California Statutes

Statute by categorysort descending Citation Summary
CA - Abandonment - § 597.1. Failure to care for animals; misdemeanor; powers and duties of local officers and veterinarians; hea CA PENAL § 597.1

Every owner, driver, or keeper of any animal who permits the animal to be in any building, enclosure, lane, street, square, or lot of any city, county, city and county, or judicial district without proper care and attention is guilty of a misdemeanor.  The statutes also creates a duty in peace officers, humane society officers, and animal control officers to cause the animal to be killed or rehabilitated and placed in a suitable home on information that the animal is stray or abandoned.

CA - Abandonment - § 597.2. Equines; abandoned or relinquished; auction and adoption programs CA PENAL § 597.2

This California statute sets forth the requirements for the sale of equines at a private or public auction and that the minimum price must be above the animal's slaughter price.  It also provides that a sale to an individual who buys an equine under the personal use provision shall submit a written statement declaring that the person is adopting the equine for personal use and not for purposes of resale, resale for slaughter, or holding or transporting the equine for slaughter.

CA - Abandonment - § 597f. Failure to care for animals; duty of peace or humane officers; disposal of abandoned, sick or disable CA PENAL § 597f

Every owner of any animal, who permits the animal to be without proper care and attention, shall, on conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. It shall be the duty of any peace officer, officer of the humane society, or officer of a pound or animal regulation department of a public agency, to take possession of the animal so abandoned or neglected and care for the animal until it is redeemed by the owner. Every sick, disabled, infirm, or crippled animal, except a dog or cat, may, if after due search no owner can be found therefor, be killed by the officer. all injured cats and dogs found without their owners in a public place directly to a veterinarian known by the officer or agency to be a veterinarian that ordinarily treats dogs and cats for a determination of whether the animal shall be immediately and humanely destroyed or shall be hospitalized under proper care and given emergency treatment.

CA - Abandonment - § 597s. Abandonment of animals CA PENAL § 597s

This statute makes it a misdemeanor to willfully abandon an animal, but does not apply to the release or rehabilitation and release of native California wildlife pursuant to statute or regulations of the California Department of Fish and Game.

CA - Animal Control - Chapter 4. Animal Control West's Ann.Cal.Health & Safety Code §§ 121875 - 121945

Beyond being domestic pets, dogs provide many services to humans, such as tracking scents and guarding facilities. Below is a collection of California laws, collectively known as the Dog Act, that set out definitions, requirements, and penalties relating to guard dogs, tracking dogs, narcotics dogs, sentry dogs and the people who handle them.

CA - Animal Defined - § 599b. Words and phrases; imputation of knowledge to corporation CA PENAL § 599b

This statute defines words, such as "animal," as they are used in Title 14, the Malicious Mischief section, of the California Penal Code.  Title 14 is where all of the California Penal Code sections pertaining to animal cruelty are found.

CA - Assistance Animal - California Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600.2, 600.5, West's Ann. Cal. Civ. Code § 54 - 55.9; West's Ann.Cal.Educ.Code § 39839; West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 30850 - 30854; West's Ann. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 121680; Cal. Vehicle Code § 21963

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

CA - Bighorn Sheep - Chapter 11. Bighorn Sheep CA FISH & G § 4900 - 4904

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 - Birds - Part 2. Birds. CA FISH & G § 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.

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

This statute makes it unlawful within any public cemetery or burying-ground to kill, wound, or trap any bird, or destroy any bird's nest other than swallows' nests, or remove any eggs or young birds from any nest.

CA - Bite - Title 10. Of Crimes Against the Public Health and Safety (Dog Bite Laws) CA PENAL § 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 - Bullfights - § 597m. Bullfights prohibited; exceptions; penalty CA PENAL § 597m

This statute makes it unlawful for any person to promote, advertise, stage, hold, manage, conduct, participate in, engage in, or carry on any bullfight, but does not prohibit rodeos or bloodless bullfights, contests, or exhibitions held in connection with religious celebrations or religious festivals.

CA - Burro - § 4600. Killing or capturing undomesticated burro; prima facie evidence CA FISH & G § 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 - Burro - § 53074.5. Undomesticated burros; removal by officer or employee of local animal control agency; medical care 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 - 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 - Circus - § 25989.1. Notice to animal control services agency of performances to be conducted CA HLTH & S § 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 - 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 - Crimes - § 597. Cruelty to animals CA PENAL § 597

This statutes states that anyone who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.  The statute also defines specific forms of torture and mistreatment that qualifies as a crime under this section.

CA - Crimes - § 597y. Violations; methods of killing; penalty CA PENAL § 597y

A violation of Section 597u [Animals; prohibited killing methods] or 597v [Newborn dog or cat; methods of killing] is a misdemeanor.

CA - Crimes, warrants - § 599a. Violations involving animals or birds; procedure for issuing warrant; authority of officer; atte CA PENAL § 599a

If a 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, a magistrate may issue and deliver immediately a warrant directed to law enforcement, authorizing him to enter and search that 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.

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

This section of California laws concerns the formation and powers of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

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

This set of statutes outlines the rights and responsibilities of corporations that are formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

CA - Cruelty - § 286.5. Sexually assaulting animal; misdemeanor CA PENAL § 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 - § 597.4. Selling or giving away live animals on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, CA PENAL § 597.4

This California statute makes is unlawful (with exceptions) to sell or give away, as part of a commercial transaction, a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk. The first violation is an infraction punishable by a fine up to $250. However, if the animal suffers, is injured, or its life or health is endangered, then the person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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

This California law provides that no person may perform, or otherwise procure or arrange for the performance of, surgical claw removal, declawing, onychectomy, or tendonectomy on any cat that is a member of an exotic or native wild cat species, and shall not otherwise alter such a cat's toes, claws, or paws to prevent the normal function of the cat's toes, claws, or paws. Violation results in a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

CA - Cruelty - § 597.7. Animal endangerment; confinement in unattended motor vehicle; violations and penalties West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597.7

This California statute provides that no person shall leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.  A first conviction for violation of this section is punishable by a fine not not exceeding $100 per animal. If the animal suffers great bodily injury, a violation of this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding $500, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment. Penalty enhancements are provided for subsequent convictions.

