Animal Fighting: Related Statutes

Statute by categorysort descending Citation Summary
AK - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes AS § 03.55.100 - 190; AS § 11.61.140 - 145

This section comprises Alaska's anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws, which were amended in 2010. A person commits cruelty to animals if the person: knowingly inflicts severe and prolonged physical pain or suffering on an animal; with criminal negligence, fails to care for an animal and, as a result, causes the death of the animal or causes severe physical pain or prolonged suffering to the animal; kills or injures an animal by the use of a decompression chamber; intentionally kills or injures a pet or livestock by the use of poison; knowingly kills or injures an animal with the intent to intimidate, threaten, or terrorize another person; or knowingly engages in sexual conduct with an animal, films such activity, induces such activity, or intentionally permits this to occur on premises under the person's control. The court may also prohibit or limit the defendant's ownership, possession, or custody of animals for up to 10 years for convictions under this section.

AL - Cruelty - Alabama Consolidated Cruelty Statutes Ala. Code 1975 § 13A-11-14 - 16; § 13A-11-240 to 247; § 13A–11–260 to 264; § 13A-12-4 - 6; § 3-1-8 to 29; § 2-15-110 to 114

These Alabama provisions contain the state's anti-cruelty laws.  The first section (under Article 1 of Chapter 11) provides that a person commits a Class A misdemeanor if he or she subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment, neglect (as long as he or she has custody of the animal), or kills or injures without good cause any animal belonging to another. However, if any person intentionally or knowingly violates Section 13A-11-14, and the act of cruelty or neglect involved the infliction of torture to the animal, that person has committed an act of aggravated cruelty and is guilty of a Class C felony.  The next section (Article 11 of Chapter 11 entitled, "Cruelty to Cats and Dogs"), provides that a person commits the crime of cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree if he or she intentionally tortures any dog or cat or skins a domestic dog or cat or offers for sale or exchange or offers to buy or exchange the fur, hide, or pelt of a domestic dog or cat. Cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree is a Class C felony.

AL - Dog Fighting - Activities relating to fighting of dogs prohibited; violations; confiscation; procedures for disposition of Ala. Code 1975 § 3-1-29

This Alabama statute constitutes the state's dogfighting law.  Under the law, it is a class C felony for any person to own, possess, keep or train any dog with the intent that such dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog; for amusement or gain, to cause any dog to fight with another dog, or cause any dogs to injure each other; or to permit any of the above acts.  The law also makes it a class C felony to knowingly be present or be a spectator at dogfights.

AR - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty/Animal Fighting Laws A.C.A. § 5-62-101 - 127; 5-14-122

This section contains the Arkansas anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  A person commits a misdemeanor if he or she knowingly abandons any animal , subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment, fails to supply an animal in his or her custody with a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water, fails to provide an animal in his or her custody with adequate shelter, kills or injures any animal belonging to another without legal privilege or consent of the owner, or carries an animal in or upon any motorized vehicle or boat in a cruel or inhumane manner. Aggravated cruelty to a cat, dog, or horse is a Class D felony if the offense involves the torture.

AZ - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty/Animal Fighting Statutes A. R. S. § 13-2910 - 09; § 13-1411

The Arizona section contains the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly subjects any animal under the person's custody or control to cruel neglect or abandonment, fails to provide medical attention necessary to prevent protracted suffering to any animal under the person's custody or control, inflicts unnecessary physical injury to any animal, or recklessly subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment, among other things.  Animal is defined as a mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian.  Exclusions include hunting and agricultural activities in accordance with those laws and regulations in Arizona.  Intentionally attending a dogfight is a felony under this provision whereas attendance at a cockfight is a misdemeanor.

