FBI Adds Animal Cruelty to Uniform Crime Report
States that DO NOT include protection of pets in domestic violence protective orders:
Alabama House of Representatives:
Alabama State Senate
Delaware House of Representatives
Delaware State Senate
Florida House of Representatives
Idaho House of Representatives
Indiana House of Representatives - Democrats
Indiana House of Representatives -Republicans
Indiana Senate - Democrats
Indiana Senate - Republicans
Kansas House of Representatives
Kentucky House of Representatives
Michigan House of Representatives
Mississipi House of Representatives
Missouri House of Representatives
Montana House of Representatives
New Mexico House of Representatives
New Mexico Senate
North Dakota House of Representatives
North Dakota Senate
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rhode Island House of Representatives
Rhode Island Senate
South Dakota House of Representatives
South Dakota Senate
Utah House of Representatives
Wisconsin House of Representatives
Wyoming House of Representatives
Domestic violence protection orders with protection for pets
Washington D.C. - Rescinded -
American Humane Association:
Expanding Protective Orders to Include Companion Animals
Domestic Violence and Pets:
List of States that Include Pets in Protection Orders
Author: Rebecca F. Wisch
Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law
Publish Year: 2014
Primary Citation: Animal Legal & Historical Center
This document lists the states that include pets in domestic violence protection orders with links to the actual statutes.
AZ ST § 13-3602; A. R. S. § 13-3602
This Arizona law provides that, if a court issues an order of protection, the court may grant the petitioner the exclusive care, custody or control of any animal that is owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the petitioner, the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of the petitioner or the respondent, and order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, committing an act of cruelty or neglect in violation of section 13- 2910 or otherwise disposing of the animal.
AR ST § 9-15-205 and 9-15-401 to 407 ; A.C.A. § 9-15-205 and 9-15-401 to 407
Upon a finding of domestic abuse, a court may "[d]irect the care, custody, or control of any pet. owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either party residing in the household" in an order for protection filed by a petitioner. Arkansas also defines emotional abuse to include harming a spouse's pet in its Spousal Safety Plan Act; emotional abuse, if committed by a spouse against hir or her spouse, also constitutes spousal abuse.
CA FAM § 6320 - 6327; West's Ann. Cal. Fam. Code § 6320 - 6327
On a showing of good cause, the court may include in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent.
CO ST § 18-6-800.3; C. R. S. A. § 18-6-800.3
"Domestic violence" also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal.
5. District of Columbia (D.C.)
DC ST § 16-1005; DC CODE § 16-1005
This D.C. law provides that if, after a hearing, the judicial officer finds that there is good cause to believe the respondent has committed or threatened to commit a criminal offense against the petitioner or against petitioner's animal or an animal in petitioner's household, the judicial officer may issue a protection order that directs the care, custody, or control of a domestic animal that belongs to petitioner or respondent or lives in his or her household.
CT ST § 46b-15; C. G. S. A. § 46b-15
Under this Connecticut law, any family or household member who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury by another family or household member or person in, or has recently been in, a dating relationship who has been subjected to a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury by the other person in such relationship may apply to the Superior Court for an order of protection. The court may also make orders for the protection of any animal owned or kept by the applicant including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the respondent from injuring or threatening to injure such animal.
HI ST § 586-4; H R S § 586-4
In Hawaii, the ex parte temporary restraining order may also enjoin or restrain both of the parties from taking, concealing, removing, threatening, physically abusing, or otherwise disposing of any animal identified to the court as belonging to a household, until further order of the court.
IL ST CH 725 § 5/112A-14; 725 I.L.C.S. 5/112A-14
This Illinois law allows a court to issue an order of protection if the court finds that petitioner has been abused by a family or household member. It also allows for the protection of animals in domestic violence situations. The court can "[g]rant the petitioner the exclusive care, custody, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent and order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal."
I.C.A. §§ 236.3, 236.4, 236.5
Iowa now allows the court to grant petitioners exclusive care, possession, or control of any pets or companion animals in both temporary and permanent orders. The animals can belong to the petitioner, the abuser, or a minor child of the petitioner or the abuser. The court can also order the abuser to stay away from the animals and not take, hide, bother, attack, threaten, or otherwise get rid of the pet or companion animal.
LA R.S. 46:2135; LSA-R.S. 46:2135
This Louisiana law allows a court to enter a temporary restraining order, without bond, as it deems necessary to protect from abuse the petitioner. Among the provisions is one that allows the court to grant ". . . to the petitioner the exclusive care, possession, or control of any pets belonging to or under the care of the petitioner or minor children residing in the residence or household of either party, and directing the defendant to refrain from harassing, interfering with, abusing or injuring any pet, without legal justification, known to be owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either party or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either party."
ME ST T. 19-A § 4007; 19-A M. R. S. A. § 4007
This Maine law concerning personal protection orders in cases of abuse was amended in March of 2006 to include companion animals in protection orders. The new language specifies that a court may enter an order directing the care, custody or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household.
MD FAMILY § 4-501, 504.1; MD Code, Family Law, § 4-501, 504.1
This Maryland law amended in 2011 allows an interim protective order to award temporary possession of any pet (defined in § 4-501 as a domesticated animal except livestock) to the person eligible for relief or the respondent).
M.G.L.A. 209A § 11, MA ST 209A § 11
This Massachusetts law, effective October of 2012, allows the court to order the possession, care and control of any domesticated animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household to the plaintiff or petitioner in a no contact or restraining order. The court may order the defendant to refrain from abusing, threatening, taking, interfering with, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming or otherwise disposing of such animal.
MN ST § 518B.01; M.S.A. § 518B.01
This law reflects Minnesota's provision for restraining orders in cases of domestic abuse. An amendment in 2010 concerns the care and keeping of a companion animal owed by either petitioner or respondent, and has a provision to allow the court to prevent harm to such animal. As stated in the law, "The order may direct the care, possession, or control of a pet or companion animal owned, possessed, or kept by the petitioner or respondent or a child of the petitioner or respondent. It may also direct the respondent to refrain from physically abusing or injuring any pet or companion animal, without legal justification, known to be owned, possessed, kept, or held by either party or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either party as an indirect means of intentionally threatening the safety of such person."
NEV. REV. STAT. §33.018; NV ST §33.018
In Nevada, a knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other such as in juring or killing an animal, is included in their definition of Domestic Violence. A victim can then get a Protection Order and e njoin the adverse party from physically injuring, threatening to injure or taking possession of any animal that is owned or kept by the applicant or minor child, either directly or through an agent.
16. New Hampshire
N.H. Rev. Stat. §§ 173-B:1, 173:B4, 173:B5
New Hampshire now considers animal cruelty to be “abuse” under its protection of persons from domestic violence statute. The law now allows a judge to grant the petitioner of a protective order exclusive care, custody, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the victim, the abuser, or a minor child in the household; the law also allows a judge to order the abuser to stay away from the pet in both temporary and final domestic violence protective orders.
17. New Jersey
On January 17, 2012, Governor Christie signed the Domestic Violence Pet Protection Law . The law authorizes courts to include pets in domestic violence restraining orders. The court is allowed to enter an order "prohibiting the defendant from having any contact with any animal owed, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household."
18. New York
NY FAM CT § 842; McKinney's Family Court Act § 842
This New York law pertains to the issuance of protection orders. In July of 2006, the amendment that allows companion animals owned by the petitioner of the order or a minor child residing in the household to be included in the order was signed into law. The law specifically allows a court to order the respondent to refrain from intentionally injuring or killing, without justification, any companion animal the respondent knows to be owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the petitioner or a minor child residing in the household.
19. North Carolina
NC ST § 50B-3; N.C.G.S.A. § 50B-3
This North Carolina law reflects the state's provision for protective orders in cases of domestic abuse. A protective order may provide for possession of personal property of the parties, including the care, custody, and control of any animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet by either party or minor child residing in the household. The court may also order a party to refrain from cruelly treating or abusing an animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet by either party or minor child residing in the household.
OK ST T. 22 § 60.2; 22 Okl. St. Ann. § 60.2
This Oklahoma law reflects the state's provision for protective orders in cases of domestic abuse. The person seeking a protective order may further request the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner, defendant or minor child residing in the residence of the petitioner or defendant. The court may order the defendant to make no contact with the animal and forbid the defendant from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal.
O.R.S. § 107.718, OR ST § 107.718
Under this Oregon law, if requested by a petitioner who has been the victim of domestic abuse, the court may enter an order to protect a companion or therapy animal. This includes an order to "[p]revent the neglect and protect the safety of any service or therapy animal or any animal kept for personal protection or companionship, but not an animal kept for any business, commercial, agricultural or economic purpose."
22. Puerto Rico
PR ST T. 5 § 1678; 5 L.P.R.A. § 1678
This Puerto Rico law provides that, in all cases in which a person is accused of domestic violence or child abuse, the court shall, by petition of party, issue a protection order for the petitioner so that he/she be the sole custodian of the animal. The court shall order the accused to keep far away from the animal and prohibit contact of any kind. Violation is a fourth-degree felony.
23. South Carolina
Code 1976 § 20-4-60
South Carolina now allows a judge to issue a protective order that prohibits the harm or harassment against any pet animal owned, possessed, kept, or held by the petitioner; any family or household member designated in the order; or the respondent if the petitioner has a demonstrated interest in the pet animal.The law also allows the judge to issue a protective order that provides for temporary possession of the personal property, including pet animals, of the parties and order assistance from law enforcement officers in removing personal property of the petitioner if the respondent's eviction has not been ordered.
TN ST §36-3-601; T. C. A. § 36-3-601
Tennessee's Domestic Abuse definition includes inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by an adult or minor.
V.T.C.A., Family Code § 85.021, TX FAMILY § 85.021
In a protective order in Texas, the court may prohibit a party from removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code, from the possession of a person named in the order.
VT ST T. 15 § 1103; 15 V.S.A. § 1103
Vermont law was amended to allow a court to include an order relating to the possession, care and control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held as a pet by either party or a minor child residing in the household in a domestic violence situation.
VA Code Ann.§§ 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-279.1, 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, and 19.2-152.10
In 2014, Virginia amended its Protective Order laws to grant petitioners possession of any “companion animal," so long as the petitioner is considered the owner. Companion animals include any family pets, such as dogs, cats, hamsters, etc., but do not include farm animals. To be considered an owner, a petitioner must either have a property interest in the animal, keep or house the animal, have the animal in their care, or have acted as a custodian of the animal. This new provision is now included in Virginia's Emergency Protective Orders, Preliminary Protective Orders, and Protective Orders.
