TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE XIV: MALICIOUS MISCHIEF
Section 596. Poisoning cattle . Every person who willfully administers any poison to an animal, the property of another, or maliciously exposes any poisonous substance, with the intent that the same shall be taken or swallowed by any such animal, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding three years, or in the county jail not exceeding one year, and a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.
Legislation Section 596. Enacted February 14, 1872; based on Field's Draft, Section 698, N.Y. Penal code, Section 660.
Section 597. Cruelty to animals . Every person who maliciously kills, maims, or wounds an animal, the property of another, or who overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal, or causes or procures any animal to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink or shelter, or to be cruelly beaten, mutilated or cruelly killed; and whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the same, or in any manner abuses any animal or fails to provide the same with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather, or who drives, rides or otherwise uses the same when unfit for labor, is for every such offense, guilty of a misdemeanor. ,
[Amendment approved 1909; Stats. 1909, p. 999.]
Section 597a. Unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty . Whoever carries or causes to be carried in or upon any vehicle or otherwise any domestic animal in a cruel or inhuman manner, or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering, or cruelty of any kind, is guilty of a misdemeanor; and whenever any such person is taken into custody therefor by any officer, such officer must take charge of such vehicle and its contents, together with a horse or team attached to such vehicle, and deposit the same in some place of custody; and any necessary expense incurred for taking care of and keeping the same, is a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can be lawfully recovered; and if such expense, or any part thereof, remains unpaid, it may be recovered, by the person incurring the same, of the owner of such domestic animal in an action therefor.
Section 597a. Docking of tails of horses . It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to dock the tail of any horse, within the state of California, or to procure the same to be done, or to import or bring into this state, any docked horse, or horses, or to drive, work, use, race or deal in any unregistered docked horse, or horses, within the state of California except as provided in section five hundred and ninety-seven d of this code. ,
Section 597b. Fighting animals . Any person who, for amusement or gain, causes any bull, bear, cock, dog, or other animal to fight with like kind or different kind of animal or creature, or with any human being; or who, for amusement or gain worries or injures any such bull, bear, cock, dog or other animal, or causes any such bull, bear, cock, dog or other animal to worry or injure each other; and any person who permits the same to be done on any premises under his charge or control; and any person who aids, abets, or is present at such fighting or worrying of such animal or creature, as a spectator, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[Amendment approved 1907; Stats. 1907, p. 845.]
Section 597b. Registration of docked horses. County Clerk to keep record . Within thirty days after the passage of this act, every owner, or user or any docked horse, within the state of California, shall register his or her docked horse, or horses by filing in the office of the county clerk of the county in which such docked horse, or horses, may then be kept, a certificate, which certificate shall contain the name, or names of the owner, together with his or her post office address, a full description of the color, age, size and the use made of such docked horse, or horses; which certificate shall be signed by the owner, or his, or her agent. The county clerk shall number such certificate consecutively and record the name in a book, or register to be kept for that purpose only; and shall receive as a fee for recording of such certificate, the sum of fifty cents, and the clerk shall thereupon issue to such person so registering such horse or horses a certificate containing the facts recited in this section which upon demand shall be exhibited to any peace-officer, and the same shall be conclusive evidence of a compliance with the provisions of section five hundred and ninety-seven a of this code.
Section 597c. Evidence . The driving, working, keeping, racing or using of any unregistered docked horse, or horses, after sixty days after the passage of this act, shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the fact that the party driving, working, keeping, racing or using such unregistered docked horse, or horses, docked of the tail of such horse or horses.
See ante, Sections 597a, 597b, post, Sections 597d, 599d.
Section 597c. Training for fighting, or being present at fight . Whoever owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any bird or animal, with the intent that such bird or animal shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting, or is present at any place, building, or tenement, where preparations are being made for an exhibition of the fighting of birds or animals, with the intent to be present at such exhibition, or is present at such exhibition, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Section 597d. Arrests without warrants . Any sheriff, constable, police, or peace officer, or officer qualified as provided in section six hundred and seven f of the Civil Code, may enter any place, building, or tenement, where there is an exhibition of the fighting of birds or animals, or where preparations are being made for such an exhibition, and, without a warrant, arrest all persons there present.
Section 597d. Violation a misdemeanor. Certain stock excepted . Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, that the provisions of sections five hundred and ninety-seven a, five hundred and ninety-seven b, and five hundred and ninety-seven c, shall not be applied to persons owning or possessing any docked pure-bred stallion and mares imported from foreign countries for breeding or exhibition purposes only, as provided by an act of Congress entitled "An Act regulating the importation of breeding animals" and approved March third, nineteen hundred and three, and to docked native-bred stallions and mares brought into this state and used for breeding or exhibition purposes only; and provided further that a description of each such animal so brought into the state, together with the date of importation and name and address of importer, be filed with the county clerk of the county where such animal is kept, within thirty days after the importation of such animal.
Section 597e. Impounding without food or water . Any person who impounds, or causes to be impounded in any pound, any domestic animal, must supply the same during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water, and in default thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor. In case any domestic animal is at any time impounded, as aforesaid, and continues to be without necessary food and water for more than twelve consecutive hours, it is lawful for any person, from time to time, as may be deemed necessary, to enter into and upon any pound in which such domestic animal is so confined, and supply it with necessary food and water so long as it remains so confined. Such person is not liable to any action for such entry, and the reasonable cost of such food and water may be collected by him of the owner of such animal, and such animal is not exempt from levy and sale upon execution issued upon a judgement therefor.
