The crime of abuse of animals is a felony punished under sections 596, 597, 598, 599 and 600 Title 14 of the California Penal Code.

How is the felony of abuse of animals committed?

The felony of abuse of animals may be committed by a person:

  • Who intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures or wounds a living animal, or intentionally kills an animal.
  • when he or she overdrives, overloads, overworks, tortures, torments or deprives of food, drink or shelter, cruelly beats or kills any animal he or she owns.
  • Who subjects an animal to needless suffering or unnecessary cruelty to an animal.
  • By intentionally maiming, mutilating, torturing any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish that is endangered or fully protected.
  • Who trains or keeps a dog for dogfighting for amusement or gain.
  • Who knowingly participates as a spectator in a dog fight.
  • Who leaves or confines an animal in an unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal.
  • Who is knowingly present as a spectator in any exhibition of animal fighting (including bears, bulls, dogs, or cocks).

It may also be committed by any slaughterhouse, stockyard, auction, market agency or dealer who buys, sells or receives, butchers or processes an animal that can no longer move.

How is the misdemeanor of abuse of animals committed?

The misdemeanor of abuse of animals may be committed by

  • Any person who administers poison or poisonous substances to an animal.
  • Any person who deprives an elephant of food, water, or rest; uses electricity or other physical punishment that results in scarring or breakage of skin; inserts any instrument into a bodily orifice; using a martingale or block and tackle.
  • Any owner or keeper of animals who permit the animal to be in a building, enclosure, street or lot without proper care and attention.
  • Any person who operates a live animal market who dismembers, flays, cuts open or removes skin, scales, feathers or shells while the animal is alive.
  • Any person who confines or displays animals in a way that will likely result in injury, starvation, dehydration or suffocation to the animals.
  • Any person who sells or gives away a live animal on a street as part of a commercial transaction.
  • Any person who displays or offers for sale or offers to give away as part of a commercial transaction a live animal on any street.
  • Any person who de-claws or removes the toes or paws of an exotic or native wild cat except for a therapeutic purpose.
  • Any person who attaches or ties a live animal to any device or machine for the purpose of causing that animal to be pursued by a dog or dogs.
  • Any person using a bristle, bur, tack bur or other similar device on horses.
  • Any owner or operator of a pet shop who fails to maintain sanitary conditions, provide adequate nutrition or humane care or treatment of all pet animals in their care and control.
  • Any person who cuts the solid part of the tail of a horse or any cattle.
  • Any person who transports a horse to slaughter without complying with requirements for safety.
  • Willfully abandoning an animal.
  • Selling, loading, transporting any disabled horse, mule, burro or pony out of state.
  • Selling or transporting dogs under eight weeks of age without proper documentation or approval for sale by a veterinarian.
  • Any person who kills, wounds, traps or destroys a bird’s nest or removes eggs or young birds from a nest in any public cemetery or burying ground.
  • Killing a dog or cat for the sole intent of selling or giving away its pelt.
  • Possessing, importing, exporting, selling, buying, giving away or accepting s food, the carcasses of animals traditionally kept as pets of companions, horses.
  • Selling or giving away chicks, rabbits, ducklings or other fowl as a prize for a contest, game or competition as an inducement to enter a place of amusement or place of business.
  • Dyeing or artificially coloring or offering for sale or display artificially colored live chicks, rabbits, ducklings or other fowl.
  • Any person who willfully and maliciously strikes, beats, kicks, cuts, stabs, shoots with a firearm or administers any other harmful substance or throws, hurls any rock or object to produce an injury in a horse or dog used by a peace officer.
  • Any person who personally causes the death, destruction, or serious physical injury upon a horse or dog used by a peace officer.
  • Any person who causes injury or death of any guide, signal, or service dog while in the discharge of its duties.

Have you been charged with any of these acts that constitute the crime of abuse of animals? Do you wish to know more? Do you need representation? Call and speak with any of the criminal defense lawyers at the Ramiro J. Lluis Law Office. They have been helping people in the Los Angeles area for over thirty years. Call them today.

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