WA ST 26.50.060; West's RCWA 26.50.060
This Washington law reflects the state's provision for protective orders in cases of domestic abuse. In addition to other forms of relief, a court may also order possession and use of essential personal effects. Personal effects may include pets. The court may order that a petitioner be granted the exclusive custody or control of any pet owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the petitioner, respondent, or minor child residing with either the petitioner or respondent and may prohibit the respondent from interfering with the petitioner's efforts to remove the pet. The court may also prohibit the respondent from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance of specified locations where the pet is regularly found.
29. West Virginia
WV ST § 48-27-503; W. Va. Code, § 48-27-503
In West Virginia, the terms of a protective order may include awarding the petitioner the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent and prohibiting the respondent from taking, concealing, molesting, physically injuring, killing or otherwise disposing of the animal and limiting or precluding contact by the respondent with the animal.
Pets in Protection Orders by State
Functional Links Between Intimate Partner Violence and Animal Abuse:
Personality Features and Representations of Aggression
Society and Animals
Acts of intimate partner violence (IPV) and abuse of nonhuman animals are common, harmful, and co-occurring phenomena. The aim of the present study was to identify perpetrator subtypes based on variable paths hypothesized to influence physical violence toward both partners and nonhuman animals: (a) callousness and instrumental representations of aggression and (b) rejection sensitivity and expressive representations of aggression. Strong associations emerged between callousness and instrumental representations and between rejection-sensitivity and expressive representations. For males, callousness directly predicted both IPV and animal abuse. For females, rejection-sensitivity predicted IPV. Instrumental representations mediated the relationship between callousness and animal abuse for females but not for males. Results suggest that IPV and animal abuse functionally interconnect, that perpetration of animal abuse may differ in function across gender, and that identifying distinct pathways to violence may facilitate violence prediction and prevention.
Addressing “the Link” to Keep Human & Animal Victims Safer
Dr. Maya Gupta's presentation on addressing "the Link" between domestic violence and animal cruelty as presented at the 3rd National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference: Prosecuting Animal Cruelty & Preserving Community Safety.
The Link For Prosecutors
State Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
Alabama Animal Cruelty Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Alabama are found in four different chapters of the Code of Alabama: Title 2, Chapter 15; Title 3, Chapter 1; Title 13A, Chapter 11; and Title 13A Chapter 12. This document begins Title 13A (“the criminal code”) Chapter 11 (“offenses against public order and safety”) Article 1 (“offenses against public order and decency”). It summarizes each subsection that relates to animals, including the overarching law against intentional and reckless cruelty, neglect, and infliction of injury or death, as well as specific laws pertaining to police dogs and greyhounds used for racing.
Alaska Animal Cruelty Laws
Alaska’s criminal animal protection laws can be found in Title 11 (Criminal Law) and Title 3 (Agriculture, Animals, and Food). Title 11 contains the state’s main animal cruelty statute (§ 11.61.140), as well as the statute criminalizing animal-fighting exhibitions (§ 11.61.145). Title 3 contains general definitions (§ 03.55.190), minimum standards of animal care (§ 03.55.100), investigation of cruelty complaints (§ 03.55.110), seizure (§ 03.55.120), and destruction and adoption (§ 03.55.130). Alaska case law relates almost entirely to the main cruelty statute (§ 11.61.140).
Arizona Animal Cruelty Laws
This document begins with the cruelty to animals statute. This statute also provides penalties for interfering, killing or harming a working or service animal. Both misdemeanor and felony penalties are provided for within this section of Chapter 29. The following section contains Arizona’s bestiality statute which states that engaging in oral sexual contact, sexual contact, or sexual intercourse with an animal is unlawful. This includes causing another person to engage in those same activities with an animal and a violation of either will result in a class 6 felony conviction. However, if one causes a minor to engage in this conduct, it is a class 3 felony. The court may also order those convicted of bestiality to undergo a psychological evaluation and participate in appropriate counseling sessions.
Arkansas Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Arkansas include consolidated cruelty and animal fighting laws. Under the Arkansas code, animal(s) abuse can result in the animal being forfeited for an indefinite period of time, or the court can order a mental evaluation and or psychological/psychiatric treatment of the abuser. Moreover, after conviction of animal cruelty, up to one year in jail may be ordered and up to a $1,000 fine may be issued for each animal abused. Case law has firmly established the award of restitution for the keeper or caregiver of a forfeited animal. The court may order the offender to pay restitution to house and/or treat the forfeited animal, and may hold the animal until restitution is paid. This document begins with the offenses of cruelty to animals; aggravated cruelty to dog, cat, or horse; animal fighting; animal dying; and bear exploitation. This document then addresses exemptions to the aforementioned offenses. Then, the document addresses Arkansas sentencing laws.
California Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in California can be found throughout various parts of the Penal, Food & Agriculture, and Health & Safety Codes; Title 14 of the Penal Code, "Malicious Mischief," contains most of these laws, but others are included in Penal Code Titles 9, 10 and 13. In addition, the Food & Agriculture Code has criminal animal protection laws as well as Sections providing affirmative defenses to livestock owners for killing and/or seizing dogs.
Colorado Animal Protection Laws
In Colorado, criminal animal protection laws are contained primarily within Title 18.9, the Cruelty to Animals section of Article 9 of the Colorado Criminal Code, Offenses Against Public Peace, Order, and Decency, which include the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. However, there are also other laws related to animal cruelty defined elsewhere within the Code of Colorado, including Article 42 of Title 35, Agriculture, cited as the "Animal Protection Act" regarding rights of agricultural animals. This document lists each animal protection law currently in place and the procedural sections of each law with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When available, relevant case law from Colorado follows each law. This summary begins with statutes under Title 18.9, including the basic cruelty to animal statute and moves on to the unlawful ownership of dangerous dogs, animal fighting, tampering or drugging of livestock, and then moves on to statutes under Title 35, including the protection of animals mistreated, neglected, or abandoned and the euthanasia of injured animals. The remaining portion of the summary details penalties, punishments, and enforcement statutes relating to animal cruelty.
