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Tennessee

West's Tennessee Code Annotated. Title 39. Criminal Offenses. Chapter 14. Offenses Against Property. Part 2. Animals.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: T. C. A. 39-14-201 - 217

Citation: TN ST 39-14-201 - 217


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   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.  It is a defense to prosecution that the action was accepted veterinary practice or bona fide scientific research.  A second or subsequent conviction for cruelty to animals is a Class E felony.  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.  Again, exclusions include animal farming, research, veterinary practices, hunting, trapping, "dispatching" rabid animals or wild animals on one's property, among other things.


Statute in Full:

 

§ 39-14-201. Definitions

§ 39-14-202. Cruelty to animals

§ 39-14-203. Fighting or baiting exhibitions

§ 39-14-204. Dyed baby fowl or rabbits

§ 39-14-205. Intentional killing; police dogs; justifiable killing

§ 39-14-206. Taking fish caught by another

§ 39-14-207. Impounded animals; care

§ 39-14-208. Injury to and value of guide dogs

§ 39-14-209. Horse shows; reports

§ 39-14-210. Humane societies

§ 39-14-211. Examination of livestock; extension agent veterinarian

§ 39-14-212. Aggravated cruelty to animals; definitions; penalties

§ 39-14-213. Removal of electronic or radio dog collar or microchip implant; crime and penalty

§ 39-14-214. Sexual activity with animals (Unofficial classification editorially supplied by West)

§ 39-14-215. Emergency care for non-livestock animal; steps to locate owner; civil liability

§ 39-14-216. Service animals; offenses; restitution

§ 39-14-217. Aggravated cruelty to livestock (Unofficial classification editorially supplied by West)

 

 

§ 39-14-201. Definitions

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Animal" means a domesticated living creature or a wild creature previously captured;

(2) "Livestock" means all equine as well as animals which are being raised primarily for use as food or fiber for human utilization or consumption including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and poultry;

(3) "Non-livestock animal" means a pet normally maintained in or near the household or households of its owner or owners, other domesticated animal, previously captured wildlife, an exotic animal, or any other pet, including but not limited to, pet rabbits, a pet chick, duck, or pot bellied pig that is not classified as "livestock" pursuant to this part; and

(4) "Torture" means every act, omission, or neglect whereby unreasonable physical pain, suffering, or death is caused or permitted, but nothing in this part shall be construed as prohibiting the shooting of birds or game for the purpose of human food or the use of animate targets by incorporated gun clubs.

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1; 1997 Pub.Acts, c. 90, §§ 2, 5, eff. July 1, 1997.

 

§ 39-14-202. Cruelty to animals

(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly:

(1) Tortures, maims or grossly overworks an animal;

(2) Fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person's custody;

(3) Abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's custody;

(4) Transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner; or

(5) Inflicts burns, cuts, lacerations, or other injuries or pain, by any method, including blistering compounds, to the legs or hooves of horses in order to make them sore for any purpose including, but not limited to, competition in horse shows and similar events.

(b) A person commits an offense who knowingly ties, tethers, or restrains a dog in a manner that results in the dog suffering bodily injury as defined in § 39-11-106.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person was engaged in accepted veterinary practices, medical treatment by the owner or with the owner's consent, or bona fide experimentation for scientific research.

(d) Whenever any person is taken into custody by any officer for violation of subdivision (a)(4), the officer may take charge of the vehicle or conveyance, and its contents, used by the person to transport the animal. The officer shall deposit these items in a safe place for custody. Any necessary expense incurred for taking charge of and sustaining the same shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can lawfully be recovered; or the expenses, or any part thereof, remaining unpaid may be recovered by the person incurring the same of the owners of the animal in an action therefor.

(e) In addition to the penalty imposed in subsection (g), the court making the sentencing determination for a person convicted under this section shall order the person convicted to surrender custody and forfeit the animal or animals whose treatment was the basis of the conviction. Custody shall be given to a humane society incorporated under the laws of this state. The court may prohibit the person convicted from having custody of other animals for any period of time the court determines to be reasonable, or impose any other reasonable restrictions on the person's custody of animals as necessary for the protection of the animals.

