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Michigan State Laws Governing Private Possession of Exotic Animals

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MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.731 - Importation of species having potential to endanger life or property prohibited; importation of wild or exotic animals; requirements and prohibitions

Sec. 31. (1) Any species having the potential to spread serious diseases or parasites, to cause serious physical harm, or to otherwise endanger native wildlife, human life, livestock, domestic animals, or property, as determined by the director, shall not be imported into this state.

(2) A prior entry permit shall be obtained from the director for a wild animal or exotic animal species not regulated by the fish and wildlife service of the United States department of interior or the department of natural resources of this state.

(3) The director may require compliance with any or all of the following prior to the importation of a wild animal or an exotic animal species not regulated by the fish and wildlife service of the United States department of interior or the department of natural resources of this state:

(a) Physical examination by an accredited veterinarian be conducted after importation to determine the health status, proper housing, husbandry, and confinement of any animal permitted to enter this state.

(b) Negative test results to specific official tests required by the director within a time frame before importation into this state as determined by the director.

(c) Identification prior to importation in a manner approved by the director.

(4) An official interstate health certificate or official interstate certificate of veterinary inspection signed by an accredited veterinarian from the state of origin shall accompany all wild animal or exotic animal species imported into this state. The official interstate health certificate or official interstate certificate of veterinary inspection shall comply with all the requirements of section 20 (1)(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f).

(5) A wild animal or exotic animal species permitted to enter this state shall receive housing, feeding, restraining, and care that is approved by the director.

(6) A person shall not import or release live feral swine or any crosses of feral swine in this state for any purpose without permission from the director.


MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1001. Short title.

Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "wolf-dog cross act" and is enacted in memory of Angie Nickerson.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1002. Definitions.

Sec. 2. As used in this act:

(a) "Animal control officer" means a county animal control officer as described in sections 29a and 29b of the dog law of 1919, 1919 PA 339, MCL 287.289a and 287.289b, or a city, village, or township animal control officer as described in section 29c of the dog law of 1919, 1919 PA 339, MCL 287.289c.

(b) "Animal control shelter" or "animal protection shelter" means an animal control shelter or animal protection shelter, respectively, registered with the department under section 6 of 1969 PA 287, MCL 287.336.

(c) "Department" means the department of agriculture.

(d) "Dog" means an animal of the species Canis familiaris or Canis lupus familiaris.

(e) "Expert on wolf-dog cross identification" means an individual who has, cumulatively, at least 10 years of training and field experience in wolf and wolf-dog cross behavioral and morphological characteristics and who is recognized as an expert at the state and national levels by others in the same field.

(f) "Facility" means an indoor or outdoor cage, pen, or similar enclosure where a wolf-dog cross is kept.

(g) "Law enforcement officer" means:

(i) A sheriff or sheriff's deputy.
(ii) A village or township marshal.
(iii) An officer of the police department of a city, village, or township.
(iv) An officer of the Michigan state police.
(v) A peace officer who is trained and certified under the commission on law enforcement standards act, 1965 PA 203, MCL 28.601 to 28.616.
(vi) A conservation officer appointed by the department of natural resources.
(vii) An animal control officer.
(viii) A law enforcement officer of the federal government authorized to enforce any federal law regulating animals.

(h) "Livestock" means that term as defined in section 5 of the animal industry act of 1987, 1988 PA 466, MCL 287.705.

(i) "Local unit" means a city, village, township, or county.

(j) "Permit" means a permit issued under section 4.

(k) "Permitting agency" means the agency of a local unit that issues permits under section 4.

(l) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity.

(m) "Pet shop" means a pet shop licensed by the department under section 3 of 1969 PA 287, MCL 287.333.

(n) "Veterinarian" means a person licensed to practice veterinary medicine under article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838.

(o) "Wolf" means an animal of the species Canis rufus or Canis lupus, but does not include an animal of the species Canis lupus familiaris.

