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Animal Fighting: Related Statutes

Statute Name Citation Summary
AK - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   AK ST 03.55.100 - 190; AK ST 11.61.140 - 145   This section comprises Alaska's anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws, which were amended in 2010. A person commits cruelty to animals if the person: knowingly inflicts severe and prolonged physical pain or suffering on an animal; with criminal negligence, fails to care for an animal and, as a result, causes the death of the animal or causes severe physical pain or prolonged suffering to the animal; kills or injures an animal by the use of a decompression chamber; intentionally kills or injures a pet or livestock by the use of poison; knowingly kills or injures an animal with the intent to intimidate, threaten, or terrorize another person; or knowingly engages in sexual conduct with an animal, films such activity, induces such activity, or intentionally permits this to occur on premises under the person's control. The court may also prohibit or limit the defendant's ownership, possession, or custody of animals for up to 10 years for convictions under this section.  
AL - Dog Fighting - Activities relating to fighting of dogs prohibited; violations; confiscation; procedures for disposition of animals; bond for the care of seized dog; forfeiture.   AL ST 3-1-29   This Alabama statute constitutes the state's dogfighting law.  Under the law, it is a class C felony for any person to own, possess, keep or train any dog with the intent that such dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog; for amusement or gain, to cause any dog to fight with another dog, or cause any dogs to injure each other; or to permit any of the above acts.  The law also makes it a class C felony to knowingly be present or be a spectator at dogfights.  
AR - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty/Animal Fighting Laws   AR ST 5-62-101 -126; 5-14-122   This section contains the Arkansas anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  A person commits a misdemeanor if he or she knowingly abandons any animal, subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment, fails to supply an animal in his or her custody with a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water, fails to provide an animal in his or her custody with adequate shelter, kills or injures any animal belonging to another without legal privilege or consent of the owner, or carries an animal in or upon any motorized vehicle or boat in a cruel or inhumane manner. Aggravated cruelty to a cat, dog, or horse is a Class D felony if the offense involves the torture.  
AZ - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty/Animal Fighting Statutes   AZ ST 13-2910 - 09; 13-1411   The Arizona section contains the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly subjects any animal under the person's custody or control to cruel neglect or abandonment, fails to provide medical attention necessary to prevent protracted suffering to any animal under the person's custody or control, inflicts unnecessary physical injury to any animal, or recklessly subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment, among other things.  Animal is defined as a mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian.  Exclusions include hunting and agricultural activities in accordance with those laws and regulations in Arizona.  Intentionally attending a dogfight is a felony under this provision whereas attendance at a cockfight is a misdemeanor.  
CA - Cockfighting - 597i. Cockfighting implements; prohibitions; penalties   CA PENAL 597i   This statute makes it unlawful for anyone to manufacture, buy, sell, barter, exchange, or have in his possession any of the implements commonly known as gaffs or slashers, or any other sharp implement designed to be attached in place of the natural spur of a gamecock or other fighting bird. The section also provides for forfeiture of such items, in addition to any sentence imposed by the court.  
CA - Cockfighting - 597j. Persons who own, possess or keep or train any bird or other animal with intent that it be used or engaged in fighting exhibition; penalties   CA PENAL 597j   This section prohibits any person from owning, possessing, or keeping any cock with the intent that it shall be used in any exhibition of fighting.  
CA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty and Penal Code Sections   Cal. Penal Code 286.5; 596 - 600.5  

These sections from the California Penal Code detail the crimes associated with animals, including anti-cruelty provisions, animal fighting statutes, unlawful killing methods, horse-specific laws, and a miscellaneous section containing provisions related to guide dogs, police dogs, bestiality, etc.

