(b) Any law enforcement officer or any other person having authority to impound animals who has probable cause to believe there has been a violation of this chapter or IC 15-20-1-4 may take custody of the animal involved.
Terms Used In Indiana Code 35-46-3-6
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
(1) identify the owner of an impounded animal; and
(2) notify the owner of the impounded animal:
(A) that the animal is impounded; and
(B) of the bond requirement imposed under this section.
(d) The owner of an animal that has been impounded under this section may prevent disposition of the animal by the impound agency by posting, not later than ten (10) business days after the animal has been impounded, a bond with the court in an amount sufficient to provide for the reasonable expenses of the animal’s care and keeping for at least thirty (30) days, beginning from the date the animal was impounded. The ten (10) business day period during which an owner may post a bond begins:
(1) on the day upon which the animal is impounded; and
(2) without a court order.
(e) The owner may renew a bond by posting a new bond, in an amount sufficient to provide for the animal’s care and keeping for at least an additional thirty (30) days, not later than ten (10) days after the expiration of the period for which a previous bond was posted. If a bond is not posted or a bond expires and is not renewed, the animal is forfeited to the impound agency and the impound agency may determine disposition of the animal, subject to court order. If the owner of an animal impounded under this section is convicted of an offense under this chapter or IC 15-20-1-4, the owner shall reimburse the impound agency caring for the animal for the expense of the animal’s care and keeping.
(f) An impound agency or an impound agency’s designee may euthanize an animal at any time if a veterinarian licensed under IC 25-38.1 determines that:
(1) the animal presents a serious threat to other animals or people; or
(2) euthanasia is in the best interest of the welfare of the animal.
If an impound agency identifies the owner of an impounded animal that is to be euthanized under this subsection, the impound agency shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the owner ten (10) business days after the animal is euthanized. Notice to an owner under this subsection must set forth the reason or reasons why the animal was euthanized, as determined under subdivisions (1) and (2).
(g) A veterinarian licensed under IC 25-38.1 is immune from civil liability for damages for conduct within the scope and arising out of the performance of the veterinarian’s duties under this section.
(h) If an animal is euthanized, any unused part of the bond posted for the animal must be returned to the owner.
(i) If the owner requests, the court having jurisdiction of criminal charges filed under this chapter or IC 15-20-1 shall hold a hearing to determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a violation of this chapter or IC 15-20-1 has occurred. If the court determines that probable cause does not exist, the court shall order the animal returned to its owner, and the return of any bond posted by its owner.
(j) Whenever charges are filed under this chapter, the court shall appoint:
(1) the state veterinarian under IC 15-17-4-1; or
(2) the state veterinarian’s designee;
to investigate the condition of the animal and the circumstances relating to the animal’s condition and make a recommendation to the court under subsection (k) regarding the confiscation of the animal.
(k) The state veterinarian or the state veterinarian’s designee who is appointed under subsection (j) shall do the following:
(1) Make a recommendation to the court concerning whether confiscation is necessary to protect the safety and well-being of the animal or public.
(2) If confiscation is recommended under subdivision (1), recommend a manner for handling the confiscation and disposition of the animal that is in the best interests of the animal and public.
The state veterinarian or the state veterinarian’s designee who submits a recommendation under this subsection shall articulate to the court the reasons supporting the recommendation.
(l) The court:
(1) shall give substantial weight to; and
(2) may enter an order based upon;
a recommendation submitted under subsection (k).
(m) If a person is convicted of an offense under this chapter or IC 15-20-1, the court may impose the following additional penalties against the person:
(1) A requirement that the person pay the costs of caring for an animal involved in the offenses that are incurred during a period of impoundment authorized under subsection (b).
(2) An order terminating or imposing conditions on the person’s right to possession, title, custody, or care of:
(A) an animal that was involved in the offense; or
(B) any other animal in the custody or care of the person.
(n) If a person’s right to possession, title, custody, or care of an animal is terminated under subsection (m), the court may:
(1) award the animal to a humane society or other organization that has as its principal purpose the humane treatment of animals; or
(2) order the disposition of the animal as recommended under subsection (k).
As added by P.L.193-1987, SEC.9. Amended by P.L.176-1993, SEC.6; P.L.166-1993, SEC.5; P.L.14-2000, SEC.75; P.L.76-2002, SEC.3; P.L.171-2007, SEC.7; P.L.2-2008, SEC.80; P.L.41-2021, SEC.10; P.L.52-2023, SEC.3.