(f)(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the owner of a farm animal or someone acting with the consent of the owner of that animal from engaging in usual and customary practices which are accepted by colleges of agriculture or veterinary medicine with respect to that animal.

(2) It is an offense for a person other than a law enforcement officer acting with probable cause to knowingly interfere with the performance of any agricultural practices permitted by subdivision (f)(1).

(3) An offense under subdivision (f)(2) is a Class B misdemeanor.

(g)(1) Cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2) A second or subsequent conviction for cruelty to animals is a Class E felony.

(3) Violation of any prohibition or restriction imposed by the sentencing court pursuant to subdivision (e) is a Class A misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1; 1991 Pub.Acts, c. 223, § 1; 1992 Pub.Acts, c. 840, § 1; 1997 Pub.Acts, c. 90, § 4, eff. July 1, 1997; 2004 Pub.Acts, c. 940, § 6, eff. June 15, 2004; 2007 Pub.Acts, c. 535, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007; 2010 Pub.Acts, c. 816, § 1, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

§ 39-14-203. Fighting or baiting exhibitions

(a) It is unlawful for any person to:

(1) Own, possess, keep, use or train any bull, bear, dog, cock, swine or other animal, for the purpose of fighting, baiting or injuring another such animal, for amusement, sport or gain;

(2) Cause, for amusement, sport or gain, any animal referenced in subdivision (a)(1) to fight, bait or injure another animal, or each other;

(3) Permit any acts stated in subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) to be done on any premises under the person's charge or control, or aid or abet those acts; or

(4) Be knowingly present, as a spectator, at any place or building where preparations are being made for an exhibition for the fighting, baiting or injuring of any animal, with the intent to be present at the exhibition, fighting, baiting or injuring.

(b) It is the legislative intent that the provisions of this section shall not apply to the training or use of hunting dogs for sport or to the training or use of dogs for law enforcement purposes.

(c)(1) Except for any offense involving a cock, an offense under subdivisions (a)(1)-(3) is a Class E felony.

(2) An offense involving a cock under subdivisions (a)(1)-(3) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d)(1) An offense under subdivision (a)(4) is a Class B misdemeanor if the person is a spectator at a dog fight.

(2) Any other violation of subdivision (a)(4) is a Class C misdemeanor.

(e) It is not an offense to own, possess or keep cocks, or aid or abet the ownership, possession or keeping of cocks, for the sole purpose of selling or transporting cocks to a location in which possession or keeping of cocks is legal.

CREDIT(S)

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1; 1990 Pub.Acts, c. 625, §§ 1, 2; 2007 Pub.Acts, c. 555, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007; 2007 Pub.Acts, c. 216, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007.

 

§ 39-14-204. Dyed baby fowl or rabbits

(a)(1) It is unlawful for any person to:

(A) Sell, offer for sale, barter or give away baby chickens, ducklings or goslings of any age, or rabbits under two (2) months of age, as pets, toys, premiums or novelties, if such fowl or rabbits have been colored, dyed, stained or otherwise had their natural color changed; or

(B) Bring or transport such fowl or rabbits into the state for such purposes.

(2) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the sale or display of such baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits in proper facilities by breeders or stores engaged in the business of selling for purposes of commercial breeding and raising or laboratory testing.

(3) Each such baby chicken, duckling, other fowl or rabbit sold, offered for sale, bartered or given away in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

(b) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1.

 

§ 39-14-205. Intentional killing; police dogs; justifiable killing

(a)(1)(A) It is an offense to knowingly and unlawfully kill the animal of another without the owner's effective consent.

(B) A violation of subdivision (a)(1)(A) is theft of property, graded according to the value of the animal, and punished in accordance with § 39-14-105.

(2) In determining the value of a police dog, fire dog, search and rescue dog, service animal or police horse under § 39-14-105, the court shall consider the value of the police dog, fire dog, search and rescue dog, service animal or police horse as both the cost of the animal and any specialized training the animal received.

