Is animal abuse a crime in CA?

California Legislature

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If you are asking whether animal abuse is a crime in California, the answer is YES, but the crime will have to be proved in a court of law after the perpetrator has been charged and prosecuted.

The word ‘abuses’ is specifically stated in California’s criminal code. I summarise the code below verbatim:

…every person who….in any manner abuses any animal…. is, for each offense, guilty of a crime….

Note: the crime can be a misdemeanour or a felony depending on the severity of the abuse as described and specified in the statute.

There are many other forms of animal cruelty and abuse specifically stated in the statute: Penal Code § 597.

You can read the relevant sections in their entirety by clicking on the link below (you are taken to a new window):

California animal cruelty statute – § 597. Cruelty to animals.



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