Statutes / Laws

Navigation

Full Site Search

Loading...

The navigation select boxes below will direct you to the selected page when you hit enter.

Topical Explanations

Primary Legal Materials

Select by Subject

Select by Species

Select Administrative Topic


World Law

Secondary Legal Materials

Great Apes and the Law

Great Apes and the Law

Maps of State Laws

Map of USA
Share |
North Carolina

West's North Carolina General Statutes Annotated. Chapter 14. Criminal Law. Subchapter XI. General Police Regulations. Article 47. Cruelty to Animals; Chapter 19A. Protection of Animals. Chapter 160A. Cities and Towns. Article 8. Delegation and Exercise of the General Police Power.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: NC ST 14-360 to 14-363.2; 19A-1 - 70; 160A-182, 14-177

Citation: N.C.G.S.A. 14-360 to 14-363.2; 19A-1 - 70; 160A-182, 14-177


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2013

Summary:   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.


Statute in Full:

Article 47. Cruelty to Animals.

§ 14-360. Cruelty to animals; construction of section

§ 14-360.1. Immunity for veterinarian reporting animal cruelty

§ 14-361. Instigating or promoting cruelty to animals

§ 14-361.1. Abandonment of animals

§ 14-362. Cockfighting

§ 14-362.1. Animal fights and baiting, other than cock fights, dog fights and dog baiting

§ 14-362.2. Dog fighting and baiting

§ 14-362.3. Restraining dogs in a cruel manner

§ 14-363. Conveying animals in a cruel manner

§ 14-363.1. Living baby chicks or other fowl, or rabbits under eight weeks of age; disposing of as pets or novelties forbidden

§ 14-363.2. Confiscation of cruelly treated animals

Chapter 19A. Protection of Animals

Article 1. Civil Remedy for Protection of Animals

§ 19A-1. Definitions

§ 19A-1.1. Exemptions

§ 19A-2. Purpose

§ 19A-3. Preliminary injunction; care of animal pending hearing on the merits

§ 19A-4. Permanent injunction

Article 2. Protection of Black Bears

§ 19A-10. Unlawful to buy, sell or enclose (except as provided) black bear

§ 19A-11. Inapplicable to bona fide zoos, etc.

§ 19A-12. Possession of black bear on July 1, 1975; surrender of bear; modification of facilities; forfeiture

§ 19A-13. Violation of Article

§ 19A-14. Enforcement of Article

§§ 19A-15 to 19A-19. Reserved

Link to Animal Welfare Act Provisions, Article 3 (NC ST § 19A-20 - 44)

Article 4. Animal Cruelty Investigators

§ 19A-45. Appointment of animal cruelty investigators; term of office; removal; badge; oath; bond

§ 19A-46. Powers; magistrate's order; execution of order; petition; notice to owner

§ 19A-47. Care of seized animals

§ 19A-48. Interference unlawful

§ 19A-49. Educational requirements

§§ 19A-50 to 19A-59. Reserved

Link to Spay/Neuter Program, Article 5 (NC ST § 19A-60 - 65)

Article 6. Animal Subject to Illegal Treatment

§ 19A-70. Care of animal subjected to illegal treatment

Article 26. Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency.

§ 14-177. Crime against nature

Chapter 160A. Cities and Towns. Article 8. Delegation and Exercise of the General Police Power.

§ 160A-182. Abuse of animals

 

 

Article 47. Cruelty to Animals.

§ 14-360. Cruelty to animals; construction of section

(a) If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(a1) 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.

(b) 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. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to increase the penalty for cockfighting provided for in G.S. 14-362.

(c) As used in this section, the words “torture”, “torment”, and “cruelly” include or refer to any act, omission, or neglect causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death. As used in this section, the word “intentionally” refers to an act committed knowingly and without justifiable excuse, while the word “maliciously” means an act committed intentionally and with malice or bad motive. As used in this section, the term “animal” includes every living vertebrate in the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings. However, this section shall not apply to the following activities:

(1) The lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission, except that this section shall apply to those birds exempted by the Wildlife Resources Commission from its definition of “wild birds” pursuant to G.S. 113-129(15a).