AZ - Initiatives - Proposition 201 (cockfighting) Proposition 201 (1998) Proposition 201 would amend state law to create the crime of cockfighting. Cockfighting would be classified as a class 5 felony, generally punishable by a possible fine of up to $150,000 and a possible prison term ranging from nine months to two years. Presence at a cockfight would be classified as a class 1 misdemeanor, generally punishable by a possible fine of up to $2,500 and a possible jail term of up to six months. This proposition would extend existing state law animal cruelty exemptions and defenses that apply to lawful hunting, ranching, farming, rodeos and related activities to also apply to cockfighting. The measure passed in 1998 with 68.1% of the vote.
CA - Cockfighting - § 597i. Cockfighting implements; prohibitions; penalties CA PENAL § 597i

This statute makes it unlawful for anyone to manufacture, buy, sell, barter, exchange, or have in his possession any of the implements commonly known as gaffs or slashers, or any other sharp implement designed to be attached in place of the natural spur of a gamecock or other fighting bird. The section also provides for forfeiture of such items, in addition to any sentence imposed by the court.

CA - Cockfighting - § 597j. Persons who own, possess or keep or train any bird or other animal with intent that it be used or en CA PENAL § 597j

This section prohibits any person from owning, possessing, or keeping any cock with the intent that it shall be used in any exhibition of fighting.

CA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty and Penal Code Sections Cal. Penal Code §§ 286.5; 596 - 600.5

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.

CA - Dog Fighting - § 597.5. Fighting dogs; felony; punishment; spectators; exceptions CA PENAL § 597.5

This California statute provides that it is a felony to own, possess, keep, or train any dog, with the intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog, or to cause dogs to fight for the purpose of amusement or gain.  Knowingly being a spectator at such an event constitutes a misdemeanor.

CA - Enforcement - Chapter 5. Arrest, by Whom and How Made. CA PENAL § 837, 847

This set of provisions authorizes private citizens to make arrests and explains when and how citizen arrests may be made.

CA - Fighting - § 597c. Animal fighting exhibitions; spectators; penalty CA PENAL § 597c

Whoever owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any bird or animal, with the intent that such animal shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting, or is present at such exhibition, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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

This provision allows for law enforcement officers to 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 present.

CA - Fighting - § 598.1. Dogfighting; forfeiture proceedings CA PENAL § 598.1

This California law allows the prosecuting attorney to file a petition for forfeiture in animal fighting cases under Section 597.5 or subdivision (b) of Section 597b. Any property interest, whether tangible or intangible, that was acquired through the commission of any of the crimes listed in subdivision (a) of Section 597.5 or subdivision (b) of Section 597b shall be subject to forfeiture, including both personal and real property, profits, proceeds, and the instrumentalities acquired, accumulated, or used by cockfighting or dogfighting participants, organizers, transporters of animals and equipment, breeders and trainers of fighting birds or fighting dogs, and persons who steal or illegally obtain dogs or other animals for fighting, including bait and sparring animals.

CA - Fighting Animals - § 597b. Fighting animals or cockfighting; prohibition; penalties; aiding and abetting CA PENAL § 597b

This statute forbids anyone from causing a fight between any animal or creature for amusement or gain, or allowing an animal fight to take place on her premises.  It also makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to be present at an animal fight.

CA - Forfeiture - § 599aa. Seizure of fighting animals and birds, paraphernalia, etc.; affidavit of officer; custody of seized p CA PENAL § 599aa

This section provides for the seizure and forfeiture of all birds, animals, paraphernalia, and any other property which is used in the fighting of birds or animals, the training of birds or animals to fight, or to inflict pain or cruelty on fighting animals.  The section outlines the procedures for seizure and forfeiture, including what is to be done with seized animals.

CO - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty/Animal Fighting Statutes C. R. S. A. § 18-9-201 - 209; § 35-42-101 - 115

This Colorado section contains the anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws. A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, allows to be housed in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, or otherwise mistreats or neglects any animal.  A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly tortures, needlessly mutilates, or needlessly kills an animal.  Cruelty to animals is a class 1 misdemeanor and aggravated cruelty or a second conviction of animal cruelty is class 6 felony.  This section also prohibits animal fighting (not limited to certain species such as dogs or chickens). Violation of this law results in a class 5 felony.  This section also makes it illegal to  own a dangerous dog and "tamper" with livestock.

