Full Statute Name:  New York Revised Statutes 1874: Chapter 12: Sections 1-8

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Popular Title:  An act relating to animals. Primary Citation:  N.Y. Rev. Stat. ch. 12, §§ 1-8 (1874) Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  November, 2019 Date Adopted:  1874 Historical: 
Summary: Chapter 12, entitled "An act relating to animals," concerns New York's Law about the treatment of animals from 1874.


L. 1874, Chap. 12 - An act relating to animals.

 Animals, any act of cruelty to, a misdemeanor. SECTION 1. Every person who shall willfully set foot on, or instigate, or move to, or carry on, or promote, or engage in, or do any act toward the furtherance of, any act of cruelty to any animal shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, powers of officers of. SECTION 2. All agents of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shall have all the powers now conferred on them by law. Any person who shall falsely represent or personate an officer, agent or member of said society shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Interference a misdemeanor. SECTION 3. Any officer, agent or member of said society may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any animal in his presence. Any person who shall interfere with or obstruct any such officer, agent or member in the discharge of his duty, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Any agent of, may destroy abandoned or diseased animals. SECTION 4. Any agent or officer of said society may lawfully destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any animal found abandoned and not properly cared for, appearing in the judgment of two reputable citizens called by him to view the same in his presence, to be glandered, injured or diseased past recovery for any useful purpose.

Agent may take charge of animals when person in charge of, arrested. SECTION 5. When any person arrested is at the time of such arrest in charge of any vehicle drawn by or containing any animal, any agent of said society may take charge of such animal, and of such vehicle and its contents, and deposit the same in a safe place of custody, or deliver the same into the possession of the police or sheriff of the county or place wherein such arrest was made, who shall thereupon assume the custody thereof.

Fines to inure to society; no injunction against. SECTION 6. All fines, penalties and forfeitures imposed and collected in any county in this state under the provisions of every act passed, or which may be passed relating to or in anywise affecting animals, except where otherwise provided, shall inure to said society in aid of the purpose for which it was incorporated. And no injunction shall be granted against said society, or any of its officers or agents, except upon motion, after due notice and hearing thereof.

Warrant to issue. SECTION 7. Upon complaint under oath or affirmation to any magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases that the complainant has just and reasonable cause to suspect that any of the provisions of law relating to or in anywise affecting animals are being, or are about to be violated in any particular building or place, such magistrate shall immediately issue and deliver a warrant to any person authorized by law to make arrests for such offences, authorizing him to enter and search such building or place and to arrest any person there present found violating any of said laws, and to bring such person before the nearest magistrate of competent jurisdiction, to be dealt with according to law.

The words torture, torment, and cruelty defined. SECTION 8. In this act, and in every law of this state pass, or which may be passed, relating to or affecting animals, the singular shall include the plural; the words "animal" or "dumb animal" shall be held to include every living creature; the words "torture," "torment," or "cruelty" shall be held to include every act, omission, or neglect whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted, and the words "owner" and "person" shall be held to include corporations as well as individuals. But nothing in this act shall be construed as prohibiting the shooting of birds for the purposes of human food.6

6: 15 Abb. N. S., 51; 10 Abb. N. S., 374; 48 How. Pr. R., 435; 16 Abb. N. S., 73.

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