1999 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Simmons
Senate Bill 2066
AN ACT TO CODIFY THE OFFENSE OF ALLOWING A DOG TO BITE OR ATTACK A PERSON ON PROPERTY OTHER THAN THAT OF THE OWNER; TO ENACT LEVELS OF OFFENSES; TO SPECIFY PUNISHMENTS THEREFOR; TO AMEND SECTION 41-53-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 41-53-15, Mississippi Code of 1972:
41-53-15. (1) It shall be unlawful for the owner of a dog to fail to take reasonable steps to restrain the dog if:
(a) The dog enters property other than the property of the dog's owner; and
(b) While on property other than the property of the dog's owner, the dog bites or attacks another person resulting in unprovoked bodily injury to the other person.
(2) Where a violation under this section does not result in the death or serious bodily injury of a person, the offender shall be fined in a sum not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) upon conviction for a first offense; upon conviction for a second or subsequent such offense, the offender shall be fined in a sum not to exceed Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) and imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed thirty (30) days.
(3) Where the violation results in the death of a person, the violation shall be a felony, and upon conviction thereof, the offender shall be sentenced to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for a term not to exceed ten (10) years.
(4) Where the violation results in serious bodily injury to a person, the violation shall be a felony, and upon conviction thereof, the offender shall be sentenced to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for a term not to exceed five (5) years.
(5) This section shall not apply where the dog is owned by the United States, an agency of the United States or another governmental entity if the dog is engaged in assisting in the performance of law enforcement or military duties.
SECTION 2. Section 41-53-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-53-13. Except as provided in Section 41-53-15, 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 Dollars ($5.00) and for the second offense in a sum not to exceed Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) and for the third offense a sum not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00), together with all costs. It shall be the duty of the sheriffs, conservation officers 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.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1999.