(b) A person is justified in killing the animal of another if the person acted under a reasonable belief that the animal was creating an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to that person or another or an imminent danger of death to an animal owned by that person. A person is not justified in killing the animal of another if at the time of the killing the person is trespassing upon the property of the owner of the animal. The justification for killing the animal of another authorized by this subsection (b) shall not apply to a person who, while engaging in or attempting to escape from criminal conduct, kills a police dog that is acting in its official capacity. In that case the provisions of subsection (a) shall apply to the person.

CREDIT(S)

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1; 1996 Pub.Acts, c. 927, §§ 1, 2, eff. July 1, 1996; 2004 Pub.Acts, c. 957, § 1, eff. June 15, 2004; 2007 Pub.Acts, c. 466, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007; 2008 Pub.Acts, c. 1172, § 1, eff. July 1, 2008.

 

§ 39-14-206. Taking fish caught by another

(a) It is unlawful for any person to take fish out of the box, net, basket or off the hook of another person, or to raise any box, net, basket, or trot-line, without the consent of the owner of such device, unless such fish be taken by an officer to be used as evidence in the prosecution of a violation of the game and fish laws.

(b) Any violation of the provisions of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1.

 

§ 39-14-207. Impounded animals; care

(a) In case any impounded animal is without necessary food and water for more than twelve (12) successive hours, it is lawful for any person, as often as necessary, to enter any place in which any animal is so confined, and to supply it with necessary food and water so long as it remains so confined. Such person shall not be liable to any action for such entry, and the reasonable cost of such food and water may be collected from the owner or keeper of the animal. The animal shall not be exempt from levy and sale upon execution issued upon a judgment therefor.

(b) In case any animal is injured, diseased, suffering from the elements, or malnourished, and is found at large by any agent of any humane society chartered by the state, the agent may cause adequate veterinary treatment or shelter or nourishment to be furnished to the animal. The society shall have a right of action against the owner of the animal for all necessary and reasonable expenses so incurred. Within forty-eight (48) hours after taking custody of the animal, the society shall make reasonable efforts to notify the owner of the animal's whereabouts and condition. Nothing in this subsection (b) shall affect the right of action of the veterinarian or furnisher of goods or services against the person or persons with whom such veterinarian or furnisher of goods or services contracted for payment of charges. Any such right of action by a humane society may be voided by an owner who elects to forfeit the animal to the society rather than pay for the goods or services rendered.

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1.

 

§ 39-14-208. Injury to and value of guide dogs

A person who intentionally or knowingly unlawfully injures the guide dog of another and, thereby, permanently deprives the owner of the use of the guide dog's services commits theft of that animal and shall be punished under § 39-14-105. In determining the value of the guide dog for purposes of § 39- 14-105, the court shall consider the value of the guide dog as both the cost of the dog as well as the cost of any specialized training the guide dog received.

Added by 2004 Pub.Acts, c. 957, § 2, eff. June 15, 2004.

 

§ 39-14-209. Horse shows; reports

(a) It is the duty of any person designated and acting as a ringmaster of any horse show or similar event to disqualify any horse determined by the ringmaster to be suffering from the causes set out in § 39-14-202(a)(5) from further participation in such show, and to make a report of the same, including the name of the horse, the owner of the horse, and the exhibitor of the horse, to the manager or chair of the show, who in turn shall report the same in writing to the district attorney general of the judicial district wherein the incident occurred for appropriate action.

(b) A violation of this duty is a Class C misdemeanor.

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1.

 

§ 39-14-210. Humane societies

(a) The agents of any society which is incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals, upon being appointed thereto by the president of such a society in any county, may, within that county, make arrests, and bring before any court thereof offenders found violating the provisions of this part with regard to non-livestock animals.

(b) Any officers, agents, or members of such society may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any animal in that person's presence. Any person who interferes with or obstructs any officer, agent, or member in the discharge of this duty commits a Class C misdemeanor.

(c) Any agent or officer of a society may lawfully destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any animal found abandoned or otherwise:

(1) Which is not properly cared for, appearing, in the judgment of two (2) reputable citizens, who are experts, called to view the same in the agent's or officer's presence, to be glandered, injured or diseased past humane recovery; or

(2) After a holding period of not less than seventy-two (72) hours and after having made a reasonable effort to locate and notify the owners, for the purpose of animal population control.

