New law requires owners of dangerous dogs to pay $100 fee

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) Dog owners of certain breeds will have to pay an additional registration fee beginning August 1st.

A new state law requires owners of dangerous dogs to pay $100 for a license.

The law also requires the dogs to wear a special tag, which is included in the fee.

The definition of a dangerous dog, according to the law, is:

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes the death of or inflicts serious bodily injury on a person or a domesticated animal that is not trespassing on the owner’s or keeper’s premises at the time of the injury or death;

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes a reasonable person who is not on the owner’s or keeper’s premises and is acting in a reasonable and nonaggressive manner to fear imminent serious bodily injury by assaulting or threatening to assault that individual or individual’s domesticated animal; or

• A dog or wolf hybrid that inflicts bodily injury on an individual or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the owner’s or keeper’s premises at the time of the injury and has previously been determined by a court to be a nuisance dog.

For a dog declared a nuisance by a court after Aug. 1, the license will cost $30 and the dog must have a regular tag.

The municipality will receive $28, the licensing agent $1 and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry $1 for the Animal Welfare Fund.

If the court determines a dog is no longer a nuisance, the owner should provide documentation to the municipality and a regular license will be issued.

According to the state law, the definition of a nuisance dog is:

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes bodily injury, other than serious bodily injury, to a person or a domesticated animal who is not trespassing on the owner’s or keeper’s premises at the time of the injury;

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes a reasonable person who is not on the owner’s or keeper’s premises and is acting in a reasonable and nonaggressive manner to fear bodily injury, other than serious bodily injury, by assaulting or threatening to assault that individual or individual’s domesticated animal; or

• A dog or wolf hybrid that causes damage to property or crops not owned by the animal’s owner or keeper while the animal is not on the owner’s or keeper’s premises.