Leash Laws

NOTE-
§ 19-20-22. Confinement of female dogs

Every person owning or harboring a female dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, shall keep such dog confined in a building or secure enclosure for twenty-five days during the period of estrus.
 

Dog Leash Ordinance Canine Restraint and Outdoor Enclosure Ordinance

Rabies

AN ACT to amend and reenact §19-20A-2 and §19-20A-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,

all relating to requiring rabies vaccination of dogs and cats of a certain age; requiring that administered rabies vaccinations be capable of producing immunity for three years; requiring that dogs and cats receive necessary boosters; providing for the appointment of a qualified person to vaccinate when there is no licensed veterinarian in the county; and requiring rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats prior to entering the state.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §19-20A-2 and §19-20A-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:


ARTICLE 20A. VACCINATION OF DOGS AND CATS FOR RABIES.
§19-20A-2. Vaccination of dogs and cats.
(a) A person who owns, obtains or possesses a dog or cat within the State of West Virginia shall have the dog or cat properly vaccinated against rabies with a vaccine capable of producing immunity for three years, boostered one year after initial vaccination and every third year thereafter. Dogs and cats need not be vaccinated before the age of three months, but must be vaccinated by the age of six months.
(b) Dogs and cats over six months of age entering the State of West Virginia must have been vaccinated for rabies as set forth in subsection (a) of this section prior to entry.
(c) A dog or cat may be vaccinated by any licensed veterinarian or his or her assistant. If there is no licensed veterinarian practicing in the county, a qualified person may be appointed by the county health department to administer vaccinations.

§19-20A-5. Type of vaccine to be furnished; fee.
It is the duty of the veterinarian, or person vaccinating each animal to furnish vaccine of a type capable of establishing and maintaining immunity for a period of not less than thirty-six months and he or she shall charge and collect a fee of not more than $8 for each animal vaccinated, if done at a clinic established by a county commission or, if vaccinated at any other place, he or she shall charge and collect a reasonable fee for his or her services.


Click here for rabies information issued by the Morgan County Health Department.
 

Taxes and Tags

§ 19-20-1. Dogs subject to taxation; declared to be personal property

Any dog shall be and is hereby declared to be personal property within the meaning and construction of the laws of this State, and any dog above the age of six months shall be subject to taxation.

Acts 1925, c. 83, § 1; Acts 1951, c. 69; Acts 1975, c. 7. § 19-20-2. Collection of head tax on dogs; duties of assessor and sheriff; registration of dogs; disposition of head tax; taxes on dogs not collected by assessor

It shall be the duty of the county assessor and his or her deputies of each county within this state, at the time they are making assessment of the personal property within such county, to assess and collect a head tax of three dollars on each dog, male or female; and in addition to the above, the assessor and his or her deputies shall have the further duty of collecting any such head tax on dogs as may be levied by the ordinances of each and every municipality within the county. However, no head tax may be levied against any guide or support dog especially trained for the purpose of serving as a guide, leader, listener or support for a blind person, deaf person or a person who is physically or mentally disabled because of any neurological, muscular, skeletal or psychological disorder that causes weakness or inability to perform any function. Guide or support dogs must be registered as provided by this section. In the event that the owner, keeper or person having in his or her possession or allowing to remain on any premises under his or her control any dog above the age of six months, shall refuse or fail to pay such tax, when the same is assessed or within fifteen days thereafter, to the assessor or deputy assessor, then such assessor or deputy assessor shall certify such tax to the county dog warden; if there be no county dog warden he or she shall certify such tax to the county sheriff, who shall take charge of the dog for which the tax is delinquent and impound the same for a period of fifteen days, for which service he or she shall be allowed a fee of one dollar and fifty cents to be charged against such delinquent taxpayer in addition to the taxes herein provided for. In case the tax and impounding charge herein provided for shall not have been paid within the period of fifteen days, then the sheriff may sell the impounded dog and deduct the impounding charge and the delinquent tax from the amount received therefor, and return the balance, if any, to the delinquent taxpayer. Should the sheriff fail to sell the dog so impounded within the time specified herein, he or she shall kill such dog and dispose of its body.

