PRINTER'S NO.  2090

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

SENATE BILL

 

No.

1417

Session of

2010

  

  

INTRODUCED BY DINNIMAN, ALLOWAY AND WASHINGTON, JUNE 23, 2010

  

  

REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS, JUNE 23, 2010  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

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Amending the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225),

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entitled, as amended, "An act relating to dogs, regulating

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the keeping of dogs; providing for the licensing of dogs and

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kennels; providing for the protection of dogs and the

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detention and destruction of dogs in certain cases;

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regulating the sale and transportation of dogs; declaring

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dogs to be personal property and the subject of theft;

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providing for the abandonment of animals; providing for the

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assessment of damages done to animals; providing for payment

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of damages by the Commonwealth in certain cases and the

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liability of the owner or keeper of dogs for such damages;

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imposing powers and duties on certain State and local

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officers and employees; providing penalties; and creating a

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Dog Law Restricted Account," further providing for

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definitions, for issuance of dog licenses, for revocation or

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refusal of kennel licenses, for seizure and detention of

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dogs, for provisions relating to dog bites and for

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disposition of fines and penalties.

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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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hereby enacts as follows:

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Section 1.  The definitions of "department," "permanent

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identification," "permanently identified" and "secretary" in

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section 102 of the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225),

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known as the Dog Law, amended October 9, 2008 (P.L.1450,

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No.119), are amended to read:

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Section 102.  Definitions.

 


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The following words and phrases when used in this act shall

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have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the

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meanings given to them in this section:

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* * *

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"Department."  The [Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture]

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Department of Health of the Commonwealth.

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* * *

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"Permanent identification" or "permanently identified."  Any

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long-lasting identification designed to be nonremovable, such as

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a tattoo or microchip, determined by the Department of

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[Agriculture] Health through regulation. Any dog permanently

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identified shall be required to bear a license tag in accordance

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with the provisions of this act.

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* * *

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"Secretary."  The Secretary of [Agriculture] Health or any

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person to whom authority has been delegated by the Secretary of

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[Agriculture] Health.

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* * *

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Section 2.  Sections 200(b.1), 211(e), 302(b) and 502(a) of

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the act, amended or added October 9, 2008 (P.L.1450, No.119),

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are amended to read:

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Section 200.  Issuance of dog licenses; compensation; proof

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required; deposit of funds; records; license sales;

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rules and regulations; failure to comply; unlawful

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acts; penalty.

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* * *

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(b.1)  Mailings.--Advertisements, promotions, requests for

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donations, solicitations and other materials may not add to the

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cost of postage to be paid by the department and may not be

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directly attached to a dog license application, dog license

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renewal notice or other dog law document. Dog license mailings,

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renewals and other notices related to State dog licenses shall

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not contain any extraneous advertising, promotions, requests for

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donations, solicitations or other materials unless the

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advertisement, promotion, request for donation, solicitations or

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other materials have met one of the following conditions:

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(1)  They have been previously approved in writing by the

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department.

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(2)  They each contain a disclaimer stating that, "The

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solicitation or request for a donation herein is not for a

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program sponsored by, funded by or endorsed by the

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Pennsylvania Department of [Agriculture] Health (the

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Department). The Department takes no responsibility for this

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program. Participation in this program is voluntary, is not a

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condition of receiving a dog license and does not change the

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cost of obtaining a dog license. Any donation will be

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deposited into an account separate from the account for dog

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license revenues."

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* * *

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Section 211.  Revocation or refusal of kennel licenses.

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* * *

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(e)  Bonding requirements.--The following shall apply to

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bonding requirements:

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(1)  If dogs are seized from a kennel under this act and

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an administrative appeal is filed, within ten days of filing

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the appeal, the owner of the licensed or unlicensed kennel

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shall either:

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(i)  post a surety bond in the amount determined by

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the department applying the criteria set forth in

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paragraph (2); or

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(ii)  deposit a sum of money not to exceed 10% of the

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amount of the surety bond determined by the department

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applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (2).

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(2)  The amount of the surety bond shall be based on the

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number of dogs seized and shall be equal to the estimated

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cost of transportation, care and feeding, pursuant to removal

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and impoundment, for a period of 31 days.

