In New Jersey, pursuant to N.J. Stat. § 4:22-17, abusing an animal, needlessly killing an animal, inflicting unnecessary cruelty upon an animal, or not providing the animal adequate food, care , or shelter is a disorderly persons offense. The section more specifically states that:
- to overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, overwork, deprive of necessary sustenance, abuse, or needlessly kill an animal or to cause or procure any such acts to be done; or
- to inflict unnecessary cruelty upon an animal or unnecessarily fail to provide an animal of which the person has charge, with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather; or leave it unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the animal
is a disorderly offense.
A person guilty of the offense shall be fined from $ 250 to $ 1,000, and/or be imprisoned for six months. In addition a person who torments, tortures, maims, hangs, poisons, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, or needlessly mutilates an animal; or causes or procures any such acts to be done shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. If the animal is cruelly killed or dies as a result of above mentioned acts, or the person has a prior conviction for a violation of this subsection, the person shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.
Additionally the court shall also impose a term of community service of up to 30 days to be served in providing assistance any recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals.