§ 4-13-19. Order to confine or kill vicious dog Subsequent damages.
(a) If any person, or any member of his or her family shall be assaulted by any dog, out of the enclosure of its owner or keeper, or if any person shall have reason to believe that any dog will, out of that enclosure, do any injury to his or her person, family or property, and shall make complaint under oath, to any judge of the district court, that judge shall issue a summons to the owner or keeper of the dog, to appear before the division of the district court having jurisdiction of the case; and if, on examination, the court shall believe that the assault is proved, or that the complaint has reasonable grounds for the belief, it shall adjudge, and shall adjudge that the defendant pay costs of the proceedings and award execution of the proceedings, otherwise the costs shall be paid by the complainant; and the court shall issue written notice to the owner or keeper, and the owner or keeper shall forthwith confine or kill the dog; and if he or she neglects to kill the dog or keep the dog confined, he or she shall forfeit the sum of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100), to be recovered for the use of the city or town, and any person may kill the dog; and if, after that notice, the dog wounds or injures any person, or shall, elsewhere than on its owner's or keeper's premises, worries, wounds or kills any neat-cattle, sheep, lamb, geese or fowl, or does any other mischief, the owner or keeper is liable to pay the person injured triple damages with costs; and in all cases of complaints under this section recognizance shall be given for costs, and the fees and costs shall be the same as in other cases of complaints before the district court.
(b) The district court judge may, in his or her discretion, if the court determines the dog, while out of the enclosure of its owner or keeper, has assaulted a person or killed a domesticated animal and is dangerous, order the detention or destruction of the dog.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 111, § 7; G.L. 1909, ch. 135, § 7; G.L. 1923, ch. 136, § 7; G.L. 1938, ch. 639, § 7; G.L. 1956, § 4-13-19; P.L. 1969, ch. 239, § 46; P.L. 1980, ch. 249, § 1.)