Section 597f. Permitting animals to go without care. Abandoned animals to be killed . Every owner, driver, or possessor of any animal, who shall permit the same to be in any building, enclosure, lane, street, square, or lot, of any city, city and county, or township, without proper care and attention, shall, on conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. And it shall be the duty of any peace-officer, or officer of the humane society, to take possession of the animal so abandoned or neglected and care for the same until it is redeemed by the owner or claimant, and the cost of caring for such animal shall be a lien on the same until the charges are paid. Every sick, disabled, infirm, or crippled animal which shall be abandoned in any city, city and county, or township, may, if after due search no owner can be found therefor, be killed by such officer; and it shall be the duty of all peace-officers, or an officer of said society, to cause the same to be killed on information of such abandonment. Such officer may likewise take charge of any animal that by reason of lameness, sickness, feebleness, or neglect, is unfit for the labor it is performing, or that in any other manner is being cruelly treated; and, if such animal is not then in the custody of its owner, such officer shall give notice thereof to such owner, if known, and may provide suitable care for such animal until it is deemed to be in a suitable condition to be delivered to such owner, and any necessary expenses which may be incurred for taking care of and keeping the same shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can be lawfully recovered.
Section 597g. Keepers of stallions, etc . Every person who lets to mares or jennies any stallion or jack within the limits of any city, town, or village, or within four hundred yards thereof, except in an enclosure sufficient to obstruct the view of all the inhabitants within such limits, and every person in charge of any stallion, bull, boar, ram, or buck goat who turns out or permits such animal to be turned out or run at large in any county, is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of not less than five [n] or more than twenty dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not less than thirty days or both such fine and imprisonment.
Section 598. Killing, etc., birds in cemeteries . Every person who, within any public cemetery or burying-ground kills, wounds, or traps any bird, or destroys any bird's nest other than swallows' nests, or removes any eggs or young birds from the nest, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Section 598a. Killing or detaining homing pigeons . Every person, other than the owner thereof, who shoots, maims, kills, or detains any Antwerp, messenger, or homing pigeon is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of not less than ten nor more than twenty-five dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding fifty days.
Section 599. Killing gulls or cranes. Destroying nests or eggs . Every person who willfully and knowingly kills or destroys any of that species of sea-bird known as gulls, or who willfully and knowingly shoots, wounds, traps, snares, or in any other manner catches or captures any white or blue crane, or who knowingly takes, injures, or destroys the nest of any white or blue crane, or takes, injures or destroys the eggs of any such crane in the next or otherwise, is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of not less than five nor more than one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment of not less than five nor more than one hundred days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Section 599a. Prosecutions . When complaint is made, on oath, to any magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases, that the complainant believes that any provision of law relating to, or in any way affecting, dumb animals or birds, is being, or is about to be violated in any particular building or place, such magistrate must issue and deliver immediately a warrant directed to any sheriff, constable, police or peace-officer, or officer of any incorporated association qualified as provided by law, authorizing him to enter and search such building or place, and to arrest any person there present violating, or attempting to violate, any law relating to, or in any way affecting, dumb animals or birds, and to bring such person before some court or magistrate of competent jurisdiction, within the city, city and county, or township within which such offense has been committed or attempted, to be dealt with according to law, and such attempt must be held to be a violation of section five hundred and ninety-seven.
Section 599b. Words defined . In this title the word "animal" includes every dumb creature; the words "torment," "torture," and "cruelty" include every act, omission, or neglect whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted; and the words "owner" and "person" include corporations as well as individuals; and the knowledge and acts of any agent of, or person employed by a corporation in regard to animals transported, owned, or employed by, or in the custody of, such corporation, must be held to be the act and knowledge of such corporation as well as such agent or employee. ,
Section 599c. Not to interfere with game laws . No part of this title shall be construed as interfering with any of the laws of this state known as the "game laws," or any laws for or against the destruction of certain birds, nor must this title be construed as interfering with the right to destroy any venomous reptile, or any animal known as dangerous to life, limb, or property, or to interfere with the right to kill all animals used for food, or with properly conducted scientific experiments or investigations performed under the authority of the faculty of a regularly incorporated medical college or university in this state.
Section 599d. Docking of tails . Whoever shall cut the solid part of the tail of any horse in the operation known as "docking," or in any other operation performed for the purpose of shortening the tail, and whoever shall cause the same to be done, or assist in doing such cutting, is guilty of a misdemeanor. ,
Section 599e. Animals to be killed when unfit for work . Every animal which is unfit, by reason of its physical condition, for the purpose for which such animals are usually employed, and when there is no reasonable probability of such animal ever becoming fit for the purpose for which it is usually employed, shall be by the owner or lawful possessor of the same, deprived of life within twelve hours after being notified by any peace officer, or officer of said society, to kill the same, and such owner, possessor, or person omitting or refusing to comply with the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and after such conviction the court or magistrate having jurisdiction of such offense shall order any peace-officer, or officer of said society, to immediately kill such animal; provided, that this shall not apply to such owner keeping any old or diseased animal belonging to him on his own premises with proper care.
Section 599f. Killing of elk a felony . Every person who willfully kills any elk within this state is guilty of a felony and punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term not exceeding two years.