CA - Cruelty - § 597.9. Cruelty to animals; persons convicted of specified misdemeanor and felony offenses prohibited from ownin CA PENAL § 597.9

Under this California law, any person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of certain animal cruelty laws (Section 597, or Section 597a, 597b, 597h, 597j, 597s, or 597.1) and who, within five years after the conviction, owns, possesses, maintains, has custody of, resides with, or cares for any animal is guilty of a public offense, punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000). Additionally, any person who has been convicted of a felony violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 597, or Section 597b or 597.5, and who, within 10 years after the conviction, owns, possesses, maintains, has custody of, resides with, or cares for any animal is guilty of a public offense, punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

CA - Cruelty, exemptions - § 599c. Construction of title; game laws; destruction of dangerous animals or reptiles; killing for f CA PENAL § 599c

This statute makes it clear that the title is not meant to interfere with “game laws” or the right to destroy venomous reptiles or other dangerous animal. Neither is there an intent to interfere with laws regarding the destruction of certain birds, interfere with the right to kill animals used for food or with scientific experiments.

CA - Damages - Injuries to animals; exemplary damages CA CIVIL § 3340

Exemplary damages may be given for injuries to animals committed in disregard of humanity either willfully or through gross negligence.

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 - Disaster - § 8608. California Animal Response Emergency System (CARES) program; incorporation into standardized emergency m CA GOVT § 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 - Docking - § 597n. Docked horses; prohibition of docking; importation or use of unregistered animals CA PENAL § 597n

This law was amended in 2009 to prohibit the docking or cutting of the solid part of any horse or cattle. Violation of the law constitutes a misdemeanor. The new law does provide an exclusion for the docking of any cattle's tail in an emergency for the purpose of saving the cattle's life or relieving the cattle's pain provided that the emergency treatment is performed consistent with the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.

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 - Dog, dangerous - § 31625. Seizure and impoundment pending hearing West's Ann.Cal.Food & Agric.Code § 31625

This California statute allows an animal control officer or law enforcement officer to seize and impound the dog pending hearing if there is probable cause to believe the dog poses an immediate threat to public safety.  The owner or keeper of the dog shall be liable to the city or county where the dog is impounded for the costs and expenses of keeping the dog, if the dog is later adjudicated potentially dangerous or vicious.

 

CA - Dog, tether - § 122335. Animal control”, “agricultural operation”, “person”, and “reasonable period” defined; prohibition a CA HLTH & S § 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 - 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; West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. C

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 - Domestic Violence - Inclusion of Animals; Domestic Violence CA FAM § 6320 - 6327 On a showing of good cause, the court may include in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent.
CA - Elephant Abuse - § 596.5. Elephants; abusive behavior by owner or manager; misdemeanor CA PENAL § 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 - Endangered Species - CHAPTER 1.5. ENDANGERED SPECIES CA FISH & G § 2050 - 2115.5

The California Fish and Game Code considers that endangered and threatened species are of ecological, educational, historical, recreational, esthetic, economic, and scientific value to the people of the State of California. The State of California has legislation that allows the state to protect endangered and threatened species by acquiring land for these species to protect, restore and enhance the habitat of these species.  Section 2080 prohibits the importing, taking, exporting, possessing, purchasing, or selling, any species, or any part or product thereof that is endangered or threatened.

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 - Entertainment - Title 4. Motion Pictures (use of animals) CA CIVIL § 3504 - 3508.2

This section of laws provides that it is a nuisance to exhibit a motion picture that depicts any intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a human being or an animal where such intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a human being or an animal actually occurred in the production of the motion picture for the purpose of such production created after January 1, 1979. An action may be brought to abate and prevent the nuisance by the relevant county's district attorney or the California Attorney General. Any violation or disobedience of an injunction or order expressly provided for by this title is punishable as a contempt of court by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

CA - Euthanasia - § 597u. Animals; prohibited killing methods CA PENAL § 597u

This statute prohibits the use by any person of carbon monoxide gas or an intracardiac injection of a euthanasia agent on a conscious animal to kill an animal.

CA - Euthanasia - § 597v. Newborn dog or cat; methods of killing CA PENAL § 597v

The statute prohibits the killing of a newborn dog or cat whose eyes have not yet opened by any other method than by the use of chloroform vapor or by inoculation of barbiturates.

CA - Euthanasia - § 597w. Repealed by Stats.2005, c. 652 (A.B.1426), § 2 CA PENAL § 597w (repealed)

This repealed statute prohibited the killing of any dog or cat by the use of any high-altitude decompression chamber or nitrogen gas.

CA - Euthanasia - § 599d. Policy of state regarding adoptable and treatable animals CA PENAL § 599d

This law provides that it is the policy of the state that no adoptable animal shall be euthanized.

CA - Euthanasia - § 599e. Killing unfit animals after notice by officer; offense of refusal to kill; killing by officer; excepti CA PENAL § 599e

This statute requires an owner of an animal deemed to be unfit for employment to kill the animal within 12 hours, after being notified by any peace officer, or be subject to criminal penalties.

CA - Farm Animal Cruelty - Chapter 13.8. Farm Animal Cruelty. § 25991. Definitions. CA HLTH & S § 25991 - 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 - 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.

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