Mississippi Code of 1972

As Amended


41-53-1. Rabies inoculation of dogs and cats required.

Every person in the State of Mississippi who owns, or has in his or her possession, any dog or cat of the age of three (3) months or over shall have said dog or cat inoculated (vaccinated) against rabies as provided herein with the recommended dosage of an anti-rabies virus (vaccine) approved by the State Board of Health, and it shall be unlawful for any person within the State of Mississippi to own or have in his or her possession with the State of Mississippi any dog or cat three (3) months or age or over which has not been inoculated. Mississippi State Department of Health
 
41-53-5. Who may administer virus.

All inoculations (vaccinations) done in accordance with this chapter must be done by either a licensed veterinarian, a licensed physician, a licensed pharmacist, a licensed dentist, a county agent, a Smith Hughes teacher, or other board of health on the recommendation of the county health officer. However, only licensed veterinarians and licensed physicians shall be permitted to charge a fee for inoculation (vaccinations) done under the provisions of this chapter. Mississippi State Department of Health
 
41-53-7. Tags.

It shall be the duty of the manufacturer or manufacturers contracted with to furnish virus (vaccine) to furnish with each ampoule (dose) of virus (vaccine), a suitable metal tag approved by the State Board of Health, which may be securely bradded to the collar of the dog inoculated (vaccinated). Said tag shall have stamped thereon the serial number of vaccination and the year in which said dog was inoculated (vaccinated), and it shall be his duty to securely attach same to the collar, and each dog owned by or in the possession of any person within the State of Mississippi shall wear at all times a collar or other device which shall have securely bradded on to it the metal tag provided for above. Any such tag shall not be transferable to any dog other than the dog for which it was issued.  Mississippi State Department of Health  Note: See Page 3 for Board of Health Rules & Regulations on Rabies. 
 
41-53-11. Dogs running at large.

1. It shall be lawful and it shall be their duty for any sheriff, game warden, or peace officer of a county or municipality, to kill any dog, above the age of three months, found running at large on whose neck there is no such collar and tag. No action shall be maintained by the owner for such killing. However, it shall be the duty of said officer who finds a dog or dogs running at large to first keep said dog or dogs a period of five days and notify the sheriff of said county that he has said dog or dogs, giving the sheriff a description of same. If anyone proves himself to be the owner of same, he shall pay said officer the sum of fifty (50) cents before the dog is delivered to the owner.
2. It shall be the duty of any sheriff, game warden, or peace officer of a county or municipality, to kill or otherwise destroy any and all dogs, above the age of six months, which are running at large, and have not been inoculated (vaccinated) as required in this chapter.
 
41-53-13. Penalties.

The failure or refusal of any person to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a misdemeanor, and the offender shall, on conviction thereof, be fined for the first offense in a sum not to exceed Five ($5.00) dollars, and for the second offense in a sum not to exceed Twenty-five ($25.00) dollars, and for the third offense a sum not to exceed Fifty ($50.00) dollars, together with all costs. It shall be the duty of the sheriffs, game wardens, and all peace officers of the counties and municipalities of Mississippi to enforce this chapter. It shall be the duty of the county attorneys and district attorneys of this state to prosecute all violators of this chapter.
 
97-17-51 Larceny-Stealing Dogs.

Every person who shall feloniously steal, take and carry away any dog, the property of another, shall be subject to indictment therefor, and on conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) , or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both, or imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than two years.
 
97-17-61 Larceny - Taking and carrying away certain animals or motor vehicles not amounting to larceny.

Any person who shall, without the consent of the owner or his agent, take away any horse, mare, gelding, mule, jack, jennet, sheep, cow, bull, ox, hog, other live stock or dog, or automobile, truck or other motor vehicle, where such taking and carrying away shall not amount to larceny, shall upon conviction, be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) or be imprisoned not exceeding six months in the county jail, or both.

A verdict of guilty of such taking and carrying away may be rendered under an indictment for larceny, if the evidence shall not warrant a verdict of guilty of larceny but shall warrant a conviction under this section. This section does not apply to any one who takes such property believing, in good faith, that he has a right to it.
 

SEC. 97-27-7. Animals and fowl; glandered animals to be reported to board of supervisors; destruction or quarantine of diseased animals.

If any person, being the owner or having the charge of any animal diseased with the glanders or farcy, shall not deprive the animal of life or closely confine it remote from all other animals liable to contract the disease, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, shall be punished as provided in Sec. 97-41-13.