(2) Lawful activities conducted for purposes of biomedical research or training or for purposes of production of livestock, poultry, or aquatic species.

(2a) Lawful activities conducted for the primary purpose of providing food for human or animal consumption.

(3) Activities conducted for lawful veterinary purposes.

(4) The lawful destruction of any animal for the purposes of protecting the public, other animals, property, or the public health.

(5) The physical alteration of livestock or poultry for the purpose of conforming with breed or show standards.

CREDIT(S)

Amended by Laws 1969, c. 1224, § 2; Laws 1979, c. 641; Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, § 1; Laws 1989, c. 670, § 1; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 239, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994, (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994; S.L. 1998-212, § 17.16(c), eff. Jan. 1, 1999; S.L. 1999-209, § 8, eff. June 24, 1999; S.L. 2007-211, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; S.L. 2007-211, § 2, eff. July 11, 2007; S.L. 2010-16, §§ 1, 2, eff. Dec. 1, 2010

 

§ 14-360.1. Immunity for veterinarian reporting animal cruelty

Any veterinarian licensed in this State who has reasonable cause to believe that an animal has been the subject of animal cruelty in violation of G.S. 14-360 and who makes a report of animal cruelty, or who participates in any investigation or testifies in any judicial proceeding that arises from a report of animal cruelty, shall be immune from civil liability, criminal liability, and liability from professional disciplinary action and shall not be in breach of any veterinarian-patient confidentiality, unless the veterinarian acted in bad faith or with a malicious purpose. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the veterinarian acted in good faith. A failure by a veterinarian to make a report of animal cruelty shall not constitute grounds for disciplinary action under G.S. 90-187.8.

Added by S.L. 2007-232, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2007.

 

 

§ 14-361. Instigating or promoting cruelty to animals

If any person shall willfully set on foot, or instigate, or move to, carry on, or promote, or engage in, or do any act towards the furtherance of any act of cruelty to any animal, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Amended by Laws 1953, c. 857, § 1; Laws 1969, c. 1224, § 3; Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, § 1; Laws 1989, c. 670, § 2; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 240, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

 

§ 14-361.1. Abandonment of animals

Any person being the owner or possessor, or having charge or custody of an animal, who willfully and without justifiable excuse abandons the animal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Added by Laws 1979, c. 687. Amended by Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, § 2; Laws 1989, c. 670, § 3; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 241, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 14-362. Cock fighting

A person who instigates, promotes, conducts, is employed at, allows property under his ownership or control to be used for, participates as a spectator at, or profits from an exhibition featuring the fighting of a cock is guilty of a Class I felony. A lease of property that is used or is intended to be used for an exhibition featuring the fighting of a cock is void, and a lessor who knows this use is made or is intended to be made of his property is under a duty to evict the lessee immediately.

Amended by Laws 1953, c. 857, § 2; Laws 1969, c. 1224, § 3; Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, § 3; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 242, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994; S.L. 2005-437, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2005.

 

 

§ 14-362.1. Animal fights and baiting, other than cock fights, dog fights and dog baiting

(a) A person who instigates, promotes, conducts, is employed at, provides an animal for, allows property under his ownership or control to be used for, or profits from an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of an animal, other than a cock or a dog, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. A lease of property that is used or is intended to be used for an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of an animal, other than a cock or a dog, is void, and a lessor who knows this use is made or is intended to be made of his property is under a duty to evict the lessee immediately.

(b) A person who owns, possesses, or trains an animal, other than a cock or a dog, with the intent that the animal be used in an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of that animal or any other animal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(c) A person who participates as a spectator at an exhibition featuring the fighting or baiting of an animal, other than a cock or a dog, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(d) A person who commits an offense under subsection (a) within three years after being convicted of an offense under this section is guilty of a Class I felony.

(e) This section does not prohibit the lawful taking or training of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

Added by Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, § 5. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, §§ 243, 1236, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994; S.L. 1997-78, § 2, eff. Dec. 1, 1997.