Connecticut General Statutes: Title 56: Sections 6480 - 6482n Conn. Gen. Stat. Tit. 56 §§ 6480-6482 (1918)

Sections 6480-6482 of Title 56 from the 1918 General Laws of Connecticut covers offences against public policy.  Specifically, the statutes cover following topics: animal fighting, penalty for attending a fight, and unlawful exhibition of sports for gain.

Costa Rica- Animal Fighting - Cock Fighting LEY N.º 3 (1922) This 1922 law, in Spanish, outlaws cock fighting in Costa Rica.
DC - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes DC CODE § 22-1001 - 1015

This D.C. statutory section comprises the anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Whoever knowingly overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly chains, cruelly beats or mutilates, any animal, or knowingly causes such acts, or one who unnecessarily fails to provide proper food, drink, air, light, space, veterinary care, shelter, or protection from the weather, faces imprisonment up to180 days, or a fine of $250, or both.  Actions that result in serious bodily injury or death to the animal result in felony prosecution with imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine of $25,000, or both.  "Animal" is defined by statute as all living and sentient creatures (human beings excepted).  This section also prohibits animal fighting as either a felony (i.e., wagering or conducting the fight) or a misdemeanor (knowingly being present).

DE - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes DE ST TI 11 § 1325 - 1327; DE ST TI 3 § 7901 - 7907; DE ST TI 16 § 3001F - 3008F; DE ST TI 11 § 775 (formerly DE ST TI 11 § 777)

These Delaware sections comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Delaware's anti-cruelty section provides that cruelty to animals is when a person intentionally or recklessly subjects any animal (excluding fish, crustacea or molluska) to cruel mistreatment, cruel neglect, or kills or injures any animal belonging to another person.  Actively engaging in animal fighting activities is a class F felony while being a spectator at a fight is a class A misdemeanor.

FL - Cruelty, Humane Slaughter - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes/Humane Slaughter Laws West's F. S. A. § 828.01 - 828.43

This section comprises the Florida anti-cruelty laws.  Under this section, the word "animal" includes every living dumb creature.  The misdemeanor violation of animal cruelty (section 828.12) occurs when a person unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or carries in or upon any vehicle, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner.  A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering is guilty of a felony of the third degree.  Psychiatric or psychological counseling are also mandatory for convicted offenders.  The section also criminalizes animal abandonment and neglect as well as animal fighting.

GA - Dogfighting - Article 2. Gambling and Related Offenses. Ga. Code Ann., § 16-12-37

Georgia's dogfighting statute states that any person who owns, possesses, trains, transports, or sells any dog with the intent that such dog shall be engaged in fighting with another dog, wagers money or anything of value on the result of such dogfighting, knowingly permits dogfighting on his or her premises, knowingly promotes or advertises an exhibition of fighting commits the offense of dogfighting .  Violation of the law is a felony, with a mandatory  fine of $5,000.00 or a mandatory fine of $5,000.00 in addition to imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years. On a second or subsequent conviction, such person shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine of not less than $15,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment. Any person who is knowingly present only as a spectator at any place for the fighting of dogs shall, upon a first conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.  

HI - Cruelty - Hawaii Cruelty to Animals Provisions (Chapter 711) H R S § 711-1100 to 1110.5

Under this set of Hawaii laws, a person commits the misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly overdrives, overloads, tortures, torments, cruelly beats or starves any animal, deprives a pet animal of necessary sustenance, mutilates, poisons, or kills without need any animal other than insects, vermin, or other pests, or engages in animal fighting enterprises.  Dog fighting constitutes a felony where the person owns or trains the dog to fight.  The section has enhanced penalties for cruelty to guide or service animals or interference with their duties.

IA - Cruelty - Injury to Animals other than Livestock I. C. A. § 717B.1 - 717E3

Under Title XVI of Iowa's criminal code, there are several chapters that outlaw forms of animal cruelty and animal fighting.  The main animal cruelty provisions are contained in chapter 717B (Injuries to Animals other than Livestock). This chapter defines "animal" as any nonhuman vertebrate.  However, it excludes livestock, game, fur-bearing animal, fish, reptile, or amphibian unless a person owns, confines, or controls the game, fur-bearing animal, fish, reptile, or amphibian, and any nongame considered a "nuisance."  There are separate prohibitions against animal abuse, animal neglect, animal torture, abandonment of a cat or dog, and injury to a police service dog.  Under both the animal abuse and animal torture sections, a first offense results in an aggravated misdemeanor.  However, animal torture requires a mandatory psychological evaluation and graduates subsequent convictions to felony status.  Exclusions under the various sections include veterinary care, hunting, animal husbandry, and scientific research, among others.  Other criminal chapters include chapters 717C.1 (Bestiality), 717D (Animal Contest Events), and 717E (Pets as Prizes).