Connecticut Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Connecticut’s prohibitions against cruelty to animals fall within a comprehensive statutory framework. Central prohibitions are listed within the document, and discussed in the following order: •Title 22 – Agriculture. Domestic Animals -Chapter 435 – Dogs and Other Companion Animals. Kennels and Pet Shops •Title 29 – Public Safety and State Police -Chapter 530A.– Connecticut Humane Society •Title 53. Crimes. -Chapter 945. (Offenses Against Humanity and Morality) Cruelty to Animals. Connecticut cases found on PetAbuse.com are also included in this document.
Delaware Animal Cruelty Laws
The criminal animal cruelty laws for the state of Delaware can be found primarily within Title 11: Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Chapter 5: Specific Offenses, under Subchapter VII: Offenses Against Public Health, Order and Decency. The general anti-cruelty provisions for the state, as well as general definitions regarding animals can be found within §1325 of this subchapter. This summary begins with the most prominent animal cruelty laws in Delaware, which address an animal owner's duties; abandonment; and cruelty to animals generally, including both active and passive cruelty. These laws also address the selling or trading of the fur or pelt of a domestic dog or cat, animal fighting and baiting, and maintaining a dangerous animal.
District of Columbia Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in the District of Columbia consist of the consolidated cruelty statutes in sect. 22-1001 - 1015 of the DC Code, containing the animal cruelty and animal fighting provisions.& sect. 22-1001 sets forth the definition and penalty for animal cruelty. Prior codifications were 1973 sect. 22-801 and 1980 sect. 22-801, designated as such below if applicable & sect. 22-1013 defines "animal" as including all living and sentient beings with the exception of humans.
Florida Animal Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Title 46 Ch. 828 contains most of Florida’s laws related to animals. There are provisions for both misdemeanor, 828.12(1), and felony, 828.12(2), animal cruelty violations. Euthanasia of a suffering animal may be a complete defense , although the manner in which euthanasia is to be performed is proscribed by law . Local laws may exist, as provided in § 828.27(2), these specific rules are outside the scope of this document, but § 828.27(2) is summarized in the last section. In general, laws are in order of likely relevance, with animal cruelty and abandonment summarized first.
Georgia Animal Cruelty Laws
Georgia's criminal animal protection laws are contained primarily in Title 4 (Animals) and Title 16 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Official Code of Georgia. The main anti-cruelty laws in Title 4 can be found in Chapters 8, 11, and 13. Chapters 8 and 13 deal specifically with dogs and equines, respectively. The provisions of Chapter 11, Article 1 ("Georgia Animal Protection Act") encompass a broad range of issues concerning the treatment, care, and licensing of animals. Many of these provisions (particularly those dealing with unlawful acts and with the inspection, seizure, and impound or animals), are discussed below, while others are beyond the scope of this summary.
Hawaii Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Hawaii are relatively recent and minimal case law interpreting, enforcing, or applying these laws exist. Additionally, because of Hawaii's unique status as an island state, the State has enacted laws allowing the removal or destruction of non-native animals that damage the native Hawaiian habitat. In fact, one can be penalized or imprisoned if one is caught harboring or raising some of these animals. These statutes are older than the criminal animal protection laws, and there may be some possibility for conflict.
Idaho Animal Cruelty Laws
The criminal animal cruelty laws for the state of Idaho can be found primarily within Title 25 of West's Idaho Code Annotated, Animals, Chapter 35: Animal Care. This document begins with the cruelty to animals statutes in Idaho. The additional statutes in this section include poisoning animals, carrying an animal in a cruel manner and beating and harassing animals, which includes whipping, beating or other malicious treatment of any animal, or harassing any cattle, horses, sheep, or hogs with a dog. The next section contains the animal fighting provisions. The current cockfight statute has been amended and the new statute becomes effective on July 1, 2012. The dogfight statute makes it a felony to knowingly own, possess, train, keep, buy or sell dogs for the purpose of fighting, killing, maiming, or injuring other dogs. It is also a felony to advertise, promote, organize and participate in such exhibitions. Under Idaho law, it is permissible for any officer qualified by law to make arrests to enter the premises where there is an exhibition of fighting birds or animals or where preparations for such events take place and without warrant arrest them all.
Illinois Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Illinois consist of those in the Humane Care for
Animals and Animal Control Acts as well as various criminal provisions that are not included in either of these Acts. This document lists each animal protection law and the procedural sections of each Act with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that Act. The laws are followed by case law from Illinois and/or other states with similar statutes where available.
Indiana Animal Cruelty Laws
Indiana consolidates most of its animal cruelty and neglect statutes within Title 35, Criminal Law and Procedure, Article 46, Miscellaneous Offenses, Chapter 3, Offenses Relating to Animals. There are provisions under other titles as well relating to animal abuse and neglect in different contexts, including domestic violence, commercial animal breeding and sales, humane slaughter of livestock, public health and animal fighting.
Definitions are common grounds for appeals, although rarely successfully. Indiana courts have held consistently that the abuse and neglect statutes are sufficiently clear in their prohibitions and that several means of proof are admissible to prove each statute. Where definitions, applicability or penalties apply only to a particular article or chapter of law, such is indicated in parentheses next to the title of the statute.
