Is Oklahoma a Free Range State? - Exploring the Laws and Regulations

Oklahoma is a state that has a unique set of laws and regulations when it comes to animals. It is considered a “fenced” state, meaning that it is lawful for any person to kill any animal from the canid family or the felid family that is driving away livestock at the premises of the owner of that animal. The owner of any such animal that kills or injures livestock will be jointly and severally liable to any injured person for the full amount of the injury caused. The court, before which compensation is sought for any such injury, will declare that the animal that caused the injury is a common nuisance and will order the defendant to kill or cause the animal to be killed within twenty-four (24) hours after the sentence is issued.

Appeals will be accepted in all of these cases and handled in the manner prescribed by the general laws governing appeals. The owner or owners of any dog will be responsible for damages for the full amount of the damage suffered when their dog, unprovoked, bites or injures any person while that person is in or on a place where they have the legal right to be. For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be considered to be lawfully on the private property of a dog owner when they are on such property in compliance with any duty imposed by the laws of this state, the laws of the United States or the postal regulations of the United States, or when they read meters, repair any public service or service located in such facilities, or when they work on such property at the request of the owner or any tenant who has a lease of any part of such property, or when they are on such property at the invitation, express or implied, of the owner or tenant of said property. The term public place, for the purposes of this Act, shall mean and include any and all public buildings, parks, play areas and recreational facilities, and any and all privately owned places of business, entertainment or entertainment, where they are offered for sale, rent, lease or use of merchandise, property, services, entertainment or facilities. However, this law will not apply to rural areas of this state or to any city or town that does not have a mail delivery service in a city or town in the United States. Nevertheless, nothing contained herein shall be interpreted as diminishing any right or liability for injuries caused by dog bites that now exist under the laws of this state. The board of county commissioners of any county with a population of two hundred thousand (200,000) or more according to the last ten-year federal census may regulate or prohibit the movement of dogs in freedom within that county and cause dogs that may be fugitives to be seized and discarded as provided by law or sold to cover the costs and penalties foreseen for the violation of said prohibition and the costs of seizing and keeping them for such sale; and it can also allow the erection of all pens, pounds and buildings for the use of said county anywhere within said county. The board of county commissioners of any county responsible for the regulation and taxation of dogs in that county by virtue of this Act shall establish and enforce rules governing it.

They shall enter into a definitive cooperation agreement with the sheriff of that county prescribing such rules and regulations and form and conditions for their application as well as funding and compensation. The board can also regulate and tax dog owners and handlers as well as authorize killing or humane elimination of dogs that are at large contrary to any ordinance regulating them. Any person, company or corporation violating any rule issued by such board by virtue of this Act will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided by laws in any court. It is illegal for an owner to own a dangerous dog in Oklahoma without a registration certificate issued under this section. This section does not apply to dogs used by law enforcement officials for police work.

It is illegal for an owner to allow their dangerous dog to be outside proper enclosure unless it is gagged and secured with a substantial chain or leash under physical restraint by responsible person over sixteen (16) years old. The muzzle must not cause injury to dog nor interfere with its vision nor breathing but prevent it from biting people or animals. Potentially dangerous or dangerous dogs may be regulated by local municipal and county authorities as long as regulations are not specific to breed. Nothing in this Act prohibits local governments from applying sanctions for violating local laws. Dogs will not be declared dangerous if threat injury or harm was suffered by person committing deliberate search.

Amanda Endres
Amanda Endres

Passionate food guru. Incurable coffee expert. General twitter nerd. Certified coffee ninja. Incurable music advocate.

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