West Virginia Code
1 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
1A - DIVISION OF FORESTRY
1B - SEDIMENT CONTROL DURING COMMER
1C - CARE OF LIVESTOCK
2 - MARKETING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
2A - PUBLIC MARKETS
2B - INSPECTION OF MEAT AND POULTRY
2C - AUCTIONEERS
2D - IMITATION HONEY PRODUCT LAW
2E - HUMANE SLAUGHTER OF LIVESTOCK
2F - BEEF INDUSTRY SELF-IMPROVEMENT
2G - TREE FRUIT INDUSTRY SELF-IMPRO
2H - CAPTIVE CERVID FARMING ACT
3 - SALE OF FARM PRODUCTS BY COMMIS
4 - COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS
5 - GRADING AND PACKING OF FRUITS A
5A - CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE STORAGE
6 - DEMONSTRATION PACKINGHOUSES AND
7 - STATE AID FOR FAIRS
8 - COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORKERS
9 - DISEASES AMONG DOMESTIC ANIMALS
9A - FEEDING OF UNTREATED GARBAGE T
10 - MALE BREEDING ANIMALS
10A - THE WEST VIRGINIA EGG MARKET
10B - LIVESTOCK DEALER'S LICENSING
11 - BULK MILK TRADE LAW
11A - DAIRY PRODUCTS AND IMITATION
11B - FROZEN DESSERTS AND IMITATIO
11C - SOUTHERN DAIRY COMPACT
11D - TRADITIONAL CHEESE PRODUCTIO
12 - INSECT PESTS, PLANT DISEASES
12A - LAND DIVISION
12B - INTERSTATE COMPACT ON PEST C
12C - INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON PES
12D - WEST VIRGINIA NOXIOUS WEED A
12E - INDUSTRIAL HEMP DEVELOPMENT
13 - INSPECTION AND PROTECTION OF
14 - WEST VIRGINIA COMMERCIAL FEED
15 - WEST VIRGINIA FERTILIZER LAW
15A - WEST VIRGINIA AGRICULTURAL L
16 - WEST VIRGINIA SEED LAW
16A - WEST VIRGINIA PESTICIDE CONT
16B - WEST VIRGINIA PESTICIDE USE
17 - FENCES
18 - GENERAL STOCK LAW
19 - PRESERVATION OF AGRICULTURAL
20 - DOGS AND CATS
20A - VACCINATION OF DOGS AND CATS
20B - SPAYING OR NEUTERING OF DOGS
20C - WEST VIRGINIA SPAY NEUTER AS
21 - DRAINAGE DISTRICTS
21A - CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
21B - WATERSHED IMPROVEMENT DISTRI
22 - VINEGARS
23 - HORSE AND DOG RACING
24 - INTERSTATE COMPACT ON LICENSU
25 - LIMITING LIABILITY OF LANDOWN
26 - GENERAL JOHN MCCAUSLAND MEMOR
27 - WEST VIRGINIA STATE FARM MUSE
28 - VITAMIN AND MINERAL ENRICHMEN
29 - PRODUCTION OF NONTRADITIONAL
30 - DONATED FOOD
31 - GUS R
32 - AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT
33 - EQUINE RESCUE FACILITIES ACT
34 - DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS ACT
35 - FARMERS MARKETS
CHAPTER 19. AGRICULTURE.
ARTICLE 20D. PRIVATE CAUSE OF ACTION FOR THE HUMANE DESTRUCTION OF A DOG.
The purpose of this article is to protect the public by providing a private cause of action seeking euthanasia of a dog in magistrate court to a person who has been attacked by a dog resulting in personal injuries requiring medical treatment which cost $2,000 or more, or who has been attacked by the dog and the dog had attacked a person causing personal injury which required medical treatment within the previous twelve months.
§19-20D-2. Procedure; petition to magistrate court; elements of action; burden of proof; attorney fees; limitation of action.
(a) A person seeking relief under this article may apply to the magistrate court in the county where the dog owner resides, or the county where the injury occurred, by verified petition setting forth and affirming the following:
(1) That the owner of the dog resides in the county where the petition is filed or the attack giving rise to the action occurred in the county where the petition is filed;
(2) That the petitioner was:
(A) Attacked by the dog and the attack resulted in personal injuries requiring medical treatment in the amount of $2,000 or more; or
(B) Attacked by the dog and the dog had engaged in a separate attack on a person causing personal injury requiring medical treatment within the previous twelve months; and
(3) That the petitioner did nothing to provoke the dog.
(b) The petition and summons shall be served on the respondent in the manner set forth in Rule 4 of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.
(c) The petitioner must prove the allegations in the petition by clear and convincing evidence.
(d) The prevailing party is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs.
(e) The limitations of the cause of action in this article are as follows:
(1) Relief, other than attorney fees and costs in subsection (d) of this section, is limited to an order directing that the owner of the dog have the dog euthanized; and
(2) The cause of action provided by this article does not establish statutory liability nor does it supplant a common law negligence cause of action.
(a) If the trier of fact finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog which is the subject of the action under this article has attacked the petitioner and caused personal injuries requiring medical treatment in the amount of $2,000 or more or that the dog attacked the petitioner and within the twelve month period prior to the attack had engaged in a separate attack causing personal injury requiring medical treatment, then the court shall order the owner of the dog to have the dog euthanized.
(b) The magistrate court shall issue and file a written order that sets forth the following:
(1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law; and
(2) If the court orders euthanasia, a specific date upon which the owner of the dog must have the euthanasia performed and a direction that documentation be mailed to the petitioner and filed with the court by a specific date showing that the procedure was performed.
(c) If the court does not order euthanasia, the court shall order that the petition be dismissed with prejudice.
(d) The court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party.