(p) "Wolf-dog cross" means a canid resulting from the breeding of any of the following:

(i) A wolf with a dog.
(ii) A wolf-dog cross with a wolf.
(iii) A wolf-dog cross with a dog.
(iv) A wolf-dog cross with a wolf-dog cross.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1003. Prohibited conduct; exception; rebuttable presumption in civil forfeiture proceeding; method of representation.

Sec. 3. (1) A person shall not do any of the following:

(a) Possess a wolf-dog cross except in compliance with this act.

(b) Breed a wolf-dog cross.

(c) Subject to subsection (2), transfer ownership or possession of or receive a transfer of ownership or possession of a wolf-dog cross, with or without remuneration.

(d) Subject to subsection (2), transfer ownership or possession of a canid, with or without remuneration, if the person has represented to the transferee that the canid is a wolf-dog cross or offer or advertise to transfer ownership or possession of a canid, with or without remuneration, representing the canid to be a wolf-dog cross.

(e) Subject to subsection (2), receive a transfer or offer to receive a transfer of ownership or possession of a canid, with or without remuneration, if the owner of the canid has represented to the person that the canid is a wolf-dog cross.

(2) Subsection (1)(c), (d), and (e) do not apply to the temporary transfer of possession of a wolf-dog cross under section 4(1)(a) or any other transfer of possession or ownership of a wolf-dog cross expressly authorized or required by this act.

(3) In a civil forfeiture proceeding under this act, there is a rebuttable presumption that a canid is a wolf-dog cross if the current owner represents or has represented that the canid is a wolf-dog cross or if a previous owner transferred ownership or possession of the canid to the current owner, with or without remuneration, representing it to be a wolf-dog cross.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a representation may be by advertisement, registration paper, or any other method.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1004. Possession of wolf-dog crosses; conditions; permit requirements.

Sec. 4. (1) A person shall not possess 1 or more wolf-dog crosses unless all of the following apply:

(a) The person owns the wolf-dog crosses or has temporarily been given possession of the wolf-dog crosses by the owner.

(b) The owner was in possession of those individual wolf-dog crosses on the effective date of this act.

(c) The owner applies for a permit for those wolf-dog crosses within 4 months after the effective date of this act, and obtains a permit for those wolf-dog crosses. The permit applies only to those individual wolf-dog crosses. The permit is not transferable to another person except through testate or intestate succession. The permit is valid in any local unit in which the possession of the wolf-dog cross is not prohibited by ordinance.

(2) A person shall file an application for a permit with the person specified by the first of the following subdivisions that applies:

(a) If the wolf-dog crosses are kept in a city or village and the city or village employs an animal control officer, with the city or village agency to which the animal control officer is assigned.

(b) If the wolf-dog crosses are kept in a township and the township employs an animal control officer, with the township agency to which the animal control officer is assigned.

(c) If the county in which the wolf-dog crosses are kept employs an animal control officer, with the county agency to which the animal control officer is assigned.

(d) If subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) do not apply, with the county sheriff of the county where the wolf-dog crosses are kept.

(3) An applicant for a permit shall include with the application all of the following:

(a) An annual permit fee. The annual permit fee shall be established by the governing body of the local unit whose agency issues the permit under subsection (2) and shall be not less than the greater of the following 2 amounts:

(i) Twenty-five dollars, or at the option of the local unit if the applicant keeps more than 1 wolf-dog cross in that local unit, $25.00 for each wolf-dog cross.
(ii) An amount necessary to cover the local unit's actual, reasonable costs of enforcing this act.

(b) A written statement that does all of the following:

(i) Specifies the number of wolf-dog crosses owned by the applicant.
(ii) Describes in detail each wolf-dog cross owned by the applicant, including, but not limited to, its identification number required under section 5.
(iii) Specifies the name, address, and telephone number of the person from whom the owner obtained the wolf-dog cross, if known.

(c) A certificate signed by a veterinarian that the wolf-dog cross has been sexually sterilized.

(4) A local unit shall not issue a permit unless it finds that all of the following apply:

(a) The requirements of subsections (1), (2), and (3) are met.

