California Penal Code: Animal Welfare Provisions
§597. Cruelty to Animals
§597. Cruelty to animals.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (c) of this section or Section 599c, every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures or wounds a living animal or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of an offence 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 the 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.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (a) or (c), every person who overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal, or causes or procures any animal to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, or to be cruelly beaten, mutilated, or cruelly killed; and whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner abuses any animal, or fails to provide the animal with proper food, drink, or shelter or protection from the weather, or who drives, rides, or otherwise uses the animal when unfit for labor, is for every such offence, guilty of a crime punishable as a misdemeanoror as a felony or alternatively punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony and by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).
(c) Every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates or tortures any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish as described in subdivision (d), 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 the imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in the 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.
(d) Subdivision (c) applies to any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish which is a creature described as follows:
This subdivision does not supersede or affect any provisions of law relating to taking of the described species, including, but not limited to, Section 12008 of the Fish and Game Code.
(e) For the purposes of subdivision (c) each act of malicious and intentional maiming, mutilating, or torturing a separate specimen of a creature described in subdivision (d) is a separate offense. If any person is charged with a violation of subdivision (c), the proceedings shall be subject to Section 12157 of the Fish and Game Code.
(f) Upon the conviction of a person charged with a violation of this section by causing or permitting an act of cruelty, as defined in Section 599b, all animals lawfully seized and impounded with respect to the violation by a peace officer, officer of a humane society, or officer of a pound or animal regulation department of a public agency shall be adjudged by the court to be forfeited and shall thereupon be awarded to the impounding officer for proper disposition. A person convicted of a violation of this section by causing or permitting an act of cruelty as described in Section 599b, shall be liable to the impound officer for all costs of impoundment from the time of seizure to the time of proper disposition.
Mandatory seizure or impoundment shall not apply to animals in properly conducted scientific experiments or investigations performed under the authority of the faculty of a regularly incorporated medical college or university of this state.
§597a. Transporting animals in a cruel manner.
Whoever carries or causes to be carried in or upon any vehicle or otherwise any domestic animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering, or cruelty of any kind, is guilty of a misdemeanor; and whenever any such person is taken into custody therefor by any officer, such officer must take charge of such vehicle and its contents, together with the horse or team attached to such vehicle, and deposit the same in some place of custody; and any necessary expense incurred for taking care of and keeping the same, is a lien thereon, to be paid before same can be lawfully recovered; if any such expense, or any part thereof, remains unpaid, it may be recovered, by the person incurring the same, of the owner of such domestic animal, in an action therefore.
§597l. Pet shops.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who operates a pet shop to fail to do all of the following:
(b) As used in this section:
(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
§597t. Animals in confinement.
Every person who keeps an animal confined in an enclosed area shall provide it with an adequate exercise area. If the animal is restricted by a leash, rope, or chain, the leash, rope, or chain shall be affixed in such a manner that it will prevent the animal from becoming entangled or injured and will permit the animals's access to adequate shelter, food and water. Violation of this section constitutes a misdemeanor.
This section shall not apply to an animal which is in transit, in a vehicle, or in immediate control of a person.
§599a. Arrest warrants for violation of animal statutes.
When complaint is made, on oath, to any magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases, that the 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, such magistrate must issue and deliver immediately a warrant directed to any sheriff, constable, police or peace officer or officer of an incorporated association qualified as provided by law, authorizing him to enter and search such building or place, and to arrest any person there presenting violating, or attempting to violate, any law relating to, or in any way affecting, dumb animals or birds, and to bring such person before some court or magistrate of competent jurisdiction, within the city, city and county, or judicial district within which such offense has been committed or attempted, to be dealt with according to law, and such attempt must be held to be in violation of Section 597.
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