 

§ 14-362.2. Dog fighting and baiting

(a) A person who instigates, promotes, conducts, is employed at, provides a dog for, allows property under the person's ownership or control to be used for, gambles on, or profits from an exhibition featuring the baiting of a dog or the fighting of a dog with another dog or with another animal is guilty of a Class H felony. A lease of property that is used or is intended to be used for an exhibition featuring the baiting of a dog or the fighting of a dog with another dog or with another animal is void, and a lessor who knows this use is made or is intended to be made of the lessor's property is under a duty to evict the lessee immediately.

(b) A person who owns, possesses, or trains a dog with the intent that the dog be used in an exhibition featuring the baiting of that dog or the fighting of that dog with another dog or with another animal is guilty of a Class H felony.

(c) A person who participates as a spectator at an exhibition featuring the baiting of a dog or the fighting of a dog with another dog or with another animal is guilty of a Class H felony.

(d) This section does not prohibit the use of dogs in the lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(e) This section does not prohibit the use of dogs in earthdog trials that are sanctioned or sponsored by entities approved by the Commissioner of Agriculture that meet standards that protect the health and safety of the dogs. Quarry at an earthdog trial shall at all times be kept separate from the dogs by a sturdy barrier, such as a cage, and have access to food and water.

(f) This section does not apply to the use of herding dogs engaged in the working of domesticated livestock for agricultural, entertainment, or sporting purposes.

Added by S.L. 1997-78, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 1997. Amended by S.L. 2006-113, § 3.1, eff. Dec. 1, 2006; S.L. 2007-180, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; S.L. 2007-181, § 1, eff. July 5, 2007.

 

 

§ 14-362.3. Restraining dogs in a cruel manner

A person who maliciously restrains a dog using a chain or wire grossly in excess of the size necessary to restrain the dog safely is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For purposes of this section, "maliciously" means the person imposed the restraint intentionally and with malice or bad motive.

Added by S.L. 2001-411, § 2, eff. Dec. 1, 2001.

 

§ 14-363. Conveying animals in a cruel manner

If any person shall carry or cause to be carried in or upon any vehicle or other conveyance, any animal in a cruel or inhuman manner, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Whenever an offender shall be taken into custody therefor by any officer, the officer may take charge of such vehicle or other conveyance and its contents, and deposit the same in some safe place of custody. The necessary expenses which may be incurred for taking charge of and keeping and sustaining the vehicle or other conveyance shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can be lawfully reclaimed; or the said expenses, or any part thereof remaining unpaid, may be recovered by the person incurring the same of the owner of such animal in an action therefor.

Amended by Laws 1953, c. 857, § 3; Laws 1969, c. 1224, § 4; Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, § 1; Laws 1989, c. 670, § 4; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 244, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 14-363.1. Living baby chicks or other fowl, or rabbits under eight weeks of age; disposing of as pets or novelties forbidden

If any person, firm or corporation shall sell, or offer for sale, barter or give away as premiums living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits under eight weeks of age as pets or novelties, such person, firm or corporation shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Provided, that nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the sale of nondomesticated species of chicks, ducklings, or other fowl, or of other fowl from proper brooder facilities by hatcheries or stores engaged in the business of selling them for purposes other than for pets or novelties.

Added by Laws 1973, c. 466, § 1. Amended by Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 967, § 4; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 245, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994. 

 

 

§ 14-363.2. Confiscation of cruelly treated animals

Conviction of any offense contained in this Article may result in confiscation of cruelly treated animals belonging to the accused and it shall be proper for the court in its discretion to order a final determination of the custody of the confiscated animals.

Added by Laws 1979, c. 640.

 

Chapter 19A. Protection of Animals

Article 1. Civil Remedy for Protection of Animals

 
§ 19A-1. Definitions
 
The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1) The term “animals” includes every living vertebrate in the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings.

(2) The terms “cruelty” and “cruel treatment” include every act, omission, or neglect whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death is caused or permitted.

(3) The term “person” has the same meaning as in G.S. 12-3.
 
CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1969, c. 831. Amended by Laws 1979, c. 808, § 2; Laws 1995, c. 509, § 19, eff. July 29, 1995; S.L. 2003-208, § 1, eff. June 19, 2003.