(d) All fines, penalties and forfeitures imposed and collected in any county, under provisions relating to or in any way affecting animals, shall inure to the society in aid of the purpose for which it was incorporated, and no injunction shall be granted against the society or attorney or its officers or agents, except upon motion, after due notice and hearing.

(e) Any humane society chartered by the state, into whose custody shall lawfully come any animal, shall have a lien on that animal for the reasonable value of the goods and services necessarily rendered by, or at the instance of, the society to that animal.

(f) Upon seizure by law enforcement, custody of any animal victimized under this part shall be placed with any governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee. The governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee shall assist the animal and preserve evidence for prosecution.

(g) Any governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee into whose custody any animal victimized under this part is placed, may petition the court requesting that the person from whom the animal is seized, or the owner of the seized animal, be ordered to post security. The security shall be in an amount sufficient to secure payment of all reasonable expenses expected to be incurred by the governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee in caring and providing for the animal pending disposition of the criminal charges. Reasonable expenses include, but are not necessarily limited to, the estimated costs of veterinary care and treatment for the animal as well as the estimated costs of boarding and otherwise caring for the animal. The amount of security shall be determined by the court after taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances of the case. If the posting of security is ordered pursuant to this subsection (g), then the governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee may draw from the security the actual costs incurred in caring and providing for the seized animal pending disposition of criminal charges. If the person from whom the animal is seized is the owner of the animal and the person has not posted the security ordered pursuant to this subsection (g) within ten (10) business days following the issuance of a security order, the animal shall be deemed to have been abandoned and shall be forfeited to the governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee for disposition in accordance with reasonable practices for the humane treatment of animals. However, if the person from whom the animal was seized is not the owner of the animal and the person has not posted the court-ordered security within fifteen (15) days, the court shall order the governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee to make all reasonable efforts to determine who the owner of the animal is and to notify the owner of the pending proceeding. No animal shall be deemed to have been abandoned and forfeited to the governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee until reasonable attempts to determine and notify the owner have been made. If the owner of the animal cannot be located after reasonable efforts or the owner is located and notified but does not post, within ten (10) business days, the court-ordered security plus the costs reasonably incurred by the governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee for housing and caring for the animal since its seizure, the animal shall be deemed to have been abandoned and shall be forfeited to the governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee for disposition in accordance with reasonable practices for the humane treatment of animals. Nothing in this subsection (g) shall be construed to prevent the voluntary, permanent relinquishment of any animal by its owner to a governmental animal control agency, law enforcement agency, or their designee in lieu of posting security. The voluntary relinquishment has no effect on the outcome of the criminal charges.

Credits

1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 1; 1997 Pub.Acts, c. 90, § 1, eff. July 1, 1997; 2004 Pub.Acts, c. 920, § 2, eff. July 1, 2004; 2007 Pub.Acts, c. 128, §§ 1, 2, eff. July 1, 2007; 2013 Pub.Acts, c. 157, § 1, eff. July 1, 2013.

 

§ 39-14-211. Examination of livestock; extension agent veterinarian

No entry onto the property of another, arrest, interference with usual and customary agricultural or veterinary practices, confiscation, or any other action authorized by this part or any other provision of law shall be taken in response to an allegation that this part has been violated with regard to livestock unless, prior to or at the same time as such action, the livestock in question is examined by the county agricultural extension agent of such county, a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine specializing in livestock practice or a graduate from an accredited college of agriculture with a specialty in livestock. If the extension agent, veterinary college graduate specializing in livestock practice or livestock specialist does not have probable cause to believe that a violation of this part has occurred with regard to such livestock, no action against the owner of such livestock described in this section shall be taken. If a person authorized by this section does not make an inspection within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of a complaint, then a licensed veterinarian may make such inspection.

