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Home Page >> Ky Animal Cruelty Laws

Kentucky Revised Statutes
 (Regarding Animal Cruelty & Penalties)

257.100  Destruction of suffering, abandoned or hopelessly diseased animal -- "Abandoned" defined.

258.245  Dogs with rabies vaccination and identification considered personal property -- Destruction prohibited.

427.060  Use of reptiles in religious services.

436.185 Exhibition of walking horse where the horse's front legs or hoofs show evidence of burns, drugs, lacerations or any pain inflicting device.

436.605  Animal control officers and humane agents have powers of peace officers, except power of arrest -- Search warrants -- Execution of search warrants -- Arrest by peace officer.

446.010  Definitions for statutes generally.

525.125  Cruelty to animals in the first degree

525.130  Cruelty to animals in the second degree -- Exemptions

525.135  Torture of dog or cat

525.200  Assault on a service animal in the first degree

525.205  Assault on a service animal in the second degree

 

 

 

 

 

257.100 Destruction of suffering, abandoned or hopelessly diseased animal -- "Abandoned" defined.436.185  Exhibition of walking horse where the horse's front legs or hoofs show evidence of burns, drugs, lacerations or any pain inflicting device.

(1) Any peace officer or any officer of the accredited humane society or society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may destroy or kill or cause to be destroyed or killed, any animal found abandoned and suffering and not properly cared for, or appearing to be injured, diseased or suffering past recovery for any useful purpose.

(2) Before destroying the animal the officer shall obtain the judgment to that effect of a veterinarian, or of two (2) reputable citizens called by him to view the animal in his presence, or shall obtain consent to the destruction from the owner of the animal.

(3)

(a) Any animal placed in the custody of a licensed veterinarian for treatment, boarding or other care, which shall be unclaimed by its owner or his agent for a period of more than ten (10) days after written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, is given the owner or his agent at his last known address, shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be turned over to the nearest humane society, dog pound or animal shelter or disposed of as such custodian may deem proper.

(b) The giving of notice to the owner, or the agent of the owner of such animal by the licensed veterinarian, as provided herein shall relieve the licensed veterinarian and any custodian to whom such animal may be given of any further liability for disposal.

(4) For the purpose of this section, the term "abandon" shall mean to forsake entirely, or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner, or his agent. Such abandonment shall constitute the relinquishment of all rights and claims by the owner to such animal.

 

258.245  Dogs with rabies vaccination and identification considered personal property -- Destruction prohibited.

All dogs that have a valid rabies vaccination and bear identification are hereby declared to be personal property and subjects of larceny.  Except as provided in KRS 258.235, it shall be unlawful for any person except a peace officer or animal control officer to destroy, or attempt to destroy, and dog that bears identification.

 

437.060  Use of reptiles in religious services.

Any person who displays, handles or uses any kind of reptile in connection with any religious service or gathering shall be fined not less than fify dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).

 

436.185 Exhibition of walking horse where the horse's front legs or hoofs show evidence of burns, drugs, lacerations or any pain inflicting device.

(1)

(a) The term "walking horse" as used in this section shall be construed to include only that breed of horses known as walking horses.

(b) The term "handler" as used in this section shall be construed to mean that person or persons who are in charge of grooming, preparing and readying said horse for competition.

(2) No walking horse shall be permitted to compete or exhibit in any exhibition or fair either for profit or pleasure, if said horse's front legs or hoofs show evidence of burns, drugs, lacerations, any sharp pointed instrument, or any pain inflicting device.

(3) It shall be the duty of the assigned ringmaster in charge of any such exhibition or competition to properly inspect the front legs and hoofs of each entry in each class or event. Said inspection shall be for the purpose of determining whether there is any evidence of burns, drugs, lacerations, any sharp pointed instrument, or any pain inflicting device appearing on said animal.

(4) If any such evidence appears to the satisfaction of the ringmaster, he shall immediately bar said horse from competition, and notify the sheriff of said county of said violation. The handler of said horse shall be fined not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) or imprisoned for ten (10) days or both. For the second and each subsequent offense he shall be imprisoned for thirty (30) days.

(5) Any ringmaster who fails to perform these duties, and permits the commission of any of the offenses stated in subsection (2), shall be fined not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense allowed.

(6) This section shall in no wise repeal any laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky on the subject of cruelty to animals and shall be construed by the courts as supplementary thereto.

 

436.605 Animal control officers and humane agents have powers of peace officers, except power of arrest -- Search warrants -- Execution of search warrants -- Arrest by peace officer.

(1) Dog wardens and officers and agents of humane societies shall have the powers of peace officers for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the Kentucky Revised Statutes relating to cruelty and mistreatment of animals, provided they possess the qualifications required under KRS 61.300.

(2) Any peace officer, or any officer or agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, who shall make oath before any judge of a District Court that he has reasons to believe or does believe that an act of cruelty to animals is being committed in a building, barn or other enclosure, the said judge shall thereupon on proof of demand having been made, issue a search warrant directed to any peace officer, or any officer or agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth or other peace officer to search the said premises, and if upon such search it is found that an act of cruelty to animals is being perpetrated to forthwith arrest such offender or offenders and bring him or them before the said court for trial.

