Delaware Code > Title 3 > Chapter 80 > § 8003 - Animal adoption, recovery, and rehabilitation
Current as of: 2011
(a) Animal shelters shall be open to the public after normal business hours, including evenings and weekends, to increase access for the purpose of adoption.
(b) Animal shelters shall provide a minimum holding period of 72 hours for animals in their care, to allow reclamation by their owners. If an adoptable animal is not reclaimed, the animal may be transferred to another animal shelter or rescue for adoption, or adopted as a companion in a suitable home. This holding period required by this subsection shall not apply to owner-surrendered animals or other cases in which the owner of the animal is known. Wild animals may be disposed of by rehabilitation to their natural habitat.
(c) Animal recovery. --
(1) Animal shelters shall take appropriate action to ensure that all animals brought to the shelter are checked for all currently acceptable methods of identification, including microchips, identification tags, tattoos, and licenses.
(2) Animal shelters shall maintain updated lists of animals reported lost, and attempt to match these lost reports with animals reported found and animals in the shelter, and shall also post all stray animals on the Internet with sufficient detail to allow them to be recognized and claimed by their owners.
(3) If a possible owner is identified, the animal shelter shall make every reasonable attempt to reunite the animal with its owner. Upon the owner's or caretaker's initiative of recovery procedures, the animal shelter shall retain custody of the animal for a 5-day period to allow for completion of the recovery process. The owner or custodian of the animal may be held responsible for reasonable housing and boarding costs once the owner or custodian has been notified of the animal's location, provided that the owner or custodian has been advised of such costs prior to the costs being incurred.
(d) Animal shelters shall establish and maintain a registry of organizations willing to accept animals for the purpose of adoption, including breed specific rescues, or to provide the animals with long-term placements. The registry shall include the types and breeds of animals about which the organization wishes to be contacted. Animal shelters shall have the right to inspect the facilities of any adoption organization taking animals from the shelter.
(e) Animal shelters shall make best efforts to prioritize acceptance of animals from within the State of Delaware before accepting dog or cat intakes from outside of Delaware. Animals accepted from shelters outside the State of Delaware must have a current health certification.
Questions & Answers: Cruelty to Animals
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