According to Cal Pen Code § 597, a person is guilty of cruelty to animals if s/he:
- “Maliciously and intentionally mains, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or
- Maliciously and intentionally kills an animal; or
- Overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal; or
- Causes or procures any animal to be so treated.”
Abused animals shall be seized and impounded and ownership forfeited. Cruelty to animals may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. It is punishable with a fine up to $20,000 and/or imprisonment up to 1 year. The defendant must pay for and successfully complete counseling, if granted probation for a conviction. Carrying any domestic animal in or upon any vehicle or otherwise in a cruel or inhumane manner is a misdemeanor. Farming, hunting and research are exemptions to this.