 
§ 19A-1.1. Exemptions

This Article shall not apply to the following:
 
(1) The lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission, except that this Article applies to those birds exempted by the Wildlife Resources Commission from its definition of “wild birds” pursuant to G.S. 113-129(15a).

(2) Lawful activities conducted for purposes of biomedical research or training or for purposes of production of livestock, poultry, or aquatic species.

(3) Lawful activities conducted for the primary purpose of providing food for human or animal consumption.

(4) Activities conducted for lawful veterinary purposes.

(5) The lawful destruction of any animal for the purposes of protecting the public, other animals, or the public health.

(6) Lawful activities for sport.
 
CREDIT(S)
Added by S.L. 2003-208, § 1, eff. June 19, 2003.

 

§ 19A-2. Purpose

It shall be the purpose of this Article to provide a civil remedy for the protection and humane treatment of animals in addition to any criminal remedies that are available and it shall be proper in any action to combine causes of action against one or more defendants for the protection of one or more animals. A real party in interest as plaintiff shall be held to include any person even though the person does not have a possessory or ownership right in an animal; a real party in interest as defendant shall include any person who owns or has possession of an animal.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1969, c. 831. Amended by Laws 1995, c. 509, § 20, eff. July 29, 1995; S.L. 2003-208, § 1, eff. June 19, 2003.

 

§ 19A-3. Preliminary injunction; care of animal pending hearing on the merits

(a) Upon the filing of a verified complaint in the district court in the county in which cruelty to an animal has allegedly occurred, the judge may, as a matter of discretion, issue a preliminary injunction in accordance with the procedures set forth in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 65. Every such preliminary injunction, if the plaintiff so requests, may give the plaintiff the right to provide suitable care for the animal. If it appears on the face of the complaint that the condition giving rise to the cruel treatment of an animal requires the animal to be removed from its owner or other person who possesses it, then it shall be proper for the court in the preliminary injunction to allow the plaintiff to take possession of the animal as custodian.

(b) The plaintiff as custodian may employ a veterinarian to provide necessary medical care for the animal without any additional court order. Prior to taking such action, the plaintiff as custodian shall consult with, or attempt to consult with, the defendant in the action, but the plaintiff as custodian may authorize such care without the defendant's consent. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the plaintiff as custodian may not have an animal euthanized without written consent of the defendant or a court order that authorizes euthanasia upon the court's finding that the animal is suffering due to terminal illness or terminal injury.

(c) The plaintiff as custodian may place an animal with a foster care provider. The foster care provider shall return the animal to the plaintiff as custodian on demand.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1969, c. 831. Amended by Laws 1971, c. 528, § 10; Laws 1979, c. 808, § 3; S.L. 2003-208, § 1, eff. June 19, 2003; S.L. 2006-113, § 1.1, eff. Dec. 1, 2006.

 

§ 19A-4. Permanent injunction

(a) In accordance with G.S. 1A-1, Rule 65, a district court judge in the county in which the original action was brought shall determine the merits of the action by trial without a jury, and upon hearing such evidence as may be presented, shall enter orders as the court deems appropriate, including a permanent injunction and dismissal of the action along with dissolution of any preliminary injunction that had been issued.

(b) If the plaintiff prevails, the court in its discretion may include the costs of food, water, shelter, and care, including medical care, provided to the animal, less any amounts deposited by the defendant under G.S. 19A-70, as part of the costs allowed to the plaintiff under G.S. 6-18. In addition, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that even if a permanent injunction were issued there would exist a substantial risk that the animal would be subjected to further cruelty if returned to the possession of the defendant, the court may terminate the defendant's ownership and right of possession of the animal and transfer ownership and right of possession to the plaintiff or other appropriate successor owner. For good cause shown, the court may also enjoin the defendant from acquiring new animals for a specified period of time or limit the number of animals the defendant may own or possess during a specified period of time.

(c) If the final judgment entitles the defendant to regain possession of the animal, the custodian shall return the animal, including taking any necessary steps to retrieve the animal from a foster care provider.