 
CA - Dog Fighting - 597.5. Fighting dogs; felony; punishment; spectators; exceptions   CA PENAL 597.5   This California statute provides that it is a felony to own, possess, keep, or train any dog, with the intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog, or to cause dogs to fight for the purpose of amusement or gain.  Knowingly being a spectator at such an event constitutes a misdemeanor.  
CA - Enforcement - Chapter 5. Arrest, by Whom and How Made.   CA PENAL 837, 847   This set of provisions authorizes private citizens to make arrests and explains when and how citizen arrests may be made.  
CA - Fighting - 597c. Animal fighting exhibitions; spectators; penalty   CA PENAL 597c   Whoever owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any bird or animal, with the intent that such animal shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting, or is present at such exhibition, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  
CA - Fighting - 597d. Fighting animals or birds; entries and arrests without warrant   CA PENAL 597d   This provision allows for law enforcement officers to enter any place, building, or tenement, where there is an exhibition of the fighting of birds or animals, or where preparations are being made for such an exhibition, and, without a warrant, arrest all persons present.  
CA - Fighting - 598.1. Dogfighting; forfeiture proceedings   CA PENAL 598.1   This California law allows the prosecuting attorney to file a petition for forfeiture in animal fighting cases under Section 597.5 or subdivision (b) of Section 597b. Any property interest, whether tangible or intangible, that was acquired through the commission of any of the crimes listed in subdivision (a) of Section 597.5 or subdivision (b) of Section 597b shall be subject to forfeiture, including both personal and real property, profits, proceeds, and the instrumentalities acquired, accumulated, or used by cockfighting or dogfighting participants, organizers, transporters of animals and equipment, breeders and trainers of fighting birds or fighting dogs, and persons who steal or illegally obtain dogs or other animals for fighting, including bait and sparring animals.  
CA - Fighting Animals - 597b. Fighting animals or cockfighting; prohibition; penalties; aiding and abetting   CA PENAL 597b  

This statute forbids anyone from causing a fight between any animal or creature for amusement or gain, or allowing an animal fight to take place on her premises.  It also makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to be present at an animal fight.

 
CA - Forfeiture - 599aa. Seizure of fighting animals and birds, paraphernalia, etc.; affidavit of officer; custody of seized property; forfeiture and destruction or redelivery   CA PENAL 599aa   This section provides for the seizure and forfeiture of all birds, animals, paraphernalia, and any other property which is used in the fighting of birds or animals, the training of birds or animals to fight, or to inflict pain or cruelty on fighting animals.  The section outlines the procedures for seizure and forfeiture, including what is to be done with seized animals.  
CO - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty/Animal Fighting Statutes   CO ST 18-9-201 - 209; 35-42-101 - 115   This Colorado section contains the anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws. A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, allows to be housed in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, or otherwise mistreats or neglects any animal.  A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly tortures, needlessly mutilates, or needlessly kills an animal.  Cruelty to animals is a class 1 misdemeanor and aggravated cruelty or a second conviction of animal cruelty is class 6 felony.  This section also prohibits animal fighting (not limited to certain species such as dogs or chickens). Violation of this law results in a class 5 felony.  This section also makes it illegal to  own a dangerous dog and "tamper" with livestock.  
DC - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   DC ST 22-1001 - 1015   This D.C. statutory section comprises the anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Whoever knowingly overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly chains, cruelly beats or mutilates, any animal, or knowingly causes such acts, or one who unnecessarily fails to provide proper food, drink, air, light, space, veterinary care, shelter, or protection from the weather, faces imprisonment up to180 days, or a fine of $250, or both.  Actions that result in serious bodily injury or death to the animal result in felony prosecution with imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine of $25,000, or both.  "Animal" is defined by statute as all living and sentient creatures (human beings excepted).  This section also prohibits animal fighting as either a felony (i.e., wagering or conducting the fight) or a misdemeanor (knowingly being present).  
DE - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   DE ST TI 11 1325 - 1327; DE ST TI 3 7901 - 8007; DE ST TI 11 775 (formerly DE ST TI 11 777)   These Delaware sections comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Delaware's anti-cruelty section provides that cruelty to animals is when a person intentionally or recklessly subjects any animal (excluding fish, crustacea or molluska) to cruel mistreatment, cruel neglect, or kills or injures any animal belonging to another person.  Actively engaging in animal fighting activities is a class F felony while being a spectator at a fight is a class A misdemeanor.  
FL - Cruelty, Humane Slaughter - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes/Humane Slaughter Laws   FL ST 828.01 - 828.43   This section comprises the Florida anti-cruelty laws.  Under this section, the word "animal" includes every living dumb creature.  The misdemeanor violation of animal cruelty (section 828.12) occurs when a person unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or carries in or upon any vehicle, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner.  A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering is guilty of a felony of the third degree.  Psychiatric or psychological counseling are also mandatory for convicted offenders.  The section also criminalizes animal abandonment and neglect as well as animal fighting.  
GA - Dogfighting - Article 2. Gambling and Related Offenses.   GA ST 16-12-37  

Georgia's dogfighting statute states that any person who owns, possesses, trains, transports, or sells any dog with the intent that such dog shall be engaged in fighting with another dog, wagers money or anything of value on the result of such dogfighting, knowingly permits dogfighting on his or her premises, knowingly promotes or advertises an exhibition of fighting commits the offense of dogfighting. Violation of the law is a felony, with a mandatory fine of $5,000.00 or a mandatory fine of $5,000.00 in addition to imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years. On a second or subsequent conviction, such person shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine of not less than $15,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment. Any person who is knowingly present only as a spectator at any place for the fighting of dogs shall, upon a first conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.  