1997 Pub.Acts, c. 90, § 3, eff. July 1, 1997.

 

§ 39-14-212. Aggravated cruelty to animals; definitions; penalties

(a) A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals when, with aggravated cruelty and with no justifiable purpose, such person intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Aggravated cruelty" means conduct which is done or carried out in a depraved and sadistic manner and which tortures or maims an animal including the failure to provide food and water to a companion animal resulting in a substantial risk of death or death;

(2) "Companion animal" means any non-livestock animal as defined in § 39-14- 201(3);

(3) "Elderly" means any person sixty-five (65) years of age or older; and

(4) "Minor" means any person under eighteen (18) years of age.

(c) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not be construed to prohibit or interfere with the following endeavors:

(1) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to change, modify, or amend any provision of title 70, involving fish and wildlife;

(2) The provisions of this section do not apply to activities or conduct that are prohibited by § 39-14-203;

(3) The provisions of this section do not apply to equine animals or to animals defined as livestock by the provisions of § 39-14-201;

(4) Dispatching an animal in any manner absent of aggravated cruelty;

(5) Engaging in lawful hunting, trapping, or fishing activities, including activities commonly associated with the hunting of small game as defined in § 70-1-101(a)(34);

(6) Dispatching rabid or diseased animals;

(7) Dispatching animals posing a clear and immediate threat to human safety;

(8) Performing or conducting bona fide scientific tests, experiments or investigations within or for a bona fide research laboratory, facility or institution;

(9) Performing accepted veterinary medical practices or treatments;

(10) Dispatching animals in accordance with § 44-17-403(e);

(11) Engaging, with the consent of the owner of a farm animal, in usual and customary practices which are accepted by colleges of agriculture or veterinary medicine with respect to such animal;

(12) Dispatching wild or abandoned animals on a farm or residential real property; or

(13) Applying methods and equipment used to train animals.

(d) Aggravated cruelty to animals is a Class E felony.

(e) In addition to the penalty imposed by subsection (d), the sentencing court may order the defendant to surrender custody and forfeit all companion animals as defined in subdivision (b)(2), and may award custody of such animals to the agency presenting the case. The court may prohibit the defendant from having custody of other animals for any period of time the court determines to be reasonable, or impose any other reasonable restrictions on the person's custody of animals as is necessary for the protection of the animals.

(f) In addition to the penalty imposed by subsection (d), the court may require the defendant to undergo psychological evaluation and counseling, the cost to be borne by the defendant. If the defendant is indigent, the court may, where practicable, direct the defendant to locate and enroll in a counseling or treatment program with an appropriate agency.

(g) If a defendant convicted of a violation of this section resides in a household with minor children or elderly individuals, the court may, within fifteen (15) days, send notification of the conviction to the appropriate protective agencies.

(h) In addition to the penalty imposed by subsection (d), the defendant may be held liable to the impounding officer or agency for all costs of impoundment from the time of seizure to the time of proper disposition of the case.

(i)(1) In addition to the penalty imposed by subsection (d), the defendant may be held liable to the owner of the animal for damages.

(2) If an unlawful act resulted in the death or permanent disability of a person's guide dog, then the value of the guide dog shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, both the cost of the guide dog as well as the cost of any specialized training the guide dog received.

(j) If a juvenile is found to be within the court's jurisdiction, for conduct that, if committed by an adult, would be a criminal violation involving cruelty to animals or would be a criminal violation involving arson, then the court may order that the juvenile be evaluated to determine the need for psychiatric or psychological treatment. If the court determines that psychiatric or psychological treatment is appropriate for that juvenile, then the court may order that treatment.

(k) This section does not preclude the court from entering any other order of disposition allowed under this chapter.

Added by 2002 Pub.Acts, c. 858, §§ 1, 2. Amended by 2004 Pub.Acts, c. 920, § 1, eff. July 1, 2004; 2004 Pub.Acts, c. 940, § 5, eff. June 15, 2004; 2004 Pub.Acts, c. 957, § 4, eff. June 15, 2004.

 

§ 39-14-213. Removal of electronic or radio dog collar or microchip implant; crime and penalty

(a) A person who removes from a dog an electronic or radio transmitting collar or microchip implant without the permission of the owner of the dog and with the intent to prevent or hinder the owner from locating the dog commits a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by fine only; provided, however, if the dog wearing an electronic or radio transmitting collar or microchip implant is lost or killed as the proximate result of the removal of such collar or implant, the person commits a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by fine only.

