Kill or be Killed!

The following is the Nebraska State statutes as they regard the rights and reason to protect yourself, your family, and your pets / livestock!


Of key interest are sections § 54-604, 54-601, 54-602. Dogs; killing; when permitted.




§ 54-601. Dogs; personal property; owner liable for damages.

(1) Dogs are hereby declared to be personal property for all intents and purposes, and, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the owner or owners of any dog or dogs shall be liable for any and all damages that may accrue (a) to any person, other than a trespasser, by reason of having been bitten by any such dog or dogs and (b) to any person, firm, or corporation by reason of such dog or dogs killing, wounding, injuring, worrying, or chasing any person or persons or any sheep or other domestic animals belonging to such person, firm, or corporation. Such damage may be recovered in any court having jurisdiction of the amount claimed.


(a) A governmental agency or its employees using a dog in military or police work shall not be liable under subsection (1) of this section to a party to, participant in, or person reasonably suspected to be a party to or participant in the act that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work if the officers of the governmental agency were complying with a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for military or police work adopted by the governmental agency and if the damage occurred while the dog was responding to a harassing or provoking act or the damage was the result of a reasonable use of force while the dog or dogs were assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:
(i) The apprehension or holding of a suspect if the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect’s involvement in criminal activity;

(ii) The investigation of a crime or possible crime;

(iii) The execution of a warrant; or

(iv) The defense of a peace officer or another person other than the suspect.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, harassing or provoking act means knowingly and intentionally attempting to interfere with, interfering with, teasing or harassing such dog in order to distract, or agitating or harming such dog.
Laws 1877, § 1, p. 156; Laws 1899, ch. 4, § 1, p. 54; Laws 1947, ch. 192, § 1, p. 629; Laws 1961, ch. 268, § 1, p. 786; Laws 1992, LB 1011, § 1; Laws 2009, LB 347, § 1, eff. Aug. 30, 2009.


54-602. Dogs owned by different persons; joint liability

If two or more dogs owned by different persons shall kill, wound, chase or worry any sheep or other domestic animal, such persons shall be jointly and severally liable for all damage done by such dogs.

Laws 1877, § 2, p. 156.


§ 54-603. Dogs; license tax; amount; service animal; license; county, city, or village; collect fee; disposition.

(1) Any county, city, or village shall have authority by ordinance or resolution to impose a license tax, in an amount which shall be determined by the appropriate governing body, on the owner or harborer of any dog or dogs, to be paid under such regulations as shall be provided by such ordinance or resolutions.

(2) Every service animal shall be licensed as required by local ordinances or resolutions, but no license tax shall be charged. Upon the retirement or discontinuance of the animal as a service animal, the owner of the animal shall be liable for the payment of a license tax as prescribed by local ordinances or resolutions.

(3) Any county, city, or village that imposes a license tax on the owner or harborer of any cat or cats or any dog or dogs under this section shall, in addition to the license tax imposed by the licensing jurisdiction, collect from the licensee a fee of one dollar. The person designated by the licensing jurisdiction to collect and administer the license tax shall act as agent for the State of Nebraska in the collection of the fee. From each one-dollar fee collected, such person shall retain three cents and remit the balance to the State Treasurer for credit to the Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Program Cash Fund. If the person collecting the fee is the licensing jurisdiction, the three cents shall be credited to the licensing jurisdiction’s general fund. If the person collecting the fee is a private contractor, the three cents shall be credited to an account of the private contractor. The remittance to the State Treasurer shall be made at least annually at the conclusion of the licensing jurisdiction’s fiscal year, except that any licensing jurisdiction or private contractor that collects fifty dollars or less of such fees during the fiscal year may remit the fees when the cumulative amount of fees collected reaches fifty dollars.


Laws 1877, § 3, p. 156; Laws 1976, LB 515, § 2; Laws 1997, LB 814, § 7; Laws 2008, LB 806, § 13, eff. July 18, 2008; Laws 2010, LB 910, § 3, eff. July 15, 2010.


§ 54-604. Dogs; killing; when permitted.

Any person shall have the right to kill any dog found doing any damage as mentioned in sections 54-601 and 54-602 to any sheep or domestic animal, or if he shall have just and reasonable ground to believe that such dog has been killing, wounding, chasing or worrying such sheep or animal; and no action shall be maintained for such killing.


Source: Laws 1877, § 4, p. 156; R.S.1913, § 175; C.S.1922, § 172; C.S.1929, § 54-604.

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