At the same time as the head tax is assessed, the assessor and his or her deputies shall, on the forms prescribed under section four of this article, take down the age, sex, color, character of hair (long or short) and breed (if known) and the name and address of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof. When the head tax, and extra charges, if any, are paid, the officer to whom payment is made shall issue a certificate of registration and a registration tag for such dog.

In addition to the assessment and registration above provided for, whenever a dog either is acquired or becomes six months of age after the assessment of the personal property of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof, the said owner, keeper or harborer of said dog shall, within ten days after the acquisition or maturation, register the said dog with the assessor, and pay the head tax thereon unless the prior owner, keeper or harborer paid the head tax.

All certificates of registration and registration tags issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be issued for the fiscal year and shall be valid from the date on which issued until the thirtieth day of June of that fiscal year, or until reissued by the assessor or his or her deputy in the regular performance of his or her duties, but in no case shall previous registration tags be valid after September thirtieth of the next ensuing fiscal year.
The assessor collecting the head tax on dogs shall be allowed a commission of ten percent upon all such taxes collected by him or her, and shall turn in to the county treasury ninety percent of such taxes so collected, as are levied by this section; and the assessor shall turn over to the treasurer or other proper officer of each and every municipality within the county ninety percent of such taxes levied by the ordinances of such municipality. All such dog taxes, except those belonging to municipalities, shall be accredited to the dog and kennel fund provided for in section ten of this article. Such dog taxes as are collected for and turned over to municipalities shall be deposited by the proper officer of such municipalities to such fund and shall be expended in such manner as the law of such municipality may provide. All taxes on dogs not collected by the assessor shall be collected by the regular tax collecting officer of the county and placed to the credit of the dog and kennel fund.

Acts 1925, c. 83, §§ 1, 7; Acts 1933, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 58; Acts 1951, c. 69; Acts 1965, c. 6; Acts 1980, c. 31; Acts 1981, c. 70; Acts 1998, c. 162, eff. July 1, 1998.
§ 19-20-3. Registration of dog kennels; application; fee; expiration of certificate of registration

Every owner or operator of a kennel, wherein dogs are bred, kept, boarded or sold as a commercial venture for profit shall annually, between the first day of July and the thirtieth day of September of each year, file with the assessor of the county in which such kennel is located, kept or maintained, an application for the registration of such kennel for the fiscal year. Such application shall state the location of the kennel, the name and address of the person actually in charge of and supervising it, and the name and address of the owner of the kennel. Upon the filing of such application, together with the payment to the assessor of a fee of ten dollars the assessor shall issue a certificate of registration for such kennel. The registration of a kennel, as herein provided, shall entitle the registrant to register and receive certificates and tags for not more than five dogs without the payment of a separate head tax on such dogs. The head tax provided for in section two of this article shall, on such five or less dogs, be included in and charged against the kennel registration fee herein provided.

Every person upon becoming the owner or operator of a kennel of dogs as herein described after the thirtieth day of September of any year shall, within three days after becoming such owner or operator, register such kennel for the remainder of the current fiscal year in the manner, and upon the payment of the registration fee, herein provided.
All certificates of registration issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be issued for the fiscal year, and shall be valid from the date on which issued until the thirtieth day of June of that fiscal year.

Acts 1951, c. 69; Acts 1965, c. 6.
§ 19-20-4. Forms for registration; records; registration tags; loss thereof
The commissioner of agriculture shall prescribe the form of all applications, certificates of registration, and registration tags required by this article. Certificates of registration and registration tags shall bear identifying numbers.

A public record of all certificates of registration and registration tags issued under the provisions of this article shall be kept by the assessor of each county. Such record shall be kept intact and available for inspection for a period of not less than two years following the end of the registration year.

Registration tags shall be made of metal or some other suitable substance of a permanent nature. The design of such tags shall be changed from year to year so that identification of the year of issue of any tag may be made without close visual examination. If any registration tag be lost, a duplicate shall be furnished by such assessor upon proper proof of loss and the payment to him of a fee of twenty-five cents.

Acts 1951, c. 69.
§ 19-20-5. Wearing of registration tag by dog
Every registered dog shall at all times wear a valid registration tag issued as provided in this article. The failure to have displayed or worn on any dog, at any time, of such valid tag shall be prima facie evidence that such dog is not registered and such dog shall be subject to be, and shall be, impounded, sold, or destroyed as hereinbefore or hereinafter provided.

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