(d) The court shall consider and may provide for custody and care of the animal until the time to appeal expires or all appeals have been exhausted.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1969, c. 831. Amended by Laws 1971, c. 528, § 10; Laws 1979, c. 808, § 4; S.L. 2003-208, § 1, eff. June 19, 2003; S.L. 2006-113, § 1.2, eff. Dec. 1, 2006.

 

§§ 19A-5 to 19A-9. Reserved

 

Article 2. Protection of Black Bears

§ 19A-10. Unlawful to buy, sell or enclose (except as provided) black bear

Except as otherwise provided in applicable statutes, it shall be unlawful for any person to buy or sell black bears or for any person, firm or corporation to possess or keep any black bear (Ursus americanus) in any enclosure, pen, cage, or other place or means of captivity except as hereinafter provided.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1975, c. 56, § 1.

 

§ 19A-11. Inapplicable to bona fide zoos, etc.

The provisions of this Article shall not apply to bona fide zoos which are operated by federal, State, or local governmental agencies, or to educational institutions in which black bears are kept or exhibited as part of a bona fide course of training or research in the natural sciences, or to black bears held without caging under conditions simulating a natural habitat, the development of which is in accord with plans and specifications developed by the holder and approved by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1975, c. 56, § 2.

 

§ 19A-12. Possession of black bear on July 1, 1975; surrender of bear; modification of facilities; forfeiture

Any person, firm or corporation in possession of a black bear on July 1, 1975, under an existing permit issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission, where the conditions under which such black bear is held are in violation of this Article, may immediately surrender such black bear and such permit to the Wildlife Resources Commission which shall compensate such person, firm or corporation in the amount actually paid for such bear not to exceed the sum of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for any one bear. In lieu of surrendering such black bear and such permit, any such person, firm or corporation may give immediately written notice to the Wildlife Resources Commission that plans and specifications for facilities to hold such bear without caging under conditions simulating a natural habitat will be submitted to the Commission for approval within 30 days thereafter. In the event such plans and specifications are not submitted within the time thus limited, or they are disapproved by the Commission, or the facilities are not completed in accordance therewith within 60 days after approval by the Commission, continued possession of a black bear by such person, firm or corporation after any of such events shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this Article, and any such black bear shall be forfeited to the Wildlife Resources Commission without compensation.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1975, c. 56, § 3.

 

§ 19A-13. Violation of Article

Violation of the provisions of this Article shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1975, c. 56, § 4. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 314, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 19A-14. Enforcement of Article

Law-enforcement officers of the Wildlife Resources Commission and all other peace officers are authorized and empowered to enforce the provisions of this Article.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1975, c. 56, § 5.

 

§§ 19A-15 to 19A-19. Reserved

 

Link to Animal Welfare Act Provisions - Article 3 - NC ST § 19A-20 - 44

 

Article 4. Animal Cruelty Investigators

§ 19A-45. Appointment of animal cruelty investigators; term of office; removal; badge; oath; bond

(a) The board of county commissioners is authorized to appoint one or more animal cruelty investigators to serve without any compensation or other employee benefits in his county. In making these appointments, the board may consider persons nominated by any society incorporated under North Carolina law for the prevention of cruelty to animals. Prior to making any such appointment, the board of county commissioners is authorized to enter into an agreement whereby any necessary expenses of caring for seized animals not collectable pursuant to G.S. 19A-47 may be paid by the animal cruelty investigator or by any society incorporated under North Carolina law for the prevention of cruelty to animals that is willing to bear such expense.

(b) Animal cruelty investigators shall serve a one-year term subject to removal for cause by the board of county commissioners. Animal cruelty investigators shall, while in the performance of their official duties, wear in plain view a badge of a design approved by the board identifying them as animal cruelty investigators, and provided at no cost to the county.

(c) Animal cruelty investigators shall take and subscribe the oath of office required of public officials. The oath shall be filed with the clerk of superior court. Animal cruelty investigators shall not be required to post any bond.

(d) Upon approval by the board of county commissioners, the animal cruelty investigator or investigators may be reimbursed for all necessary and actual expenses, to be paid by the county.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1979, c. 808, § 1.