Whenever a case of glanders or farcy is reported to the president of the board of supervisors, he may employ a competent veterinary surgeon, if necessary, at the expense of the county. If such veterinary surgeon declare the animal or animals affected with the glanders or farcy the sheriff shall immediately kill the animal or animals, for which service he shall be allowed not more than two dollars for each animal destroyed, to be paid out of the county treasury. And the said board of supervisors are hereby authorized and empowered, in the discretion of said board, to allow to the owner of said animal or animals, to be paid out of the county treasury, such sum therefor as the board may deem proper. If any owner of stock, having good reason to suspect that his stock is diseased shall fail to report to the president of the board, or if any official named in this section shall fail to perform the duties herein imposed, such offender shall, on conviction, be fined not less than twenty-five dollars or more than two hundred dollars, or shall be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding two months or both. The board of supervisors when any animal shall have been exposed to glanders or farcy and not actually infected, may order all such animals to be quarantined until such time as the danger of contagion shall have passed, and the place where such animals are kept shall also be quarantined.

SOURCES: Codes, 1880, Sec. 810; 1892, Sec. 1019; 1906, Sec. 1096; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 822; 1930, Sec. 846; 1942, Sec. 2072; Laws, 1914, ch. 136.
 
SEC. 97-41-1. Living creatures not to be cruelly treated.

If any person shall override, overdrive, overload, torture, torment, unjustifiably injure, deprive of necessary sustenance, food, or drink; or cruelly beat or needlessly mutilate; or cause or procure to be overridden, overdriven, overloaded, tortured, unjustifiably injured, tormented, or deprived of necessary sustenance, food or drink; or to be cruelly beaten or needlessly mutilated or killed, any living creature, every such offender shall, for every offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor.

SOURCES: Codes, 1880, Sec. 804; 1892, Sec. 1014; 1906, Sec. 1091; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 817; 1930, Sec. 841; 1942, Sec. 2067.
 
SEC. 97-41-2. [Seizure of an animal by law enforcement agency for its care and protection.]

(1) All justice courts in the State of Mississippi may order the seizure of an animal by a law enforcement agency, for its care and protection upon a finding of probable cause to believe said animal is being cruelly treated, neglected or abandoned. After three (3) days notice to the owner and at a preliminary hearing, such probable cause may be established upon sworn testimony of any person who has witnessed the condition of said animal. The court may appoint an animal control agency, agent of an animal protection organization, veterinarian or other person as temporary custodian for the said animal, pending final disposition of the animal pursuant to this section. Such temporary custodian shall directly contract and be responsible for any care rendered to such animal, and may make arrangements for such care as may be necessary. Upon seizure of an animal, the law enforcement agency responsible for removal of the animal shall post prominently a notice to the owner or custodian to inform such person that the animal has been seized. Such notice shall contain a description of the animal seized, the date seized, the name of the law enforcement agency seizing the animal, the name of the temporary custodian, if known at the time, and shall be signed by the court issuing the order.

(2) Within five (5) days of seizure of an animal, the owner of the animal may request a hearing in the court ordering the animal to be seized to determine whether the owner is able to provide adequately for the animal and is fit to have custody of the animal. The court shall hold such hearing within fourteen (14) days of receiving such request. The hearing shall be concluded and the court order entered thereon within twenty-one (21) days after the hearing is commenced. Upon requesting a hearing, the owner shall have three (3) business days to post a bond or security with the court clerk in an amount determined by the court to be sufficient to repay all reasonable costs sufficient to provide for the animal's care. Failure to post such bond within three (3) days shall result in forfeiture of the animal to the court. If the temporary custodian has custody of the animal upon the expiration of the bond or security, the animal shall be forfeited to the court unless the court orders otherwise.

(3) In determining the owner's fitness to have custody of an animal, the court may consider, among other matters:
(a) Testimony from law enforcement officers, animal control officers, animal protection officials, and other witnesses as to the condition the animal was kept in by its owner or custodian.
(b) Testimony and evidence as to the type and amount of care provided to the animal by its owner or custodian.
(c) Expert testimony as to the proper and reasonable care of the same type of animal.
(d) Testimony from any witnesses as to prior treatment or condition of this or other animals in the same custody.
(e) Violations of laws relating to animal cruelty that the owner or custodian has been convicted of prior to the hearing.
(f) Any other evidence the court considers to be material or relevant.

(4) Upon proof of costs incurred as a result of the animal's seizure, including but not limited to animal medical and boarding, the court may order that the animal's owner reimburse the temporary custodian for such costs. A lien for authorized expenses is hereby created upon all animals seized under this section, and shall have priority to any other lien on such animal.