(b) The applicant is 21 years of age or older.

(c) The applicant has not been convicted of or found responsible for violating a local ordinance or state law prohibiting neglect or mistreatment of an animal and has not within the past 10 years been convicted of a felony.

(d) The applicant is not subject to a court order requiring the forfeiture of a wolf-dog cross or prohibiting the ownership or possession of a wolf-dog cross.

(e) The facility and the conditions in which each wolf-dog cross will be kept comply with this act.

(f) The applicant is knowledgeable about the wolf-dog cross's disposition and care requirements.

(5) A permit shall set forth all of the following:

(a) The name and address of the permit holder and the address where each wolf-dog cross will be kept, if different from that of the permit holder.

(b) The number of wolf-dog crosses owned by the permit holder.

(c) The identification number of each wolf-dog cross required under section 5.

(d) The name, address, and signature of the veterinarian who is expected to provide veterinary care to the wolf-dog cross.

(e) Any other reasonable information as determined by the local unit, which may include, but need not be limited to, a designation of permits required by a local unit, the department, the department of community health, the department of natural resources, the United States department of agriculture, or the fish and wildlife service of the United States department of the interior.

(6) A local unit that issues a permit shall notify the department of the name and address of the permit holder and the number of wolf-dog crosses owned by the permit holder.

(7) The owner of a wolf-dog cross shall annually pay the local unit the annual permit fee established under subsection (3)(a).


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1005. Placement of identification number via subcutaneous microchip.

Sec. 5. The owner of a wolf-dog cross shall have an identification number placed in the wolf-dog cross via subcutaneous microchip, at the expense of the owner, by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1006. Keeping wolf-dog cross in facility; requirements; exceptions.

Sec. 6. (1) A wolf-dog cross shall not be tethered outdoors, such as on a leash or chain, or allowed to run at-large. Except as otherwise provided in this section or section 7, a wolf-dog cross shall be constantly kept in a facility that meets all of the following requirements:

(a) Is sufficiently secure to prevent the wolf-dog cross's escape and protect the wolf-dog cross from injury.

(b) Is constructed of cement blocks, bricks, concrete, chain link fence, wires, or bars of a suitable thickness, gauge, or diameter to prevent the wolf-dog cross's escape and to protect the wolf-dog cross from injury.

(c) Has an entrance with a lock that is kept locked at all times when the wolf-dog cross is kept in the facility.

(d) Is well-braced and securely anchored at ground level or, if the facility is located in a residence or other building, at floor level and utilizes metal clamps, ties, or braces of a strength sufficient for cage construction for the wolf-dog cross.

(e) Is enclosed within a secondary fence that is located at least 3 feet outside of the walls of the facility and is adequate to prevent a human from coming into contact with the wolf-dog cross.

(f) Has a floor area of at least 900 square feet, plus an additional 450 square feet for each wolf-dog cross in excess of 1 kept in the facility. A permitting agency may grant a variance allowing a reduced floor area upon a showing that the requirements of this subdivision impose a practical difficulty on the owner and that the reduced floor area is sufficient to maintain the wolf-dog cross in a good state of health.

(2) The owner or person temporarily in possession of a wolf-dog cross may keep the wolf-dog cross in the person's dwelling and not in a facility if the wolf-dog cross is under the supervision of a person 21 years of age or older.

(3) The owner or person temporarily in possession of a wolf-dog cross may take the wolf-dog cross outdoors if 1 of the following applies:

(a) The wolf-dog cross is being used to pull a sled and the person has the wolf-dog cross under control on a secure harness.

(b) The wolf-dog cross is being exercised by the person, and the person holds the wolf-dog cross under control on a secure leash that is not more than 6 feet long.

(c) The wolf-dog cross is being allowed to exercise in a fenced area on private property with the permission of the property owner and the owner of the wolf-dog cross or the person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross is present.