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(2.1)  Any surety bond posted pursuant to paragraph (1)

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(i) shall be payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,

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Department of [Agriculture] Health, Bureau of Dog Law

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Enforcement. The department shall remit such funds to the

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entity holding the dogs.

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(2.2)  Any deposit pursuant to paragraph (1)(ii) shall be

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held by the Department of [Agriculture] Health, Bureau of Dog

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Law Enforcement, until after the appeal. If, after the

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appeal, the dogs are not placed under the care of the owner

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from which they were seized, the department shall be entitled

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to keep the deposit and collect from the owner the remainder

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of the amount determined by the department applying the

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criteria set forth in paragraph (2).

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(3)  If, after appeal, the dogs are placed under the care

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of the owner from which they were seized, the department

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shall reimburse the owner for the deposit or the reasonable

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costs of the bond incurred under this subsection.

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(4)  The department shall guarantee payment of any

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difference in the amount paid to the holding entity and the

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amount owed under paragraph (2). The department may refer the

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matter to the Attorney General who may initiate an action in

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the appropriate court to recover the amount paid under this

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paragraph.

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* * *

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Section 302.  Seizure and detention of dogs; costs; destruction

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of dogs.

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* * *

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(b)  Licensed dogs.--The State dog warden or employee of the

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department, the animal control officer, or the chief of police

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or his agents of any city, borough, town or township, the

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constable of any borough and the constable of any incorporated

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town or township shall cause any dog bearing a proper license

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tag or permanent identification and so seized and detained to be

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properly kept and fed at any licensed kennel approved by the

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secretary for those purposes and shall cause immediate notice,

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by personal service or registered or certified mail with return

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receipt requested, to the last known address, which shall be set

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forth in the license application record, of the person in whose

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name the license was procured, or his agent, to claim the dog

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within five days after receipt thereof. The owner or claimant of

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a dog so detained shall pay a penalty of $50 to the political

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subdivision whose police officers make the seizures and

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detention and all reasonable expenses incurred by reason of its

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detention to the detaining parties before the dog is returned.

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If five days after obtaining the postal return receipt, the dog

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has not been claimed, such chief of police, or his agent, or a

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constable, or State dog warden or employee of the department

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shall dispense the dog by sale or by giving it to a humane

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society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

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No dog so caught and detained shall be sold for the purpose of

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vivisection, or research, or be conveyed in any manner for these

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purposes. All moneys derived from the sale of the dog, after

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deducting the expenses of its detention, shall be paid through

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the [Department of Agriculture] department to the State

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Treasurer for credit to the Dog Law Restricted Account.

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* * *

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Section 502.  Dog bites; detention and isolation of dogs.

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(a)  Confinement.--Any dog which bites or attacks a human

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being shall be confined in quarters approved by a designated

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employee of the [Department of Agriculture] department, a State

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dog warden or employee of the [Department of Agriculture]

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department, an animal control officer or a police officer. The

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dog may be detained and isolated in an approved kennel or at the

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dog owner's property or at another location approved by the

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investigating officer. Where the dog is detained is at the

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discretion of the investigating officer. All dogs so detained

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must be isolated for a minimum of ten days. Any costs incurred

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in the detaining and isolation of the dog shall be paid by the

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offending dog's owner or keeper or both. If the dog's owner or

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keeper is not known, the Commonwealth is responsible for all

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reasonable costs for holding and detaining the dog.

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* * *

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Section 3.  Section 905 of the act is amended to read:

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Section 905.  Disposition of fines and penalties.

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If a prosecution pursuant to this act is initiated by a State

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dog warden, employee of the department or State Police officer,

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all fines forfeited, recognizances and other forfeitures

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imposed, lost or forfeited under this act shall be payable

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through the [Department of Agriculture] department into the

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State Treasury for credit to the Dog Law Restricted Account. If

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a prosecution pursuant to this act is initiated by a local

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police officer or animal control officer, all fines forfeited,

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recognizances and other forfeitures imposed, lost or forfeited

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under this act shall be payable to the political subdivision

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which employs such local police officer or animal control

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officer.

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Section 4.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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