(5) If the court finds the owner of the animal is unable or unfit to adequately provide for the animal, or that the animal is severely injured, diseased, or suffering, and, therefore, not likely to recover, the court may order that the animal be permanently forfeited and released to an animal control agency, animal protection organization or to the appropriate entity to be euthanized or the court may order that such animal be sold at public sale in the manner now provided for judicial sales; any proceeds from such sale shall go first toward the payment of expenses and costs relating to the care and treatment of such animal, and any excess amount shall be paid to the owner of the animal.

(6) Upon notice and hearing as provided in this section, or as a part of any preceding conducted under the terms of this section, the court may order that other animals in the custody of the owner that were not seized be surrendered and further enjoin the owner from having custody of other animals in the future.

(7) If the court determines the owner is able to provide adequately for, and have custody of, the animal, the court shall order the animal be claimed and removed by the owner within seven (7) days after the date of the order.

(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent or otherwise interfere with a law enforcement officer's authority to seize an animal as evidence or require court action for the taking into custody and making proper disposition of animals as authorized in Sections 21-19-9 and 41-53-11.

(9) For the purposes of this section the term "animal" or "animals" means any feline, exotic animal, canine, horse, mule, jack or jennet.
SOURCES: 1997 Laws, Chapter 575, Sec. 1, SB3019, Effective July 1, 1997.
 
 
SEC. 97-41-3. Authority to kill injured, neglected, etc. animal.

Any sheriff, constable, policeman, or agent of a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may kill, or cause to be killed, any animal found neglected or abandoned, if in the opinion of three respectable citizens it be injured or diseased past recovery, or by age has become useless.
SOURCES: Codes, 1892, Sec. 1015; 1906, Sec. 1092; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 818; 1930, Sec. 842; 1942, Sec. 2068.
 
SEC. 97-41-5. Carrying creature in a cruel manner.

If any person shall carry, or cause to be carried by hand or in or upon any vehicle or other conveyance, any creature in a cruel or inhuman manner, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
SOURCES: Codes, 1880, Sec. 808; 1892, Sec. 1018; 1906, Sec. 1095; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 821; 1930, Sec. 845; 1942, Sec. 2071.
 
SEC. 97-41-7. Confining creatures without food or water.

If any person shall confine, or cause to be confined, in any stable, lot, or other place, any living creature, without supplying the same during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
SOURCES: Codes, 1880, Sec. 806; 1892, Sec. 1017; 1906, Sec. 1094; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 820; 1930, Sec. 844; 1942, Sec. 2070.
 
SEC. 97-41-9. Failure of owner or custodian to provide sustenance.

If any person be the owner or have the custody of any living creature and unjustifiably neglect or refuse to furnish it necessary sustenance, food, or drink, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
SOURCES: Codes, 1892, Sec. 1015; 1906, Sec. 1092; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 818; 1930, Sec. 842; 1942, Sec. 2068.
 
SEC. 97-41-11. Fighting animals or cocks.

Any person who shall keep or use, or in any way be connected with or interested in the management of, or shall receive money for the admission of any person to, any place kept or used for the purpose of fighting any bear, cock or other creature, except a dog, or of tormenting or torturing the same, and every person who shall encourage, aid, or assist therein, or who shall permit or suffer any place to be so kept or used, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. It shall be the duty of any policeman or other officer of the law, county or municipal, to enter into any such place kept for such purpose, and to arrest each and every person concerned or participating therein.
SOURCES: Codes, 1880, Sec. 805; 1892, Sec. 1016; 1906, Sec. 1093; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 819; 1930, Sec. 843; 1942, Sec. 2069; Laws, 1987, ch. 489, Sec. 3, eff from and after July 1, 1987.
 
SEC. 97-41-13. Penalty for violating certain sections.

Any person who shall violate any of sections 97-41-3 to 97-41-11, or section 97-27-7 on the subject of cruelty to animals shall, on conviction, be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, or shall be imprisoned in the county jail not less than ten days nor more than one hundred days or both.
SOURCES: Codes, 1880, Sec. 813; 1892, Sec. 1020; 1906, Sec. 1097; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 823; 1930, Sec. 847; 1942, Sec. 2073.
 
SEC. 97-41-15. Malicious or mischievous injury to livestock; penalty; restitution.

