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General Laws

Section 161. Whoever suffers loss by the worrying, maiming or killing of such person’s livestock or fowl by a dog outside the premises of the owner or keeper of the dog, may, if the damage is done in a city, inform the animal control officer and may, if the damage is done in a town, inform the chair of the board of selectmen of the town or, if the chairman is absent or ill, any of the selectmen. The officer, chair or selectman shall proceed to the premises where the damage was done to determine whether the damage was inflicted by a dog and, if so determined, appraise the amount of damage if it does not exceed $100. If in the opinion of the officer, chair or selectman, the amount of damage exceeds $100, the damage shall be appraised, on oath, by 3 persons, 1 of whom shall be the officer, chair or selectman, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the person alleged to be damaged and 1 shall be appointed by the other 2. Within 10 days thereafter, the appraisers shall consider and include in their appraisal the labor and time necessarily to be expended to find and collect the livestock or fowl injured or separated and the value of those lost or otherwise damaged by the dog. The officer, chair or selectman shall return a certificate of the damages found to the treasurer of the city or town in which the damage was done within 10 days after the appraisal is completed. The treasurer shall immediately submit the appraisal to the city or town clerk who, within 30 days, shall examine all bills for damages. The city or town clerk may summons the appraisers or, upon the request of an interested party, shall summons the appraisers and all parties interested and make such investigation as the clerk shall deem proper. The city or town clerk shall issue an order upon the treasurer of the city or town for such amounts, if any, determined to be just and shall notify all interested parties of the decision. The treasurer shall pay all orders drawn upon the treasurer in full, for the above purpose and payments made shall be charged to the city or town.

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