Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort ascending Summary
CA - Elephant Abuse - § 596.5. Elephants; abusive behavior by owner or manager; misdemeanor West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 596.5

This statute makes it a misdemeanor for an owner or manager of an elephant to engage in abuse and specifies certain behaviors that qualify as abuse.

CA - Poisoning - § 596. Poisoning animals; exceptions; posting warning signs West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 596

This statute makes it a misdemeanor to poison an animal, but gives an exception to a property owner trying to control or destroy predatory animals or livestock-killing dogs on his/her property, if the owner displays specified warning signs.

CA - Theft - § 487e. Grand theft; dog exceeding value of $950 West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 487e, 487f, 487g, 491

These provisions of the California Penal Code deal with stealing dogs and other animals. A person who feloniously steals, takes, or carries away a dog of another where the dog's value exceeds $950 is guilty of grand theft. If the value of the dog is less than $950, it is petty theft. If a person steals or maliciously takes an animal of another for purposes of sale, medical research, slaughter, or other commercial use (or does so by fraud or false representation), he or she commits a public offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 1 year or in the state prison.

CA - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 398 - 399.5, § 487e et seq, § 597b, § 597s, and § 597z; West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121575 et seq, § 121875 et seq., 122045 - 122315; West's Ann.Cal.Food & Agric.Code § 30501 - 31683;

These statutes represent California's dog laws.  Included are provisions on county control of dogs, licensing, killing and seizure of dogs, and laws regarding dangerous or vicious dogs.

CA - Bite - Title 10. Of Crimes Against the Public Health and Safety (Dog Bite Laws) West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 398 - 399.5

If an owner of an animal knows that the animal bit another person, s/he shall provide the other person with his or her contact information and information about the animal. A violation is an infraction punishable by a fine. If any person who owns an animal and knows of its vicious propensities, allows it to run at large and the animal kills any person, the owner may be guilty of a felony. The court may order the removal of the animal or its destruction.

CA - Euthanasia - § 382.4. Succinylcholine or sucostrin; administration to dog or cat West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 382.4 In California, it is a misdemeanor for a person other than a licensed veterinarian, to administer succinylcholine, also known as sucostrin, to any dog or cat.
CA - Cruelty - § 286.5. Sexually assaulting animal; misdemeanor West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 286.5

This California law provides that any person who sexually assaults any animal for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

CA - Cruelty - § 13012.8. Contents of annual report; violations of § 597 West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 13012.8

This new law effective on January 1, 2017 requires the annual report published by the Department of Justice to include information concerning arrests for violations of Section 597 (the cruelty to animals provision).

CA - Housing - Pet Friendly Housing Act of 2017 West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 50466 The California Department of Housing and Community Development requires each housing development to authorize a resident of the housing development to own or maintain one or more common household pets within a resident's dwelling unit.
CA - Farm Animal Cruelty - Chapter 13.8. Farm Animal Cruelty. § 25991. Definitions. West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 25990 - 25994

This section provides the definitions, exception,s and enforcement provisions for the Chapter 13.8, Farm Animal Cruelty. The section was added after voters approved Initiative Measure (Prop. 2) in 2008. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 180 days or by both such fine and imprisonment.

CA - Circus - § 25989.1. Notice to animal control services agency of performances to be conducted West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 25989.1

This California section provides that any traveling circus or carnival must notify entity that provides animal control services for a city, county, or city and county in which the traveling circus or carnival intends to perform of its intent to perform within that jurisdiction at least 14 days prior to the first performance in that city, county, or city and county. Violation results in a fine of $500 - 2,000 for a first violation, and $1,500 - 5,000 for any subsequent violation.

CA - Food Production - Chapter 13.4. Force Fed Birds West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 25980 - 25984.1

This chapter concerns force fed birds (usually ducks or geese), employed in the process of making foie gras . Beginning July 1, 2012, California outlaws the sale of any product in the state that is the result of force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird's liver beyond normal size. A peace or humane society officer may issue a citation for a civil penalty up to $1,000 for each violation, and up to $1,000 for each day the violation continues.