(b) Upon conviction for a violation of this section, the court shall order that the violator pay as restitution to the owner the actual value of a dog lost or killed as a result of the removal of an electronic or radio transmitting collar or microchip implant from the dog by the violator. The court may also order the violator to pay as restitution to the owner any breeding revenues forfeited due to the loss or death of a dog in such circumstance.

CREDIT(S)

2007 Pub.Acts, c. 70, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007.

 

§ 39-14-214. Sexual activity with animals

(a) A person commits an offense who knowingly:

(1) Engages in any sexual activity with an animal;

(2) Causes, aids, or abets another person to engage in any sexual activity with an animal;

(3) Permits any sexual activity with an animal to be conducted on any premises under his or her charge or control;

(4) Engages in, organizes, promotes, conducts, advertises, aids, abets, participates in as an observer, or performs any service in the furtherance of an act involving any sexual activity with an animal for a commercial or recreational purpose; or

(5) Photographs or films, for purposes of sexual gratification, a person engaged in a sexual activity with an animal.

(b) A violation of this section is a Class E felony.

(c) In addition to the penalty imposed in subsection (b) of this section, the court may order that the convicted person do any of the following:

(1) Not harbor or own animals or reside in any household where animals are present;

(2) Participate in appropriate counseling at the defendant's expense; or

(3) Reimburse the animal shelter or humane society for any reasonable costs incurred for the care and maintenance of any animals taken to the animal shelter or humane society as a result of conduct proscribed in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Nothing in this section may be considered to prohibit accepted animal husbandry practices or accepted veterinary medical practices.

(e) If the court has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of this section has occurred, the court may order the seizure of all animals involved in the alleged violation as a condition of bond of a person charged with a violation.

(f) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Animal" has the same meaning as the term is defined in § 63-12-103;

(2) "Photographs" or "films" means the making of a photograph, motion picture film, videotape, digital image, or any other recording, sale, or transmission of the image; and

(3) "Sexual activity" means physical sexual contact between the person and the animal.

CREDIT(S)

2007 Pub.Acts, c. 510, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007.

 

§ 39-14-215. Emergency care for non-livestock animal; steps to locate owner; civil liability

(a) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Animal control agency” means a county or municipal animal shelter, dog pound, or animal control agency, private humane society, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, or any combination thereof, that temporarily houses stray, unwanted or injured animals;

(2) “Emergency” means a natural disaster, including earthquake, fire, flood, or storm; a hazardous chemical or substance incident; a vehicular collision with an animal, or other transportation accident where an animal is injured or in need of assistance to protect its health or life;

(3) “Emergency care” means medical and other health treatment, services, or accommodations that is provided to an injured or ill animal for a medical condition or injury of such a nature that the failure to render immediate care would reasonably likely result in the deterioration of a sick or injured animal's condition or in the animal's death;

(4) “Livestock” means all equine as well as animals which are being raised primarily for use as food or fiber for human utilization or consumption including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and poultry;

(5) “Non-livestock animal” means a pet normally maintained in or near the household or households of its owner or owners, other domesticated animal, previously captured wildlife, an exotic animal, or any other pet, including, but not limited to, pet rabbits, a pet chick, duck, or pot-bellied pig that is not classified as “livestock” pursuant to this part;

(6) “Running at large” means that a non-livestock animal goes uncontrolled by the animal's owner upon the premises of another without the consent of the owner of the premises, or other person authorized to give consent, or goes uncontrolled by the owner upon a highway, public road, street, or any other place open to the public generally; and

(7) “Stray animal” means that a non-livestock animal is roaming with no physical restraint without an identification tag, collar, or chip and that has no record of ownership.

(b)(1) Any person who in good faith and without compensation for services provides, renders, or obtains emergency care for a non-livestock animal that is running at large, abandoned, injured or in distress due to an emergency, or for a stray non-livestock animal, shall not be subject to civil liability for any injuries or harm to such animal resulting from the rendering or obtaining of emergency care, or any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further emergency care for such animal, if such person's actions do not constitute malice, gross negligence, or criminal misconduct.

