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Kentucky

Title L. Kentucky Penal Code. Chapter 525. Riot, Disorderly Conduct, and Related Offenses. Chapter 436. Offenses Against Morality

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: KY ST 525.125 - 135; KY ST 436.610

Citation: KRS 525.125 - 135; KRS 436.610


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   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.  A person is guilty of cruelty to animals in the second degree when she or he intentionally or wantonly subjects any animal to cruel or injurious mistreatment through abandonment; causes it to fight for pleasure or profit; mutilates, beats, tortures any animal other than a dog or cat (note that torture of a dog or cat is separately prohibited by KRS 525.135); torments, fails to provide adequate food, drink, space, or health care; subjects any animal in his or her custody to cruel neglect; or kills any animal other than a domestic animal killed by poisoning.  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.


Statute in Full:

Chapter 525. Riot, Disorderly Conduct, and Related Offenses

525.125 Cruelty to animals in the first degree

525.130 Cruelty to animals in the second degree; exemptions

525.135 Torture of dog or cat

Chapter 436. Offenses Against Morality

436.600 Dyeing or selling dyed baby fowl or rabbits

436.605 Animal control officers and humane agents have powers of peace officers except power of arrest; search warrants; execution of search warrants; arrest by peace officer

436.610 Confiscation of animals on premises where violations of KRS 525.125 and 525.130 occur

Assault on Service Animals Provisions.

 

 

 

525.125 Cruelty to animals in the first degree

(1) The following persons are guilty of cruelty to animals in the first degree whenever a four-legged animal is caused to fight for pleasure or profit:

(a) The owner of the animal;

(b) The owner of the property on which the fight is conducted if the owner knows of the fight;

(c) Anyone who participates in the organization of the fight.

(2) Activities of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog training, and other activities authorized either by a hunting license or by the Department of Fish and Wildlife shall not constitute a violation of this section.

(3) Cruelty to animals in the first degree is a Class D felony.

HISTORY: 1992 c 463, § 65, eff. 7-14-92; 1984 c 67, § 2

Legislative Research Commission Note (3-30-90): The definition of "animal" contained in KRS 446.010(2) does not reflect the amendatory language contained in Senate Bill 263 of the 1980 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly because the 1980 Senate Journal indicates that Senate Bill 263 was vetoed by Governor John Y. Brown, Jr., on April 9, 1980, and recommitted by action of the Senate to its Committee on Appropriations and Revenue on April 14, 1980. Senate Bill 263 proposed to change KRS 446.010(2) to read as follows: " 'Animal' includes every warmblooded living creature except birds and human beings;". By a letter dated March 16, 1990, the Attorney General has informally opined that Governor Brown's veto of Senate Bill 263 was not timely; that letter has exhibits showing that the bill was received by the Governor on March 28, 1980, and that his veto was received by the Senate Clerk on April 10, 1980.

 

525.130 Cruelty to animals in the second degree; exemptions

(1) A person is guilty of cruelty to animals in the second degree when except as authorized by law he intentionally or wantonly:

(a) Subjects any animal to or causes cruel or injurious mistreatment through abandonment, participates other than as provided in KRS 525.125 in causing it to fight for pleasure or profit (including, but not limited to being a spectator or vendor at an event where a four (4) legged animal is caused to fight for pleasure or profit), mutilation, beating, torturing any animal other than a dog or cat, tormenting, failing to provide adequate food, drink, space, or health care, or by any other means;

(b) Subjects any animal in his custody to cruel neglect; or

(c) Kills any animal other than a domestic animal killed by poisoning. This paragraph shall not apply to intentional poisoning of a dog or cat.

Intentional poisoning of a dog or cat shall constitute a violation of this section.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to the killing of animals:

(a) Pursuant to a license to hunt, fish, or trap;

(b) Incident to the processing as food or for other commercial purposes;

(c) For humane purposes;

(d) For veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes;

(e) For purposes relating to sporting activities, including but not limited to horse racing at organized races and training for organized races, organized horse shows, or other animal shows;

(f) For bona fide animal research activities of institutions of higher education; or a business entity registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act or subject to other federal laws governing animal research;

(g) In defense of self or another person against an aggressive or diseased animal;

(h) In defense of a domestic animal against an aggressive or diseased animal;

(i) For animal or pest control; or

(j) For any other purpose authorized by law.

(3) Activities of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog training other than training a dog to fight for pleasure or profit, and other activities authorized either by a hunting license or by the Department of Fish and Wildlife shall not constitute a violation of this section.

