955.52 Hearing on claims for value of animals injured or killed by coyote.

(A)

(1) The department of agriculture shall hear claims that are approved by the dog warden and supported by the wildlife officer pursuant to section 955.51 of the Revised Code in the order of their filing and may allow the claims in full or in part, or may disallow any claim, as the testimony and information submitted under that section show to be just. The department shall make the final determination of the fair market value of any animal that is the subject of a claim.

If the animal that is the subject of a claim dies as a result of the injuries that it received from a predator, the amount of indemnity is the fair market value of the animal on the date of its death. If the animal that is the subject of a claim does not die as a result of the injuries that it received from a predator, the amount of indemnity is the fair market value of the animal on the date that it received its injuries. If the animal that is the subject of a claim is registered or eligible for registration as described in division (B) of section 955.51 of the Revised Code, the amount of indemnity is one hundred twenty-five per cent of the fair market value of the animal on the date that the animal was killed or injured. If the date of death or injury of an animal cannot be determined, the amount of indemnity shall be based on the fair market value of the animal on the date that the animal was discovered by its owner.

(2) If the owner of an animal does not agree with the department's determination of the animal's fair market value, the owner may appeal the determination in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(3) The department shall certify any claim or part of a claim that has been found to be valid under division (A)(1) of this section. Claims certified in accordance with this section shall be paid out of money that has been appropriated from the general revenue fund for the purposes of sections 955.51 to 955.53 of the Revised Code, except that no claim shall be paid from that money if either of the following applies:

(a) A claim for the same loss or injury has been paid or is payable under a policy or policies of insurance. However, a claim may be paid for the amount of any deductible paid or payable by the claimant under such insurance.

(b) The owner of an animal who otherwise would receive indemnity under a claim has been paid more than five hundred dollars within the immediately preceding calendar year from money so appropriated. However, that owner may be paid if the owner has implemented a voluntary animal damage control plan that meets the requirements established in rules adopted under division (D) of this section.

(B) If at any time the money that has been appropriated from the general revenue fund for the purposes of sections 955.51 to 955.53 of the Revised Code for a fiscal year is not sufficient to pay certified claims, the department shall disapprove those claims. Any claim that has been disapproved due to lack of money shall not be resubmitted.

(C) The department either may assist owners in developing and implementing a voluntary animal damage control plan to prevent and minimize loss or injury to animals by predators or may enter into an agreement with another state agency, a federal agency, or a person to provide such assistance. The department may use no more than fifty per cent or twenty-five thousand dollars, whichever is less, of the money that is appropriated for the purposes of sections 955.51 to 955.53 of the Revised Code to pay the costs incurred by the department for either providing assistance under this division or entering into an agreement under this division to provide that assistance.

(D) The director of agriculture shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that are necessary to administer sections 955.51 to 955.53 of the Revised Code, including rules that establish requirements governing voluntary animal damage control plans.

Effective Date: 02-27-1987; 04-15-2005