Animal Abuse Attorneys
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What Is Animal Abuse?
Animal abuse occurs when an animal is intentionally neglected or physically harmed. Every state has animal abuse or animal cruelty laws that prevent intentional acts against living animals, such as:
- Torture (i.e. inflicting unnecessary pain on the animal)
- Disabling, disfiguring, or maiming an animal
- Sexual abuse of an animal ("zoophilia")
- Poisoning an animal
- Wounding or killing an animal
Animal abuse and cruelty laws are very, very broad, and cover a number of acts in a wide range of situations. For instance, such laws may also apply to the transport of animals, the keeping and selling of animals in a shop, and raising/keeping animals in a slaughterhouse.
What Are Some Examples of Animal Abuse?
There is a wide range of conduct that can be considered animal abuse. State laws may vary when it comes to specific provisions, but the following would generally be classified as animal abuse or cruelty:
- Leaving town or going on vacation and leaving pets without adequate food and water, or in places that are too hot.
- Leaving animals unattended in vehicles (especially if the animal is injured)
- Keeping a large number of pets in a small place without adequate equipment (especially where such conditions create issues with space, ventilation, cleanliness, and waste removal)
- Exposing an animal to extremely hot or cold climate conditions
- Dog fighting (classified as a felony in all states)
- Cockfighting (illegal in all states; classified as a felony in 39 states)
- Throwing a pet onto the street or into traffic
- Overworking an animal that is not fit for labor (i.e., riding, driving, or commanding them to an excess)
Are There Any Legal Penalties for Animal Abuse?
Animal abuse can result in either felony or misdemeanor charges. Felony charges are more serious than misdemeanor charges and can result in higher criminal fines and longer sentences. The different between felony and misdemeanor animal abuse can depend on many factors, including the degree of harm to the animal and the person’s prior criminal record. For instance, the use of a weapon against an animal will generally result in felony charges.
Should I Hire a Lawyer If I Need Help with Animal Abuse Issues?
Animal abuse charges are very serious and may result in criminal fines and/or jail sentences. You may need to hire a criminal lawyer if you need assistance with animal abuse or other related legal issues. Your attorney can assist you with any questions or inquiries you may have regarding the laws in your region. Also, if you need to attend any court meetings, your lawyer will be able to provide you with guidance during those times as well.
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Last Modified: 09-15-2016 03:37 PM PDT
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