Full Statute Name:  Penal Code Sections (California)

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Primary Citation:  Cal. Penal Code §§ 286.5; 596 - 600.5 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  February, 2024 Historical: 
Summary: These sections from the California Penal Code detail the crimes associated with animals, including anti-cruelty provisions, animal fighting statutes, unlawful killing methods, horse-specific laws, and a miscellaneous section containing provisions related to guide dogs, police dogs, bestiality, etc.

General Anti-Cruelty Provisions

Organization of Anti-Cruelty Societies

Animals in Entertainment Provisions

Fighting Animal Provisions

Horse Provisions

Livestock and Farm Animal Provisions

Unlawful Killing Methods

Unlawful Sale of Animal Provisions

Service Animal Provisions

Miscellaneous Provisions



General Anti-Cruelty Provisions

§ 596. Poisoning animals; exceptions; posting warning signs

§ 597. Cruelty to animals

§ 597.1. Failure to care for animals; misdemeanor; powers and duties of local officers and veterinarians; hearings; liability for costs; forfeiture

§ 597.9. Cruelty to animals; persons convicted of specified misdemeanor and felony offenses prohibited from owning, possessing, caring for, etc. animals for specified time period after conviction; exemption for owners of livestock; petition to reduce duration of ownership prohibition

§ 597a. Cruelty to animals; transportation; care of animals by arresting officer; expense

§ 597e. Domestic animals; impounding without sufficient food or water; supply by third party; collection of cost

§ 597f. Failure to care for animals; duty of peace or humane officers; disposal of abandoned, sick or disabled animals; notice to owner; lien; injured cats and dogs in public places

§ 597s. Abandonment of animals

§ 597t. Confined animals

§ 599a. Violations involving animals or birds; procedure for issuing warrant; authority of officer; attempts

§ 599b. Words and phrases; imputation of knowledge to corporation

§ 599c. Construction of title; game laws; destruction of dangerous animals or reptiles; killing for food; authorized scientific experiments or investigations

§ 13012.8. Contents of annual report; violations of § 597


Societies for Anti-Cruelty Prevention:

Part 11. Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, CA CORP § 14500 - 14505

Part 9. Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals, CA CORP § 10400 - 10406


Animals in Entertainment:

§ 596.5. Elephants; abusive behavior by owner or manager; misdemeanor

§ 596.7. Rodeos; veterinarians present at performances; violation of section

§ 597m. Bullfights prohibited; exceptions; penalty

§ 2128. Elephants; prohibited practices; penalties


Fighting Animal Provisions

§ 597.5. Fighting dogs; felony; punishment; spectators; exceptions

§ 597b. Fighting animals or cockfighting; prohibition; penalties; aiding and abetting

§ 597c. Animal fighting exhibitions; spectators; misdemeanor; penalties

§ 597d. Fighting animals or birds; entries and arrests without warrant

§ 597h. Live animals; attaching to power propelled device to be pursued by dogs

§ 597i. Cockfighting implements; prohibitions; penalties

§ 597j. Persons who own, possess or keep or train any bird or other animal with intent that it be used or engaged in fighting exhibition; penalties

§ 598.1. Dogfighting; forfeiture proceedings

§ 599aa. Seizure of fighting animals and birds, paraphernalia, etc.; affidavit of officer; custody of seized property; forfeiture and destruction or redelivery


Horse Provisions

§ 597.2. Equines; abandoned or relinquished; auction and adoption programs

§ 597g. Poling or tripping a horse; offenses; exceptions

§ 597k. Bristle bur, tack bur, etc.; use on animals

§ 597n. Docked horses or cattle; prohibition of docking; importation or use of unregistered animals; exception for health of animal

§ 597o. Humane transportation of equine to slaughter; vehicle requirements; segregation of animals; violations

§ 597p. Docked horses; registration; time; fee; certificate

§ 597q. Docked horses; unregistered; prima facie evidence

§ 597r. Docked horses; exception of imported stock; registration

§ 597x. Disabled equine; sale or transport for commercial slaughter; misdemeanor

§ 598c. Horse slaughter for human consumption

§ 598d. Sale of horsemeat for human consumption


Livestock and Farm Animal Provisions:

§ 599f. Nonambulatory animals; slaughter houses, stockyards, auctions, market agencies, or dealers; transactions; processing; euthanasia; movement; violations

Farm Animal Cruelty. § 25991. Definitions


Unlawful Killing Methods

§ 597u. Animals; prohibited killing methods

§ 597v. Newborn dog or cat; methods of killing

§ 597y. Violations; methods of killing; penalty

§ 599d. Policy of state regarding adoptable and treatable animals

§ 599e. Killing unfit animals after notice by officer; offense of refusal to kill; killing by officer; exception  


Unlawful Sale of Animals:

§ 597.3. Live animal markets

§ 597.4. Selling or giving away live animals on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk; prohibition; punishment; exclusions; application

§ 597l. List providing what is unlawful for a pet shop operator to fail to do; information to be provided to buyers; ‘'pet animals" and "pet shop" defined; punishment

§ 597z. Sale of dogs under eight weeks of age; written approval by veterinarian prior to physical transfer; violations; exclusions

§ 598a. Killing dog or cat with intent of selling or giving away pelt; possession, sale or importation of pelt with intent of selling or giving away

§ 598b. Animals commonly kept as pets or companions; use as food; violation; exceptions

§ 599. Selling or giving away poultry or rabbits as inducement to enter contest, place of amusement or business


Service Animal Assault:

§ 600. Horses or dogs used by peace officers; willful and malicious harm or interference; punishment; restitution

§ 600.2. Allowing dog to injure or kill guide, signal or service dog; punishment; restitution

§ 600.5. Intentional injury to, or death of, guide, signal or service dog; penalty; restitution


Miscellaneous Provisions:

§ 286.5. Sexually assaulting animal; misdemeanor

§ 597.6. Exotic or native wild cat species; alteration of toes, claws or paws

§ 597.7. Animal endangerment; confinement in unattended motor vehicle; violations and penalties

§ 598. Birds in cemeteries; killing, trapping, destroying nests, etc.


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