 

446.010  Definitions for statutes generally.

As used in the statute laws of this state, unless the context requires otherwise:

(2) "Animal" includes every warm-blooded living creature except a human being;

(6) "Cattle" includes horse, mule, ass, cow, ox, sheep, hog, or goat of any age or sex.

(9) "Cruelty" as applied to animals includes every act or omission whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death is caused or permitted;

(12) "Domestic animal" means any animal converted to domestic habitat;

(16) "Humane society," "society," or "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals," means any nonprofit corporation, organized under the laws of this state and having as its primary purpose the prevention of cruelty to animals;

(23) "Owner" when applied to any animal, means any person having a property interest in such animal;

(24) "Peace officer" includes sheriffs, constables, coroners, jailers, metropolitan and urban-county government correctional officers, marshals, policemen, and other persons with similar authority to make arrests;

 

525.125  Cruelty to animals in the first degree


(1) The following persons are guilty of cruelty to animals in the first degree whenever a four-legged animal is caused to fight for pleasure or profit:

(a) The owner of the animal;

(b) The owner of the property on which the fight is conducted if the owner knows of the fight;

(c) Anyone who participates in the organization of the fight.

(2) Activities of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog training, and other activities authorized either by a hunting license or by the Department of Fish and Wildlife shall not constitute a violation of this section.

(3) Cruelty to animals in the first degree is a Class D felony.

 

525.130 Cruelty to animals in the second degree -- Exemptions

(1) A person is guilty of cruelty to animals in the second degree when except as authorized by law he intentionally or wantonly:

(a) Subjects any animal to or causes cruel or injurious mistreatment through abandonment, participates other than as provided in KRS 525.125 in causing it to fight for pleasure or profit (including, but not limited to being a spectator or vendor at an event where a four (4) legged animal is caused to fight for pleasure or profit) mutilation, beating, torturing any animal other than a dog or cat, tormenting, failing to provide adequate food, drink, space, or health care, or by any other means;

(b) Subjects any animal in his custody to cruel neglect; or

(c) Kills any animal other than a domestic animal killed by poisoning. This paragraph shall not apply to intentional poisoning of a dog or cat. Intentional poisoning of a dog or cat shall constitute a violation of this section.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to the killing of animals:

(a) Pursuant to a license to hunt, fish, or trap;

(b) Incident to the processing as food or for other commercial purposes;

(c) For humane purposes;

(d) For veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes;

(e) For purposes relating to sporting activities, including but not limited to horse racing at organized races and training for organized races, organized horse shows, or other animal shows;

(f) For bona fide animal research activities of institutions of higher education; or a business entity registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act or subject to other federal laws governing animal research;

(g) In defense of self or another person against an aggressive or diseased animal;

(h) In defense of a domestic animal against an aggressive or diseased animal;

(i) For animal or pest control; or

(j) For any other purpose authorized by law.

(3) Activities of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog training other than training a dog to fight for pleasure or profit, and other activities authorized either by a hunting license or by the Department of Fish and Wildlife shall not constitute a violation of this section.

(4) Cruelty to animals in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

525.135  Torture of dog or cat

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "torture" means the intentional infliction of or subjection to extreme physical pain or injury, motivated by an intent to increase or prolong the pain of the animal.

(2) A person is guilty of torture of a dog or cat when he or she without legal justification intentionally tortures a domestic dog or cat.

(3) Torture of a dog or cat is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense if the dog or cat suffers physical injury as a result of the torture, and a Class D felony if the dog or cat suffers serious physical injury or death as a result of the torture.

(4) Nothing in this section shall apply to the killing or injuring of a dog or cat:

(a) In accordance with a license to hunt, fish, or trap;

(b) For humane purposes;

(c) For veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes;

(d) For purposes relating to sporting activities including but not limited to training for organized dog or cat shows, or other animal shows in which a dog or a cat, or both, participate;

(e) For bona fide animal research activities, using dogs or cats, of institutions of higher education; or a business entity registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act or subject to other federal laws governing animal research;

(f) In defense of self or another person against an aggressive or diseased dog or cat;

(g) In defense of a domestic animal against an aggressive or diseased dog or cat;

(h) For animal or pest control; or

(i) For any other purpose authorized by law.

(5) Activities of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog training other than training a dog to fight for pleasure or profit, and other activities authorized either by a hunting license or by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources shall not constitute a violation of this section.

(6) The acts specified in this section shall not constitute cruelty to animals under KRS 525.125 or 525.130.

Effective: July 15, 2008

History: Amended 2008 Ky. Acts ch. 136, sec. 1, effective July 15, 2008. -- Created 2003 Ky. Acts ch. 181, sec. 1, effective June 24, 2003.

Legislative Research Commission Note (6/24/2003). In subsection (4)(e) of this section, the redundant words "activities of" have been deleted before the phrase "bona fide animal research activities."

 

525.200  Assault on a service animal in the first degree

(1) A person is guilty of assault on a service animal in the first degree when he intentionally and without legal justification or lawful authority kills or causes physical injury to a service animal to the extent that a service animal becomes physically incapable or ever returning to service.

(2) Assault on a service animal in the first degree is a Class D felony.

 

525.205  Assault on a service animal in the second degree

(1) A person is guilty of assault on a service animal in the second degree when he intentionally and without legal justification or lawful authority causes physical injury to a service animal.

(2)  Assault on a service animal in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

 

 

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