 

§ 19A-46. Powers; magistrate's order; execution of order; petition; notice to owner

(a) Whenever any animal is being cruelly treated as defined in G.S. 19A-1(2), an animal cruelty investigator may file with a magistrate a sworn complaint requesting an order allowing the investigator to provide suitable care for and take immediate custody of the animal. The magistrate shall issue the order only when he finds probable cause to believe that the animal is being cruelly treated and that it is necessary for the investigator to immediately take custody of it. Any magistrate's order issued under this section shall be valid for only 24 hours after its issuance. After he executes the order, the animal cruelty investigator shall return it with a written inventory of the animals seized to the clerk of court in the county where the order was issued.

(b) The animal cruelty investigator may request a law-enforcement officer or animal control officer to accompany him to help him seize the animal. An investigator may forcibly enter any premises or vehicle when necessary to execute the order only if he reasonably believes that the premises or vehicle is unoccupied by any person and that the animal is on the premises or in the vehicle. Forcible entry shall be used only when the animal cruelty investigator is accompanied by a law-enforcement officer. In any case, he must give notice of his identity and purpose to anyone who may be present before entering said premises. Forcible entry shall only be used during the daylight hours.

(c) When he has taken custody of such an animal, the animal cruelty investigator shall file a complaint pursuant to Article 1 of this Chapter as soon as possible. When he seizes the animal, he shall leave with the owner, if known, or affixed to the premises or vehicle a copy of the magistrate's order and a written notice of a description of the animal, the place where the animal will be taken, the reason for taking the animal, and the investigator's intent to file a complaint in district court requesting custody of the animal pursuant to Article 1 of this Chapter.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 7A-305(c), any person who commences a proceeding under this Article or Article 1 of this Chapter shall not be required to pay any court costs or fees prior to a final judicial determination as provided in G.S. 19A-4, at which time those costs shall be paid pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 6-18.

(e) Any judicial order authorizing forcible entry shall be issued by a district court judge.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1979, c. 808, § 1.

 

§ 19A-47. Care of seized animals

The investigator must take any animal he seizes directly to some safe and secure place and provide suitable care for it. The necessary expenses of caring for seized animals, including necessary veterinary care, shall be a charge against the animal's owner and a lien on the animal to be enforced as provided by G.S. 44A-4.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1979, c. 808, § 1.

 

§ 19A-48. Interference unlawful

It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor, to interfere with an animal cruelty investigator in the performance of his official duties.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1979, c. 808, § 1. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, § 318, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994( 1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.

 

§ 19A-49. Educational requirements

Each animal cruelty investigator at his own expense must attend annually a course of at least six hours instruction offered by the North Carolina Humane Federation or some other agency. The course shall be designed to give the investigator expertise in the investigation of complaints relating to the care and treatment of animals. Failure to attend a course approved by the board of county commissioners shall be cause for removal from office.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1979, c. 808, § 1.

 

§§ 19A-50 to 19A-59. Reserved

 

Link to Spay/Neuter Program - NC ST § 19A-60 - 65

 

Article 6. Animal Subject to Illegal Treatment

§ 19A-70. Care of animal subjected to illegal treatment
 
(a) In every arrest under any provision of Article 47 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes or under G.S. 67-4.3 or upon the commencement of an action under Article 1 of this Chapter by a county or municipality, by a county-approved animal cruelty investigator, by other county or municipal official, or by an organization operating a county or municipal shelter under contract, if an animal shelter takes custody of an animal, the operator of the shelter may file a petition with the court requesting that the defendant be ordered to deposit funds in an amount sufficient to secure payment of all the reasonable expenses expected to be incurred by the animal shelter in caring for and providing for the animal pending the disposition of the litigation. For purposes of this section, “reasonable expenses” includes the cost of providing food, water, shelter, and care, including medical care, for at least 30 days.

(b) Upon receipt of a petition, the court shall set a hearing on the petition to determine the need to care for and provide for the animal pending the disposition of the litigation. The hearing shall be conducted no less than 10 and no more than 15 business days after the petition is filed. The operator of the animal shelter shall mail written notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition to the defendant at the address contained in the criminal charges or the complaint or summons by which a civil action was initiated. If the defendant is in a local detention facility at the time the petition is filed, the operator of the animal shelter shall also provide notice to the custodian of the detention facility.

