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Wyoming

West's Wyoming Statutes Annotated. Title 6. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 3. Offenses Against Property. Article 2. Property Destruction and Defacement. 6-3-203. Cruelty to animals; penalties; limitation on manner of destruction

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: WY ST 6-3-203

Citation: W. S. 1977 6-3-203


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 09/2013

Summary:   Wyoming amended its cruelty law in early 2011 to include the new offense of "household pet animal cruelty." A person commits household pet animal cruelty if he or she keeps a household pet in a manner that results in chronic or serious physical harm or keeps the pet confined in conditions that create a public health hazard. A household pet does not include any livestock animals as defined by state law. Under the general anti-cruelty part of the law, a person commits cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly and with intent to cause death, injury or undue suffering overrides an animal or drives an animal when overloaded, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, tortures, torments, injures, mutilates or attempts to kill an animal, or carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or death.  The neglect component provides that person who has charge and custody of any animal and unnecessarily fails to provide it with the proper food, drink or protection from the weather, or cruelly abandons the animal, or fails to provide the animal with appropriate medical care is also guilty of cruelty.  Knowingly engaging in animal fighting constitutes aggravated cruelty with a possible penalty of six months imprisonment or a 750.00 fine and penalty enhancements for subsequent convictions.  Exclusions include agricultural practices, hunting, rodeos, and dog training as well as "humanely destroying an animal."


Statute in Full:

 

Link to Cruelty to Livestock Laws (WY ST § 11-29-101 - 115)


§ 6-3-203. Cruelty to animals; penalties; limitation on manner of destruction

(a) A person commits cruelty to animals if he knowingly and with intent to cause death, injury or undue suffering:

(i) Overrides an animal or drives an animal when overloaded; or

(ii) Unnecessarily or cruelly beats, tortures, torments, injures, mutilates or attempts to kill an animal; or

(iii) Carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or death.

(b) A person commits cruelty to animals if he has the charge and custody of any animal and unnecessarily fails to provide it with the proper food, drink or protection from the weather, or cruelly abandons the animal, or in the case of immediate, obvious, serious illness or injury, fails to provide the animal with appropriate care.

(c) A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals if he:

(i) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 91, § 2.

(ii) Owns, possesses, keeps or trains fowls or dogs with the intent to allow the dog or fowl to engage in an exhibition of fighting with another dog or fowl;

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 91, § 2.

(iv) For gain causes or allows any dog or fowl to fight with another dog or fowl;

(v) Knowingly permits any act prohibited under paragraphs (ii) or (iv) of this subsection on any premises under his charge or control; or

(vi) Promotes any act prohibited under paragraphs (ii) or (iv) of this subsection.

(d) A person shall not destroy an animal by the use of a high-altitude decompression chamber or a carbon monoxide gas chamber utilizing a gasoline engine. This subsection is uniformly applicable to all cities and towns.

(e) Unless punishable under subsection (n) of this section, a violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both except that a subsequent offense is a high misdemeanor punishable by not more than one (1) year imprisonment, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or both.

(f) Nothing in subsection (c) of this section may be construed to prohibit:

(i) The use of dogs in the management of livestock by the owner of the livestock, his employees or agents or other persons in lawful custody of the livestock;

(ii) The use of dogs or raptors in hunting; or

(iii) The training of dogs or raptors or the use of equipment in the training of dogs or raptors for any purpose not prohibited by law;

(iv) Repealed by Laws 2000, ch. 86, § 2.

(v) Repealed by Laws 2000, ch. 86, § 2.

(vi) Repealed by Laws 2000, ch. 86, § 2.

(g) A person commits cruelty to animals if he is knowingly present at any place where an exhibition of fighting of fowls or dogs is occurring for amusement or gain.

(h) If a person convicted of a violation of this section is also the owner of the animal, the court may require the person to forfeit ownership of the animal to the county in which the person is convicted. This subsection shall not affect the interest of any secured party or other person who has not participated in the offense.

(j) In addition to any sentence and penalties imposed under subsections (e), (h) and (n) of this section, the court may:

(i) Require the defendant to pay all reasonable costs incurred in providing necessary food and water, veterinary attention and treatment for any animal affected; and

(ii) Prohibit or limit the defendant's ownership, possession or custody of animals, as the court deems appropriate.

(k) Each animal affected by the defendant's conduct may constitute a separate count for the purposes of prosecution, conviction, sentencing and penalties under this section.

(m) Nothing in subsection (a), (b) or (n) of this section shall be construed to prohibit:

(i) A person from humanely destroying an animal;

(ii) The use of industry accepted agricultural and livestock practices on livestock;

(iii) Rodeo events, whether the event is performed in a rodeo, jackpot or otherwise; or

(iv) The hunting, capture or destruction of any predatory animal or other wildlife in any manner not otherwise prohibited by law.

(n) A person commits a felony if he commits aggravated cruelty to animals as defined in subsection (c) of this section or knowingly and with intent to cause death, injury or undue suffering, cruelly beats, tortures, torments, injures or mutilates an animal resulting in the death or required euthanasia of the animal. A felony under this subsection or subsection (c) of this section is punishable by not more than two (2) years imprisonment, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or both.

(o) There is created the “cruelty to household pet animals protection account.” Funds shall be credited to the account as provided by law. Funds in the account are continuously appropriated to the attorney general to reimburse county law enforcement agencies for eligible expenses regarding household pet animal cruelty cases under subsection (p) of this section. The attorney general shall develop rules and regulations to establish eligible expenses and to determine how county law enforcement agencies will be reimbursed for the costs of any household pet animal cruelty case, in an amount not to exceed ninety percent (90%) in any particular case. Any reimbursement under this subsection shall be contingent upon available funding and upon a showing that the agency has made reasonable efforts to seek reimbursement from the offender of expenses incurred by the agency, as permitted by law. All funds in the account may be used for and are continuously appropriated for eligible expenses authorized to be made under this subsection. The cruelty to household pet animals protection account shall be a permanent, nonreversion account within the state auditor's office. As used in this subsection and subsection (p) of this section, “household pet” means any privately owned dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, mouse, gerbil, ferret, bird, fish, reptile, amphibian, invertebrate or any other species of domesticated animal sold, transferred or retained for the purpose of being kept as a pet in or near a house. “Household pet” shall not include any livestock as defined in W.S. 23-1-102(a)(xvi).

(p) A person commits household pet animal cruelty if he:

(i) Keeps any household pet in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm to the household pet; or

(ii) Keeps the household pet confined in conditions which constitute a public health hazard.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1982, ch. 75, § 3; Laws 1985, ch. 174, § 1; Laws 1987, ch. 91, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1994, ch. 23, § 1; Laws 2000, ch. 86, §§ 1, 2, eff. March 14, 2000; Laws 2003, ch. 165, § 1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2008, ch. 19, § 1, eff. July 1, 2008; Laws 2011, ch. 168, § 1, eff. March 3, 2011.

 



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