 
GA - Equine Liability Act - Chapter 12. Injuries from Equine or Llama Activities.   GA ST 4-12-1 to 5   This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or professional, or a llama sponsor or professional, or any other person, including corporations, are immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine or llama activities.  However, there are exceptions to this rule:  A person will be held liable for injuries if they display a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if they fail to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant.  
HI - Cruelty - Hawaii Cruelty to Animals Provisions (Chapter 711)   HI ST 711-1100 - 1110.5   Under this set of Hawaii laws, a person commits the misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly overdrives, overloads, tortures, torments, cruelly beats or starves any animal, deprives a pet animal of necessary sustenance, mutilates, poisons, or kills without need any animal other than insects, vermin, or other pests, or engages in animal fighting enterprises.  Dog fighting constitutes a felony where the person owns or trains the dog to fight.  The section has enhanced penalties for cruelty to guide or service animals or interference with their duties.  
IA - Cruelty - Injury to Animals other than Livestock   IA ST 717B.1 - 717E.3   Under Title XVI of Iowa's criminal code, there are several chapters that outlaw forms of animal cruelty and animal fighting.  The main animal cruelty provisions are contained in chapter 717B (Injuries to Animals other than Livestock). This chapter defines "animal" as any nonhuman vertebrate.  However, it excludes livestock, game, fur-bearing animal, fish, reptile, or amphibian unless a person owns, confines, or controls the game, fur-bearing animal, fish, reptile, or amphibian, and any nongame considered a "nuisance."  There are separate prohibitions against animal abuse, animal neglect, animal torture, abandonment of a cat or dog, and injury to a police service dog.  Under both the animal abuse and animal torture sections, a first offense results in an aggravated misdemeanor.  However, animal torture requires a mandatory psychological evaluation and graduates subsequent convictions to felony status.  Exclusions under the various sections include veterinary care, hunting, animal husbandry, and scientific research, among others.  Other criminal chapters include chapters 717C.1 (Bestiality), 717D (Animal Contest Events), and 717E (Pets as Prizes).  
ID - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   ID ST 25-3501 - 3521; ID ST 18-6605   These Idaho statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Every person who is cruel to any animal and whoever having the charge or custody of any animal subjects any animal to cruelty is guilty of a misdemeanor.  "Animal" means any vertebrate member of the animal kingdom, except humans.  "Cruelty" is defined as the intentional and malicious infliction of pain, physical suffering, injury or death upon an animal as well as the negligent deprivation of necessary sustenance, among other things.  Dogfighting and cockfighting exhibitions are also prohibited, but the rearing of gamecocks regardless of their later intended use is not prohibited.  
IL - Cruelty Generally - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes (Humane Care for Animals Act)   IL ST CH 510 70/1 - 18; IL ST CH 720 5/12-35  

This comprehensive Humane Care of Animals Act from Illinois gives the requisite anti-cruelty provisions.  "Animal" means every living creature, domestic or wild, but does not include man.  Notably, the Act includes a provisions for psychological counseling for a person convicted of violating this section.  An individual is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony with every day that a violation continues constituting a separate offense.  The Act includes special provisions for juveniles and "companion animal hoarders" (510 ILCS 70/2.10).  The cruelty provisions are listed at 510 ILCS 70/3.01, 3.02, and 3.03.  The statute also prohibits the marketing and distribution of depictions of animal torture or cruelty for entertainment purposes (510 ILCS 70/3.03-1).