Animal fighting statutes prohibit not only the staging of such contests, but also attendance, possession of an animal or paraphernalia relating to such contests, and the purchase of an animal for such purposes.
Livestock statutes in this summary are limited to the means of slaughter.
Miscellaneous statutes prohibit bestiality, coloring birds or rabbits, removing the vocal cords of an attack dog, using animal cruelty as a means to domestic violence, or harboring a non-immunized dog.
Wild animals are deemed the property of the state. Statutes pertaining to the taking of wild animals have been excluded, although cruelty laws are applicable to all animals. A town may prohibit the possession of exotic or wild animals for the welfare of the animal or safety of the public.
Provisions pertaining to animals for sale include restrictions on animal age and care.
Penalties may include fines, imprisonment, impoundment of animals and permanent loss of custody or possession of the animals.
Iowa Animal Cruelty Laws
The criminal animal protection laws of Iowa consist of two main chapters, addressing the abuse and neglect of non-livestock and livestock animals, respectively. The state has various additional criminal provisions including laws for the prevention of animal fighting and for the care of animals in commercial establishments. This digest presents each of these animal protection laws along with the relevant procedural laws or defenses, where available. Following each law is case law from Iowa, or from other states with similar statutes where little or no Iowa cases are available.
Kansas Animal Cruelty Laws
The primary provisions pertaining to animal cruelty are consolidated within a single statute, § 21-6412. Most additional animal cruelty codes in Kansas are contained in § 21, Crimes Against Public Morals. Statutes related specifically to the humane slaughter of livestock animals are contained in their own chapter, under § 47. A bestiality provision relating specifically to sodomy is also contained within § 21.
Kentucky Animal Cruelty Laws
In Kentucky, the majority of the basic animal cruelty and animal fighting laws are contained within Title 525 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. Other titles contain numerous provisions relating to the seizure of roaming dogs lacking identification tags, as well the role of dog wardens and/peace officers in the capture and destruction of such dogs. There are also some additional statutes pertaining to the general inability of veterinarians to obtain immunity in reporting suspected animal abuse, treatment of race horses, and use of reptiles in religious services. Additionally, relevant case law, including Kentucky Attorney General opinions, has been included where it affects the interpretation of listed statutes.
Louisiana Animal Cruelty Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Louisiana are contained primarily within Title 14, specifically § 14:102.1. However, there are a number of laws related to animal cruelty and defined elsewhere within the Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated. This document lists each animal protection law and the procedural sections with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When available, relevant case law from Louisiana follows each law. This document begins with the general animal cruelty statutes and then addresses related statutes involving corporations for prevention of animal cruelty, animal research facilities, photographs of cruelty and assistance dogs. The general animal cruelty statutes cover a range of issues including dogfighting, dangerous dog provisions, euthanasia standards and various penalties, punishments, and enforcements.
Maine Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Maine's prohibitions against cruelty to animals fall within a comprehensive statutory framework. Central prohibitions are listed in this document, and discussed in the following order:
Title 7 - Agriculture and Animals
Chapter 717 - Animal Welfare Act, 7 M.R.S.A. §§ 3901 - 10-B.
Chapter 739 - Cruelty to Animals, 7 M.R.S.A. §§ 4011-19.
See also Chapter 731 - Mistreatment of Animals, 7 M.R.S.A. § 3971-72 (concerning vivisection and unlawful use).
Title 17 - Crimes
Chapter 42 - Animal Welfare (Subchapters 1-4), 17 M.R.S.A. §§ 1011-46.
Maryland Animal Cruelty Summary
Maryland’s criminal animal protection laws consist of the consolidated statutes in § 10-601 through § 10-623 of the Criminal Code. These sections consist of the general cruelty statutes as well as animal fighting statutes and specific statutes meant to protect specific types of animals. Under these statutes, an animal is “any creature except a human being.” General animal cruelty is set out in § 10-604, while aggravated animal cruelty is § 10-606. There is also another statute in a separate section of the Criminal Code barring bestiality and a statute in the Agriculture Code that provides criminal punishment for the improper slaughter of cattle. While Maryland has a number of statutes protecting animals, there is very little case law regarding prosecutions and many of the cases available were pursued under prior versions of the statute. Where prior versions of the code are relevant, they are noted below.
Massachusetts Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Massachusetts can be found throughout various chapters and titles of Part I, "Administration of the Government," and Part IV, "Crimes, Punishments, and Proceedings in Criminal Cases." The criminal animal protection provisions in Part I consist of those in Titles XIX, "Agriculture and Conservation," and XX, "Public Safety and Good Order." Most of Massachusetts' animal protection laws, however, are located in Title I, "Crimes and Punishments," of Part IV. This digest lists each animal protection law and, where available, Massachusetts Case Law and Attorney General Opinions, as well as case law from other states with similar statutes.
Michigan Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Michigan can be found throughout various parts of the Penal, Animal Industry, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and Health Codes. The Michigan Penal Code, “Animals,” § 750.49 – .70 contains most of these laws. In addition, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protections laws cover discharge of substances injurious to animals and the Health Codes govern veterinary reporting. The Animal Industry laws regulate pet shop owners, breeders and the use of animals in research. This digest lists each animal protection law and, where available, Michigan Case Law.