ID - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes I.C. § 25-3501 - 3521; § 18-6605

These Idaho statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Every person who is cruel to any animal and whoever having the charge or custody of any animal subjects any animal to cruelty is guilty of a misdemeanor.  "Animal" means any vertebrate member of the animal kingdom, except humans.  "Cruelty" is defined as the intentional and malicious infliction of pain, physical suffering, injury or death upon an animal as well as the negligent deprivation of necessary sustenance, among other things.  Dogfighting and cockfighting exhibitions are also prohibited, but the rearing of gamecocks regardless of their later intended use is not prohibited.

IL - Cruelty Generally - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes (Humane Care for Animals Act) 510 I.L.C.S. 70/1 - 18; 720 I.L.C.S. 5/12-35

This comprehensive Humane Care of Animals Act from Illinois gives the requisite anti-cruelty provisions.  "Animal" means every living creature, domestic or wild, but does not include man.  Notably, the Act includes a provisions for psychological counseling for a person convicted of violating this section.  An individual is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony with every day that a violation continues constituting a separate offense.  The Act includes special provisions for juveniles and "companion animal hoarders" (510 ILCS 70/2.10).  The cruelty provisions are listed at 510 ILCS 70/3.01, 3.02, and 3.03.  The statute also prohibits the marketing and distribution of depictions of animal torture or cruelty for entertainment purposes (510 ILCS 70/3.03-1).

IL - Dog Fighting - Chapter 720. Criminal Offenses 720 I.L.C.S. 5/48-1

The following statute comprises Illinois' dogfighting law.  Under the law, it is a felony to promote or instigate a fight, or to train or sell a dog for dogfighting purposes.  Further, no person may solicit a minor to violate this Section. Providing equipment or aiding in providing equipment for a fight is also a felony.  Knowingly attending a dogfight is a Class 4 felony for a first violation. A second or subsequent violation of subsection (g) of this Section is a Class 3 felony.

IN - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes I.C. 35-46-3-0.1 - 15; 36-8-3-18

These Indiana statutes set forth the anti-cruelty laws.  As used in this chapter, "animal" does not include a human being.  A person having a vertebrate animal in the person's custody who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally abandons or neglects the animal commits cruelty to an animal, a Class B misdemeanor.  A person who knowingly or intentionally purchases or possesses an animal for the purpose of using the animal in an animal fighting contest commits a Class A misdemeanor.

KS - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty and Animal Fighting Laws K. S. A. 21-6411 - 6418; 21-5504

The Kansas anti-cruelty statutes define cruelty to animals as knowingly killing, injuring, maiming, torturing, burning or mutilating any animal. Also included as cruelty are abandoning any animal, failing to provide food, horse-tripping, and poisoning any domestic animal, unlawful disposition of animals, dog and cock-fighting. Cruelty to animals may be a misdemeanor or a felony. Exceptions are made for such things as veterinary practices, research experiments, rodeo and farming practices, euthanasia, and pest control. It is also illegal to allow a dangerous animal to run at large or to engage in sodomy with an animal.

KY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes KY ST § 525.125 - 135; KY ST § 436.610

These Kentucky statutes represent the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Under the law, animal cruelty in the first-degree (a class D felony) occurs when a person causes four-legged animals to fight for pleasure or profit.  Exclusions under this section include, among others, the killing of animals when hunting, fishing, or trapping; as incident to the processing as food or for other commercial purposes; or for veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes.