 
IL - Dog Fighting - Chapter 720. Criminal Offenses   IL ST CH 720 5/26-5; renumberedIL ST CH 720 5/48-1   The following statute comprises Illinois' dogfighting law.  Under the law, it is a felony to promote or instigate a fight, or to train or sell a dog for dogfighting purposes.  Further, no person may solicit a minor to violate this Section. Providing equipment or aiding in providing equipment for a fight is also a felony.  Knowingly attending a dogfight is a Class 4 felony for a first violation. A second or subsequent violation of subsection (g) of this Section is a Class 3 felony.  
IN - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   IN ST 35-46-3-.05 to 15; IN ST 36-8-3-18   These Indiana statutes set forth the anti-cruelty laws.  As used in this chapter, "animal" does not include a human being.  A person having a vertebrate animal in the person's custody who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally abandons or neglects the animal commits cruelty to an animal, a Class B misdemeanor.  A person who knowingly or intentionally purchases or possesses an animal for the purpose of using the animal in an animal fighting contest commits a Class A misdemeanor.  
KS - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty and Animal Fighting Laws   KS ST 21-6411 - 6418 (formerly KS ST 21-4310 - 4319); KS ST 21-5504 (formerly KS ST 21-3505)   The Kansas anti-cruelty statutes define cruelty to animals as knowingly killing, injuring, maiming, torturing, burning or mutilating any animal. Also included as cruelty are abandoning any animal, failing to provide food, horse-tripping, and poisoning any domestic animal, unlawful disposition of animals, dog and cock-fighting. Cruelty to animals may be a misdemeanor or a felony. Exceptions are made for such things as veterinary practices, research experiments, rodeo and farming practices, euthanasia, and pest control. It is also illegal to allow a dangerous animal to run at large or to engage in sodomy with an animal.  
KY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   KY ST 525.125 - 135; KY ST 436.610   These Kentucky statutes represent the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Under the law, animal cruelty in the first-degree (a class D felony) occurs when a person causes four-legged animals to fight for pleasure or profit.  Exclusions under this section include, among others, the killing of animals when hunting, fishing, or trapping; as incident to the processing as food or for other commercial purposes; or for veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes.  
LA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   LSA-R.S. 14:102 - .26   These Louisiana statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  The term "cruel" is defined in the first section every act or failure to act whereby unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted.  The crime of cruelty to animals is subdivided into simple cruelty or aggravated cruelty. Simple cruelty occurs when a person intentionally or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, or overworks, torments, cruelly beats, or unjustifiably injures, or, having charge, custody, or possession of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, unjustifiably fails to provide any living animal with proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, or proper veterinary care.  
LA - Dog Fighting - House Bill 2064 (Louisiana Prohibition on Illegal Dog Training (failed))   Louisiana House Bill 2064 (2001)  

This Louisiana 2001 proposed law would have provided for the crime of illegally training dogs; however, it died in committee.  It would have also defined "illegally train" to mean the training of a dog to attack or kill a human being, another dog, or any other animal species.  The proposed law would have created exceptions for any dog used by law enforcement officials, a guard dog used to defend livestock raised for commercial or subsistence purposes, or a guard dog used to defend any school, place of business, or personal residence.   Violation of the proposed law would have incurred a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