(c) The court shall set the amount of funds necessary for 30 days' care after taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including the need to care for and provide for the animal pending the disposition of the litigation, the recommendation of the operator of the animal shelter, the estimated cost of caring for and providing for the animal, and the defendant's ability to pay. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to deposit funds, the court may consider issuing an order under subsection (f) of this section.

Any order for funds to be deposited pursuant to this section shall state that if the operator of the animal shelter files an affidavit with the clerk of superior court, at least two business days prior to the expiration of a 30-day period, stating that, to the best of the affiant's knowledge, the case against the defendant has not yet been resolved, the order shall be automatically renewed every 30 days until the case is resolved.

(d) If the court orders that funds be deposited, the amount of funds necessary for 30 days shall be posted with the clerk of superior court. The defendant shall also deposit the same amount with the clerk of superior court every 30 days thereafter until the litigation is resolved, unless the defendant requests a hearing no less than five business days prior to the expiration of a 30-day period. If the defendant fails to deposit the funds within five business days of the initial hearing, or five business days of the expiration of a 30-day period, the animal is forfeited by operation of law. If funds have been deposited in accordance with this section, the operator of the animal shelter may draw from the funds the actual costs incurred in caring for the animal.

In the event of forfeiture, the animal shelter may determine whether the animal is suitable for adoption and whether adoption can be arranged for the animal. The animal may not be adopted by the defendant or by any person residing in the defendant's household. If the adopted animal is a dog used for fighting, the animal shelter shall notify any persons adopting the dog of the liability provisions for owners of dangerous dogs under Article 1A of Chapter 67 of the General Statutes. If no adoption can be arranged after the forfeiture, or the animal is unsuitable for adoption, the shelter shall humanely euthanize the animal.

(e) The deposit of funds shall not prevent the animal shelter from disposing of the animal prior to the expiration of the 30-day period covered by the deposit if the court makes a final determination of the charges or claims against the defendant. Upon determination, the defendant is entitled to a refund for any portion of the deposit not incurred as expenses by the animal shelter. A person who is acquitted of all criminal charges or not found to have committed animal cruelty in a civil action under Article 1 of this Chapter is entitled to a refund of the deposit remaining after any draws from the deposit in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.

(f) Pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the court may order a defendant to provide necessary food, water, shelter, and care, including any necessary medical care, for any animal that is the basis of the charges or claims against the defendant without the removal of the animal from the existing location and until the charges or claims against the defendant are adjudicated. If the court issues such an order, the court shall provide for an animal control officer or other law enforcement officer to make regular visits to the location to ensure that the animal is receiving necessary food, water, shelter, and care, including any necessary medical care, and to impound the animal if it is not receiving those necessities.

CREDIT(S)
 
Added by S.L. 2005-383, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2005. Amended by S.L. 2006-113, § 2.1, eff. Dec. 1, 2006.
 
 

Chapter 14. Criminal Law. Subchapter VII. Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency. Article 26. Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency.

§ 14-177. Crime against nature
 
If any person shall commit the crime against nature, with mankind or beast, he shall be punished as a Class I felon.

CREDIT(S)
 
Amended by Laws 1965, c. 621, § 4; Laws 1979, c. 760, § 5; Laws 1979, 2nd Sess.,c. 1316, § 47; Laws 1981, c. 63, § 1, Laws 1981, c. 179, § 14; Laws 1993, c. 539, § 1191, eff. Oct. 1, 1994; Laws 1994, (1st Ex.Sess.), c. 24, § 14(c), eff. March 26, 1994.
 

Chapter 160A. Cities and Towns. Article 8. Delegation and Exercise of the General Police Power.

 
§ 160A-182. Abuse of animals

A city may by ordinance define and prohibit the abuse of animals.

CREDIT(S)
 
Amended by Laws 1971, c. 698, § 1.


 
 


Top of Page
Share |