§102.13. Hearing to determine if dog is dangerous or vicious
A. The district attorney, the sheriff, an animal control officer, or other designated representative, in the name of and on behalf of the parish and without the payment of any costs, shall be authorized to file a petition in the district court having jurisdiction requesting a hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not a dog should be declared dangerous as defined in R.S. 14:102.14(A) or vicious as defined in R.S. 14:102.15(A).
B. Upon the filing of the petition, the district judge shall immediately issue a rule on the owner of the dog to show cause why the dog should not be declared a dangerous or vicious dog. This rule shall, at the time of its issuance, be fixed for hearing not later than five days, including Sundays, half-holidays and holidays, from the date of its issuance, and shall be heard by preference over all other matters and cases fixed for the same day and shall be heard continuously day after day until submitted for adjudication.
C. Upon the showing made by the parties on the trial of the rule to show cause, the court shall determine whether the dog is a dangerous dog or a vicious dog and may make other orders authorized by this Section.
D. In every case where the dog is established to be a dangerous dog, the court shall enter an order declaring the dog to be a dangerous dog and shall direct the owner of the dog to comply with conditions established for the restraint and confinement of the dog as provided by law.
E. In every case where the dog is established to be a vicious dog, the court shall enter an order declaring the dog to be a vicious dog and shall direct that the vicious dog be humanely euthanized.
F. Any person who fails to restrain and confine a dangerous dog as ordered by the court shall be guilty of contempt and shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars.
G. The pleading and practice in all cases under this Section shall be in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure and the laws and rules of court governing practice before the district courts of this state.
H. The owner of the dog may appeal to the court of competent jurisdiction an order of the district court determining the dog to be dangerous or vicious. Such appeal shall be perfected within five calendar days from the rendition of the order and shall be made returnable to the appropriate appellate court in not more than fifteen calendar days from the rendition of the order. The applicant for the determination may appeal to the court of competent jurisdiction for an order reversing the order of the district court.
I. No dog shall be declared dangerous or vicious if at the hearing authorized by this Section evidence presented is sufficient to establish any of the following:
(1) Any injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time the injury or damage was sustained, was committing a crime upon the property of the owner of the dog.
(2) Any injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time the injury or damage was sustained, was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog.
(3) Any injury or damage is sustained by a domestic animal which, at the time the injury or damage was sustained, was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog.
(4) If the dog was protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an unjustified attack or assault.
(5) If the injury or damage to a domestic animal was sustained while the dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog on the property of, or under the control of, its owner, and the damage or injury was to a species or type of domestic animal appropriate to the work of the dog.
J. The owner of a dog determined to be a vicious dog may be prohibited by the court from owning, possessing, controlling, or having custody of any dog for a period of up to three years, when it is found, after proceedings conducted pursuant to this Section, that ownership or possession of a dog by that person would create a significant threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
Acts 2001, No. 823, §1.