CA - Emergency - § 1797.10. Emergency medical transport for police dog; pilot project; West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 1797.10, § 1799.109 These two statutes relate to emergency transportation and care of injured companion animals. Section § 1797.10 establishes a pilot project in the County of San Bernardino beginning on January 1, 2019. It authorizes emergency transportation for a police dog injured in the line of duty to a veterinary medical service provider. Several conditions must be met before transport such as that the canine handler remains responsible for any first aid rendered to the injured police dog during transport and that no person at the scene requires medical attention or medical transportation at the time the request for transport is made. The next law, § 1799.109, first makes legislative findings on the importance of dogs and cats to Californians and that some first responder agencies have been providing stabilizing, life-saving emergency care to dogs and cats, which violates the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act. This new law allows an emergency responder to provide basic first aid to dogs and cats to the extent that the provision of that care is not prohibited by the responder's employer. The responder is not subject to criminal prosecution under the prohibitions of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act. Basic first aid includes things like administering oxygen, manually clearing an upper airway, controlling a hemorrhage with direct pressure, and bandaging to stop bleeding. This section does not impose a duty or obligation upon an emergency responder or any other person to transport or provide care to an injured pet or other domesticated animal during an emergency nor does it require emergency services through a 911 call for dogs or cats.
CA - Research Animals - Chapter 5. Regulation of Use of Animals in Diagnostic Procedures and Medical Research West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 1650 - 1677

This section regulates the use of animals in medical research. The California Department of Health Services is directed to make rules and regulations providing for satisfactory shelter, food, sanitation, record keeping, and for the humane treatment of animals by persons authorized by the board to raise, keep or to use animals medical research. The department is also authorized to inspect any premises where animals used for the purposes of this section are kept. Violations constitute a misdemeanor.

CA - Pet Boarding Facilities - Chapter 11. Pet Boarding Facilities West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 122380 - 122388

This chapter of statutes deals with the responsibilities that pet boarding facility operators must adhere to in the state of California. “Pet boarding facility” means any lot, building, structure, enclosure, or premises, or a portion thereof, whereupon four or more dogs, cats, or other pets in any combination are boarded at the request of, and in exchange for compensation provided by, their owner. Operators must ensure that the facility is in good repair, there is adequate pest control, an owner is contacted if a pet escapes and reasonable efforts are made to capture the escaped pet, as well as other upkeep requirements. The chapter also provides enclosure standards and animal care requirements including fire alarm and sprinkler systems. Animal control or qualified humane officers enforce violations of the chapter.

CA - Swap Meets - Chapter 10. Sale of Animals at Swap Meets. West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 122370 - 122374

This new chapter (effective January 1, 2016) covers the sale of animals at swap meets in the state. A swap meet operator may allow a vendor to sell animals at a swap meet so long as the local jurisdiction has adopted standards for the care and treatment of the animals. The care and treatment of the animals must include that time that the animals are at the swap meet and during the transportation to and from the swap meet. The swap meet vendors must maintain, among other things, sanitary facilities for the animals, provide proper heating and ventilation in the facilities, provide adequate nutrition and humane care and treatment, and provide adequate space for all kept in the facilities. A swap meet vendor who offers for sale at a swap meet in a jurisdiction that has not authorized the sale is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine up to $100. If a swap meet vendor is found guilty of this infraction for a subsequent time, he or she will be fined up to $500 per violation. Some exceptions include: events held by 4-H Clubs, Junior Farmers Clubs, Future Farmer Clubs, the California Exposition and State Fair, the sale of cattle on consignment at any public cattle sales market, and a public animal control agency or shelter.

CA - Pet Store - Chapter 9. Pet Store Animal Care Act West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 122350 - 122361 This law requires pet store operators to maintain the facility in good repair, provide proper care to animals, and clean grooming areas daily. Primary enclosures must be structurally sound, provide adequate space, be water-proof, and protect from injury. The law mandates that dogs and cats must be over eight weeks of age and weaned prior to sale. Pet store operators must ensure that veterinary records are documented in writing. Violations may be considered an infraction or a misdemeanor. A new law, effective January 1, 2019, states that a pet store operator shall not sell a live dog, cat, or rabbit in a pet store unless the animal was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group that is in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter. Violation is a civil penalty with a fine of up to $500.
CA - Dog, tether - § 122335. Animal control, agricultural operation, person, and reasonable period West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 122335

This California law is the state's dog tethering provision. Under the law, no person shall tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog, or cause a dog to be tethered, fastened, chained, tied, or restrained, to a dog house, tree, fence, or any other stationary object. A person may tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog, but it must be no longer than is necessary for the person to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be restrained for a reasonable period. A person who violates this chapter is guilty of an infraction or a misdemeanor. An animal control may issue a correction warning to a person who violates this chapter, requiring the owner to correct the violation, in lieu of an infraction or misdemeanor, unless the violation endangers the health or safety of the animal, the animal has been wounded as a result of the activity.