 
LA - Dog Fighting - Senate Bill 682 (Louisiana Prohibition on Animal Fighting (failed))   Louisiana Senate Bill 682 (2001)   This Louisiana Senate Bill proposed in 2001 would have expanded the definition for animal fighting from "dog fighting" to "animal fighting" and also prohibits intentional animal fighting.  The amended law would have provided for the seizure and destruction or disposition of such animals and equipment used in animal fighting and would have created penalties for violations, including imprisonment.   
LA - Dog Fighting - Senate Bill 866 (Louisiana Dogfighting Amendments (passed))   Louisiana Senate Bill 866 (2001)   This Louisiana senate bill passed in the summer of 2001 defines the act of dogfighting and makes admissible as evidence of dogfighting certain paraphernalia used in the training of dogs to fight and injuries or alterations to the dog that are consistent with dogfighting.  It exempts certain activities, including the training of dogs to protect livestock and the cropping of dogs' ears for cosmetic purposes.  Upon first conviction, violation incurs a fine of  not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment with or without hard labor for not more than one year, or both. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than three thousand dollars or be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than three years, or both.  
MA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   MA ST 272 77 - 95; MA ST 272 34; MA ST 22C 57   These Massachusetts laws contain the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  § 77 is the operative anti-cruelty statute and provides that whoever overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates or kills an animal, and whoever uses in a cruel or inhuman manner in a race, game, or contest, or in training, as lure or bait a live animal (except as bait in fishing), or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.  Other prohibitions include the dyeing of baby chicks, the docking of horse tails, and both felony and misdemeanor penalties for animal fighting, depending on conduct. In 2010, the state made non-medically necessary devocalization of dogs or cats illegal.  
MD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   MD CRIM LAW 10-601 - 623; MD CRIM LAW 3-322   This Maryland statutory section comprises the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  Under the section, "animal" means a living creature except a human being.  "Cruelty" is defined as the unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering caused or allowed by an act, omission, or neglect, and includes torture and torment.  Agricultural, veterinary, research, and "an activity that may cause unavoidable physical pain to an animal, including food processing, pest elimination, animal training, and hunting. . . " are excluded from the purview of the act.  
ME - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   ME ST Tit. 7 3971 - 4041; ME ST Tit. 17 1011 - 1046   These Maine statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  The first section of laws occurs under Title 7, Agriculture and Animals.  Under these laws, a person commits animal cruelty if he or she kills the animal of another person; kills an animal by an inhumane method; injures, overworks, tortures, torments, abandons or cruelly beats or intentionally mutilates an animal; gives drugs to an animal with an intent to harm the animal; gives poison or alcohol to an animal; or exposes a poison with intent that it be taken by an animal.  The neglect component of the statute provides that a person commits cruelty if he or she deprives an animal that the person owns or possesses of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions.  These acts are then cross-referenced under the criminal provisions of Title 17, which describes the penalties under § 1031.  Animal fighting is a class D crime under this section.  
MI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes (MCL 750.49 - 70)   M. C. L. A. 750.49 - 70; M.C.L.A. 750.158   The Michigan Legislature has designed three primary provisions related to cruelty to animals: intentional infliction of pain and suffering, duty to provide care, and anti-animal fighting.  The intentional infliction of pain and suffering provision carries the most severe penalties for animal cruelty and a violation is automatically a felony.  A violation of the duty to provide care provision is initially a misdemeanor, which becomes a felony for a second or subsequent violation.  A violation of the anti-animal fighting provision is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of conduct related to fighting.  The provision does not apply to the lawful killing of livestock or customary animal husbandry of livestock, or lawful fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife control, pest or rodent control, and animal research.  
MI - Enforcement - Chapters 760 to 777 Code of Criminal Procedure.   MI ST 764.16   This law authorizes private citizens to make arrests.  
MI - Fighting Generally - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code   MCL 750.49   The anti-animal fighting provision prohibits conduct related to animal fighting, including but not limited to organizing or being a spectator at a fight and training or using animals for fighting.  
MO - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   MO ST 578.005 - 188; MO ST 566.111   These Missouri statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty laws.  The term "animal" means every living vertebrate except a human being.  The provisions of sections 578.005 to 578.023 do not apply to the care or treatment performed by a licensed veterinarian, bona fide scientific experiments, hunting, fishing, or trapping, publicly funded zoological parks, rodeo practices, the killing of an animal by the owner, the lawful, humane killing of an animal by an animal control officer, the operator of an animal shelter, a veterinarian, or law enforcement or health official, normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry, the killing of an animal by any person at any time if such animal is outside of the property of the owner or if such animal is injuring any person or farm animal, the killing of house or garden pests, or field trials, training and hunting practices as accepted by the Professional Houndsmen of Missouri.  A person is guilty of animal neglect when he or she has custody or ownership or an animal and fails to provide adequate care, which results in substantial harm to the animal.  A person is guilty of abandonment when he or she has knowingly abandoned an animal in any place without making provisions for its adequate care.  Animal neglect and abandonment is a class C misdemeanor upon first conviction with enhancement to a class B misdemeanor for subsequent convictions.  A person is guilty of animal abuse when a person intentionally or purposely kills an animal in any manner not allowed by law, purposely or intentionally causes injury or suffering to an animal, or, having ownership or custody of an animal, knowingly fails to provide adequate care or control.  Animal abuse is a class A misdemeanor unless the person was previously convicted.  
MS - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   MS ST 97-41-1 to 97-41-23; MS ST 97-29-59  

This section constitutes Mississippi's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions, which were recently amended in 2011. The pertinent anti-cruelty law, § 97-41-1, states that any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, torments, unjustifiably injures, deprives of necessary sustenance, food, or drink, cruelly beats, or needlessly mutilates any living creature, is guilty of a misdemeanor. The cat and dog cruelty provision, § 97-41-16, was significantly amended in 2011. This section, known as the "Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011," makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally or with criminal negligence wound, deprive of adequate food, water, or shelter, or carry or confine in a cruel manner, any domesticated cat or dog. Aggravated cruelty occurs when a person with malice intentionally tortures, mutilates, maims, burns, starves or disfigures any domesticated dog or cat.