Minnesota Animal Cruelty Laws
In Minnesota, criminal animal protection laws are contained primarily within the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Chapter of Police Regulations. There are also other laws related to animal cruelty and defined elsewhere within the Minnesota Statutes. This document lists each animal protection law and the procedural sections of each law with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When available, relevant case law from Minnesota will follow. Please note that the case law cited are primarily unpublished opinions. This document begins with the general animal cruelty statutes and then addresses related statutes involving animal fighting and use of animals as prizes or in advertising. The miscellaneous section includes a bestiality provision and cruelty provisions related to public safety and police animals.
Mississippi Animal Protection Laws
Mississippi consolidates most of its animal cruelty and abuse statutes within Title 97, Crimes, under Chapter 41, Cruelty to Animals. Title 97 also includes a prohibition against bestiality under Chapter 29, Crimes Against Morals and Decency, and against failing to isolate animals known to carry certain infectious diseases under Chapter 27, Crimes Affecting Public Health. This document presents Chapter 41 in its entirety and the relevant sections of chapters 29 and 27, including a summary of any relevant case law.
Missouri Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Missouri's animal protection statutes consist of the Consolidated Cruelty statutes, animal baiting and fighting statutes, and other offenses. The bulk of the statutes are contained within Chapter 578, Miscellaneous Offenses . Sections 578.005 through 578.050 cover animal abuse, neglect, and animal fighting offenses. Sections 578.170 through 578.179 contain additional statutes covering baiting and fighting of animals. Other statutes cover harm to service animals and bear wrestling. This document lists the statutes followed by relevant case law from Missouri, where available. Cases from other states are also included where laws are similar. A brief overview of Missouri's sentencing guidelines can be found on the final page of this document.
Montana Animal Cruelty Laws
Montana's animal protection laws can be found in Title 45 (Crimes) and Title 81 (Livestock). Title 45 contains statutes that define the offenses of animal cruelty (45-8-211) and aggravated animal cruelty (45-8-217), and provides penalties for harming a police dog (45-8-209) and animal-fighting (45-8-210). Title 81 contains a statute that controls the killing of dogs that harass, destroy or injure livestock (81-7-401) as well as statutes prohibiting aerial hunting (81-7-501) and harassing livestock (81-7-506). Title 81 also contains a description of unlawful acts regarding animal facilities (81-30-103), actions for damages (81-30-104) and penalties (81-30-105).
Nebraska Animal Cruelty Laws
The majority of Nebraska’s animal laws are located within Chapter 28, entitled “Crimes and Punishments;” however, the laws relating to livestock are located within Chapter 54, entitled “Livestock.” Nebraska’s animal laws primarily focus on animal fighting, cruelty and neglect, and indecency with animals, but other laws also govern the sale of young puppies and kittens and the mistreatment of a service animal. This summary begins with the animal fighting provisions and proceeds to cruelty and neglect, laws dealing with mistreatment of service animals, indecency with animals, sale of puppies and kittens, and finally treatment of livestock.
Nevada Animal Cruelty Laws
The criminal animal cruelty laws for the state of Nevada can be found primarily within Title 50 of West's Nevada Revised Statutes Annotated, Animals, Chapter 574: Cruelty to Animals: Prevention and Penalties, Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This document begins with Nevada's animal cruelty and neglect provisions. This section also provides felony charges for the mistreatment of a police animal, including interfering with the animal's duties and misdemeanor charges for allowing a dog or cat to remain unattended in a vehicle during periods of extreme heat or cold that may endanger their health or safety. The second section of this document includes Nevada's animal fighting statutes. The following section also allows for an officer of a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, who is authorized to make arrests, to take possession of any animals being treated cruelly. The statute provides that the officer must provide shelter and care or may destroy the animal in a humane manner upon receiving permission from the owner. In cases where an animal is seized under these conditions, notice must be given or mailed to the owner immediately upon ascertaining their location. These provisions do not apply to any animals found on land being used for agricultural use.
New Hampshire Criminal Animal Protection Laws
New Hampshire criminal protection laws are found in chapter 644. This document includes animal cruelty, fighting and protection statutes as well as relevant case law if available. The document also includes examples of animal cruelty cases from the website PetAbuse.com
New Jersey Animal Cruelty Laws
In New Jersey, criminal animal protection laws are contained primarily within Title 4, the Cruelty to Animal laws. There are also other laws related to animal cruelty and defined elsewhere within the New Jersey Statutes Annotated. This document lists each animal protection law and the procedural sections of each law with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When available, relevant case law from New Jersey follows each law.
New Mexico Animal Cruelty Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in New Mexico are contained within Article 18 of Chapter 30. This document lists each animal protection law and the procedural sections with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When applicable, relevant case law from New Mexico follows each law. This document begins with the general animal cruelty statutes and then addresses related statutes such as those involving unlawful use or confinement of animals, animal fighting, and laws pertaining to livestock.
New York Animal Cruelty Laws
New York's criminal animal protection laws are primarily contained in Article 26 of New York's Agriculture and Markets Law (§ 331 - 379), which also contains other more specific provisions related to treatment of animals as well as regulations for animal involved businesses and products derived from animals. There are also other laws related to animal cruelty elsewhere in New York law and they are included in this document as well. This document lists the animal protection laws in place in New York, current as of 2012. When available, relevant New York case law follows the statute listed. This summary begins with the general definitions and more general criminal animal cruelty statutes, follows with the more specific criminal animal cruelty provisions, and ends with the laws related to enforcement. Civil penalties or violations have not been included.
