GEORGIA ANIMAL PROTECTION ACT

4-11-1. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Georgia Animal Protection Act."

4-11-2. Definitions.

As used in this article, the term:

(1) "Adequate food and water" means food and water which is sufficient in amount and appropriate for the particular type of animal to prevent starvation, dehydration, or a significant risk to the animars health from a lack of food or water.

(2) "Animal shelter" means any facility operated by or under contract for the state, a county, a municipal corporation, or any other political subdivision of the state for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted dogs, cats, and other animals; any veterinary hospital or clinic operated by a veterinarian or veterinarians which operates for such purpose in addition to its customary purposes; and any facility operated, owned, or maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, or other nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals.

(3) "Equine" means any member of the Equidae species, including horses, mules, and asses.

(4) "Humane care" of animals means, but is not limited to, the provision of adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter, and wholesome and adequate food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animars size, species, and breed.

(5) "Kennel" means any establishment, other than an animal shelter, where dogs or cats are maintained for boarding, holding, training, or similar purposes for a fee or compensation.

(6) "Person" means any person, firm, corporation, parlnership, association, or other legal entity, any public or private institution, the Stale of Georgia, or any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision of the state.

(7) "Pet dealer" or "pet dealership" means any person who sells, offers to sell, exchanges, or offers for adoption dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, or other animals customarily obtained as pets in this state. However, a person who sells only animals that he has produced and raised, not to exccc'J 30 animals a year, shall not be considered a pet dealer under this article unless such a person is licensed for a business by a local government or has a Georgia sales tax number. The Commissioner may with respect to any breed of animals decrease the 30 animal per year exception in the foregoing sentence to a lesser number of any animals for any species which is commonly bred and sold for commercial purposes in lesser quantities. Operation of a veterinary hospital or clinic by a licensed veterinarian shall not constitute the veterinarian a pet dealer, kennel, or stable under this article.

(8) "Secretary of Agriculture" means the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.

(9) "Stable" means any building, structure, pasture, or other enclosure where equines are maintained for boarding, holding, training, breeding, riding, pulling vehicles, or other similar purposes and a fee is charged for maintaining such equines or for the use of such equines.

4-11-3. Licenses for pet dealers and kennel, stable, or animal shelter operators; requirement; issuance; application.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a pet dealer or operate a kennel, stable, or animal shelter unless such person has a valid license issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture. Any person acting without a license in violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) The Commissioner shall license pet dealers and kennel, stable, and animal shelter operators under the applicable provisions of Chapter 5 of Title 2, the "Department of Agriculture Registration, License, and Permit Act."

(c) Licenses shall be issued for a period of one year and shall be annually renewable. The Commissioner may establish separate classes of licenses, including wholesale and retail licenses. The Commissioner shall fix fees for licenses so that the revenue derived from licenses shall approximate the total direct cost of administering this article. The Commissioner may establish different fees for the different classes of licenses established, but the annual fee for any such license shall be at least $25.00 but shall not exceed $200.00.

(d) Applications for licenses shall be on a form furnished by the Commissioner and, together with such other information as the Commissioner shall require, shall state:

(1) The name of the applicant;

(2) The business address of the applicant;

(3) The complete telephone number of the applicant;

(4) The location of the pet dealership, kennel, stable, or animal shelter;,

(5) The type of ownership of the pet dealership, kennel, stable, or animal shelter;, and (6) The name of the owner or, if a partnership, firm, corporation, or other entity, the name of the partners or stockholders.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code section, the license fees fixed pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section shall be increased by 100 percent for the renewal of any license which is not renewed within ten days following the expiration date of the license or for the issuance of a new license to any person who has failed to apply for a license within ten days following the date on which written notice of the need for such license has bccn given to such person by the Commissioner or his authorized representative.
 

4-11-4. Display of licenses.

A license must be prominently displayed at each place of business of a pet dealer and at each kennel, stable, and animal shelter in this state.

4-11-5. Licensing of bird dealers.

Any person licensed by the department as a bird dealer shall not be required to obtain a license under this article if such person does not deal in animals other than birds. If, however, a licensed bird dealer sells, offers to sell, exchanges, or offers for adoption dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, or other animals (other than birds) customarily obtained as pets, then such dealer shall be required to obtain a license under this article in addition to his bird dealer's license.