(2)(A) If a person fails to take reasonable steps to locate the owner of such animal prior to rendering or obtaining emergency care, then subdivision (b)(1) shall not apply.

(B) Taking reasonable steps to locate the owner of such animal includes:

(i) Attempting to contact the owner using any notification information located on the animal's identification tag, collar, or chip; and

(ii)(a) Providing notice to an appropriate animal shelter, dog pound, animal control agency or humane shelter operated by the municipality, county, or other governmental agency located where the person resides that the animal is in the custody of the person. The person shall also notify an appropriate shelter in the location where the person took custody of the animal, if the location is outside of the municipality or county where the person resides.

(b) The person shall give to the shelter or shelters such person's contact information.

(C) This subdivision (b)(2) shall not apply if the animal is determined by a licensed veterinarian to:

(i) Need immediate emergency care to alleviate pain or save the life of the animal; or

(ii) Exhibit visible signs of recent abuse as described in § 39-14-202.

(c) Notwithstanding § 63-12-142, a licensed veterinarian, or ancillary veterinary personnel employed by and working under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian, who, in good faith, at the request of someone other than the owner renders:

(1) Emergency care to an ill or injured non-livestock animal is not liable to the owner of the animal for any civil damages arising from the treatment provided to the animal except in cases of malice, gross negligence, or criminal misconduct; or

(2) Treatment other than emergency care to a non-livestock animal is not liable to the owner of the animal for any civil damages arising from the treatment provided to the animal except in cases of malice, gross negligence, or criminal misconduct, only if the person requesting the treatment certifies in writing to the veterinarian, or ancillary veterinary personnel, that such person has taken reasonable steps to locate the owner as provided in subdivision (b)(2).

(d) An animal control agency or an employee of an animal control agency acting within the scope of such employment, who, in good faith, takes into its custody and cares for a stray or abandoned non-livestock animal, or a non-livestock animal running at large for which reasonable steps to locate the owner of such animal are taken, that has been delivered to such agency or employee by an individual or group of individuals not affiliated with the agency, shall not be subject to civil liability for its care of such animal if the agency or employee's actions do not constitute malice, gross negligence or criminal misconduct.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (c), this section shall not in any way limit the application of, or supersede, § 44-17-203, § 44-17-403(e) or § 63-12-142.

CREDIT(S)

2010 Pub.Acts, c. 775, § 1, eff. April 16, 2010.

 

§ 39-14-216. Service animals; offenses; restitution

(a)(1) As used in this section, “service animal” means:

(A) Any animal that is individually trained, or being trained by an employee or puppy raiser from a recognized training agency or school to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability; and

(B) Any police dog, fire dog, search and rescue dog, or police horse.

(2) Other species of animals not specified in this subsection, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.

(3) For purposes of a service animal as defined under subdivision (a)(1)(A), the work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of the animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of subdivision (a)(1)(A).

(b) It is an offense to knowingly:

(1) Maim or otherwise inflict harm upon a service animal;

(2) Attempt to maim or otherwise inflict harm upon a service animal; or

(3) Permit an animal that the person owns or is in the immediate control of to maim or otherwise inflict harm upon a service animal.

(c) It is an offense to recklessly maim or otherwise inflict harm upon a service animal or permit an animal that the person owns or is in the immediate control of to maim or otherwise inflict harm upon a service animal.

(d) It is an offense to knowingly interfere with a service animal in the performance of its duties, or permit an animal that the person owns or is in control of to interfere with a service animal in the performance of its duties.

(e)(1) A violation of subsection (b) or (c) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2) A violation of subsection (d) is a Class C misdemeanor.

(f)(1) In addition to any other penalty provided by this section, a person convicted of a violation of subsection (b), (c) or (d) shall be ordered by the court to make full restitution for all damages that arise out of or are related to the offense, including incidental and consequential damages incurred by the service animal's handler or the recognized training agency or school.

(2) Restitution, for purposes of this section, includes:

(A) The value of the service animal if the animal is disabled or can no longer perform service animal duties;

(B) Replacement and training or retraining expenses of the service animal or handler if necessary to restore the animal to service animal capabilities;

(C) Veterinary and other medical and boarding expenses for the service animal;

(D) Medical expenses for the handler; and

(E) Lost wages or income incurred by the handler during any period that the handler is without the services of the service animal.

