Wyoming

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Titlesort descending Summary
Beckwith v. Weber


While on vacation at a ranch in Wyoming, plaintiff was thrown or fell from a horse that stepped in a large badger hole. Allegedly, the trail guide left the plaintiff and her husband at the scene in order to get help. Worried about potential wildlife attacks, the plaintiff and her husband walked to a nearby residence for assistance. The plaintiff later brought a negligence suit against the ranch for injuries she had sustained during the fall. At trial, the jury verdict stated the plaintiff had assumed the risk and the plaintiff was therefore not entitled to damages. On appeal, the plaintiff challenged a jury instruction and asserted the trial court abused its discretion when it awarded costs to the ranch. The plaintiff did not prevail on either claim.

Connor v. Bogrett


This Wyoming case concerns the application of the sales provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted in Wyoming (ss 34-21-201 through 34-21-299.5, W.S.1977) to a sale of a registered Black Labrador retriever which was intended for competition in field trials. More specifically the question is whether the continued physical ability of this retriever, as a matter of law, was precluded from becoming part of the basis for the bargain of the parties. The court agreed with the district court in this instance that, as a matter of law, the expressions of the seller relative to the potential of this retriever were only expressions of opinion or commendation and not an express warranty.

Detailed Discussion of Wyoming Great Ape Laws The following article discusses Wyoming Great Ape law. Wyoming has no law that restricts or otherwise mentions great apes. In fact, Wyoming does not even have a state endangered species provision providing additional state protection for endangered or threatened species. The only possible reference that could include great apes is the definition for “exotic species” under the general fish and game code definitions. However, there are no accompanying restrictions on possession or importation of those exotic species. The state’s cruelty law is broad enough to include great apes. There are no exceptions under the cruelty for scientific research or testing.
Jenkins v. State


Defendant was convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Defendant appealed, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. The Supreme Court held that he was not entitled to a reversal, because he failed to demonstrate that his counsel failed to render reasonably competent assistance that prejudiced him to such an extent that he was deprived of a fair trial. The Court held that it was not ineffective assistance to 1) fail to object to testimony regarding defendant's arrest and incarceration, and 2) fail to object to defendant's brother testifying while wearing a striped prison suit.

Kovnat v. Xanterra Parks and Resorts

In this case, Corrine Kovnat filed suit against Xanterra Parks and Resorts (Xanterra) alleging that it was negligent in connection with the injuries she sustained while horseback riding in Yellowstone National Park. Kovnat argued that Xanterra was negligent because the cinch on the saddle was too loose and her stirrups were uneven. The district court reviewed the issue and granted summary judgment in favor of defendant, Xanterra. The court held that under Wyoming’s Recreational Safety Act, Xanterra owed no duty of care to protect Kovnat from the injuries she sustained. Kovnat appealed the district court’s ruling and the court of appeals affirmed in part and denied in part the district court’s ruling. Ultimately, the court of appeals found that summary judgment was only proper for Kovnat’s claim regarding the loose cinch but was not proper for the issue of the uneven stirrups. The court of appeals came to this conclusion after examining the Recreational Safety Act and finding that Xanterra cannot be held liable for any risks that are “inherent to the sport of horseback riding.” The court determined that the loose cinch was a reasonable risk that was inherent to the sport of horseback riding while the uneven stirrups were not. For this reason, the court of appeals remanded the case for further proceedings with regard to the issue of the uneven stirrups.

Mackley v. State The Wyoming Supreme Court considers whether the jury was properly instructed on the charge of aggravated animal cruelty. The case stems from an incident where a dog escaped his owner and attacked the defendant's dogs at his front door. A local teenager grabbed the offending dog ("Rocky") and dragged him into the street as the dog fight carried on. The defendant responded by grabbing his gun and shooting Rocky as he was held by the teenager. A jury convicted defendant of both aggravated animal cruelty and reckless endangering. At the trial, defendant moved for judgment of acquittal on both charges, arguing that the Wyoming Legislature has established that humanely destroying an animal is not animal cruelty and that the State did not provide evidence that he intentionally pointed a firearm at anyone, which defendant contends is necessary for the reckless endangering charge. On appeal here, the court first observed that defendant's challenge to a confusing or misleading jury instruction was waived because he negotiated with the prosecution to draft it. Further, the Supreme Court did not find an abuse of discretion where the district court refused defendant's additional instructions on the humane destruction of an animal in the jury instructions on the elements for the aggravated cruelty to animals charge. While defendant argued that the instructions should include subsection m from the statute, he only now on appeal contends that the subsection should have been given as a theory of defense. Thus, reviewing this argument for plain error, the Court found that defendant's theory that his killing was "humane" and thus excluded from the crime of aggravated cruelty was not supported by the language of the statute. In fact, such an interpretation not only goes against the plain language, but "then any animal could be killed, under any circumstances, as long as it is killed quickly." Defendant presented no evidence that the dog he shot was suffering or distressed and needed euthanasia. The trial court did not commit error when it declined to instruct the jury on subsection m. As to the reckless endangering conviction, the court also affirmed this charge as defendant showed a conscious disregard for the substantial risk he placed the teenager in regardless of whether he pointed the gun at the victim. Affirmed.
WY - Assistance Animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and service animal laws.
WY - Cheyenne - Title 6: Animals (Chapter 6.12: Pet Registration)


According to these Cheyenne, Wyoming ordinances, a person must annually register his or her pet with an animal control authority and, to do so, a person may take his or her pet to a Cheyenne veterinarian. A tag issued by a Cheyenne veterinarian at the time of a rabies vaccination serves not only as proof of current a rabies vaccination, but also as proof of a current pet registration for Cheyenne/Laramie County. Cheyenne veterinarians must also provide the animal control authority with a current rabies vaccination/registration listing each month. Penalties for violating these provisions are also provided.

WY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes This compilation of laws contains Wyoming's anti-cruelty provisions that were amended in 2021. Under the new laws, a person commits cruelty to animals if the person knowingly overrides an animal or drives an animal when overloaded; intentionally or knowingly, unnecessarily injures or beats an animal; or knowingly carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or death. Additionally, a person has the charge or custody of any animal under circumstances that manifest "extreme indifference" to the animal's safety, health or life, and fails to provide it with listed necessities, abandons the animal, fails to provide the animal with appropriate care in the case of immediate and obvious serious injury or illness also commits cruelty to animals. Other prohibitions include animal fighting, shooting or poisoning livestock or domestic animals on property where the animal is authorized to be. A first offense of cruelty to animals or of a violation of W.S. 6-3-1003 is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750.00, or both, with enhanced penalties for subsequent convictions. Felony cruelty to animals occurs when a person commits cruelty to animals as defined in W.S. 6-3-1002(a)(v) through (ix), that results in the death or required euthanasia of the animal; or (ii) knowingly, and with intent to cause death or undue suffering, beats with cruelty, tortures, torments or mutilates an animal. Such acts incur permanent forfeiture of the animal at issue and imprisonment for not more than two years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. With either misdemeanor or felony convictions, the court may order forfeiture of the animals involved, payment of reasonable costs of animal impoundment, and restraints on future ownership of animals. A bestiality law was also enacted in 2021 that prohibits actors from engaging in sexual acts with animals. Violation is a misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
WY - Cruelty, livestock - Chapter 29. Protection of Livestock Animals. This chapter concerns cruelty to livestock animals. The laws state that every person who confines or causes to be confined any livestock animal under the laws of this state, must supply to the livestock animal during confinement a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water. The section also provides that officers and agents of the Wyoming livestock board must be provided with a certificate and badge. Any peace officer, agent or officer of the board may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any livestock animal in his or her presence

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