4.11-5.1. Euthanasia of dogs and cats by animal shelters or faciliUes operated for collection of stray, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted animals.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, the use of sodium pentobarbltal or a derivative of it shall be the exclusive method for euthanasia of dogs and cats by animal shelters or other facilities which are operated for the collection and care of stray, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted animals. A lethal solution shall be used in the following order of preference:

(1) Intravenous injection by hypodermic needle;

(2) Intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle; or

(3) Intracardial injection by hypodermic needle.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section:

(1) A chamber using commercially bottled carbon monoxide gas which was used on July 1, 1990, for euthanasia of dogs and cats by any animal shelter or other facility may continue to be used for such. purposes by such animal shelter or facility if such animal shelter or facility notifies the Commissioner of Agriculture, in writing, on or before August 1, 1990, that such a chamber was in use by such animal shelter or facility on July 1, 1990. However, a chamber which causes a change in body oxygen by means of altering atmospheric pressure or which is connected to an internal combustion engine and uses the engine exhaust for euthanasia purposes shall not be permitted under any circumstances; and

(2) Any substance which is clinically proven to'be as humane as sodium pentobarbital and which has been officially recognized as such by the American Veterinary Medical Association may be used in lieu of sodium pentobarbital to perform euthanasia on dogs and cats, but succinylcholine chloride, cursm, curariform mixtures, or any substance which acts as a neuromuscular blocking agent may not be used on a dog or cat in lieu of sodium pentobarbltal for euthanasia purposes.

(c) In addition to the exceptions provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section, in cases of extraordinary circumstance where the dog or cat poses an extreme risk or danger to the veterinarian, physician, or lay person performing euthanasia, such person shall be allowed the use of any other substance or procedure that is humane to perform euthanasia on such dangerous dog or cat.

(d) A dog or cat may be tranquilized with an approved and humane substance before euthanasia is performed.

(e) Euthanasia shall be performed by a licensed veterinarian or physician or a lay person who is properly trained in the proper and humane use of a method of euthanasia. Such lay person shall perform euthanasia under supervision of a licensed veterinarian or physician. This shall not be construed so as to require that a veterinarian or physician be present at the time euthanasia is performed.

(f) No dog or cat may be left unattended between the time euthanasia procedures are first begun and the time death occurs, nor may its body be disposed of until death is confirmed by a qualified person.

(g) The supervising veterinarian or physician shall be subject to all record-keeping requirements and inspection requirements of the State Board of Pharmacy pertaining to sodium pentobarbitai and other drugs authorized under subsection (b) of this Code section and may limit the quantity of possession of sodium pentobarbital and other drugs authorized to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Code section. , (h) This Code section shall not apply to any animal shelter or other facility located in a county having a population of 25,000 or less according to the most recent United States decennial census.



4-11-6. Applicability of article to nonresidents; consent to jurisdiction; service.

Any person who is not a resident of this state but who engages in this state in any activities for which a license is required by this article shall be subject to this article as to such activities. Each nonresident applicant for a license required by this article shall be required as a condition of licensure to execute a consent to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state for any action filed under this article; and service of process in any such action shall be by certified mail by the Commissioner.

4-11-7. Grounds for refusal to issue or renew or suspension or revocation of licenses.

The Commissioner may refuse to issue or renew or may suspend or revoke a license on any one or more of the following grounds:

(1) Material misstatement in the application for the original license or in the application for any renewal license under this article;

(2) Willful disregard or violation of this article or of any rules or regulations issued pursuant to this article;

(3) Willfully aiding or abetting another in the violation of this article or of any regulation or rule issued pursuant to this article;

(4) Allowing a license issued under this article to be used by an unlicensed person;

(5) A violation of any law of this state or rule of the Commissioner related to the disposition of, dealing in, or handling of dogs, cats, equines, and other animals;

(6) Making substantial misrepresentations or false promises in connection with the business of a licensee under this article;

(7) Pursuing a continued course of making misrepresentations or false promises through advertising, salesmen, agents, or otherwise in connection with the business of a licensee under this article;

(8) Failure to possess the necessary qualifications or meet the requirements of this article for the issuance or holding of a license; or

(9) Failure to provide proper facilities.

4-11-8. Denial, suspension, or revocation of license for violation of article; applicability of "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

The Commissioner is authorized to deny, suspend, or revoke any license required by this article, subject to notice and a hearing, in any case in which he finds that there has been a violation of this article or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this article. All proceedings for denial, suspension, or revocation of a license shall be conducted in conformance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

4-11-9. Inspections.