(g) If the violation of this section involves a guide dog and the offense results in injury to the dog that permanently deprives the owner of the use of the guide dog's services, nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution and conviction for such conduct under § 39-14-208.

CREDIT(S)

2012 Pub.Acts, c. 910, § 1, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 39-14-217. Aggravated cruelty to livestock (Unofficial classification editorially supplied by West)

(a) As used in this section only, “livestock” means all equine as well as animals which are being raised primarily for use as food or fiber for human utilization or consumption including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, swine, and goats.

(b) Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e), a person commits aggravated cruelty to a livestock animal who, in a depraved and sadistic manner, intentionally engages in any of the conduct described in subdivisions (c)(1)--(12), the conduct results in serious bodily injury to the animal or the death of the animal, and is without justifiable or lawful purpose.

(c) The following conduct constitutes aggravated cruelty to livestock animals if accomplished in the manner described in subsection (b):

(1) Setting an animal on fire;

(2) Burning an animal with any hot object;

(3) Cutting or stabbing an animal with any object;

(4) Causing blunt force trauma to an animal;

(5) Securing an animal to a vehicle and dragging it;

(6) Blinding an animal;

(7) Applying acid or other caustic substance or chemical to any exposed area of an animal or forcing the animal to ingest the substance;

(8) Hanging a living animal;

(9) Skinning an animal while it is still alive;

(10) Administering electric shock to an animal;

(11) Drowning an animal; or

(12) Shooting an animal with a weapon.

(d) Subsections (b) and (c) shall not be construed to apply to, prohibit or interfere with the following:

(1) Any provision of Title 70, involving fish and wildlife, or any hunting trapping, or fishing activities lawful under such title;

(2) Activities or conduct that are prohibited by § 39-14-203; or

(3) Dispatching an animal in any manner not prohibited by this section.

(e) The following shall not be construed as aggravated cruelty to a livestock animal as defined in this section:

(1) Dispatching rabid, diseased, sick or injured livestock animals;

(2) Dispatching livestock animals posing a clear and immediate threat to human safety;

(3) Performing or conducting bona fide scientific tests, experiments or investigations within or for a bona fide research laboratory, facility or institution;

(4) Performing accepted veterinary medical practices or treatments;

(5) Engaging, with the consent of the owner of a livestock animal, in usual and customary practices which are accepted by colleges of agriculture or veterinary medicine with respect to that animal;

(6) Dispatching wild or abandoned livestock animals on a farm or residential real property; or

(7) Applying methods and equipment used to train livestock animals.

(f) In addition to the penalty imposed by subsection (j), the defendant may be held liable to:

(1) The owner of the livestock animal for damages; and

(2) The impounding officer or agency for all costs of impoundment from the time of seizure to the time of proper disposition of the case.

(g) In addition to the penalty imposed by subsection (j), the sentencing court may order the defendant to surrender custody and forfeit all livestock animals, and may award custody of the animals to the agency presenting the case. The court may prohibit the defendant from having custody of other livestock animals for any period of time the court determines to be reasonable, or impose any other reasonable restrictions on the person's custody of livestock animals as is necessary for the protection of the animals.

(h) In addition to the penalty imposed by subsection (j), the court may require the defendant to undergo psychological evaluation and counseling, the cost to be borne by the defendant. If the defendant is indigent, the court may, where practicable, direct the defendant to locate and enroll in a counseling or treatment program with an appropriate agency.

(i) This section does not preclude the court from entering any other order of disposition allowed under this chapter.

(j) Aggravated cruelty to a livestock animal is a Class E felony.

CREDIT(S)

2012 Pub.Acts, c. 1084, § 1, eff. July 1, 2012.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

2012 Pub.Acts, c. 1084, § 1, enacted a new section § 39-14-216. Section 39-14-216 was also enacted by 2012 Pub.Acts, c. 910, § 1; therefore, the enactment by 2012 Pub.Acts, c. 1084, § 1 was designated as § 39-14-217.

 



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