LA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes LSA-R.S. 14:102 - .27

These Louisiana statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  The term "cruel" is defined in the first section every act or failure to act whereby unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted.  The crime of cruelty to animals is subdivided into simple cruelty or aggravated cruelty. Simple cruelty occurs when a person intentionally or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, or overworks, torments, cruelly beats, or unjustifiably injures, or, having charge, custody, or possession of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, unjustifiably fails to provide any living animal with proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, or proper veterinary care.

MA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes M.G.L.A. 272 § 77- 95; M.G.L.A. 22C § 57; M.G.L.A. 272 § 34

These Massachusetts laws contain the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  § 77 is the operative anti-cruelty statute and provides that whoever overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates or kills an animal, and whoever uses in a cruel or inhuman manner in a race, game, or contest, or in training, as lure or bait a live animal (except as bait in fishing), or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 7 years or imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.  Other prohibitions include the dyeing of baby chicks, the docking of horse tails, and both felony and misdemeanor penalties for animal fighting, depending on conduct. In 2010, the state made non-medically necessary devocalization of dogs or cats illegal.

MD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes MD Code, Criminal Law, § 601 - 623; MD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-322

This Maryland statutory section comprises the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  Under the section, "animal" means a living creature except a human being.  "Cruelty" is defined as the unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering caused or allowed by an act, omission, or neglect, and includes torture and torment.  Agricultural, veterinary, research, and "an activity that may cause unavoidable physical pain to an animal, including food processing, pest elimination, animal training, and hunting. . . " are excluded from the purview of the act.

ME - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes 7 M. R. S. A. § 3971 - 4041; 17 M. R. S. A. § 1011 - 1046

These Maine statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  The first section of laws occurs under Title 7, Agriculture and Animals.  Under these laws, a person commits animal cruelty if he or she kills the animal of another person; kills an animal by an inhumane method; injures, overworks, tortures, torments, abandons or cruelly beats or intentionally mutilates an animal; gives drugs to an animal with an intent to harm the animal; gives poison or alcohol to an animal; or exposes a poison with intent that it be taken by an animal.  The neglect component of the statute provides that a person commits cruelty if he or she deprives an animal that the person owns or possesses of necessary sustenance, necessary medical attention, proper shelter, protection from the weather or humanely clean conditions.  These acts are then cross-referenced under the criminal provisions of Title 17, which describes the penalties under § 1031.  Animal fighting is a class D crime under this section.

MI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes (MCL 750.49 - 70) M. C. L. A. 750.49 - 70; M.C.L.A. 750.158

The Michigan Legislature has designed three primary provisions related to cruelty to animals: intentional infliction of pain and suffering, duty to provide care, and anti-animal fighting.  The intentional infliction of pain and suffering provision carries the most severe penalties for animal cruelty and a violation is automatically a felony.  A violation of the duty to provide care provision is initially a misdemeanor, which becomes a felony for a second or subsequent violation.  A violation of the anti-animal fighting provision is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of conduct related to fighting.  The provision does not apply to the lawful killing of livestock or customary animal husbandry of livestock, or lawful fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife control, pest or rodent control, and animal research.

MI - Enforcement - Chapters 760 to 777 Code of Criminal Procedure. MI ST 764.16

This law authorizes private citizens to make arrests.

MI - Fighting Generally - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code MCL 750.49

The anti-animal fighting provision prohibits conduct related to animal fighting, including but not limited to organizing or being a spectator at a fight and training or using animals for fighting.

MN - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes M. S. A. § 343.01 - 40; 609.294

These Minnesota statute comprise the anti-cruelty laws in the state.  This section first allows the formation of private prevention of cruelty to animals societies and humane societies and sets forth their obligations by law.  "Animal" is defined by this section as every living creature except members of the human race.  No person shall overdrive, overload, torture, cruelly beat, neglect, or unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate, or kill any animal, or cruelly work any animal when it is unfit for labor.  Under the neglect component, the statute states that no person shall deprive any animal over which the person has charge or control of necessary food, water, or shelter, among other things.