 
NC - Cruelty - Article 47. Cruelty to Animals.   NC ST 14-360 to 14-363.2; 19A-1 - 70; 160A-182, 14-177   This section comprises the relevant North Carolina animal cruelty statutes.  The anti-cruelty statute provides that if any person shall maliciously kill, or cause or procure to be killed, any animal by intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance, that person shall be guilty of a Class H felony.  If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class H felony. This section also makes promoting or conducting a cock fight a misdemeanor and promoting or conducting a dogfight a felony. Other prohibited acts include abandoning an animal, conveying any animal in a cruel manner, and restraining a dog in a cruel manner. This section also includes the civil remedy provisions.  
NH - Cruelty - Cruelty to Animals   N.H. Rev. Stat. 644:8 - 644:8-f; N.H. Rev. Stat. 105:14 - 18   These New Hampshire statutes provide the animals anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions for the state.  Included are general anti-cruelty laws for any animal (including domestic and wild animals), exhibitions of fighting animals, provisions for protection of animals riding in motor vehicles, restrictions related to docking the tail of a horse, provisions for the use of animals in science classes or fairs, laws against maiming or willfully interfering with police dogs or horses,  laws related to the willful interference with organizations or projects involving animals, and provisions related to dogs riding in pick-up trucks.  
NJ - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   NJ ST 4:22-10 to 4:22-60  

These New Jersey statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  According to the definitional section, "animal" or "creature" includes the whole brute creation.  Exclusions under the act include state regulated scientific experiments, state sanctioned killing of animals, hunting of game, training of dogs, normal livestock operations, and the killing of rats and mice.  With regard to livestock practices, no person may be cited or arrested for a first offense involving a minor or incidental violation of any provision of this title involving alleged cruelty to domestic livestock unless that person has first been issued a written warning. 

 
NM - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   NMSA 1978, 30-18-1 to 30-18-15   This section comprises the New Mexico anti-animal cruelty provisions.  As used in this section, "animal" does not include insects or reptiles.  Cruelty to animals occurs when person negligently mistreats, injures, kills without lawful justification or torments an animal or abandons or fails to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under that person's custody or control.  Extreme cruelty to animals, a fourth-degree felony, consists of a person intentionally or maliciously torturing, mutilating, injuring or poisoning an animal or maliciously killing an animal.  Upon conviction, the court may order a person to participate in an animal cruelty prevention program or an animal cruelty education program, or to obtain psychological counseling for treatment of a mental health disorder.  
NV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   N. R. S. 574.010 to 574.510   This comprehensive section comprises the Nevada anti-cruelty statutes.  The section first empowers private prevention of cruelty to animals societies and outlines their powers and responsibilities, including the power to arrest.  Under this section, "animal" does not include the human race, but includes every other living creature.  Animal cruelty, as described in Section 574.100, prohibits the overdriving, overloading, torture, cruel beating or unjustifiable injuring, maiming, mutilation or killing of an animal, as well as the deprivation of necessary sustenance, food or drink.  The first offense under this section is a misdemeanor with enhancement to a felony for a third or subsequent convictions.  Animals fighting is also prohibited under the section, with enhanced sentences for subsequent convictions.  Other specific crimes include mistreatment of dogs, abandonment of animals, poisoning (although the section does not prohibit the destruction of "noxious animals"), and basic requirements for the care of dogs and cats kept in kennels or sold by pounds or pet shops.  
NY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law 331 - 379; McKinney's Penal Law 130.20   These New York statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  "Animal" includes every living creature except a human being.  A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both.  Exclusions include properly conducted scientific tests, experiments or investigations, involving the use of living animals approved by the state commissioner of health.  
OH - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   R.C. 959.01 - 959.99  

These statutes comprise Ohio's anti-animal cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Included in the prohibited acts are abandoning domestic animals, willfully injuring or poisoning domestic or agricultural animals, drugging animals in competition, and "cruel" acts to both wild and domestic animals as defined by statute.  The section also prohibits dogfighting and cockfighting.