North Carolina Animal Cruelty Laws
In North Carolina, criminal animal protection laws are contained primarily in §§14-360 through14-363. However, there are also other laws related to animal cruelty in the North Carolina General Statutes. This document lists each animal protection law currently in place and the procedural sections of each case law that North Carolina follows from each law. This summary begins with the basic cruelty to animal statute and moves on to immunity for veterinarians reporting animal cruelty, instigating cruelty, abandonment, cockfighting, dog fighting, baiting, cruel restraint, cruel conveyance, living baby chicks, rabbits under eight weeks of age, novelties forbidden, confiscation of cruelly treated animals, prohibitions on computer-assisted remote hunting, treatment of endangered species, and other unlawful acts toward animals.
North Dakota Animal Cruelty Laws
Nearly all of North Dakota’s animal laws are located in Title 36 of the North Dakota Statutes, entitled “Livestock”, but there is also a provision in Title 12 for killing or injuring a law enforcement animal. North Dakota’s animal laws deal primarily with cruelty, neglect, abandonment, and abuse, with other laws that govern advertising and sale of animals and animal fighting. This summary begins with general cruelty and neglect provisions and moves through animal fighting, advertising and sale of animals, killing of law enforcement animals, ownership of skunks or raccoons, immunity to the statutes, and penalties for violation of the statutes. Applicable case law follows each statute where available.
Ohio Animal Cruelty Laws
Ohio has general and specific criminal animal cruelty statutes. The general statutes are Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 959.13, Cruelty to Animals, and § 959.131, Cruelty against Companion Animals. There are statutes that address more narrowly defined crimes, such as poisoning animals, although these are rarely used. Nearly all of Ohio’s animal cruelty statutes can be located in Title IX. Agriculture—Animals—Fences. The statutes and relevant case law cited throughout this document pertain specifically to domestic animals, wild animals, and livestock animals in accordance with the language of a given statute.
Oklahoma Animal Cruelty Laws
The criminal animal cruelty laws for the state of Oklahoma can be found primarily within Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes Annotated, Crimes and Punishments, Part VII: Crimes Against Property, Chapter 67: Injuries to Animals. This act is known as the Animal Facilities Protection Act. OK ST T. 21 §1680. The main focus of this act is the prohibition of animal cruelty and animal fighting. Animal cruelty in Oklahoma is defined as the willful or malicious torturing, destruction or killing of an animal. This also includes cruelly beating, injuring, maiming or mutilating an animal, regardless of whether it is wild or tame or whether it belongs to the person perpetrating the violence or someone else. In addition, the deprivation of necessary food, drink, shelter or veterinary care to prevent suffering to an animal is also considered animal cruelty. Animal cruelty carries a felony charge and can be punished by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term not exceeding five years, , imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding one year or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.
Oregon Animal Cruelty Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Oregon are contained primarily in Title 16, “Crimes and Punishments”, under Chapter 167, “Offenses Against Public Health, Decency and Animals”. Most of the relevant provisions, including the crimes and procedural matters, are found in the Oregon Revised Statutes “Offenses Against Animals,” Sections 167.310-.390. The penalties for the offenses are described in Chapter 161, “General Provisions”, of Title 16. There are exemptions written both within some statutes and in a separate statute. A separate provision, Chapter 686, defines the obligations and penalties of veterinarians.
Pennsylvania Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Pennsylvania consist mainly of those in the Cruelty to Animals statute. This document lists each provision in the Cruelty to Animals statute and the procedural sections with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that Act. This document also addresses animal protection laws that are not included in the Cruelty to Animals statute. Each of the laws is followed by case law from Pennsylvania, and/or other states with similar statutes, where available.
Rhode Island Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Rhode Island laws pertaining to animal care and licensing can be found in Title 4 Animals and Animal Husbandry. This document sets out laws pertaining to animal cruelty, humane care of animals, and treatment of animals at state rodeos followed by interpretive case law. Case law from other jurisdictions with similar animal cruelty laws is referenced where Rhode Island case law is lacking. Other laws pertaining to the humane treatment of animals can be found in Animals and Animal Husbandry chapters 19 and 20. Chapter 19 deals with the protection of owners of pets from the sale and use of stolen pets. The chapter also provides guidelines for pet shop owners, transporters, and animal shelters for providing humane care and treatment of animals while in their possession. Chapter 20 sets out guidelines and criteria for rodeo and rodeo-related events to ensure the humane treatment of rodeo animals and livestock in the state.
South Carolina Animal Cruelty Laws
In South Carolina, the majority of the basic animal cruelty laws are contained within Title 47 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. Title 16, which encompasses crimes and offenses, includes the Animal Fighting and Baiting Act. The State has comprehensive wildlife protection laws, which are enumerated in Title 50.
South Dakota Animal Cruelty Laws
In South Dakota, criminal animal protection laws are contained primarily within the Cruelty, Abuse and Injury to Animals Chapter of Title 40, Animals and Livestock. There is also a bestiality provision under the Sex Offenses Chapter of Title 22, Crimes. This document lists each animal protection law and the procedural sections of each law with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When available, relevant case law from South Dakota will follow. This document begins with the general animal cruelty statutes and then addresses related statutes involving animal fighting, dangerous animals and diseased or fatally injured animals. The general animal cruelty statutes are broken up into intentional acts and neglect. Besides the bestiality provision, statutes related to treatment of livestock and service animals can be found under the miscellaneous section of this document. Exemptions include regulated scientific experiments using live animals and the destruction of dangerous animals.
