Oklahoma

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State v. Gilchrist The Appellant State of Oklahoma appeals the Grant County District Court's granting of defendant's motion to quash counts 2-13 of Cruelty to Animals violation of 21 O.S.2011, § 1685. Defendant was charged with 13 counts of animal cruelty stemming from maltreatment of 13 dogs at his property. Evidence at the preliminary hearing showed that two of the dogs were chained to small, metal shelters, and 11 were individually penned, all in 100 degree heat. No dogs had adequate water and rotting carcasses were found within reach of the dogs. According to responding veterinarians, all dogs were extremely dehydrated and in need of immediate medical care and one dog had gone into shock (it later died). Most of the dogs were malnourished and poorly conditioned with parasite-infested wounds. At district court, defendant argued that he could only be charged with a single count of Cruelty to Animals because the dogs were found all in one location and had been abandoned for approximately the same time period. The district court acquiesced and granted defendant's motion to quash, finding no caselaw on point. On appeal, the Supreme Court found the district court's interpretation of 21 O.S.2011, § 1685 wrong as a matter of law. The section repeatedly use the phrase "any animal" to show that the intent to address acts of abuse against any particular animal. The Court observed that the state filed a count for each of the dogs at defendant's property because each dog needed to be separately fed and watered. "Gilchrist deprived all thirteen dogs of the food, water and shelter necessary to avoid the grotesque suffering observed at the scene." Thus, the Court found the district court abused its discretion in granting defendant's motion to quash.
OK - Wildlife - Part 6. Transportation of Wildlife

Under these Oklahoma statutes, no common carrier may transport any wildlife or endangered or rare species, with exceptions. A violation could result in a fine of $25 to $100. In addition, no person may transport into or out of Oklahoma any wildlife or parts thereof, nests of wildlife, their eggs or their young, or any endangered or threatened species, with exceptions. A violation could result in a fine of $50 to $200, and/or imprisonment of 10 to 60 days.

OK - Wildlife - Part 5. Possession of Wildlife.

Under these Oklahoma statutes, no person may possess any wildlife or parts thereof during the closed season, any endangered or threatened species or parts thereof at any time, or any native bear or native cat that will grow to reach the weight of 50 lbs. or more, with exceptions. A conviction could result in a fine of $100-$500 and/or by imprisonment up to 30 days. In addition, no person may buy, barter, trade, or sell all or any part of any fish or wildlife or the nest or eggs of any bird protected by law, with exceptions. A first violation could result in a fine of $100 to $500 and/or by imprisonment up to 60 days.

OK - Veterinary - Chapter 15. Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act.

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.

OK - Veterinarian Issues - Professional Conduct The following acts and/or omissions shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action by the Oklahoma Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
OK - Trust - § 199. Validity of a trust for the care of domestic or pet animals.

Oklahoma enacted a "pet trust" law in 2010. The law provides that a trust for the care of designated domestic or pet animals is valid and terminates when no living animal is covered by the trust. If no trustee is named, the court shall appoint one.

OK - Research - Chapter 13. Use of Unclaimed Animals for Scientific Investigation and Education.

These Oklahoma statutes provide the rules for scientific or medical research facilities that use animals obtained from animal shelters or dog pounds.  Among the provisions are licensing procedures, inspection requirements, municipal ordinance requirements relating to duration that animals must first be impounded, and a provision specifying that anyone who fails to undertake the duties required by the act is subject to a misdemeanor.  Notably, a municipality must provide that an owner of an animal who voluntarily delivers it to a public pound has the right to specify that it not be used for scientific research; it shall be the duty of the pound superintendent to tag such animal properly and to make certain that such animal is not delivered to an institution for scientific purposes.  However, institution is immune from liability resulting from an improper delivery to such an institution.

OK - Rehabilitation, wildlife - Chapter 25 Wildlife Rules


The following Oklahoma regulations detail that a license is needed for any person who wishes to rehabilitate wildlife. A person must renew this license annually for a fee of ten (10) dollars unless that person has violated any of  these provisions or was found not to be taking proper care of the animal during the animal's rehabilitation. In such a case, a person must wait a minimum of one year before that person can renew his or her license. These regulations also relieve the Department of Wildlife from liability and costs incurred by the licensee. Additionally, these regulations require a licensee to report  any listed endangered or threatened species; require a record of veterinary visits; require a record of the type of species lodged at the facility; require proper facilities; and require proper release of rehabilitated animals and proper disposal of animals that cannot be rehabilitated.

OK - Property - § 1717. Dog as personal property

Dogs are considered personal property in Oklahoma.

OK - Police and Dogs - § 36.1. Police dog handlers--Civil liability

This Oklahoma statute deals with the civil liability of police dog handlers. Under the statute, a police dog handler who uses a dog in the line of duty in accordance with the policies and standards established by the law enforcement agency that employs the officer, will not be civilly liable for any damages arising from the use of the dog. The police dog handler may only be liable for exceptions listed in the Governmental Tort Claims Act.

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