CA - Spay, neuter - Chapter 7. Spay/Neuter and Breeding Programs for Animals. West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 122330, 122331

This California chapter declares that the intent of this legislation is to permit cities and counties to take appropriate action aimed at eliminating uncontrolled and irresponsible breeding of animals. Cities and counties may enact dog breed-specific ordinances pertaining only to mandatory spay or neuter programs and breeding requirements, provided that no specific dog breed, or mixed dog breed, shall be declared potentially dangerous or vicious under those ordinances. These entities must also submit statistical information to the State Public Health Veterinarian on a quarterly basis.

CA - Pet Sales - Chapter 5. Sale of Dogs and Cats West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 122045 - 122315

This section requires that dog breeders provide a written disclosure upon the sale of any dog with information such as the breeder’s name and address, the dog’s birth date, breed. sex, color, and vet record, and a signed statement from the breeder that the dog has no known diseases. Any breeder who knowingly sells a diseased dog faces a civil penalty. Breeders must provide dogs with sanitary housing, adequate food, water, exercise and veterinary care.

CA - Importation - Chapter 3. Importation of Wild Animals. West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121775 - 121870

This California set of law relates to the importation of "wild animals" (defined as any animal of the class Aves (birds) or class Mammalia (mammals) that either is not normally domesticated in this state or not native to this state). The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor. The department may issue a permit to import a wild animal provided that a determination is made that public health or safety will not be endangered.

CA - Import, dog - Chapter 1.5. Dog Importation: Health Certificates West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121720 - 121723 This chapter relates to importation of dogs into California for sale purposes. A person seeking to bring a dog into this state or importing dogs into this state for the purpose of resale or change of ownership shall obtain a health certificate for that dog, completed by a licensed veterinarian and is dated within 10 days prior to the date on which the dog is brought into the state. However, this chapter does not apply to a person who brings a dog into the state that will not be offered for resale or if the ownership of the dog is not expected to change or to dogs used military or law enforcement work. A person who violates a provision of this chapter is guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 for each dog for which a violation has occurred.
CA - Ordinances - Regulation and control of dogs; maintenance of pound and rabies control programs; vaccination clinics; issuanc West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121690

This California statute provides that, in rabies areas, every owner of dogs older than four months shall get a new dog license at least once every two years as provided by ordinance of the responsible city, city and county, or county.  Also, every dog owner shall, at intervals of time not more often than once a year, vaccinate his or her dog against rabies.  Any dog in violation of this chapter and any additional provisions that may be prescribed by any local governing body shall be impounded, as provided by local ordinance.

CA - Rabies - Chapter 1. Rabies Control. West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121575 - 121710

This chapter of California laws deals with rabies control.

CA - Food service - § 114259.4 Food service employees handling or caring for animals on premises West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 114259.4 California's Health Code specifies that employees working in the food industry are only allowed to handle or care for their service animals or fish/shellfish/crustaceans in display tanks if they wash their hands. Outside of this they are not to handle other animals that may be present.
CA - Disaster - § 8608. California Animal Response Emergency System (CARES) program; West's Ann. Cal. Gov. Code § 8588.5, § 8608

The California Emergency Management Agency is directed to approve, adopt, and incorporate the California Animal Response Emergency System (CARES) program into the standardized emergency management system.

CA - Burro - § 53074.5. Undomesticated burros; removal by officer or employee of local West's Ann. Cal. Gov. Code § 53074.5

This California law allows an officer or employee of a local animal control agency to remove an undomesticated burro that strays onto private land at the request of the landowner. Such officer can also remove an undomesticated burro that strays onto a public roadway to ensure public safety.

CA - Impound - § 53074. Seizure and impoundment of dogs on private property West's Ann. Cal. Gov. Code § 53074

This California statute provides that animal control officer shall not seize or impound a dog on its owner's property for violation of a leash ordinance or issue citations for the violation of such ordinance when the dog has not strayed from the owner's private property.  However, if the dog has strayed from the property and later returned to it, an officer may issue a citation if the owner is present or impound the dog if the owner is not present.  In the latter circumstance, the officer must leave a notice of impoundment at the residence.