MO - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes V. A. M. S. 578.005 - 188; 566.111

These Missouri statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty laws.  The term "animal" means every living vertebrate except a human being.  The provisions of sections 578.005 to 578.023 do not apply to the care or treatment performed by a licensed veterinarian, bona fide scientific experiments, hunting, fishing, or trapping, publicly funded zoological parks, rodeo practices, the killing of an animal by the owner, the lawful, humane killing of an animal by an animal control officer, the operator of an animal shelter, a veterinarian, or law enforcement or health official, normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry, the killing of an animal by any person at any time if such animal is outside of the property of the owner or if such animal is injuring any person or farm animal, the killing of house or garden pests, or field trials, training and hunting practices as accepted by the Professional Houndsmen of Missouri.  A person is guilty of animal neglect when he or she has custody or ownership or an animal and fails to provide adequate care, which results in substantial harm to the animal.  A person is guilty of abandonment when he or she has knowingly abandoned an animal in any place without making provisions for its adequate care.  Animal neglect and abandonment is a class C misdemeanor upon first conviction with enhancement to a class B misdemeanor for subsequent convictions.  A person is guilty of animal abuse when a person intentionally or purposely kills an animal in any manner not allowed by law, purposely or intentionally causes injury or suffering to an animal, or, having ownership or custody of an animal, knowingly fails to provide adequate care or control.  Animal abuse is a class A misdemeanor unless the person was previously convicted.

MO - Initiatives - Proposition A (felony animal fighting) Proposition A (1998) This 1998 ballot proposal asked, "[s]hall a statute be enacted making it a class D felony to bait or fight animals; permit such activities on premises you control; or promote, conduct, stage, advertise or collect fees for such activities; and making it a class A misdemeanor to knowingly attend baiting or fighting of animals; knowingly sell, offer for sale, or transport animals for such purposes; own, possess, manufacture or deal in cockfighting implements; bear wrestle; permit bear wrestling on premises you control; promote, conduct, stage, advertise, or collect fees for bear wrestling; or market, possess, train, or surgically alter a bear for bear wrestling?" It was passed in 1998 by 62.6% of voters.
MS - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes Miss. Code Ann. § 97-41-1 - 23; Miss. Code Ann. § 97-29-59

This section constitutes Mississippi's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions, which were recently amended in 2011. The pertinent anti-cruelty law, § 97-41-1, states that any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, torments, unjustifiably injures, deprives of necessary sustenance, food, or drink, cruelly beats, or needlessly mutilates any living creature , is guilty of a misdemeanor. The cat and dog cruelty provision, § 97-41-16, was significantly amended in 2011. This section, known as the "Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011," makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally or with criminal negligence wound, deprive of adequate food, water, or shelter, or carry or confine in a cruel manner, any domesticated cat or dog. Aggravated cruelty occurs when a person with malice intentionally tortures, mutilates, maims, burns, starves or disfigures any domesticated dog or cat.

MT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes MCA 45-8-209 - 211; 45-8- 217; 7-23-4104; 45-8-218

This section comprises Montana's anti-cruelty and dogfighting laws.  A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly or negligently subjects an animal to mistreatment or neglect; fails to provide an animal in the person's custody with food and water of sufficient quantity or minimum protection for the animal from adverse weather conditions; or, in cases of immediate, obvious, serious illness or injury, fails to provide licensed veterinary or other appropriate medical care.  Animal abandonment of a "helpless animal" or abandoning any animal on any highway, railroad, or in any other place where it may suffer is also considered cruelty.  A first conviction results in a possible $1,000/1 year imprisonment with graduating penalty enhancements for subsequent convictions.  This section does not prohibit a person humanely destroying an animal for just cause or the use of commonly accepted agricultural and livestock practices on livestock (among other things). Section 217 defines aggravated cruelty as either knowingly or purposely killing or inflicting cruelty to an animal with the purpose of terrifying, torturing, or mutilating the animal, or inflicting cruelty to animals on a collection, kennel, or herd of 10 or more animals.

