply to you.

For example, I've learned a lot about Arkansas state laws, that appear to cover my area. Even though my county has NO leash-laws, my state's law has comprehensive regulations covering loose/stray dogs.

I learned what the penalty is for not having current rabies vaccines, and that if needed, that vaccine must be provided at a cost of only 75 cents (although it doesn't specify by WHOM).

I learned that the damages structure has changed since last I checked, but that the owner of any dog who attacks/destroys my poultry is completely liable for any damages, and that I have the right to kill any dog who is on my property going after livestock, and that if it happens a second time, I am entitled automatically to doubled damages, and that I don't have to go to court to collect those damages (unless the owner appeals).

I learned that ANYONE keeping a wolf or wolf-dog hybrid has much stauncher fencing requirements for that animal than for a regular dog. To keep something that's even PART wolf, you must have a fence that is at least 8 feet tall, or one that is completely electrified to prevent climbing, and it must extend at least TWO FEET underground. And they're not talking about perimeter fence--this is ADDITIONAL fence, interior fence. There are additional feeding regulations that apply to these hybrids, and housing requirements that call for a "den" for each animal. If your wolf hybrid is loose at ALL, you are guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor. You get in a LOT bigger trouble if your wolf hybrid runs loose than if your dog runs loose. I know we have people on this board (and some in my state) who keep these hybrids, so I hope everyone will check out their local laws.

I learned that I do not have to wait until someone's dog attacks my chickens to take lethal action, and also that I can take lethal action retroactively. This law, in particularly, spells out to me how seriously my state takes the threat of loose dogs to livestock:

Any person knowing that any dog has killed or is about to catch, injure, or kill any domesticated animal shall have the right to kill the dog, without in any way being liable to the owner of the dog in any courts of this state.

To put the shoe on the other foot, this law runs my blood cold as a dog-owner, because it means that if MY dogs were to get loose (it's never happened, but we are obsessive about containing them to our property) and kill, or even CHASE, or APPEAR TO CHASE, someone else's chickens, they can be shot before, during, or after such action, and I have NOTHING to say about it. I actually just did a nose-count of my gang upon reading that.

Everyone could benefit from a few minutes going over their state's consolidated dog laws, and there are also laws pertaining specifically to poultry and all other animals to be found from this site.​
This is a good resource and it prompted me to look up my state's law (Washington State) as it applies to poultry:

RCW 16.08.020
Dogs injuring stock may be killed.

It shall be lawful for any person who shall see any dog or dogs chasing, biting, injuring or killing any sheep, swine or other domestic animal, including poultry, belonging to such person, on any real property owned or leased by, or under the control of, such person, or on any public highway, to kill such dog or dogs, and it shall be the duty of the owner or keeper of any dog or dogs so found chasing, biting or injuring any domestic animal, including poultry, upon being notified of that fact by the owner of such domestic animals or poultry, to thereafter keep such dog or dogs in leash or confined upon the premises of the owner or keeper thereof, and in case any such owner or keeper of a dog or dogs shall fail or neglect to comply with the provisions of this section, it shall be lawful for the owner of such domestic animals or poultry to kill such dog or dogs found running at large. Emphasis added by MicMoo
This Iowa statute makes it lawful for any person to kill a dog that is required to wear a rabies vaccination tag and is found not wearing one. Further, it is the duty of all peace officers within their respective jurisdictions unless such jurisdiction has provided for the seizure and impoundment of dogs, to kill these untagged dogs

This Iowa statute distinguishes between licensed and unlicensed dogs. Specifically, it provides that all dogs under six months of age, and all dogs over said age and wearing a collar with a valid rabies vaccination tag attached to the collar, shall be deemed property. Dogs not provided with a rabies vaccination tag shall not be deemed property.

Make sure your dog is always wearing a rabies tag..... No reason or excuse is needed for killing a dog without a rabies tag.​
Wow, Texas law treats a dog and a coyote the same, and it is worded similarly to Arkansas law. In Texas anyone who sees the the dog attack on livestock can kill the dog with impunity. Pretty interesting.
I didn't find anything under MI state law that would cover the &$()%# dog that came into my yard today and mauled 2 of my 8 week old BOs, one so badly that I had to put her down. I do plan to call Animal Control the next time that menace comes into my yard; this isn't the first time she's attacked my chickens.
More like a slow leak of trivia.
Would you really kill a dog for the expense of a couple of birds? I mean, a dog can can be well over $500. Dogs also have more feelings than chickens. I'm not saying I'm against hunting, shooting, killing. I mean do you think a dog knows? Look at it this way. You can replace your birds, can you replace a person's dog? a pet? a compainion? Someone's worker? Just think.
If their dog is so valuable, they ought to keep it at home on their own property. That's why laws were made this way.


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