The Commissioner or his designated agents are authorized to enter upon any public or private property at any time for the purpose of inspecting the business premises of any pet dealer or any animal shelter, kennel, or stable and the dogs, cats, equines, or other animals housed at such facility to determine if such facility is licensed and for the purpose of enforcing this article and the rules and regulations adopted by the Commissioner pursuant to this article.

History

(Code 1981, 4-11-9, enacted by Ga. L. 1986, p. 628, 1; Ga. g 1990, p. 328, 1.)

4-11-9.1. Quarantine of animal, premises, or any area by Commissioner.

Statute text

(a) In the control, suppression, prevention, and eradication of animal diseases, the Commissioner or any duly authorized representative acting under his authority is authorized and required to quarantine an animal, premises, or any area when he shall determine that animals in such place or places are infected with a contagious or infectious disease, that the unsanitary condition of such place or places might cause the spread of such disease, that the animal has or has been exposed to any contagious or infectious disease, or that the owner or occupant of such place or places is not observing sanitary practices prescribed under the authority of this article or any other law of this state.

(b) The Commissioner or his duly authorized representative is authorized to issue and enforce written or printed stop sale, stop use, or stop movement orders to the owners or custodians of any animals, ordering them to hold such animals at a designated place, when the Commissioner or his duly authorized representative finds such animals:

(1) To be infected with or to have been exposed to any contagious or infectious disease;

(2) To be held by a person who is required to be licensed under this article and whose license has expired;

(3) To be held by a person who is required to be licensed under this article and who has failed to obtain a license within ten days of the date on which written notice of need to obtain a license was given to such person by the Commissioner or his authorized representative; or

(4) To have been held in violation of this article, until the law has been complied with and such animals have been released, in writing, by the Commissioner or the violations have been otherwise legally disposed of by written authority.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, use, or move any animal in violation of any quarantine or stop sale, stop use, or stop removal order issued under this Code section.

4-11-10. Unlawful acts by licensed persons.

It shall be unlawful for any person licensed under this article or any person employed by a person licensed under this article or under his supervision or control to:

(1) Commit a violation of Code Section 16-12-4, relating to cruelty to animals, when such violation occurs on the premises of or is related to the operation of the pet dealership, animal shelter, kennel, or stable for which the license has been issued or any other such facility operated by the same person;

(2) Fail to keep the pet dealership premises, animal shelter, kennel, or stable in a good state of repair, in a clean and sanitary condition, adequately ventilated, or disinfected when needed;

(3) Fail to provide adequate food and water;,

(4) Fail to provide adequate and humane care for any dog, cat, equine, or other animal at such facility; or

(5) Fail to take reasonable care to release for sale, trade, or adoption only those animals which appear to be free of disease, injuries, or abnormalities.

4-11-11. Shipment of animals into state without certificates of health.

It shall be unlawful for any person to ship any animal, other than equines, livestock, birds, cold-blooded animals, and rodents, into this state for the purpose of resale unless such animal is accompanied by a U.S. interstate or international certificate of health

4-11-12. Cooperation with federal government.

The Commissioner may cooperate with the United States Secretary of Agriculture in carrying out Public Law 89-544, commonly known as the Animal Welfare Act, as amended by Public Laws 91-579 and 94-279, and the rules and regulations issued by the Secretary of Agriculture under that act. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations to facilitate cooperation and avoid any unnecessary duplication or conflict of activities by the department and the Secretary of Agriculture in regulating the activities or areas covered by this article and Public Law 89-5A.A.. The regulations may be in addition to other regulations authorized by this article.

4-11-13. Animals raised, kept, or maintained for human consumption.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any person who raises, keeps, or maintains animals solely for the purposes of human consumption.

4-11-14. Rules and regulations.

The Commissioner is authorized to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations necessary or appropriate to carry out this article.

4-11-15. Injunctions and restraining orders.

In addition to the remedies provided in this article or elsewhere in the laws of this state and notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law, the Commissioner is authorized to apply to the superior courts for an injunction or restraining order. Such courts shall have jurisdiction and for good cause shown shall grant a temporary or permanent injunction or an ex parte or restraining order, restraining or enjoining any person, partnership, firm, corporation, or Other entity from violating and continuing to violate this article or any rules and regulations promulgated under this article. Such injunction or restraining order shall be issued without bond and may be granted notwithstanding the fact that the violation constitutes a criminal act and notwithstanding the pendency of any criminal prosecution for the same violation.

4-11-16. Violations of article, rules, and regulations a misdemeanor.

Any person, partnership, firm, corporation, or other entity violating any of the provisions of this article or any rule or regulation of the Commissioner adopted pursuant to this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.