(d) The person holds the wolf-dog cross under control on a secure leash that is not more than 6 feet long and the wolf-dog cross is being moved between any 2 of the following:

(i) A facility.
(ii) The dwelling of the person, pursuant to subsection (2).
(iii) A shift cage, pursuant to subsection (4).
(iv) A vehicle, pursuant to section 7.
(v) A veterinarian's office or veterinary hospital.

(4) A wolf-dog cross may be kept in a shift cage while the wolf-dog cross's facility is being cleaned. The shift cage shall be of a size appropriate for the wolf-dog cross and of a construction adequate to safely contain the wolf-dog cross.

(5) The owner or, except with respect to subdivisions (a) and (b), the person temporarily in possession of a wolf-dog cross shall do all of the following:

(a) Present a permit for the wolf-dog cross upon the request of a law enforcement officer.

(b) Post and maintain signs on property on which the wolf-dog cross is kept stating "A potentially dangerous wolf-dog cross is kept on this property." Each sign shall utilize block letters at least 1/2 inch high. A sign shall be posted as follows:

(i) At each fence gate providing access to a residence on the property, providing access to a building in which the wolf-dog cross's facility is located, or providing access to the facility.
(ii) On the outside of each door providing access to a residence on the property or providing access to any building in which the wolf-dog cross's facility is located.
(iii) On each side of the wolf-dog cross's facility, unless the facility is located in a residence or other building.

(c) Not place the wolf-dog cross under the supervision of a person less than 21 years of age.

(d) Not mistreat or neglect the wolf-dog cross or permit it to be mistreated or neglected.

(e) Ensure that the conditions in which the wolf-dog cross is kept, including, but not limited to, the following, are safe and conducive to the wolf-dog cross's physical health and comfort and promote normal behavior:

(i) Temperature.
(ii) Ventilation.
(iii) Humidity.

(f) Provide the wolf-dog cross with sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions, and exercise to maintain the wolf-dog cross in a state of good health.

(g) Ensure that the wolf-dog cross receives from a veterinarian, at the owner's expense, an annual checkup, including vaccinations, and other necessary medical care. The owner of a wolf-dog cross shall maintain copies of the wolf-dog cross's veterinary records and present the records upon request of a law enforcement officer.

(h) When the wolf-dog cross dies, arrange to have the death certified in writing by a veterinarian, law enforcement officer, or the permitting agency. The veterinarian, law enforcement officer, or permitting agency shall submit the certification to the department within 20 business days after the death.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1007. Transportation.

Sec. 7. A person transporting a wolf-dog cross in a vehicle shall comply with the standards in International Air Transport Ass'n., Live Animal Regulations (26th ed., 1999) applicable to a dog. In addition, a person transporting a wolf-dog cross in a vehicle shall comply with all of the following requirements:

(a) The wolf-dog cross shall be individually and securely caged, even while inside a passenger vehicle or in the bed of a truck. However, a female wolf-dog cross and each of her unweaned pups, if any, shall be transported in the same cage.

(b) The vehicle shall provide fresh air without injurious drafts and provide adequate protection from the elements to the wolf-dog cross.

(c) The wolf-dog cross's cargo area shall be as free as possible of engine exhaust fumes.

(d) Fecal and food wastes shall be removed from the wolf-dog cross's transport cage on at least a daily basis.

(e) The temperature within the wolf-dog cross's cage shall not be harmful to the wolf-dog cross's health.

(f) The wolf-dog cross's cage shall be large enough to ensure that the wolf-dog cross has sufficient space to stand erect, turn around, and lie naturally.

(g) The wolf-dog cross shall not be placed in an enclosure over or next to another animal unless each enclosure has a fitted floor or lateral partition that prevents excreta from entering lower or adjacent enclosures.

(h) The wolf-dog cross shall be given potable water at least twice daily and fed at least once daily, unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1008. Exportation.

Sec. 8. A person shall not export or attempt to export a wolf-dog cross to another state or country unless all of the following requirements are met:

(a) The import and possession of the wolf-dog cross are lawful in the other state or country.

(b) The destination and proposed new owner of the wolf-dog cross have been approved by the regulatory agency in the other state or country having authority to do so, if any.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1009. Rabies vaccination.

