House Bill No. 435
Introduced By harper
A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act requiring that, ABSENT A CONFLICTING LOCAL ORDINANCE, certain information be provided by pet shops, HUMANE SOCIETIES, AND publicly operated ANIMAL SHELTERS and pounds when making a cat or dog available for sale or adoption; PROVIDING FOR THE RETENTION AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN INFORMATION; requiring the spaying or neutering of certain cats and dogs that are adopted from or sold by a humane society or publicly operated animal shelter or pound; providing a penalty for failure to spay or neuter; allowing cooperative agreements to provide spaying or neutering services; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY PROVISION.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Sale or adoption of cat or dog -- information required. (1) The following information must be provided by any pet shop operator, humane society, or publicly operated animal shelter or pound that makes a cat or dog available for sale or adoption:
(a) age, sex, and weight of the animal;
(b) breed of the animal;
(c) a record of vaccinations and veterinary care and treatment the animal has received, including, if available, the manufacturer's name and the serial number of the vaccination used; and
(d) a record of surgical sterilization of the animal or notice of the lack of surgical sterilization, as applicable.
(2) The following information must be retained for a period of 2 years and remains confidential unless requested pursuant to an enforcement action or legal proceeding:
(a) if known, the name and address of the breeder of the animal;
(b) if known, the name and address of any person who owned or harbored the animal between its birth and the time of sale or adoption; and
(c) a copy of the import permit and health certificate pertaining to an animal imported from outside Montana.
Section 2. Adoption of cat or dog from humane society, animal shelter, or pound -- spay or neuter required -- deposit -- penalty -- exceptions. (1) Except as provided in subsections (6) and (7), a humane society or publicly operated animal shelter or pound may not offer for adoption, sale, or trade any cat or dog that has not been redeemed by the owner unless:
(a) the animal has been spayed or neutered; or
(b) the person to whom the animal is released agrees in writing to have the animal spayed or neutered and a deposit for spaying or neutering the animal has been paid. The deposit must be in an amount determined by the humane society or publicly operated animal shelter or pound to be comparable to the lowest fee for spaying or neutering that is charged by veterinarians in the locale.
(2) Upon payment of the deposit required in subsection (1), the person who is adopting the animal must receive a certificate for spaying or neutering, to be presented to a licensed veterinarian, who shall complete the certificate when the spaying or neutering is done. Upon receipt of the completed certificate verifying that the animal has been spayed or neutered, the humane society or publicly operated animal shelter or pound shall forward the deposit to the veterinarian who performed the procedure.
(3) The deposit must be forfeited if the spaying or neutering is not done:
(a) within 30 days if the cat or dog is more than 6 months old at the time of adoption; or
(b) by the time the animal reaches the age of 6 months if the animal is less than 6 months old at the time of adoption, or within 30 days of the adoption, whichever is longer.
(4) A deposit forfeited pursuant to subsection (3) may be used only for the following purposes:
(a) a public education program designed to prevent the overpopulation of cats and dogs;
(b) a program to spay or neuter cats and dogs; and
(c) costs incurred in the enforcement of this section, including a follow-up program to ensure that animals adopted from or sold or traded by the humane society or publicly operated animal shelter or pound are spayed or neutered.
(5) Failure to fulfill the terms of an agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (1)(b) may, at the discretion of the county attorney, result in the filing of a misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of not more than $500.
(6) The provisions of this section do not apply to an animal for which a licensed veterinarian verifies in writing that spaying or neutering would be injurious to the animal's health.
(7) The provisions of this section do not apply when a humane society or publicly operated animal shelter or pound, at its discretion, chooses to accept an adoption fee of not less than $50 from a person who wishes to adopt an animal for breeding purposes.
Section 3. Additional spaying or neutering requirements not precluded -- cooperative agreements. (1) Humane societies and publicly operated animal shelters and pounds may enter into cooperative agreements with each other and with licensed veterinarians in carrying out the provisions of [section 2].
(2) [Section 2] does not preclude humane societies and publicly operated animal shelters and pounds from engaging in activities set forth in their charters as long as the activities are not inconsistent with [section 2].
(3) Humane societies and publicly operated animal shelters and pounds may establish spaying and neutering requirements in addition to the requirements set out in [section 2], such as:
(a) shorter timeframes for compliance with spaying and neutering requirements;
(b) arranging an appointment for spaying or neutering with a licensed veterinarian; and
(c) delivering the animal to a licensed veterinarian for surgery prior to releasing the animal to the adopting person.
Section 4. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 3] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 7, chapter 23, and the provisions of Title 7, chapter 23, apply to [sections 1 through 3].
Section 5. Applicability. [This act] applies only if a local government has not enacted an ordinance that conflicts with the provisions of [this act].