 
OK - Cruelty - Animal Facilities Protection Act/Consolidated Cruelty Laws   21 Okl. St. Ann. 1680 - 1700   These Oklahoma statutes comprise the Animal Protection Act.  The main thrust of the act is the prohibition of animal cruelty and animal fighting.  Included in the provisions are the definitions (including the statutory definition of "animal") and the prohibited acts related to animal facilities.  The statute further provides that no one shall intentionally damage the enterprise conducted at an animal facility (including releasing animals there with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility).  Violation incurs a felony with a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment up to seven years or both.  
OR - Animal Definitions - Chapter 87. Statutory Liens. Liens Generally. 87.142. Definitions   O. R. S. 87.142   This is Oregon's statutory definitions for Animal Statutes.  
OR - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   O. R. S. 167.310 - 390   These Oregon statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty laws.  "Animal" means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish.  The term "assault," which is generally associated with human crimes, is used to define certain crimes against animals.  Animal abuse may be elevated to a felony offense if the act was committed directly in front of a minor child or if the perpetrator was previously convicted of domestic violence.  
PA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   18 Pa.C.S.A. 5511 - 5511.3; 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3129   This section constitutes the Pennsylvania anti-cruelty provisions.  The section distinguishes between misdemeanor and felony cruelty and the type of animal involved.  Misdemeanor cruelty (a fine of $500) occurs when a person kills, maims or disfigures any domestic animal of another person, administers or exposes a domestic animal to poison, or interferes with a guide or service animal.  A person commits a felony of the third degree if he or she willfully and maliciously kills, maims or disfigures any zoo animal in captivity or intentionally administers poison to such. Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this paragraph shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or both, and the court may also order a presentence mental evaluation.  A subsequent conviction under this paragraph shall be a felony of the third degree. Also included in these provisions is the Horse Transport Law, which prohibits the transporting of horses stacked on top of each other. Exclusions under the act include the killing of animals found to be destroying domestic animals, the hunting of game animals, the killing of dogs declared nuisances, and pest control.  
RI - Cruelty - Chapter 1. Cruelty to Animals   Gen. Laws, 1956, 4-1-1 - 40; Gen.Laws 1956, 11-10-1   These Rhode Island statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  The cruelty law provides that whoever overdrives, overloads, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, or cruelly beats, mutilates or kills any animal, is subject to imprisonment up to 11 months, or a fine of $50.00 - $500, or both.  The intentional cruelty provision expands the penalty to 2 years possible imprisonment or a fine of $1,000, or both.  
SC - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   Code 1976 47-1-10 - 210; Code 1976 16-15-120   This South Carolina subsection comprises the state's anti-cruelty laws.  The term "animal" under this subchapter includes all living vertebrate creatures except homo sapiens (but see the exclusion section where fowl are specifically excluded).  Animal cruelty occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally overloads, overdrives, overworks, ill-treats any animal, deprives any animal of necessary sustenance or shelter, inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal, or by omission or commission knowingly or intentionally causes these things to be done.  The statute also has a felony provision for the torture, tormenting, needless mutilation, cruel killing, or infliction of excessive or repeated unnecessary pain.  
SC - Dogfighting - Chapter 27. Animal Fighting and Baiting Act.   Code 1976 16-27-10 - 80   This South Carolina section comprises the state's Animal Fighting and Baiting Act.  Under the Act, any person who owns an animal for the purpose of fighting or baiting, is a party to any fighting or baiting of any animal, or obtains the use of any structure for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be punished by a fine of $5000 or 5 years imprisonment or both.  The section also provides for seizure and forfeiture of animals used in fighting operations.  
SD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   S D C L 9-29-11; S D C L 40-1-1 - 41; S D C L 40-2-1 - 9; S D C L 43-39-12, 12.1; SDCL 22-22-42   These South Dakota statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  "Animal," any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish, except humans.  The mistreatment, torture, or cruelty of an animal is any act or omission whereby unnecessary, unjustifiable, or unreasonable physical pain or suffering is caused, permitted, or allowed to continue including acts of mutilation.  The neglect of an animal is the failure to provide food, water, protection from the elements, adequate sanitation, adequate facilities, or care generally considered to be standard and accepted for an animal's health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, physical condition, and type of animal.  No person owning or responsible for the care of an animal may inhumanely treat such animal. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.  Exemptions include regulated scientific experiments using live animals and the destruction of dangerous animals.  
TN - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   T. C. A. 39-14-201 - 217   These Tennessee anti-cruelty provisions define "animal" as a domesticated living creature or a wild creature previously captured.  A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals (a Class A misdemeanor)  if he or she intentionally or knowingly tortures, maims or grossly overworks an animal; fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person's custody; abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's custody; transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner; or inflicts burns, cuts, lacerations, or other injuries or pain.  Animal fighting is also prohibited under this section, with dog fighting incurring a felony penalty and cockfighting resulting in a misdemeanor in most cases.  A person commits aggravated cruelty (a Class E felony) to animals when, with aggravated cruelty and with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal.  Exclusions include animal farming, research, veterinary practices, hunting, trapping, "dispatching" rabid animals or wild animals on one's property, among other things.  
TX - Cruelty - Chapter 821. Treatment and Disposition of Animals.   V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code 821.001 - 026; 821.051 - 057; 821.076 - 081  

This Texas section addresses the treatment of animals and disposition of cruelly treated animals. 

