Cruelty to Animals

Cruelty to Animals

828.12 Cruelty to animals.--

(1) A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

(2) A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

(a) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection, where the finder of fact determines that the violation includes the knowing and intentional torture or torment of an animal that injures, mutilates, or kills the animal, shall be ordered to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $2,500 and undergo psychological counseling or complete an anger management treatment program.

(b) Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be required to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $5,000 and serve a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 6 months. In addition, the person shall be released only upon expiration of sentence, shall not be eligible for parole, control release, or any form of early release, and must serve 100 percent of the court-imposed sentence. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subsection.

(3) A veterinarian licensed to practice in the state shall be held harmless from either criminal or civil liability for any decisions made or services rendered under the provisions of this section. Such a veterinarian is, therefore, under this subsection, immune from a lawsuit for his or her part in an investigation of cruelty to animals.

(4) A person who intentionally trips, fells, ropes, or lassos the legs of a horse by any means for the purpose of entertainment or sport shall be guilty of a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this subsection, "trip" means any act that consists of the use of any wire, pole, stick, rope, or other apparatus to cause a horse to fall or lose its balance, and "horse" means any animal of any registered breed of the genus Equus, or any recognized hybrid thereof. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply when tripping is used:

(a) To control a horse that is posing an immediate threat to other livestock or human beings;

(b) For the purpose of identifying ownership of the horse when its ownership is unknown; or

(c) For the purpose of administering veterinary care to the horse.

History.--s. 4, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3395; RGS 5244; CGL 7363; s. 2, ch. 70-50; s. 4, ch. 71-12; s. 949, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 82-116; s. 2, ch. 89-194; s. 5, ch. 94-339; s. 1286, ch. 97-102; s. 26, ch. 99-391; s. 35, ch. 2000-308; s. 1, ch. 2002-51.

828.13 Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or exercise; abandonment of animals.--

(1) As used in this section:

(a) "Abandon" means to forsake an animal entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner.

(b) "Owner" includes any owner, custodian, or other person in charge of an animal.

(2) Whoever:

(a) Impounds or confines any animal in any place and fails to supply the animal during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water,

(b) Keeps any animals in any enclosure without wholesome exercise and change of air, or

(c) Abandons to die any animal that is maimed, sick, infirm, or diseased,

is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.

(3) Any person who is the owner or possessor, or has charge or custody, of any animal who abandons such animal to suffer injury or malnutrition or abandons any animal in a street, road, or public place without providing for the care, sustenance, protection, and shelter of such animal is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.

History.--ss. 2, 4, ch. 3921, 1889; RS 2510; GS 3396; RGS 5245; CGL 7364; s. 950, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 81-17; s. 3, ch. 82-116; s. 203, ch. 91-224.

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