CA - Cats - Consolidated Cat Laws West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 31750 - 31766; West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4150 - 4151

These statutes comprise California consolidated cat laws.  Among the provisions include possession requirements for non-domestic cats, vaccination and impound procedures for domestic cats, and legislative policy statements about feral cats.

CA - Dangerous - California Dangerous Dog Statutes West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 31601 - 31683; West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 3342 - 3342.5; West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121685; West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 398 - 399.5

This is the California statute for the rules and regulations regarding dangerous and/or vicious dogs. It defines what constitutes a dangerous and/or vicious dog, what is to be done with said dog(s), and provides a model provision for municipalities to follow.  The other set of provisions contains the relevant dog bite law.  California has strict liability for dog bites such that liability is imposed regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.

CA - Licenses - City dog license tags; compliance with division West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 30502

This California statute provides that any dog tag issued pursuant to ordinance by a city or county will be valid provided it complies with this division, provides for the wearing of the license tag upon the collar of the dog, and provides for the keeping of a record which shall establish the identity of the person that owns or harbors the dog.  

CA - Humane Slaughter - Chapter 6. Slaughter West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 19501 - 19503

This California section constitutes the humane slaughter provisions for cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, swine, goats, fallow deer, and poultry.  The law provides that the animal shall be rendered insensible to pain by a captive bolt, gunshot, electrical or chemical means, or any other means that is rapid and effective before being cut, shackled, hoisted, thrown, or cast, with the exception of poultry which may be shackled.  Note that despite the section covering poultry, it does not apply to the slaughter of spent hens and small game birds, as defined by the department by regulation. 

CA - Fishing, Sport - Sport Fishing Provisions West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 7100 - 7400

These provisions apply to the taking and possession of fish for any purpose other than commercial.  The provisions outline license requirements, bag limits and possession requirements for various types of fish, as well as enumerate certain sale and taking prohibitions.

CA - Reptiles & Amphibians - Division 5. Protected Reptiles and Amphibians West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 5000 - 5062

These sections are the California statutes that specifically protect certain reptiles and amphibians.  The sections enumerate the protected species and strictly prohibit taking and possession, with  a narrow exception that may be granted by permit to an educational or scientific institution or a public zoological garden.

CA - Bighorn Sheep - Chapter 11. Bighorn Sheep West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4900 - 4905

The California Legislature declares that bighorn sheep are an important wildlife resource of the state to be managed and maintained at sound biological levels. The policy of the state is to encourage the preservation, restoration, utilization, and management of California's bighorn sheep population. To achieve these goals, these sections provide for the creation of management unit plans. 

CA - Mountain Lions - Chapter 10. Mountain Lions West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4800 - 4810

California statutes make mountain lions specially protected mammals.  These sections make it unlawful to take, injure, possess, transport, import, or sell any mountain lion or any part or product thereof.  Specific exceptions to these prohibitions include instances where a mountain lion is perceived to be an imminent threat to public health or safety or when it is perceived by to be an imminent threat to the survival of any threatened, endangered, candidate, or fully protected sheep species. 

CA - Hunting Bears - Chapter 9. Bear West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4750 - 4763

These sections outline the requirements for taking a bear in California.  It is unlawful, for example, to take any bear with a firearm, trap, or bow and arrow without first procuring a license tag authorizing the taking.  These sections list the license requirements and other restrictions on the method of taking, including penalties for violations.

CA - Mammals - § 4700. Taking or possession prohibited; scientific research; legal imports; West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4700

This statute enumerates the fully protected mammals in the state of California.  These animals may not be taken or possessed at any time.  The statute also specifically states that permits or licenses to take these animals will not be issued, with a possible exception in the case of necessary scientific research.

CA - Pigs, Wild - Chapter 7. Wild Pigs West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4650 - 4657

These provisions make it unlawful to take any wild pig in California without first procuring a license tag authorizing the taking.  These sections outline the requirements for licenses and require plans for the management of wild pigs. Under these plans, the status and trend of wild pig populations are determined and management units shall be designated within the state.

CA - Burro - § 4600. Killing or capturing undomesticated burro; prima facie evidence West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4600

This section makes it unlawful to kill, wound, capture, or have in possession any undomesticated burro. An undomesticated burro is a wild burro or a burro which has not been tamed or domesticated for a period of three years after its capture.