NC - Cruelty - Article 47. Cruelty to Animals. N.C.G.S.A.§ 14-360 to 14-363.2; § 19A-1 - 70; § 19A-45 - 59; § 160A-182, § 14-177

This section comprises the relevant North Carolina animal cruelty statutes.  The anti-cruelty statute provides that if any person shall maliciously kill, or cause or procure to be killed, any animal by intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance, that person shall be guilty of a Class H felony .  If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal , every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class H felony. This section also makes promoting or conducting a cock fight a misdemeanor and promoting or conducting a dogfight a felony. Other prohibited acts include abandoning an animal, conveying any animal in a cruel manner, and restraining a dog in a cruel manner. This section also includes the civil remedy provisions.

NE - Cruelty - Article 10. Offenses Against Animals Neb. Rev. St. § 28-1001 - 1020

This Nebraska statutory section comprises the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  The cruelty provision provides that a person who abandons or cruelly neglects an animal is guilty of a Class I misdemeanor.  Intentional animal cruelty results in a Class I misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class IV felony for any subsequent offense, unless such cruel mistreatment involves the knowing and intentional torture, repeated beating, or mutilation of the animal where such an act automatically results in a Class IV felony.  Animal means any vertebrate member of the animal kingdom, but does not include an uncaptured wild creature (which appears to exclude otherwise heinous, intentional acts to wildlife).

New York Revised Statutes 1866: Chapter 783: Sections 1-10 N.Y. Rev. Stat. ch. 783, §§ 1-10 (1866)

Chapter 783, entitled "An act for the more effectual prevention of animal cruelty," concerns New York's Law on animal treatment for 1866. 

NH - Cruelty - Cruelty to Animals N.H. Rev. Stat. § 644:8 - 644:8-f; N.H. Rev. Stat. § 105:14 - 18

These New Hampshire statutes provide the animals anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions for the state.  Included are general anti-cruelty laws for any animal (including domestic and wild animals), exhibitions of fighting animals, provisions for protection of animals riding in motor vehicles, restrictions related to docking the tail of a horse, provisions for the use of animals in science classes or fairs, laws against maiming or willfully interfering with police dogs or horses,  laws related to the willful interference with organizations or projects involving animals, and provisions related to dogs riding in pick-up trucks.

NJ - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes NJ ST 4:22-10 to 4:22-60

These New Jersey statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions.  According to the definitional section, "animal" or "creature" includes the whole brute creation.  Exclusions under the act include state regulated scientific experiments, state sanctioned killing of animals, hunting of game, training of dogs, normal livestock operations, and the killing of rats and mice.  With regard to livestock practices, no person may be cited or arrested for a first offense involving a minor or incidental violation of any provision of this title involving alleged cruelty to domestic livestock unless that person has first been issued a written warning. 

NM - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes NMSA 1978, § 30-18-1 to 30-18-15

This section comprises the New Mexico anti-animal cruelty provisions.  As used in this section, "animal" does not include insects or reptiles.  Cruelty to animals occurs when person negligently mistreats, injures, kills without lawful justification or torments an animal or abandons or fails to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under that person's custody or control.  Extreme cruelty to animals, a fourth-degree felony, consists of a person intentionally or maliciously torturing, mutilating, injuring or poisoning an animal or maliciously killing an animal.  Upon conviction, the court may order a person to participate in an animal cruelty prevention program or an animal cruelty education program, or to obtain psychological counseling for treatment of a mental health disorder.

NV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes N. R. S. 574.010 to 574.550

This comprehensive section comprises the Nevada anti-cruelty statutes.  The section first empowers private prevention of cruelty to animals societies and outlines their powers and responsibilities, including the power to arrest.  Under this section, "animal" does not include the human race, but includes every other living creature.  Animal cruelty, as described in Section 574.100, prohibits the overdriving, overloading, torture, cruel beating or unjustifiable injuring, maiming, mutilation or killing of an animal, as well as the deprivation of necessary sustenance, food or drink.  The first offense under this section is a misdemeanor with enhancement to a felony for a third or subsequent convictions.  Animals fighting is also prohibited under the section, with enhanced sentences for subsequent convictions.  Other specific crimes include mistreatment of dogs, abandonment of animals, poisoning (although the section does not prohibit the destruction of "noxious animals"), and basic requirements for the care of dogs and cats kept in kennels or sold by pounds or pet shops.