Sec. 9. If a rabies vaccination becomes approved by the federal government for use on a wolf-dog cross, the owner of a wolf-dog cross shall have the wolf-dog cross vaccinated for rabies by a veterinarian and shall keep the vaccination current.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1010. Exposure to rabies.

Sec. 10. (1) If a wolf-dog cross potentially exposes a human to rabies by any penetration of the skin by teeth, any scratch that causes penetration of the skin, any abrasion that causes penetration of the skin, or contamination of open wounds or mucous membranes with saliva or other infectious material, the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross shall report the potential exposure to the local health department within 24 hours.

(2) If a wolf-dog cross potentially exposes livestock or a mammalian pet to rabies by any penetration of the skin by teeth, any scratch that causes penetration of the skin, any abrasion that causes penetration of the skin, or contamination of open wounds or mucous membranes with saliva or other infectious material, the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross shall report the potential exposure to the permitting agency within 24 hours.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (4), if a wolf-dog cross potentially exposes a human, livestock, or mammalian pet to rabies by any means identified in this section, the wolf-dog cross shall be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian. The wolf-dog cross shall be immediately examined for rabies in the manner provided by rules promulgated under section 5111 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.5111.

(4) If a wolf-dog cross potentially exposes a human, livestock, or a mammalian pet to rabies by any means identified in this section and, at the time of exposure, the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross provides a valid certificate from a veterinarian indicating that the wolf-dog cross, at least 30 days before the exposure, was vaccinated with a rabies vaccine approved by the United States department of agriculture, the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross may elect to have the wolf-dog cross quarantined for a period of 10 days from the date of exposure. If the wolf-dog cross dies, or develops any symptoms of rabies during the quarantine period, as determined by a veterinarian, the wolf-dog cross shall be humanely euthanized and examined for rabies in the manner provided by rules promulgated under section 5111 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.5111.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1011. Killing of wolf-dog cross by law enforcement officer or other person; conditions; liability.

Sec. 11. (1) A law enforcement officer or other person may kill a wolf-dog cross if the person sees the wolf-dog cross attacking, injuring, or killing either of the following:

(a) A human.

(b) Livestock or poultry.

(2) A law enforcement officer may kill a wolf-dog cross if the law enforcement officer sees the wolf-dog cross attacking, injuring, or killing wildlife.

(3) A person is not liable in damages or otherwise for killing or attempting to kill a wolf-dog cross under subsection (1) or (2).

(4) This act does not prohibit the owner of a wolf-dog cross, for which a permit has been issued if required under this act, from recovering by legal action against a law enforcement officer or other person the value of a wolf-dog cross illegally killed by that law enforcement officer or other person.

(5) A wolf-dog cross's entry onto a field or enclosure that is owned by or leased by a person producing livestock or poultry constitutes a trespass, and the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross is liable in damages.


• MICH. COMP. LAWS §287.1012. Liability of owner or possessor of wolf-dog cross.

Sec. 12. (1) The owner or person temporarily in possession of a wolf-dog cross is liable in a civil action for the death or injury of a human and for property damage, including, but not limited to, the death or injury of another animal, caused by the wolf-dog cross. This act does not limit the common law liability of the owner or person temporarily in possession of a wolf-dog cross for the death or injury of a human or for property damage caused by the wolf-dog cross.

(2) If a wolf-dog cross bites an individual without provocation while the individual is on public property or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross, the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross is liable for any damages suffered by the individual bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the wolf-dog cross or the owner's or person temporarily in possession's knowledge of such viciousness. For the purposes of this subsection, an individual is lawfully on the private property of the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross if the individual is on that property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the individual is on that property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property, unless the individual has gained lawful entry upon the property for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

(3) If a wolf-dog cross escapes or is released, intentionally or unintentionally, the owner or person temporarily in possession of the wolf-dog cross shall immediately contact a law enforcement officer of the local unit where the escape or release occurred to report the loss, escape, or release.

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