(1) Any person who shall maliciously, either out of a spirit of revenge or wanton cruelty, or who shall mischievously kill, maim or wound, or injure any livestock, or cause any person to do the same, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction, shall be committed to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for not less than twelve (12) months nor more than five years, and fined an amount not less than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

(2) In addition to any such fine or imprisonment which may be imposed, the court shall order that restitution be made to the owner of any animal listed in subsection (1) of this section. The measure for restitution in money shall be the current replacement value of such loss and/or the actual veterinarian fees, special supplies, loss of income and other costs incurred as a result of actions in violation of subsection (1) of this section.

(3) For purposes of this section, the term "livestock" shall mean horses, cattle, swine, sheep and other domestic animals produced for profit.
SOURCES: Codes, Hutchinson's 1848, ch. 64, art. 7(1); 1857, ch. 64, art. 201; 1871, Sec. 8708; 1880, Sec. 2917; 1892, Sec. 1022; 1906, Sec. 1099; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 825; 1930, Sec. 849; 1942, Sec. 2075; Laws, 1981, ch 448, Sec. 1; 1993, ch. 438, Sec. 2, eff from and after July 1, 1993.
 
SEC. 97-41-16. Malicious or mischievous injury to dog; penalty; restitution.

(1) Any person who shall maliciously, either out of a spirit of revenge or wanton cruelty, or who shall mischievously kill, maim or wound, or injure any dog, or cause any person to do the same, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or be imprisoned not exceeding six (6) months.
(2) In addition to such fine or imprisonment which may be imposed, the court shall order that restitution be made to the owner of such dog. The measure for restitution in money shall be the current replacement value of such loss and/or the actual veterinarian fees, special supplies, loss of income and other cost incurred as a result of actions in violation of subsection (1) of this section.
SOURCES: Laws, 1993, ch. 438, Sec. 3, eff from and after July 1, 1993.
 
SEC. 97-41-17. Poisons; administering to animals.

Every person who shall wilfully and unlawfully administer any poison to any horse, mare, colt, mule, jack, jennet, cattle, deer, dog, hog, sheep, chicken, duck, goose, turkey, pea-fowl, guinea-fowl, or partridge, or shall maliciously expose any poison substance with intent that the same should be taken or swallowed by any horse, mare, colt, mule, jack, jennet, cattle, dog, hog, sheep, chicken, duck, goose, turkey, pea-fowl, guinea-fowl, or partridge, shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary not exceeding three years, or in the county jail not exceeding one year, and by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.
SOURCES: Codes, Hutchinson's 848, ch. 64, art. 12, Title 7(13); 1857, ch. 64, art. 215; 1871, Sec. 2671; 1880, Sec. 2938; 1892, Sec. 1256; 1906, Sec. 1332; Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 1065; 1930, Sec. 1096; 1942, Sec. 2329.
 
SEC. 97-41-19. Dog fights.

(1) If any person (a) shall sponsor, promote, stage or conduct a fight or fighting match between dogs, or (b) shall wager or bet, promote or encourage the wagering or betting of any money or other valuable thing upon any such fight or upon the result thereof, or (c) shall own a dog with the intent to wilfully enter it or to participate in any such fight, or (d) shall train or transport a dog for the purposes of participation in any such fight, he shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term of not less than one (1) nor more than three (3) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

(2) If any person shall be present, as a spectator, at any location where preparations are being made for an exhibition of a fight between dogs with the intent to be present at such preparations, or if any person shall be present at an exhibition of a fight between dogs with the intent to be present at such exhibition, he shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term of not more than one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

(3) Any law enforcement officer making an arrest under subsection (1) of this section may lawfully take possession of all dogs and all paraphernalia, implements, equipment or other property used in violation of subsection (1) of this section. Such officer shall file with the circuit court of the county within which the alleged violation occurred an affidavit stating therein (a) the name of the person charged, (b) a description of the property taken, (c) the time and place of the taking, (d) the name of the person who claims to own such property, if known, and (e) that the affiant has reason to believe, stating the ground of such belief, that the property taken was used in such violation. He shall thereupon deliver the property to such court which shall, by order in writing, place such dogs, paraphernalia, implements, equipment, or other property in the custody of a licensed veterinarian, the local humane society or other animal welfare agency, or other suitable custodian, to be kept by such custodian until the conviction or final discharge of the accused, and shall send a copy of such order without delay to the district attorney of the county. The custodian named and designated in such order shall immediately assume the custody of such property and shall retain same, subject to order of the court. 