(4) Cruelty to animals in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

HISTORY: 2003 c 181, § 2, eff. 6-24-03; 1992 c 463, § 66, eff. 7-14- 92; 1984 c 67, § 1; 1974 c 406, § 223

Legislative Research Commission Note (3-30-90): The definition of "animal" contained in KRS 446.010(2) does not reflect the amendatory language contained in Senate Bill 263 of the 1980 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly because the 1980 Senate Journal indicates that Senate Bill 263 was vetoed by Governor John Y. Brown, Jr., on April 9, 1980, and recommitted by action of the Senate to its Committee on Appropriations and Revenue on April 14, 1980. Senate Bill 263 proposed to change KRS 446.010(2) to read as follows: " 'Animal' includes every warmblooded living creature except birds and human beings;". By a letter dated March 16, 1990, the Attorney General has informally opined that Governor Brown's veto of Senate Bill 263 was not timely; that letter has exhibits showing that the bill was received by the Governor on March 28, 1980, and that his veto was received by the Senate Clerk on April 10, 1980.

 

525.135 Torture of dog or cat

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “torture” means the intentional infliction of or subjection to extreme physical pain or injury, motivated by an intent to increase or prolong the pain of the animal.

(2) A person is guilty of torture of a dog or cat when he or she without legal justification intentionally tortures a domestic dog or cat.

(3) Torture of a dog or cat is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense if the dog or cat suffers physical injury as a result of the torture, and a Class D felony if the dog or cat suffers serious physical injury or death as a result of the torture.

(4) Nothing in this section shall apply to the killing or injuring of a dog or cat:

(a) In accordance with a license to hunt, fish, or trap;

(b) For humane purposes;

(c) For veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes;

(d) For purposes relating to sporting activities including but not limited to training for organized dog or cat shows, or other animal shows in which a dog or a cat, or both, participate;

(e) For bona fide animal research activities, using dogs or cats, of institutions of higher education; or a business entity registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act or subject to other federal laws governing animal research;

(f) In defense of self or another person against an aggressive or diseased dog or cat;

(g) In defense of a domestic animal against an aggressive or diseased dog or cat;

(h) For animal or pest control; or

(i) For any other purpose authorized by law.

(5) Activities of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog training other than training a dog to fight for pleasure or profit, and other activities authorized either by a hunting license or by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources shall not constitute a violation of this section.

(6) The acts specified in this section shall not constitute cruelty to animals under KRS 525.125 or 525.130.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 2008 c 136, § 1, eff. 7-15-08; 2003 c 181, § 1, eff. 6-24-03

Legislative Research Commission Note (6-24-03): In subsection (4)(e) of this section, the redundant words “activities of” have been deleted before the phrase “bona fide animal research activities.”

 

Title XL. Crimes and Punishments. Chapter 436. Offenses Against Morality.

436.600 Dyeing or selling dyed baby fowl or rabbits

No person shall sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange, display, or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored; nor dye or color any baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits; nor sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange or to give away baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits, under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6), except that any rabbit weighing three (3) pounds or more may be sold at an age of six (6) weeks. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1972 c 374, § 1, eff. 6-16-72; 1966 c 215, § 5

 

436.605 Animal control officers and humane agents have powers of peace officers except power of arrest; search warrants; execution of search warrants; arrest by peace officer

(1) Animal control officers and officers and agents of humane societies who are employed by, appointed by, or have contracted with a city, county, urban-county, charter county, or consolidated local government to provide animal sheltering or animal control services shall have the powers of peace officers, except for the power of arrest, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the Kentucky Revised Statutes relating to cruelty, mistreatment, or torture of animals, provided they possess the qualifications required under KRS 61.300.

(2) When any peace officer, animal control officer, or any officer or agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth who is employed by, appointed by, or has contracted with a city, county, urban-county, charter county, or consolidated local government to provide animal sheltering or animal control services makes an oath before any judge of a District Court that he has reasons to believe or does believe that an act of cruelty, mistreatment, or torture of animals is being committed in a building, barn, or other enclosure, the judge shall issue a search warrant directed to the peace officer, animal control officer, or officer or agent of the society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals to search the premises. If a peace officer finds that an act of cruelty, mistreatment, or torture of animals is being perpetrated, the offender or offenders shall be immediately arrested by the peace officer and brought before the court for trial. If an animal control officer or an officer or agent of a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals finds that an act of cruelty, mistreatment, or torture of animals is being perpetrated, the officer or agent shall summon a peace officer to arrest the offender or offenders and bring them before the court for trial.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 2004 c 189, § 29, eff. 7-13-04; 1976 1st ex s, c 14, § 444, eff. 1-2-78; 1974 c 406, § 328; 1966 c 215, § 4, 7

 

436.610 Confiscation of animals on premises where violations of KRS 525.125 and 525.130 occur

All animals of the same species, which are on the property when an animal is caused to fight for pleasure or profit, in violation of the provisions of KRS 525.125 and 525.130, shall be confiscated and turned over to the county animal control officer employed, appointed, or contracted with as provided by KRS 258.195, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the animals were on the property for the purpose of fighting.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 2004 c 189, § 30, eff. 7-13-04; 1984 c 67, § 3, eff. 7-13-84


 



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