 
TX - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   TX PENAL 42.09; 42.091; 42.092; 42.10; 42.105   These comprise Texas' anti-cruelty laws.  Texas has laws that prohibit cruelty to both livestock (§ 42.09) and non-livestock animals (§ 42.092).  Both laws requires a scienter of intentionally or knowingly, and enumerate limited defenses.  "Animal" means a domesticated living creature and wild living creature previously captured but does not include an uncaptured wild creature.  Also included is Texas animal fighting provision, which criminalizes being a spectator at an animal fighting exhibition among other things. In 2011, Texas enacted a law prohibiting cockfighting.  
TX - Fighting - 42.10. Dog Fighting.   V. T. C. A., Penal Code 42.10   Texas criminal statute that prohibits dog fighting. Actions ranging from causing a dog to fight with another to attending a dog fight as a spectator are prohibited. To constitute an offense, one must demonstrate the requisite intent of intentionally or knowingly.  
UT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   U.C.A. 1953 76-9-301 - 307  

These Utah statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  "Animal" is defined as a live, nonhuman vertebrate creature, but animals raised for agricultural purposes and wildlife are excluded from the definition.  A person is guilty of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence fails to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in his custody, abandons an animal in the person's custody, transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner, injures an animal, or causes any animal to fight with another animal for amusement or gain.  Aggravated cruelty (i.e., torturing, poisoning, or intentionally killing an animal) and dogfighting incur stiffer penalties.

 
VA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   Va. Code Ann. 3.2-6500 - 6590; Va. Code Ann. 18.2-361   These Virginia statutes set forth Title 3.2, the Comprehensive Animal Care laws, which include the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. For the purposes of § 3.2-6570, the operative animal cruelty law, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner. The section has a misdemeanor animal cruelty law as well as a felony provision related to torture or willful infliction of cruelty. The section requires companion animal owners to provide adequate care.  
VA - Fighting - 3.2-6571. Animal fighting; penalty   Va. Code Ann. 3.2-6571  

This section makes it unlawful to knowingly promote, prepare, engage in or attend an exhibition of the fighting of animals. The violation becomes a Class 6 felony if: 1) one of the animals is a dog; 2) a device or substance is used to enhance the dog's ability to fight; 3) money or something else of value is wagered; 4) admission is paid; 5) an animal is owned or possessed with the intent to engage in an animal fight; or 6) a person causes a minor to attend or undertake in the activities. An animal used in fighting may be confiscated by law enforcement. Additionally, any person convicted of violating any listed provision shall be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals or cocks.

 
VT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   13 V.S.A. 351 - 400   This Vermont statutory section contains the amended anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws.  Animal cruelty, as defined by § 352, occurs when a person overworks, overloads, tortures, torments, abandons, administers poison to, cruelly beats or mutilates an animal, or deprives an animal which a person owns or possesses of adequate food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, or necessary medical attention.  It is also animal cruelty  if one owns, possesses, keeps or trains an animal engaged in an exhibition of fighting.  The section excludes scientific research activities, hunting, farming, and veterinary activities among others.  
WA - Cruelty - Chapter 16.52. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.   West's RCWA 16.52.010 - 320   This section of statutes contains Washington's anti-cruelty provisions.  Under the section, "animal" means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian.  WA ST 16.52.205 and WA ST 16.52.207 are the primary anti-cruelty provisions that categorize cruelty in either the first or second degree.  A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree (a class C felony) when he or she intentionally inflicts substantial pain on, causes physical injury to, or kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.  A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree (a misdemeanor) if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal.  An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence fails to provide the animal with necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure, or if he or she abandons the animal.  
WI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   W. S. A. 951.01 - 18; W.S.A. 944.17   This section comprises the Wisconsin anti-cruelty section.  Under the section, "animal" includes every living warm-blooded creature (except a human being), reptile, or amphibian.  The section prohibits "mistreating animals," which is defined as treating any animal, whether belonging to the person or another, in a cruel manner.  This section does not prohibit bona fide experiments carried on for scientific research or normal and accepted veterinary practices.  This section also prohibits the instigation of dogfights, and has a unique provisions that prohibits the shooting of caged or staked animals.  
WV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   W. Va. Code, 7-10-1 - 5; 61-8-19 - 23   These West Virginia statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  If any person cruelly mistreats, abandons or withholds proper sustenance, including food, water, shelter or medical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end suffering or abandons any animal to die, or uses, trains or possesses any domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing, detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor.  If any person intentionally tortures or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture or maliciously kill an animal, he or she is guilty of a felony.  The provisions of this section do not apply to lawful acts of hunting, fishing, trapping or animal training or farm livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife or game farm production and management.  The section also prohibits animal fighting as a misdemeanor unless the animals involved were wild game or fur-bearing animals, in which case it becomes a felony.  
WY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   WY ST 6-3-203   Wyoming amended its cruelty law in early 2011 to include the new offense of "household pet animal cruelty." 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.  

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