Tennessee Animal Cruelty Laws
This summary begins with § 39-14-202, which addresses cruelty to animals. It divides cruelty to animals in categories that include torture, neglect (failure to provide adequate food, water, care, or shelter), abandonment, improper transportation, harm related to competition, and harmful restraint. About half of the cases address torture, resulting from, e.g., beating a dog, shooting a dog, untreated illness, and unsanitary conditions. The other half of the cases address neglect, resulting from, e.g., putting too many horses on a small pasture, keeping dogs in an unsanitary kennel with inadequate food and water, and untreated illnesses. § 39-14-201 defines terms used in § 39-14-202, such as torture. Neglect of a dog’s injuries is an example of torture.
§ 39-14-203 prohibits involvement in any aspect of animal fighting, including being a spectator, keeping or training an animal for fighting, or permitting an animal fight to take place on one’s premises. In most cases, the guilty parties are caught in the dog fighting episodes.
According to § 39-14-205, intentional killing of animals is prohibited, unless the animal poses imminent serious harm. Convictions usually result from shooting a dog.
The remaining provisions address specific animals or issues, including dyed baby fowl or rabbits (§ 39-14-204), impounded animals (§ 39-14-207), guide dogs (§ 39-14-208), horse shows (§ 39-14-209), livestock (§ 39-14-211), removal of electronic or radio dog collar or microchip implant (§ 39-14-213), sexual activity with animals (§ 39-14-214), emergency care (§ 39-14-215), aggravated cruelty to livestock (§ 39-14-217), and the Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act (§§ 39-14-802-06).
Texas Criminal Animal Protection Laws
Criminal animal protection laws in Texas consist primarily of four provisions of the Texas Penal Code which cover cruelty to livestock and nonlivestock animals, attacks on assistance animals and dog fighting. This document sets out each of these laws and highlights relevant case law developments for each.
Utah Animal Cruelty Laws
The criminal animal cruelty laws for the state of Utah can be found primarily within Title 76 of West’s Utah Code Annotated, Utah Criminal Code, Chapter 9: Offenses Against Public Order and Decency, Part 3: Cruelty to Animals. This document begins with the general provisions and definitions for animal cruelty within the state of Utah.
Vermont Animal Cruelty Laws
Vermont statutes provide protection for animals against killing, beating, and inhumane confinement. They include basic requirements for shelter, exercise, care, and sanitation. Importantly, though, these cruelty laws are not applicable to agricultural animals. However, there are extensive laws governing the transport of animals and these do apply to agricultural animals. The transport laws include a provision making it illegal to leave an animal in a parked car in unsafe conditions. Furthermore, the law bans animal fighting and extends liability to anyone viewing such fights, and also bans the shooting of birds for amusement. The law also prohibits leaving poison on one's land for the purpose of killing animals, with an exception for pests. The killing of suspected rabid dogs and wolf-hybrids is legal. Additionally, there is a special provision forbidding the sale of dyed chicks. Lastly, there is no specific provision against bestiality, but the statutes prohibiting child sexual abuse define sexual conduct to include bestiality.
Virginia Animal Cruelty Laws
In Virginia, criminal animal protection laws are contained primarily within Title 3.2, the Comprehensive Animal Care laws, which include the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. However, there are also other laws related to animal cruelty defined elsewhere within the Code of Virginia. This document lists each animal protection law currently in place and the procedural sections of each law with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When available, relevant case law from Virginia follows each law. This summary begins with the basic cruelty to animal statute and moves on to the neglect of companion animals, followed by relative statutes involving abandonment, animal fighting, and sexual assault. The remaining portion of the summary details penalties, punishments, and enforcement.
Washington Animal Cruelty Laws
The criminal animal cruelty laws for the state of Washington can be found primarily within Title 16 of West’s Revised Code of Washington, Animals and Livestock, Chapter 16.52: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
West Virginia Animal Cruelty Laws
Several parts of the West Virginia Code deal with animal cruelty. These laws can be divided into five categories: those dealing with humane officers, general animal cruelty, dog and cats, hunting, and the humane slaughter of livestock.
Wisconsin Animal Cruelty Laws
A significant number of Wisconsin's animal cruelty statutes are contained within Chapter 951 of Wisconsin's Statutes and Court Rules, Crimes Against Animals. The statute begins with definitions and an overview of appropriate construction and application of animal cruelty laws, followed by a broad statute, §951.02, on the general mistreatment of animals. Contained within Chapter 951 is a wide array of animal cruelty and neglect laws, concerning everything from transportation of animals to animal fighting to professional animals as well as domestic animals and the sale of animals. Additional provisions relating to animal cruelty in Wisconsin can be found within Chapter 173, Animals; Humane Officers. There are additional laws on animal fighting and the sale of animals, as well as a number of statutes pertaining to animals in custody. Finally, the law regarding humane slaughter of livestock animals is located in Chapter 95, Animal Health and the law regarding bestiality is located in Chapter 944, Crimes against Sexual Morality. Penalties for animal crimes are located in Chapters 95 and 951.
Wyoming Animal Cruelty Laws
Wyoming has a consolidated animal cruelty provision within Chapter 3 of Title 6. This provision includes a new offense of “household pet animal cruelty.” Wyoming has separate provisions concerning cruelty to livestock in Chapter 29 of Title 11, as well as additional animal cruelty-related provisions in Title 11. This document lists each animal protection law and the procedural sections with which officers must comply when enforcing a provision of that law. When available, relevant case law from Wyoming follows each law.