CA - Hunting - Chapter 5. Management of Deer West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 450 - 460

In an effort to to encourage the conservation, restoration, maintenance, and utilization of California's wild deer populations, these sections mandate the creation of plans for deer herd management units. Such units may encompass a single deer herd or a group of deer herds having similar management and habitat requirements and characteristics. The objectives of such management plans are the restoration and maintenance of healthy deer herds in the wild state and to provide for high quality and diversified use of deer in California.

CA - Hunting - Chapter 4. Deer. Article 3. Archery Deer Hunting. West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4370 - 4371

These two sections govern archery deer hunting in California. Archery hunting is done with a bow and arrow and hunters which participate in this type of hunting are restricted from carrying a firearm.

CA - Hunting - Chapter 4. Deer. Article 2. License Tags West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4330 - 4341

These provisions relate to the license requirements for deer hunting for both residents and nonresidents of California.  For example, the holder of a deer tag license shall carry the tag while hunting deer, and upon the killing of any deer, shall immediately fill out the tag and permanently mark the date of the kill. The deer tag shall be immediately attached to the antlers of antlered deer or to the ear of any other deer and kept attached during the open season and for 15 days thereafter.

CA - Hunting - Chapter 4. Deer. West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4301 - 4304

These sections regulate the selling of deer meat and other parts of the deer, namely the skin, hide and head.  Once a deer has been legally taken, the code allows the skin or hide to be sold, purchased, tanned, or manufactured into articles for sale.  There is also a provision which prohibits the capturing or destroying of any deer and detaching or removing from the carcass only the head, hide, antlers, or horn.  This same section also forbids any person from leaving through carelessness or neglect any game mammal or game bird which is in his possession, or any portion of the flesh thereof usually eaten by humans, to go needlessly to waste.

CA - Hunting - Chapter 3. Nongame Mammals and Depredators West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4150 - 4155, 4180 - 4190

These sections regulate the taking and killing of nongame mammals and depredatory animals. Nongame and fur-bearing mammals that are injuring crops or other property may be taken at any time or in any manner in accordance with this code. In some cases, a permit is required. It is unlawful to use snares, hooks, or barbed wire to remove from the den, or fire to kill in the den, any immature predatory mammal. Predators that are relocated by the department must be tagged.

CA - Trapping - Chapter 2. Fur-Bearing Mammals Article 2. Fur Dealer License West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4030 - 4043

These provisions outline the requirements for fur dealers.  Every person engaging in the business of buying, selling, trading or dealing in raw furs of fur-bearing mammals or nongame mammals is a fur dealer and shall procure a fur dealer license.  An exception is made for those dealers that trap and sell raw furs which he has lawfully taken, or a domesticated game breeder selling raw furs of animals which he has raised.  Fur dealers are required to maintain complete recordings for all of the furs they trade or sell and are prohibited from purchasing raw fur of any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal from any person who does not hold a valid trapping license, fur dealer license, or fur agent license.

CA - Trapping - Chapter 2. Fur-Bearing Mammals Article 1. Trapping Provisions West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4000 - 4012

These provisions regulate the fur trade. Fur-bearing mammals may be taken only with a trap, a firearm, bow and arrow, poison (with permit), or with the use of dogs. It is illegal to trap without a license and certain types of traps are not allowed. Fur dealers must have a license, with exceptions. Fur dealers are required to maintain complete records and are prohibited from purchasing raw furs from any person who does not hold a valid trapping license, fur dealer license, or fur agent license.

CA - Hunting - § 3513. Migratory nongame birds; protection West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 3513

California law reiterates that it is illegal to take or possess any bird or its parts that is listed under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, of which the eagle is listed. .

CA - Hunting - § 3511. Fully protected birds; permits or licenses; necessary scientific research; legal imports; West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 3511

California law specifically states that no other statutes are to be construed to allow the taking of state protected birds, of which the golden eagle and bald eagle are listed, and any licenses issued to take protected birds are void unless issued for scientific or depredation purposes.

CA - Birds - Part 2. Birds. West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 3500 - 3864

These various sections are all related to the protection of birds in California.  Within these sections, the Legislature has enumerated fully protected birds in the state, prohibited activities such as destroying bird nests and eggs, required licenses for duck hunting, and outlined several provisions to guide state efforts in preserving and rehabilitating the California Condor.

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