Upon the certification of a licensed veterinarian or officer of the humane society or animal welfare agency that, in his professional judgment, a dog which has been seized is not likely to survive the final disposition of the charges or that, by reason of the physical condition of the dog, it should be humanely euthanized before such time, the court may order the dog humanely euthanized. The court shall make its finding of whether to issue such an order within seven (7) days from the certification by the veterinarian or officer of the humane society or animal welfare agency. The owner of a dog which is euthanized without an order of the court with such certification of a licensed veterinarian or officer of the humane society or other animal welfare agency shall have a right of action for damages against the department or agency by which the arresting or seizing officer is employed. Upon conviction of the person charged with a violation of subsection (1) of this section, all dogs seized shall be adjudged by the court to be forfeited and the court shall order a humane disposition of the same. In no event shall the court order the dog to be euthanized without the certification of a licensed veterinarian or officer of the humane society or other animal welfare agency that, in his judgment, the dog is not likely to survive or that, by reason of its physical condition, the dog should be humanely euthanized. In the event of the acquittal or final discharge without conviction of the accused, the court shall direct the delivery of the property so held in custody to the owner thereof. All reasonable expenses incurred by the custodian of seized dogs and property shall be charged as costs of court, to be taxed against the owner or county in the discretion of the court.

(4) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall prohibit any of the following:
(a) The use of dogs in the management of livestock, by the owner of such livestock or other persons in lawful custody thereof;
(b) The use of dogs in lawful hunting; and
(c) The training of dogs for any purpose not prohibited by law.
SOURCES: Laws, 1987, ch. 489, Sec. 1, eff from and after July 1, 1987.
 
SEC. 97-41-21. [Harassment of guide dogs].

(1) An individual shall not do either of the following:
(a) Willfully and maliciously assault, beat, harass, injure, or attempt to assault, beat, harass or injure, a dog that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a guide or leader dog for a blind individual, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired individual, or a service dog for a physically limited individual.
(b) Willfully and maliciously impede or interfere with, or attempt to impede or interfere with, duties performed by a dog that he or she knows or has reason to believe is a guide or leader dog for a blind individual, a hearing dog for a deaf or audibly impaired individual, or a service dog for a physically limited individual.

(2) An individual who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days or a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or both.

(3) In a prosecution for a violation of subsection (1), evidence that the defendant initiated or continued conduct directed toward a dog described in subsection (1) after being requested to avoid or discontinue that conduct or similar conduct by a blind, deaf, audibly impaired or physically limited individual being served or assisted by the dog shall give rise to a rebuttable presumption that the conduct was initiated or continued maliciously.

(4) A conviction and imposition of a sentence under this section does not prevent a conviction and imposition of a sentence under any other applicable provision of law.

(5) As used in this section:
(a) "Audibly impaired" means the inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of forty (40) decibels or greater in the individual's better ear.
(b) "Blind" means having a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the individual's better eye with correction, or having a limitation of the individual's field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than twenty (20) degrees.
(c) "Deaf" means the individual's hearing is totally impaired or the individual's hearing, with or without amplification, is so seriously impaired that the primary means of receiving spoken language is through other sensory input, including, but not limited to, lip reading, sign language, finger spelling or reading.
(d) "Harass" means to engage in any conduct directed toward a guide, leader, hearing or service dog that is likely to impede or interfere with the dog's performance of its duties or that places the blind, deaf, audibly impaired or physically limited individual being served or assisted by the dog in danger of injury.
(e) "Injure" means to cause any physical injury to a dog described in subsection (1).
(f) "Maliciously" means any of the following:
(i) With intent to assault, beat, harass or injure a dog described in subsection (1).
(ii) With intent to impede or interfere with duties performed by a dog described in subsection (1).
(iii) With intent to disturb, endanger or cause emotional distress to a blind, deaf, audibly impaired or physically limited individual being served or assisted by a dog described in subsection (1).
(iv) With knowledge that the individual's conduct will, or is likely to, harass or injure a dog described in subsection (1).
(v) With knowledge that the individual's conduct will, or is likely to, impede or interfere with duties performed by a dog described in subsection (1).
(vi) With knowledge that the individual's conduct will, or is likely to, disturb, endanger or cause emotional distress to a blind, deaf, audibly impaired or physically limited individual being served or assisted by a dog described in subsection (1).
(g) "Physically limited" means having limited ambulatory abilities and includes, but is not limited to, having a temporary or permanent impairment or condition that does one or more of the following:
(i) Causes the individual to use a wheelchair or walk with difficulty or insecurity.
(ii) Affects sight or hearing to the extent that an individual is insecure or exposed to danger.
(iii) Causes faulty coordination.
(iv) Reduces mobility, flexibility, coordination or perceptiveness.
 SOURCE: 1997 Laws, Chapter 426, Sec. 1, SB2094, Effective March 25, 1997.

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